Saints Alive! | St Sabas

Born to an illustrious family near Caesarea in Cappadocia, in modern day Turkey, St Sabas (439-532 A.D.) left worldly privilege behind and became a monk. He is one of the most highly-regarded patriarchs of Palestine, and is considered one of the Fathers of Eastern monasticism. His most important monastery, the Great Laura, is one of the oldest monasteries in the world and is still inhabited by Eastern Orthodox monks. For more about this saint, please click on the image. Peace be with you!

The Rosary | The Joyful Mysteries

The Rosary is one of the most beautiful prayers in the Catholic tradition. It's also one of the most commonly misunderstood, which is often the case for many of our Protestant brothers and sisters. Yet, it doesn't have to be. Put simply, the Rosary is a prayerful meditation on the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of his mother. I invite you, whether you are Catholic, Protestant, or other, to watch this beautiful video by our friends at Word on Fire.  Today we pray the Joyful Mysteries.  We meditate on five key events in the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of his mother, the Virgin Mary. For more, please click on the image. Peace be with you!

Divine Office | A voice of one crying in the wilderness

In today's Office of Readings we encounter a commentary on Isaiah by Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260-340 A.D.)

Eusebius became bishop of Caeserea Maritima (an ancient city, later abandoned, on what is now the Israeli coast between Jaffa and Tel Aviv). It is reasonable to suppose that he was born in the city, which was at the time an important centre of Christian learning.

Eusebius was a prolific author and controversialist. Large parts of his work no longer survive. Doctrinally, he was not always found to be orthodox, at a time when the details of orthodoxy were still being worked out. His enduring contribution is his Ecclesiastical History, which is long, thorough and scholarly and an indispensable source for the history of the early Church. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings also include, in Advent, an extract from a commentary of his on the book of the prophet Isaiah.

For a reflection, "A voice of one crying in the wilderness," please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Saints Alive! | St John Damascene (of Damascus)

Saint John of Damascus or Saint John Damascene, a Syrian monk and priest, was the last of the Greek Fathers. He became a trusted magistrate under Arab rule and a monk at Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem where he died. His defense of the veneration of icons procured him the title of “The Doctor of Christian Art.” He is known for his poems, hymns or “canons,” and his treatise “Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.” He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1890.

For more about this saint, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Saints Alive! | St Barbara

St. Barbara was born in Nicomedia in modern day Turkey. According to tradition, after the death of her mother she was raised by her rich and tyrannical pagan father who, because of her beauty and intelligence, guarded her closely, keeping her locked away in a tower to protect her from the outside world. She became a Christian, dedicating her life of virginity to Christ. Her father, enraged by her choice, had her imprisoned and tortured hoping to change her mind. Eventually Barbara was beheaded by her own father for her refusal to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ.

For more about this saint, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Divine Office | What we do not see, we hope for

In today's Office of Readings we encounter a reading from a treatise on the value of patience by St Cyprian (210-258 A.D.).

Cyprian was born in Carthage (North Africa) and spent most of his life in the practice of the law. He was converted to Christianity, and was made bishop of Carthage in 249. He steered the church through troubled times, including the persecution of the emperor Decius, when he went into hiding so as to be able to continue looking after the church. In 258 the persecution of the emperor Valerian began. Cyprian was first exiled and then, on the 14th of September, executed, after a trial notable for the calm and courtesy shown by both sides.

Cyprian’s many letters and treatises shed much light on a formative period in the Church’s history, and are valuable both for their doctrine and for the picture they paint of a group of people in constant peril of their lives but still determined to keep the faith.

For a reflection, "What we do not see, we hope for," please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Articles of Faith | On Being Catholic & the Bride of Christ

It's been a challenge for faithful Catholics in these last decades, maybe longer.  The sexual abuse that has occurred is such an abhorrent episode in the Church's history that has brought such pain to the victims and their families, and has deeply wounded the Catholic faithful.

Yet, as Catholics, we don't turn our back to Jesus because of Judas.

Brothers and Sisters, be not afraid!

A purely human institution would have fallen because, in our sinful humanity, no human institution could survive for these 2,000 years.

All power in heaven and earth has been given to Him, and Jesus will be with his Church, always, through the end of the age (Mt 28:19-20) - thanks be to God!

For more about what it means to be Catholic in this time in history, and for wit and wisdom from Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC, on the Bride of Christ, please click on the image.

May you have a blessed Holy Week.

Peace be with you!

Catholics Come Home | Fallen Away Catholics

The story of the Prodigal Son, as we encounter in the Gospel of Luke (15:11-32), is one of the most poignant in all of literature. Sadly, there are many Catholics today who have fallen away from their baptismal faith. Each has a story of his own. Yet, by the sacramental power of one's baptism there remains a call unanswered - the yearning of a Father desiring the return of his child to the home of his baptismal birth. For more about this post, and for a 2 min video expressing the tender mercy that awaits at home in love's embrace, click on the image. Our father in heaven wants us home. He wants you home. If you’ve been away from the Church for one day, or for a lifetime, come home. Your family misses you.

For more, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!