St. Irenaeus: 5 Things You Need To Know

Today is the feast day of St. Irenaeus of Lyons , one of the greatest minds of the Early Church, if not the greatest. You can find basically all of the Church's essential doctrines in sapling form in his writings. His writings are critical for defending the Church's teachings on the Eucharist, the Virgin Mother, the canon of Scripture, and more.  Here are the FIVE key things  you need to know  about St. Irenaeus: 1. Mary is the New Eve St. Paul talks about Jesus being the "Second Adam" or "New Adam," but it's St. Irenaeus who completes the comparison.  St. Irenaeus of Lyons, from Against Heresies , Book III, Chapter 2, paragraph 4 . The consequences of this simple connection are enormous. Just think what it proves about Mary!  How was Eve conceived? She was conceived immaculately, without any stain of sin, and born virginally from the side of Adam.  There you have a basis for the  Immaculate Conception . Also, in terms of  recapitulatio Read More June 27, 2017

Saint Quote of the Day from Saint Pope John Paul

Read More June 26, 2017

Catholic, Pro-Life Victory in Georgia: Handel Wins House Seat

On Tuesday night, it was announced that Karen Handel had won the most expensive House race in American history. While many are describing this as a defeat for the Democratic party, what's not being mentioned is that Handel's victory is a big win for the pro-life movement and a vindication of sorts for the Congresswoman-elect.  This is not the first time Georgia's new Congresswoman-elect has made headlines. Back in 2012 after an unsuccessful bid for governor, Handel was appointed the Senior Vice President for Policy of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Shortly thereafter, the Komen foundation cut ties and funding to Planned Parenthood. According to the New York Times , the change resulted in a halt of grants to 19 of Planned Parenthood’s 83 affiliates, which received nearly $700,000 from the Komen foundation in 2011. Before running for Congress, Karen Handel advocated for life as an executive at the Susan Komen Foundation.   A Catholic herself, Handel cited the do Read More June 21, 2017

The Hidden King David of the Lord of the Rings

In the last post , the prophecies of Jesus being the "Son of David" and the new "branch" from the "stump of Jesse" were compared to Aragorn being "Isildur's Heir", as well as the Return of the King being associated with the White Tree of Gondor blooming again. Clearly, Tolkien was connecting the Return of the King(s): Jesus and Aragorn.   However, there are still more connections between Isildur and King David -- perhaps even more obvious connections. So obvious, that you might even wonder why you never saw them until now! The two are very much alike, both in their epic successes and their epic failures.  The Hidden Goliath Sauron was decimating the armies of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Sauron towered above even Elendil the Tall , the first High King of Gondor and the greatest warrior of all the Dúnedain . Sauron had just killed not only the High King Elendil but the Elven-King Gil-galad , and he had shattered Elendil’s sw Read More June 14, 2017

The Hidden Prophecy in the Lord of the Rings: The White Tree and the Kingdom of David

Do you remember the White Tree of Gondor? It was the symbol of Gondor. Faramir and the knights of Gondor wore the tree on their armor, their breastplates and shields:     The White Tree grew in the uppermost courtyard of the citadel of Minas Tirith: The White Tree had withered in the years of the Stewards of Gondor, when the throne of Gondor was empty and there was no king. The White Tree mysteriously bloomed again at the Return of the King: But why? What is the significance of the blooming of this tree?  The White Tree of Gondor & the Stump of Jesse  As Jesus was leaving Jericho, a voice rose from the crowd. It was Bartimaeus, the blind beggar. He was sitting in the dust, along the roadside. The blind man cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47) The blind man was screaming, groping around in his private darkness and among the cruel feet of the road. Why had this blind man called Jesus the Son of David? What did the bli Read More June 07, 2017

The Tree of Life in The Lord of the Rings

How does the White Tree of Gondor connect to all this? And Isildur? Remember, there were Two Trees in the Garden of Eden, as well as in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Eden: that troublesome Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil and the other one, the Tree of Life.  This series of posts has taken us from the Lembas Bread and the Eucharist to its Manna-like origins and then to the Garden of Eden . Why were Adam & Eve banished from Eden? But first, still more on the mysterious Telperion tree.  Silver Leaves, Wafers, and Dew Each tree was a source of its own sort light: Telperion's light was silver and Laurelin's was gold. Telperion had dark leaves, which were silver on one side. Telperion’s leaves were used to wrap the lembas bread of the Eldar: "leaves of silver [...] a wafer of white wax shaped as a single flower of Telperion."  Also, Telperion’s dew was silvery and was collected as a source of water and of light. It was revered and Read More May 31, 2017

The Hidden Eden of The Lord of the Rings

You’ve heard of the “Two Towers” of The Lord of the Rings, but what of these “Two Trees”? Also, where else have we heard of two, very consequential trees? This will eventually take us to this tree, the White Tree of Gondor:   The first post of this series described the initial connection between the Lembas Bread and the Eucharist, as well as J. R. R. Tolkien’s lifelong devotion to the Eucharist. The last post described the Hidden Manna in The Lord of the Rings, that is, how the origin of the Lembas Bread symbolizes the Manna. Recall Tolkien’s description of the lembas as wrapped in "leaves of silver [...] a wafer of white wax shaped as a single flower of Telperion." What, or Who, was Telperion?  Laurelin and Telperion: The Two Trees of Valinor and Eden The first sources of all light for the world of Middle Earth were two enormous lamps. There was a silver lamp in the north called Illuin. There was also a golden lamp in the south called Ormal.  Read More May 24, 2017

The Hidden Manna in The Lord of the Rings

Did you know The Lord of the Rings has its own Exodus and Moses? You need to understand this before you can begin to grasp the full meaning of the Tolkien’s writings.  In the last post , we talked about the basic connection between the Lembas Bread and the Eucharist and J. R. R. Tolkien’s devotion to the Eucharist. Now, let’s follow Tolkien down the path a bit further: “it’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Where did the Lembas bread come from? Tolkien provides us with some of the bread’s history elsewhere in his writing. It is interesting that Tolkien should dedicate so much time to writing about bread if he was not hinting at a greater significance to the bread. It is said by the Eldar that the art of preparing the Lembas came from the Vala Yavanna. Yavanna was one of the Ainu or the “Holy Ones.” These were the first and mightiest of the be Read More May 17, 2017

The Hidden Eucharist in the Lord of the Rings

What is " the one great thing to love on earth", according to J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings ? Find out below and in this series of posts on the Catholic symbolism in The Lord of the Rings . The Lord of the Rings can't be fully understood without understanding the hidden Eucharistic significance of the novels. What's more, perhaps: J. R. R. Tolkien can't be fully understood apart from his Catholic identity and his devotion to the Eucharist.  The Eucharistic symbolism in Tolkien’s writing runs deep. Since the Eucharist is so deeply entrenched in Scripture, this and the upcoming posts will touch on a number of different subjects.  Tolkien’s treatment of the Eucharist is amazingly thorough. Following the thread of the lembas bread will take us back to the Eden of Middle-Earth, where the Two Trees grew. The last surviving descendant of the Two Trees will take us to the last surviving descendent of the Kingdom of Númenor and, ultima Read More May 10, 2017

Catholic Beard Balm