February 8, 2023

Is there a general Liturgy of the Hours that most Catholics use, or are there a variety of them? There are lots and lots of prayer books that are used by Catholics. You will run into lots of different resources that offer forms of morning and evening prayer and many of them are influenced by the Liturgy of the Hours. However, the liturgy of the hours refers to a particular set of official prayers. This official set is what is required... Read more

November 4, 2022

“Holy Father, keep [those you have given me] in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” Jesus prayed the above prayer in John 17 on the night he was betrayed and since that first day until now it is a prayer that the Church has struggled to see perfectly fulfilled. On that night, Judas’ betrayal violated that unity. The New Testament documents other breakdowns in Church unity – Paul and... Read more

July 8, 2022

Scripture is the foundational record of God’s self-revelation to the world. It grounds catholic theology, saturates Catholic Prayer, and provides the language and images that inform Catholic symbols. In Scripture, we find the promises of God that root our faith and provide a rule and a guide in the development of Dogma as the church seeks to conform itself in each age to the image of Christ. The Catholic Church encourages all the faithful who are able, to read scripture,... Read more

June 14, 2022

2559 “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”2 But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart?3 He who humbles himself will be exalted;4 humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,”5 are we ready to receive... Read more

May 23, 2022

2558 “Great is the mystery of the faith!” The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles’ Creed (Part One) and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy (Part Two), so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Part Three). This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with... Read more

May 2, 2022

Prayer has always been a central part of what motivates the writing here. The name of the blog, The Orant, is a term used to describe a figure who is praying in early Christian art. In choosing this name, my hope was that both I and the readers here might all become people who are more deeply formed by practices of prayer in our own lives each day. Prayer has been a foundational part of my own life, in leading... Read more

March 3, 2022

I recently read through the fantastic new volume by Lester Ruth and Lim Swee Hong A History of Contemporary Praise & Worship: Understanding the Ideas That Reshaped the Protestant Church  This study offers a new gold standard in understanding the history of contemporary praise and worship music. It helps move the understanding beyond many of the limited narratives that focus too narrowly on the Jesus People’s influence and takes seriously many of the efforts and movements both within the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches... Read more

March 2, 2022

Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving.” Luke 4:1-2 Have you ever wondered why Jesus decided to begin his public ministry by retreating into the wilderness for 40 days? The voice of the Father declared Jesus his beloved Son, the Spirit descended on Jesus, and then…... Read more

May 14, 2021

I’ll be honest. I’ve struggled to find a good book on the Catholic belief in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The books with the most comprehensive approach tend to be so academically focused that they are difficult for the average reader to understand. Those written for popular audiences tend to fall into some common traps. Some of these books reduce the theology to a rigidly formulaic approach – relying on an Aristotelian cosmology which no longer... Read more

April 11, 2021

On this Divine Mercy Sunday, I am reflecting on the phrase “Kyrie Ellison” often translated as “Lord have Mercy.” This is one of the great prayers of the ancient church which continues to be a part of Christian worship until this day. In Koine Greek the word Eleison meant but just mercy as we think of it, but a total restoration of society. To pray Kyrie Eleison was to ask God to come into your community and to set every... Read more

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