"It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait. At any rate after a short halt go on he did..."
Living with Christ, Water Journeys, and Enneagrams
In Canada January the 7th was the Memorial of St.
Andre Bessette. My family has a devotion to this great saint, and so I smuggled
in a Living with Christ daily missal booklet
from the church in order to have St. Andre’s updated Collect prayer on hand for
praying the Divine Office. Whoops. I should have just ripped out the page with the prayer.
What did bringing a Living
with Christ booklet into my home give me? Let’s take a look…
-An opening address by Gilles Mongreau, SJ. He
vaguely discusses light, while condemning those who “try to cling to old ways
of thinking, even going so far as to try to violently enforce the return of a ‘golden
age.’” I’m not sure who exactly this is referring to. Those violent traditional
Catholics? Or Muslims?
-Prayers of the Faithful, including decrying “the
abuse and misuse of the world’s resources,” asking for a “deep and mutual
respect for all faith traditions among all leaders and teachers,” and my
favourite, a prayer “for us, God’s priestly people gathered here, called to
bless the Lord.”
-Sunday theological reflections by inspired members
of the laity. They plead with us to consider the migrants among us, acknowledge
that God says yes to us, and remind us that Jesus “is the only member of the
human race that does not need forgiveness” - precise Mariology be damned.
-Inclusive language. You know, St. Paul’s “sons of
men” is so offensive.
the best of all: the retreats!
-On January the 11th in Coburg, ON, you
can attend a “Sacred Water” session. “Water is Life. Water is Sacred. Protect
the Sacred.” From there you will be presented with “some steps forward on our
water journey.” How’s your water journey going?
-Jan. 17-18 in St. Albert, AB, has a retreat
focusing on “the ecumenical virtue of hospitality,” in case you’re interested.
-Jan. 22 is a doozy. In Windsor, ON, there is a
full day workshop on “Introduction to the Enneagram.” Yes, this was condemned
by the Vatican back in 2003, but not to worry, the program assures us that the “Enneagram
is a tool that helps us to awaken to our sacred self.”
-Windsor also presents the gnostic
health-and-wealth inspired “Prayer of Jabez” workshop on Jan. 28.
-The next day you can skip back to Coburg for their
“Gift of the Christian Celtic Spirit” retreat. For just $40 you will gain “understandings
of thresholds, dreams, the unseen world, soul friendship, seasonal cycles,
journeying of the Spirit and God’s encircling love.”
-And finally, Feb. 1 has an “Eco-Contemplative
Winter Retreat” in St. Albert. Don’t miss Jodi Lammiman and Amy Spark “use
ecological metaphor to uncover what is stirring in your inner world through group
dialogue and guided solitude time.”
There is all this and much more in the January 2020 edition of
Living with Christ.
I actually don’t want this trash in my home. So what is it
doing in our churches?
An update of my thoughts on Exodus 90 can be found HERE . Exodus 90 is underway for many Catholic men. It is an intense 90 day program based on prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. For 90 days these men will take cold showers, abstain from alcohol and most media, fast twice per week, give up snacks and desserts, along with various other spiritual tasks. I applaud such a penitential spirit. The inevitable…. HOWEVER… However, I do have two concerns about Exodus 90 which could use some explaining. 1: Sundays The Church already has a wise, if not perfect, system of fasting and feasting. Catholics are encouraged to do penance on Wednesdays and Fridays (some add in Saturdays as well). In addition, there are specific periods of penance (Lent, Advent, Ember Days). Feasting occurs on Sundays as well as on major Feast Days and Solemnities (e.g. the Assumption of Mary). There is a built in balance to life. My problem with Exodus 90 is that, from what I hear, Sundays and F
There is always a certain amount of fear and trembling when I begin writing a piece on a somewhat unfamiliar subject. Perhaps all that will be demonstrated here is my ignorance and incompetence. To which I suppose my wife would reply: “You’d think you’d be used to that by now.” But I write this piece simply for the fact that Catholic trends, even good ones, need sober reflection and refinement. I refer to the Exodus 90 program. [i] Earlier in 2020 – simpler times to be sure - I listened with interest to a podcast on Exodus 90. In it I heard that this program, which was founded in 2013, is an intense 90 day program based on prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. For 90 days men take cold showers, abstain from alcohol and most media, fast twice per week, give up snacks and desserts, meet weekly with a small group of participants, exercise regularly, all the while following a regimented prayer schedule. I applaud such a penitential spirit (though it seems that cold showers in the de
The following is a talk I recently gave at a Catholic men's group: Let’s begin by examining the secular “wokeness” on fasting. Gone are the days of weight loss programs like Weight Watchers… where you simply eat less each meal! Sounds simple, right? Fewer calories means you lose weight. The problem is that it never worked that well. The reduced number of calories per meal also reduced one’s energy as well, dipped into muscle storage, and offered frugal results. Science now shows that full out fasting is the perfect method for proper health. The secular world’s latest trend is intermittent fasting . One builds up how long a person can go in between meals. The ideal is to eat one meal a day. The meal could consist of almost your regular day’s intake (say 75%). What happens is that your body, when full out fasting, actually dips into fat storage for energy. You maintain your energy, lose weight, and it’s perfectly healthy, if not natural. Science shows that intermittent
Mark Twain once mused that “all you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” These seem like fitting words to begin as I, quivering with emotion, scribe a few words on the death of the fictional (and yet real) Susan from the Parish Council . Her ignorance was inestimable, her confidence impenetrable, and her success undeniable. Not that I can confirm Susan has indeed passed from this life to her eternal… reward. To further cite Twain, perhaps reports of her death have been greatly exaggerated. I suppose Susan can rise from any alleged demise. Truth be told, if Susan is not cremated first, I imagine her funeral as such, with the priest requesting additional “ministers” of Holy Communion, and Susan rising from the casket to pump the Purell and serve Jesus to all her sisters and brothers. But for now, I will dare to speak of Susan as having died. Her online “group newsletter” via Facebook/Twitter has gone silent. She warned recently she was sick
It is our first full day on our family vacation. After being imprisoned far too long in our little area due to COVID regulations, we are bursting at the seems to traverse and climb the Rocky Mountains. But first, a night in Drumheller, Alberta. The scenery is stunning, yet we are perhaps too excited to see the mountains to give Drumheller its due respects. Also of note, we are a little rusty at camping. It's been a few years since we went on a major trip. This being the first full day, we are disheveled already, and misplacing items left and right. Never mind. It is morning, and before we pack up the campsite I decide to go for a quick jog. I take out my combat rosary , place it on the picnic table at our site, and head out for some exercise throughout the stunning landscape. What a beautiful place. Alas, I return, and our packing up begins in haste. Soon enough we head into the van, eager to hit the highway. Suddenly I slam on the brakes! "Where's my combat rosary!?!"
951 Songs/Psalms/Commentaries $17.09 USD Oregon Catholic Press Every now and then a book comes along which is rich in wisdom and beauty, and profoundly enlightening to all who encounter it. The latest Breaking Bread 2021 hymnal is not one of those books. Tiresome, inane, fluffy, fruity, and worthless are all words that come to mind when I consider the latest liturgical offering from our bishops. 2020 was a rough year. 2021 is already off to a mortifyingly awful start. Enough with the suspense. Let's dive into it. Behold a few examples of what to expect at a church near you in 2021: At first I misread this title and thought it was Guns & Roses with Knocking on Heaven's Door. And then I thought of Paul McCartney singing "Someone's knocking at the door...." Sadly, it is neither. I love the juxtaposition though. "Somebody's knock-in' at your door," versus the Stabat Mater . I can just see the choir director, "Hmm... shall we meditate on t