A Prayer for Ash Wednesday: A Different Kind of Fasting & Feasting

Ash Wednesday prayer

Penitential prayers are an important Lenten devotional practice. Here is one to get you started on Ash Wednesday to help you have the right disposition of heart as your 40+ day journey begins. Find our selection of Lenten prayer and devotional books here. Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them. Fast […]

A Guide to 4 Popular Devotional Tools for Lent

Guide to Lent Books

Advent and Lent are both characterized by penance, fasting, and almsgiving. However, the penance, fasting, and almsgiving is much more pronounced and emphasized during Lent because of Our Lord’s Passion and Crucifixion. However . . .

Many people view Lent, because it is a penitential season of self-denial, as a time of forced depression. It is good to be reminded that,

“While Lent is a solemn season, it is not a somber one. The forty days are not structured to foster morbid gloominess and debilitating self-loathing; they are meant to thrust us into the heart of divine love.”

That Time When St. Peter Beat Up St. Lawrence of Canterbury

King of Kent and St. Augustine of Canterbury

Some saints, while they were still living, had other saints appear to them from heaven to offer encouragement (for example, St. Therese of Lisieux appeared to St. Faustina). Some also had the Devil appear and physically attack them (for example, St. Padre Pio). But it’s not too common that a saint from heaven appears to another living saint to beat them up!

Lenten Season 101: A Guide for Everything You Need to Know

Lent Information Guide

Lent is the time of spiritual preparation prior to the Easter season, just as Advent is for Christmas.

“Each year, Lent offers us a providential opportunity to deepen the meaning and value of our Christian lives, and it stimulates us to rediscover the mercy of God so that we, in turn, become more merciful toward our brothers and sisters. In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving.” -Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Here’s a rundown of everything major you need to know about the Lenten season, the 40 days of preparation before the greatest of all Christian feasts: Easter.

The Prophetic Vision of St. John Bosco: The Two Columns

The Prophetic Vision of Don Bosco The Two Columns

At the time of Don Bosco’s death in 1888 there were 250 houses for boys founded by the Salesian Society containing 130,000 children; of these, over 6,000 became priests. The Salesian Society still exists today and is the second largest religious order in the world, continuing St. Bosco’s mission of helping and educating poor and disenfranchised youth. St. Don Bosco is also known for his many prophetic dreams. His most famous dream regards future troubles for the Church and is known as the Prophecy of the Two Columns.

Don Bosco’s Advice on How to Keep the Devil Away

Don Bosco Advice on How to Keep the Devil Away

St. John Bosco (Don Bosco) was an influential 19th century Italian priest who ministered to the poor and neglected boys of Turin, Italy, who were driven to a life of desperation and crime in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Don Bosco became their mentor and spiritual director, inspiring them to a life of virtue and saving many from a future of poverty and incarceration.

Is This the Inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Doors of Durin in The Lord of the Rings?

Photo by Joe Daniel Price Photography: joedanielprice.com

These medieval parish church doors in England, flanked by two ancient Yew trees, are believed to be the inspiration for the Doors of Durin from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. These enchanting doors are the west entry of St. Edward’s Church in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire. This is a cotswold stone Norman church dating from the 11th-14th century built on the location of an older wooden Saxon church.

In the legendary story by the famous Catholic author, the Doors of Durin were the dwarf-built and elf-embellished secret doors that made the west gate leading to the land of Moria in Middle Earth.

January 28: The Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas

Apotheosis-of-St.-Thomas-Aquinas

January 28 is the feast day of perhaps the greatest intellect of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, known as the Angelic Doctor due to his purity of mind and body. He gave up a life of nobility and wealth to be a poor Dominican friar, at the time a new religious order, much to the consternation of his family.

One biographer notes that prior to St. Thomas Aquinas’ birth a holy hermit prophesied to his mother about her unborn child,

“He will enter the Order of Friars Preachers, and so great will be his learning and sanctity that in his day no one will be found to equal him.”