David Medcalf, Country Cottage near Efailnewydd (CC BY-SA 2.0) First Mass

Clenching the wheel of his community’s beat-up beige Ford Taurus so tightly the color had fully drained from his hands, Father Eugene Felusiak raced up the Jersey Turnpike. As he successfully steered the vehicle from one lane to another, finding a way through the accumulated traffic, he half-wondered to himself whether his maneuvers were being aided,... [Read more...]

Mosaic in the Cathedral of Monreale In the Fisherman’s Net

Not ours the wounds, the bloodied flesh, of those fire-tested ancient souls; Theirs the bones for grinding lion’s teeth to gnaw to living bread Or the blood to spell their credo, a sanguine testament witnessed boldly As fisherman’s inverted across the sea from Calvary, dying Death body’s worthier Consort than Truth-less life. Not now trumpet blast... [Read more...]

“Courting Days” (John and Rosemary Danaher, from a family album) Buried in the Prairie

Today I will be burying my grandmother. After 96 years of life, she returned to the Lord in the early morning of Easter Sunday. Despite the sadness, everyone in the family, every branch in that great tree, thought to themselves, “Talk about good timing!” For a woman so devout all her life—not only in personal prayer, but just as much so in her... [Read more...]

Image: Nicolas Poussin, Et in Arcadia ego. Remember Death

We are all going to die. We were reminded of this on Ash Wednesday when the priest put ashes on our heads saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We need to be reminded about the reality of our death because we forget so easily. Our culture desensitizes us to the fact of dying. It makes death seem so commonplace as to... [Read more...]

Lawrence Lew, O.P., Ashes from Palms Pixie Dust and Ash Wednesday

The Disney film adaption of Peter Pan ends (unsurprisingly) happily-ever-after. Gathered before the nursery window in a loving embrace, the Darling family fondly watches Peter and Tinkerbell fly their golden, pixie-enchanted ship through the moonlit clouds to Neverland. In the background, a 1950s chorus croons the reprise to “You Can Fly”: When... [Read more...]

Image: Pascal Frei Lent, Subterranean

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, we planted the seeds of our Lenten observance. We committed to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We resolved to give something up. Today is our first chance to check in on our progress. How’s it looking? We evaluate and see… a bare patch of earth. If one area of dirt, having been newly turned over, didn’t display a darker,... [Read more...]

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