PRAYER: We Are Called To Be Saints, by The Marist Brothers

October 10, 2016

Awesome in his saints is God, the God of us all. Call to Prayer: In the understanding of the Roman Catholic Church, a saint is someone who has practiced the Christian faith, especially the main virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love to the highest degree of heroism. Such holy men and women may be found anytime, anywhere. Saints are not persons who belong to the past. They live among us here and now. We too can become saints. We are all called to holiness. Be holy for I am holy, says the Lord. If we do our daily job with love, if we practice Christian charity every day of our life, we will become saints. It’s not that far-fetched, not something we need shun, but something that comes with our baptismal commitment and promises. Scripture [...]

POETRY: A Wish, by The Author of “In The House of My Pilgrimage”

July 8, 2015

Now, Jesus, Mary’s Son, be unto thee As to Saint Andrew, in perplexity: As for Saint Thomas, with new fervor bless Thy faith, if thou be held of doubtfulness: As to Saint Peter, His love bring relief, If any time His Look do cause thee grief: As to Saint John, the troubled years but prove More clearly in thy soul that God is Love. Thou, like Saint Paul in his despondency, Find Jesus’s grace sufficient unto thee. And, if thy feet go slow for weight of care, Know, like Saint Christopher, thou dost Christ bear. Archangel Michael still thy patron be Pattern and flow’r of heavenly chivalry: And such sweet eyes as Mary’s, full of grace, Be the most constant mirror to thy face. Yea, Jesus be Himself to thee the Same As that He is declared [...]

HEALING: Doubting Miracles, Or A Reason To Believe, by Joe Simmons, SJ

July 2, 2015

From The Jesuit Post This past weekend witnessed the canonization of seven new saints in Rome.  For holy men or women to be recognized as capital-S Saints in the Roman Catholic Church, typically two miracles need to be attributed to their intercession.  Usually these come when someone is healed without an easy medical explanation. Call me the modern skeptic, but I always found this litmus test to be… well… troubling, I guess.  In my mind, the process goes something like this: people petition would-be saints for the miraculous healing of a loved one.  If the sick person recovers, the candidate moves a step closer to canonization, like a rook in a churchy game of chess. And if the sick person does not recover?  Well, then the [...]

SATURDAY READING: Keeping Company With The Saints, by Lynlea Rodger

June 6, 2015

From In the Land of Larks and Heroes: Australian Reflections on St. Mary MacKillop I have recently enjoyed time in the Southern Balkans, which included visits to many Byzantine churches.  Once inside, you always find that you are not alone.  What is very obvious are the icons, and the gentle presence of the saints that they evoke.  Saints both local and biblical stand among us through the icons.  Their very particular colors and methods of representations evoke the experience of eternal time and space.  They also tell the Christian story such that we too become witnesses and participants with them.  It is within this space that the community meets, celebrates, worships – as in Heaven, so on Earth: on Earth as it is in Heaven. To [...]

EVELYN UNDERHILL THROUGH LENT: Worship And The Saints by Evelyn Underhill

March 18, 2015

From Worship Christian worship is never a solitary undertaking.  Both on its visible and invisible sides, it has a thoroughly social and organic character.  The worshiper, however lonely in appearance, comes before God as a member of a great family; part of the Communion of Saints, living and dead.  His own small effort of adoration is offered “in and for all.”  The first words of the Lord’s Prayer are always there to remind him of his corporate status and responsibility, in its double aspect.  On one hand, he shares the great life and action of the church, the Divine Society; however he may define this difficult term, or wherever he conceives its frontiers to be drawn.  He is immersed in that life, nourished by [...]

SAINTS: God And His Saints by Evelyn Underhill

February 28, 2015

From Concerning the Inner Life The inner life means an ever-deepening awareness of all this: the slowly growing and concrete realization of a Life and a Spirit within us immeasurably exceeding our own, and absorbing, transmuting, supernaturalizing our lives by all ways and at all times.  It means the loving sense of God, as so immeasurably beyond us as to keep us in a constant attitude of humblest awe – and yet so deeply and closely with us, as to invite our clinging trust and loyal love.  This, it seems to me, is what theological terms like Transcendence and Immanence can come to mean to us when re-interpreted in the life of prayer.  A saint is simply a human being whose soul has thus grown up to its full stature, by full and [...]

POETRY: Thomas Merton — An Array Of Saints

February 7, 2014

St. Agnes: A Responsory Cujur pulchritudinem Sol et luna mirantur. . . Hear with joy this child of God Plays in the perfect garden of her martyrdom, Ipsi soli servo fidem. Spending the silver of her little life To bring her Bridegroom these bright flowers Of which her arms are full. Cujus pulchritudinem. . . With what white smiles She buys the Popes their palliums, And lavishes upon our souls the lambs of her confession! Sol et luna mirantur, Ipsi soli servo fidem. Her virtues, with their simple strings, Play to the Lover hidden in the universe, Cujus pulchritudinem. . . Who smiles into the sun His looking-glass, And fills it with his glorious face: Who utters the round moon’s recurring O And drowns our dusks in peace. Ipsi soli [...]

SAINTS: Dead Or Alive

February 6, 2014

For a number of years now I have had a problem with one of my studies: animism.   The ancient belief that all things are imbued with spirit, and that spirits have their own lives (as it were). Animism includes such beliefs as the transmission of souls through the funeral sacrifice, ancestral spirits as guides for the living, and souls as the causation of life. My biggest struggle has been how to open up this concept enough so that Christian prayers could have any meaning for someone in a country where the inhabitants still hold ancient spiritual beliefs. Animism, to me, is a closed, Earth-bound way of seeing life and its relation to what is no longer in body.  Christianity, to me, opens up this way of seeing things by incorporating a [...]

POETRY: Elegy For The Saint Of Letting Small Fish Go, by Eliot Khalil Wilson

February 5, 2014

I. You too might step into a puddle of fire, or splash through a stream of glowing lava where only moments before you were barefoot in your kitchen after a late night of too much wine and, nearly naked, frying bacon at the stove. A burn like this is a different thing the doctor said and I can believe it. I was a different thing. I was a man with an unquenchable oil well fire on his feet that would blaze up as the medicine ebbed. And the skin curled over, brown-red, too much like the meat I was cooking in the pan that I dropped —an irony not lost on even the youngest of nurses drinking and bacon don’t mix she kidded as I healed. Yet had my wounds burned like Vulcan’s forge they’d be a distant fire in light of the child [...]

POETRY: Irish Poems

March 13, 2013

I. A Hymn of Praise Blessing and brightness, Wisdom, thanksgiving, Great power and might To the King who rules over all. Glory and honor and goodwill, Praise and the sublime song of minstrels, Exceeding love from every heart To the King of heaven and earth. To the chosen Trinity has been joined Before all, after all, universal Blessing and everlasting blessing, Blessing everlasting and blessing. 2. The Lord of Creation Let us adore the Lord, Maker of marvelous works, Bright heaven with its angels, And on earth the white-waved sea. 3. The Scribe In The Woods A hedge of trees surrounds me, a blackbird’s lay sings to me, praise I shall not conceal, Above my lined book the trilling of the birds sings to me. A clear-voiced cuckoo sings to [...]

SERMON: The Thomist Football League by Martin Thornton

February 28, 2013

From A Joyful Heart: Meditations for Lent For the sake of the uninitiated let me explain the ramifications of the English football league.  For any possible transatlantic reader it should not be too difficult to translate the analogy into the American game (this might be more difficult when we get on to cricket). The league comprises ninety-two clubs divided into four divisions.  The first division consists of the best, the top grade, and the most wealthy, with magnificent grounds and stadia.  The second division is roughly the same but not quite, and we shall see the significance of this later.  It is also important to see that there are subtle variations within these two divisions themselves, as well as something of an overlap. [...]