Fridays growing up

If you are old enough you’ll remember the days when all Catholics abstained from meat every Friday. It was common knowledge – even the moms of my non-Catholic friends knew that if I had been invited over on Friday night, then it would be mac-n-cheese. My mom was not Catholic, but she sent us to Catholic school, helped us with our catechism (CCD), and made sure we were ready to celebrate the sacraments. Continue reading

Alexander VI: in the clutches of the wolf

He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized Valencian surname, Borgia, became a byword for libertinism and nepotism, which are traditionally considered as characterizing his papacy. It has been noted that this was one pope for whom there are no apologists.

At the time of his election as pope, the Spaniard Rodrigo Borja (Italianized as “Borgia”) had been in Rome 35 years as Cardinal and Vice-Chancellor of the papal curia and Vatican offices. His character, habits, lack of principles, uses of power, methods of enrichment, mistresses and seven children were all well known in the College of Cardinals.. His election cause the cry form the young Cardinal Lorenzo (later Leo X), “Flee, we are in the clutches of a wolf.” Surely the pot calls the kettle, black. Continue reading

The third test

This coming Sunday is the first Sunday in Lent and the gospel is the temptation/testing of Jesus in the desert. The climactic scene occurs in Jerusalem, where the devil takes Jesus to the “parapet” of the Temple.

 9 Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ 11 and: ‘With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” 12 Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” 13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.

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