Faithful Friday: Lawrence of Canterbury

Lawrence of Canterbury was one of the early missionaries sent to Britain from Rome along with St. Augustine of Canterbury. After Augustine’s death around 604, Lawrence succeeded him as Archbishop of Canterbury. 

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Destry Rides Yet Again

One of the satellite channels programmed a weekend of Audie Murphy cowboy movies. In my youth these were a Saturday afternoon staple down at the Palace Theatre, of happy memory, and I was pleased to revisit Destry (1954).

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Tolkien’s Shelob the Spider

A poisonous lump of flesh in malignant repose / Her lair all befouled with scraps of souls / In life sought out with her multiplex eyes / Her Sauron-eyes – it was the hopes that died first

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Faithful Friday: John Chrysostom

Saint John Chrysostom is a figure in ecclesial history with a stunning breadth of influence. As a writer, preacher, and archbishop, his life was scored with a generative fervor in bolstering and guiding the church.

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A Very Brief Review of When Books Went to War

…tyrants don’t want people thinking for themselves. Books are dangerous to bullies, whether they are Hitler, Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Vlad the Bad Putin, Chairman Xi, or the Ms. Grundy down the street.

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The Huns & Goths Part 3: Goth Before It was Cool

When you say “Gothic” nowadays, most people tend to think of a style of literature, or music, or aesthetic, or more rarely, architecture. These things, however, have little to do with the historical Goths. 

Historians often separate Goths in two subgroups: Visigoths (western Goths) and Ostrogoths (Eastern Goths) but this is only for convenience’s sake. The Goths themselves recognized no such distinction, nor did the Romans at the time.

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Faithful Friday: Pope Fabian

Little is known about Pope Fabian, including when he was born. He became Pope in 236AD, following the death of Pope Anterus. The early Church historian Eusebius relates that Fabian was not one of the original candidates for the office, but a dove descended upon him during the election process and those present decided this was a sign from the Holy Spirit and thus duly elected him.

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Christian Mastery of the Mind 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” While this command does imply that we should not think about that which is opposite to the characteristics listed here, Paul gave this command in this way for a reason. 

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The Machine Pauses – Three Days in ICU

Oh, isn’t it awkward being passed along / Up and down confusing, fluorescent-lit corridors / From receptionist to nurse-practitioner / To technician to physician and back again

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The Huns & Goths Part 2: Hun, I’m Home!

To Jordanes, the struggle against the Huns was a holy war against the demoniac forces of chaos. The Huns weren’t just savage, they were inhuman. The Huns, like many Asian steppe people, were adept on mounted warfare and deadly with the re-curve bow. They wore armor of leather treated with animal fat to make it more flexible and rain resistant. Their helmets were also of leather, but lined with steel and mail to protect their heads and necks. In close combat, they were skilled with the blade. They were renowned for their cruelty and cunning by all those who had this misfortune of encountering them. 

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Faithful Friday: St. Mungo

St. Mungo was born Kentigern, son of Princess Teneu of Lothian. He was the result of his mother being attacked by Owain mab Urien, for which her father, King Lot (also called Lleuddun) had Teneu thrown from a cliff. She miraculously survived and came to an area inhabited by a man called Saint Serf, and was cared for by him.

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Edna St. Vincent Millay and Her Pickup Truck

The fragility of teenaged boys is well known / Despite their tough hands stained with oil and grease / And their slouch and their ‘tude, wanting to be grown / Their loud voices disturbing the classroom’s peace

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The Huns & Goths Part 1: Setting the Stage

For those who do not know, the Goths and the Huns were two tribes living on the outskirts of the Roman Empire. The clash of these three cultures contributed greatly to the fall of Rome, and affected modern society in a few important ways. By the 4th century, the Roman Empire had grown so large that it had divided itself into two regions: the West and the East. Each had their own Emperor, and had developed their own subcultures though on paper they were still one empire.

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Faithful Friday: St. Andre Bessette 

Through trials, rigors and the initial skepticism of the brethren, Alfred persevered, joining the religious order known as the Congregation of the Holy Cross. As a novice, he learned to read (a skill he had not learned as a child) and memorized many portions of Scripture and of the writings of the saints. He received Holy Orders on August 22, 1872, taking the name Brother Andre. He was then assigned to serve as a porter at the College of Notre Dame, which he served admirably, despite ill-treatment by his superior. Once again, he persevered without the slightest complaint as he always had before.

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St. Nicholas’ Night

The original Santa Claus / Was a man who lived in Turkey / A very long time ago, tis true / A jolly, dear old Bishop / Who took his duties seriously / And a smile when times were blue

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All Children by Nature Have a Desire to Learn

Once upon a time, I was sitting in the car, reading and waiting for the spouse-person who was yakking with some other women after Mass. Suddenly, I noticed a little boy standing next to me at the window. He said, “You look like Father Brown.”

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Faithful Friday: Gregory of Nazianzus

Gregory of Nazianzus (also called Gregory Nazianzen) was born around 330 AD in Cappadocia, now modern Turkey. Gregory was given a classical education in the cities of Caesarea, Alexandria, and Athens. Among his schoolmates were St. Basil the Great and future Roman emperor Julian the Apostate.

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The Christmas Puzzle

Oh Christmas crib, oh Christmas crib, / What a privilege you were blessed to have / From you food to animals was given / And now you carry the Bread of Heaven / Oh Christmas crib, oh Christmas crib, / What a privilege you were blessed to have

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