Archive for January, 2015

The Magician’s Nephew

Just finished reading The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. Aslan’s words to the new king and queen of Narnia are simple but significant:  “Be just and merciful and brave.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas

I just read a collection of essays on St. Thomas Aquinas. My favorite one is “The Theology of St. Thomas” by Aelred Whitacre, O.P., S.T., Praes.  In the Epilogue, Rt. Rev. Monsignor Gonne states,  “Daily his voice is raised in teaching, and his voice the Church has made her own, calming and satisfying the curious mind of youth with arguments and proofs justly conceived, powerfully reasoned, and nobly expressed.”

St. Thomas Aquinas: Being Papers Read at the Celebrations of the Sixth Centenary of the Canonization of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Held at Manchester. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1925.

Matthew Kelly’s four signs of a dynamic Catholic are prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization.

He is asking all Catholics to make small commitments in each of these areas to energize Catholicism for the people of our times.

Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain

I just finished reading Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain. This is the story of Merton’s conversion to Catholicism and his discernment of his vocation.

When Lax, one of his friends, asks Merton what he wants to be, Merton says, “A good Catholic.”

Lax answers, “What you should say is that you want to be a saint.”

Merton asks,”How do you expect me to become a saint?”

Lax says, “By wanting to.”

As someone who has found the many gifts of regular Lectio Divina, I appreciated the following:

“God often talks to us directly in Scripture. That is, He plants the words full of actual graces as we read them and sudden undiscovered meanings are sown in our hearts, if we attend to them, reading with minds that are at prayer.”

Reflecting on the cross, Merton says, “Learn from Him how to love God and how to love men! Learn of this Cross, this Love, how to give your life away to Him.”

While on retreat at a Cistercian monastery, Merton attends Mass: “The eloquence of this liturgy was even more tremendous. . . . These men, hidden in the anonymity of their choir and their white cowls, are doing for their land what no army, no congress, no president could ever do as such: they are winning for it the grace and the protection and the friendship of God.”

These are just a few of the enlightening insights found throughout the text.