The meaning of being Catholic

The life of Saint Edmund Campion gives us some profound food for thought on what it means to be Catholic.


Chukat: The Last Question of the Disciple of Peace

A beautiful meditation on Aaron, the disciple of peace. May the light of G-d most High shine upon the face of His people always and bring all men into deeper communion and peace with and through Him.

Morning Meditations

When all the congregation saw that Aaron had died, all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days.

Numbers 20:29

Hillel and Shammai received from them. Hillel would say: Be of the disciples of Aaron—a lover of peace, a pursuer of peace, one who loves the creatures and draws them close to Torah.

-Pirkei Avot 1:12

Note: This was written before my blog post The Broken Saint.

Last week, I started something of a minor storm in my little corner of the blogosphere by writing a blog post (actually, a series of them) based on Fruit Fruits of Zion‘s (FFOZ) commentary on Torah Portion Shelach. This week, I thought I’d try something different, using FFOZ’s commentary on Torah Portion Chukat to set a more gentle tone.

Why did Israel weep for Aaron thirty days? Aaron was 123 years old when he died, a ripe old age…

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The Publican and the Pharisee

Here is a thought-provoking exposition on the Jesus’s parable of the Publican and the Pharisee by the Chalcedonian Orthodox Saint: Gregory of Palamas.

Discerning Thoughts ©

St. Gregory Palamas
On the Lord’s Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee


1. THE unseen patron of evil is full of evil ingenuity. Right at the beginning he can drag away, by means of hopelessness and lack of faith, the foundations of virtue already laid in the soul. Again, by means of indifference and laziness, he can make an attempt on the walls of virtue’s house just when they are being built up. Or he can bring down the roof of good works after its construction, by means of pride and madness. But stand firm, do not he alarmed, for a diligent man is even more ingenious in good things, and virtue has superior forces to deploy against evil. It has at its disposal supplies and support in battle from Him Who is all-powerful, Who in His goodness strengthens all lovers of virtue. So not only can virtue remain…

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Nikolai Velimirovich: Jesus is the Light of Truth, the Light of Righteousness and the Light of Life

Here is a beautiful Christological meditation on our Lord by Nikolai Velimirovich of the Chalcedonian Orthodox Church.

Enlarging the Heart

Nikolai Velimirovich“I am the Light of the world” (St. John 8:12).

Since the beginning of the world and time, no one who was ever born dared to speak these words.

There were men and there are men who say: “I bring light!” But only one dared to say: “I am the Light!”

Only the Lord Jesus could have spoken those words boldly and convincingly.

His short life on earth and His long history, nearly two-thousand years, completely justified these words.

He is the Light of Truth. He is the Light of Righteousness and He is the Light of Life.

He is the Light of Truth because He revealed in Himself the truth of the true nature of God and the true nature of man; and the relationship of man to man and the relationship of man toward God.

Heaven and earth shall pass away and His words will not pass away…

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Silouan the Athonite: Lord will Give You His Grace, and You will Know Him through the Holy Spirit

Here is a beautiful meditation on Love and Knowing God/G-d by the most blessed Saint Silouan the Athonite.

Enlarging the Heart

Silouan the AthoniteThe Lord is love; and He commanded us to love one another and to love our enemies.

And the Holy Spirit teaches us this love.

The soul that has not come to know the Holy Spirit does not understand how it is possible to love one’s enemies, and will not receive this commandment.

But in the Lord is pity for all men, and he who would be with the Lord must love his enemies.

How may we know whether the Lord loves us or no?

Here are tokens: If you battle firmly against sin the Lord loves you.

If you love your enemies you are even more beloved of God.

And if you lay down your life for others you are greatly beloved of the Lord, who Himself laid down His life for us.

The man who has known the Lord through the Holy Spirit becomes like unto the Lord…

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Seeing God Become Man

Here is an insightful post on the meaning of Christmas which commemorates the Advent and Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Everyday Asceticism

This Christmas, I have a rather long story from the Conferences of St. John Cassian to share. I’ll add a comment or two afterward.

A minor, historical note: The whole Church, which was undivided at this time, was referred to as the Catholic Church and its Orthodox members sometimes as Catholics. The term in English has come to mean “Roman Catholic,” but reading this into the text would be anachronistic. “Catholic” means universal (literally “through the whole”) and describes both: 1) the fact that no one is barred from being a Christian by ethnicity, class, gender, or anything else accidental to the image of God within us; and 2) the fact that all across the world, the Orthodox faith is the same and the Church is the same, despite different regional traditions and customs. Thus, the Orthodox Church today, of which I am a member, is also called the Catholic…

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The Nativity Story

Here is the great film that is The Nativity Story. I hope and pray that all of us may be transformed by it as we bring to mind the Infinite Love of our Lord and Messiah Jesus Christ and also learn from the Holy Family of Blessed Saint Joseph the Guardian of our Lord while He was on Earth, His pure,immaculate,stainless, spotless and most humble Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary the Theotokos and Christokos and of course, Jesus Christ Himself, Amen.