Divine Office | The meaning of “the fear of the Lord”

In today's Office of Readings we encounter a reading from a treatise on the psalms by St. Hilary of Poitiers. Hilary was born at the beginning of the fourth century. He was elected Bishop of Poitiers in 350. He fought strongly against Arianism and was exiled by the Emperor Constantius. His works are full of wisdom and learning, directed to the strengthening of the Catholic faith and the right interpretation of Scripture. He died in 367. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1851. For a reflection on "fear of the Lord" please click on the image. Peace be with you!

Saints Alive! | St. Casimir of Poland

He was the second son of King Casimir IV of Poland. He assiduously cultivated the Christian virtues, especially chastity and generosity to the poor. Zealous in faith, he had a particular devotion to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary. For several years, while his father was away in Lithuania (the Kings of Poland at this time were also Grand Dukes of Lithuania), he ruled Poland with great prudence and justice. He died of tuberculosis on 4 March 1484.

For more about this saint please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Saints Alive! | St. Katharine Drexel

Born in Philadelphia to a rich banking family, she is the foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, helped build mission schools for Native Americans, and founded Xavier University in New Orleans. She spent her entire life and her entire fortune to this work, opening schools and funding many chapels, convents and monasteries.

For more about this saint please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Christian Art | Dante and Virgil in hell, William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Today, we encounter "Dante and Virgil in hell" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

This is a haunting painting and a vision of hell. As my good friend, Patrick van der Vorst, at Christian Art writes, the painting "depicts Dante and Virgil in the eighth circle of Hell...."

Patrick provides a Lenten Gospel reflection using the artist's portrayal of hypocrisy - the "twisting of realities to suit our needs."

Let us continue to participate in the Lenten exercise, examining our heart, turning back to God, and ask for assistance that he may help purify our motives in all we do each day.

For a reflection about this painting, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Wit & Wisdom | The Lenten fast

Lent is a time of reflection; a time to ask what we are in need of to grow in the spiritual life.

Lent is the season where we are invited again to examine ourselves and ask God how we can turn our heart to him and grow closer so that we may die to oneself to live in God.

St. John Chrysostom reminds us there is no advantage unless there is progress, unless we allow ourselves to be transformed during this penitential season. As Christians, we can do so only with humility and patience, with generosity and perseverance.

For God, one's turning back to him is never too late. We must persist. Yet we must begin. This Lent, let us continue to walk with Our Lord; and, if we must, let us humbly begin - again.

For words of wit and wisdom from St. John Chrysostom please click on the image.

Peace be with you!