An Earful of Peace: Monks of Norcia and Their Benedicta Album

07/01/2015 Comments (9)

One of the great comforts in the weeks that followed my son's unexpected birth four weeks early was an album that arrived for me to review, Benedicta: Marian Chant from Norcia from the Monks of Norcia. In this album, I found a soundtrack for a peacefulness that I so needed then...and a peacefulness that I continue to need. I find myself able to let go of stress when I'm listening to the monks. It's as though I'm transported into a type of prayer I'm not able to achieve any other way, even if I just have it on in the background.

There are 33 tracks on the album, a mix of hymns, responsories, and antiphons. It's a Marian themed album, with tracks that I recognized, including Ave Maria...READ MORE

Filed under demontfort music, monks, monks of norcia, music

With Weak Protections For Conscience, "Obergefell is Roe on Steroids"

06/30/2015 Comments (45)
By Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, USA (SCOTUS Marriage Equality 2015 58151) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

– By Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, USA (SCOTUS Marriage Equality 2015 58151) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Liberals and conservatives have compared the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision with Obergefell v. Hodges. Both are landmark rulings, in which the high court takes sides in a fractious national debate that was far from decided in the minds of many voters.

But Bill McGurn, the Wall Street Journal columnist, takes issue with that assessment, at least as it involves the likely impact of the court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

McGurn does not dispute the grave immorality of legal abortion. Rather he argues that the weak, ambiguous language on free-exercise protections in Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in Obergefell will unleash unprecedented attacks on individuals,...READ MORE

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Everything is Not Fine

06/30/2015 Comments (25)

I woke up this morning with a clear memory of my departed brother's face in my mind. He was smiling. I was so thankful for it because even seeing a picture isn't the same as a clear picture in your mind. So I woke up thankful. And that's a nice way to wake up.

It's an odd thing about losing a loved on. When they pass away, it's not just that you can't imagine them not being in this world; it's that you can't understand the world going on without them. I remember when my brother passed away, I walked outside the hospice and was surprised to see cars zooming by and even clouds moving. You can't quite believe everything and everyone is acting like the most important thing in the world didn't...READ MORE

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Waiting to Convert

06/30/2015 Comments (10)

– "The Conversion of St. Paul" by Caravaggio

The Church is a house with a hundred gates;
and no two men enter at exactly the same angle.

G.K. Chesterton

“Nana,” I solemnly announced. “I have something to tell you.”

My grandmother fidgeted in her TV chair. “What is it, Ricky?”

I had come to New Jersey for a visit, and soon I’d be returning to Chicago. Nana was my mom’s mom, and I dearly loved her, but I knew I needed to come clean. After all, I was going over to the enemy.

“Nana,” I replied (followed by a dramatic pause)…. “I’ve decided to become a Catholic. 

For a moment, the only sound was from the golf game we’d been watching – the putt, the quiet applause, the announcer’s voiceover. Then Nana asked, “Isn’t your girlfriend a...READ MORE

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Distraction and Reading in Meditation

06/30/2015 Comments (1)

"When the reader falls any place which moves his affection, let him there pause awhile, that in his heart it may cause a greater impression."

Finding God through Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara, brings the wisdom of the great saint into your hands. St. Peter directed St. Teresa of Avila on difficult questions she had about prayer and she turned to this work for guidance.

I’ll be sharing excerpts from the book here, in the hope that you’ll be inspired to spend time prayerfully reflecting on them and growing closer to God as a result. This excerpt comes from the second section of the book, "The Way of Meditation."

Of Reading

After a due preparation follows reading those things that...READ MORE

Filed under meditation, navigating the interior life, peter of alcantara, prayer, saint peter of alcantara, st. peter of alcantara

Pope Francis on Weapons: 12 things to know and share

06/27/2015 Comments (51)

Did Pope Francis recently condemn all weapons and weapons manufacturing? Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

Recently Pope Francis made some impromptu remarks about weapons manufacturers at a meeting with young people in Turin.

These were poorly misreported in the press and have resulted in a number of questions being asked.

First we will take a look at what he said and then look at some of the questions that have been asked.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) Where can I read the pope’s remarks in their entirety?

The Italian original is here.

At present, there is no official English translation, but Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, O.S.B. of Prince of Peace Abbey kindly provided me with an unofficial one of the part of his remarks dealing with weapons manufacturers.

You can read it...READ MORE

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Things Are Going to Get Very Tough, Very Quickly, for the Church and Her Allies

06/26/2015 Comments (213)

Most were not surprised by the Supreme Court decision today. Court watchers who had attended the hearings earlier this year were rather certain that the mood of the court was to find a constitutional right to marriage and extend it to those with same-sex attraction. 

I am not a lawyer and will not therefore speak to the legal demerits of this decision. Others, including the minority on the Court, can speak to that. 

But as a citizen I wonder how we have come to a place in our legal and legislative system where unelected judges for life, who in effect answer to no one, can make such increasingly common and sweeping decisions regarding basic human institutions. 

Increasingly in our nation,...READ MORE

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Catholics Respond to Brave New Roe: One Nation, Divided Over Marriage

06/26/2015 Comment


Welcome to the new Roe v. Wade for marriage: the Supreme Court has handed down its wide-reaching declaration that “same-sex marriage” is a constitutional right and states must recognize same-sex unions contracted as marriages in other states.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Catholic, authored the 5-4 decision, in which he was joined by Catholic justice Sonia Sotomayor. In contrast, all four of the dissenting justices were Catholic.

The decision by the high court to once again try to end the debate on a contentious national issue has provoked strong responses on either side, between expressions of triumph and tragedy.

Here are some excerpts of reactions to today’s decision: 

Bishops Decry...READ MORE

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