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Men_praying_in_Afghanistan

Well today is the first day of Ramadan, which is more or less the Islamic version of Lent.  It is a time of fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and spiritual renewal.

According to Muslim belief, Ramadan commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad.  It leads up to a final period (more…)

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Ikone_Athanasius_von_Alexandria

Father,
you raised up Saint Athanasius
to be an outstanding defender
of the truth of Christ’s divinity.
By his teaching and protection
may we grow in your knowledge and love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

References

Image: Wikipedia

Text: Prayers4reparation’s blogPrayers4reparation’s blog

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Yesterday we commemorated the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross; today, His Sabbath Rest in the tomb.

“Commemorate” may not be the most fitting word, for it is not just a matter of “memory” in the conventionally accepted sense (more…)

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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 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.

(. . .)

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

– From the “Breastplate of St. Patrick” (text from New Advent)

Acknowledgements

Borchert, Andreas F.  “Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and St. Patrick, Goleen, County Cork, Ireland.”  10 Sept. 2009.  Wikipedia.  https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Goleen_Church_of_Our_Lady,_Star_of_the_Sea,_and_St._Patrick_North_Wall_Fourth_Window_Saint_Patrick_Detail_2009_09_10.jpg#mw-jump-to-license’;

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This is a video featuring one of my former professors, Dr. Brent Robbins (and please keep in mind that I attended a secular college).

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this on Into the Dance, but I was what you would call a garden-variety “cafeteria Catholic” up until age 22.

At that point in my life, questions about the ultimate claims of my faith kept bothering me; and try as I might, I could not push them off.

Knowing that Dr. Robbins was Catholic, but also knowing him to be a thoughtful intellectual and supposing that he would, not doubt, be able to help me get past the psychological roadblocks that were causing me to regard matters of organized religion with undue seriousness, I asked if I could come to him for one-on-one counseling sessions.

He agreed.  And contrary to my expectations, subsequent conversations with Dr. Robbins were instrumental in my re-embracing the Faith.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  At no point during our discussions did I get the sense that he was trying to “convert” me.

Rather, he listened attentively to my concerns, encouraged me (as a psychologist, not as a spiritual director) to face the issues that were bothering me head-on rather than trying to suppress them, and shared with humility his own love of the Faith while at the same time expressing genuine, experience-based sympathy with my struggles.

Anyway, in this video for The Coming Home Network International, Dr. Robbins shares the rather moving story of his own reversion to the Faith.

(Just one quick hundred-dollar-word alert: “Hermeneutics” (pronounced her-men-oo-tics) means the science of interpretation — in other words, what “lens” we use to understand certain things)

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Well I didn’t think I was going to have the opportunity to see Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in the theater.  I live in a smaller community with only one theater, which theater has only two cinemas and typically hosts either family fare or mainstream blockbuster material.

During the first week in February I drove by and, to my surprise, saw “3 Billboards” on the marquee.  Needless to say, I went to see the film at the earliest opportunity.

I must say, it wasn’t quite what I had expected.

I had the idea that this would be one of those formulaic movies (more…)

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