“Far from an outdated tradition, this sign of piety has much to heal our hearts…”
Read the full text of my article: “Why July’s Devotion to the Precious Blood Might Speak to You” published in Aleteia.
Continue reading “The Precious Blood”
June is the month of the Sacred Heart. Here is some carefully curated art, poetry and music on the subject, including my favorite painting of the Sacred Heart: a true master work by Jose Maria Ibarran y Ponce. The brief poem by the great priest-poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins speaks beautifully of the relationship between the Master’s heart and the Servant’s heart in only six lines. Finally, the compelling song by Chris Tomlin, “Your Heart” addresses the life of David, a man “after God’s heart.” May our life’s work be making our own hearts more like God’s.
Tomorrow is Mardi Gras. Here is a link to art, music and poetry inspired by the festival preceding Lent, which is also “Pancake Day,” as the great Victorian poet Christina Rossetti reminds.
For many Catholics, the special significance of the day before Ash Wednesday is overlooked, except for the Mardi Gras celebrations enjoyed by some. But Shrove Tuesday is much more than just a famous party in New Orleans. Shrove actually means “to obtain absolution.” There are wonderful ways, both divine and delicious, to faithfully celebrate this day, deepening its significance through ancient tradition. Choose which ones suit you best this year.
As we begin our Lenten walk with Christ, let’s prepare ourselves to be ready to comfort Him along the way, as St.Veronica did. There’s a prayer for that – a beautiful way to bridge the end of Ordinary Time with the start of Lent is the Alpha Omega Novena of the Holy Face and, though it can be experienced at any time of year, it’s just begun for 2018. Continue reading “Becoming Veronica”
This post is dedicated to my grandmother, Annabelle Black, “Nanabelle,” who will be 101 years old in February. In the way of an early birthday present for her, this week, my poem written in honor of her, “Blue Willow Plates,” was published by America Magazine. Continue reading “Fed By The Holy Spirit”
Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and thus the Patronal Feast Day of the United States, a good day to pray to the Blessed Mother for America. It is a day to honor Mary, and to think of the girl she was in the years before she gave birth to Jesus. Continue reading “The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary”
Today is St. Andrew’s Day and thus, many faithful begin to pray the poetically beautiful St. Andrew Christmas Novena, that vividly transports one, through prayer, to the very moment of Christ’s birth. Just listen to the word-music of the opening lines: “Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold…” Continue reading “St. Andrew’s Day”
Where are you going?
“Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term,” St. Pope John Paul II said, “Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.” This past Sunday was the feast day of Saint Pope John Paul II and it was a joy to spend the day teaching my Desert Bread class, sharing time with all the participants and exchanging the food of faith and the arts… Continue reading “Quo Vadis? Feast of St. Pope John Paul II”
“The world is thy ship and not thy home,” St. Therese of Lisieux reminds, lest we forget that we are, naturally, always longing for “a country we have never yet visited,” to borrow a phrase from C.S.Lewis, on this earthly journey. In St. Therese’s words, we hear an echo of Augustine: “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Today I presented the first of Desert Bread’s ongoing series of workshops on faith and the arts. It was a joy to share time with all the Desert Bread participants and exchange the food of faith and the arts. Continue reading “The Shelter of Your Arms: Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux”
We are not talking about your stereotypical greeting card angels. You know the type: round-cheeked, smiling among the rhododendrons – or the lace-winged Victorian angels embroidered on gift-shop pillows; doubtless lovely, yet un-intimidating.
On the Feast of the Archangels, we are are reminded of the arresting power, strength, and intimidating beauty of angels as described in scripture &emdash; not your garden-variety cherubim! Continue reading “St. Michael the Archangel, Gabriel, Raphael: Alarming Beauty”
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry,” said Padre Pio. If we pray and truly have hope, we can indeed learn to keep worry at bay. So to honor Padre Pio, today’s music, art and poetry is all aimed at doing just that. Bob Marley’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” assures in its lyrics, “Three little birds pitch by my doorstep/ Singin’ sweet songs/ Of melodies pure and true/ Saying’, (this is my message to you): don’t worry.” This Trinity of birds heralds hope and reminds of the great passage from scripture that teaches us to let go of worries Continue reading “Don’t Worry: Three Birds for Saint Padre Pio”
Today’s art by Caravaggio says it all. When we view it, we might remember moments in our own lives that have signified God’s call. What we know of Matthew is that he was working as a tax collector in Capernaum when Jesus approached him, summoning, “Follow me.” Two simple words make for a powerful call to which each of should ideally respond every day. Continue reading “Follow Me: The Feast of St. Matthew”