The Only Way to True Peace

The answer has been around 97 years and counting.

12/30/2014 Comments (8)
Courtesy of Children's Rosary

Children's Rosary at Assumption Church in Kenya

– Courtesy of Children's Rosary

An email from the founder of the Children’s Rosary recently explained about a gift for Christmas — a gift that can bear the kind of fruits in 2015 that only heaven can count.

This specific gift — the rosary — was going overseas, the email said.

What a perfect gift at this time: Jan. 1 is the Octave Day of Christmas on which we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.

This perfect mother — Mother Mary — who wants the best for her sons and daughters, told us simply and clearly what we must do to have peace in the world and in our hearts: Pray the Rosary.

She told that to three young children — ages 7, 8 and 10 — at Fatima.

At every apparition, she told the...READ MORE

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Happy Old Year!

12/30/2014 Comments (14)

The Liturgical New Year actually begins at Advent, so that's the day when things were supposed to start fresh for us Catholics, and not January 1. So here's what I'm thinking. Want to see some changes, but want to sneak them in without attracting much attention? The non-liturgical new year is the perfect time to switch things up, and you'll have plausible liturgical deniability. Here are a few ideas to grease the wheels of the bark of Peter and make it straighten up and fly right:

The CHLORIBULE. Oh yes, chloroform in the thurible. Seriously. What priest, parent of berserking toddlers, or crotchety old usher wouldn't like to see everyone just . . . settle down a little bit? I wouldn't...READ MORE

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If Guys Ran Christmas…

12/26/2014 Comments (27)

Everyone's always talking about the secularization of Christmas. I'm more concerned right now with the wife-icization of Christmas. I'm supposed to be wrapping my presents for my wife right now so I'm locked in my room but instead of wrapping, I'm writing this stupid post. I'm thinking that if guys ran Christmas things would be very different.

So if guys ran Christmas...

There'd be no wrapping paper. It just wouldn't even exist. You can be surprised by my gift when I carry it into the room. You don't need an extra moment of anticipation at 69 cents a foot. Not worth it. The most you'd get is we'd put the gift in an old shoebox but actually we'd never keep the shoebox so forget that part....READ MORE

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Pious Fantasy and the Liberty of the Believer

12/26/2014 Comments (16)

Once upon a time, on the Internet, someone from an Eastern Orthodox background posted a little note concerning the Feast of the Holy Innocents. According to this post there is apparently an old Orthodox tradition that the number of those slain by Herod was 14,000--a rather steep number for a tiny village like Bethlehem.

Someone else then wrote in and asked where the figure of 14,000 came from. In reply, the Orthodox poster said the figure derives from an apocryphal book called the Protoevangelium of James.

At this point, a somewhat less sympathetic poster chimed into the discussion and commented (concerning the 14,000 figure) that "This is just another pious fantasy propagated by the...READ MORE

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Mother and Child: A Christmas Gallery of Original Art

12/25/2014 Comments (11)

Merry Christmas, everyone! As a gift, nine artists have graciously shared with us their original images of the Virgin and Child. Enjoy!

 

--1--

This fresh, bright watercolor-and-acrylic Madonna and Child by Noyuri Umezaki, who is sixteen years old. Just look at those open faces. Lovely.
 

 

--2--

Mother and Child by Michael O'Neill of 365dayswithMary.com. This montage was constructed out of 100 smaller images of the Virgin Mary. 

 

--3--

From Aneta Minkel of California, this cozy, organic Madonna and Child. I love the layers of tender protection in this image. 

 

--4--

A Christmas card painted by Katherine Marsella of Massachusetts. Katherine is in second grade, and her...READ MORE

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Pope's Christmas Urbi et Orbi Message and Midnight Mass Homily

12/25/2014 Comments (5)

Here below are the full texts of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi message and his homily at Midnight Mass in St. Peter's basilica. 

*** 

Urbi et Orbi Christmas Message 2014:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!

Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, is born for us, born in Bethlehem of a Virgin, fulfilling the ancient prophecies. The Virgin’s name is Mary, the wife of Joseph.

Humble people, full of hope in the goodness of God, are those who welcome Jesus and recognize him. And so the Holy Spirit enlightened the shepherds of Bethlehem, who hastened to the grotto and adored the Child. Then the Spirit led the elderly couple Simeon and Anna into the temple of Jerusalem, and...READ MORE

Filed under christmas, pope francis, urbi et orbi

A Few Titles I’m Looking Forward to Reading

12/24/2014 Comments (1)

For the last few years, the week between Christmas and New Year’s has been an opportunity for me to read. I turn off the computer, put an auto-responder on my email, and bask with a pile of books.

While I’m not going to be doing exactly that this year, I do have a few titles I think I can finish for some fun Christmas break reading (and one that I want to make sure I share).

As Morning Breaks: Daily Gospel Reflections

I’m very hit-or-miss with my daily readings, especially in certain seasons of life (like the one I’m in right now), but I’m trying, above all, to learn the lesson of not giving up.

One tool that’s helped me do that this year is the new-this-year feature at CatholicMom.com,...READ MORE

Filed under books, catholic fiction, fiction

The Magisterium of The Now

12/23/2014 Comments (33)

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

This is what often pops into my head many times when people use the word Magisterium in articles and comboxes across the Catholic Internet.

There are different kinds of Magisteria the infallible and the non-infallible kind.  Of course, non-infallible is just a nicer way of saying fallible. As Catholics, we all hold to the infallible teachings of the Church, but there are other teachings as well: the fallible kind or in other words, the non-infallible teachings of the ordinary Magisterium.  Of course, even the non-infallible teachings of the ordinary Magisterium cannot be ignored or rejected simply because they...READ MORE

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