St. Francis, Poverty, and the Saving Madness of the Gospel…

Months and months ago, long before there was an inkling that Pope Benedict XVI would step aside, I came across this little book, titled simply I, Francis, in a used book store in my town. As I recall, it was a buck (or two) so I picked it up figuring it was a biography of the saint who turned the world on its head. To be quite honest, it sat under a stack of other books for a long time, and I didn’t even flip through it until recently.

Of course, we now have a Pope who for the first time has taken the name of St. Francis of Assisi, so I figured I should start boning up on this saint from Umbria. Very quickly I realized that Carlo Carretto wasn’t just putting a normal biography down on paper when his mind and heart were called to share Francis’s story. Instead, Caretto was called to bring Francis to life for us in way that is fictional, truthful (based on the facts of the saints life), and beautiful.

He does so by becoming Francis himself. [Read more…]

Why I’m Not Doing Victory Laps About the News Out Of Newark

The Bad Shepherd…

It’s pretty simple. Because everyone lost. [Read more…]

Jim Caviezel on our Christian Vocation…

Because of Thomas Merton, OCSO (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

This is part VII of my conversion story, tagged as 2BFrank in the Tag Cloud. I run it every year on this day to commemorate the death of Thomas Merton, who was also known as Father Louis.

Yes, I am well aware that he is not a canonized saint, but the salient point about Fr. Louis’ life is not whether he was a good Catholic, or a bad Catholic. The main thing isn’t even that his writings helped bring me into the Church. [Read more…]

For All the Saints: The Martyrs of Douai College

 A few days back, we learned about the Bond family and their recusant Catholic past. Also a few days ago, CARA released survey results saying Catholics really want to learn more about the saints, and such. So let’s put it to the test with this post, shall we? Because this post has got it all, from daring do, to fidelity to the faith. Sainthood and martyrdom.

It’s dangerous business being a Catholic.  Dangerous, that is, if your idea of being thought well of is to be looked upon with favor by such worldly paragons as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. If by becoming a Catholic you hope to curry favor with the world, here is a little news flash: that ain’t a gonna happen. It never has, and never will.

[Read more…]

Wisdom from Thomas Merton’s Letter to a Young Activist

Now that the presidential election is over, some of you may be feeling listless after the loss in the “biggest election of all time.” My advice? Don’t be.

Depending on where you stand politically, think about how you reacted to last nights election news.

Did you get caught up in the election cycle so much that you lost sight of the Kingdom of Heaven? A slippery slope lies between being a concerned citizen and morphing into a partisan political hack who sees everything through the lens of party and not through the lens of faith. [Read more…]

Drafted By God, The Story of Frater Matthew Desme

Image Credit: Rick Belcher/St. Michael’s Abbey

I said I’m gone readin’ and I am. In fact, I just read the best sports story I’ve seen in a while covered on Yahoo! Sports, and it’s so good, I have to share it with you. Naturally, as something related to God, Heaven, and our vocations as Christians, it’s wrapped up in baseball. Jeff Passen shares the story with us. Have a look, [Read more…]

Because of Catholics like Hubert of Aquitane (Saints for the Rest of Us)

Wait a second, isn’t that what is on the label of a bottle of Jägermeister  liquer? What does that remotely have to do with being Catholic, you say? Is this some sort of joke, like something from Cracked? Well, let me introduce you to another Catholic saint, and all around swell guy, named Hubert of Aquitane. This is a rendition of the vision he saw while deer hunting. And yes, its on the label of a bottle of Jägermeister too.

Confessor, thirty-first Bishop of Maastricht, first Bishop of Liège, and Apostle of the Ardennes, born about 656; died at Fura (the modern Tervueren), Brabant, 30 May, 727 or 728.

Yawn, right? Yep, just another run-of-the-mill perfect saint story. Where do they come up with these guys, central casting? What happened to all the regular guy saints, like St. Peter and the rest of the crew? [Read more…]

General Patton’s Thoughts on the Power of Prayer

 

My youngest son has a Living Wax Museum assignment due for his 5th grade class tomorrow. He decided that he would be General George S. Patton, Jr. He’s been working on learning all he can about Patton, but what follows was in none of the books he checked out. I first shared it on the blog back on Jan 20, 2011. What did General Patton think when it came to the subject of prayer? Plenty. So here is the story again, from the archives… [Read more…]

For The Monks That Have Gone to the Dogs, and the Ones That Make Beer, et al…UPDATED

It’s been that way for a while with the Monks of New Skete. Who are these guys? Here’s what their website says,

In 1966 a small group of Byzantine-Rite Franciscans established a monastic community in northwestern Pennsylvania. Today, the monks reside in their permanent home east of Cambridge, New York, close to the Vermont border. It is here that the monks have, for more than 40 years, nurtured their deep love for and spiritual connection with dogs, and developed their expertise in dog training and breeding.

My former blogging partner, Allison Salerno, wrote a post about how their book helped her out once. My wife and I read it too. And WKRN did a little story about them last summer. Check it out, [Read more…]