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Monday, 28 May 2018

Irish Saints for Boys and Girls - Alice Curtayne

Irish Saints for Boys and Girls
Alice Curtayne

Eileen Coghlan (Illustrator)
Helicon Limited Edition (1978)
Sheed and Ward (1938)


This book appears to be a precursor to her book Twenty Tales of Irish Saints. The 19 stories contained within this book all appear in the Twenty tales book, which contains 1 more story and a section at the end of the book with brief paragraph length biographical summary of the saints in alphabetical order at the end of the book. When I tracked down this book I was surprised how similar it was to Twenty Tales. The wording is slightly different but the texts for these 19 saints are Essentially the same. The big difference is that this volume has illustrations. 15 illustrations to be exact. The illustrations seem to be either pen and ink or block cut prints. Most are plain black and white and could be either format, but a few have such shading that they could not be block prints. But either way the illustrations are wonderful and add to the tales of the saints, and my son loved them. The 19 saints of whom there are stories in this book are:

Patrick
Brigid
Finnian
Columcille
Colman of Kilmacduagh
Adamnan
Benignus 
Ciaran
Cormac
Modomnoc
Flannan
Finbarr
Colman-Elo
Canice
Columbanus
Laurence O'Toole
Thaddeus MacCarthy
Gall
The Young Monk

In the story on Colmcille, Curtayne states:

"Ireland has many saints - almost a countless number - and three great ones. The great ones are Patrick, Brigid, and Colmcille. These three are like sparkling jewels in a crown, and it would be hard to say which sparkled the most; perhaps it would depend on the light in which you looked at the jewels. In one light, at any rate, Colmcille sparkles the brightest; Irishness. He loved Ireland with all his might and hated to having to leave it for Scotland, and with - another thing - he was very Irish in himself."

This book is a wonderful read and even though it overlapped almost completed with Twenty Tales of Irish Saints I am very thankful to have tracked down a copy and been able to read it. I discovered the writings of Curtayne through the aforementioned Twenty Tales, and in the last few months have tracked down 11 of her works, read 7 and now reviewed 7. Every time I finish one of her works I begin the quest anew to find and read all her books. I give this book and all her books I have read to date my highest recommendation. If you can lay your hands on them give them a read, you will be in for a treat.




Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Alice Curtayne:
St. Catherine of Siena
A Recall to Dante
Saint Brigid of Ireland
Saint Bernard Abbot Of Clairvaux And Doctor Of The Church
Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Columcille: the Dove of the Church
St Francis of Assisi: Founder of the Franciscan Order
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
House of Cards
Borne of the Wind
Lough Derg: St. Patrick's Purgatory
Twenty Tales of Irish Saints
More Tales of Irish Saints
Irish Saints for Boys and Girls
Jean-Baptiste Debrabant
Patrick Sarsfield
Saint Bernard and His Friend Saint Malachy
The Trial of Oliver Plunkett
The Irish Story
Francis Ledwidge: A Life of the Poet

Booklets by Alice Curtayne:
(Catholic Truth Society)
Saint Philomena
Saint Brigid, The Mary of Ireland
St. Bernard Doctor of The Church 1933
Saint Catherine Of Siena A Woman Who Changed The World
The Story of Knock

Books Edited by Alice Curtayne:
The Complete works of Francis Ledwidge

Books Translated by Alice Curtayne:
Labours in the Vineyard by Giovanni Papin


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Celebration of the Most Holy Trinity Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Celebration of the Most Holy Trinity
Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Deuteronomy 4:23-34, 29-40 
Responsorial Psalm 33: 4-6, 9, 18-22 Response 12
Second Reading Romans 8:14-17
Gospel Matthew 28:16-20

This week we had our confirmation mass. We had 96 confirmati but because our diocese does not have an auxiliary bishop currently the celebration was done by a visiting priest. 

I would ask your prayers for the 96 and their families. They come from the three primary schools associated with our parish. I also ask for prayers for those beginning the journey for their confirmation next year. My oldest is preparing a speech for the class on who she has chosen for her confirmation saint. The process begins now for the students. 

My prayers for you, and I covet your prayers for a special intention.


Saturday, 26 May 2018

Good Guys - Steven Brust

Good Guys
Steven Brust
TOR
ISBN 9780765396372

eISBN 9780765396389
ASIN B071DZKPHC


I have been a fan of Brust's writing since High School. He is one of the few contemporary fiction authors that I read 30-35 years ago that I still read today. I have read nearly all his novels, and many of them more than once. But this one has a very different feel. This book is classified as Urban Fantasy. And in some ways, it feels like a Vlad novel set in a different world and environment. It is an intriguing read and adds nicely into the canon of Brust's works. This book is dedicated to his coauthor of the Incrementalists series, Skyler White. And Brust shares with us where the idea came from for this work he states:
"I never know where an idea is going to come from-what combination of reading, life, research, and random events is going to make me go, "Oh, hey, I know what'd be fun." But sometimes I can identify the final piece of it. The idea for this book came from a conversation with my friend and poker teacher Chris "Pokerfox" Wallace. We were discussing a writing project of his, and he mentioned some things that he was doing that made me go, "Oh, wow, I gotta try that." So I stole it. 
How much of what I grabbed and ran through my own process would be recognizable from the idea he gave me? I don't know. But if his work makes its way into the world, and you read it, and something strikes you as familiar, I want you to know that he didn't get it from me, I got it from him. Thanks, Fox."
It would be interesting to read Chris Wallac's book if it is every published and compare it to this volume. It would an academic undertaking much like comparing C.S. Lewis's Science fiction trilogy with the works of Olaf Stapledon's. But back to the Good Guys. 

This book was a really fun read. It has a fast pace, and once you are hooked you will not want to put it down. The main premise is that there is magic in the world, but most people are not aware of it. It follows a small crew who work for the Foundation, who try and cover up or prevent public notice of the use of magic. And track down those who are using it outside the approved guidelines. Each member of the crew has special abilities and are certified for this type of field work. The Foundation has a mixed history and is the off shoot of an organization called the Roma Vindices Mystici. Apparently the split took place during the reign of Franco in Spain. 

In this adventure the bodies start piling up and as each is killed in a more gruesome way than the previous. But as the team investigates they are noticing a pattern and a trend. To some extent the victims seem to warrant it in some ways. Our lead is Donovan, sort of a magic detective cross between Mike hammer and Spencer for Hire. He is backed up by Marci who has some very serious magic skills, both for protecting the team, and tracing magic that has been used, and how it was used, even days after the events. And then there is Hippy Chick aka Susan. In a world with magic that most are unaware of it. But something about this investigation is off, and the team find themselves targets. Can they solve the mystery, end the killings and protect themselves? You will need to read to find out. 

The characters in this book are wonderful. And I hope we get to encounter them again. The pace is excellent and the story at times whimsical and extremely entertaining. Another great read by a master with the pen!   

Books by Steven Brust:
Vlad Taltos Publishing Order:

Jhereg (1983)
Yendi (1984)
Teckla (1987)
Taltos (1988)
Phoenix (1990)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Dragon (1998)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Jhegaala (2008)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa (2011)
Hawk (2014)
Vallista (2017)
...

Vlad Taltos: Chronological Order:
Taltos (1988)
Dragon, main chapters (1998)
Yendi (1984)
Dragon, interludes (1998)
Tiassa, section 1 (2011)
Jhereg (1983)
Teckla (1987)
Phoenix (1990)
Jhegaala (2008)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Tiassa, section 2 (2011)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa, section 3 (2011)
Hawk (2014)
Vallista (2017)
...

The Khaavren Romances:
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Five Hundred Years After (1994)
The Viscount of Adrilankha, published in three volumes:
The Paths of the Dead (2002)
The Lord of Castle Black (2003)
Sethra Lavode (2004)

Other Books:
Brokedown Palace (1986)
To Reign in Hell (1984)
The Sun, the Moon & the Stars (1987)
Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille (1990)
Agyar (1993)
My Own Kind of Freedom (2008)
Good Guys (2018)

Co Written:
The Gypsy (1992) with Megan Lindholm
Freedom & Necessity (1997) with Emma Bull

Incrementalist (with Skyler White):
The Incrementalists
The Skill of our Hands

Incrementalist Short Stories
Fireworks in the Rain - Steven Brust
Strongest Conjuration - Skyler White

Short Stories:
An Act of Contrition - Liavek (1985)
An Act of Trust - Liavek: The Players of Luck (1986)
A Dream of Passion - in the convention chapbook for Ad Astra (1986)
An Act of Mercy - Liavek: Wizard's Row (1987, with Megan Lindholm)
An Act of Love - Liavek: Spells of Binding (1988, with Gregory Frost and Megan Lindholm)
Csucskári - Excerpt from The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: First Annual Collection (1988)
A Hot Night at Cheeky's - Liavek: Festival Week (1990)
Looking Forward: Excerpt from Athyra in Amazing Stories, March (1993)
Attention Shoppers - Xanadu (1993)
Abduction from the Harem - in Timewalker Issue 14 (October 1996)
Drift - Space Opera (1996)
Valóság and Élet - in Sandman: Book of Dreams (1996)
Calling Pittsburgh - in Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny (1998)
When the Bow Breaks - The Essential Bordertown (1998)
The Man From Shemhaza - in Thieves' World: Enemies of Fortune (2004), reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 5 (2005)
Klava with Honey - Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #4 (2005)
Chapter One - in Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #6 (2007)
The Desecrator - on tor.com (2011)
Fireworks in the Rain - on tor.com (2013)

Friday, 25 May 2018

Saint Brigid The Mary of Ireland - Alice Curtayne

Saint Brigid The Mary of Ireland
Alice Curtayne

Catholic Truth Society 
Booklet No. 696 
Published 1936, reissued 1960


Alice Curtayne has written about Saint Brigid of Ireland many times. There is a chapter in her book Twenty Tales of Irish Saints, a nearly identical chapter in Irish Saints for Boys and Girls, and yet another in More Tales of Irish Saints. She also published the full-length biography Saint Brigid of Ireland in 1934. And then a few years later this booklet for the Catholic Truth Society. At first, I wondered if this booklet was just an excerpt from some of her other writings about Saint Brigid, but that is not the case, at least from the four books mentioned above. With every book or booklet, I read by Curtayne I want to read more. I am thankful this one is available online currently and was much easier to access than many of her works.

This booklet is primarily about Saint Brigid, but it begins with setting the historical stage. Curtayne states:
"CERTAINTY attaches to Irish records only from the coming of Saint Patrick. Before that, all is cloudy surmise; after it, the nation begins to emerge in a clear light. In that early clarity of record three names linked together will stand out for all time. No one can write our Irish history without reference to them. No account of our native literature can be presented if they be ignored, for the three have been our abiding inspiration through the ages. No account, even of native art, can be written without explaining them. Archaeologists work backwards and arrive at them. Geographers have to consider them, for these three names are everywhere woven into the topography of the country. If, therefore, through some mystery of iniquity the Church were silenced in Ireland and there were an end to native literature and art, still the very stones would cry out those names; wells, ruins, raths, and town-lands would tell their story. Mountains would have to be levelled to blot out their memory. These three upon whom abut all our history, literature, art, building and topography are: Patrick, Brigid, and Columcille (or Columba). Their memory is our spiritual banner. When that flag is surrendered, the Gael is no more."
And that centrality of these three saints if prevalent in this booklet and other writings on the saints by Curtayne. But first she addresses the overlap of Saint Patrick with Saint Brigid saying:
"Every one of her nine or ten first biographers assigns a different date to her birth, but no date is very far distant from the year 450. One must, therefore, be content with saying that she was born about the middle of the fifth century. The new chronology of Patrick's life, outcome of extensive research, places his death in the year 461. This makes it impossible for Saint Patrick to have known Brigid in her maturity. As a fact, in the oldest "Lives" of the Apostle, she is mentioned only once. She can have been little more than a child when he died."
Curtain then states:
"If I begin by saying, Brigid was a flame, I risk the charge of taking a caption from the cinema, yet that is the term used by her first biographers in describing her. Her singularity must be emphasized. The idea of perpetuating her memory by keeping a fire constantly burning as a symbol of her was strictly appropriate. All who approached her in life testified that she communicated a sort of illumination and warmth. She stood out luminously against a background of gloom. Some authorities affirm that her name means "fiery arrow". She certainly shot up like a dart of fire out of utter darkness."
This booklet is a clear concise look at Brigid's life and lasting impact. It concludes with a synopsis of the history of the Brigidine Nun's. And two prayers for devotion to Saint Brigid. I have read this booklet through a couple of times now. And am currently reading it with my oldest daughter, she has chosen Saint Brigid as her confirmation saint and we are working through Curtayne's works on Saint Brigid as our start point. And it is a wonderful place to begin.

Like all Curtayne's works I recommend you give this a read. It is easily read over of coffee or tea break. It can be read again and again for inspiration and motivation. Another wonderful booklet from a master wordsmith and gifted hagiographer. 

It should be noted this booklet is available online on several sites. You can find it here, here, and here in various formats as just a sampling.




Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!


Books by Alice Curtayne:
St. Catherine of Siena
A Recall to Dante
Saint Brigid of Ireland
Saint Bernard Abbot Of Clairvaux And Doctor Of The Church
Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Columcille: the Dove of the Church
St Francis of Assisi: Founder of the Franciscan Order
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
House of Cards
Borne of the Wind
Lough Derg: St. Patrick's Purgatory
Twenty Tales of Irish Saints
More Tales of Irish Saints
Irish Saints for Boys and Girls
Jean-Baptiste Debrabant
Patrick Sarsfield
Saint Bernard and His Friend Saint Malachy
The Trial of Oliver Plunkett
The Irish Story
Francis Ledwidge: A Life of the Poet

Booklets by Alice Curtayne:
(Catholic Truth Society)
Saint Philomena
Saint Brigid, The Mary of Ireland
St. Bernard Doctor of The Church 1933
Saint Catherine Of Siena A Woman Who Changed The World
The Story of Knock

Books Edited by Alice Curtayne:
The Complete works of Francis Ledwidge

Books Translated by Alice Curtayne:
Labours in the Vineyard by Giovanni Papin



Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Battle for the Faith Two Short Stories - Theresa Linden and John Paul Wohlscheid

A Battle for the Faith:
Two Short Stories
Theresa Linden
John Paul Wohlscheid
ISBN 9781311212504
ASIN B019QTQIH4


I make no bones about being a huge fan of Theresa Linden's writings. I have read these two short stories a few times now. I read them first right after reading her novel Roland West, Loner. And this volume served as my introduction to the writings of John Paul Wohlscheid, and I do plan on reading more of his works soon. You cannot beat the price on the eBook edition of this set of two short stories. The stories are:

A Matter of Silence By Theresa Linden 
A Matter of Action by John Paul Wohlscheid

In the introduction Andrew L. Smith states: 
"While I readily admit that many things in life bring me great pleasure and delight - God and family being at the top of that list - I find extreme pleasure in fantasy literature, such as Lord of the Rings and The Narnia Chronicles, as well as in seeing my former students do well in life and in academic pursuits. These latter two elements are combined in the work of my former student John Paul Wohlscheid, along with his friend Theresa Linden, in their stories "A Matter of Silence" and "A Matter of Action", which combine to form their exciting tale A Battle for the Faith. 
One of the things that makes a story outstanding is that it depicts longstanding and eternal struggles in new and exciting ways. This is what Linden and Wohlscheid have done."
And I completely agree. The first story is about the sin of omission. The leaders of the people were not strong in standing against an approaching evil, and by the time they would stand it led to war. Lodir the leader of one of the tribes states: 
"May you be blessed with leaders who refuse to remain silent in the face of evil. Fight well, my friend. The Fathers gaze down upon you with joy."
And so the torch is passed. But only after the silence of good men had caused much harm. The second story continues shortly after the first. There is a slight difference in feel as the authorship changes. In the second story Bortamen implores:
""I am asking for this holy war because we are not just fighting a battle against a mortal enemy of this world. It is far more than that. We are fighting a spiritual battle against unseen forces that are just as important and just as deadly as any mortal enemy. Unless we rise to this challenge now, we will have no hope of defeating defeating the evil that faces us at a later date. Our Fathers, who passed the Faith on to us, died and suffered great torment to protect and spread that Faith. How can we, who have the fullness of that Faith, fail to do the same? My people and the Dawn People have already shed our blood to protect that Faith. All I ask is for your help, your aid and your prayers. Together, united in Faith, there is no one who can defeat us, but separated into many different factions, we will be slaughtered like sheep."
He is trying to rouse the council from the city of virtue to action. The two stories are really one. And to be honest I would love to see more set in this place and time. They fit very well together; and are a very enjoyable read. In some ways it read like a cross between a tale of William Wallace and some of the battles in C.S. Lewis's Narnia. A couple of great short stories available for an excellent price so why not check them out.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Theresa Linden:

Anyone But Him

Chasing Liberty Series:
01 Chasing Liberty
02 Testing Liberty
03 Fight For Liberty
Bound to find Freedom - Short Story

West brothers Series:
Roland West Loner
Life-Changing Love
Battle for His Soul

Standing Strong

Other Books:
A Symbol of Hope - Short Story
A Battle for the Faith (with John Paul Wohlscheid)


Books contributed to:
Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books

Author Profile and Interview with Theresa A. Linden

Books by John Paul Wohlscheid:
Letters Home
Fire in the Night
A Battle for the Faith
Church Triumphant

Benny Cahill Series:
Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth
Trouble is My Client

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The Story of Knock - Alice Curtayne

The Story of Knock
Alice Curtayne

Scapular Press (1956)


I have become fascinated with the writings of Alice Curtayne. I first encountered the writings of Alice Curtayne through her book Twenty Tales of Irish Saints, I was immediately captivated by her writing style and her style as a hagiographer. Not since working through all the works of J.F. Powers for an independent reading course have I been so desperate to build a complete collection of an authors works. Only two of her books are still in print in North America, and many never had imprinting's here. Finding her books has not been easy. I have been scouring online libraries and book stores trying to track them down. And that was after trying to get them through inter library loans. I have been able to track down 10 of her works to date and have read 6 of them. And of those 6 I have read each of them at least twice through. But each time I lay my hands on one I am grateful for it. And this one is no exception to that rule.

This volume is a little history of the Our Lady of Knock apparitions, the devotion to Knock, and the shrine. There are 16 pages of text, in a little booklet style track. The print is very small to allow for the compact nature. The original cost of this booklet was $0.25 when it was printed in 1956 and I paid almost 100 times that in order to track it down, and it was worth every penny. There are a number of black and white photos interspersed with the text some half page some full page. The cover does not even contain the authors name. 

Being of Irish Catholic descent I have had a knowledge of and devotion to our Lady of Knock since high school. But I did not know much about the apparition or devotion before reading this booklet. There is so much information in such a small volume. I read this through twice, and then read it again with my son, who is 10. We both loved the booklet and want to read more about Knock because of this booklet. 

Curtayne does an amazing job of presenting the history of the appearance and also analyzing it. She is impartial in weighing the arguments and presenting the facts. This is a wonderful little booklet. I wish it was still in print or available as an eBook there are so many I would recommend this book to. As mentioned laying your hands upon Alice's works, especially in North America is not an easy task, but everything I have read is excellent. This booklet is wonderful, it was worth tracking down and if you can lay your hands on it I give it top marks. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!








Books by Alice Curtayne:
St. Catherine of Siena
A Recall to Dante
Saint Brigid of Ireland
Saint Bernard Abbot Of Clairvaux And Doctor Of The Church
Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Columcille: the Dove of the Church
St Francis of Assisi: Founder of the Franciscan Order
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
House of Cards
Borne of the Wind
Lough Derg: St. Patrick's Purgatory
Twenty Tales of Irish Saints
More Tales of Irish Saints
Irish Saints for Boys and Girls
Jean-Baptiste Debrabant
Patrick Sarsfield
Saint Bernard and His Friend Saint Malachy
The Trial of Oliver Plunkett
The Irish Story
Francis Ledwidge: A Life of the Poet

Booklets by Alice Curtayne:
(Catholic Truth Society)
Saint Philomena
Saint Brigid, The Mary of Ireland
St. Bernard Doctor of The Church 1933
Saint Catherine Of Siena A Woman Who Changed The World
The Story of Knock

Books Edited by Alice Curtayne:
The Complete works of Francis Ledwidge

Books Translated by Alice Curtayne:
Labours in the Vineyard by Giovanni Papin




Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Fight for Liberty - Theresa Linden - Chasing Liberty Book 3

Fight for Liberty
Chasing Liberty Book 3
Theresa Linden

Silver Fire Publishing
ISBN 9780996816885
eISBN 9781311608383
ASIN B01H9EC6IS


I discovered the writings of Theresa Linden about a year ago. In that time I have read 10 novels, or published short stories and 2 anthologies that she has contributed to. Each and every piece I have read by her is excellent. All of her novels I have read have garnered a 5/5 stars. In an earlier review I compared Linden's writings to those of Madeleine L'Engle and Lois Lowry. I stated: "If we were to do a direct comparison between L'Engle and Linden then the Chasing Liberty Series would be the Kairos series and the West Brothers would be the Chronos series. And in many ways Liberty reminds me of Meg Murry in many ways, but in a much more dystopian future. And if we were to compare Chasing Liberty to Lois Lowry's writings it is much like The Giver, except with a clear-cut Christian under pinning. And from what I have read both series are wonderfully written." And after reading this third novel in this trilogy I would insist that even more so. This is an excellent conclusion to the trilogy, and an incredible read. 

This book is dystopian with out being depressing. It deals with many questions around freedom, what it means to really be free. It should also serve as a startling wake up call for us today. I loved the discover of history in this book, both by Liberty, but also by Dr. Supero, once one of the regimen's most favored sons, he has fallen far, but in that fall has also started asking some questions. He started research to prove that the regime was good for people, and the population controls made sense. But his eyes are opened as he gains access to locked files and secret agenda's. 

One of the greatest strengths of Linden's writing is the characters. The characters in this book, this series are amazing. From Liberty a young woman who is learning what true freedom is, and what we should be willing to sacrifice for true freedom. We also have Dedrick, a young man who has risked his life saving and serving others for almost 4 years, who is in love with Liberty, and is very conflicted by her desire to join the Mosheh. Then we have Dr. Supero a many who has lost almost everything he believes in. he saved his life but is now being blackmailed and controlled in ways he does not appreciate or understand. 

This book is a first-rate read and part of a brilliant series. It has amazing characters, a fast paced plot, and a very intriguing and sobering story. But it will leave you hoping that the story continues in some fashion. Maybe another series, an off-shoot stories, or short stories. Something so that readers can return to this world and find out how it changes after these events. This book is a great read for early teens through to adult readers. Linden has become one of my all time favorite authors this series and the West brothers Series are masterfully written! And I recommend it and the whole series to all who are looking for a great read!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Theresa Linden:

Anyone But Him

Chasing Liberty Series:
01 Chasing Liberty
02 Testing Liberty
03 Fight For Liberty
Bound to find Freedom - Short Story

West brothers Series:
Roland West Loner
Life-Changing Love
Battle for His Soul

Standing Strong

Other Books:
A Symbol of Hope - Short Story
A Battle for the Faith (with John Paul Wohlscheid)


Books contributed to:
Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books

Monday, 21 May 2018

Prayer of the Day An Altar Servers Prayer


Altar Servers Prayer

To be Christ's page at the altar,
To serve Him freely there,
Where even angels falter,
Bowed low in reverent prayer.
To touch the throne most holy,
To hand the gifts for the feast.
To see Him meekly, lowly,
Descend at the word of the priest.
To hear man's poor petition,
To sound the silvery bell,
When he in sweet submission,
Comes down with us to dwell.
No grander mission surely
Could saints or men enjoy:
No heart should love more purely,
Than yours who serve with joy.
God bless you child forever,
And keep you in his care.
And guard you that you never
Belie the robes you wear.
For white bespeaks untainted
A heart both tried and true:
And red tells love the sainted
And holy martyrs knew.
Throughout your life, then, endeavor
God's graces to do right;
And be in heart forever
God's witness and God's knight


I came across this prayer in the documentation that was handed over when i took over altar server formation. There was a prayer booklet created at our parish for altar servers many years ago. I really like this prayer and wanted to share it. I wonder if this prayer is part of the reason our parish switched from black to red cassocks for the younger alter servers. And will share others as time goes on. With a hat tip to the Canadian Rosary Brigade. Below is a picture of another prayer we have up in the sacristy. 





Sunday, 20 May 2018

Pentecost Sunday 2018 A Reflection

Pentecost Sunday 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Acts 2:1-11
Responsorial Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-21, 34 Response 30
Second Reading 1Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13 or Galatians 5: 16-25
Gospel John 20:19-23 or John 15: 26,27 16:12-15

I believe this celebration is one that does not get the focus that it should. Aside from Christmas, and Easter this is one of the most important events in the history of the Church. At Pentecost the followers of Jesus were touched by the Holy Spirit. And a new day in the church began. The disciples were energized and began preaching. And People heard them in their own language. I have done many studies on the Gifts of the Spirit; from both Catholic sources and evangelical. I have lead bible studies on the gifts and fruits of the spirit going back 30 years to my time at Queen's and 20 years ago at the University of Waterloo. 

A few weeks ago, at church a friend at church invited me to a different Parish for a Life in the Spirit group. I had done that course on a vocations weekend over 30 years ago. There is nothing so divisive as interpretations of spiritual gifts and their use today. In Catholic, evangelical, and mainline protestant churches. The debate over what the Holy Spirit can and does do today is nearly endless. I have seen incredible things at Steubenville, at Promise Keepers, and in small groups on university campus. I have seen healings, and also others wait 30 years and are still hopeful for healing. 

This Sunday we are reminded that we are anointed with the Holy Spirit at baptism, confirmation, and during the sacrament of Holy Orders. The Same spirit that performed miracles in the bible, is accessible to us today. I am thankful that I am a member of the Catholic Church that is open to miracles but does not believe they are required. I am thankful that Catholic church is open to the modern use of the gifts of the spirit but does not expect that everyone will speak in tongues. I am thankful we celebrate Pentecost and remember what has happened before, and what can happen again.

And I pray come Holy Spirit come!


Saturday, 19 May 2018

Prayer to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Prayer to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Blessed Pier Giorgio, you taught me how to lead
an unselfish life and to keep those who suffer
close to my heart. You had good times with your
friends and you really enjoyed sports. But you
always kept God and love and kindness to others 
as your highest priorities.

Help me when I try to imitate you and I
Stumble. Help me when I lose my grip in trying
to climb always closer to God.

I want to be an apostle of Jesus just like you.
Amen.

This past year I read two books about Pier Giorgio, both were excellent reads and inspired me. This Prayer comes from this book in the Encounter the Saints Series:

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati 
Journey to the Summit
Encounter the Saints Series Book 18
Susan Helen Wallace 
Ray Morelli (Illustrator)
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819811653


The Other was this one:

Blessed Pier Giorgio FrassatiAn Ordinary Christian
Maria Amata Di Lorenzo
Robert Ventresca (Translator)
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819811622



I highly recommend both books and praying this prayer!


Friday, 18 May 2018

Prayer of the Day Saint Padre Pio Prayer when Blue

Padre Pio Prayer when Blue

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have you present so that I do not forget you. You know how easily I abandon you.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak, and I need your strength, so that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for you are my life, and without you, I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for you are my light, and without you, I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear your voice and follow you.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love you very much, and always be in your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if you wish me to be faithful to you.
Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for you, a nest of love.?Amen.

~St. Pio of Pietrelcina


I have a number of friends who have struggled with depression, and even had my own blue seasons. I keep coming cross variations on this prayer from numerous sources. This one come from Aleteia.


Thursday, 17 May 2018

Rediscover Catholicism A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose - Matthew Kelly

Rediscover Catholicism:
A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose
Matthew Kelly
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781937509675
eISBN 9781937509019
ASIN B005FHXSQ6


In the last three years I have read 17 books by Matthew Kelly. And I have found that all of them have helped me grow in my faith. From reading 'Why Am I Here?' with my children, many times over to finally getting around to reading this book. I say finally because this book along with The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, were the first titles of Kelly's that I kept hearing about. But it would be a while before I got around to reading either. I think part of it was fear if disappointment. I had heard so many great things about this book, it was going to be hard to live up to the hype. And I loved the other Rediscover … books by Kelly that I had read. But I should have known better. This book is an amazing read. And why this book has been so popular for the 16 years since it was first published. When this book was first published, in 2002, the subtitle of the book was: 'Journeying Toward Our Spiritual North Star', but the subtitle changed around 2010 to the current one of 'A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose'. But no matter what the subtitle of the book is it is an incredible read. For devote Catholics it will help deepen your faith, for those considering Catholicism or a return to Catholicism I would considerate almost essential reading. It will lay the ground work for a devoted, committed, and vibrant practice of faith. 

The sections n this book are:

Prologue Imagine This...
Introduction Where to From Here?

PART ONE We Become What We Celebrate
Our Universal Hunger
The Prevailing Philosophy
Is Jesus Still Relevant?
Searching For Identity
What Are We Celebrating?

PART TWO The Authentic Life
What Is The Authentic Life?
The Path Is Well Trodden
Even A Blind Man Knows...
What Sets Them Apart?
Their Attraction And Influence
Who Will Be Next?

PART THREE The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality
Confession
Daily Prayer
The Mass
The Bible
Fasting
Spiritual Reading
The Rosary

PART FOUR Now Is Our Time
Time For A Change
Leadership
Return To Virtue

Once I started reading this book I could hardly put it down. And with how many of Kelly's book I have read and talks I have listened to, much of the book was familiar. Some of the stories he uses, and examples from his life or lives of others are uses elsewhere in his works. There was so much in this book that we need to learn and learn again. This book is an incredible read if all you walk away with is the 7 Pillars of Catholic Spirituality. But there is so much more than that in this volume. 

This is one of those spiritual books I will return to often. I believe in the years and generations to come that it will become a spiritual classic, along the lines of Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. It is a book that has been impacting lives for 16 years and shows no inclination to slow it's impact and reach. This is a book I would be comfortable giving to any Catholic, fallen away Catholic, or friend interested in knowing about Catholicism. It is hard not to read this book and feel your faith invigorated and inspired. 

This book is an easy read, in that it is accessible, and the material is presented in a clear and concise manner. But it is not an easy read in that you will likely be challenged, some of the stories may hit close to home. Once you have been awakened by this book you will have a choice, either to follow Jesus and the Catholic faith, or to try and go back to sleep. But that second option will be harder than you think. 

Another incredible read by Matthew Kelly, and after reading this I really look forward to his forthcoming 'Rediscover the Saints'! I can give this book, all the Rediscover books, and likely anything by Kelly mu highest recommendation. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!



Books by Matthew Kelly:
I Know Jesus
The Long View
Decision Point: The Workbook
Decision Point: The Leader Guide
The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic
The One Thing
Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction
Why Am I Here?
Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness
Perfectly Yourself Discovering God's Dream For You
Building Better Families: A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children
The Dream Manager
The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved
The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose
Building Better Families - 5 Practical Ways to Build Family Spirituality
The Book of Courage
The Shepherd: A Modern Parable about Our Search for Happiness
Mustard Is Persecution, Matthew Kelly Foundation
A Call to Joy - Living in the Presence of God
The Rhythm of Life: An Antidote For Our Busy Age
Words from God
Resisting Happiness
The Narrow Path
Our Father
Beautiful Hope
Beautiful Mercy

Rediscover Books by Matthew Kelly:
Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose
Rediscover Advent
Rediscover Lent
Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation
Rediscover the Rosary: The Modern Power of an Ancient Prayer
Rediscover the Saints

Audio by Matthew Kelly from Lighthouse Media:
Becoming The Best Version Of Yourself
The Best Way To Live
Don't Just Try, Train
Faith At Work & The Holy Moment
The Four Signs Of A Dynamic Catholic - Excerpt
The Jesus Question
My Spiritual Journey
Our Lives Change When Our Habits Change
Raising Amazing Children
The Seven Levels Of Intimacy
The Seven Pillars Of Catholic Spirituality