Jul 172017

I keep looking for a no fuss Rosary. I like the beaded ones with metal links, but I want to try to pray the Rosary, not spend time keeping it repair. The last Rosary I bought was a knotted Rosary to prevent this problem, but recently the wooden Crucifix on it broke. Yes I enjoy a certain conceit in wearing out Rosaries. Which sucks that I can be conceited about this.

So this time I turned to Rugged Rosaries which I had previously run across.

Most of the Rosaries they sell use military grade paracord which is “Durable, waterproof, and very difficult to break.” They have a variety of colors and styles. When ordering you can choose to add medals to the Rosary. I choose to add the Divine Mercy and St Benedict Medals.

The model of Rosary I choose was the Catholic Gentleman Rosary – Be a Man. Be a Saint.

So using this Rosary over the last week I found it was exactly what I wanted.

During the work day I take two prayer walks. One to pray the Rosary and the other the Divine Mercy chaplet at 3:00 PM (when I am able). What I enjoy the most about this Rosary beyond the sturdiness and build quality is the heft of it. It has a nice weight too it. Plus I can easily hold it one handed going through the beads as I am walking and my arms are swinging to some extent. Just love the aesthetic feel of it in my hands. But mostly I don’t have to think about it.

Combining some exercise with prayer works for me. When I first started to take daily walks I was usually listening to audiobooks and podcasts. Usually would pray the Rosary before going to bed. Often though I would fall asleep while praying it. Yes I heard the bit about your Guardian Angel finishing a Rosary for you when you fell asleep. Still it finally dawned on me to combine the walks with praying. I found for myself it helps me focus better and that from time to time prayer actually breaks through the distractions.

Jul 172017

I always look forward to new books by Trent Horn. I so enjoy his engaging and winsome writing style. There is intellectual heft behind his arguments presented in a challenging, but non-combative style. His latest is Why We’re Catholic: Our Reasons for Faith, Hope, and Love.

He starts by discussing objective truth and defining terms regarding truth claims. While the discussion is around the self-refuting claims of moral relativism, he doesn’t use that term. The next chapter deals with “Why we believe in Science” and the problems of scientism. Since the Church vs. Science is such a commonly mistaken view it is important to address this early one.

The chapters go on to build on the existence of God and answering objections regarding Jesus and other common topics regarding the Church. All the chapters are fairly short, but packed with information. Throughout he is careful to define terms.

So overall a very good book as an introduction to various apologetics topics that can be used to shore up your own knowledge or given to someone who has questions.

Jul 112017

I used to complain about the disparity regarding reporting on the Church. Reporting by people who had no idea what they were writing about. Now all reporting is equally as bad on pretty much every subject.

The latest silliness is Why does the Church hate those with celiac disease.

So what happened that all of a sudden Pope Francis banned gluten-free Communion hosts? Why of course nothing has changed and this is not new information.

I guess it is hard to get click-bait headlines saying “The Catholic Church continues to teach what it had already been teaching.”

So why exactly the rash of new stories? Cardinal Sarah of the _Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments" issued a circular letter to bishops on the bread and wine for the Eucharist.

A rather short letter reminding bishops to be careful on their sources for hosts and wine used for the Eucharistic Sacrament and that they are valid matter. You just can’t go to the local Trader Joe’s for supplies, which has been done.

Time Magazine wrote:

The ban comes from a letter to Catholic bishops worldwide, published by Vatican Radio.

Wow, didn’t know Vatican Radio was now the official publisher of text for the CDW. Tell me more.

As usual, Get Religion provides good coverage.

Jul 052017


This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 23 May 2017 to 3 July 2017.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s blog.


Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

General Audiences





Papal Tweets

  • “May we entrust ourselves to the intercession of Sts Peter and Paul in order to give witness to God’s liberating action on us.” @Pontifex 29 June 2017
  • “There is great need to feed Christian hope, which gives us a new view capable of discovering and seeing the good.” @Pontifex 30 June 2017
  • “To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.” @Pontifex 30 June 2017
  • “A Christian’s mission in the world is splendid, it is a mission intended for everyone, it is a mission of service, excluding no one!” @Pontifex 1 July 2017
  • “How beautiful it is to see when young people are “street preachers”, joyfully bringing Jesus to every street and every corner of the earth!” @Pontifex 2 July 2017

Papal Instagram

Jun 292017

Whatever Rod Dreher has done, he has seemed to have spawned a cottage industry of articles and books by people suggesting a saint to emulate over St. Benedict of Nursia. So I have seen so many articles doing exactly this.

Part of this is a natural reaction to his book since whoever he had set to mention as a pattern would be critiqued by others. Plus of course I have read much criticism saying that Dreher is suggesting retreating from society. This happened despite all the caveats in his book that this is not his intention or that St. Benedict’s model was the only model to follow. It is just the nature of the format of the title that provides a theme to build one, while also limiting the points he makes.

Having read the book, like so many others have mentioned, there is much to like along with things to have differing opinions on. All of which is to be expected. The first part of the book deals with a very pessimistic view of the current state of society and the last part deals with how we live our lives in this situation.

There are lots of areas where I share his pessimism about the culture at large and to a large part the prescriptions he notes. I can very well believe things will be quite dire culturally in the near to long term. Although I have read enough of Church history to not accept an idea of of a progressive slope to the bad or to the good. The heartbeat of history is all over the place with revivals, declines, and everything in between..

This did get me thinking generally about his advice. Much of which I think is practicable irregardless of the times you live in. In America and elsewhere where faith can be highly individualistic the “Me and Jesus” quickly become “Me” when other structures aren’t in place. Personal holiness must be job one in loving God and neighbor. Family life has to build on this and beyond this in community life. We need to both strengthen others and to be strengthened by them. The interconnectedness of all of this is so important. When a culture is on the decline so much more work has to be put into this. Easy to complain about structures not being there to support your faith. Yet we see the trails blazed by saints who lived in difficult times when these structures were torn down. Right now it is all so so easy to be a cultural critic while skipping being an inner critic.

Regardless of the times we live in we can become saints.

Ultimately all the saints followed “The Jesus Option”, they modeled Jesus in ways that reflected their personality and experience. Reading the lives of the saints is not the experience of reading a cookie cutter factory of holiness. We are able to relate to saints who have some of the same dispositions or experience as us, or sometimes because their virtues shine a spotlight on our vices we want eliminated.

There is no carbon copy path of sanctity where one path applies to all, other than that we must all trod the narrow path.

Each individual must discern based on their own strengths and weaknesses how to achieve this. The Body of Christ is exactly as St. Paul taught where we don’t need a plethora of just one part.

  • Good times or bad: We must become saints.
  • Good times or bad: We must build family and community life.
Jun 282017


This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 22 June 2017 to 28 June 2017.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s blog.



Papal Tweets

  • “Let us not be distracted by the false wisdom of this world, but to follow Jesus as the one sure guide who gives meaning to our life.” @Pontifex 22 June 2017
  • “Go forth and reach out to all people at the margins of society! Go there and be the Church, with the strength of the Holy Spirit.” @Pontifex 23 June 2017
  • “Mercy warms the heart and makes it sensitive to the needs of brothers and sisters with sharing and participation.” @Pontifex 24 June 2017
  • “Each one of us is precious; each one of us is irreplaceable in God’s eyes.” @Pontifex 25 June 2017
  • “I repeat the firm condemnation of every form of torture and call on everyone to work for its abolishment and support victims and families.” @Pontifex 26 June 2017
  • “Sharpen your gaze in order to see the signs God shows us in reality.” @Pontifex 27 June 2017
  • “God looks with love upon every one of us.” @Pontifex 28 June 2017

Papal Instagram

Jun 222017

Going to Eucharistic Adoration is something I always mean to get around to, but usually don’t. Part of it is logistics. I remember once calling the closest parish to get the PIN code to access to chapel. I think I was asked more questions than when I filled out my security clearance. Not belonging to that parish I think prevented that from coming to fruition.

Then I called another parish with perpetual adoration and I just needed someone to vouch for me, which my parish priest did. So I have been going there off and on, although the parish is not really close or usually on my route. One funny aspect is their keypad to gain entrance. The buttons for the four digits used are quite obvious because of the ware on the buttons. So even when I forgot the code, the digits needed were rather obvious.

Last week on the Feast of Corpus Christi my parish was having sign ups for Adoration before and after Mass. So I signed up for a weekly time slot at night. So this will get me to do regularly what I wanted to get into the habit of doing. So I went at the appointed time to the chapel I had never been to which is across from the main church and next to the historic church where I go to Latin Mass. The chapel is built into a center used by the parish and is a good sized circular room on the “corner” of the building.

I was happy to see about a dozen people there at night and that there was a beautiful monstrance. No security code to enter to gain access, but the chapel is not open 24/7. What surprised me the most is how fast an hour went by. There is something just so wonderful about praying and reading in His Eucharistic presence.

I’ve been going to this parish since my wife died and while I have been going to the historic church and the cemetary behind it, I had no idea the adjacent building contained a chapel. I though it was all parish offices. Doh!

Another thing I accidentally discovered was that the parish where I go to morning Mass at had Adoration before Morning Mass. Getting to Mass early in the morning was already difficult enough and I tended to arrive a minute or two before Mass started. Getting there earlier one day and seeing the Monstrance it finally dawned on me that they did this everyday. So now I wake up a little earlier to at least get in on tail end of Adoration and to sing the Tantum Ergo. That would be a whole ten minutes earlier I now wake up – proving I must really love Jesus if I am going to wake up a whole ten minutes earlier.

Jun 212017


This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 27 May 2017 to 21 June 2017.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s blog.


General Audiences



Papal Tweets

  • “Everyone’s existence is tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.” @Pontifex 15 June 2017
  • “Love requires a creative, concrete response. Good intentions are not enough. The other is not a statistic, but a person to take care of.” @Pontifex 16 June 2017
  • “Care for the environment is always a social concern as well. Let us hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” @Pontifex 17 June 2017
  • “Jesus was broken; he is broken for us. This is the Eucharist. And he asks us to give ourselves, to break ourselves, as it were, for others.” @Pontifex 18 June 2017
  • “None of us is an island, autonomous and independent from others. We can only build the future by standing together, including everyone.” @Pontifex 19 June 2017
  • “The personal encounter with refugees dispels fears and distorted ideologies and becomes a factor for growth in humanity. @M_RSection” @Pontifex 20 June 2017
  • “We must not turn our backs on the new forms of poverty and marginalization that prevent people from living a life of dignity.” @Pontifex 21 June 2017

Papal Instagram

Jun 202017

A couple of weeks ago, I took my 12-year-old daughter to the town library in search of something to read. When I asked the librarian in charge of the YA section to recommend something without suicide or sex, she said, without hostility but quite firmly that we were in the wrong section.

She goes on to review For Steam and Country: Book One of the Adventures of Baron von Monocle.

I am currently reading this book and greatly enjoying it. More and more my source of books is often independently published ones. The publishing gatekeepers, for the most part, seem to want to promote preachy SJW tracts disguised as novels.

“As writer Walker Percy cracked about vapid contemporary Christian novelists, they’ve sold their birthright for “a pot of message.” Unfortunately this is also now true of secular writers. I wouldn’t mind message fiction as much if there was actually craft in the storytelling, instead the story is subservient to the “message”.

Jun 152017

Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, the superior general of the Jesuit order, suggested that the devil is a “symbolic figure,” in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

“We have formed symbolic figures such as the devil to express evil,” Father Sosa said. He added evil can also be a product of one’s social environment, saying that “there are people who act because they are in an environment where it is difficult to act to the contrary.” Source

A spokesman for Fr. Sosa said his comments must be read in context and that Fr. Sosa believes what the Church teaches. Fair enough.

This prompted Archbiship Chaput to write a column Sympathy for the devil.

Kolakowski saw that we can’t fully understand our culture unless we take the devil seriously. The devil and evil are constants at work in human history and in the struggles of every human soul. And note that Kolakowski (unlike some of our own Catholic leaders who should know better) was not using the word “devil” as a symbol of the darkness in our own hearts, or a metaphor for the bad things that happen in the world.