New Doors of Mercy Bible Study Series Makes a Great DIY Lenten Retreat

Holy Doors St. John Lateran

Have you always wanted to participate in a Lenten retreat, but don’t have the time or money to spend a whole weekend away from home? Sometimes just managing to attend a one-day retreat can be difficult! Doors of Mercy: Exploring God’s Covenant With You is a wonderful option for an at-home Lenten retreat, that can be done at […]

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.

Men Are Destined for Greatness

men are destined for great things

You cannot go far on the Internet these days without running into something about the decline of masculinity in our culture today. For decades the value of men, fathers, and maleness in general have been marginalized. The rise of feminism and a “me first” attitude has degraded the substance that men bring to society. Men, for their part, have taken a back seat in many ways in which they are expected to be strong leaders. As my wife said to me yesterday, “men are destined for greatness.”

How many people believe that today? Do you believe you are destined for greatness? Do you believe your husband is destined for greatness? Do you believe your son or your daughter’s husband is destined for greatness?

The Surprising Delightfulness of Adult Coloring Books

The Benefits of Adult Coloring Books

Much research has been done to uncover the therapeutic science of adult coloring books. Far from being just a favorite childhood pastime, the activity of coloring has proven to be simple and effective therapy for those suffering from even serious medical conditions such as depression, dementia, and stress disorders. It has even been reported that adult cancer patients “overwhelmingly expressed comfort” after spending an hour with a coloring book.

All in all, coloring takes the mind away from bothersome and overwhelming thoughts and feelings and focuses them on a new task that requires concentration and creative energy. After an hour spent, negative thoughts and feelings are replaced with a sense of calm and a more positive frame of mind.

Advent Prayers for the 4th Sunday of Advent

Angel_Announces_the_Holy_Night_Christs_Birth

“Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, give us miserable ones the grace to do for You alone what we know you want us to do and always to desire what pleases You. Inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footsteps of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You, Most High, Who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity, and are glorified God almighty, forever and ever. Amen.”

Advent Prayers for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

Angel_Announces_the_Holy_Night_Christs_Birth

“O Almighty God, gracious provider and giver of life, we anxiously await the celebration of your birth. Like the people of long ago, our ancestors in faith, we, too, are in need of light, in need of direction, in need of your Word, to show us the way. Our busy lives and the consumerism that surrounds us make it difficult to recognize your kingdom and to hear your voice. Help us Lord, to focus on you.We pray that you hear our prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

Journey Through Advent: Our Top 3 Advent Prayer Books

Advent Catholic Missal

The way the Church has embarked on this spiritual journey, this pilgrimage of the heart, is through the daily Mass readings and the Divine Office. Reading the Daily Mass readings with your Roman Missal or the Divine Office with your own Liturgy of the Hours set are both great ways to celebrate the Advent season. But if you want more of a personal devotional to use, then Advent prayer books is what you’d want to choose. Here are three of the most popular choices for using a book for meditations and prayers this Advent season.

New Book: Encountering Truth – 186 of Pope Francis’ Best Daily Homilies

New Book Release: Encountering Truth_ Meeting God in the Everyday

This is not just another book about Pope Francis – this book features the Holy Father’s own spontaneous words spoken as he exercises his everyday role as chief shepherd of all Christians. It is a compilation of the homily text recorded and transcribed by Radio Vaticana, complete with summaries and commentary – and meant to be read like a daily devotional. Below you can read an interview with the editor below as well as an excerpt homily from the book.