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I like litanies. Of the Saints. Of the Blessed Mother. Holy Name. Precious Blood. I love ‘em all. You can check out a whole bunch of them here.
The upcoming Solemnity of All Saints (Nov. 1) always puts me in mind of a time when I was praying privately in church and I heard a priest reciting a Litany of Saints with someone (I think he was going to give her the Sacrament of the Sick):
Saint Mary Magdalen, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John Chrysostom, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Therese, pray for us.
Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
When I hear the phrase "Holy Mother Church" used by others it is normally in such a way as to communicate mockery or irony. This is true of everyone from "militant" atheists such as Christopher Hitchens (RIP) and Richard Dawkins, to certain more confrontational protestant and evangelical apologists who view the Catholic Church's claim to fullness of truth as arrogant. Yet I've also encountered this usage among various stripes of "progressive" Catholics, who tend to use the phrase as a way of dismissing theological and liturgical viewpoints which are not in accord with their understanding of the "Spirit" of the Second Vatican Council. I'm not entirely unsympathetic to the...
I am going to point out the giant elephant in the room--we live in a divided Church.
I know, I know, it's shocking. But let's be real. The shocking part is not that the Church is divided--this is a reality that we have faced from her very beginning (cf. Galatians 2:7-14). However, when someone is actually willing to acknowledge this fact and challenge it - it makes us uncomfortable. Far too often we are content with turning away from disagreement because it is simply easier to not acknowledge it than deal with the potential fallout.
I had an experience in one of my classes recently where a contentious issue in liturgy was discussed. The make-up of the class is pretty diverse: there are men and women, lay and religious, so called "traditionalists" and "...
Looking back on my previous post, Conversion through Unity, I noted that life-changing experiences are opportunities for spiritual growth. This is true for both the individual and the whole community. In these last few months, I've experienced quite a bit of spiritual growth since my summer assignment in East Africa. For the first 10 days of the assignment I was with three other Dominican brothers taking part in the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) immersion trip to southern Tanzania.
Since 1962, CRS has been involved with a variety of projects to help foster a spirit of solidarity and creating self-sustaining...
Speak Now is a series in which the music of Taylor Swift will be used to highlight certain problems people face in constructing their lives. These are the same problems which theology deals with, too. Aspects of the philosophies of Simone Weil, Jacques Lacan, and Adriana Cavarero will be used as an interpretive framework with the aim to elicit these common problems, and then to suggest certain ways that theology can speak about them.
Taylor Swift has a unique grasp on the tragic--a difficult concept the Greek playwrights wrestled with in an attempt to make their audience understand the human person’s vulnerability to fate. Perhaps better put in more modern terms, the tragic considers the...
Poisoned. Sickly. Talentless. Held at gunpoint. Apostle to the Americas. The life story of St. Louis Bertrand, OP, whom we celebrate today, is positively remarkable. Born in Spain in 1526 and considered too weak to become a missionary, he traveled the jungles of Central and South America and baptized as many as 25,000 people.
He is said to have raised the dead and performed countless miracles. Yet, he also faced great resistance as he was even poisoned by a tribe wanting to be rid of him (which converted after his recovery from their murder attempt).
This man who people said had an ungainly presence, poor memory and unpleasant voice was simultaneously considered a powerful preacher who brought about tears and conversions. Like so much of Christian tradition, he embodies the choice of God to act through...
In God alone can we find happiness, joy, peace, fulfillment. Heaven is our goal; we should be yearning for heaven. We can’t wait to meet Jesus in person. Everything we do is directed toward that, so that Christ can console us, right? St. Therese of Lisieux believed otherwise.
“The thought of heavenly happiness not only doesn’t cause me one bit of joy,” she wrote in a letter to a seminarian. “It is only the thought of doing God’s Will that fills me with joy.”1 St. Therese did not think about what she would attain in heaven, about what comfort and peace she would discover. Instead, she was totally focused on God and on following the will of Christ. “It was not for Jesus to...