Craig Lodge Family House of Prayer

As we return to normal (or not) during this time, I have to note that livestreaming among Catholics has increased exponentially within this year, and we Marians have found the level of interest rather amazing. We are getting lots of first-time visitors here at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy thanks to livestreaming of Masses, chaplets, etc.

One place that has been doing livestreaming, but not getting all that many viewers, is the internationally known Craig Lodge Family House of Prayer. Perhaps part of the reason is that only 2,467 people like their Facebook page. They have a YouTube channel, but once again, not all that many viewers, and only 290 subscribers.

Yet, if you’ve heard of Mary’s Meals, you have indirectly heard of Craig Lodge.

The people that founded it are the parents of Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow. He founded Mary’s Meals.

It boggles my mind that it is so obscure, but then again, it’s in the middle of nowhere in Scotland.

I’ve never been there, but fellow Marian Fr. Donald Calloway has.

I include a sample of Praise and Worship from their YouTube channel.

and also a short video of a conversion testimony produced by Craig Lodge:

Returning to the Blog

I managed to work out how to get back on this old blog, and now I’m ready to return to the blogosphere.

For me, the most important part of this blog is the links to the Latin works that can be found online, particularly the Summa Aurea de Laudibus Beatissimae Virginis Mariae.

But, this is only useful for people who can read Latin.

Someday, perhaps, some of these texts will be translated into English. Someday…

Benjamin Franklin on Dissent

It’s rather unusual for me to be quoting Ben Franklin, but I happen to be watching a TV special John Wayne put together called Swing Out, Sweet Land, and it had this quote from Franklin… a quote that is found barely anywhere on the Internet. This is the attitude we who are old enough to remember still remember.

“Let us be aware in these infant years of our beloved Republic. . . There are those who wait to celebrate our failure. Be not disheartened, this will always be so, for we have lighted our candle of liberty in a dark world and each of us is in charge of keeping it lighted. And though the winds of dissent may threaten our flame, despair not, remembering that a nation which allows dissent is stronger from with-in and brighter from with-out. For when dissent becomes a crime, hope becomes despair. …

“Dissent, but dissent honorably. Dissent with faith in your hearts, not despair. Dissent to rebuild not to destroy. Dissent from with-in for dissent from with-out becomes attack. Speak out for what you believe in at least as loudly as you speak against the system, for gentlemen, if ours is a generation to say democracy will not administer to the people, let it be a conscious decision arrived at only after every opportunity for man to rule himself has failed.” … Benjamin Franklin

Best Films?

It’s not unusual to see a “best films list” these days. So, why not do one myself?

I’m thinking here of films that have a message that is worth paying attention to.

Although some of these are fairly big movies, they are not Casablanca or Lawrence of Arabia. I am trying to look at movies that may not be on the radar of the average viewer.

1. Sergeant York

A pacifist sharpshooter during World War I? It’s a true story that could not have been made up, and full of Christian themes. The 100th anniversary of the events depicted occurs in 2018.

2. Call Northside 777

Another true story (with a few Catholic themes) that is quite gripping, and of course, has Jimmy Stewart.

3. Captains Courageous (1937)
I have decided not to include the trailer, because this movie is best seen without knowing anything about the story. Once again, Catholic themes come up, especially in the end.

4. The Human Comedy (1943)

The modern movie Little Boy has some similar themes, but this great old film is such a testament to a time when war was raging and uncertainty was still in the air, but eternal truths were also in the air.

5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
I decided against posting the trailer here, because once again, I think it’s a great movie to go into without a clue as to what is going to happen. But here, with John Wayne calling Jimmy Stewart a “pilgrim,” is a movie that is quite funny and quite serious, as only John Ford could make.

It so happens that every one of these films is in black and white, but that is not intentional. There are plenty of great movies down through the years. These are some I think might be a bit neglected.

The Return of the Blog

It was down for a while there, but it’s back. At this time, I would just like to quote from an Angelus address of St. John Paul II:

Mary, in fact, when considered in the fullness of the Church’s mystery and mission, not only expresses its independent personality, at the apex and at the beginning of the Church, but, in the dynamics of the history of salvation, she is also so intimately united with the Church that she seems to be an embodiment and a living image of the mystical personality of the Church herself, the Bride of Christ, signifying from the first moment of her existence all the wealth of grace that animates the Church.

Angelus Address, December 11, 1983

Catholic Documentaries

I’ve decided to highlight two Catholic documentaries I’ve seen recently. One that is quite touching is La Mama: An American Nun’s Life in a Mexican Prison. Here a clip from the beginning of the documentary:

The story is quite amazing. Antonia Brenner (1926-2013) shows such a particular charism–something that this one woman achieved, and that was her unique response to a difficult situation.

Another person who has made a huge difference, yet never really intended to is Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, who’s Mary’s Meals literally feeds over a million children. Learn the story, if you never have, by watching the complete documentary online: Child 31.

Each of these gives hope. One person can make a big difference. Cooperating with the will of God is not just transformative for the individual, but it can touch many, many lives.

St. Anselm of Canterbury and His Profound Marian Spirituality

Years ago I did a paper (somewhat legendary in the length of time it took for me to finish) on St. Anselm’s Mariology. Now that I’m teaching a Mariology class, I’ve dug out the old paper. It’s not bad! Well, it did take years to write.

Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M. wrote some thoughts on St. Anselms’s Marian Spirituality, conveniently including the three famous prayers to Mary written by him.

Here’s a little from Prayer 3:

Palace of universal propitiation,
cause of general reconciliation,
vase and temple of life and universal salvation:
I have made too little of your praises,
and in a little man like me it is especially vile
to belittle your merits.
For the world rejoices in your love
and so proclaims what you have done for it.
O Lady, to be wondered at for your unparalleled virginity;
to be venerated for a holiness beyond all reckoning—
you showed to the world its Lord and its God
whom it had not known.
You showed to the sight of all the world
its Creator whom it had not seen.
You gave birth to the restorer of the world
for whom the lost world longed.
You brought forth the world’s reconciliation,
which, in its guilt, it did not have before.

St. Anselm recognizes the profound role Mary has played in being the Theotokos, the one who gave birth to God incarnate.

(Soon to be Saint) Stanislaus Papczynski

Yes, Pope Francis is scheduled to canonize the founder of the Marians on June 5 in St. Peter’s Square.

Yes, the Marians can finally say we have a saint–the founder of the congregation!

I hope to be there, although I’m going to have to travel all the way from California.

For further information about our founder, he has his own website: Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski

Charles Untz

It doesn’t hurt to ask…

Well, here’s the prayer to ask for the intercession of Charles Untz, a teenager who died in 2000 and some consider to have been a rather holy young man. A very simple website testifies to him: My Lady’s Knight.

A prayer asking his intercession:

Oh, Jesus, in these most difficult times for teenagers You gave the grace of purity, prayers, obedience, and fidelity to Your servant Charles. It was his desire to always do Your will and to become a saint. He fostered a great love for You in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and a deep devotion to Your Most Holy Mother Mary whom Charles simply called, “My Lady”. We now ask You to glorify Your servant Charles on earth by granting the petition we now make through his intercession: (mention your request here). Amen.

Max and Me

If you’ve seen the CGI movie The Greatest Miracle, then you know Dos Corazones films. The CGI in that movie was somewhat primative, but they have boosted their efforts for their next movie: Max and Me. This will interweave a modern story with the story of St. Maximillian Kolbe.

Although there is not a trailer at present, there is a news story online with some clips.

Let’s pray it turns out well. The movie is scheduled for release in 2016.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Marian Commentaries on Scripture

I found a rather useful doctoral dissertation concerning the commentary of Cornelius a Lapide and Mariology.

The dissertation is entitled Cornelius a Lapide’s biblical methodology used in Marian texts and its comparison with a contemporary approach. It was written by the Very Rev. James Presta. It contains a number of translations into English from the commentary that you won’t find anywhere else.

The thesis is available for free online download at this link. Scroll to the bottom and select “download.”

Alessandra di Rudinì (1876-1932)

Her story is filled with intensity. I don’t think it would make a good movie. It would have to be a miniseries.

A radio drama was made about her, but it only gives a small taste of her life, and alters some of the facts. It can be found as an episode of the Ave Maria Hour.

But here’s a little summary:

Born of noble lineage, she grows up a rich spoiled brat. Her mother puts her in a Catholic boarding school in Rome at the age of 10, but she is, essentially, kicked out after a year because of the terrible tricks she plays on other students. If you’ve seen The Trouble with Angels, she would have made the pranks of those girls look rather tame in comparison.

Her father had no love for the Church. The mother grew ill and was in a nursing home. Alessandra grew up on the estate. She had a crisis of faith, and eventually lost her faith.

She married an Italian nobleman at the age of 18 and lived on his family estate. She had two sons.

Her husband died young. She moved about in the “high life” circles. She ended up living with a famous Italian poet named Gabriele d’Annunzio, who was famous for his womanizing. He tired of her, and she was back on her own again.

She was in communication with a priest, but had very little faith. He told her to go to Lourdes. She happened to be there when the most miraculous cure of the year happened, and the office of medical investigations was working on the case. She regained her faith. Her sons, unfortunately, died of tuberculosis.

Eventually, she entered the Carmel of Paray-le-Monial in France, and years later became the mother superior.

A longer summary is at this site.

Ven. Fulton J. Sheen — keep asking his intercession

With the passing of St. Patrick’s day, I am reminded of a famous Irish-American who just might be called “Saint” one day.

Yes, the cause for Ven. Fulton J. Sheen is basically on hold, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about him. A biographer of his wrote a final chapter concerning the sanctity of his life that is now available free online.

Now is the time to read more of Sheen’s works, listen to his talks, or watch videos of him (there are a number of them on YouTube).

Remember, he needs the support of the faithful at this time, and I suspect he will help those who ask his intercession in a particularly strong way.