St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate

St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  Below is a prayer composed by Saint Patrick in preparation for his greatest victory over Paganism (from the Catholic Encyclopedia): I bind to myself today The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity: I believe the Trinity in the Unity The Creator of the Universe. I bind to myself today The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism, The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial, The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension, The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day. I bind to myself today The virtue of the love of seraphim, In the obedience of angels, In the hope of resurrection unto reward, In prayers of Patriarchs, In predictions of Prophets, In preaching of Apostles, In faith of Confessors, In purity of holy Virgins, In deeds of righteous men. I bind to myself today The power of Heaven, The light of the sun, The brightness of the moon, The splendour of fire, The flashing of lightning, The swiftness of wind, The depth of sea, The stability of earth, The compactness of rocks. I bind to myself today God's Power to...
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What ‘Death to Smoochy’ can teach Prodigal Catholics

I recently watched an older movie named Death to Smoochy.  It starred Robin Williams, Ed Norton, Danny DeVito and a bunch more.  It was about a wannabe kids star, think Barney but with a Rhino named Smoochy.  He was plucked up by a mob type kids programming ring after their best star got arrested.  Hilarity ensued and the good guy somehow wins in the end. What got my attention had nothing to do with the plot or anything to do with religion.  There was a scene where Smoochy the Rhino was out to lunch with another character and was asking for some weird vegany food.  Ended up with black stuff all over his teeth and was pretty much laughed at by everyone.  This movie was released in 2002.  It wasn't that long ago that organic foods and healthy snacks was something only complete weirdos were into.  Now, it's gone mainstream. It got me thinking about the state of the Catholic Church.  I...
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The Forgotten Ember Days

The Forgotten Ember Days

The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after Ash Wednesday were prescribed for the entire church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) as Ember Days.  There are four such weeks and were to be days of prayer and fasting and abstinence in order to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.  They purposely fall just prior to the change in season.  Sometime after Vatican II, these days were removed from the liturgical calendar and are no longer well known amongst catholics.  It may no longer be required by the church, but it can be a very rewarding thing to do. The other Ember Days are the Wed, Fri, Sat after the Feast of St. Lucia (Dec 13th), this is the Winter Embertide; Whitsunday (Pentecost Sunday), this is the Summer Embertide; and the Wed, Fri, Sat after Exaltation of the Cross Sunday (Sept 14th), this is the Autumn Embertide.  And...
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A Lesson in Hate

One of the events that marked the beginning of my prodigal life was when I decided that it was right to have hatred in my heart for certain members of my family.  It shook my faith.  I stopped going to church. I started hanging out with people who had no religion.  I drank too much.  I used women.  Eventually I looked back at myself and realized that through my hatred, I had become the very thing I hated so many years before. A Prodigal Catholic. I see this dynamic in the "politically correct" arena of society, mostly the so-called "left" or "liberal" spheres.  I see a hatred of Christianity.  The Catholic Church is hated even by other "Christian" religions.  I remember back in my school days learning about how the Catholic Church hinders scientific progress;  how backwards ideas from popes and priests were the cause for such calamity;  that the churches intolerance led to the cruel punishment of many.  These ideas...
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Why is Easter on a different day every year?

The reason that Easter is celebrated on a different day every year is because of the significance of him dying over Passover.  The Last Supper was his Passover meal.  Passover always falls on the full moon after the March equinox.  Because of this, the church set Easter to always fall on the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the March Equinox. This method was established during the Council of Nicaea in 325AD.  The table which establishes the full moon dates used by the church was set in 1583AD and has been used ever since. The March Equinox, end of winter and the start of spring, is on March 20th.  March's full moon in 2017 is on the 12th, before the Equinox.  This means we will have to wait for the April Full Moon, which is on Tuesday, April 11th.  This makes Easter fall on the following Sunday, April 16th....
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Scientists aren’t the only one’s who play God.

Embryonic Stem Cells and Cloning are two big topics that  question the limits to what humans should be pursuing.  The idea that these scientists are trying to play God is nothing new.  But I want to look at a group of people who gave themselves the ability to literally create something out of nothing.  This creation effects the livelihood of virtually everyone on Earth. With this power come winners and losers, and the great majority of people are definitely not winners.  These people I am referring to are Central Bankers. Money is something we use everyday.  We go to work and expect that we are paid in a sum of money.  But what is money? --It all started with the trade of one good for another, the barter economy.  Over time, some products became preferred over others.  Eventually, gold was the go-to product to be traded everywhere.  But as governments grew larger, so did the need to buy things that were more...
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My Grandmothers Final Moments

My Grandmothers Final Moments

I have been thinking a lot about my grandmother who died while I was in my prodigal years.  The weekend before she died I had a feeling that I should go see her.  I made plans with her to visit that Sunday. Instead of going to see her, I went to the bar the night before and drank so much I was too hungover to go. Later that week I received a phone call from my father that she had been in a car accident and wasn't doing well.  When I got to the hospital she was hooked to a breathing tube and couldn't talk.  I walked up to see her and when she looked at me it was as if she didn't know who I was. If she did know who I was, she didn't look too happy to see me.  I left the room feeling awful.  My brother in law, a churchgoing man, had gone in after me. I...
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Are you just “giving up” something for Lent?

If you are Catholic then you know what today is.  ASH WEDNESDAY!  And with Ash Wednesday is the period of 40(-ish) days of giving up something that you love.  It means no meat on Friday and, of course, that Easter is on the way!  Will it be Chocolate?  Coffee? Candy? There is something you can do to get a little more out of lent this year.  What if instead of giving something up, you said some different prayers?  What if you read a little bit about being Catholic? Where would you find the right prayers or the right readings? I have just the thing!  My new book Found: Prodigal Catholic is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle form. It was written with the intention of helping Catholics who have the desire to learn more about the faith if they have been away from the church, but it can help anyone interested in deepening their faith. So this lent, do something MORE.  Read...
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