Call upon Mary

Call upon Mary

  On this feast of The Holy Name of Mary may ~ “…The devils fear the Queen of heaven to such a degree, that only on hearing her great name pronounced, they fly from him who does so as from a burning fire.” —Venerable Thomas à Kempis   In these most turbulent days, we are counseled by the saints who knew that, ” In dangers, in straits, in perplexity, call upon Mary. Let her name be always in your mouth and heart. —Saint Bernard   I love this painting by Antonio da Messina, titled, The Virgin Mary Reading c 1460-1462. It depicts the Virgin Mary in her status as Queen of Heaven- characterized by a calm, austere fortitude- quietly sitting and reading. Mary is not being tossed about by the worries and cares of the world under her feet....

Cardinal George and American Catholics

Against a fake church…   It’s an article from Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, whom you may remember in 2010,  …outlined the degree to which he believed religious freedoms (in the United States and other Western societies) were endangered.   After the passage of legislation that enabled Civil Unions in Illinois, his eminence stated:   “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”[i] I remember thinking when he first said this; what a very sobering thing to hear a Prince of the Church say. And now from the Cardinal’s column in Catholic New World, the Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago, he writes another very direct exhortation with a historical...

“We have to judge acts”

In a lengthy televised interview via Life Site, Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Apostolic Signatura,  clarifies “who am I to judge” by lovingly yet fearlessly speaking the truth–in St Paul’s words–perhaps “out of season” : “We have to judge acts, we have to. All day long we make judgments with regards to certain acts; this is what the natural law is: to choose good and to avoid evil. Pray for this man. His courageous witness is so needed in our time. PAX

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen’s Suspension

An excellent article from Crisis Magazine on the “simmering debate” regarding the suspension of Fulton Sheen’s cause for canonization:   “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was one of the most dynamic preachers of the Catholic Faith in the twentieth century. Anyone familiar with his work in media knows the power of his influence and example. He was clearly one of the most notable products of the American Catholic revival that began in the 1920s, and the strength of his witness continues to impress today. His books remain eminently approachable, an astonishing achievement for one so gifted academically. Shining through his telegenic smile, one could sense the depth of his faith and his holiness.   The cause of Sheen’s canonization...

Why are you here?

Why are you here?

  All summer I’ve been praying for my new fall Faith Formation class; the incoming 6th graders. Wonder who they will be? What kind of struggles will they bring with them? What are their home situations like? I don’t know them yet, but the Lord does and I’ve asked Him to prepare them and me for this upcoming year. The news cycle since we’ve last had classes has been over the top; wonder who will be the first child to ask me about Ebola or ISIS. Trust me, they will.   After much prayer, I’d like to open this year with a “mission statement,” of sorts. Something I sense the Lord pressing on my heart for them. Why are you here? That will be my first question to them. The response I expect from most is: my parents are...

Icon Sancta

  I could write about what happened to me in confession this weekend, or about the Mass that included the new Eucharistic Minister’s children hugging her legs while she distributed the precious Blood of Jesus…or about the priest who left the ambo to interact with the congregation which included all manner of distractions.. or the music minister receiving communion while he was singing, but I’d rather just not talk much anymore. I’d rather pray and leave you with Sister Irene and her beautiful Icons.     You know our culture, church and world are in a free fall. Pray, fast, submerge yourself in the sacraments and the Holy Scriptures. We must keep our eyes fixed on on the Lord so that as we are “tossed about by the...

Rispetto in Chiesa

  It was the fourth Sunday of Lent as Pope John XXIII,   “was making his way among the crowds in Ostia. (about 15 miles to the south-west of Rome.)   Thousands of people were waiting for him along the street, in the piazza, in the church.   They wanted to see him, to applaud him. They did not know that afterwards, he would rebuke them, in a good-natured way, in his simple, spontaneous, familiar way of speaking,”   The short video as well as the translation is here. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see it . I don’t know when this became an accepted practice in the liturgy, (I can only guess), but it’s distracting and very disrespectful to the true “Host” of the Mass. One of the comments added this quote...

Monastic Sanctity

Monastic Sanctity

  St Sharbel Makhluf is a new saint to me.   St Charbel Makhlouf lived and promoted the spirituality of the Maronite Church which is considered a monastic Church. The Maronite monastic tradition, which finds its origins in the spirituality of St Anthony of Egypt, was reflected in the different monastic orders and congregations in the Maronite Church.   St Charbel, a son of the Lebanese Maronite Order, a religious order born of this Eastern tradition and spirituality was the first Maronite Saint canonized by a Pope. One of the great figures of modern Catholic history, St Charbel’s holiness grew in the secluded life of a hermit, but has reached people throughout the world.   It was during his 23 years as a hermit that his reputation for sanctity...