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St. Therese of Lisieux

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Featuring the winner of the 2012 Tuscany Prize for Catholic fiction.

The Mother

Today’s Feature

Flannery O’Connor and “The Enduring Chill”

Paul O’Reilly

Flannery O’Connor describes herself as a Catholic novelist. But what is it about “The Enduring Chill” that makes it a Catholic story? Initially it does not seem to be. After all, there are two Catholic characters in the story, Fr. Vogle and Fr. Finn. However, neither of these priests seem to have a Catholic effect on the central figure of the story, the obnoxious son, Asbury. These priests do not administer sacraments in the story, or even talk about the sacraments; they do not teach any particular Catholic doctrine, although Fr. Finn does speak about general Christian teaching, and, by the way, I maintain he is the Catholic hero of the story. [Continue reading...]

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Deep Down Things

The Dying of the Light

The funereal singing of mournful psalms and  haunting Lamentations of Jeremiah combined with the dramatic diminishment of light and the growth of darkness set the tone for the last three days of Holy Week, when the Church solemnly meditates on Christ’s Passion, death, and burial.

  TENEBRAE is Latin for shadows or darkness, and Tenebrae is the apt name for a dramatic celebration of Matins and Lauds that used to be commonly held throughout the Western Church during the last days of Holy Week. Thank goodness, Tenebrae is still publicly celebrated in some places. For one example, the following announcement […]

The Seven Last Words of Christ

Crucifixion

It’s Holy Week, which means that, like church music directors everywhere, I am operating in overdrive.  I’m pretty sure my hands were still conducting yesterday’s “Palm Sunday Procession” even while I was asleep.  So, in lieu of a real blog post, I hope you will accept my humble gift of a song. I wrote “The […]

Discovering the Camino

French Map of the Camino Frances

Fr. Greg Markey’s slender (75 page) book, Discovering the Camino de Santiago: A Priest’s Journey to the Tomb of St. James,) may be unique among the hundreds of books currently in print about the famous pilgrimage road–because it is written from the point of view of a devout Catholic pilgrim. It meets a real need: […]

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