What Role Does Giving Thanks Play in Meditation?

07/07/2015 Comment

What role does giving thanks play in meditation? How does it work? How should we approach it?

Of Giving Thanks, from Finding God through Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara

After meditation follows giving of thanks, the occasion of which must be taken from the matter meditated upon. For example, if the meditation be of the Passion of our Savior, we must give thanks unto him, that he has redeemed us from so great torments. If of sins, that with forbearance he has expected us to do penance. If of the miseries of this life, that he has preserved us from the greatest part of them. If of death, that hitherto, he has defended us from the perils of sudden death and has favorably granted us...READ MORE

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I am a Protestant Trapped in a Catholic Body

07/06/2015 Comments (46)
Portrait of Martin Luther. Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

– Portrait of Martin Luther. Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

With all of the media attention on Bruce Jenner's transgender “transformation” into a transwoman, and on Rachel Dolezal and her transracial identity, and being recently made aware of the "transabled" — people with perfectly functioning bodies who act disabled, and even go so far as to restrict themselves to wheelchairs and leg braces — I did a lot of soul searching and decided that it was time for me to come out.  Yes, I know this may be a shock to many, but I am compelled to tell the world that I am a transProtestant.  

That’s right. I am a Protestant trapped in a Catholic body.

One might say, “John, how can this be?  You write Catholic articles and Catholic newsletters and give Catholic...READ MORE

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God, Not the State, is the Author of Human Dignity

07/06/2015 Comments (7)

What do you think of the idea that human dignity is something innate, and not something that the State bestows? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas – a Catholic – tried to make this argument on June 26, and ignited an immediate firestorm of derision and protest notable for its ferocity.

New Republic called it “disgraceful”. Alternet called it “horrifying”. Huffington Post said it was the “weirdest”. Fusion was left in a state of shock: “jaw-dropping”. Salon judged it “offensive”. Slate called it “petty, hypocritical, and embarrassing”, though in doing so, they grouped Thomas together with the three other dissenting justices (Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito –...READ MORE

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American Martyr Fr. Stanley Rother: “A Shepherd Cannot Leave His Flock”

07/06/2015 Comments (7)

“The reality is that we are in danger.
This is one of the reasons I have for staying in the face of physical harm.
The shepherd cannot run away at the first sign of danger. Pray for us...” 
Father Stanley Rother, 18 months before his martyrdom

 In Okarche Oklahoma, the sky goes on forever and the wind never stops blowing.

Father Stanley Rother lies in an unpretentious grave in a tiny church cemetery on a road that you’ll miss if you aren’t looking carefully. His grave, which is one of many with the name “Rother” on it, is marked by a simple black headstone. The only thing that sets it apart is the necklace of stones ringing its edges. 

Father Rother began his life here, on this prairie,...READ MORE

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Saints: Our Unseen Prayer Partners

07/05/2015 Comments (3)

Some of my non-Catholic friends find prayer to the saints ooky. They ask me, "Since when is talking to a bunch of dead guys Christian?"

Since biblical times. Consider Moses. He had been a dead guy for several centuries when Christ began his ministry, yet he was intensely interested in earthly doings judging by his behavior on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:30-31). Likewise the various deceased saints in Revelations seem intensely interested in our affairs. So too those mysterious dead folk who visited Jerusalem on Good Friday (Matthew 27:52-53). All this seems to indicate our connection with the dead is unbroken by death.

Notice also Christ's reply to the Sadducees, who disbelieved...READ MORE

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Are We Losing Millennials?

07/03/2015 Comments (100)

– ewtn.com

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling that found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, I had a long talk with a young relative that left me unsettled in an already difficult week.

This twentysomething cradle Catholic did not endorse "marriage equality." But he said it was past time for the U.S. bishops to cut their close ties with Republicans and get back to serving the poor. 

Perplexed, I asked him to elaborate.  He explained that many of his peers viewed Catholic leaders as GOP groupies.  "They need to get back to basics," he said. And to regain their credibility, they should follow Pope Francis' lead by helping the poor and speaking out against...READ MORE

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"We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident"

07/02/2015 Comments (10)

Every July, Americans hold the Secular Feast of St. Thomas Jefferson and take a little time out to renew their baptismal vows of citizenship in the American Experiment. As part of that rite, Americans take a small amount of time (between the sacred meals of fried chicken and spare ribs and the lighting of the sacred fireworks) to contemplate the American creed summed up in the Declaration of Independence.

Some readers may think I am being sacrilegious by speaking of the Fourth of July in religious terms, but I'm not. G.K. Chesterton (no blasphemer he) once remarked that America was "a nation with the soul of a Church" and said that it was the only country founded on a creed. I think he is...READ MORE

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In Defense of Deploring Poor Taste

07/02/2015 Comments (34)

What ever happened to avoiding things simply because they were in poor taste? Not because they're crimes, not because they're immoral, but just because they leave a bad taste in the mouth. Even if you could build a logical defense of them, they make us cringe and avert our eyes. Do people even consider whether something is tasteless or not? Does it matter?

Like anything else, the pursuit of living tastefully can be overdone. I'm reading The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, set in 1870's upper class New York, where tasteful behavior is the highest good. Adultery and fraud can be forgiven, if they are handled in the proper way -- but wearing the wrong color of gown to the...READ MORE

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