Quis ut Deus ?

Quis ut Deus ?

    The Archangel Michael Defeating Satan Guido Reni, 1635 Capuchin Church of Santa Maria Della Concezione Rome   Modern society today, in the face of heaven and earth, has proclaimed the most audacious boast ever conceived by human pride; it declares that it will exclude God from laws and institutions, creating a social order and felicity completely independent of Him; and, confronted with this satanic design, it is our duty to protest loudly, saying, with the archangel. Quis ut Deus?   —The End of the Present World Father Charles Arminjon, 1881   This quote sounds as if Father was reading our headlines today. Who is like God? No one— But, that many think they are… is a very old story. St Michael the Archangel, defend us in...

Multitudes on Monday

Multitudes on Monday

    Joining in with Theresa and the gratitude community… I thank God for…   … not giving into fear this week…{61} … finding my Anne of Green Gables DVD’s {62} … remembering this quote with a smile: “You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair… People who haven’t red hair don’t know what trouble is.”- —-Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables {63} … looking forward to the next stormy Florida day so I can have a Green Gables marathon  {64}  … for all the great books that have given me comfort and joy in sorrow  {65} … kindred spirits {66} … learning to guard my time on the computer {67} … and my tongue {68} … my oldest...

Cimabue’s Crucifix

Cimabue’s Crucifix

  In class this week, the teacher passed around a beautiful Cimabue crucifix and told us a little about the symbolism of the iconography. When I got home I looked up more on it’s history and found something very interesting:   In 1566, a fourteen foot tall wooden crucifix, built and painted by Cimabue, c. 1288, is removed from above the altar, where it has been suspended high above the floor of the Basilica of Santa Croce since its creation. The gigantic crucifix is carefully moved to the refectory of the Basilica, where it is hung low on a wall, and where it remained for the next 400 years. Unfortunately, the area around the Basilica and the church are the lowest in Florence and during the great flood in 1966 water and mud levels reached well...

Redemptive Missions

Redemptive Missions

  “Let us love the Cross and let us remember that we are not alone in carrying it. God is helping us. And in God who is comforting us, as St. Paul says, we can do anything.” —St Gianna Molla     The other day I posted about the Benedictine monks who will be missionaries to the Irish church but, reminded myself that we’re all on a redemptive mission— I said, for most of us that mission is in our back yard.   Wednesday is my pastoral care day at a local hospital. I feel privileged to visit with many people who are physically and sometimes spiritually at their lowest reminding them that Jesus loves them. I’ve been humbled by the response of the patients though sometimes overwhelmed by the suffering of these...

The Invincible Armor of Faith

The Invincible Armor of Faith

      When a man walks in the fear of God he knows no fear, even if he were to be surrounded by wicked men. He has the fear of God within him and wears the invincible armor of faith. This makes him strong and able to take on anything, even things which seem difficult or impossible to most people. Such a man is like a giant surrounded by monkeys, or a roaring lion among dogs and foxes. He goes forward trusting in the Lord and the constancy of his will to strike and paralyze his foes. He wields the blazing club of the Word in wisdom. —St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Practical and Theological Chapters   Today, just in case you have a few monkey’s or foxes surrounding you like I do and need to be transformed into a giant, put this...

Benedictine Monks Become Missionaries to the Irish Church

Benedictine Monks Become Missionaries to the Irish Church

  St Benedict, Patron of Europe   On this feast day of the conversion of St Paul, I’m reminded that we live in the midst of an amazing new missionary age. The greatest mission is the one in our own backyard, but if you’re like me, I also have a heart for missions around the world. I am not called to ‘go’, physically, though Lord knows as a young girl I prayed to–but, I can go with my prayers and financial support.     In answer to the many prayers that have gone up for the broken and wounded Irish church….look what the Lord has done!     By the invitation of ‘His Lordship, the Most Reverend Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath’, God is calling out a group of traditional Benedictine monks from...

Multitudes on Monday

Multitudes on Monday

        Joining in with Theresa and the gratitude community… I thank God for…   … playing hookie with my husband at the beach one day {46} … watching sandpipers scurry away to beat the waves as they wash ashore {47} … and a pelican dive for his lunch {48} … finding an egret on my front lawn when I got home {49} … seeing how all of earth’s creatures….each in their own way…give praise to the Lord {50} … the aroma of sweet Jasmine rice with dinner {51} … hot running water to wash the dishes {52} … my new refrigerator… after saving for it for 6 months {53} … the privilege to cast my vote in a free country {54} … that my husband isn’t in politics {55}...

Virgin of San Sisto

Virgin of San Sisto

  From the insights of Sister Wendy, as only she can describe:   This [the Virgin of San Sisto] is the last or the [earliest] Virgins in Rome, the most difficult to track down, was also a dazzling revelation. She was essentially rediscovered in the 1960s and there are certainly art historians who consider her ‘perhaps the most beautiful icon of the Virgin in Rome.’…   It is the only one in which Mary is not holding her child. …   The icon is found in a contemplative convent [Dominican nuns on Monte Mario, the outskirts of Rome] and you will see a beautiful, human woman, bright cheeked, red lipped, large eyed, but the gold background tells us that she unites her humanity to the holiness of the Godhead. Those empty hands...

St Agnes, Patron of Purity

St Agnes, Patron of Purity

  “I am already promised to the Lord of the Universe. He is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!”   “This is a virgin’s birthday; let us follow the example of her chastity. It is a martyr’s birthday; let us offer sacrifices; it is the birthday of holy Agnes: let men be filled with wonder, little ones with hope, married woman with awe, and the unmarried with emulation. It seems to me that this child, holy beyond her years and courageous beyond human nature, received the name of Agnes not as an earthly designation but as a revelation from God of what she was to be.” ~ St. Augustine   She is the patron saint of chastity, gardeners, girls, engaged couples, virgins and...

St Sebastian, an Icon of Souls Left for Dead

St Sebastian, an Icon of Souls Left for Dead

  St Sebastian Tended by St Irene,  Hendrick Ter Brugghen (1588-1629),   From Father Mark:   Left for Dead   There are mortal sufferings from which human beings are not expected to recover. There are torturers of the soul who leave their victims for dead, certain that they will not recover their strength and revive. There are people who, having suffered the cruel assaults of evildoers, astonish those who know them, by going on to live and give witness to the love of Christ.     In 30 years of constantly striving, sometimes agonizing towards a recovery I was never expected to experience, I’ve never heard anyone address this reality or be insightful enough to understand that truth. Thank you Father Mark; I have another saint for...

The Iron Lady

The Iron Lady

    I saw ‘The Iron Lady’ last night…and I left in tears, but not because of the performance. If you’re going to tell a story about one of the the most influential women of the 20th century, make sure you’re telling the real story and not just using art to create a character that, according to those who ‘know” her best, (she’s still alive after all),   bears little resemblance to the truth   Meryl Streep gives an Oscar winning performance, but to call it a biography is to use the term very loosely. The story is told from modern day as Lady Thatcher struggles with dementia wasting away in her home while she has hallucinations of her deceased husband. Interspersed through her memories is a...