Jeffrey Miller

Dec 072016
 

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 27 October to 6 December 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Angelus

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

General Audiences

Motu Proprio

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “Today we remember Blessed Charles de Foucauld who said, faith calls us to see Jesus in every human being.” @Pontifex 1 December 2016
  • “I call on all people of goodwill to take action against human trafficking and new forms of slavery.” @Pontifex 2 December 2016
  • “We are all called to go out as missionaries and bring the message of God’s love to every person in every area of life.” @Pontifex 3 December 2016
  • “Advent is a time to prepare our hearts to receive Christ, our Saviour and hope.” @Pontifex 4 December 2016
  • “Jesus teaches us always to go to the essentials and to take on our own mission with responsibility.” @Pontifex 5 December 2016
  • “Jesus gives meaning to my life here on earth and hope for the life to come.” @Pontifex 6 December 2016

Papal Instagram

Dec 072016
 

I do wonder what non-Catholics think of Catholic Nativity scenes before Christmas? It is a small “t” tradition for Catholics to not place the baby Jesus in the Nativity until Christmas/Christmas Eve.

  • I knew it they don’t have Jesus!
  • 404 Jesus not found.
  • Apparently Jesus wandered off when he was 12 and as an infant.
  • You would think as rich as the Vatican is they could afford baby Jesus statues.
  • Is this the Catholic version of Where’s Waldo?

What are your suggestions?

Photo Credit: USSCB

Nov 302016
 

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 10 November 2016 to 30 November 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Angelus

General Audiences

Messages

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “So many women are overwhelmed with the burdens of life and the drama of violence! The Lord wants them to be free and their dignity respected” @Pontifex 25 November 2016
  • “With the close of the Jubilee, we look ahead at how to continue to experience with joy, fidelity and enthusiasm the richness of God’s mercy.” @Pontifex 26 November 2016
  • “Advent is a time when we journey towards Jesus and his Kingdom of justice and peace.” @Pontifex 27 November 2016
  • “Mercy is not a parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very existence, making tangible the profound truths of the Gospel.” @Pontifex 28 November 2016
  • “Jesus calls us to be bearers of joy and consolation as his merciful witnesses.” @Pontifex 29 November 2016
  • “On this feast of Saint Andrew, with fraternal affection I am close to Patriarch Bartholomew and pray for him and the Church entrusted to him” @Pontifex 30 November 2016

Papal Instagram

Nov 262016
 

Eleven years ago I decided to create my own Advent Wreath graphic instead of just using the normal animated gif that I had used previously. If you would like it for your own blog you can use the html code below. I will replace the graphic each week so that it correctly shows the number of candles that should be lit. On Christmas I will change it to another graphic I created for Christmastide.

<img src="http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/wp-content/uploads/Advent/curtjester_advent.gif" width="170" height="189" />
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Nov 242016
 

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from
5 November 2016 to 24 November 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Angelus

Apostolic Letter

General Audiences

Homilies

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “It is not enough to experience God’s mercy in one’s life; whoever receives it must also become a sign and instrument for others.” @Pontifex 17 November 2016
  • “If you want a heart full of love, be merciful!” @Pontifex 18 November 2016
  • “God’s mercy toward us is linked to our mercy toward our neighbour.” @Pontifex 19 November 2016
  • “May the Jubilee of Mercy, which concludes today, continue to bear fruit in the hearts and works of believers.” @Pontifex 20 November 2016
  • “Today we close the Holy Door thanking God for having granted us this extraordinary time of grace.” @Pontifex 20 November 2016
  • “May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!” @Pontifex 20 November 2016
  • “We entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lord, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us.” @Pontifex 20 November 2016
  • “Let us remember with gratitude the cloistered and monastic religious who pray for the Church and the world.” @Pontifex 21 November 2016
  • “How much I desire that the years to come will be full of mercy, so that every person can experience the goodness and tenderness of God!” @Pontifex 22 November 2016
  • “May the Holy Spirit help us to be patient when enduring, and to be humble and simple when advising.” @Pontifex 23 November 2016
  • “We have to break out of ourselves to encounter others. If we don’t, even we Christians can suffer from division.” @Pontifex 24 November 2016
Nov 242016
 

While Chesterton has been tagged as being the Apostle of Common Sense, I would add also a the Apostle of Gratitude and Thanksgiving. Nothing makes me see the actual wonder of our lives as much as GKC does.

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” (A Short History of England » Ch. 6: The Age of the Crusades)

“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?”

This one described much of my life as an atheist to a T (there is a Tau joke in there no doubt).

“The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank.”

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” (early notebook, mid 1890s)

And lastly:

“The Americans have established a Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the fact that the Pilgrim Fathers reached America. The English might very well establish another Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the happy fact that the Pilgrim Fathers left England.” (Chesterton in America “And What about the Quakers?”)

Nov 222016
 

Just in time for Advent is Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta: Daily Meditations by Heidi Hess Saxton. With St. Teresa of Calcutta’s recent canonization, timely indeed.

This devotional is similar to many daily’s. An introductory snippet of scripture, a mediation for the day, a moment to reflect, and a closing prayer. The meditation is centered around an aspect of St. Teresa’s history, quotes, or both. I found the mediations worthwhile considering they are limited to a page or page and a half.

The number of days in Advent changes each year as to how much of a full four weeks of Advent there are in relation to Christmas. This book is able to cover a full four weeks along with Feast Days and Solemnities that occur. So it is pretty easy to follow.

  • Caveat: Review copy provider by publisher.
Nov 162016
 

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 27 October 2016 to 16 November 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Angelus

General Audiences

Homilies

Messages

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “We should never forget about beauty, which humanity needs so much!” @Pontifex 10 November 2016
  • “Dear Friends, never forget that in our encounter with people in need we meet Jesus himself.” @Pontifex 11 November 2016
  • “I am before the Holy Door and I ask: “Lord, help me to thrust open the door of my heart!”.” @Pontifex 12 November 2016
  • “If you want to find God, seek him where he is hidden: in the neediest, the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned.” @Pontifex 13 November 2016
  • “In a world which has been damaged by the virus of indifference, the works of mercy are the best antidote.” @Pontifex 14 November 2016
  • “If every one of us, every day, does a work of mercy, there will be a revolution in the world!” @Pontifex 15 November 2016
  • “We don’t have to go far or come up with grand projects to be charitable. Often the people closest to us could use our help.” @Pontifex 16 November 2016

Papal Instagram

Nov 142016
 

Jimmy Akin’s latest release from Catholic Answers Press is A Daily Defense: 365 Days ( plus one) to Becoming a Better Apologist.

I have become quite found of books in the format of reading a short page a day. In Catholic circles these usually involve the writings of a specific saint, saints in general, or other spiritual topics. This is a good format that you can always make time for and I have found them to be quite worthwhile.

Still I have never seen this format used for a specifically apologetics work. I have been taking A Daily Defense a day at a time for the review instead of just rush-reading the whole. Now I more than suspected that this would contains clear and concise summaries on typical apologetic topics as is Jimmy Akin’s style. What I had not quite expected was how often they were presented in a fresh way. As an avid reader and listener of Catholic radio I suspect I have heard the vast majority of questions and answers on these topics. Yet the daily topic on Sola Scriptura was quite different than the usual objections. Just cut to the quick regarding what it would mean in application for much of the life of the Church.

Even the presentation of common arguments was enjoyable just for their precision and deft use of analogies. Plus no surprise that even Star Trek gets referenced and put to use.

So while this is a daily format book, it is also intended as a resource. At the end of the book is an Alphabetical Index where you can quickly look up topics you might be interested in. Plus throughout when topics are linked in some way to another topic, this is referenced with the related topic number.

Just excellent.

Another recent release by Jimmy Akin is Justification by Faith and Works?: What the Catholic Church Really Teaches (A Quick Read Book 1). I believe this is self-published on Amazon. The format as the title says is a Quick Read book, 17 pages for this entry. This format dives into a topic more in-depth than a typical tract.

The issue of justification has long been a divide for Catholics and Protestants. But there is not just confusion regarding what Protestants in general think Catholic believe about justification. Really many Catholics themselves have a confused idea regarding faith and works. He cuts through these confusions to show where there is actually convergence on this topic and what is actually divergent. Part of the problem is terminology differences and another is what aspect of justification is being talked about. The distinctions made are very helpful so that dialog is not just talking past each other.

I hope he is able to do more of these quick reads. His full length book The Drama of Salvation: How God Rescues You from Your Sins and Delivers You to Eternal Life goes into this topic in a fuller way – bite size chunks regarding specific aspects could have their own audience.

Caveats:

  • A Daily Defense was provided for review by Catholic Answers Press.
  • Justification by Faith and Works? was provided for review by the author.