Showing posts from 2019

Re-post: Gifts on St. Nicholas Day?

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

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

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 Outdated.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

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?

“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…

The Highway of Heroes

A must see every Remembrance Day. Here is the Canadian band The Trews with "Highway of Heroes."

Demonology, Exorcisms, and Hope

One of the more interesting interviews I’ve heard in a long time was done last week on the Patrick Coffin Show. You can find it HERE, or look for it as a Podcast.

The interview was with Adam Blai, a man who has spent his life working in psychology and demonology. He helps train exorcists, and currently does work with the diocese of Pittsburgh. Blai presents a solid view of the Catholic understanding of obsessions, possessions, and exorcisms. The interview is not intimidating or chilling, but rather quite hopeful. He demonstrates time and time again that Christ works best through His Church.

By all means check out the interview. If you don’t have time, here are a few notes…

Possessions are caused by some violation of the first commandment, such as seeking some power other than God. Hmmm... Pachamama rituals anyone?

To truly exorcise a possessed person is a lengthy process. On average Blai says it takes 6-24 months, and sometimes can go on for 20 years. It takes time to unravel all the laye…

A Necessary Book Reviewed: Defending BOYHOOD

First, a word of context. Dr. Anthony Esolen could write a cookbook, and I would read it with admiration - for the splendour of his words far surpasses anything our society could, or want to, produce. I imagine it would read, “Complement your sustenance with one trifle of salt, for “We have some salt of our youth in us,” sayeth Shakespeare, and so too should your meatloaf…” Something like that. Now, on to the book review.

What happens when the best writer in the English language alive today writes a book on a topic I personally have a deep-seated interest in? The result is a book so astute, masterful, and essential, I have little hope of adequately sharing its impression on me. I speak of Dr. Anthony Esolen’sDefending BOYHOOD – How Building Forts, Reading Stories, Playing Ball, and Praying to God Can Change the World (TAN Publishing).

I have written before on my experiences dealing with boyhood’s clash with the world, particularly in the public school setting. Esolen’s book dissects thi…

Top Children Songs of All Time - Right Here

On the lighter side, I present to you... my top five favourite children's songs. I am not talking about old time classics like Twinkle Twinkle, but the type of children's music that you would haul out the old record player to listen to. Think Raffi, Fred Penner, and the like. You will notice that there is no Duck Song, or Baby Shark. I'm talking real music. Here we go:

5) Puff the Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul, and Mary

*Sniff* Those lyrics. I'm not crying. You're crying.

"But, but... it's about DRUUUUGS!!" you say?

No, it's not. Get your mind out of the gutter and stop thinking about drugs. Druggie.

4) Hey Dum Diddley Dum - Performed by Sharon, Lois, and Bram

Fun. Catchy. And to be honest, I needed to have Sharon, Lois, and Bram on the list at least once. 

3) The Cat Came Back - Fred Penner

I could put Fred Penner songs for all five if need be. Sandwiches. Collections. So many others. But, The Cat Came Back is simply legendary.

2) Spaghetti  - Joe Wise

Huh? T…

On Saints, Sinners, and Stealing Statues

Mark Twain popularized the aphorism that truth is stranger than fiction, a verifiable fact when considering the lives of the saints. The stories of the saints are as eccentric as they are venerable.

Take, for example, St. Symeon the Stylite. Unable to gain enough prayer time due to a following of devotees (he sounds like me with my children), he spent 47 years living atop a pillar - the last pillar being over 50 feet high. St. Denis, after being decapitated, picked up his head in his hands and walked six miles, all the while preaching a sermon on repentance. To the chagrin of the altar boy present, St. Lawrence of Brindisi would take upwards of sixteen hours to say a Mass. St. Philip Neri, in the pursuit of humility, once shaved only half of his beard. And perhaps my favorite story of all, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows walked unarmed in the midst of twenty Garibaldi Red Shirt soldiers who had kidnapped a young woman. Gabriel swiped a couple of pistols from the nearby soldiers, sh…

Un-Chartered Territory for Husbands

WARNING: The following post is definitly not for everyone

There are two real problems that I see with Natural Family Planning, and particularly the Billings Method.
The first is quite simple. A couple spends all of their time charting about the wife. For instance, every night as I am drifting off into dreamland my wife has to abruptly wake me up and tell me to get the chart. I then have to reach way down to find the chart (our bed is up high) and pass it to her, along with a certain coloured sticker, before I can go back to sleep. From a guy's perspective this is what NFP is all about. "Get the chart." "Pass me this sticker." "This is who I am." Notice that it's always about her and her body. And what’s with the stickers? It’s like teaching kindergarten, really: “Oh look at you! Here’s a sticker!”

The second problem has to do with the stickers themselves. You see, the NFP booklets contain a variety of stickers that mean different things. There are ye…