From the Angelic Doctor

“Down in adoration falling this great Sacrament we hail. Over ancient forms departing, newer rites of grace prevail. Faith for all defects supplying where the feeble senses fail. To the everlasting Father and the Son who reigns on high, with the Spirit blessed proceeding forth, from each eternally: Be salvation, honor, blessing, might and endless majesty. Amen.”

Continue reading →

Getting Off our High Horse

Today, as we commemorate the Conversion of St. Paul, it’s difficult to author any constructive commentary without copiously quoting from the Apostle to the Gentiles. Where would we even begin? I’ve heard at least one Catholic writer refer to the epistles of St. Paul as “above scrutiny,” both in terms of literary perfection and spiritual […]

Continue reading →

What’s in a Name?

Over at Catholic Hour, Leon Suprenant looks at some uncommon possibilities for confirmation names. Leon was president of CUF during my first couple years here, and I heard some of his suggestions for baby names (“Lwanga,” after St. Charles Lwanga, comes to mind). His “top ten” list definitely lives up to my expectations. Here’s just […]

Continue reading →

Are angels “saints”?

A CUF member asks… Isn’t sainthood for human beings that led extraordinary lives of faith? Then why do we call Michael the Archangel St. Michael the Archangel? He is an angel, a strictly spiritual being. The word “saint” derives from the Latin “sancta,” which means “holy” one.  Thus, by definition all of God’s holy angels […]

Continue reading →

Martha, Martha

As Catholics, we try to balance in our lives of faith the active Martha and the contemplative Mary. Sometimes in the process Martha gets a bad rap. She’s anxious and worried about many things (Lk. 10:41), so at times we might picture her as a frantic busybody flitting around doing 101 things, while the serene Mary sits at the feet […]

Continue reading →

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 →

All Saints, All the Time

In recent years, it seems that Catholic families have been reclaiming All Saints’ Day on November 1st–not only for the great feast it is in itself, but as an opportunity to provide wholesome, spiritually edifying entertainment for our children as an alternative to pagan Halloween celebrations. And so many communities have been sponsoring All Saints’ Days parties and […]

Continue reading →

Son of Encouragement

On this date the Church celebrates the feast of St. Barnabas, whose exploits are described in the Acts of the Apostles. This feast is significant to my family, as we named a child whom we miscarried nine years ago Barnabas, and every year on this date we especially remember the gift of this precious child, […]

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 →