Caritas et Veritas’s own Biff Rocha recently appeared on EWTN show, “The Journey Home,” hosted by Marcus Grodi. Biff shared the moving story of his return to the Catholic Church, and his journey of faith. It’s an inspiring story, that brought back many fond memories from college, when I met Biff and he helped me along on my own journey. You can view the video here.
David doing penance after being confronted by Nathan
From the same author/blogger as Theologian Mom, comes a relatively new but increasingly popular blog called Parenting Mortification, at parentingmortification.blogspot.com. This is a very useful blog for any parent, or anyone giving spiritual guidance to parents, on how to embrace, creatively and fruitfully, the many little and big crosses that come our way naturally as parents, and turning them into spiritual means of nourishment—-turning them into prayer (as mortifications), thus growing closer to God through them, and helping others with them. She advertises the blog as, “Parenting spirituality for Catholic moms and dads…who sometimes find it hard.” There’s some great stuff here, and especially helpful for Lent.
Here’s a blog of interest to keep an eye on: Theologian Mom, accessible by clinking on that link or at: http://theologianmom.com/. The blogger/author is a stay at home mother with a Ph.D. in Theology. She posts on her family life, on theology, theological and spiritual texts, theological and spiritual issues as they relate to current events and especially marriage and family life. As she writes at the top of her blog: “‘You will be a better mom because you are a theologian, and a better theologian because you are a mom.’ Is it true? In this blog, I explore the interplay and intersection of motherhood and theologianhood.” Enjoy.
For a while now, my three year old son has been telling us that when he grows up he wants to be a superhero. Recently, my five year old daughter asked me if superheroes are real. We spoke a little about how the Saints are the real superheroes. After that conversation it struck me how true that is: the Saints are the real superheroes.
Many of the superheroes we know and love from comic books, movies, and t.v., are people like Batman or Superman, who, most of the time, live ordinary lives without performing the superhero actions their hidden life selves are known for. They tend to dress, work, and speak as would anyone else in their specific state in life, in their line of work, in their economic status, etc. Unbeknownst to their neighbors and friends, they possess superhero abilities.
St. Padre Pio
Pope Francis hearing Confession
Lent is upon us…only a few more days…as this upcoming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. With that in mind I thought I would post a few thoughts about Lenten resolutions, just in case anyone might find these thoughts beneficial, especially if Lent is taking you by surprise, or if you haven’t yet made any Lenten resolutions.
First, the three traditional Lenten practices are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In general, it is encouraged to work on all three areas during Lent. It’s a good thing to up our spiritual practices during Lent, doing a little more than we typically do throughout the year. In this post, however, I want to focus on a different way of making good Lenten resolutions. I don’t mean to detract from the traditional, “upping it,” as it were, during Lent. By all means, do a little more this Lent than you typically do throughout the year, and than you likely will when Lent is over and we enter the joyous Easter season. But here I want to focus on small resolutions that we can maintain throughout the year.
I have started a new blog devoted to the history of biblical interpretation, particularly in the modern period. The blog is called, “History of Interpretation,” and can be found by clicking that link, or at historyof interpretation.wordpress.com. I wanted to make our readers aware of the blog. It has been receiving quite a lot of web traffic, and my hope is to include guest posts from several scholars, a number of whom have already agreed to contribute posts. My hope is to start a conversation about the state of modern biblical studies, its history, and the relationship between theology and biblical interpretation. The intent is that posts will be scholarly, but accessible to non-specialists, so that interested parties might benefit from the conversation without having to be scholars themselves. So please check out the site if the topic interests you.
St. André of Montreal
Today is the Feast of St. André of Montreal, who is known more widely as Bro. André Bessette, C.S.C. St. André was a brother in the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the same religious order that runs the University of Notre Dame. As we approach the end of the Christmas season, I thought I would write a few reflections on this great Saint. First, a little biographical information. André Bessette was born Alfred Bessette in Quebec Canada in 1845, not far from Montreal. His father was a carpenter, like Jesus and Jesus’ father St. Joseph. He had 12 brothers and sisters. When he was nine, his father died in an accident, and he had already lost three siblings who died as infants (a fourth would also die as an infant). Bessette was twelve when his mother died of tuberculosis. These tragic and severe sufferings early in life are alluded to in Pope Benedict XVI’s homily at Bessette’s canonization in 2010.
Bessette joined the religious Congregation of the Holy Cross as a brother when he about
Bro. André Bessette, C.S.C.
Pope Benedict XVI
The day before Pope Benedict XVI resigned from his office, I was honored to participate in a colloquium on his legacy at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University, where I teach. A portion of the colloquium was filmed and is available online here:
After some opening words by Msgr. Joseph Reilly and by Dr. Dianne Traflet, the first
Fr. Pablo Gadenz
presentation is by my dear friend and colleague, Fr. Pablo Gadenz. Fr. Pablo’s wonderful talk is entitled, “Pope Benedict: Leading Us to Jesus,” and deals with Benedict’s work on Scripture as it focuses on bringing us in contact with the living Jesus.
I give the second presentation, “Pope Benedict and the Interior Life,” where I discuss some
points concerning the importance of the Eucharist, frequent Confession, personal prayer, and devout reading of Scripture, in the thought of Benedict XVI.
St. Peter's Basilica
In light of all the media buzz about Pope Francis, I have encountered a surprising number of criticisms aimed both at Pope Francis and at the Catholic Church, specifically concerning the wealth of the Vatican and the lack of the Pope’s “real” concern for the poor. In response, I’ve hastily written this overly large post. Hopefully someone will find it beneficial.
John Allen explains, in his National Catholic Reporter article, “Challenges to vision of a ‘Poor Church for the Poor,’” available here, http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/challenges-vision-poor-church-poor, that “the legendary wealth of the Vatican is to some extent more myth than reality.” He then points out the often ignored fact that the yearly budget for operating the Vatican is less than $300 million. He contrasts this with Harvard University (which he labels as “the Vatican of elite secular opinion”) whose annual budget is $3.7 billion. Allen points out further that the patrimony (or endowment) of the Vatican is about $1 billion. Harvard, on the other hand, as a whopping $30.7 billion endowment. Allen concedes that the Vatican bank is in charge of the equivalent of over $6 billion, but then points out how the majority of that money is not actually the Vatican’s, and thus the Vatican would not be at liberty to use most of that amount for any purpose whatsoever.