The Other Lawrence

Today is the feast of St. Lawrence of Brindisi. When reference is made to a “St. Lawrence,” however, we are usually referring to the third-century deacon and martyr who is even mentioned in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I). This latter St. Lawrence, given his special patronage of those who barbecue, is indeed a fine summertime […]

Continue reading →

Lyre, Lyre, Sanctifier

Today the universal Church celebrates the feast of St. Ephrem the Syrian, a fourth-century doctor of the Church. Of all the doctors of the Church, I believe he is the only one who became what we would today call a “permanent deacon.” This fascinating saint early in life attended the ecumenical Council of Nicaea and ran […]

Continue reading →

St. Athanasius, pray for us!

Today is the feast of St. Athanasius, a fourth-century bishop and doctor of the Church. His titles aptly include “Father of Orthodoxy” and “Pillar of the Church.” He defended the faith of the Church against the Arian heresy, which held that Christ was created and therefore not divine. Our Lord’s divinity was upheld at the […]

Continue reading →

Who’s Your Teacher?

Sometimes our strategies backfire. One of the incentives we give to our busy three-year-old son Raymond to behave at Mass, at least on Sundays (and Wednesdays when it’s not Lent) is that he may have a donut after Mass if he does a good job. He was a little talkative during Mass today, so my daughter […]

Continue reading →

Aristotle, Meet Aquinas

Today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, who is not only my confirmation patron but also my hero. My wife commissioned a lovely portrait of him that hangs in our living room. Aquinas has been victimized in some ways by his success; his writings became so influential in the time between Trent and Vatican […]

Continue reading →

A Man on Omission

Today is the feast of St. Basil the Great, a fourth-century bishop and doctor of the Church. A priest friend just sent me this remarkable quote from St. Basil’s writings: “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who […]

Continue reading →

A Bishop’s Bishop

Today is the feast of St. Ambrose, a remarkable fourth-century bishop and saint, who is considered a “doctor of the Church” because of his excellence as a teacher of timeless Catholic truth. Many saints have their feast day on or at least near the day of their death, which is understood as the day they […]

Continue reading →

The Last Father

Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. John Damascene. For many years I have considered him the patron saint of my computer. Of course, I’m the same guy who thinks Blessed Kateri Takeitwithya is the patroness of fast food restaurants! Actually, St. John Damascene (died c. 750 A.D.), priest and monk, is considered the last […]

Continue reading →