From its beginning, the Christian faith understood itself as the fulfillment of the Jewish faith, the new and everlasting covenant that God established with man in order to draw all things to himself through Jesus Christ. Jesus instituted the Eucharist, the “source and summit of the Christian life” (Vatican II, Lumen gentium 11), at the traditional Jewish Passover meal with his Apostles on Holy Thursday. The Feast of Passover was a rich cultural context, within which the Jewish people were introduced to the significance of what Christ would do in the Eucharist.
“Papa Go Sleep, Papa Go See Jesus”
This is what my two-year-old nephew Gabriel said when my sister and brother-in-law brought him to the casket at my grandfather’s funeral. Shortly after saying one last goodbye to his dear “Papa,” Gabe, in a bolt of energy began to run around the room of the funeral home, almost with reckless abandon. From one side to the other, he ran freely, as every child is compelled to do. Occasionally, he would stop and grab some attention from the family and friends present before continuing on his merry two-year-old way. There was a life and joy within Gabe that day.
Prayer, St. John Damascene says, is the unveiling of the mind before God. When we pray we ask Him for what we need, confess our faults, thank Him for His gifts, and adore His immense majesty. Here are five tips for praying better– with the help of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Today is the feast day of St. Chrysogonus. You may think you know nothing about him, but if you go to Mass regularly, chances are you’ve at least heard his name: “With Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and all the saints.” Thus runs one part of the Roman Canon, one of the Eucharistic prayers of the Roman liturgy. Today is also the feast day of St. Colman of Cloyne, St. Andrew Dung Lac, St. Columbanus, St. Alexander, and St. Anthony Nam-Quynh. In fact, according to one calendar, it is the feast day of over thirty saints and blesseds, and one would find similar numbers for practically every day of the year.
I recently visited a hospitalized woman in her seventies. She was very sick and could eat nothing without pain. No one knew the cause of her illness. Nor was it known where she would go if she ever got out. She was in between living arrangements and, for lack of funds, had already failed to secure housing at a number of places. She had always been poor. Her father had left the family when she was a girl, so from a young age she had worked and helped to raise her younger brothers. Now she was in a similar situation, for her husband had died years ago and could leave her no financial support. Sitting with her, I was reminded that Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor,” and wondered about what he meant.
One of the greatest joys that I have found in my religious life as a Dominican friar has been the opportunity to use my previous studies in mathematics to talk about matters of the Catholic faith; grace does perfect nature, after all. So, when I was assigned to work at an all-girls’ high school for ministry this year (a task made less daunting by the Dominican Sisters who run the school), I jumped at the chance to give guest lectures in one of the math classes, among other pastoral activities. While explaining to the geometry class one day the differences and similarities between axioms and theorems, I found an opportunity to draw a parallel, as it were, to the logic of belief.
Does God love some people more than others? On the surface it sort of seems like he does. Life is full of inequality, and it leaves us with a gut feeling that life is just unfair.
So is it God’s fault? Scholastic theology has a very interesting answer: God loves each of us with the same intensity of love, but he loves us each to a different degree.
That means that God’s love is the same for all people – it’s the same love which shone from the eyes of John Paul II and which little Johnny Fischer discovered at his First Communion in grade school. But it also means that God calls some people to a greater mission or greater degrees of intimacy, compared to, well… the rest of us.
A year after the release of its first album, In Medio Ecclesiae, Dominicana Records presents Ave Maria: Dominican Chant for the Immaculate Conception. In this new album, the schola of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., sing many of the chants from the Order’s history in honor of Mary and, especially, her Immaculate Conception. To order the CD online and have it shipped directly to you, please visit our Records page and click on the button “Buy CD” below the album cover. The album is also available for download through the button “Buy MP3,” also below the album cover, or through the iTunes buttons under the separate listings of the albums further down on the page. The CD will also be available at select bookstores, which we will list on our records page.
You may be preparing for the impending zombie apocalypse. If so, I think you should read this article as part of your overall strategy.
This story begins at the beginning. God created man male and female in his own image. Things were good back in those days. People got along, food was tasty, pleasure was easy and strong. But soon, calamity struck. There he was: the proto-zombie. Lucifer, now Satan, beguiled the original humans with the big lie: life with God is a half-life. He did this as a dead person, seeking to consume the new fleshy creation, endowed with great gifts. Just like all zombies, he didn’t gain anything through this temptation: he just wanted to create more zombies.
We’re God-face blind.
There are people who see a face and have no way of registering who it is. Normally, someone sees together the eyes, nose, cheeks and lips so as to create a whole. However, those who suffer from prosopragnosia – commonly known as faceblindess – live in a world of strangers. They are incapable of associating a person with his face.