G. K. Chesterton: An Appreciation

10/08/2015 Comments (7)

Bowing down in blind credulity, as is my custom, before mere authority and the tradition of the elders, superstitiously swallowing a story I have not tested by experiment or private judgment, I am firmly of opinion that G.K. Chesterton died on the 14th of June, 1936, at his home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire; and was buried according to the formularies of the Catholic Church in the Catholic cemetery there.

That paragraph, like so much else in my thinking, prayer, faith and writing, owes a giant debt to the colossal genius who was Chesterton (it’s reworked from the opening line of his Autobiography, just as “colossal genius who was Chesterton” is a tip of the hat to The Man Who was...READ MORE

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What is the Instrumentum Laboris anyhow?

10/08/2015 Comment

Friday morning, the synodal assembly will reconvene in the hall of the blessed Pope Paul VI in the Vatican. In the morning session, there will be the fourth general congregation, consisting of relazione (or, reports) from the circuli minores (or, small groups). Additionally, there will be the first meeting of the Commissione per l'Elaborazione della Relazione finale. That commission is tasked with preparing the final synodal report.

The afternoon will continue with a report from Rapporteur General Cardinal Péter Erdő of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Balbina in Rome. At the start of this week, he presented this synthesis of the Church’s Gospel of the Family. His...READ MORE

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"Something needs to be done," Said the Princess

10/08/2015 Comments (2)

Are we done fretting about princess culture yet? Because I think I've found the final word on what it really means to be a princess.

Abzeita Djigma is a real live princess from the Western African country of Burkina Faso.  She is "a direct descendant of the famous warrior and legendary Princess Yennenga," she has a message for us: "Go where people need you." She wants to enlighten the lives of her people -- literally. 

Djigma is an engineer and the mother of four grown children, and she is using her education, her title, and her beautiful self to spread the word about an initiative by her company, AbzeSolar, whose mission is to bring basic, sustainable solar products into African...READ MORE

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Whatever Happened to Notre Dame Stadium?

10/08/2015 Comments (23)

By Bobak Ha'Eri [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 Someone once said that the greatest lie is youth remembered. Maybe. And perhaps it is a certainty that everything was cooler, hipper, or just plain “better” when we were all younger. You hear this a lot in New York City when one area of the City suddenly becomes “hot”. Witness the transformation of Williamsburg, Brooklyn—which is now more expensive than sections of Manhattan itself. Within a few years everyone who has moved there starts saying something like, “This place was a lot better when I first moved here. Now it’s a sell-out.”

And so with Notre Dame Stadium. When I was a graduate student at that once august university in the mid-1990s, Notre Dame Stadium was (1) comparatively small...READ MORE

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Our Lady of Good Remedy, Pray For Us

10/08/2015 Comments (4)

You’ve probably heard of Our Lady of the Rosary. The Church celebrates this feast annually on October 7. But, are you familiar with Our Lady of Good Remedy?

Probably not.

Nonetheless, it’s a feast – and title – of the Blessed Virgin Mary that you should explore.

Devotion to Mary under the title “Our Lady of Good Remedy” began 800 years ago. Muslim fleets would capture Catholic ships, and take away all of the men, women, and children. They were sold into slavery by the thousands. Catholics lived in constant fear of being hauled off into slavery. The women were taken off and placed into Muslim harems.

It was a serious problem for which no one seemed to have the answer.

In 1198, St. John...READ MORE

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The Pope, the Rosary and the Battle of Lepanto

10/07/2015 Comments (10)

Circle of Andries van Eertvelt (1590-1652), “The Battle of Lepanto”

On October 7, Catholics remember Our Lady of the Rosary.

The feast was actually instituted under another name: In 1571 Pope Pius V instituted “Our Lady of Victory” as an annual feast in thanksgiving for Mary’s patronage in the victory of the Holy League over the Muslim Turks in the Battle of Lepanto. Two years later, in 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title of this feastday to “Feast of the Holy Rosary.” And in 1716, Pope Clement XI extended the feast to the whole of the Latin Rite, inserting it into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, and assigning it to the first Sunday in October. In 1913, Pope Pius X changed the date to October 7, as part of his effort to restore celebration of...READ MORE

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The Comfort of the Rosary

10/07/2015 Comments (6)

(Image by Juni)

I have wonderful memories of my mother, but none as powerful as watching her saying her daily Rosary at the kitchen table every morning. Whatever was going on with our family, her day would start with her coffee and Rosary. 

I grew up in a large Catholic family; prayer was something my mother taught us. My father was a salesman and had to travel. If he was running late, it was not unusual for her to wake us and have us kneel down on the kitchen floor with our rosaries to pray for his safe return. When we went to Mass, we would always arrive 15 minutes early to say our Rosary before Mass. 

As a teenager, I thought it was annoying. As an adult with a family of my own, it became a comfort.


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Marriage Mess: How We Have Systematically Rejected God’s Plan for Marriage

10/07/2015 Comments (61)

Henri-Frédéric Schopin (1804-1880), “The Divorce of the Empress Josephine”

The readings from Mass this past Sunday (27th Sunday Cycle B, Ordinary Form) were a tour de force on biblical marriage. They set forth and emphasized God’s plan for marriage and family: one man for one woman in a faithful, stable, committed union, bearing fruit in their children.

But we in the modern world, especially in the West, have systematically dismantled every pillar of this definition. Let’s look at these basic pillars and see how we have demolished them.

1. The text says, It is not good for the man to be alone (Gen 2:18). But in our culture we have taken to significantly delaying marriage. Whereas most people married in their early twenties as recently as the 1980s, many couples...READ MORE

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