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Last Build Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 23:00:21 +0000

 



Theology on Tap on the Five Marian Doctrines

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 20:13:00 +0000

Tomorrow night I will be at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Leitchfield, KY, speaking for the local Theology on Tap group about the five Marian doctrines. I spoke there a couple of years ago and they have invited me back, which means I must be doing something right!

For the scripture passages I will be citing during the talk, as well as other biblical arguments I probably won't have time to use, see:
The talk is in their new Parish Hall, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM CST. Please join us!

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



How to Defend the Catholic Faith

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 17:43:00 +0000

This has been a long time coming, am I right? I've been blogging since 2006 and I never did a "How-To" on defending the Catholic faith? Crazy. A talk I gave recently gave me the opportunity to put my thoughts down and gather some resources together. This is the fruit of that opportunity. BASIC PRINCIPLESThere are a few basic principles that everyone should keep in mind when they attempt to explain and defend the faith, especially online. Stick to these guidelines and you will begin to grow as a Catholic apologist. Be informed: Read the Bible. Read the Catechism. Read the Bible some more. Find some good Catholic websites that defend the faith. You don’t have to be a genius; you just have to have some resources on hand. You can’t respond to anti-Catholic arguments if you don't know what the Church teaches or why She teaches it. Once you know your faith well, opposing views don't startle you as much because you either know the answer yourself or you know that the answer exists (you just need to find it). Be prudent: One thing I learned the hard way is that you can't tackle every false argument that comes your way. I used to act as though the survival of the Church depended solely on me and thus I had to respond to every attack. Over the years I have learned to just let things go and to concentrate my efforts on what will be the most fruitful. If you try to be a one-man army, you will burn out quickly and then you won't want to defend the Church at all. Stay calm: Many people tend to get very emotional when others say negative things about their beliefs. This hardly ever works out to your advantage. When you start calling people "bigots" and "haters" and saying things like "how dare you!" and "who do you think you are!" all you do is come off as someone who has to use emotional appeals to prove a point, instead of logic and reasoning. You also show the other person that he has gotten under your skin. Don't make yourself an easy target. Let the truth of what you believe speak for itself. Stay on topic: This is easily the #1 mistake that I see people make when they engage others in debate. You have to stay on topic. Be stubborn about it. You must simply refuse to discuss anything that is not on topic. If you don't do this, then your discussion will go nowhere. You’ll go down rabbit holes that lead you where you don’t want to go and frustrate your efforts. Practice: As with anything, you’re only going to get good at defending your faith by practicing. That means you have to be willing to put yourself out there. When I was first learning how to be an apologist, I purposefully entered into debates with Baptists on my college campus, and with various kinds of Christians online. It was an excellent experience because it revealed to me where the gaps in my knowledge were, and then I could go and learn more about that topic. Every encounter and every question made me a better apologist. Remember, as Catholics we really do have nothing to be afraid of. The Catholic Church possesses the fullness of grace and truth. There’s no such thing as a bible verse or an argument that refutes what we believe. Pray hard: Finally, you have to make prayer a central part of your work in responding to people who disagree with the Church's teaching. This is after all a spiritual battle we are waging (cf. Eph 6:12). Pray that God will grant you the patience, wisdom, and charity that is necessary to be an effective apologist. Pray that the Spirit will open the minds and hearts of those you encounter. Pray that He will give you the words when you don’t know what to say. God has promised that He will give us the words to say and lead us into all truth. But, we must pray. FOUNDATIONAL BIBLE PASSAGESCatholic apologetics should always be a scriptural enterprise. We aren't "sola scripturists," but our faith is biblical. The Catholic Church is the only church that has maintained a continuity of faith with the very same community that wrote the bible, so it really can't be any other way. Despite that, we often lag behind[...]



Bowling Green Theology on Tap

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:42:00 +0000

Tonight I will be at "The Duck Shack" in Bowling Green, KY, speaking for the local Theology on Tap group about the saints. Specifically, I will be addressing what a proper relationship with the saints looks like and what the biblical proof is for that relationship. We gather for snacks and refreshments at 6:30pm CST, and the talk begins at 7:30pm.

For the scripture passages I will be citing during the talk (and many more passages I probably won't have time to use), see: A Comprehensive and Biblical Defense of Praying to the Saints.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



For the Memorial of St. John Bosco, priest

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 15:15:00 +0000

As a catechist, I have a special place in my heart for St. John Bosco. He is one of the premier models of what we are called to be as teachers of the Faith. Bosco had a very Christ-like ability to draw all people to himself (even the rowdiest street kids) so as to change their lives and convert their hearts to Christ. The boys under his care loved him so much that they couldn't stand the thought of doing anything to disappoint him, and they knew that all he wanted for them was that they live good and holy lives.What we learn from Bosco's approach and methodology is that the person of the catechist is just as important as orthodox teaching. You can have all of your facts straight, but if the children don't see that the Truth is something that enlivens you and informs every decision that you make -- if they don't see that you are committed to the very salvation of their souls -- then they won't give your words any more than a passing thought. Street kids know when they're getting fed a line. They know who the phonies are, the teachers who just clock in for their 9 to 5 and could give 2 cents about them. In St. John Bosco they saw someone different, someone who truly loved and cared for them.If I could only have half the passion, zeal, and charisma that St. John Bosco had ...St. John Bosco, "Apostle of Youth" ... pray for us.Pax Christi,phatcatholicRESOURCES: Liturgical Calendar: Memorial of St. John Bosco, priestNew Advent: St. John BoscoCatholicSaints.Info: John BoscoWikipedia: John BoscoIuvenum Patris (On the Centenary of the Death of St. John Bosco)The Blessed Friend of Youth: St. John Bosco by Neil Boyton, S.J.Don Bosco: Seeker of SoulsPope Urges Salesians to Study FounderThe Four Pillars of Salesian SpiritualityThe Life and Work of St. John BoscoThe Secret of St. John BoscoUnholy Anger: Disciplining Ourselves Before Disciplining Our ChildrenYouth Ministry and Parenting: Guiding Principles by St. John BoscoSt. John Bosco's Pastoral ApproachThe Preventive SystemMemoirs of Don BoscoTreasure Chest of Fun and Fact comic books: The Apostle of Youth: Parts One and TwoThe Boys' Friend: St. John BoscoFather of Many BoysYou're Too Young! (on St. Dominic Savio, featuring Bosco) The Dreams of St. John BoscoThe "Dream" of the Two ColumnsThe Preventative System Applied to Young People at RiskLife of Dominic Savio by Fr. John BoscoClose-Up View of John Bosco: When He Was a Farm-HandNarrative Spirituality and Pedagogy in Some of Don Bosco’s Important Texts: Method of Approach and Tools for InterpretationHeroes and Pioneers: KindnessAn Exhortation to Educators [...]



For the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 15:35:00 +0000

In thanksgiving for the inspiring life and work of St. Francis de Sales on this his feast day, I offer the following resources:Liturgical Calendar: Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, bishop and doctorNew Advent: St. Francis de SalesLives of the Saints: St. Francis de SalesCatholicSaints.info: St. Francis de SalesRerum Omnium Perturbationem (On the Third Centenary of the Death of St. Francis de Sales)Predestination and Reprobation: The Teaching of St. Francis de SalesThe Four Pillars of Salesian SpiritualityThe Evangelical and Pastoral Heart of St. Francis de SalesPope Benedict XVI: Catechesis on St. Francis de SalesFive Lessons from Francis de SalesSalesian SpiritualityWorks by St. Francis de Sales:The Catholic ControversyIntroduction to the Devout LifeMeditationsMystical Exposition on the Canticle of CanticlesSpiritual ConferencesSpiritual DirectoryTreatise on the Love of GodFor his sermons, letters, commentaries, and other works, see The Salesian Center for Faith and CultureIn closing, and for old-time's sake (this used to be a regular feature on my blog), here is today's selection from "Daily with De Sales":During the course of the day, recall as often as possible that you are in God's presence. Consider what God does and what you are doing. You will see His eyes turned toward you and constantly fixed on you with incomparable love. Then you will say to Him, "O God, why do I not look always at You, just as You always look at me? Why do You think so often of me, O Lord, and why do I think so seldom of You?" Where are we, O my soul? God is our true place, and where are we? (INT. Part II, Ch. 12; O. III, p. 92)St. Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church ... pray for us.Pax Christi,phatcatholic[...]



For the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Sun, 01 Jan 2017 18:00:00 +0000

Liturgical Calendar: Octave of Christmas and Solemnity of Mary, Mother of GodMother of GodRedemptoris Mater (On the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Life of the Pilgrim Church)Theotokos Sums Up All that Mary IsWikipedia: TheotokosA Miracle of Humility: The Obedience of Jesus to MaryCatholic Answers: Mary, Mother of GodChurch Proclaims Mary "Mother of God"Council of EphesusEWTN: Mary, Mother of GodMary, Mother of GodMary's Divine MaternityThe First Marian Dogma: Mary, Mother of GodThe Mother of GodThe Nestorious ChallengeCertain Christological Questions Surrounding the Title "Mary, Mother of God"Does Mary's Maternity End with Her Death?Two Evangelical Pastors Discover the TheotokosWhat Is the Meaning of Mary's Title Theotokos?For more on Mary as the Mother of God, see the collection of articles from the "Mother of All Peoples" websiteOur Spiritual MotherBehold, Your MotherEternal MotherIs Mary My Mother?: A Look at Rev. 12Mary, Holy MotherMary, Mother of the ChurchMary, Our MotherMary's Motherhood Is Linked to the SpiritMessage of Mary's Maternal LoveMother MaryMother of the Church, Our Spiritual MotherMary, Mother of God, Theotokos, Redemptoris Mater....pray for us!Pax Christi,phatcatholic[...]



The Holy Family: A Triple Threat

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 16:00:00 +0000

I suspect that when most people think about the Holy Family, they imagine a picture of total happiness, where there is no suffering of any kind and where every day just turns out perfectly. Yes, Jesus and Mary were completely sinless, and Joseph was a most chaste and righteous man. But, they still had their difficulties. The movie The Nativity Story is what first gave me a sense of this, but if you think about it, Scripture reveals it too. The Holy Family had many trials, including public scorn, homelessness, harsh environments and traveling conditions, a power-hungry and blood-thirsty king, and the pressures -- and ultimately the suffering -- that comes with knowing that your son must die to save the world. What we can learn from this is that the Holy Family can relate to a family that struggles. A sword pierced Mary's heart, so that the thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed (cf. Lk 2:35). Joseph, for his part, had always on his shoulders the task of protecting and providing for this holiest of holy families. They both had quite a scare when, for three days, they had no clue where to find their son (cf. Lk 2:41-49). Of course, if anyone knows suffering, it is Jesus. As a family, they are acquainted with struggle, but more importantly, they also know how to overcome and to survive. Because of their family experience, they are powerful intercessors when we wrestle with family issues. If you suffer because of your mother, find solace in Mary. She cares greatly for the entire Body of Christ, just as she cared for the literal body of Christ. Just as Sarah was the spiritual mother of the Jews (cf. 1 Pet 3:6), Mary is the spiritual mother of "those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus" (Rev 12:17). Her prayer for us will always be powerful because her will is always united with her Son's, and because "the prayer of the righteous has great power in its effects" (Jas 5:16). If you suffer because of your father, find solace in St. Joseph, Jesus' father in this world. St. Joseph will never forsake his fatherly duty. He is the patron saint and the protector of families. With his powerful intercession, he protects God's children, just like he protected God's Child. As Mary's most chaste spouse, he also teaches boys how to be good men, and men how to be good men too. Pray that St. Joseph will help your father to be the man that God is calling him to be. Of course, there is no intercession, no solace, no love, no source of strength and courage and hope like that of the Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is our Rock and our Salvation. In Him, we can do all things, overcome all things, be all things. Together, the mother, the father, and the Son are a triple threat against anything that threatens the integrity of the family. For more on the Holy Family, see the following articles. I conclude with the words from a song about the Holy Family that we often sing at Mass. Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary ... have mercy on us.Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church ... pray for us.Joseph, Protector of Families ... pray for us. Pax Christi,phatcatholic- - - - - - - - - -Articles:Liturgical Calendar: Feast of the Holy FamilyHoly Family Radiates Example of True LoveHoly Family Teaches Us What Is EssentialThe Family at the Heart of a Culture of LifeThe Family for FamiliesMary and Joseph Lived Gift of VirginityThe Holy Family as the Model for Contemporary Catholic FamiliesThe Holy Family: A Model for the Catholic HomeFlight Into EgyptThe World's Happiest MarriageWhat Makes a Marriage?: Consent, Consummation, and the Special Case of the Holy FamilyWhat Your Family Can Learn from the Holy FamilyBenedict XVI: General Address on the Feast of the Holy Family (12-28-08)- - - - - - - - - -Sing of MarySing of Mary, pure and lowly, Virgin mothjer undefiled.Sing of God's own Son most holy, Who became her little child.Fairest child of fairest mother, God [...]



Online Catholic Scripture Commentaries on St. John's Gospel

Tue, 27 Dec 2016 14:47:00 +0000

(image) In honor of St. John on his feast day, I present (as I do every year) the following online Catholic commentaries on his Gospel:

Read John's Gospel ... and soar on eagle's wings to new heights of spiritual wisdom. If you know of any other Catholic commentaries on John's Gospel that exist online, please let me know.

St. John the Evangelist ... pray for us.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



Celebrating the Feast of St. Stephen with Good King Wenceslas

Tue, 27 Dec 2016 00:52:00 +0000

Many of you may have forgotten (I know I almost did!) that today is the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, who's life and death is accounted for us in Acts 6 and 7. Well, a popular Christmas carol gives us a helpful reminder. Listen via the YouTube video below. Follow along with the lyrics underneath.Good King Wenceslas looked outOn the feast of StephenWhen the snow lay round aboutDeep and crisp and evenBrightly shone the moon that nightThough the frost was cruelWhen a poor man came in sightGath'ring winter fuel"Hither, page, and stand by meIf thou know'st it, tellingYonder peasant, who is he?Where and what his dwelling?""Sire, he lives a good league henceUnderneath the mountainRight against the forest fenceBy Saint Agnes' fountain.""Bring me flesh and bring me wineBring me pine logs hitherThou and I will see him dineWhen we bear him thither."Page and monarch forth they wentForth they went togetherThrough the rude wind's wild lamentAnd the bitter weather"Sire, the night is darker nowAnd the wind blows strongerFails my heart, I know not how,I can go no longer.""Mark my footsteps, my good pageTread thou in them boldlyThou shalt find the winter's rageFreeze thy blood less coldly."In his master's steps he trodWhere the snow lay dintedHeat was in the very sodWhich the Saint had printedTherefore, Christian men, be sureWealth or rank possessingYe who now will bless the poorShall yourselves find blessingThe "fisheaters" website has more on the connection between St. Stephen and Good King Wenceslas: Because St. Stephen was the first Deacon, and because one of the Deacons' role in the Church is to care for the poor, St. Stephen's Day is often the day for giving food, money, and other items to servants, sevice workers, and the needy (it is known as "Boxing Day" in some English-speaking parts of the world). Fittingly, then, St. Wenceslaus came to be associated with Stephen's Feast. The Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslaus," which uses an old medieval melody -- that of the 13th century song about springtime, "Tempus adest floridum" (click here to hear melody) mentions this Feast as it tells a tale of charity. St. Wenceslaus was a Bohemian prince born ca. A.D. 903 during a pagan backlash. He was persecuted by his mother, Drahomira, and his brother because of their hatred for his Christianity, and was eventually killed by his brother in front of the doors of the Church of SS. Cosmas and Damian in A.D. 938. Many miracles have been attributed to his intercession, and he is now the patron of Czechoslovakia (his Feast is on 28 September).For more on St. Stephen, see the following resources:Catholic Culture: Feast of St. Stephen, first martyrButler's Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints: St. Stephen, the first martyrNew Advent: St. StephenPatron Saints Index: St. Stephen the MartyrFisheaters: Feast of St. Stephen the DeaconWikipedia: St. StephenPax Christi,phatcatholic[...]



Know the Reason for the Season

Sat, 24 Dec 2016 15:00:00 +0000

Merry Christmas!The following links are to articles that explore the true meaning of Christmas. With all the hustle and bustle, it's good to have a reminder. "Let every heart prepare him room / and heaven and nature sing." After these links is a Christmas poem by G. K. Chesterton.Let us all make room for the birth of Christ!Pax Christi,phatcatholic - - - - - -Articles Explore the Christmas SeasonAbout Christmas12 Days of ChristmasPrayers, Blessings, and HymnsActivities and CustomsUSCCB: Christmas SeasonLiturgical Calendar: Christmas Eve and Christmas DayReflections of the Meaning and Lesson of ChristmasCelebrating Christmas: With the Accent on ChristSeeing ClearlyIntroduction to the Christmas Eve Prayers from the Roman MartyrologyThe Christmas Tree: Legends, Traditions, HistoryThe Traditions of the Christmas MangerPius XII's Christmas Radio MessageChristmas Statement by Jerusalem PatriarchMaking Christmas Come AliveThe War Against the LightBenedict XVI Urges Rediscovery of Christmas TraditionsC.S. Lewis on "Xmas" and "Christmas"Divine Revelation and MythBah HumbugBring Back the Creche!The "X-mas" FilesHollywood Knows Him Not: Christmas Movies You Want to SeeChildren's Literature for ChristmasThe Meaning of Christmas: Look DeeperThe Holy Year DoorChristmas CandlesSilent NightThe First ChristmasSt. Francis and the Christmas CrecheThe Tree of the Christ ChildAre Christmas Decorations Pagan?The Peace of ChristmasChristmas Eve with the PopeThe Gift of ChristmasAmid Roars of Happy Christmas LaughterChristmas Sacred and SecularThe Real War on ChristmasThe Nativity StoryBringing Christmas to Life AgainThe Original Christmas StoryA Hint for Next ChristmasBreath of Heaven at Christmas TimeChristmas in a BarnIs God Against Christmas?Night Before ChristmasOh Marvelous Exchange!Some Thoughts on the Star of BethlehemWood of the Cradle, Wood of the CrossThe Family for FamiliesTrue Christmas SpiritNew Advent: ChristmasIs Christmas a Pagan Feast?Santa or Satan?: A Reply to a Funny FundamentalistBooks that Celebrate the True Gift of Christmas7 Good Reasons to Send Christmas CardsA Different Kind of Christmas ListAn Augustine Christmas: 10 Comments on the Incarnation of ChristThe Apologetics of Christmas: Part 1 and Part 2Are You Lying to Your Children about Santa?Dec. 25: The Biblical Argument for the Birth of Christ in Late December (Answering Common Objections)Calculating ChristmasIn Defense of the Christmas TreeThe Scandal of the Babe-GodWhat Is the Nativity?Theosis: The Reason for the SeasonThe Twenty-Plus Days of Christmas?Still Christmas: Advent and Christmas Family TraditionsStill Christmas: Christmas Viewing (Good and Bad!)The Perennial Santa QuestionHow to Understand the Christmas Proclamation9 Things You Need to Know about ChristmasThose (Besides Kids) Who Love Christmas for Completely Selfish ReasonsBlessed Are the UncertainHow to Write a Family Christmas Letter- - - - - -A Christmas Poemby G. K. ChestertonThere fared a mother driven forthOut of an inn to roam;In the place where she was homelessAll men are at home.The crazy stable close at hand,With shaking timber and shifting sand,Grew a stronger thing to abide and standThan the square stones of Rome.For men are homesick in their homes,And strangers under the sun,And they lay their heads in a foreign landWhenever the day is done.Here we have battle and blazing eyes,And chance and honour and high surprise,But our homes are under miraculous skiesWhere the yule tale was begun.A child in a foul stable,Where the beasts feed and foam;Only where He was homelessAre you and I at home;We have hands that fashion and heads that know,But our hearts we lost---how long ago!In a place no chart nor ship can showUnder the sky's dome.This world is wild as an old wife's tale,And strange the plain things are,The earth is enough and the air is enoughFor our[...]



Dec. 23 - O Emmanuel

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 20:20:00 +0000

Here is the final O Antiphon for the Advent Season:

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Dec. 23 - O Emmanuel: “O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.” (cf. Isa 7:14)

Also see my previous post, "What Are the O Antiphons?".

Christ is near!!!

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



Dec. 22 - O Rex Gentium

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 16:00:00 +0000

Here is the O Antiphon for today:

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Dec. 22 - O Rex Gentium: “O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.” (cf. Isa 2:4; 9:7)

Also see my previous post, "What Are the O Antiphons?"

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



Dec. 21 - O Oriens

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 16:00:00 +0000

Here is the O Antiphon for today:

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Dec. 21 - O Oriens: “O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” (cf. Isa 9:2)

Also see my previous post, "What Are the O Antiphons?"

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



Dec. 20 - O Clavis David

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 14:00:00 +0000

Here is the O Antiphon for today:

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Dec. 20 - O Clavis David: “O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.” (cf. Isa 9:6; 22:22)

Also see my previous post, "What Are the O Antiphons?"

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



Dec. 19 - O Radix Jesse

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 14:30:00 +0000

Here is the O Antiphon for today:

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Dec. 19 - O Radix Jesse: “O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.” (cf. Isa 11:1, 10)

Also see my previous post, "What Are the O Antiphons?"

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



Dec. 18 - O Adonai

Sun, 18 Dec 2016 13:00:00 +0000

Here is the O Antiphon for today:

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Dec. 18 - O Adonai: “O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.” (cf. Isa 11:4-5; 33:22)

Also see my previous post, "What Are the O Antiphons?"

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



Dec 17 - O Sapientia

Sat, 17 Dec 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Here is the O Antiphon for today:

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Dec. 17 - O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” (cf. Isa 11:2-3; 28:29)

Also see my previous post, "What Are the O Antiphons?"

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic(image)



What Are the "O Antiphons"?

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 16:29:00 +0000

The "O Antiphons" begin today, so now is a good time to consider what exactly they are and how they can enrich the Advent season.An antiphon is a short verse from a psalm or other usually biblical source that is chanted (or at least recited) before and/or after a psalm. The O Antiphons are the antiphons chanted on each of the seven days before Christmas Eve, Dec. 17-23.On each day, a different O Antiphon is sung during Evening Prayer, which is the portion of the Liturgy of the Hours that is prayed at sunset. They are called “O” antiphons because each one starts with the exclamation “O”, followed by a title of the Savior. They are meant to heighten our awareness of the coming of the Lord as we approach those precious few days before Christmas. The seven O Antiphons are: O Sapientia (Oh Wisdom), O Adonai (Oh Lord), O Radix Jesse (Oh Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (Oh Key of David), O Oriens (Oh Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (Oh King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Each one is named after the title of the Savior that begins the antiphon. Here are the antiphons for each day, in full, followed by the passages from Isaiah that inspire them: Dec. 17 - O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” (cf. Isa 11:2-3; 28:29) Dec. 18 - O Adonai: “O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.” (cf. Isa 11:4-5; 33:22) Dec. 19 - O Radix Jesse: “O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.” (cf. Isa 11:1, 10) Dec. 20 - O Clavis David: “O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.” (cf. Isa 9:6; 22:22) Dec. 21 - O Oriens: “O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” (cf. Isa 9:2) Dec. 22 - O Rex Gentium: “O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.” (cf. Isa 2:4; 9:7) Dec. 23 - O Emmanuel: “O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.” (cf. Isa 7:14)Besides praying these during the Liturgy of the Hours, families can also make up their own prayer services using the O Antiphons. For example, everyone could recite the Antiphon for the day together, then the father could read the appropriate passage from Isaiah, and then end with everyone singing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” During Advent, it is always good to set aside some time to pray as a family.For more on the O Antiphons, see the following articles:Fr. William Saunders: What Are the O AntiphonsFisheaters: O AntiphonsJeanne Kun: The Antiphons of AdventFelix Just, SJ, PhD: "O Antiphons" for the Week Before ChristmasCatholic Culture: O Antiphons OverviewNew Advent: O AntiphonsFr. Z: The O Antiphons, and O!O Antiphons and Tolkien's Middle EarthBetween now and Christmas, I will be posting a YouTube video for each day's antiphon, so that you can hear a bit of how they are chanted. They are really quite beautiful!Have a Blesse[...]



For the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 15:28:00 +0000

"Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand."-- Pope John Paul the Great, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1979For a wealth of information about Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego, see the following resources Catholic Culture: Feast of Our Lady of GuadalupeShrines to Our Lady: Our Lady of GuadalupeI Express to the Indigenous People: Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego Have a Deep Religious MeaningParty for the Feast of Our Lady of GuadalupeCelebrating the Feast of Our Lady of GuadalupeEnthronement of Our Lady of GuadalupeRecipe for Mexican Bread PuddingShrine of GuadalupeIniquis Afflictisque (On the Persecution of the Church in Mexico)Story of Guadalupe Begins with Little Hill in Mexico CityOur Lady's Feast DaysOur Lady of Guadalupe (a text translated from the Aztec language)Our Lady of Guadalupe: Historical SourcesPatron Saints Index: Our Lady of GuadalupeThe Apparitions and the MiracleThe Tilma's SymbolismScience Sees What Mary Saw from Juan Diego's TilmaThe Amazing Truth of Our Lady of GuadalupeMarian MiraclesThe Basilica of GuadalupeOur Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Church MilitantOur Lady of Guadalupe: Protectress of the Unborn"Fountain of Your Joy" Draws the Faithful to the Basilica of Our Lady of GuadalupeThe Virgin of Guadalupe Is the Best EvangelistST. JUAN DIEGO Proofs of Mexican Indian Juan Diego's ExistenceHomily at the Canonization Mass of Blessed Juan DiegoMexican Bishops' Commission for Indigenous Peoples on the Canonization of the First Native AmericanSt. Juan DiegoJuan DiegouCatholic: St. Juan DiegoJuan Diego CuauhtlatoatzinSt. Juan Diego and Our LadySt. Juan Diego: The Paradox of HumilityPRAYERS Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the UnbornNovena in Honor of Our Lady of GuadalupePax Christi,phatcatholic[...]



For the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:36:00 +0000

This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by Pope Pius XII for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.[Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954]THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTIONIt his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX declared as a dogma the belief that "the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin." This is the Immaculate Conception.On this Holy Day of Obligation, try to spend some time learning more about this dogma. It's much deeper than you probably ever imagined! To facilitate that study and reflection, I offer the following links:General ArgumentsMark Shea on the Immaculate Conception:What Is It and Why Do People Have Problems with It?What Does Paul Mean By "All"?So Mary Needed No Savior?The Witness of the Gospels: Part 1 and Part 2Two Red HerringsWhat about the Eastern Orthodox Churches?St. Thomas and St. Bernard on the Immaculate ConceptionEnter the Subtle Doctor: Duns ScotusSo Why the Dogma?A Quick Survey of Some of the Brains of the 19th Century: Part 1 and Part 2Rebellion Against God as FatherThe Common ThreadWhy Her and Not Us?"All Have Sinned" (Mary?)EWTN: The Immaculate Conception of MaryHow Do We Respond to Romans 3?How to Defend the Immaculate ConceptionIf Mary Was Sinless, Why Did She Go to the Temple for Purification?If Mary Was Sinless, Why Didn't She Redeem Us?Immaculate C[...]



Myth vs. Fact on the Feast of St. Nicholas

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:00:00 +0000

This year the Optional Memorial of St. Nicholas is superseded by the Second Sunday of Advent, but I think it's well and good to continue the tradition of honoring this saint in one's home. Unfortunately, there's a lot of myth mixed in with fact regarding the story of his life, so here's some resources on St. Nick and how he came to be associated with the jolly fat man in the red suit. Also, ever wonder why you always find candy in your shoes on this day? That will be answered here too.St. Nicholas SocietyAbout UsHistoryA Little OfficeHow to CelebrateStoriesHoly CardsPostmarksSt. Nicholas Center: Discovering the Truth about Santa ClausWho Is St. Nicholas?Around the WorldHow to CelebrateEventsFor KidsOptional Memorial of St. Nicholas, bishopFeast of St. NicholasCatholic Online: St. NicholasDomestic Church: St. NicholasPatron Saints Index: Nicholas of MyraSt. Nicholas of MyraThe Real St. NicholasSt. Nicholas and the Origin of Santa ClausWho Is St. Nicholas?Santa Claus vs. St. Nicholas?Lives of Saints: St. Nicholas of Myra, Bishop, ConfessorThe Life of the Holy Hierarch and Wonderworker, Nicholas, Bishop of MyraSelections from The Life of Nicholas by Symeon the MetaphrastSt. Nicholas Coloring Pages: One and Two (who doesn't like to color?)Wikipedia: St. NicholasA Baptist Take on St. NicholasSanta ClausCelebrating the Feast of St. NicholasSt. Nicholas EveVisit of St. NicholasSt. Nicholas and the War Against ChristmasSt. Nicholas Reveals the True Spirit of GivingSpirituality: The Feast of St. NicholasCelebrate the Real Santa TodaySt. Nicholas, Santa, and the Elf on the ShelfSt Nicholas: He Who Punches Heretics in the Face (and Gives Gifts to Children)Pax Christi,phatcatholic[...]



Resources for Advent

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 15:00:00 +0000

Here are some resources for Advent to increase your knowledge of and appreciation for this liturgical season in the life of the Church. It's the Catholic New Year! Let us wait with eager anticipation for the coming of the Savior.If several articles came from the same source, I grouped them together. I will be updating this post throughout Advent, so check back often!.My Blog PostsSigns of Life: Advent and ChristmasFr. Matthew Hardesty Homilies for AdventWhat Is Advent?Myth vs. Fact on the Feast of St. NicholasFor the Solemnity of the Immaculate ConceptionGaudete Sunday, Rose-Colored Vestments, and Advent WreathsFor the Feast of Our Lady of GuadalupeWhat Are the "O Antiphons"?Why "Jesus" and Not "Emmanuel"?Advent Articles and Websites:Advent OverviewAdvent in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: nos. 524 and 1095Advent in the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy: Chapter 4 (cf. nos. 96-105)Joyeux NoëlReclaiming AdventHe ComesOn Being "Ready" for AdventAre Peace and Advent Incompatible?Homilies for Sunday Liturgies and Feasts in December 2012Advent as Part of Growing UpWill We Choose to Lift the Cloud for Christmas?Avoiding the Advent TrapUSCCB: Calendar and Resources for Advent 2012Advent: Don't Rush! It's Not Christmas Yet!Advent, Suffering, and the Promise of JoyCatholic Culture Advent Workshop:What Is Advent?Jesse Tree"O" AntiphonsAdvent CalendarActivities and CustomsPrayers and HymnsSee Advent's Meaning Through MaryAdvent Wreath: Prayers and ExplanationThe Advent WreathOur Whole Life Should Be an AdventThe Crib Can Help UsCatholic Education The Liturgical Season of AdventAdvent DynamismAdventCatholic Traditions for Advent and ChristmasBring Our Fallen-Away Relations Back to Church During AdventFollowing Mary's Advent FootstepsMeditation Notes on the "O" AntiphonsCatholic Exchange Renewing the Mystery of Advent, Part One: The Meaning of AdventAdvent, A Time to Prepare Ourselves for Three Comings of JesusAdvent: The Reason for the SeasonAs We Enter Into Advent: Thoughts from Archbishop Fulton SheenA New Year of Grace and FavorEWTN Family Advent CustomsJesse Tree SymbolsDivine PreparationsRose-Colored Vestments on Gaudete SundayAdvent Reflections: 2004Significance of the Advent WreathInsight Scoop Advent with Jean Cardinal DaniélouAdvent and the Art of WaitingThe Essence of AdventFulton Sheen on the Final Days of AdventA Scriptural Reflection on the Sunday Readings for Advent 2012: 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4thNational Catholic Register Eight Super Simple Ways to Celebrate AdventDuring Advent the Domestic Church Is the School of LoveSaying No: The Essential Gesture of StewardshipO Radian Dawn: Preparing for AdventAdvent's Coming, Keep It Simple!10 Things You Need to Know About AdventHow (and Why) to Return to Sunday Mass, and How (and Why) to Return to ConfessionSaintly Advent AdviceAn Advent Composition of PlaceRediscovering AweMore LightWhen Advent Is HardNew Advent AdventGaudete SundayGenealogy of Jesus ChristImmaculate ConceptionLiturgical ColorsSaint LucySaint Nicholas of MyraShrine of GuadalupeNew Liturgical Movement Organ Solos in AdventMarian Antiphon for AdventAdvent in the Byzantine ChurchAdvent Carol (Parody)Cardinal Newman Meditation for the First Sunday of AdventAdvent Customs: St. Barbara's Branches (Barbarazweige) on December 4thThe Station Churches of AdventQuatuor Tempora: Advent Ember DaysAdvent Customs: It's Not Too Late to StartThe Sacred Page Ruth and AdventReadings for Advent 2011: 1st Sunday | 2nd Sunday | 3rd Sunday | 4th SundayReadi[...]



Happy Thanksgiving!

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 14:00:00 +0000

Here are some articles to help you appreciate this holiday and the virtue of thanksgiving that, as Christians, we are all called to embrace.Thanksgiving DayWikipedia: Thanksgiving DayWikipedia: Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeThe First Thanksgiving at PlymouthThe Evolution of the Modern ThanksgivingThe Psychology Behind Giving ThanksThe Church's Thanksgiving DayAn American Thanksgiving in RomeThanksgiving QuizThanksgiving and the EucharistPresidential Thanksgiving ProclamationsAbraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving ProclamationGeorge Washington's Thanksgiving ProclamationPilgrims' Progress: The True Meaning of ThanksgivingAttitude of GratitudeIt Is Right to Give Him Thanks and PraiseThanks for EverythingA King James ThanksgivingOn the Meaning of Thanksgiving and GratitudeThanksgiving in the Catechism of the Catholic ChurchPrayer of Thanksgiving After MassThanksgiving and DesireFr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.: ThanksgivingI hope you all have a joyful and relaxing day!Pax Christi,phatcatholic[...]



For the Solemnity of Christ the King

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 14:00:00 +0000

In honor of Jesus Christ our King and Savior, upon the conclusion of the liturgical year, I present the following articles:Articles:Liturgical Calendar: Feast of Christ the KingFor the King Trusts in the LordPraise the Lord, King of All the EarthMy Crown Shall ShineFeast of Christ the KingThe Kingship of ChristThe King of KingsChrist the King Is Lord of the World and HistoryKingship of Christ, Queenship of Mary in ScriptureAnd That's the Gospel Truth: Feast of Christ the KingQuas Primas (On the Feast of Christ the King)Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio (The Peace of Christ in His Kingdom)Kingdom of GodFeast of Christ the KingJesus' Eternal KingdomKingdom and Church in Luke-ActsSense of the Words "Kingdom of God"History of Solemnity of Christ the KingWhen the End Comes: Reflections on the Solemnity of Christ the KingInto the Kingdom of the SonHis Kingship Is Like No OtherChrist the King: The Feast for Our AgeIs Jesus Your King? Are You Sure?"Viva Cristo Rey!": The Readings for the Solemnity of Christ the KingA Reflection on the Solemnity of Christ the KingIs Christ the King of the Angels, Even in His Humanity?To Confess Christ as King Is More Than a Declaration of LoyaltyThe Solemnity of Christ the KingTo Jesus Christ Our Sovereign KingIs Christ Really Your King? A Homily for the Feast of Christ the KingPrayersPrayer to Christ the KingAct of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ, the KingLitany of Christ the KingSong of the Sodality of Our Lady (For Christ the King)Family Procession in Honor of Christ the KingAlso see my blog posts: "What Is the Kingdom of God and How Can I Join?"Jesus: The Anointed Priest, Prophet, and KingALL HAIL CHRIST THE KING! Pax Christi,phatcatholic[...]



For the Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 21:28:00 +0000

St. Charles Borromeo"When Saint Charles was dying he had the picture of the dead Christ brought to him, so that he could die happily in the thought of his Savior's death. And this is really the remedy for all those who fear death: to think often of Him Who is our life, and never to think of one without the other."-- St. Francis de Sales(Letters 512; O. XIV, pp. 119-120)As the patron saint of catechists, St. Charles Borromeo is very special to me. The Pictorial Lives of the Saints provides this short biography:About fifty years after the Protestant heresy had broken out, our Lord raised up a mere youth to renew the face of His Church. In 1560 Charles Borromeo, then twenty-two years of age, was created cardinal, and by the side of his uncle, Pius IV, administered the affairs of the Holy See. His first care was the direction of the Council of Trent. He urged forward its sessions, guided its deliberations by continual correspondence from Rome, and by his firmness carried it to its conclusion. Then he entered upon a still more arduous work - the execution of its decrees. As Archbishop of Milan, he enforced their observance, and thoroughly restored the discipline of his see. He founded schools for the poor, seminaries for the clerics, and by his community of Oblates trained his priests to perfection. Inflexible in maintaining discipline, to his flock he was a most tender father. He would sit by the road-side to teach a poor man the Pater and Ave, and would enter hovels the stench of which drove his attendants from the door. During the great plague, he refused to leave Milan, and was ever by the sick and dying, and sold even his bed for their support. So he lived, and so he died, a faithful image of the Good Shepherd, up to his last hour giving his life for his sheep.The entry in the New Advent Encyclopedia says much of him specifically regarding his influence in religious education:"After the Council of Trent he was much occupied with the production of the catechism embodying the teaching of the council, the revision of the Missal and Breviary."[. . .]"the education of the young, even down to minute details, was foremost in his thoughts."[. . .]"Another great work which was begun at this time was that of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, in order that the children might be carefully and systematically instructed. This work was really the beginning of what is now known as the Sunday school."[. . .]"In November he began a visitation as Apostolic visitor of all the cantons of Switzerland and the Grisons, leaving the affairs of his diocese in the hands of Monsignor Owen Lewis, his vicar-general. He began in the Mesoleina Valley; here not only was there heresy to be fought, but also witchcraft and sorcery, and at Roveredo it was discovered that the provost, or rector, was the foremost in sorceries. Charles spent considerable time in setting right this terrible state of things."[. . .]"Next he visited Bellinzona and Ascona, working strenuously to extirpate heresy."Article no. 9 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church acknowledges his contribution to catechesis in the wake of the Council of Trent:"The Council of Trent initiated a remarkable organization of the Church's catechesis. Thanks to the work of holy bishops and theologians such as St. Peter Canisius, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Turibius of Mongrovejo, or St. Robert Bellarmine, it occasioned the publication of numerous catechi[...]