Monday, June 30, 2008

A Thing of Beauty & Holiness - Our Calling as Catholics

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.writes in The Universal Call to Holiness: Jubilee and Eucharist

The teaching that all are called to holiness was one of the most important truths of the faith re-stated during the Second Vatican Council. The Council taught that holiness is the vocation of all the baptized,... All holiness, as the third Eucharistic prayer states, comes from the Father through his son, Jesus Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit. To be holy is to participate in God’s life through the gift of sanctifying grace.

Extract of Mother Teresa's words in the movie "The Legacy"

"God Speaks in the silence of the heart...and we listen. And then...we speak to God from the fullness of our heart. First we listen...God speaks...and then we speak and God listens. And that connection is with God. A soul of prayer: the fruit of prayer is deepening of Faith, and the fruit of Faith is Love, and the fruit of Love is Service, and the fruit of Service is Peace. That is why we need to pray to have a clean heart...and if we have a clean heart we can see God. And when we can see God naturally we will begin to love one another. That means we see and we look, and then we give our hands to serve and our hearts to love... and that's the beginning of holiness."

IT - Inescapable Truth

D'artagnan comes through with the bumper sticker of the day.

"God Loves you right where you are,
right where you live,
but you must love God
if you want to live right where He is"

This Inescapable Truth goes along with the previous post as in that post it tells how we fall away from living right and therefore we don't love God nor our neighbors as we should.

Check out Athos' post - Sin, Sacrament, Forgiveness

Sin, Sacrament, Forgivenss another great post from Atlantis to check out.

Since the so-called "reformation", all reductio ad absurdum efforts to minimize the faith, life, and practices of the Catholic Church founded by Christ himself have led to the present-day crisis in which we live.
With all of the minimizing of the faith that has happened over numerous generations we are left with "this" generation empty and barron. How did we get to this, our current shallow faith? Read Athos' post.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Heart of a Father

Childhood of Christ - Gerrit van Honthorst (The Hermitage)
In the Church we have the beautiful feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with the heart symbolizing the immense love of our Lord and His Blessed Mother for each one of us.

As Catholic husbands and fathers, we might also consider meditating on the heart of St. Joseph, the third member of the Holy Family. His heart is an apt symbol of the love he contributed to the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation that was unfolding under his watch. And now that same masculine vigilance and love, once focused on his beloved wife and the Christ child, is bestowed on each one of us, as he is universally invoked as the patron of the Catholic Church. [h/t: New Advent]

Read all of The Heart of a Father.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Franciscan Meets Skateboard

This one's for you, Aramis: Fra Gabriel Skateboarding Down Under.

The Darkened Intellect Serves the Fallen Will

Mark Shea explores the mirky world of atheistic SSA, citing David Morrison and Eve Tushnet. An excerpt:
It's fairly obvious to unclouded faculties that homosexuals are acing themselves out in the Darwinian struggle for survival, since they are not in the deep end of the pool of those mostly likely to pass on their chromosomes. That doesn't mean that homosexual orientation might not have "natural" causes, just as other disorders do. Nor does it mean that some sort of Just So story can't be concocted to overlook that glaring fact ("Same-sex attracted individuals could have made excellent, er, nannies in pre-history, thus guaranteeing a higher species survival rate, blah blah, etc."). Nevertheless, a fact it remains: As a Darwinian advantage, homosexuality is highly unconvincing.
Read all of The Darkened Intellect Serves the Fallen Will [h/t: New Advent]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bible - "Mother Tongue" of Christendom

LISBON, Portugal, JUNE 24, 2008 ( The Bible is a cornerstone, not just of Christianity, but of Western civilization, proposed Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi.

The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture affirmed this in Portugal last Friday, when he gave a talk on "The Bible: The 'Great Code' of Western Culture" at the Portuguese Catholic University.

According to the archbishop, the Bible is present in Western culture "as structural component of the artistic, ethical and social fields."

Citing literary critic Northrop Frye, Archbishop Ravasi said that "Scripture is the universe in which Western literature and art acted until the 18th century and, to a great extent, still act."

Read more …

Monday, June 23, 2008

Believers Are Unafraid Because of Faith in God's Lordship

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 22, 2008 ( Benedict XVI says that holy fear of God is the solution for the anxiety prevalent in today's society that is marked by a widespread nihilism.

The Pope said this today before praying the midday Angelus with thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"In this Sunday's Gospel," he noted, "Jesus teaches us on the one hand 'not to be afraid of men' and on the other hand to 'fear' God. We are thus moved to reflect on the difference that exists between human fears and the fear of God."

Fear, the Holy Father explained, is a "natural part of life."

"But there is also -- and today above all -- a more profound form of fear of an existential type that sometimes overflows into anxiety," he said. "It is born from a sense of emptiness that is linked to a culture that is permeated by a widespread theoretical and practical nihilism.

Read all …

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Prayer Request for Another Cursillo Weekend

We are already half-way through another Cursillo weekend. Please pray for these women that their hearts may be opened by the Holy Spirit to receive God's bounty of love and grace.

Franz Stigler's Act of Chivalry

Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group at Kimbolton, England. His B-17 was called 'Ye Old Pub' and was in a terrible state, having been hit by flak and fighters. The compass was damaged and they were flying deeper over enemy territory instead of heading home to Kimbolton.

After flying over an enemy airfield, a pilot named Franz Steigler was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. When he got near the B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words, he 'had never seen a plane in such a bad state'.

Read the whole true story … [h/t: Maggie's Farm]

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Two Obamas

Friend Scott Dinsmore at his blog In the Meantime, and fellow attender at the D.C. venue Emmaus Road Initiative, lifted up this from No Left Turns:

David Brooks’ column today about the two Obamas, one genial, easy-going, but very much a man of the effete Left, and another Machiavellian, reminds me of this bit of commentary from John Adams:

Mirabeau said of La Fayette, ‘Il a affiche desinteressement’ and he added, ‘this never fails. You know the sense of the word ‘affiche’? It is as much to say, ‘he advertised’ his disinterestedness.” This is equivalent to saying that he employed a crier to proclaim through the streets ‘O Yes! O Yes! O Yes!’ All manner of persons may have the benefit of my services, gratis, provided always and only that they will yield me their unlimited and unsuspecting confidence and make me commander in chief., and after I shall have gained a few victories, make me a king or an emperor, when I shall take a fancy to be either. This has been the amount and the result of most of the disinterestedness that has been professed in the world. I say most, not all. There are exceptions, and our Washington ought to pass for one.
As far as I can tell, the key question, regarding Obama, is what his true intensions are. Sometimes, it seems that he’s been talking Left in order to please certain constitutencies, even as he prepares to steer a more moderate course in practice. But sometimes, it seems that he really wants this expansive republic to have the kind of regime that is only suitable for a small one.

Recall here, Obama’s NAFTA kerfuffle, and the question of whether Obama means it when he says, "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market." (Quoted here), or if he’s geniunely baffled by the Laffer Curve.

One final point. There are several instances in the past few centuries of men who believed that they were free to be Machiavellians today in order to change the world into a place where such hijinks were no longer necessary. Others, like our friend John Adams, believing that the would could not be fundamentally remade, tried to burst such bubbles.

What a Great Idea

Pardon the low terms of discourse, but, dudes, I'm all in favor: Campus Radicals: A New Muslim Student Group _Tries to Rouse the Moderates. [h/t: Mark Shea]

And it's about time.

It is Hands-on Training in Chivalry, NOW!

What is the Knights and Squires Encampment? The Knights and Squires Encampment is a father/son camp out that takes place at the Marian Friary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Griswold Connecticut. The Encampment is run by a dedicated group of Catholic men called the Knights of Lepanto, and work under the direction of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The event takes place three times a year, Spring, Summer and Fall. You can link to the Spring 2008 Encampment interview HERE it takes you to a page where you can view a video describing this past May's event, it is well worth the 11 minutes.

The Idea of Marian Chivalry

Chivalry is only a name for that general spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic and generous actions and keeps them conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the intellectual and moral world. (Kenelm Henry Digby, Maxims of Christian Chivalry)

Here we have succinct but essential definition of an institution that is often poorly understood. Today chivalry can mean anything from mere external manners to adulterous romance. Some revivalists conjure up a completely pagan version, ignoring or redefining the Christian virtues that made chivalry great: fidelity, honesty, courtesy, prowess and generosity.

Imagine one arguing that fidelity is based on faith, but that faith does not necessarily have any relation to God. Such is the present state of affairs.

According to the definition given above, chivalry keeps men “conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the intellectual and moral world.” From a Christian perspective nothing is more beautiful and sublime than the sacrificial love of Christ for his Church, and the Church’s obedient love for Christ.

Check out Chivalry and the Great Mystery I must admit that I find it very interesting that this program is put on by Franciscans.

Athos, forging our path to a renewal of Christendom, has been inviting all to chivalry for some time. Link to Corpus Christianum and learn more on how you can be apart of this movement.

H/T to Brad Watkins and his blog @ Roman Catholic Vocations. I encourage you to visit and pass this important blog along to someone who may be discerning a religious vocation.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quotes of the Day

"For me it is the Virgin birth, the Incarnation, the resurrection which are the true laws of the flesh and the physical. Death, decay, destruction are the suspension of these laws. I am always astonished at the emphasis the Church puts on the body. It is not the soul she says that will rise but the body, glorified." – Flannery O’Connor

"May God grant my continued understanding of one thing: attachment to the Church's tradition, far from being a stumbling block, is the principle of all effective audacity.” - Henri de Lubac

"The first thing that must strike a non-Christian about a Christian's faith is that it is all too daring. It is too beautiful to be true: The mystery of being, unveiled as absolute love, coming down to wash the feet and the souls of its creatures; a love that assumes the whole burden of our guilt and hate, that accepts the accusations that shower down.. all the scorn and contempt that nails down his incomprehensible movement of self-abasement -- all this absolute love accepts in order to excuse his creature before himself ..." - Hans Urs von Balthasar

"Our culture's adjustment to the epistemology of television is by now almost complete; we have so thoroughly accepted its definitions of truth, knowledge and reality that irrelevance seems to us to be filled with import, and incoherence seems eminently sane." - Neil Postman

"I had better inform my readers that the famous dogma of papal infallibility is by far the most modest profession of its kind in existence. Compared to our infallible democracies, our infallible medical councils, our infallible astronomers, our infallible parliaments, the Pope is on his knees in the dust confessing his ignorance before God." - George Bernard Shaw

[Quotes gleaned from the now-dormant Cornerstone Forum "Daily Quote."]

Bear Witness - Contemplation & Action

.- Pope Benedict XVI greeted thousands of pilgrims gathered under a warm Roman sun in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday. In his address, the Pope focused on how Christians must live out their faith by uniting contemplation with action.

Continuing his catechetical series on ancient figures in the Church, the Pope turned his attention to the St. Isidore of Seville, the brother of Saint Leander and a contemporary and friend of Saint Gregory the Great.

Isidore, under his brother's guidance, became disciplined and studious. Their house had a large library of pagan and Christian works, and hence Isidore's writings "reveal an encyclopedic knowledge of classical pagan culture as well as a profound understanding of Christian culture."

The Holy Father also noted that St. Isidore lived during the Visigothic invasions of Spain, devoted much energy to converting the barbarian tribes from heresy and preserving the best fruits of classical and Christian culture.

Despite the tendency to think of ancient writings as irrelevant to modern society, Pope Benedict said Saint Isidore’s reflections, which "gather and express the full Christian life,” are still valid today.

Isidore worked to bring the richness of pagan, Jewish and Christian learning to the rapidly changing political, social and religious situations in which he lived.

Read all …

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Phobia, Wisdom and Love

That Mona Burqa Smile

Spence at Jihadwatch juxtaposes two interesting phrases: Italian PM and Muslim convert to Christianity targets of jihadist death threats; Islamic conference decries "Islamophobia".

Isn't it beginning to look like the wise thing to be - in a state of watchful, prayerful "Islamophobia"?

Of course, for those more saintly and loving, one can also try to convert them. But till such grace allows, be vigilant, prayerful, and "innocent as doves and wise as serpents" as Our Lord recommends.

There is HOPE - Pope Benedict XVI & St Francis take on the Muslims

h/t from Real Clear Religion

Excerpts from Asia Times: "What seems to the West a low-key appeal to reason and Western norms of religious freedom...looks like a Trojan Horse to Muslims. Islamic leaders already have noted that months before [Magdi] Allam's baptism, the Vatican published a "doctrinal note" on evangelization that specifically repudiates the notion that Catholics should refrain from attempting to convert people of other faiths."

"As [Jesuit] Father Dall'Oglio warns darkly, Muslims are in dialogue with a pope who evidently does not merely want to exchange pleasantries about coexistence, but to convert them. This no doubt will offend Muslim sensibilities, but Muslim leaders are well-advised to remain on good terms with Benedict XVI. Worse things await them."

The post concludes with: "The European Church may be weak, but no weaker, perhaps, than in the 8th century after the depopulation of Europe and the fall of Rome. An evangelizing European Church might yet repopulate Europe with new Christians as it did more than a millennium ago. "

From an interview with Frank Rega: LifeSiteNews: What can St. Francis teach Christians of today about relating to Muslims?

Frank Rega: First, I think it is important to realize that St. Francis did not openly attack the Muslim religion or Mohammed. He was not armed with a copy of the Koran in one hand and the Catholic Catechism in the other. In fact there is no indication that he ever instructed his friars who undertook such a mission to study the Koran or the tenets of Islam. His goal was to carry to the unbelievers the very presence of Christ, and the essence of God's love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation.

This brings up a second point, the necessity to be strong in the basics of our Faith. One cannot relate as a Catholic to another religion while being hesitant, for example, about the truth of Christ's Resurrection from the dead on Easter.

Finally, Francis shows us that we must keep it simple. Simplicity was one of the hallmarks of his personality and of his approach to Christianity. Spiritual strength flows from the simple understanding and belief that Jesus is God, that he founded a Church to transmit the grace of salvation in His Name, and that Church is the Roman Catholic Church.

I conclude with this post from Real Clear Religion, although Francis was not on a formal mission of peace, converting the muslims was his attempt to bring about peace. According to one scholar, Christopher Maier, "Francis like the crusaders wanted to liberate the holy places of Palestine from Muslim rule. What was different was his strategy...He wanted their total submission to the Christian faith."

Nine-foot monstrance unveiled as part of new Divine Mercy shrine

Calls for a ROAD TRIP click here for map

-- Nine years of prayer, work and faith culminated May 31 when curtains parted in the sanctuary of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Chicago to reveal an iconic monstrance of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy.

It's just the beginning, however, of what will be the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, the official shrine to the Divine Mercy devotion in Chicago.

Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago was on hand to celebrate Mass and bless the new 9-foot, hand-carved and painted monstrance featuring Mary atop a gold-leaf decorated ark flanked by two kneeling angels, also in gold leaf, whose wings extend to shelter her. The 12-inch host, which had to be specially made for the monstrance, is encased in Mary's center.

Deacon Michael McCloskey of Holy Name Cathedral places the 12-inch consecrated host in an iconic monstrance of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy, at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Chicago May 31. The nine-foot high, hand-carved and decorated monstrance is believed to be the largest in the world.

The entire project for the monstrance and the future sanctuary -- which will be built between the church and school -- came out of a message from Mary that Father Bus writes about in "A Mother's Plea." He said Mary asked him to dedicate the parish to her; at the time St. Stanislaus was in poor shape. The building was in disrepair and the neighborhood poor.

"We're walking on faith," said Father Bus in a recent interview with the Catholic New World. Elizabeth Murray came from St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest to see the unveiling of the monstrance. She said she's moved by what is going on at St. Stanislaus and the work of Father Bus."

"I think he's encouraging people to have a devotion to the Divine Mercy. It's inspiring," said Murray.

Michael Kendall sees the monstrance and sanctuary as part of a reawakening in the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council.

"It's my hope that in 200 or 300 years that historians will look back at this time of awakening in the Catholic Church and say St. Stanislaus Kostka had a significant role to play in bringing about this great Catholic awakening," said Kendall, who took a 50 percent pay cut to come and work part time as director of mission advancement for the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy. He said he also hopes that people drawn to the monstrance will see that true beauty lies with Jesus in the Eucharist and that Christ can heal their pain.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Only when a person has been touched by Christ and opened up by him

Apostolic Life

If the "apostolic" element is the place of movements in the Church, then the desire for the vita apostolica must be fundamental to her in all ages. The renunciation of property, of descendants, of any effort to impose one's own idea of the Church -- that is, obedience in following Christ -- have in all ages been regarded as the essential elements of the apostolic life, which cannot of course apply in the same way for all those participating in a movement but which are in varying ways points orienting each person's own life that are relevant for everyone. The apostolic life, in turn, is not an end in itself; rather, it creates freedom to serve. An apostolic life calls out for apostolic action: there is in the first place -- again, in varying fashion -- the proclamation of the Gospel as the missionary element. In following Christ, evangelizing always takes first place: evangelizare pauperibus - proclaiming the Gospel to the poor. Yet this never takes place through words alone: love, which constitutes its inner heart, both the center of its truth and the heart of its activity, has to be lived out and has in that sense to be a proclamation. Thus social service is always associated with the Gospel in some form or other. All this presupposes... a personal encounter with Christ at a deep level... Only when a person has been touched by Christ and opened up by him in his deepest heart can the other person also be touched in his heart; only in that case can reconciliation be effected in the Holy Spirit; only then can true community grow.

- Pope Benedict XVI Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith, pp. 204-205.

(my emphasis)

Evangelize by first allowing the Lord to open the eyes of my heart

Coffey Anderson singing "Open the Eyes of My Heart" . Let it be a blessing to you today.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Irish Blessing (Accompanied)

h/t: The Anchoress

So, 4 Imams and an Evangelical Go ...

A fellow by the name of Bruce Fisk received what four imams considered top flight Islamic "evangelization". If you read his account, pay close attention to your feelings as you are winged so high above the ground by their arguments that you feel it isn't safe to jump.

Should he have argued with them from his Evangelical point of view?

How would one talk with them about the need for a Savior? Grace? Forgiveness? A Divinity who is perfect love and does not welcome the bloodshed of unbelievers? [h/t: New Advent]

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Team Hoyt - Happy Father's Day

h/t: Dirty Harry's Place

Eucharist and the Evangelical Life

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, Ofm. Cap. delivered the address at the Eucharistic Symposium and Congress in Quebec, June 11th – 13th, 2008.
... In a world of political correctness and “inclusivity” these ancient practices seem peregrine and even harsh. Yet the awareness of the sacredness of the Eucharist evoked an awe and reverence in the faithful even before they approached the Eucharist. Indeed many sinners have found motivation to overcome their vices because of their desire to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist. Even before we are repulsed by sin and evil we are attracted by grace and beauty.

This attitude so beautifully expressed in Francois Mauriac’s book on Holy Thursday is dismissed by those who would encourage everyone to receive communion without examining themselves. It is what Bonhoeffer described as a cheap grace.

However, where believers are aware of their need to be spiritually prepared for the Eucharist, the call to conversion is part of the experience of the Eucharist. Jesus washes the feet of the Apostles in part to denote the cleansing and repentance that must be in preparation for participation in the Eucharist.

The practices of fasting from all food and drink from midnight and weekly confession as preparations for the Eucharist were still the custom in my youth. There was a great awareness that the way we lived before the Eucharist and how we prepared was very important. Eucharistic consistency was generally understood.

The call to conversion that opens the Gospel is complemented in the Mass by the Penitential Rite. We present ourselves before God and before the community acknowledging our need for forgiveness and reconciliation. Jesus says clearly in the Gospel that before we offer our gifts on the altar, we must be reconciled with our brothers and sisters. We need to wear the wedding garment of grace and mercy.

The Gospel Life begins with a longing for the Holy, a hunger for God, and a sense of the transcendent. This is different from the modern culture’s addiction to entertainment and sense of entitlement. We must approach the Eucharist like Moses drawing near the burning bush, with a sense of wonder and awe. At the same time we have a sense of our own unworthiness in the presence of God’s boundless and gratuitous love, like Peter who throws himself at Jesus’ feet and says: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” And the Eucharist is a greater miracle than the miraculous draught of fishes ...
[Read all ... ]

Friday, June 13, 2008

Old Narnia Under Attack - Today

This news story and this news story- if you keep your eyes open - are becoming more frequent in western nations. Now, what needs to be remembered is the central theme or leitmotif of C. S. Lewis's book, Prince Caspian. Regardless of the recent film version that ran with the minor element of "Narnia - A Land at War," Lewis's true message was "Narnia - A Land Awakening from the Lies of the Telmarines."

We are fast becoming a time and place of myth. If you recall your Girard, myth is one of three crucial elements of the primitive Sacred. Author and friend, Gil Bailie, reminds us that "myth doesn’t answer questions. It extinguishes the mental vitality to ask them. To mythologize is to leave out or obscure the things that would lead to contrition."

Myth justifies and makes us feel good about the violence committed against a victim or victims against whom the mob develops an onus of blame. While in a state of myth, one feels extraordinarily "righteous". Lewis makes Narnia a place where while humans are on the throne, ruling justly with concern for the common good and with respect to all manner of talking animals, a place of wonder.

But the Telmarines have entered the picture, ruling tyrannically, throwing out the Magisterial truth and morals that Aslan instituted as son of the "Emperor over the Sea." Now might makes right, intrigue is the rule, and even reference to the "old ways" is outlawed.

Begin to sound familiar to today? The old ways of Catholic truth, faith, and morals are beginning to be branded as "hate crimes," "irrational", and "intolerant" - lest any "alternative lifestyle" persons or religions be "offended" by such Magisterial thinking and speaking. Oh, and throw out any reference to the Judeo-Christian God revealing such truth too (but a bloodthirsty, vengeful god of the Scimitar is A-OK).

Lewis knew our times would come: a new Dark Ages, only this time not in the wake of the collapse of the Roman Empire, but rather a barbarian invasion and attack on Christian truth. WE are the "old Narnians" and "talking animals!" The question facing us is, How to respond to these attacks of the primitive Sacred in both its forms: the postmodern neo-pagan and the Scimitar?

It is a difficult question indeed.


When they said repent, I wonder what they meant...

Interiority Leading to Christ and Into The Trinity

h/t to dear friend, Athos @ Chronicles of Atlantis which prompted further research that turned up what looks to be a fine blog on vocation @ Roman Catholic Vocations.

"Prayer itself, born in Catholic families, nurtured by programs of Christian formation, strengthened by the grace of the sacraments, is the first means by which we come to know the Lord’s will for our lives. To the extent that we teach young people to pray, and to pray well, we will be cooperating with God’s call. Programs, plans and projects have their place; but the discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and his disciples. Young people, if they know how to pray, can be trusted to know what to do with God’s call." - Pope Benedict XVI (my emphasis)
From the article:
...when the history of this part of the world is written, it may point to the recent establishment of a monastery amid the rolling hills and lakes of eastern Oklahoma as an event of momentous consequence for fostering a renaissance of Christian culture.


I asked Father Anderson whether the Clear Creek monks desired to rebuild civilization in America. He laughed and said that the Benedictines had “built Europe without even trying.”
“We focus on prayer,” he said. “We can only see the effects of our life indirectly like we see the ripples from a drop in a pond.”
According to Father Anderson, the work of the monks operates like concentric circles. Everything is centered on the interior life. But that has an effect on everything else, particularly the work of the monks. And the monastic way of life fosters a more contemplative way of being -- a life that explores the important questions and expresses itself through art, music festivals and literature -- that is, true culture.
When I read comments like, "Everything is centered on the interior life," I cringe a bit because I sometimes wonder if I am picking up a whiff of 'new age' spirituality. But then Anderson went on to say, "But that has an effect on everything else, particularly the work of the monks." So when you read his whole message it merges well with what Pope Benedict XVI says in his encyclical on Christian Hope, that the Christian message of virtue is "not just 'informative' but 'performative.'" Informative not from a simple understanding of collecting bits of information, rather it refers to the shaping of a deep and abiding interiority. And performative is how we live - and we always live in the sight of God and in the sight of others*. (*I thank my friend Gil Bailie, in his Emmaus Road Initiative session #7, for this interpretation of 'informative' and 'performative'.)

As the author of the article prays that the fruit of this movement will foster a deeper Christian faith here in America, I hope we can find ways to support such efforts helping us to discern and act on our callings as persons of God.

Friday, June 13

President Bush ‘honored’ to meet Holy Father at the Vatican.

In photos: 'President Bush Meets the Pope'

Feast Day of Saint Anthony - Doctor of the Church

Francis and Anthony - Interesting images looking in a mirror.
Both men loved the hermit life; neither had much chance to savor it. Thomas Celano, early biographer of Francis, writes: “Francis was often suspended in such sweetness of contemplation that, caught up out of himself, he could not reveal what he had experienced because it went beyond all human comprehension.” He was often taxed, however, by the demands of leading his fledgling religious order—and observing canonical requirements such as writing a rule.

Anthony had about one year as a hermit at Monte Paolo near Forli, Italy, before his public gifts were discovered. Near his death, he tried again for the quiet life, but even from his refuge in a walnut tree, people sought him out for counsel and confession.
Both saints had a strong sense of place. Francis felt especially drawn to Mt. LaVerna; Anthony requested a refuge in a tree at Camposampiero. Yet, when Sister Death was approaching, both men longed to be “home.”
To read each of these saint’s written words is to reread the Bible, particularly the Gospels. To follow each man’s footsteps—and the message of each man’s actions—is to be on the path of Christ. Francis and Anthony are alike because they were shaped by the words and actions of Jesus.
Life of St. Anthony of Padua
He went to the little friary in Coimbra and said, “Brother, I would gladly put on the habit of your Order if you would promise to send me as soon as possible to the land of the Saracens, that I may gain the crown of the holy martyrs.” After some challenges from the prior of the Augustinians, he was allowed to leave that priory and receive the Franciscan habit, taking the name Anthony.
True to their promise, the Franciscans allowed Anthony to go to Morocco, to be a witness for Christ, and a martyr as well. But, as often happens, the gift he wanted to give was not the gift that was to be asked of him. He became seriously ill, and after several months realized he had to go home.
Read more on Saint Anthony and how he got the label Hammer of Heretics with his firm stance against heresy by a strong yet embracing teaching toward truth.

And read more on St. Francis of Assisi: Not a Birkenstock-Clad Hippie But a Converter of Muslims An Interview Frank Rega, author of St. Francis and the Conversion of the Muslims.

And check out Vive Christus Rex! blog for a few more facts on Saint Anthony.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Idea of the Autonomous Self Continues to Eat Away at Our Core Being

Descartes was a major player in the slide into the erroneous autonomous self.
I will now close my eyes, I will plug my ears, I will turn aside all my senses … in this way, concerned only with myself, looking only at what is inside me, I will try, little by little, to know myself, and to become more familiar to myself.
Here we have the modern self’s originating gesture, what Henri de Lubac called “the mania of introspection or the search for a static sincerity.” “The farther it goes,” de Lubac insisted, “the more fearful it becomes. It eats into man, disintegrates and destroys him.” William Temple expresses an analogous misgiving when he refers to Descartes’ withdrawal into himself as “the most disastrous moment in the history of Europe.”


Perfect Joy -- The Little Flowers of St. Francis

Meditating on the thought for today found in the Magnificat (see a snippit below), I was reminded of the words of Saint Francis as he taught what perfect joy is. You can find "Perfect Joy" at

Here is the meditation:

"It is necessary that the saints should live among us, that they should be subject, like us, to all the wretchedness of our human condition, and that they should even seem to be overwhelmed by it; for in this way they teach us to be indifferent to all the glory of the world, proving to us in a striking manner that our true good lies elsewhere. The essence of holiness often manifests itself most clearly in the frustration the saint endures, in the pain which is inflicted on him, or which he inflicts on himself, in torture or in martyrdom... Yet our imagination needs these great examples as a measure of the distance there is between holiness and success... (holiness) is indifferent to worldly success and indeed despises it."

-- Louis Lavelle - (+ 1951) was a professor at the Sorbonne, Paris, France, and was a prominent Christian philosopher.

(Emphasis is mine as I reflect on so many frustrations I seem to run into in my daily walk with God.)

Girard the Immortel (Must Read)

René Girard: Stanford's provocative immortel is a one-man institution. Here is a tidy introduction to Girard's mimetic theory I highly recommend. [Big h/t to Gen @ Real Clear Religion]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

As my two eyes make one in sight

Blessing of the Wheat at Artois
Painted by Jules Breton (1827 - 1906)
Completed in 1857, oil on canvas, 50.5 ins. x 125.25 ins.
Courtesy of the Musées des Beaux-Arts d'Arras, France

About this Painting
Quoted from "The Rural Vision, France and America in the Late Nineteenth Century"
By Hollister Sturges - Copyright © All Rights Reserved:

"....His most ambitious canvas up to this time, The Blessing of the Wheat at Artois....exhibited at the 1857 Salon, translates the customs of this rural community on an epic scale.....Breton gathered all segments of the village society in a religious his rendering of a priestly procession on the plain of Courrières, Breton emphasized that the Christian faith of the Community was intact. In this ancient, rustic ritual intended to ensure the abundance of the harvest, the priest beneath the canopy carries the host in the monstrance out into the fields. Rural notables, village maidens, and others make up the procession, and as they pass, peasants kneel before them in pious gratitude. This epic picture emphasizes the social harmony of the agricultural community, which in turn brings forth the fruits of a bountiful nature."

In this painting I came to realize what I have tried to put into words and always feeling that the words fell hard on the paving stones. I see in this painting our basic yearning, need and desire to live as one. Like this Robert Frost poem:

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future's sakes.

- from Two Tramps In Mud Time.

Be Not Tempted to Despair

It seems to me that people of Christian faith in our time, in our age, are tempted to fall into the bane of Denethor, Steward of Gondor in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. (Pictured above in Peter Jackson's version and played so well by John Noble.)

At an unparalleled degree Christians in the West feel pummeled by attack after attack: our faith is scoffed at by pretentious scholars and celebrities (those famous for being well-known); our morals flaunted by individualists run amok and negative imitators who are caught in a state of scandal, both of whom are lauded by journalists; and a separatist religion of the Scimitar whose rivalry toward Judaism and Catholicism knows no boundary.

We look in our "palantir" - internet, cable television, advertisements with shreds of "news" - and we feel driven to believe falsely that hope for all that is good, true, and beautiful in our world is on the wane, capsizing, or being deconstructed.

But I know differently. I have for the past seven years been privileged to be a part of an endeavor that will eternally give me hope. I have taught in a Catholic School. I have been surrounded by colleagues and friends who hear the sound of bugles at dawn and see the bright dawning of an eschatological sunrise. And during my six-week long recuperation, I have felt the power of their prayers and intentions for me, for my students whom I abandoned through no fault of my willing (unless a "transitional cell carcinoma" was willed by me somehow), and for the good of Catholic education.

Governments, nations, political parties, caucuses, and special interests can and will disappoint being merely human groupings. But the Catholic Church - of whom we would ALL be a part 1,500 years ago - was begun by Our Lord, is sustained by Our Lord, and is promised to continue by Our Lord ... until He comes again (Mtt 16,18 & 28,20) come hell or high waters.

So, do not fall for the deceptions of "Sauron" or "Sarumens" who are legion, gentle reader. Keep your armor polished and your sword sharpened. Stand tall and join the merry revels and rejoicing of the glad Company who know by His Real Presence among us that we are a part of the Body of Christ. There is no darkness that can keep our heart and voice from singing. We are the King's men (and women), and we pledge our fealty to Him.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Collins - PRB

Convent Thoughts (1851) - Charles Allston Collins

According to Christopher Wood (The Pre Raphaelites), "Collins's picture is typical of the early, gothic phase of the movement, and the religious piety of these works led many critics to accuse the painters of being Roman Catholic sympathizers. The mood of this picture is generally similar to Rossetti's early works, but the flowers and garden reflect Millais's influence" (22).

But Clare Asquith relates something more telling in her tome, Shadowplay - The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare: "Unknown to Pericles, (Thaisa) retires to a convent - a common refuge for women exiled from England." (250, my emphasis)

Packington's Pound (Anon.)

From the ridiculous to the sublime: Valéry Sauvage on the lute. [h/t: The Iconoclast]

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Friday, June 06, 2008


Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham

Artistic creativity in Modernity and Post-modernity followed along the lines of what Paul Ricoeur the "Masters of Suspicion" - Marx, Nietzche, and Freud. All agreed that truth is ugly and, therefore, art to be truthful must also be ugly.

What has happened in the wake of this philosophical underpinning is western art as dragged through the gutter (with a few attempts at rebellion against this morbidity).

As proof that in human nature resides a spark of something far greater, we still find such masterpieces as The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings - in both book and film format - resoundingly popular and hailed by new generation after new generation.

Tolkien himself, Catholic and professional philologist, was singularly instrumental in helping C. S. Lewis, fellow Oxford don, come to a firm belief in Christ as the Son of God. Tolkien dedicated a poem, "Mythopoeia", to Lewis ('Philomyth to Misomyth') wherein he spoke of bringing Lewis to the realization that in the Gospels, "myth became fact" (as Lewis latter wrote in his book, God in the Dock), and by our very nature, we are "sub-creators" being made ourselves imago dei.

Below is a portion of "Mythopoeia". It may explain why that spark of creativity still flares up in moments of true beauty among us.

The heart of man is not compound of lies,
but draws some wisdom from the only Wise,
and still recalls Him. Though now long estranged,
Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not de-throned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned:
Man, Sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build
Gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sowed the seed of dragons - 'twas our right
(used or misused). That right has not decayed:
we make still by the law in which we're made.

Fr Stan Fortuna - why people suffer - part 1

An in your face approach - very Franciscan don't you know - to a most challenging message. Part 1

If you can handle more parts 2 and 3 are at this link.

Called to Communion is Ever So Linked with the Mystery of the Person

We are social creatures. Yet, we Judeo-Christians believe that we are called out of the culture, out of the crowd, out of the mob, called out of our complicity in sacred violence to become a new creation, a person... But what is a person? From the first book of the Bible we are told that we are made in the image and likeness of God. But what does that look like? In the New Testament the full implications of this is revealed in Jesus Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

So we are made in the image and likeness of that God - the God of Three Persons, The Trinity. (From Gil Bailie - THE SUBJECT OF GAUDIUM ET SPES RECLAIMING A CHRISTOCENTRIC ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE HUMAN PERSON)
The mystery of the person as embedded in Trinitarian and Christological thought was regarded as revelatory only of the Persons of the Trinity and of the unique person of Christ.
And so each of the “Persons” of the Trinity plays a “role” in the gift of personhood to humanity.

And in the same way, we each play a role in the gift of personhood to our sisters and brothers.

From Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) - Called to Communion - Understanding the Church Today:

Forgiveness, together with its realization in me by way of penance and discipleship, is first of all the wholly personal center of all renewal. But because forgiveness touches the very core of the person, it gathers men together and is also the center of the renewal of the community (the Church). For when the dust and filth that disfigure God's image in me are removed (by the grace of forgiveness & reconciliation), I thereby become similar to the other who is likewise God's image; above all I become similar to Christ, who is the image of God without qualification, the model according to which we have all been created.
Gil Bailie asks the most pertinent question we can ask today:

Can the call to personhood be made today so as to be heard? The answer is yes, and in my view the way to make it and to make it intelligible is to show how anthropologically sound – and how spiritually and psychologically gratifying – is the uniquely Christian understanding of the person, the person as seen in the light of a Christocentric anthropology. In recovering the mystery of the person thus understood, the anthropological insights of René Girard are simply indispensable.

In the end, like it or not, this understanding of what it means to be a person will be upheld only within The Catholic Church of Rome.

I conclude with Pope Benedict XVI as he extols each and everyone of us to take up our role in the Church as we participate - not with lukewarmness, but in the Fullness of Truth, Goodness and Beauty of the Body of Christ.

The Church will be all the more the homeland for man's heart, the more we listen to God and the more what comes from Him is of central importance in her: his Word and the sacraments He has given us. The obedience of all toward Him is the guarantee of our freedom.
We are truly 'inter-dividual' rather than individual and so we are free in as much as we surrender our will and fully participate in the Church - the Body of Christ.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mark Shea - Faith & Reason

And speaking of trusting, fellow convert traveler Mark Shea has a nice piece at Catholic Exchange, In Doubtful Things, Liberty:
One often hears about the supposedly monolithic or totalitarian character of the Catholic Church. You know the drill. The Pope tells everybody what to think. Catholics all have to believe exactly the same thing. Freedom of thought is anathema for Catholics. Et Cetera.

I heard much of this and believed it—till I got to know Catholics. Then I discovered the truth of Chesterton’s remark: “Catholics agree about everything. It is only everything else they disagree about.”

The reality of Catholic (and biblical) teaching is this: There are a few cosmic truths upon which the Church absolutely insists we must agree if we are to claim the name of “Catholic”. These are more or less summarized in the Creeds and in the few dogmatic teachings of the Church pertaining to such matters as, say, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the Immaculate Conception and so forth.

Beyond this, not only does the Church not demand we march in lock-step, she positively encourages a sort of loony diversity that is much more like a garden of wildflowers or a really crazy zoo in which the keepers are the ones who cage themselves (by means of poverty, chastity, and obedience) so that the strange and exotic creatures called “the faithful” might roam free.
A nice piece to steer your friends and relatives to, especially the ones who say things like, "How can you stop thinking for yourself and become a Catholic?"

Who You Gonna Trust

Check out The Anchoress. Scroll down and click on Who ya gonna trust?

Idolatry - false gods & false devils - Chesterton

Anchoress picks out another great Chesterton quote.

“Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice.” - G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News 9/11/09

Skeptical About Atheists

If Only Atheists Were the Skeptics They Think They Are by Edward Tingley, The Skeptical Inquirer. [h/t: New Advent]

And, as The Anchoress reminds us of GKC's words to early 20th century atheists, Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.
- Orthodoxy

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Through It All - Christ is Our Hope

Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well.

In "Spe Salvi - in hope we were saved" Pope Benedict XVI provides us a glimpse into the only possible future we have - a future built in Christian hope.

In this encyclical on hope Pope Benedict XVI notes that St.Paul reminded the Ehpesians (Eph 2:12) that "before their encounter with Christ they were ‘without hope and without God in the world.'" (On Christian Hope, #2). Pope Benedict goes on to stress:

Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well. So now we can say: Christianity was not only "good news" --- the communication of a hitherto unknown content. In our language we would say: the Christian message was not only "informative" but "performative."

That means: the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known---it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life.
+ + +

Over the weekend I listened to 4 top graduating seniors from one of our public high schools and each spoke about living in the "now" - giving almost no reference to what kind of future there may be waiting for them. It was as if they were acknowledging the lurking "dark door of time, of the future" and so their advice was that you better enjoy what you have while you can.

It has been 8 years since I last attended a graduation ceremony. I know that they usually include a lot of hooping 'n hollering and a big beach ball tossed among the graduates getting all psyched for party-time, however, as I remember, in the celebration there would be some reference made to the challenge and hope in the future...not so much here. I wondered if this was so because it was a public high school with guidelines prohibiting the expression of faith, as it has become more and more apparent that true hope can only come from faith.

"Here too we see as a distinguishing mark of Christians the fact that they have a future: it is not that they know the details of what awaits them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness. Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well."

Let us remember to imitate Mary's YES and the YES of Jesus Christ to live in the fullness of this new life - being models of this life-changing hope for others.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Who's Your Daddy

Jesus' inquisitors in the 8th chapter of John's Gospel want to check on his pedigree, his ancestry.

"Where is your father?" they ask him (v. 19)

"You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also," he replies.

They say a little later, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone..." (v. 33, as their Roman overlords probably listened in)

Jesus says to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. but now you are trying to kill me ... Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father ... You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning ... he is a liar and the father of lies" (vv. 39b-44a, my emphases).
+ + +

Jesus is juxtaposing his Father with that "father" of the Pharisees whom they mis-recognize as Abraham. Jesus first corrects them about Abraham, saying that if he were their father, they would do the works of Abraham; namely, faithfully loving God with heart, soul, mind and strength, and neighbor as oneself. Then he pulls back the veil that thinly masks the violence they actually carry out like the pagans. THIS, he says, is the true "father" of their actions. They use laws as "trip-wires" to catch new victims to throw into the sacrificial mechanism started by the "murderer from the beginning ... a liar and the father of lies."

As we noted in the series of posts on Paganism, Then and Now, mimetic theory, the cultural anthropology of René Girard, posits precisely what Jesus puts in these few words of comparing the "murderer from the beginning ... and the father of lies" of conventional human culture vs. the Father God whom Jesus came to reveal to a sinful, violent, and bloodthirsty humanity. (To get caught up in gender political correctness here would be to do great disservice to the canonical Scriptures and cannot but sidetrack the importance of these matters. "Father" it will be and shall remain.)

Gil Bailie in his extraordinary explication of Girard's opus - Violence Unveiled - notes that the pre-Socratic philosopher Herclitus saw that
War [polemos] is the father and king of all things; he has shown some to be gods and some mortals, he has made some slaves and others free ... Everything originates in strife ... Strife is justice; and all things both come to pass and perish through strife. (My emphasis)
Mimetic theory also posits that each mere human culture always tries to guarantee that (a) it is utterly unique in its ability to bring about peace and prosperity; and (b) its cultic deity "sanctions" its violence against the usurping "other" who are (clearly) less than human ("sons of pigs, apes," etc.). Each human culture promises an "Exit" out of the labyrinth of violence and evil - finally! - only for individuals to discover that the exit-sign is just another entrance into the maze of human folly and bloodshed (I borrow "labyrinth", Bailie's apt metaphor for the primitive Sacred).

Girard posits here the difference between what he calls an "internal mediator" and an "external mediator." The former is one of the myriad savior figures who have led the human race astray during our sad, mortal history "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." The latter, on the other hand, would be a truly divine figure who comes from outside our human cultural house of mirrors and, thus, is capable of informing us of a completely different and superior way of living, moving, and having our being. One, as Girard says, who comes "to turn this long page of human history once and for all."

And so we see the need for choosing with extreme care and caution who to follow, whose "father" to believe, what organizing principle to set at the center of one's being. One that will just lead us back into the labyrinth of the "same ol' same ol'?" Or, a true "external Mediator" worthy of our heart, our life, our eternal well-being?

Who you gonna trust? may well be the most important question you ever answer.

Just 'Cause

I happen to think these are two of the greatest fantasy movies made for kids: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Never-ending Story. [h/t: IBA]

Is it too late to remake Prince Caspian? You know, like, to include all those "boring" non-battle scenes just like in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? The way Lewis wrote it? It is too late? Sigh. Too bad. I was just hoping ...

We all need a 'centre' to our lives

Pope Benedict XVI talks on the HEART OF JESUS: A SYMBOL OF CHRISTIAN FAITH June 1, 2008.

Hermanoleon Clipart

"We all need a 'centre' to our lives, a source of truth and goodness from which to draw in the various situations and exertions of daily life. Each of us, when we pause in silence, needs to feel not only the beating of our own heart but, deeper down, the pulsing of a reliable presence, perceptible with the senses of faith, yet real: the presence of Christ, heart of the world."

To get another understanding of the importance of why you should know who is at your 'centre' check out Athos' post, Who's Your Daddy.

Shallow America

Americans, says Lawrence Haas at Family Security Matters, are shallow and "un-serious". Against foes the likes of which brought us 9/11 we are woefully unprepared due ideological blinders, some Democratic, some Republican. (I would add a boat-load of other blinders mainly around progressive "enlightened" multiculturalism.) But Haas states:

Even when we focus on radical Islam, we are woefully ignorant about it. Unlike Communism, which we broadly understood was shaped by Marx and applied by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and others, we don't know from whence radical Islam came. With few exceptions among elites and the public, we don't recognize that terrorist attacks on the United States and the West over the last 30 years are the latest phase of a 1,400-year struggle by radical Islam to defeat the forces of modernity and return society to the time of Mohammed. We don't know the interconnected ideologies and roles of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Whahhabis, and the Khomeinists in reviving this struggle in the 20th Century.

Blissfully ignorant of the beliefs, the outlook, the goals, and the methods of our adversaries, we are profoundly un-serious about the dangers that they represent. We are un-serious about the military commitment, the resources, and the measures required to defeat radical Islam both abroad and at home. Democrat, Republican, and independent - we are all un-serious. But our political affiliation determines just what it is we are un-serious about. To put it another way, Democrats are un-serious about some aspects of the challenge ahead while Republicans are un-serious about others.

Read all of Lawrence Hass' A Shallow State of War: Reflections from an Un-Serious Nation

Sunday, June 01, 2008

h/t Doctors of the Catholic Church and Magnificat

Day by Day

Doing the Will of the Father

But in spite of all these turns, and usually after the lapse of a considerable period of time, the realization finally dawns: God really exist; Christ really exists; the Church has really been founded by his will, and manifest his creative activity in history.

This is not merely a provisional engagement, one that can be revised in the light of subsequent engagement, one that can be revised in the light of subsequent experiences, but a final, irrevocable decision that he makes. He binds his person; by a bond of loyalty, he attaches his inner being to the reality which confronts him. The engagement expresses itself in a profession of faith, and is consummated by the act of baptism, which introduces the new convert to the mystery of an ever-creative God, in the rebirth by water and the Holy Spirit.

Now he bears within him the seed of a new life. He stands upon the threshold of a new existence. A new form of existence presses for recognition, and the life of faith begins, with all its manifold duties…

Faith may be either discovered or rediscovered. In either case, there remains an unpredictable difference. Which Christian reality is experienced the most immediately or most vividly? It may be Christ, whom one first encounters. The seeker then sees in him the essence of everything, its power, its glory; through him he finds the Father; through him he accepts the Church.

Or it may be the Church one discovers first, attracted by the solidity of her permanence, the forcefulness of all that she purports to be, the richness of her spiritual content; but she, too, points to Christ.

Or it may be the living God, who looms before all else in consciousness, and gradually it becomes clearer that truth and holiness, in their pure state, can be had only from the mouth of Christ, and only in the Church does Christ speak with untrammeled freedom.

– Monsignor Romano Guardini (+ 1968) was born in Italy and was a renowned theologian and writer.