Requiescat in pace (RIP), Charlie Gard - 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 -  Please join me in praying for the repose of the souls of little Charlie Gard, as well as a sweet girl, Ava, a family member, who finally succumbed to Rett Syndrome  this morning. I noticed in Charlie's baptism photos which came out earlier this week that Baby Charlie was wearing a St. Jude medal (see below), so let's also ask for St. Jude's and, now, Charlie's intercession for other infants and unborn children whose parents are faced with similarly difficult situations. Idea that's got me thinking -  Faith & Works: "The great divide between Catholics and Protestants." Here's a great primer on the differences and similarities from Catholic Answers . Here's a thought-provoking statement from the Council of Trent: “none of those things that precede j Read More July 28, 2017

The Hidden Throne of Israel & The Blessed Mother

King Solomon had a problem. He had "700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines" ( 1 Kings 11:3 ).  When the king has 1000 -- one thousand -- women in his life, who rules as the queen? Also, if Jesus is the New King of Israel, who is the New Queen? The Kingdom of Heaven was the restoration and fulfillment of the Kingdom of Israel, so who is the Queen of Heaven?  The answer lies in the following passage from 1 Kings 2. In this passage, Adonijah is asking Bathsheba , the mother of King Solomon, to intercede on his behalf before the king.  The Queen Mother But first, some back story: Adonijah and Solomon were both sons of King David. After their elder step-brothers, Amnon and Absalom had died, Adonijah considered himself the heir-apparent to the throne.  Adonijah was the oldest living son of David, 1 and therefore had a better claim to succeed King David to the throne. Solomon was actually pretty far down the line. Solomon wasn't even the firstborn son of Ba Read More July 24, 2017

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  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