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For the Sake of One Iota

nicaea

There are times when one word, even one letter, can make all the difference.  The scene is June of 325, in the basilica of the imperial city of Nicaea (now in northwestern Turkey) where an ecumenical council has been called by the Emperor Constantine to deal with a number of issues in the Church, not least the ideas of a certain learned and charismatic deacon from Alexandria on the Egyptian coast (then under the control of the empire), Arius, who ... (Continue reading)

Saint Joseph, A Working Man

Joseph the Worker

Saint Joseph has two 'feast' days in the universal Church, neither of which is technically a 'feast'.  The first, on March 19th, is his principal day, celebrated as a full solemnity, usually in Lent (unless bumped into Easter by its falling during Holy Week). Then there is today's 'optional memorial' of Saint Joseph the Worker.  I personally think this day could do with a bumping up at least into memorial territory, or even a feast, due to the importance of the ... (Continue reading)

C.S. Lewis Revisited

Lewis

Arguably the two most influential Christian apologists of the twentieth century were G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis. Both were accomplished essayists, novelists, poets, and converts from atheism. Chesterton’s conversion came first, and by the admission of Lewis it was Chesterton’s great tome The Everlasting Man that influenced his own conversion. Chesterton became a Catholic, Lewis an Anglican. But that is not the reason I rank Chesterton over Lewis. I do not mean to slight Lewis when I say that Chesterton ... (Continue reading)

The Eyes of the Heart: A Movie Review of “Prince of Foxes”

prince of foxes

  Year:  1949  Filming:  Black & White  Length:  107 minutes  Genre:  Adventure/Drama/History/Swashbuckler  Maturity:  PG (for intense thematic elements) Cast:  Tyrone Power (Andrea Orsini), Orson Welles (Cesare Borgia), Wanda Hendrix (Camilla Verano), Marina Berti (Angela Borgia), Everett Sloane (Mario Belli), Felix Aylmer (Count Marc Antonio Verano), Katina Paxinou (Mona Constanza Zoppo), Eduardo Ciannelli (Art Dealer) Director:  Henry King  Personal Rating:  5 Stars ***      In case you haven’t noticed by now, I am quite a fan of swashbucklers, and have been since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. My dad and ... (Continue reading)

A Reflection on Populism and Popularity

populism

As we journeyed through the darkness of Holy Week to the great solemnity of Easter, with the acclamations given to Christ before his humiliating and ignominious death, I was pondering the Holy Father’s recent condemnation of “populism” as “evil.” Certainly, he could not have meant that popularity itself was evil. Christ was popular, for a time, before the crowds turned on him. Pope Saint John Paul II was also popular, and amongst his many and varied accomplishments, also has the ... (Continue reading)

Britain Goin’ It Alone

brexit

Prime Minister Therea May in Britain has just called an early election, hoping for a mandate to lead Britain out of the European Union. Pundits, to say nothing of British citizens, are widely divided on the effects of departure, on Britain, Europe and the world. Financial disaster, riots in the street, or improved stability and increased national fervour. When questions like this arise, it is wise to go first to the essence, the nub, of the question: What is the proper ... (Continue reading)

A Tough Habit to Break

religious habit

  Religious life is habit-forming. Though this is a play on words, the sentiment is accurate. In the culture of Roman Catholicism, mere mention of the religious (sisters and nuns, monks, priests of an order, secular professed) conjures up images of black veils, belt-dangling rosaries, brown robes, knotted-rope belts, hoods, and a variety of other distinctive articles of clothing that stand out in everyday situations. These looks – combinations of tunics, cinctures, etc. – are unique to each religious order, and ... (Continue reading)

An Ancient Homily on Holy Saturday

descent into hell

I have always found the following homily, recited on this Holy Saturday in the Office of Readings, rather powerful and moving, earthy, pun intended, and real.  Adam as an actual living being, waiting in what Tradition has termed the Limbo of the Fathers, until Christ would rise and lead him, along with the rest of the souls justified in grace, pure in conscience, to heaven.  We have a very incarnational Church, and we should rejoice in that.  For we all, ... (Continue reading)

Pope Saint John Paul’s 11th Station

crucified

THE ELEVENTH STATION Jesus is nailed to the Cross. V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi. R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum. From the Gospel according to Mark. 15:25-27 And it was the third hour, when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read: "The King of the Jews." And with him they crucified two robbers one on his right and one on his left. MEDITATION "They have pierced ... (Continue reading)

Maundy Thursday, and the Washing of Feet

washing of the feet

Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you? Pray that I might have the grace to let you be my servant, too. We are pilgrims on a journey, we are trav’lers on the road. We are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load. (from a song by Richard Gillard) Holy Thursday is very special to me. In a personal way I can relate to Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles. As an ... (Continue reading)

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