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Showing posts from 2019

What I Read in 2019

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Can one put a price on a good book? Apparently yes, and a hefty one at that.
I would say that our book budget is out of control in our home, but that would imply that we have an actual budget. Needless to say, we treasure good books here. But let’s cut to the chase already. Here’s my annual “What I Read in…” Blog. 2019 Edition.
The Lord of the Rings (Fellowship, Two Towers, and Return of the King) – JRR Tolkien

1500 or so pages for this trilogy. This was the second time I read it. The first time was 18 years ago. I remember staying up late each night, because it was so thrilling. This time around, I enjoyed going at a leisurely pace. Seeing symbolism and making connections made my second reading of Tolkien’s masterpiece less frenzied and more fascinating.
Conclusion: A must read. Obviously.


The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien



I read this again to my class. I’m just inserting it again because it is worthy of a yearly mention. The very title of this blog, Bravest Thing, is from a passage of this might…

I Saw Three Songs for Christmas Day

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One Blessed Night - Andre T. Miller

I first stumbled upon this watching Raymond Arroyo’s The World Over Christmas special two years ago. Since then, this song’s been a blessed addition to any night of the Christmas season.



Angels We have Heard on High – Andrea Bocelli

The best voice in the world singing possibly the best Christmas song. Add in a splendid choir and orchestra and you have a song for the ages.



I Saw Three Ships – Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Oh those Mormons, showing us up again. And to think, they also get their own planet when they die!


Bonus…
A MUST Christmas Album comes from the Dominican Friars: Christ was Born to Save
Here is: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming. Get your tissues ready.


(To see what they look like, click HERE).

A Possibly Unappealing Post: An Invitation to Ember Days

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Do you want a great Christmas? Of course you do. Do you want to work towards holiness in a very tangible and fruitful way? I should hope so. Do you want to help the Church? God help you if you don’t.

Selling something that is difficult runs the risk of being a futile endeavour. One’s internal desire must be evident for success. Nevertheless, I will give a brief pitch anyways: Ember Days begins this Wednesday. I invite anyone and everyone to participate. It doesn’t matter if you attend a traditional Latin Mass, the worst hootenanny Mass in town, or just your average Catholic parish, this is a worthy tradition sure to aid you and the entire Church.

From my 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal:

At the beginning of the four seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year, the Ember Days have been instituted by the Church to thank God for blessings obtained during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season. Their importance in the Church was formerly very great. They are fixed on the Wed…

A Mod Podge Guadalupe

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Our Lady of Guadalupe is quite the story. Do you know the pre-1531AD part of the story? An interesting video of the feast is HERE.

We took a try at making a mod podge icon. After printing an image of Our Lady in reverse, and cutting and priming a piece of wood, I placed the image face down with the mod podge.


The next day it was time to wet the image, and then start peeling. 

Murphy's Law, a piece of the image pealed off, right at the head. Grrr. I touched it up with some pencil crayon work (I'm not exactly Michelangelo), and then sealed the icon. I'll give my first attempt at this a 7/10. 


Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Moving the Immaculate Conception: Over-Complicated Catholicism

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Positive Thinking: The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is so profound and magnificent, our family celebrated it twice.

Realistic Thinking: What the heck?

* * *
Let me begin with a short extract from Fr. Gabriel’s famous Divine Intimacy:

“The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is in perfect harmony with the spirit of Advent; while the soul is preparing for the coming of the Redeemer, it is fitting to think of her, the all-pure one, who was His Mother.”
Faithful Catholics love December the 8th, the day honouring Mary’s Immaculate Conception. It is also my local parish feast. So this year our priest dutifully planned a large parish meal, a refurbishing of our Marian votive area, and a special consecration to Our Lady. The problem is that he planned everything for December the 8th. I pointed this out to him. In a liturgically sane world he would’ve looked at me as if I was losing my mind. But it’s not a liturgically sane world, and I had to correct the good Father.

This year the Solemn…

Re-post: Gifts on St. Nicholas Day?

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December 6th is the Feast of St. Nicholas. Once upon a time we used to do wholesome things to honour this great saint, such as punch heretics. But now? Some try and make the day as though it were Christmas. Please read my post from last year... Gifts for St. Nicholas Day?

Dr. Kwasniewski's Beef with Thomas Aquinas College: Be Consistent

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Here are some interesting words from Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, author of a book I highly recommend: Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness. On Facebook he laid out some interesting thoughts:

Peter Kwasniewski 16 hrs I'm going to say something that's been on my mind for a long time. Thomas Aquinas College, which I attended from 1990-1994, the alma mater of countless friends of mine and now their children, is a strange place, because at its heart is a fundamental inconsistency. They study the Great Books, but they are not devoted to the Great Liturgy, which is the greatest work of art, theology, and culture ever produced in the bosom of the Christian West. They read the best that has been thought and said, but do not pray -- as a rule and as a community -- with the best that has been prayed and sung. In other words, their intellectual life is basically out of step with their Catholic life. In regard to the former, their pinnacle is St. Thomas Aquinas of the 13th century golden age; in rega…

Top 10 Christmas Shows

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A top ten Christmas show list seems like a pointless endeavour. It’s mostly a matter of taste, and I doubt there’s a single person who would agree with all of my selections. For instance, I don’t have any A Christmas Carol productions on my list. I say go read Dickens directly.

However, such a list could, if nothing else, let you know of some good shows you might otherwise not be aware of. And so, here is my list of top ten Christmas shows.


10 – Charlie Brown’s Christmas
The “Hark/Hockey Stick” line alone makes this a classic. 


In my clip I've included, if you watch while Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas, he drops his security blanket (0:34) as he says "fear not."


9 – White Christmas

Cheesy. Overdone. Outdated.

And yet, Danny Kay alone is worth the watch.


8 – Home Improvement Christmas 



This was one of my absolute favourites growing up. Tim Allen is a funny man. The fact that he would set a prime time Christmas TV show around a trip to church seems impossible in 2019…

Bishop Schneider's Christus Vincit: Uplifting, Indispensable, Timely

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Following a week of lamentable meetings by the bishops of the USCCB, it is tempting to lose one’s hope that this Church crisis will ever end. The bishops, many of whom are spiritual offspring of Theodore McCarrick (though not all), discussed a plethora of secularist liberal issues such as gun control and diocesan taxes, all the while mingling behind the security-laden walls of the four-star Marriott Waterfront hotel in Baltimore - not exactly a Carthusian monastery. The most accurate description of the meetings perhaps came the week prior, as a Crux headline read: US Bishops have their plates full during next week’s USCCB meeting. No doubt their wine glasses as well. In the meantime, trust in the American bishops to act as defenders of the Catholic faith has long since dissipated, though it seems many bishops are tone-deaf to this reality.

Now would be an appropriate time to suggest that faithful Catholics are not entirely orphans, that there is a glimmer of hope. I speak of the recen…

Should it be Goodnight for the Hardy Boys?

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“Good night!” exclaimed Joe Hardy, the younger brother of Frank. Joe, a high school star in football, wrestling, lacrosse, swimming, distance running, weight lifting, chess, trigonometry, and theatre, looked worried as he hid behind a skull shaped rock while watching the head of the New World Order toss the Holy Grail into a potato sack.

“Golly gee, I think the President’s phone call will have to wait until we deal with this!” replied Frank, who in addition to excelling in all school sports and subjects, was the youngest town councillor in Bayport’s history and a consultant for the State Senator.

“Let’s get em!” roared the impetuous Joe.

Joe knocked out the biggest crook first, with a solid right cross to the chin. Meanwhile Frank, with a flurry of punches to the solar plexus, was immobilizing the head of the New World Order against the skull shaped rock.

Just then another crook, dressed like a tree, attacked Joe with an iron bar! Joe went sprawling to the ground in pain, undoubtedly havi…