The Stigmata

stigmata-st-francis-giottoAfter Francis’ withdrawal from active ministerial leadership of the friars, he witnessed an inevitable evolution of the religious order, which had grown to over 5,000 brothers in 1223 from the humble beginnings in 1209 of Francis and four companions. The evolution of the Order, necessary on a number of levels, also began to change the life of the fraternity. Francis worried that the Spirit of prayer was being compromised and that the necessities of ministry were leading the brothers to increasing ties to material possessions. He lived and suffered in a “Time of Doubt,” as described in the previous article. Continue reading

Did you hear the latest….


Scuttlebutt? I am not sure if that word is part of your working vocabulary, but for every naval person that ever was, scuttlebutt is a term that means rumors. As in, “have you heard the scuttlebutt? We’re making a mid-patrol stop at….” During my time serving onboard a submarine there was one patrol in which the scuttlebutt was so sure that it was elevated to “the gouge” – an expression that meant the real, insider knowledge. It was our own ontological vocabulary to separate fact from fiction… or at least to label such things. Continue reading

The Creeds of Christianity

70ApostlesEach Sunday at Mass, we profess our faith. We proclaim what we believe via the Creed. A creed is a brief statement of faith used to list important truths, to clarify doctrinal points and to distinguish truth from error. The word creed comes from the Latin word credo, meaning, “I believe.” The Bible contains a number of creed-like passages. The Jews still recite a creed known as the Shema that comes from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and the apostle Paul included several creed-like statements in his epistles, see 1 Timothy 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 8:6; 12:3; and 15:3-4. When properly used, creeds are of great help to the church. They provide a concise basis for teaching (most are written to be easily memorized), they safeguard correct (orthodox) biblical doctrine, and they help provide a focus for church fellowship.

Continue reading