5-Bullet Friday

Dear Friends, Here's 5-Bullet Friday -- what I've been enjoying, reading, pondering over the last week and where I've noticed God's fingerprints.  Prayers I've been saying -  We're selling our house, dear old "Honey House" , and we need some intercession. Our standby is the Novena to St. Joseph. We use this one from EWTN . I'm not gonna lie - i t's pretty long ! But it's hard to beat for meditative value. There's also a St. Joseph Novena printed in The Catholic ManBook .  Article that's got me thinking - I came across a note this week that said, not only did St. Thomas the Apostle make it to India, but perhaps even farther . The Jesuits encountered an ancient legend among the Guarani Indians in South America about Pai Tome , who visited them and preached the Gospel. What if Saint Thomas crossed the Pacific in the First Century?? Wow! Here's a related article, "Whatever Happened to the Twelve Apostles? " Projec Read More July 21, 2017

Don't Know Much About History? Church History Bibliography

I was recently asked for a good list of books on Church History. As a history nerd, I'm happy to oblige! I'm also posting my bibliography of Catholic Church history here in case it can help others.  Textbooks I taught Church History to high schoolers for some years and then converted the course for prison ministry at Angola State Prison. This is the primary text I used: The History of the Church by Peter V. Armenio (the green book below).    This textbook is part of the Didache Series by Midwest Theological Forum, which also includes a great introductory book on Scripture by Dr. Scott Hahn (the blue book above). Though not a textbook, this next book is something of a classic for readers of Church history. This is How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: Here's an excerpt from a review of the book by Bradley Birzer at The Imaginative Conservative : Rather than presenting a narrative of Read More July 20, 2017

Put Out Into the Deep - "Duc in Altum!"

Excerpt from "Novo Millennio Ineunte," Apostolic Letter by St. John Paul the Great on the Great Jubilee of 2000:  At the beginning of the new millennium, and at the close of the Great Jubilee during which we celebrated the two thousandth anniversary of the birth of Jesus and a new stage of the Church's journey begins, our hearts ring out with the words of Jesus when one day, after speaking to the crowds from Simon's boat, he invited the Apostle to "put out into the deep" for a catch: " Duc in altum " (Lk 5:4). Peter and his first companions trusted Christ's words, and cast the nets. "When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish" (Lk 5:6). Duc in altum! These words ring out for us today, and they invite us to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever" (Heb 13:8). Read More July 19, 2017

Saint Kateri Intercedes Again for Miracle Boy

In 2012, Kateri Tekakwitha became the first Native American to be a canonized a saint by the Catholic Church. Her second miracle occurred when a boy dying from an aggressive infection of flesh-eating bacteria was suddenly healed. That boy was Jake Finkbonner. And Saint Kateri is still at work in his life! [Here's a link to the  article  as published on  Aleteia.org  for Saint Kateri's feast day] A Boy In Need of a Miracle: Background 2012 "It was the last game of the season, and it was the last minute of the game." This is how Elsa Finkbonner begins the story of her son Jake’s fateful encounter in 2012 with necrotizing fasciitis, a rare, flesh-eating disease. "I was driving for a lay-in," Jake continues, "and then I got pushed from behind the back, and I hit my lip on the base of the basketball hoop." Two days later, recounts Dr. Craig Rubens, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Seattle Children's Hospital, the bacteri Read More July 12, 2017

A Prayer for America by John Carroll, First U.S. Bishop

Happy Independence Day! Please pray with me today that our " government of the people by the people for the people , shall not perish from the earth." John Carroll  was named by Pope Pius VI as the first Bishop of America. The Carrolls were a prominent early American family, despite the restrictions placed on Catholics. John's cousin, Charles Carroll, was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence as well as the oldest surviving signer.  Prayer for Our Government  by Archbishop John Carroll (1791) We pray, O almighty and eternal God, who through Jesus Christ has revealed thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of your name. We pray Thee, who alone are good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, the pope, the vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the governme Read More July 04, 2017

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

Catholic Beard Balm