Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Bede the Venerable, a Benedictine from the 7th century who had a keen sense of what it meant to translate intellectual pursuits into action. He stands as a great example for new evangelists in the 21st century. Fr. Steve Grunow explains why.
There is an understanding of the Church put forward by her detractors and enemies that for much (if not all) of its history, the Church has been a backward institution responsible for fomenting superstition, persecution and violence. Is this true? Might there be something that this negative appraisal is missing?
From roughly the sixth to the tenth century, civilization in Western Europe passed through a momentous transformation as the power of Rome faded and the culture that had enabled that empire to flourish and grow fractured. The grandeur of Rome passed into memory and a new kind of Europe emerged in its place.
In the midst of this cultural transformation a monk by the name of Benedict founded a new kind of religious movement that would act as a stabilizing influence for the peoples of Europe. Monks of the Benedictine Rule would establish monastic houses, and in their efforts to bring the Gospel to bear on their time and place they would produce innovations in technology, advance intellectual inquiry, produce art and music, and preserve the cultural patrimony of the ancient world. All this was accomplished for Christ and because of Christ.
Saint Bede, whose memory the Church celebrates today, was a member of this Benedictine movement. He was born in the year 673...
Why does "modern is better" work so well as an ideology? Father Barron gives a meaty but succinct answer to this in the follow-up to his video commentary "Modernity and Morality."
Yes, new graduates, the world is your oyster, you can do anything you set your mind to, go get 'em, tiger... and other such cliches. What formula is truly the key to your success? What lessons will bring you great joy and satisfaction in your work and in your life? Word On Fire contributor Fr. Michael Cummins offers this "commencement address." And his answer to those great questions? It's all in "the family."
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph” or “J.M.J.” – it is a traditional Catholic expression, a short and succinct prayer to the Holy Family. As this school year comes to a close and as college graduates look to the next step in their lives, I believe this short prayer is a good one to know and is worthy of reflecting upon and can offer a wealth of wisdom for a graduate.
I would like to begin with St. Joseph and the insight that his life and example have to offer. There are two lessons that St. Joseph has to give the graduate – the value of work and humility. There is not much shared about Joseph in the Gospels. We know that he was a carpenter, a man acquainted with the demand of work, and that he was a good and righteous man – he sought to spare Mary injury in his decision to “divorce her quietly” but when instructed by an angel in a dream to take Mary into his home, he trusted, even in the face of the embarrassment it would cause.
I have heard it said from a number of different quarters that the current young generation of Americans will probably be the first generation to make less money than their parents. This is not necessarily a reflection on the talents and abilities of the generation itself but rather the reality of the economic and societal cards they have been dealt. Rather than lamenting this turn of events, I wonder if there might, in fact, be a silver lining in the midst of the dire economic clouds. I would encourage this generation, in a special way, to look to St. Joseph as a model. This generation has witnessed the economic excess of previous generations. They are bearing more than their fair share of the burden of the short-sighted and outright selfish choices of their elders and they have also seen how their own parents after a life-time of work and saving have had their financial security rug pulled out from under them. This generation is deeply questioning “business as usual.”...