Thursday, December 27, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
"But it [is] wrong to make Advent a sort of sentimental preview of Christmas....Advent is really a continuation of the Church's autumn season, her preparation for the Saviour's return. In this light Christmas and Epiphany are one great feast oriented to the parousia." (Pius Parsch, The Church's Year of Grace)
Yes, the parousia. The Second Coming. The end times. The final judgment. When you pray your Advent prayers, that's what you're praying for. But judgment as the prophets yearned for it: the universe set aright.
Isaiah 26:9 -- My soul yearns for you in the night, yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you; when your judgment dawns upon the earth, the world's inhabitants learn justice.
"Ever since Christianity came into the world, it has been, in one sense, going out of it. It is so uncongenial to the human mind, it is so spiritual, and man is so earthly, it is apparently so defenceless, and has so many strong enemies, so many false friends, that every age, as it comes, may be called 'the last time'. It has made great conquests, and done great works; but still it has done all, as the Apostle says of himself, 'in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling'. How it is that it is always failing, yet always continuing, God only knows who wills it--but so it is; and it is no paradox to say...it may last many years more, and yet...is likely to end any day." (From a sermon preached by Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman, December 6, 1840)
Thursday, November 29, 2012
“One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?" --John 6:8-9.
St. Augustine says the five loaves represent the five books of the Torah; the two fish represent the dual offices of Jesus originating in the Old Testament, namely, Priest and King. He feeds the multitudes, for as Priest he intercedes with the Father, who is the source of all good; he does so miraculously, because he is King and all power has been given to him.
The Solemnity of Christ the King was last Sunday, November 25th. The feast of St. Andrew is November 30th.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
A bell tower. A church. I know it well. I loved its cool stones.
High on a hill. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid" (Matt. 5:14)
Still standing. But no longer a church.
"For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.'" (Luke 14:28-30)
Thursday, November 8, 2012
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" --Ps. 11
"...you must inevitably rejoice, you must spurn the tortures of the moment for joy at what is to be; you know that it was so ordered from the beginning of the universe that here righteousness should struggle and wrestle in this world, for at the very beginning the righteous man Abel was slain and thereafter all those righteous men have been slain, both the prophets and the Apostles whom He sent forth." --St. Cyprian of Carthage (martyred 258 A.D.)
Fast and pray, now more than ever.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
|Jacob Epstein's Michael the Archangel--Photo by duncan on flickr.com|
"I, John, saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God." (Rev. 7:2)
--from the readings for the Mass
Thursday, October 25, 2012
|Remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.|
|They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.|
|But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.|
|Letter of St. Jude, v. 17-20. His symbol is the ship, for his missionary activities. His feast day is October 28.|
Thursday, October 18, 2012
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." --Matthew 7:7
"...let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith." --James 1:6
Ask. And if you need faith, ask for that too.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
"Religious and social cranks of all sorts have appealed to him for justification, and he has completely won the hearts of the sentimental. But the idylls that are associated with his name--the marriage with Lady Poverty, the listening birds, [etc.]...were only, so to speak, the 'trimmings' of a character which was wholly imbued with the spiritual, inspired by Christian dogma, and devoted not simply to Christ but to the crucified Christ." (Butler's Lives of the Saints)
Francis re-building (literally) the church.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Had some heavy lifting today, so I just cut out sweets.
We're swiftly moving into fall. Such an evocative time of year! Summer is so beautiful, the "way life is supposed to be." No matter how beautiful autumn is, it's always tinged with sadness. Winter lurks in the background.
Our faith gives us hope. "All my springs are in thee." (Ps. 87)
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
|"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.|
|But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."|
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
An interior life-- perhaps we can revive that. All these plugged-in people walking around-- they're trying to connect to the world, but they only end up dismissing it. Trapped in their electronic selves.
"The kingdom of God is within you." Start there. With silence, even boredom. Move on to repentance. Sit in front of the tabernacle. Say the rosary.
Green salad, peach.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Do our children know? Have we taught them? Have we passed down the law and the prophets, the traditions and the philosophy? The fear of the Lord? Or have we left them bereft?
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Green salad with a banana. Lettuce from a friend's garden. Photo from a friend. Thanks to all.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
If we fill the churches again, I would hope for a revival of Thomism. I miss the clarity of it. I remember mornings reading Aquinas on the top floor of the college library. There was a lot of natural light up there. My mind and spirit would rise, as if lifted on some crystal pavilion.
Here a crystalline version of new beginnings: the Visitation, two pregnant women talking, so beautiful.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
The Church has many enemies, but always cultivate peace in your heart, like St. Francis of Assisi. It's all in God's hands, ultimately. Just pray, and keep your fast. You are no more in charge of this undertaking than you are of spring.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Ate a regular breakfast, then just had a spring mix salad and a banana for lunch. Then, inspired by the example of my pastor, I founded the Cross of San Damiano Cybersociety. The Cross of San Damiano Cybersociety is dedicated to rebuilding the Catholic Church in America. Members promise to fast and/or abstain every Thursday in accordance with their health and circumstances, and to pray for renewal. In our parish, only 26% of registered parishioners attend Sunday Mass regularly. From what I've read, this is about the national average. Membership is open. Become a follower. There are no dues, just the duty of a Thursday fast.
Fill the pews again.
Fill the pews again.