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Saint Augustine of Hippo

February 24, 2010

St Augustine of Hippo by Philippe de Champaigne

Wikipedia: Augustine of Hippo

I am reading The Confessions for this Lent. I think it was the current Holy Father who said that if he was on a desert island this is the book he would take – I concur.


A blast from the past

February 2, 2010

The following is an excerpt from On Being Anglo-Catholic.

While the Anglo-Catholic tradition consciously models itself after the 19th century, ultra-Montanist Roman Catholic tradition, the truth is that the Anglo-Catholic ideal never really existed in its full-blown form. It only exists in our minds as a sort of ideal. To be Anglo-Catholic is to create in one’s own mind a historical reality which never really existed, at least in the Anglican world, and rarely existed if at all in any other world except in the rubrics found in dusty books on some sacristy shelves. It is rather like Roman Catholics who bemoan the loss of the beautiful Gregorian Chant liturgy in their parishes, when the truth is that the beautiful Gregorian Chant liturgy was never ever realized except in a few monasteries and cathedrals. It required professional singers or their equivalent, not to mention priests who are not tone deaf and who have some degree of liturgical sensibility.

King without a crown

January 28, 2010

You’re like water for my soul when it gets thirsty
Without you there’s no me
You’re the air that I breathe
Sometimes the world is dark and I just can’t see
With these, demons surround all around to bring me down to negativity
But I believe, yes I believe, I said I believe


That’s what I’m talking about

January 28, 2010

Joel Schorn’s book Holy Simplicity presents us with the lives of three women of our times who achieved great holiness by doing things “the little way” of simplicity, total love for God and the people around them.

Mother Teresa, well-known for her love and care for the destitute, the orphans and dying; St Thérèse of Lisieux, who lived a life of selfless giving in the obscurity of a Carmelite convent; and Dorothy Day, a journalist and founder of the Catholic Worker Movement who established Houses of Hospitality for the poor and homeless and lived with them.

To be a saint it is not necessary to do great deeds but to do the little, everyday things “with an awareness of the presence of God” or, as Teresa of Avila expressed it, “God walks among the pots and pans.”

All three saints followed this little way. Mother Teresa said “we can do no great deeds – only small ones with great love.”

St Thérèse of Lisieux’s whole life was focused on doing small things well and always with selfless love.

Inspired by her vision Dorothy Day also followed the little way “because it partakes of the simplicity of a child in its attitude of abandonment, of acceptance.”

Yet, all three achieved greatness and all three performed their service of love in hidden places: St Thérèse in the cloister and both Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day in the slums of a great city where they devoted their lives to those in need out of their abounding love of Christ – Inge Jonkers.

Source: Book Review – Holy Simplicity

Keeping in touch

January 27, 2010

Most people know that a blog as an RSS feed – the easiest and simplest way to stay in touch. But some people (ie me) want more:

A Hasidic story

January 25, 2010

How can we determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and day begins?” a young man asked.
Is it when from a distance you can distinguish a dog from a sheep?” suggested another man.
No,” said the old rabbi.
Is it when you can distinguIsh between a tig tree and a grapevine?” asked yet another student.
No,” said the old teacher. “It is when you can look into the face of another human being, no matter who they are, what they are, and what they’ve done or not done, and you have enough light to recognize in him or her a brother or sister. Until then, it is night, and darkness is still with you.


January 22, 2010

To love another is to will what is really good for him. Such love must be based on truth. A love that sees no distinction between good and evil, but loves blindly mere for the sake of loving, is hatred, rather than love. To love blindly is to love selfishly, because the goal of such love is not the real advantage of the beloved but only the exercise of love in our own souls. Such love cannot seem to be love unless it pretends to seek the good of the one loved. But since it actually cares nothing for truth, and never considers that it may go astray, it proves itself to be selfish. It does not seek the true advantage of the beloved or even our own. It proclaims itself content with the apparent good: which is the exercise of love for its own sake, without any consideration of the good or bad effects of loving.