Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is There a Connection Between Halloween and All Saints Day?

Mr. Foley's Classes should watch the video and take notes for a quiz.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Came across this short piece on the importance of monks.  It was posted on a blog called Standing on My Head, which is written by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.

Check it out:
The words 'monk' comes from 'monos' or 'alone'. In other words, 'alone with God'. Nobody but me and God. Everything else and everyone else given up for God. Alone with God. God alone.

This example was first set by the desert fathers in the early fourth century. Christianity had become fashionable. The emperor and his mother embraced the faith. People were converting in order to be part of the inside circle. So St Anthony took off to the desert to live in a cave.

The desert fathers of Egypt therefore set an example of renunciation. They deliberately walked away from the power, the privilege, the prestige, the prosperity and the pride that could have been theirs. Instead they lived in caves, did quiet, repetitive work, kept silence and learned to pray.

Now the thing I have always loved about the monastic founders--whether it was St Anthony of Egypt or Pachomius or Benedict--is that they didn't set out to start a 'movement'. They just did what they had to do. They were faithful to their vocation and calling. That others joined them, and that a movement developed was not only an unexpected growth, but often an unwelcome one at that.

Furthermore, they changed history, and that is also something they didn't set out to do. Anthony and Pachomius and Benedict went out to mind their own business, work hard, pray hard and study and be true to themselves and their God. They ended up preserving classical learning, laid the foundation for a new christendom, and established a refuge for what was left for civilization, thus planting a seed for a new civilization.

You thought monks were just cutting themselves off--doing something radical and a little bit misanthropic. In the meantime they were doing something beautiful for God. Hidden away in the desert, they are cultivating the power of prayer and planting the seed of God in the world.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reflection on St. Patrick

Because St. Patrick was, in short, an amazing guy. He offers Christians important lessons about forgiveness and love. And he offers everyone else some lessons, too.

Patrick was born to high-society parents in Roman-occupied Britain sometime during the late fourth century (probably 387). Around the age of 16, Patrick was captured by Irish bandits and sent to Ireland, where he was sold into slavery. For six years he worked as a shepherd, tending flocks for his owner, a local chieftain and high priest of the Druids. There he learned the Celtic tongue -- perfectly, it is said. And in those difficult conditions, the exiled young man turned inward and discovered God. In his Confessions, Patrick wrote that he "prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn." 

At 20, he made a dramatic escape, traveling some 200 miles to the coast and, with the help of some sailors, made his way back to Britain, where he reunited with his family. 

After his return, Patrick, now a deeply religious man, decided to study for the priesthood, and spent some many years in a monastery in France, in preparation for his new work. In 432, according to most sources, he was sent to Ireland to serve a local bishop. Upon landing he was met, according to legend, by one of the Irish chieftains, who threatened to kill him. Patrick won him over, and the man became a Christian. When the bishop died, Patrick was appointed successor. He would now serve the flock in a different way. 

In his 40 years in Ireland he attracted numerous followers, baptized thousands, and built churches -- for the people who had previously enslaved him. "I never had any reason," he wrote, "except the Gospel and his promises, ever to have returned to that nation from which I had previously escaped with difficulty." He died in 461 -- in Ireland, of course. 

Certainly a man worthy knowing about. For the Christian, Patrick poses an important question: would you be willing to serve a place where you had known heartache? And how much is the Gospel worth to you? For everyone, he offers a challenge: can you forgive the people who have wronged you? Could you even love them?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Are Things Still Sacred?

A great reflection from Archbishop Dolan on the importance of keeping certain days (seasons) sacred in our spiritual lives.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How did I miss the Feast of St. Francis??

St. Francis is one of my favorite Saints, but school and life have been so busy lately that I completely forget to blog on his feast day - October 4th.  So today you get extra St. Francis stuff.

A Great Excerpt from "Between Heaven and Mirth" by James Martin, SJ on the humor of St. Francis

A St. Francis Bio 

And since St. Francis was known for his love of animals and many parishes often have an animal blessing as part of the celebration of his feast, you get a picture of my pets.  Pray for yours!