Please fast and pray every Thursday for the renewal of the Catholic Church in America. Please note: The Cybersociety will fast on Fridays beginning January 2013, in accordance with ancient custom.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Today God is still mysterious; indeed, he seems to have a special kind of obscurity in store for each person's life." --Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

"...the dawn from on high shall break upon us..." --Canticle of Zechariah

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young, to slay.

"All children young, to slay." God, have mercy on us!

Pray for all the slaughtered innocents, born and unborn.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


See, the days will not dawn for piety,
     and the nights are dark with awe.

 I will kindle lights, O my soul,
      I will kindle joy to all the ends of your humanity:

Hail to her who carried the Lord!
                        --Gertrude von Le Fort, Hymns to the Church

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 may last many years more, and likely to end any day." (From a sermon preached by Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman, December 6, 1840)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Feast of Saint Andrew

 “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

No Fast Today

I will praise God's name with a song; I will glorify him with thanksgiving,

A gift pleasing God more than oxen, more than beasts prepared for sacrifice.

(Psalm 69:30-31)

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

" 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

All Saints' Day

Coventry Cathedral
Jacob Epstein's Michael the Archangel--Photo by duncan on

"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

Happy Saint Francis' Day!

"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

Even Jesus "went not up to joy but first He suffered pain."  Teach us, o Lord, patience, courage, long-suffering and hope.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fast, Pray, and Prioritize

"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


"And He said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'" --Luke 10:2

Thursday, August 9, 2012

St. Francis exhorts us: "Continue your work, for up to now we have done nothing."

Half a peanut butter sandwich, tangerine.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Two generations of poor catechesis, vapid sermons, irreverent liturgy and a prevailing culture drifting into moral chaos have taken their toll on Catholic identity."  --Donna F. Bethell at
God forgive us.  Fast and pray.

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

Matthew 11:20-24

Heard a good sermon on Matthew 11:20-24, where Jesus upbraids Chorazin and Capernaum. "Woe unto thee..." One of those passages we want set in social-historical perspective, so to speak, lest we actually have to take it seriously. Why was Jesus being so hard on those people? Because they knew better. If even Tyre and Sodom could comprehend, then the people of the Law even more so.

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

View from San Damiano

I'm sure not everyone knows the story of St. Francis and the cross in the church of San Damiano. At some point I'll have to give a full account.  In the meantime, here is a picture of Assisi as seen from San Damiano. That will have to do for now. It is a fault, though not a grievous one, that I have St. Francis preaching to the birds at the top of the blog of the Cross of San Damiano Cybersociety, especially since the cross is so beautiful, and so meaningful to our mission of the Thursday fast. "Rebuild my Church, which you see is in disrepair." Those were the words Francis heard 800 years ago at San Damiano. Please persevere a few centuries more. We can do it together.

Green salad with a banana. Lettuce from a friend's garden. Photo from a friend. Thanks to all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Further Hopes

Got off track a little, hope you are doing better. Ours is a religion of forgiveness and new beginnings. Green salad and a banana for lunch.

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

Second Thursday

Glorious spring day out. A perfect day. You could never create anything as beautiful as spring.  Had you never experienced it, could you even imagine it?

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

Diary Entry

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.