It’s home to the Church founded by the Apostle Barnabas and guided by the likes of St. Ambrose and St. Charles Borromeo. It was historically more important than the city of Rome in the late days of the western Empire. It’s noticeably cleaner and more orderly than “other parts” of the great republic of Italy. Among Italian cities, it’s second in size only to the Eternal City, but the two would rival one another for their importance both past and present. If one, therefore, finds oneself in Italy for more than a month, Milan is a necessary stop. Continue reading “Audiences, Congregations, & Participation”
On his apostolic journey to Santiago de Compostela, Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendor and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.” When making some sort of physical journey to a holy place, we live out, in a metaphorical way, what we live out every day of our lives: seeking to encounter God as He comes to us, and (hopefully) getting closer and closer to the Home of our Heavenly Father. This same idea was reiterated by both Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Francis. That being said, it wasn’t till spending a few days walking the Camino to Santiago that I really began to understand that our lives are basically one big pilgrimage. Continue reading “The Journey of LIFE”
St. Peter writes in his first letter: “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (2:17) Following his instruction, Archbishop John Carroll, first bishop of the United States, wrote the following prayer for our country, a fitting prayer as we celebrate our nation’s independence: Continue reading “For Our Country”
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.” (Jn14:23-24) It’s a simple instructive; our obedience to our Heavenly Father is a sign of our love for Him. Our love for Him will be
reciprocated by love on His part for us; it’s not, however, that we’re earning God’s love, but as St. John reminds us elsewhere: He first loved us (1John4:19). Our love is a response to His and our response, according to God’s design, prompts a further response on God’s part. This continual reciprocity, give-and-receive, leads mysteriously into a deep union between lovers; in this case, between Creator and creature. Continue reading “God’s Words”
There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to each other. Continue reading “The Big 3 – St. Peter Chrysologus”
The Diocese of Lecce is officially located in the region of Puglia, Italy…what we know as “the heel” of the boot. The locals, however, prefer the more traditional/ancient/ provincial (however you want to look at it) distinction: Salento. Whatever you call it, this ancient city was of great importance from the period of the Roman empire; before that, it was known to have trade relations with the Greeks. Visiting it, you can still see ruins of the Roman amphitheater and other structures dating from the 1st Century AD or earlier. Continue reading “Be Still and Know that I am God”
Just a few days ago, as we began the holy season of Lent, the Church, in the liturgy of Ash Wednesday, described it as a “Campaign of Christian service.” As Americans, the notion of a campaign might evoke images of individuals traveling around, trying to convince us why we should choose them to lead our country. From the perspective of the Eternal City, however, the notion of a campaign involves a king or a general and an army marching out into battle. This is the image the Church takes up with respect to this spiritual campaign, a battle against an enemy. Continue reading “Divine Conscription”
After an initial lament, the Psalmist, in Psalm 80, recalls what God has done in days past: You brought a vine out of Egypt; to plant it you drove out the nations; before it you cleared the ground; it took root and spread through the land. In the words of Ps147:20, He has not done thus for any other nation. This great thing the Lord has done for His people, a sort of recreation, paralleling that first creation of Genesis, is recalled, for it shows the utterly gratuitous gift of God. Continue reading “Awaiting our Only Hope: the 4th Sunday of Advent”
A couple facts have recently dawned upon me regarding the attempt to offer daily bits of advice regarding the building up of a Catholic Family Culture:
- The average parent who would hopefully be reading such blog posts, tweets, or FaceBook posts probably doesn’t have time to be checking such things on a daily basis; if you do, that might be another issue.
- Being attentive to such things requires a bit of time which is not available to me either.
- I don’t need to be emotionally or psychologically bolstered by anyone giving daily attention to my Twitter feed or FaceBook wall.