Friday, December 25, 2009


Something bad has happened to me, something from which I was not sure I could recover, but I have learned a lot from the past five months - God works all things for our good. That's something we can count on.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker writes,

"We don't know what God is doing, except that he is at work bring the best out of the worst and redeeming all things. The problem is, he doesn't always do this the way we think is best. God's providence is often a severe mercy."

"That is why in the middle of even the most heartbreaking and absurd suffering we turn back to God and co-operate with his grace to see how even this cross may have a resurrection somewhere, somehow on the other side."

Read more here

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hide Away in the Love of Jesus

Come weary saints, though tired and weak
Hide away in the love of Jesus
Your strength will return by His quiet streams
Hide away in the love of Jesus

Come wand’ring souls, and find your home
Hide away in the love of Jesus
He offers the rest that you yearn to know
Hide away in the love of Jesus

Hear Him calling your name
See the depths of His love
in the wounds of His grace
Hide away

Come guilty ones, weighed down with sin
Hide away in the love of Jesus
The freedom you long for is found in Him
Hide away in the love of Jesus

Hear Him calling your name
See the depths of His love
in the wounds of His grace
Hide away

Come hopeless hearts, do not despair
Hide away in the love of Jesus
For ten thousand joys await you there
Hide away in the love of Jesus

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Have you ever been abandoned by those closest to you in your greatest time of need?

One only needs to have some troubles to find out who your true friends are. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Cling to Him. There you will find your strength, for He is faithful and has promised never to leave you or forsake you. Let Jesus be your Rock, your Fortress, your Refuge, your Comfort. He knows your need, even before you seek His aid.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bullying in the Church

Susan Burns writes,

"Bully: a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker." [The New Oxford American Dictionary]

I loathe bullies. Absolutely loathe them. I have run across them many times in my lifetime. Mostly in the church. And I know many of you have too.

In Christendom, we have pastor/elder bullies. I have heard many horror stories about those guys and have witnessed bullying in church meetings and at presbyteries. And in all the times I have watched this occur, I do not recall one instance where the bully was called down and held accountable for his obnoxious treatment of a brother or sister believer. In fact, these bullies continue to serve as a pastors and elders and continue to bask in the warm regard and respect of fellow elders. Now the church bullies I know have behaved this way for years. Bullying is their pattern of behavior. If the Biblical standard for eldership were upheld by their congregations, these guys would be tossed out of the sheep pen and forced to look for employment outside the church. Just to remind you, that standard is (among other things) "not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker…just, holy, temperate" (Titus 1:7, 8). Yet, these oppressors continue to preach, teach and, in some cases, publish, and speak at our conferences.


The real problem with Christian bullies, however, is the Christian men who aren't bullies, but who allow this treatment to continue. In almost every case of bullying I know about, Christian men have been present or were aware of what was going on. And did nothing. That has got to change. As anyone who has confronted a bully knows, they are huge cowards and just showing a little fang will send them running under Mommy's skirts. . . . So, through the years, I have wondered why Christian men don't take on the bullies, confront them, and tell them this is not acceptable behavior in the kingdom of God.

You can read the rest here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Prepare the Royal Highway

Prepare the Royal Highway
"The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way'--'a voice of one calling in the desert, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight paths for him." ' And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." (Mark 1:1-4)

1. Prepare the royal highway;
The King of kings is near!
Let ev'ry hill and valley
A level road appear!
Then greet the King of Glory
Foretold in sacred story:
Hosanna to the Lord,
For He fulfills God's Word!

2. God's people see Him coming:
Your own eternal king!
Palm branches strew before Him!
Spread garments! Shout and sing!
God's promise will not fail you!
No more shall doubt assail you!
Hosanna to the Lord,
For He fulfills God's Word!

3. Then fling the gates wide open
To greet your promised king!
Your king, yet ev'ry nation
Its tribute too should bring.
All lands, bow down before Him!
All nations, now adore Him!
Hosanna to the Lord,
For He fulfills God's Word!

4. His is no earthly kingdom;
It comes from heav'n above.
His rule is peace and freedom
And justice, truth, and love.
So let your praise be sounding
For kindness, so abounding:
Hosanna to the Lord,
For He fulfills God's Word!

Father Cory Sticha Teaches about Advent

"We're once again entering into a new year in the Church's liturgical calendar. Once again, we begin this new liturgical year by entering into Advent, this four-week period of anticipation, of looking forward. If you ask most Catholics to explain who or what we're looking forward towards, they'll immediately say that we're looking forward to the celebration of Jesus' birth on Christmas. They'd be correct by saying that, but it's not the complete answer. We're also looking forward to Christ's coming again at the end of time.

The word Advent comes from the Latin word "adventus", which translates roughly as "to come to". In this season of Advent, we prepare for Our Lord Jesus Christ "to come to" us, both in His birth which is celebrated at Christmas, but also in His second coming at the end of time. In this way, we join the Jewish people in the anticipation that they must have felt when they heard the promise of the prophet Jeremiah, which we also heard in our first reading. Just as the Jews were waiting for a great king who would free them from slavery and the bondage of the Babylonian exile, we symbolically await the coming of our great King who frees us from the slavery and bondage of sin.

St. Paul reminds us in the second reading that this symbolic anticipation is not the only reason we celebrate this Advent season. By praying that "the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all," St. Paul makes it clear that we should be preparing for "the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones." (1 Thess. 3:12-13)

Sadly, I think this preparation for Christ's second coming has been lost in large part by many Christians today. It seems as if many people view Advent as a period to get everything ready for Christmas. We have to decorate the houses and stores, spend lots of money on Christmas gifts, make Christmas goodies, and watch hours upon hours of Christmas specials. We're pretty clear on the preparing for Christmas, but few recognize the eternal significance of Advent."

Read the rest here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Come to me

Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
Matthew 11:28-30

This Lord of ours is so anxious that we should desire him
and strive after his companionship
that he calls us ceaselessly, time after time,
to approach him; and this voice of his is so sweet.

St. Teresa of Avila, 16th century

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ronald Wilson Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan
February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004

Remembering this great President on his birthday . . .

Click here for a lovely photo memorial.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What I Love About the Catholic Church - 1

From Fr. Dwight Longenecker's blog, Standing on My Head -

OK, Here goes a whimsical series about what I love about the Catholic Church. Some posts will be one liners. Others long winded. Some serious, others not so. They're in no particular order, either logically or of priority of importance. I hope you enjoy them. Why not tell others to tune in? I'm trying to boost my readership...

I love the Catholic Church because it is for brainy, sophisticated, cultured, artistic people and it is also for those who are not. It is a church for haute couture and hoi polloi. You can enjoy a Raphael Madonna or a plastic bottle of holy water shaped like the Blessed Virgin with a crown for a cap that unscrews. You can appreciate a picture of the Last Supper painted by Leonardo on the wall of a refectory in Florence or one painted by number on black velvet and hanging in a trailer. You can study the philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas or be an imbecile and still be a good Catholic. Nobody's excluded, in fact to really stand everything on its head, a good Catholic has to consider the peasant, the holy fool, the child, the tasteless ignoramus and the devout ditz to actually perhaps and possibly being closer to heaven than the smart, the rich, the tasteful, the privileged, the powerful and the educated ones. Indeed, to enter the kingdom of heaven one has to become like a little child.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sad but Beautiful

I love how one book leads to another leads to another, etc. Reading Thomas Howard's books lead me to books by Joseph Pearce; books such as The Quest for Shakespeare, Literary Giants, Literary Catholics, Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc and others.

And now I am delighted to discover that there is a great, orthodox, Catholic literary/cultural journal edited by Joseph Pearce. And one of my favorite bloggers, Fr. Dwight Longenecker writes a regular column on film for the journal. The journal is called St Austin Review--StAR.

I went to the website and found this article on Gregorian Chant, which I would like to share with you.

Sad but Beautiful

“It sounds kind of sad,” the little girl said.

It was sad. I was in a classroom full of middle schoolers. We had just
learned to sing a very simple Gregorian chant, a setting of the
Sanctus. And despite the fact that this was a Catholic school, neither
the music teacher nor any of her students had ever sung even the most modest chant melody before.

I was reminded of the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, and particularly of
the deep and abiding sadness that permeates his tales of Middle-earth. In those tales, ages and ages have come and gone, and the remote histories and legends of the earliest times are largely forgotten. But the Elves were the keepers of the legends. They were the stewards of the ancient wisdom and lore that linked generation to generation back to the very creation of Middle-earth…back to the time when the earliest peoples had spoken and lived with the Valar, those mighty angels and servants of God Himself.

Tolkien’s Elves were immortal, and so they were, as such, natural
guardians of history and wisdom. But Tolkien modeled these mythical
beings after the Benedictine monks of Europe. The western monastic
tradition, which began with the Rule of St. Benedict, spread throughout Europe during the Dark Ages. And in those times, as the
Roman Empire crumbled and western civilization was overrun by waves of conquerors, all ancient lore and wisdom was gathered by the monks and preserved. And the prayerful temple music of the ancient Hebrews was remembered and modified to suit the celebration of the Catholic Mass, becoming what we know today as Gregorian chant. Read the rest of the article here.

Archbp. Carroll’s “Prayer for Government”

From the wonderful blog, What Does The Prayer Really Say -

"The following prayer was composed by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, in 1791. He was the first bishop appointed for the United States in 1789 by Pope Pius VI. He was made the first archbishop when his see of Baltimore was elevated to the status of an archdiocese.

John was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Americans among the readership might print it and bring it to your parish priests and ask them to use it after Mass, perhaps on Inauguration Day.

This needs no translation for Catholics who love their country!"

Click here for the prayer- and join in praying this prayer for your country.


Morning Offering

Most Holy and Adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I firmly believe that You are here present; I adore You with the most profound humility; I praise You and give You thanks with all my heart for the favors You have bestowed on me. Your Goodness has brought me safely to the beginning of this day. Behold, O Lord, I offer You my whole being and in particular all my thoughts, words and actions, together with such crosses and contradictions as I may meet with in the course of this day. Give them, O Lord, Your blessing; may Your divine Love animate them and may they tend to the greater honor and glory of Your Sovereign Majesty. Amen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Universal Prayer of Pope Clement XI

Universal Prayer of Pope Clement XI

For All Things Necessary to Salvation
(Composed by Pope Clement XI, A.D. 1721.)

O my God, I believe in Thee; do Thou strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee; do Thou secure them. I love Thee, teach me to love Thee daily more and more. I am sorry that I have offended Thee, do Thou increase my sorrow.

I adore Thee as my first beginning; I aspire after Thee as my last end. I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor; I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector.

Grant, O my God! To conduct me by Thy wisdom to restrain me by Thy justice, to comfort me by Thy mercy, to defend me by Thy power.

To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings; that henceforward I may think of Thee, speak of Thee, refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint.

Lord, I desire that in all things Thy will may be done because it is Thy will, and in the manner that Thou willest.

I beg of Thee to enlighten my understanding, to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul.

Give me strength, O my God! To expiate my offenses, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, and to acquire the virtues proper for my state of life.

Fill my heart with tender affection for Thy goodness, hatred of my faults, love of my neighbor, and contempt of the world.

May Thy grace help me to be submissive to my superiors, consider my inferiors better than myself, faithful to my friends, and charitable to my enemies.

Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification, avarice by alms-deeds, anger by meekness, and tepidity by devotion.

O my God! Make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in dangers, patient in affliction, and humble in prosperity.

Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers, temperate at my meals, diligent in my employments, and constant in my resolutions.

Let my conscience be ever upright and pure, my exterior modest, my conversation edifying, and my behavior disciplined and proper.

Assist me, that I may continually labor to overcome nature, to correspond with Thy grace, to keep Thy commandments, and to work out my salvation.

Make me realize, O my God! the nothingness of this world, the greatness of heaven the shortness of time, and the length of eternity.

Grant that I may prepare for death; that I may fear thy judgments, and in the end obtain heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quote of the Day

Why remain sad and idle? Why exhaust thyself in the anguish of melancholy? Have courage, do violence to thyself; meditate on the passion of Jesus Christ, and thou shalt overcome thy sorrow. - BLESSED HENRY SUSO

Saturday, January 10, 2009

“Seven Days of Musical Heaven”

“Seven Days of Musical Heaven”

June 22-28, 2009 (Monday noon through Sunday morning)
Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois
Sponsored by the Church Music Association of America

Find out more here.

Prayer to Saint Michael

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio.
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis,
Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute, in infernum detrude.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Catholic Worship

From a wonderful blog I've recently discovered, Standing on My Head, by Father Dwight Longecker -

What you see pictured here is something called Catholic Worship. This is an ancient form of Christian worship that everyone thought was going to die out, but it is making a comeback.

Catholic worship is characterized by a God-centered act of devotion rather than a people centered act of fellowship. It is focussed on a corporate act of sacrifice offered by a priest rather than a corporate act of togetherness offered by a 'gathering leader'. Catholic worship focusses on a supernatural transaction that takes place between God and human beings. This transaction is called 'redemption' or 'salvation'. It was accomplished by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross two thousand years ago.
Read more here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christ's birth was a "cosmic revolution," Pope says at Epiphany Mass

Christ's birth was a "cosmic revolution," Pope says at Epiphany Mass

Vatican, Jan. 6, 2009 ( - Jesus is "the center of the universe and history," Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) said in his homily as he celebrated Mass for the feast of the Epiphany, which is observed in Rome on the traditional date, January 6.

Recalling the voyage of the Magi to see the Christ Child, the Pope said that the star which guided the wise men to Bethlehem was a signal of a "cosmic revolution" that took place with the birth of the Son of God. Pagans looked to the sky for omens, believing that their fates were influenced by the blind movements of the heavens, the Pope observed. But with the Incarnation of Christ, the faithful came to realize that the universe is controlled not by anonymous forces but by a loving personal God. Read the rest here.

Friday, January 2, 2009

J.R.R. Tolkien on the Eucharist

"Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament... There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth, and more than that: Death. By the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste -or foretaste- of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man's heart desires.

The only cure for sagging or fainting faith is Communion.

Continue reading here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Conversation with Peter Kreeft

A Conversation with Peter Kreeft
His style, both in teaching and in writing, is as unpretentious as it is fervent: in deeply profound, elegant, and often entertaining ways, Peter Kreeft questions the assumptions of modern thought with the wonderful wisdom and wit of a wider worldview.

Refusing to restrict reason to the narrow confines of modern philosophy, Kreeft draws deeply from all areas of human experience. He is fond of saying that his role of a professor is merely to introduce a student to a great thinker by means of their work, and then to allow them to converse: "Student, meet Socrates. Socrates, meet student." It is our hope that this interview will serve a similar purpose: "Reader, meet Prof. Kreeft."

Read the interview here.