St Catherine of Siena

St Catherine of Siena

  The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine of Siena Giovanni di Paolo 1460   From  Jimmy Akin:   April 29th is the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena. She is a saint, a mystic, and a doctor of the Church, as well as a patroness of Italy and of Europe. Who was she, and why is her life so significant? Here are 8 things to know and share . . .   1. Who is St. Catherine of Siena?   In 2010, Pope Benedict gave an audience in which he discussed the basic facts of her life: Born in Siena [Italy] in 1347, into a very large family, she died in Rome in 1380.   When Catherine was 16 years old, motivated by a vision of St Dominic, she entered the Third Order of the Dominicans, the female branch known as the Mantellate.   While living at home, she...

The Way Through a Terrible Thicket

The Way Through a Terrible Thicket

    The Scriptures say we are all engaged in the same conflict; waging war against a bitter spiritual foe. Some days it’s a real battle, especially in times where it’s difficult to keep the noise of the world or the struggles of life at bay and listen for the voice of the Lord. There are times when I try to express myself to the Lord, but I come up dry, feeling suffocated by emotions yet unable to give them expression. St Faustina describes it perfectly:   Oh Jesus, my soul is suffering through a terrible thicket of all kinds of difficulties. If you didn’t help me, there’d be no thought of moving forward. —Divine Mercy in My Soul, 1605-6   Earlier in that section, Jesus instructs her to write down everything that...

St Mark and the New Evangelization

St Mark and the New Evangelization

Icon, St Mark the Evangelist Emmanuel Tzanes 1657     From Catholic Fire:   Today is the feast of St. Mark, the Evangelist. What a great model he is for us during the New Evangelization in this great year of faith!   John Mark, later known simply as Mark, was a Jew by birth. He was the son of that Mary who was proprietress of the Cenacle or “upper room” which served as the meeting place for the first Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). He was still a youth at the time of the Savior’s death. In his description of the young man who was present when Jesus was seized and who fled from the rabble leaving behind his “linen cloth,” the second Evangelist might possibly have stamped the mark of his own identity.     {…}Mark...

The Dragon Slayer Saint

The Dragon Slayer Saint

St George and the Dragon Gustave Moreau 1889-90   Couldn’t we all use an intercessor who was a dragon slayer? Though it is legendary, the story is:   “…he came upon a young women in a bridal gown about to be sacrificed to appease the dragon. He wounded the beast, dragged it to the town with the bride’s belt, and killed it when the populace agreed to be baptized.” The legend didn’t appear until the 13th Century in a book called The Golden Legend, by Caxton, nearly nine hundred years after George’s death. But, he was a true soldier who gave his life for Christ. He is the patron of England, but he’s not English, though he’s identified “with England and English ideals of honor, bravery and...

Strength and Hope for Today

Strength and Hope for Today

  The Resurrection Piero della Francesca c. 1460   If this is the pledge, imagine what the perfection will be!     But what does it say?   “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.   The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”   For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”...

Better to Listen to Him in the Whisper

Better to Listen to Him in the Whisper

    This past week has been nothing short of surreal. It was so much to take in in only five days..What unimaginable horror two seemingly typical young men brought upon the city of Boston and our country. It finally ended last night when law enforcement from many different agencies descended on a boat, in a backyard on Franklin St, with a 19 year old terrorist bleeding and hiding under a tarp.   Everyone handles crisis differently. For me, I tend to watch and read everything from start to finish. It’s the way I deal with trauma. As a survivor myself, I want to be present with those who are suffering in the only way I can from where I am…watchfulness and prayer. Some PTSD expert can have a field day with that. I am so deeply sorrowful...

Body, Blood Soul and Divinity

Body, Blood Soul and Divinity

  Seven Sacraments- Holy Eucharist Nicolas Poussin 1647   Blessed Fulton Sheen is quoted as saying:    There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.   It’s very true — and I know it from experience. As one who left the church for twenty years, caught in the under toe of evangelical teaching, mesmerized by what I thought was the true spiritual food I was hungering for, I found out just how deep the determination to promote those wrong beliefs can penetrate.    One of the main issues raised against Holy Mother Church is our belief that the Holy Eucharist is the actual...

Don’t Make the Stones Cry Out

Don’t Make the Stones Cry Out

    I’m not a bird expert and my sister, who knows everything there is to know about animals…is out of town.   This morning as I prayed the Divine Office on my porch, it was like the war of the world in the bird kingdom. It occasionally happens here that large flocks of birds will suddenly congregate in the neighboring trees, lifting their voices to the heavens; cawing, cackling and crying with such ferocity it can be deafening. It’s as if they are trying to announce something, to offer to mankind a word from their kingdom, something they instinctively know because the Lord provides for all their needs and yet they ask Him for nothing.   They don’t bother me at all..In fact, I delight in their seemingly cantankerous...

Christians Can’t Lead a Double Life

Christians Can’t Lead a Double Life

    I read somewhere that Pope Francis doesn’t use a computer however, I see his twitter account has close to 5 million followers. Whatever the case, the Holy Father’s homilies just keep speaking very clearly right to the heart of the problems we face:   VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A “double life” that honors both worldly values and the teachings of Jesus is not an option for Christians, even when obedience to God leads to persecution, Pope Francis said in a morning homily April 11.   Speaking to a congregation of employees of the Vatican newspaper, Pope Francis commented on the day’s reading from the Acts of Apostles (5:27-33), in which Peter refuses an order to stop preaching in Jesus’ name, saying: “We must obey God rather than men.” “In...

Pope’s Prayer Consoles the North Koreans

Pope’s Prayer Consoles the North Koreans

    Imagine the suffering of these Christian brothers and sisters. They hang on the hope of prayer in the midst of severe persecution, virtual starvation and the threat of war, although if they’re caught praying that is a death sentence. But, a word from Pope Francis brings them consolation.   From Asia News.it  by Joseph Yun Li-sun   Source tells AsiaNews about an undercover meeting with a Christian who told “me that we heard about” Francis’s appeal. “We do not want to be isolated from the rest of the world,” he added. But tensions on the peninsula are rising as Pyongyang gets rocket ready for launch.   Seoul (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis’s appeal for peace on the Korean Peninsula “was a...

A Lady Not for Turning

A Lady Not for Turning

  (a partial re post from the archives)   Margaret Thatcher was one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. Irregardless of what one might think of her politics, she was a woman sure of the medicine her country needed and resolute in administering it. She was a ‘lady, not for turning’,   But it is not the state that creates a healthy society. When the state grows too powerful, people feel that they count for less and less. The state drains society, not only of its wealth but of initiative, of energy, the will to improve and innovate as well as to preserve what is best. Our aim is to let people feel that they count for more and more. If we cannot trust the deepest instincts of our people, we should not be in politics at all. Some aspects...