SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
February 14, 2019
February 14, 2019
As a vowed, religious celibate I’m very conscious that today celibacy, whether lived out in a religious commitment or in other circumstances, is suspect, under siege and is offering too little by way of a helpful apologia to its critics. Do I believe in the value of consecrated celibacy? The only real answer I can
February 14, 2019
Like it or not, Christmas has left us. In the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite we must make do with the first bout of Ordinary Time (a name Benedict XVI confessed to not liking). In the Extraordinary Form and the ex-Anglican Ordinariates, this season continues to bear its hallowed name of “Time after Epiphany”.
February 14, 2019
Leah, Margaret and Catherine Fox were three siblings resident in upstate New York in the 1840s. By 1848, Leah had married and moved to Rochester, while her younger sisters were living nearby with their parents. In March of that year, “rappings” began to be heard around the two young girls. These were attributed by family
February 14, 2019
Cryptic across 5 Cavort with miners gathering around a place in Galilee (9) 8 Certain trouble when I dropped Greek, for example (6) 9 Alligator gets chap by Key West (6) 10 Speed English medic opened to take on board (7) 12 More retiring in the county, it’s announced (5) 14 Musical piece, a throwback
February 14, 2019
Ordinary Form Divine Office Week II Sunday, February 17: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Jer 17:5-8; Ps 1; 1 Cor 15:12, 16-20; Lk 6:17, 20-26 Monday, February 18: Weekday in Ordinary Time Gn 4:1-15, 25; Ps 50; Mk 8:11-13 Tuesday, February 19: Weekday in Ordinary Time Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10; Ps 29; Mk 8:14-21 Wednesday,
February 14, 2019
The saints strongly recommend finding a spiritual director: it is hard to guide oneself in the spiritual life. Sometimes it may be impossible (see below). But it is worth praying hard to find someone suitable. This will normally be a priest, though it’s not inconceivable that it could be a Sister or a lay person.
February 14, 2019
I think it’s an aphorism which originated with Evelyn Waugh, that if you were to leave your umbrella at the back of an Anglican church it would still be there when you returned, but if you left it in a Catholic church it would be gone. That a convert would take pride in this thought
February 14, 2019
Easter falls late this year because of the vagaries of the Moon. But Easter will come, and before it our serious penitential “Fortieth” season, Quadragesima, Lent. From time immemorial we have, traditionally, observed the pre-Lent Sundays. They begin this week, in the traditional calendar, with “Seventieth” Sunday, Septuagesima. On the Saturday before, we sing “Alleluia”
February 14, 2019
Sixth Sunday of the Year Jer 17:5-8; 1 Cor 15:12 & 16-20; Lk 6:17 & 20-26 (Year C) “Happy indeed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked, nor lingers in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of scorners, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
February 14, 2019
When Christians Were Jews By Paula Fredriksen Yale, 250pp, £19.99/$27.50 How did a group of 1st-century Jews, the followers of a recently crucified Jewish apocalyptical preacher, inspire the most diverse and popular religion in the world? It’s a topic that has fascinated many since biblical scholarship began in earnest, and one that is simultaneously contentious
February 14, 2019
The Enchanted Hour by Meghan Cox Gurdon Piatkus, 304pp, £13.99/$26.99 My earliest memory is of my mother laying a rug over our kitchen table and inviting my brother and me to crawl into the makeshift cave. Once we were settled, wide-eyed and excited, she would read to us about the Little Mermaid, or the Ugly
February 14, 2019
The 21: A Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs by Martin Mosebach (translated by Alta L. Price) Plough, 272pp, £19/$26 This book introduced me to the writing of the German novelist, poet and essayist Martin Mosebach. A Catholic and lover of the Tridentine liturgy, he has tackled a subject highly suited to his gifts