The Fever Chart

"Our only health is the disease / If we obey the dying nurse …"

Month: March, 2011

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Twenty

Grace Twenty: A Preferential Option for the Poor “Christ is at once rich and poor: as God, rich; as a human person, poor. Truly, that Man rose to heaven already rich, and now sits at the right hand of the Father, but here, among us, he still suffers hunger, thirst and nakedness: here he is [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Nineteen

Grace Nineteen: The Anthropology of the Cross Chesterton wrote that “the Church is the natural home of the human spirit.” I think this is so because the teaching and sacramental life of the Church is so perfectly consonant with human experience in its spiritual, intellectual, psychological and social dimensions. But until lately one dimension of [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Eighteen

Grace Eighteen: Women Religious A few years ago I was driving on I-95 south of Providence, RI. As is my unfortunate and occasionally Confession-worthy custom, I was loudly denouncing every other driver in my immediate vicinity as either an “old lady” or a “maniac” depending on their speed relative to my perfect pace. After a [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Seventeen

Grace Seventeen: Theosis “The Son of God became man, that we might become God.” These words of the great St. Athanasius, sometimes misconstrued, nevertheless point to a profound hope embedded in Sacred Scripture and transmitted by Sacred Tradition. In the presence of the Beatific Vision, we shall be made “like unto Him” (c.f. I John [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Sixteen

Grace Sixteen: “Domine, non sum dignus …” Today I’ll offer a short reflection revolving around the words Catholics say near the end of the Mass, just before receiving Communion: “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you; but only say the word and I shall be healed.” A few years ago, I drew up new instructions [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Fifteen

Grace Fifteen: Charles Spurgeon and the YMCA Pool The great British Baptist Charles Spurgeon once wrote: “If I were a Roman Catholic, I should turn a heretic, in sheer desperation, because I would rather go to heaven than go to purgatory.” Along with Mary and the Pope, no issue divides Catholic from Protestant so much [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Fourteen

Day Thirteen: Lay Movements in the Church Prior to a “shotgun start” at a golf tournament, the players are evenly distributed at every tee on the course and begin play at precisely the same time. A given player will therefore end his round on the hole (15, for instance) immediately preceding the one at which [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Thirteen

Grace Thirteen: Abandonment to Divine Providence Today, I wish to highlight the work of a writer whose influence on me during these past 14 years has been immense: Jean Pierre De Caussade, author of “Abandonment to Divine Providence” also known as “The Sacrament of the Present Moment.” Throughout my life, I was one of those [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Twelve

Grace Eleven: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition I recently came across a Christian website that provides Bible study guides, audio programs and other resources to help Christians better understand the Scriptures. The man behind the site is a former professor at a respected, mainstream “Bible” college, the kind of seminary-lite that is popular among those who [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Eleven

Grace Eleven: St. Maximilian Kolbe On the Easter Vigil 1997, I chose two Confirmation names, Justin and Maximilian, for Ss. Justin Martyr and Maximilian Kolbe. St. Maximilian Kolbe was a Pole (born Raymond Kolbe) and member of the Conventual Franciscan Order. His deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially in her role as the [...]