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Agnes in Agony

21 January 2015
Agnes in Agony

Happy Saint Agnes Day! Saint Agnes was a young Roman lady of 13 or 14 who suffered martyrdom in the persecutions of Diocletian in about the year 304. She was one of the youngest of the early martyrs and one of the most moving and articulate. Agnes] hastened to the place of torture as a bride to her wedding feast. Pain had no terror for her—although the fetters slipped from her small hands while even the pagan bystanders were...

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The Father of Monks

17 January 2015
The Father of Monks

Today is the feast* of the man many consider to be the founder of Christian monasticism, Saint Anthony the Great of Egypt, the “Father of Monks”. He was born in the middle of the third century in decidedly Pagan Middle Egypt to a well-to-do, comfortable family. He spent much of his life avoiding the sorts of comforts available to him in his youth. After the death of his parents when he was about twenty, he answered Christ’s call to...

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Not So Ordinary

12 January 2015
Pope Francis in Ordinary Time

Each year about this time, I post some variation of this essay on the liturgical season boringly known as “Ordinary Time”. Ordinary? Well, what’s so ordinary about it, anyway? Christmas is over, all too soon, and we have now entered into a new season of the liturgical year. This is the time of the year that does not fall into the great seasons of Advent or Christmas, Lent or Easter. Nowadays, this is given the rather uninspired name of...

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The Epiphany

06 January 2015
The Epiphany

Throughout most of the world, today is the great Feast of the Epiphany. My American readers, however, will recall celebrating the feast this past Sunday. For reasons I can’t quite fathom, in the dioceses of the United States this feast has been moved to the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. Needless to say, this upsets the whole “Twelve Days of Christmas” thing. This year, I guess nobody gets their twelve drummers drumming or eleven pipers piping. Quite...

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The Professor!

03 January 2015
The Professor!

On this day in 1892, J.R.R. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The Professor is 123 today! All around the world, at 9pm local time, the Tolkien Society and the Professor’s many other devotees will celebrate his birthday with a toast to “the Professor”. I will join in, and I encourage you to do the same. The Professor’s writing, and my discovery of them as a young boy, changed my entire world view. It was Tolkien who started...

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450 Days

01 January 2015

There’s a countdown app on my phone, silently counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until we leave for our second Camino. In this new year, we have a lot to do to get ready. Last week we tried… Read more → Like this:Like Loading...

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Mother of God

01 January 2015
Mother of God

Wishing both of my readers a very happy new year, and a most blessed Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Let us celebrate the motherhood of the Virgin Mary, and let us worship Christ the Lord, her Son. (Invitatory antiphon for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God) Most people who are Christians but not Catholics probably wonder why we have feasts celebrating the Virgin and the saints. It really is simple. These people are holy and worthy of...

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A Happy Death

29 December 2014
A Happy Death

Each year on this, his feast day, I write a short article about Saint Thomas Becket. Having the birth name “Thomas”, I take Becket and Aquinas as patrons. Previous articles on Saint Thomas Becket: 2012: Becket and Chaucer (A meditation on pilgrimage) 2011: Saint Thomas Becket (G.K. Chesterton on Becket’s martyrdom) 2010: Becket (Becket, More, and Henry VIII (that jerk)) 2009: Saint Thomas Becket (Becket’s martrydom, an eyewitness account) Last year, for some reason, I failed to post anything....

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Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

27 December 2014
Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

In our life of faith, we are given a name at Baptism, and we choose a new name at Confirmation. It was a little different for me, as I was baptised and confirmed on the same day as an adult. My mother gave me the name Thomas at my birth, and for my confirmation, I took the name of John, for the Apostle and Evangelist, whose feast day is today. Like this:Like Loading...

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On the Second Day of Christmas….

26 December 2014
On the Second Day of Christmas….

The rest of the world thinks Christmas is over, with the possible exception of those who celebrate Boxing Day today or those fond of partridges in pear trees. Oh, how wrong they are! For like Easter, Christmas isn’t just one day, but a whole season! It continues from Christmas Day through the Epiphany (January 6). In some places, this season is called Christmastide or Yuletide or even the Twelve Days of Christmas. But of course, it’s more complicated than...

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Pope Francis



Servus Servorum Dei

I Peter 5:8

Fratres : Sóbrii estóte, et vigiláte : quia adversárius vester diábolus tamquam leo rúgiens circuit, quærens quem dévoret : cui resístite fortes in fide.

Brethren, be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.

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Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.

Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.

(G.K. Chesterton)

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