The Memorial of St. John Chrysostom

St-John-ChrysostomToday is the memorial for St. John Chrysostom, a bishop and doctor of the Church. He lived in the late 4th and early 5th centuries and his held as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs of the Byzantine Church along with Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus. John garnered the moniker Chrysostom (“golden tongue”) because of his oratory skills. John also be came quite popular because of his eloquence, his insights and  passion in his public speaking at the Golden Church, Antioch’s cathedral. Especially popular was his insightful expositions of Bible passages and moral teaching. He emphasized charitable giving and was concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor. He spoke against abuse of wealth and personal property: Continue reading

The Hinterlands

There has always been ocean lore that proclaims rogue, monster waves rising 80, 90, or 100 feet high or more. Of course, these are not eye-witness accounts. Men in wooden ships don’t survive such an encounter. There was the story of the Alaskan Tlingit Indian woman who returned from berry picking to find her entire village disappeared. The debris field evidence on the shoreline indicated that the ocean had risen up and fell upon the village. The wave would have been more than 100 feet high to cause the damage. Experts of the day dismissed stories about such waves because they seemingly violated basic principles of ocean physics. Continue reading

Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer has always been one of my favorite artists. Many of the Vermeer paintings are held in private collections and so it is not often that a Vermeer exhibit is available showcasing his works at a single location. The National Gallery of Art was able to hold one in the 1990s that I was able to attend. It was magnificent. The NY Time Weekender has a very interesting piece on the restoration work of some Vermeer paintings and what they are discovering a later hand covered up. Back in May, CNN also had an interesting piece on Vermeer. Continue reading

A morning in September

The image above is the amazing pool where I am able to swim. I am there several days a week, most often at 5:00 am before the swim teams arrive. I also try to swim first thing Saturday mornings at 7:00 am. During this time of pandemic the facility (The Rouse Swim and Sports Center) has been sparsely used. But this morning, upon exiting the pool, the parking lot was filled to overflowing. There is more than the pool at the sports complex Continue reading

Two decades later

Everyone remembers 9/11 differently. 93% of Americans over the age of 30 remember where they were and what they were doing when they received the news. For Americans 25 and under, the number drops of 42%. For Americans 20 years and younger, they were not yet born or not old enough to have a memory. Nonetheless 9/11 affected the nation. Want to know more? Read the Pew Research Center’s Two Decades Later, the Enduring Legacy of 9/11. Here and at your parish may we all actively remember and pray with and for 9/11 family members, survivors, and rescue and recovery workers for their service and healing.

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St. Peter Claver

St-Peter-Claver-SJBorn on June 26, 1580, in Catalonia, Spain, St. Claver studied at the University of Barcelona and joined the Jesuits at age 20 in 1602. While studying philosophy at Majorca in 1605, St. Claver developed a friendship with Jesuit Brother Alphonsus Rodriguez. Br. Rodriguez, who spent his days doing menial work as a doorkeeper, encouraged St. Claver to become a missionary in the Spanish colonies in America. Young Peter Claver left his homeland forever in 1610 to be a missionary in the colonies of the New World. He sailed into Cartagena, a rich port city washed by the Caribbean. He was ordained there in 1615. Continue reading

The Nativity of Mary

Joseph_and_Mary_arrive_at_BethlehemToday, the Catholic Church celebrates Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The  Canon of Scripture does not record Mary’s birth. The earliest known account of Mary’s birth is found in the Protoevangelium of James (5:2), an non-biblical text from the late second century, with her parents known as Saint Anne and Saint Joachim. The book works its way to being an infancy gospel telling of the miraculous conception of the Virgin Mary, her upbringing and marriage to Joseph, the journey of the holy couple to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, and events immediately following.

The feast day, September 8, is selected as being 9 months after the celebration of the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8). The first known celebration of the feast dates to the 7th century in the West and perhaps a century earlier in the East. Continue reading

Your philosophy

saint-paulOur first reading is a letter from St. Paul to the community of believers in Colassae. It was a community begun by a compatriot of Paul’s, a man named Epaphras who visited Paul in prison to give him a report on the community. He reports to Paul that the community is under a lot of pressure from the secular/philosophical/religious world that surrounds them. And so Paul writes to the community: “See to it that no one captivates you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to the tradition of men, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.” (Col 2:8) Continue reading

Bitcoin and Care for Creation

Bitcoin Circuit BoardMany Catholics are aware of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si (Praise Be to You) which carries the subtitle “on care for our common home.”  In this encyclical and in other documents the Pope critiques capitalism, not as an economic theory in itself, but in its divorce from the human condition and Creation. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis wrote: “The economy accepts every advance in technology with a view to profit, without concern for its potentially negative impact on human beings. Finance overwhelms the real economy…Some circles maintain that current economics and technology will solve all environmental problems.” (#109). Continue reading