The Jaws of the Lion

It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. 2 Maccabees 12:46 Domine, Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu. Libera eas de ore leonis ne absorbeat eas tartarus, ne cadant in obscurum; Sed signiferContinue reading “The Jaws of the Lion”

How the Wicked Praise God

“Whether the world wills it or no,” God explains to St. Catherine, “it offers me glory.” True, the intent of the wicked is to insult God. But the ways of the wicked are not wise, and the fruits of their wickedness are not as anticipated. From day to day, the “people of the world” mayContinue reading “How the Wicked Praise God”

Praying for Real

St. Catherine of Sienna warns us not to let our prayers consist “more in words than in affection.” The goal of prayer is for the soul to be “inebriated and set on fire and sated with holy longing, finding herself filled completely with love of [God] and of her neighbors.” Recognizing that “the soul isContinue reading “Praying for Real”

Praying for Peter

Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. Luke 22:31-32 In appointing as vicar a mere man, subject to original and actual sin, our Lord was well awareContinue reading “Praying for Peter”

That Your Joy May Be Full

Scripture often testifies to the power of prayer. Our Lord himself assures us of this when he couples this command with a promise: “Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full” (Jn. 16:24). Echoing his Master, St. James reminds us that “the continual prayer of a just man avails much” (Js. 5:16).Continue reading “That Your Joy May Be Full”

Make Haste to Help!

When our eldest daughter was but a toddler, one of her pastimes was helping my wife with the laundry. One day, as her mother passed her a wet sock for the dryer, she paused, gave her an approving look, and proudly proclaimed: “Mama, you’re a big helper!” Much older now, she herself is a biggerContinue reading “Make Haste to Help!”

Pursuing Happiness in the New Year

We have it on good authority that God has ordered all things wisely. And, on the same authority, that he works in mysterious ways. As Josef Pieper reminds us, a mystery is something we know in part. What then do we know about the wisdom with which God governs our world? A good place toContinue reading “Pursuing Happiness in the New Year”

Let the Clouds Rain the Just!

RORATE cœli, désuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiátur terra, et gérminet Salvatórem. Cœli enárrant glóriam Dei: et opera mánuum ejus annúntiat firmamentum. Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior. The heavens show forth the glory of God: andContinue reading “Let the Clouds Rain the Just!”