O Magnum Mysterium

O Magnum Mysterium

A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y9yM53TowA] The choir of Westminster Cathedral sing Morten Lauridsen’s stunningly beautiful setting of O Magnum Mysterium during Midnight Mass 2009. O magnum mysterium et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in præsepio. Beata virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum, Alleluia! Translation: O great mystery and wondrous sacrament, that animals should see the newborn Lord lying in their manger. Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear the Lord Jesus Christ....

To walk a mile in your shoes

WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for The 2nd Season of The Walking Dead. If you’re anything like me, you are pretty far behind on watching TV and movies. Consider yourself, my fellow sub-rock dwellers, warned. I’ve heard it said many times in the past few weeks, and most of my life actually, that “you don’t know how you’d act until you live through it.” My wife and I recently finished watching the second season of The Walking Dead. There’s something to be said for binge-watching a complete season of a television show. The viewer begins to notice patterns, character flaws, certain formats and tricks the writers use to play on your emotions. Something I’ve noticed is the overall lack of bedrock principles by any of the characters in the show. The former civil rights lawyer in the show seems to have left those convictions in the pre-zombified world, the former deputies can’t seem to determine right from wrong without say-so from a person of superior authority, and the wife of a deputy can’t decide whether to abort her child or keep it, and she certainly won’t tell her husband until her decision is made. I experience agony watching these people crash from one crisis into another like a pinball game because they lack a solid foundation. I’m a friendly guy, and many people seem to seek counsel from me on various moral topics. It seems many times, a friend will spill his guts about the moral turmoil in his life, and conclude with a warning that I can say what I’d do if in his situation, but I won’t...
The heart of a traditionalist

The heart of a traditionalist

In the Catholic blogosphere, there are a number of labels: traditionalist, orthodox, charismatic, rad-trad, liberal, and conservative being among them. One of the newest and most vibrant of these groups in recent years is the traditionalist label, particularly due to Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, which opened up the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. While the blessings born of this motu proprio have provided plentiful content, far fewer words have been devoted to explaining the progression of a love of the ancient traditions of the Church. I will try and explain the conversion process from my own experiences and those of other Catholics with whom I have crossed paths throughout the years. There’s a time in the life of some young Catholics when the faith life grows, prayer becomes more frequent, deeper, and an integral part of everyday life. These young Catholics feel a hunger to learn more about the Catholic Church, the saints in heaven, the richness of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, a devoutness borne of a disillusionment with earthly life. There is something MORE. This is the story of how one young Catholic, we’ll call him John, fell in love with the ancient tradition of the Latin Mass. It all started one day when John begins following along at Mass and actively participating by offering every heartfelt prayer silently with the priest. John notices that Father doesn’t pray all the prayers listed in the Missal. Ok, maybe Father knows that some things in the missal are optional. We’ll trust his judgment. During the week, John reads The New Liturgical Movement...
5 Things To Do When You’re Unemployed

5 Things To Do When You’re Unemployed

Unemployment can be the pits. Long-term unemployment can feel like a soul-sucking hell from which there seems to be no end. It just so happens that I am an veteran at this, so I write from experience. 15 years later, I find myself in another long-term unemployment situation, and while I’ve grown up a bit since then, Mom’s sentiment still ring through my soul. Get a job. If God doesn’t present one to you today, then do God’s work. Just because you’re not making money doesn’t mean unemployment must be unproductive. Here are things you can do to enjoy a more productive unemployment. 1) Care for your body. We are souls with bodies, but the soul cannot function properly if the body is neglected. Catch up on sleep. It will help you focus, help your body to heal and strengthen the immune system. Get plenty of exercise. Rather than stressing about the fact that you have no job and you don’t know from whence next month’s rent or mortgage payment will come, strengthen your body. Enjoy, nay, revel in the fact that it is now autumn, the temperatures are cooling down, the leaves are turning, and all those other schmucks are stuck in cubicles or behind counters all day while you can take a nice brisk walk through the park. The physical benefits are plentiful, and exercise can help you clear your mind or all the baggage and stress. If you really like to work hard, you can even offer your pain and suffering for the poor souls in purgatory. 2) Care for your soul. The Eucharist is the epitome of...
Prayers desperately needed

Prayers desperately needed

In case you haven’t heard, there is a standoff in Nevada between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and a rancher by the name of Cliven Bundy.  Mr. Bundy is a rancher, as was his father, and his grandfather, on this particular massive piece of land since the late 1800s.  In 1993, the BLM removed Mr. Bundy’s grazing rights to save a so-called “desert tortoise,” and Mr. Bundy refused to vacate.  The BLM decided earlier this week to put an end to the decades long dispute with Mr. Bundy by sending 200 Federal agents to Mr. Bundy’s ranch to seize his cattle.  A heated protest ensued, and now members of militias from various states have joined Mr. Bundy, with many more militia men arriving daily. This situation could very well boil over and end in bloodshed.  Please pray that cooler heads will prevail and that peace and justice will rule the day. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.  O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord,...