Showing posts from September, 2011

'The stone rejected by the builders . . .' Sunday Reflections, 27th Sunday Year A

Jordan, in wheelchair, and Lala Readings (New American Bible: Philippines and USA) Gospel Matthew 21:33-43 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: 'Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. "They will respect my son" he said. But when the tenants saw the so

The Passion of Saint Thérèse

In June of 1895, two years before her death, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face made an " Act of Oblation to Merciful Love ." She expressed her gratitude to God for the grace of suffering: "Since you deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in heaven to resemble You and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion." ( The Story of a Soul , trans. by Fr. John Clarke, OCD, p.277) In the mental and physical sufferings that St. Thérèse experienced in the weeks preceding her early demise, she came to resemble her Crucified Spouse very much. As the tuberculosis consumed her body, a trial of faith and hope, in which heaven and eternity seemed closed to her, tortured her soul. The coughing of blood and persistent sore throat led to a treatment of painful cauterization with silver nitrate. Eventually, "gangrene ate away her intestines and she lost blood two or three times a day. Drinking only

Review of "Courageous"

A police station in Albany Georgia is populated by men of all races and personalities. There is one tie which binds them, a tie which reaches even deeper than the bond shared by police. They are all fathers, yet most of their fathering falls short of what their wives and children long for in their loneliness.  That is the theme of "Courageous" which is another film by the Sherwood Baptist Church which brought you "Fireproof" and "Facing the Giants". Sherwood Baptist Church is a unique phenomenon, a movie-making Baptist Church, but they have come a long way since their first film, "Flywheel", and "Courageous" is proof that an openly faith-based film can be riveting. Although I had a long day at the Catholic Marketing Network trade show, and viewed another film before it,  I was emotionally involved the entire film,and noticed, when it was time to leave, that my sides ached from laughing and my eyes were wet with tears. Courageous is no


September 29 th is the Feast Day of the Archangels, Saints Michael, Raphael and Gabriel. The New Age movement talks a lot about angels but these are the three main ones mentioned in the catholic Church. We must not forget that when the devil fell to earth he took a third of the angels with him and also that they can masquerade as angels of light. Many people seek to experience connection with an angel in some way or have experienced angels, perhaps in the form of a guardian angel who has protected them from sort of danger or they have felt the spiritual comfort of an angel when going through a difficult time. Saint Michael was the Archangel who fought against the devil and his demons for God and all His followers. He protects us from the snares of the enemy like Mary who is able to tread on the serpent’s head and keep us from harm. Originally this was just the feast day of St Michael (and all the angels) – also called Michaelmas Day and we have the well known plant which

Everyday Catholic Woman: Framing Faith

Everyday Catholic Woman: Framing Faith : As a Catholic and mother of an artist student with a speciality in photography, I looked forward to reading “Framing Faith” a book by autho...

Standing on My Head: Atheism and Schizophrenia

Standing on My Head: Atheism and Schizophrenia


In his encyclical Mediator Dei, Pius XII links liturgy with the last will of Jesus Christ. "But it is His will, that the worship He instituted and practiced during His life on earth shall continue ever afterwards without intermission. For he has not left mankind an orphan. He still offers us the support of His powerful, unfailing intercession, acting as our "advocate with the Father." He aids us likewise through His Church, where He is present indefectibly as the ages run their course: through the Church which He constituted "the pillar of truth" and dispenser of grace, and which by His sacrifice on the cross, He founded, consecrated and confirmed forever."

Everyday Catholic Woman: False Doctrines

Everyday Catholic Woman: False Doctrines : How do we discern false doctrines. I think we have to be careful of false preachers especially in the Protestant Charismatic movement – as...

Marie-Antoinette and the Carmelite Order

The connection between the Carmelite Order and the Royal House of France originated in the Middle Ages, when St. Louis IX encountered the hermits on Mt. Carmel and brought them to France. When the Discalced Reform came to France from Spain in the early seventeenth century, the royal family assisted the nuns with their patronage. The French court was shaken in 1674 when Louise de la Vallière , the former mistress of Louis XIV, publicly begged the queen's forgiveness and entered a Carmelite monastery. In his book To Quell the Terror , William Bush details the many connections of the later Bourbons with Carmel, particularly the patronage of Queen Marie Lesczynska and her daughter Madame Louise . When Louise herself chose to become a Carmelite nun in 1770, it cemented the spiritual ties between those in the worldliness of Versailles and those in the austerity of the cloister. Marie-Antoinette of Austria married the Dauphin in the same year that Madame Louise entered the mo

Ever wonder what you hear through a stethoscope?

   Did you ever wonder what you hear through a stethoscope? H/T to Father Z .

Lala and Queen Elizabeth II

This column, updated 28 September 2011,  appeared in the short-lived Negros Times  13-14 October 2008. The above was the picture that appeared with my weekly column. Yesterday, the feast of St Vincent de Paul, was Lala's 'Official Birthday'. I only remembered that today and thought of posting my three-year-old article here. Both Lala and Queen Elizabeth II have have two birthdays, the real one and the official one. Lala’s official birthday is September 27 and she turned 32 yesterday. Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday is celebrated in 53 Commonwealth countries, but not on the same date. Only the Falkland Island observes her official birthday on her real one, April 21. In the United Kingdom the Queen’s official birthday can be on the first, second or third Saturday in June. She turned 85 on her last birthday. While there’s no confusion about the date of birth of Queen Elizabeth, there is about that of Lala. The young Princess Elizabeth was born in a palace in London. L

The Prodigal Son

Sitting in the Adoration Chapel recently, my eyes were continually drawn to a print of The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt. There is much to contemplate within the scene, but on that particular day it was the prodigal himself I returned to again and again. Broken, dirty, battered, he’d been shamed and brought low. And yet there is yielding peace in his very bones as he accepts his father’s embrace. He has surrendered. He knows who he is and where he belongs. Every line of his body, the very profile of his face is eloquent with that acceptance. He makes no excuses for his tattered clothing, the hole in his shoe, his bare head. Rather, he is open, and receives his father’s healing touch, his father’s blessing. The beauty of this parable is that we see fragments of ourselves in each of the characters: the father who hopes, trusts, and forgives; the faithful son who questions the justice of the rebellious son’s welcome – and perhaps to some extent also questions his

'Engineer brothers down tools for life in the priesthood'

Fr James Doyle, Fr Brian Doyle OP, Bro Rory Doyle OFMConv The photo above, courtesy of the Irish Dominicans, was taken on Saturday 3 September in Murrintown, County Wexford, in the south-west of Ireland, when Father Brian was ordained priest by Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns. His brother Father James (Jim) is a priest in the Diocese of Ferns, which includes most of County Wexford, and his twin Brother Rory is also preparing for the priesthood as a Conventual Franciscan. The three brothers are featured in today's Irish Independent : Engineer brothers down tools for life in the priesthood . The twins have doctorates in engineering. Father Jim worked with the Irish agency Concern in Cambodia and Burundi and found his vocation there. Father Brian with his parents Joan and Brian senior ( Irish Dominican Vocations ) Ten years ago I did mission appeals on behalf of the Columbans in the Diocese of Lancaster in the north-west of England. I met two of the three Burns brothers who, like t

Recommended: a story of triumph, joy, sorrow, disaster and renewal

One of the books I am reading at the moment is the autobiography of the late Rosemary Clooney. I was drawn to her story because I heard that she died a "good Catholic", but her journey to that point was often horrendous. I recommend it to those who have problems with addiction and suffer from depression. Rosemary's main suffering came from the breakdown of her marriage to the actor Jose Ferrer. She was a loveable person and had many admirers and friends, one of them being Bing Crosby who was a great help to her when she was really down. Towards the end of her life, she "came back to the fold" as she described it, "to stay". When I was a child and teenager I didn't care for her style of singing. I have rediscovered her and was able to get a wonderful CD of her jazz recordings which are excellent. The book is available at Amazon. Mine is a used copy in very good condition. The CD was also fairly cheap. If you are interested in "sh