10 things you need to know about Jesus' Transfiguration

08/05/2014 Comments (21)

Jesus appeared to three of his disciples in the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration. What was happening here? What did it mean? Here are 10 things you need to know!

The Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Lent commemorates the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration.

This event is hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean?

Here are 10 things you need to know.

 

1. What does the word "transfiguration" mean?

The word "transfiguration" comes from the Latin roots trans- ("across") and figura ("form, shape"). It thus signifies a change of form or appearance.

This is what happened to Jesus in the event known as the Transfiguration: His appearance changed and became glorious.

Before looking at the Transfiguration itself, it's important that we look at what happened immediately before it in Luke's Gospel.

 

2. What happened...READ MORE

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A New (Old) Way to Apologize

08/05/2014 Comments (24)

Last May, this post got well-deserved attention among my mom friends: A better way to say sorry. The author is a teacher who realized that when kids hurt each other, it didn't exactly instill true repentance or healing when she forced them to apologize. But what choice did she have? You can't just let bad behavior go.

So she came up with this alternative formulation, and made erring kids go through it step by step, every time:

I’m sorry for…
This is wrong because…
In the future, I will…
Will you forgive me?

She says that the kids really took to it, and even the one kid that nobody liked jumped at the chance to acknowledge that he was annoying everyone.

 He apologized to the whole...READ MORE

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The Christ of Muscle Beach!

(Or: What I Did On My Summer Vacation)

08/05/2014 Comments (18)

“Christ in Majesty” is the official name of the striking, somewhat controversial mosaic on the apse wall of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, but someone Suz and I once knew jokingly nicknamed it “the Christ of Muscle Beach,” in reference to its half-bared chest and arm, muscular build and intimidating gaze.

It’s a nickname that came back to me last week on family vacation in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, as I worked on a sand sculpture of a subject I’ve done a couple of times in the past, though not in eight years: the crucifixion of Jesus.

Not just because I was actually at the beach, but also because, in part due to my lifelong love of...READ MORE

Filed under leisure, sacred art, summer, vacation

Against Punishing the Poor

08/03/2014 Comments (56)
Under a proposed stricter Norton Shores solicitation ordinance, people asking for money would receive a civil infraction citation, and motorists who hold up traffic because of their engagement with panhandlers could also be penalized.
It is *so* important make sure the poor are well and truly punished and humiliated for being poor. So, so important. Also any filthy do-gooder who tries to help them.  Particularly remarkable is the terror (supported by urban legends of rich panhandlers pulling down $500 a day that nobody repeating such legends seems eager to try) that if one is generous to the poor, one might be (gasp!) cheated on occasion, which is apparently a fate so horrible that it is...READ MORE

Filed under blessed are the poor

Global Prayer for Peace in Iraq on Aug. 6: Are You In?

08/03/2014 Comment

For the past two months, the Register has brought you the stories of the Iraqi Christians’ desperate condition at the hands of the militants of the Islamic State. They are a sea of refugees robbed of everything, begging the world to let them survive. They haven’t just lost their property and homes — they have been robbed of their identity, their culture, and their history.

Iraq’s Christians face their darkest hour. At the moment, the Islamic State looks as much the future of Iraq as Nazi Germany looked like the future of Europe in June 1941.

But the gimbals of history, on which nations and tyrants rise and fall, sometimes turn in God’s providence on the smallest of human acts. And it may...READ MORE

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New 60s! Hercules! Lucy! Snowpiercer! Plus Fr. John Cush on superheroes!

08/02/2014 Comments (5)

In our latest episode of Reel Faith, David and I review Guardians of the Galaxy and Hercules, and chat about superhero movies with Father John Cush, a movie and comic-book buff who has taught classes on superheroes. (Find out where and when to watch Reel Faith.)

Bonus: Our 30-plus minute conversation with Father Cush wouldn’t all fit on the show … but you can watch the whole thing right here.

Hercules (SDG)

A question I couldn’t get to in 60 seconds: What’s the real story with the creepy, green spaced-out tribal warriors? Can anyone explain that?

Lucy (DD)

Director Luc Besson says the beginning is Leon The Professional, the middle is Inception and the end is 2001: A Space Odyssey....READ MORE

Filed under reel faith, sdg reviews, video reviews

Catholic Hungary Discovering Turkic Identity—and Suleyman’s Heart?

08/01/2014 Comments (43)

One hundred years ago, a village priest added a white marble plaque to St Maria Church’s facade out in a field in southern Hungary.

 

Not fluent in Arabic or Hungarian, I can’t read it, but a friend translated: “In 1566…Sultan Suleyman’s princely heart and intestines were buried in this place…God’s mercy be upon him.”

That Suleyman the Magnificent died in his tent of natural causes—as his army closed in on the Szigetvar fortress blocking their march to Vienna—is established fact.

Whether his heart remained in this earth is a historical mystery being tackled by archeologists and historians, financed by the Turkish government.

Suleyman was one of Turkey’s greatest leaders. Under his...READ MORE

Filed under hungary, turkey, victor gaetan

Ditch The Sign of Peace or "Take your stinking paws off me you darn dirty ape!"

08/01/2014 Comments (293)

I note with no small sense of irony the The Congregation for Divine Worship's recent circular letter announcing that the placement of the sign of peace within Mass will not change, though it  could be performed with greater dignity, lesser dignity being unavailable, of course.

CNA Reports:

“The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments … pronounced in favor of maintaining the 'rite' and 'sign' of peace in the place it has now in the Ordinary of the Mass,” Fr. Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, secretary general of the Spanish bishops' conference, related in a July 28 memo.

He noted that this was done out of consideration of the placement of the rite of peace as “a...READ MORE

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