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What God Has Given Us to Protect Ourselves

—from the blog post God gives us the means to protect ourselves by Denise Renner

My daughter asked why lions don’t eat giraffes. I explained that giraffes have long, powerful legs and hooves the size of dinner plates to protect them from hungry lions. When she asked the inevitable “Why?” I told her that God gives each animal some way to protect itself.

And then I realized the same is true of us, only more so…

The world often feels very hostile. It’s easy to forget that God has provided the means to guard our hearts and minds and souls—that we, as Catholics, are uniquely equipped to deal with the cultural onslaught facing us today.

The author then goes on to list and expound on some of what God has given us to protect ourselves:

  • Calling on the name “Jesus”
  • Our Guardian Angels
  • Holy Water
  • The Holy Rosary
  • The Sign of the Cross
  • The Word of God in Scripture

 

 

 

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Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder? Or: Why We Should Make Churches Beautiful Again

Below is a transcribed excerpt of the video below by Brian Holdsworth.

In Christian theology, God is described as Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

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The buildings we design to focus our attention on God should reflect his beauty. And not just because it would be nice, but because God can use that to reveal himself to us. […] This is something that for large parts Christian history we did understand.

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Let’s get back to commissioning Christian designers who will allow the Holy Spirit to create beautiful buildings that people will want to visit generations from now, whether they’re Christian or not, instead of these modernist misfortunes that nobody will want to step foot in 30 years after they go out of fashion.

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Easter Memes

 

 

 

 

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Prayer and Coincidence

When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.

—William Temple?

I heard the quote above on the radio attributed to Saint Mother Teresa, but when I tried to verify it online, I only found it attributed to someone named William Temple. And when I looked on Wikipedia for who William Temple was, there were several results for that name.

Anyway whoever said it, I really like the quote.

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The Nice and the Awful

The “nice” people think they’re going straight because they’re traveling in the best circles.

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It’s a peculiar thing about society, that it has no place for those who are either too bad or too good. That is why on the hill of Calvary, we have our Blessed Lord on the cross in the middle of two thieves. The two thieves were too bad for conventional morality, and our Blessed Lord was too good.

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The “nice” people are very often the people who are not “found out”, and those “awful” people are the people who have been “found out”.

—Bishop Fulton Sheen

 

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When all else fails (and all else has most definitely failed), Catholics need to return to the way of Christ. This involves three fundamental distinctions which the Church always neglects at her peril. We must:

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  • Fathom the gulf which separates charity from “niceness”. To be charitable—that is, to love—is to desire the good of another; it demands that we know the truth so that we can help others to abandon all the heavily discounted counterfeit goods, enabling them to become repentant sinners. To be “nice” is merely to make others comfortable, which is so often, for all of us, the direct opposite of what we need.

Charity is rooted in courage; “niceness” in cowardice. Charity offers the sublime gift yet daunting challenge of mercy, the acceptance of which demands contrition. But “niceness” destroys mercy by confusing it with worldly comfort. It erodes our love of Christ by redefining Him to be more like us—

—from the Catholic Culture article, The first requirement of Church renewal in our time by Dr. Jeff Mirus

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The Home That We Will Never Have To Leave

“The Trinity! Here we find our abode, the intimacy we desire so much, the home that we will never have to leave.”

—Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

—I came across this quote in the commentary on Ephesians 2:11-22 in the Navarre Bible – New Testament: Compact Edition

 

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The Times When Saint Therese of Lisieux Would Fall Asleep While Praying

The first principle is simple but extremely important. What matters in mental prayer is not so much what we do, as what God does in us.

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[St. Therese of Lisieux] had a problem in her mental prayer: she used to fall asleep! … But she wasn’t overly upset by this weakness: I think how little children please their parents just as much when they are asleep as when they are awake; I think how doctors put patients to sleep in order to do operations. And finally, I think how “the Lord sees our weakness, he remembers that we are but dust” (Autobiography, manuscript A)

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For the moment, what we need to grasp is that if, despite having good will, we are incapable of praying well, or producing any good sentiments or beautiful reflections, that should not make us sad. We should offer our poverty to the action of God. Then we will be making a prayer much more valuable than the kind that would leave us feeling self-satisfied. St. Francis de Sales use to pray, “Lord, I am nothing but a block of wood: set fire to it!”

—from Time for God by Fr. Jacques Philippe, Chapter 2: Part 3