I would almost recommend that all newcomers to the Divine Office start with a digital version until they get used to the rhythm and routine of these prayers. Digital versions lay all the prayers out for you. There is not guess work about which parts of the psalter, propers, feasts, and/or commons to use each day. Using a print breviary involves a learning process that can frustrate some beginners into giving up before they’ve given the Hours a decent chance. Read more…
from Stephen Beale, “Saints & Seekers”
Sibling bickering, it seems, does not stop even when both brother and sister are saints. The year was 547 AD and St. Benedict of Nursia—yes, that St. Benedict, for whom the Benedictines are named—was having a rare once-a-year visit with his sister, St. Scholastica. As the day neared end, St. Benedict wanted to return to his abbey, but St. Scholastica pleaded with him to stay so they could keep talking. What did she do when St. Benedict refused? She did what any offended sister might do: she cried. Except when this saint cried, it poured—quite literally.
Here is how Pope Gregory I (also a saint) recounts the story in his Life of St. Benedict:
[F]or the holy Nun, resting her head upon her hands, poured forth such a flood of tears upon the table, that she drew the clear air to a watery sky, so that after the end of her devotions, that storm of rain followed: and her prayer and the rain did so meet together, that as she lifted up her head from the table, the thunder began, so that in one and the very same instant, she lifted up her head and brought down the rain. The man of God, seeing that he could not by reason of such thunder and lightning and great abundance of rain return back to his Abbey, began to be heavy and to complain of his sister, saying: “God forgive you, what have you done?” to whom she answered: “I desired you to stay, and you would not hear me, I have desired our good Lord, and he hath vouchsafed to grant my petition: wherefore if you can now depart, in God’s name return to your monastery, and leave me here alone.”
And so they stayed up reportedly talking about heaven. Now, as lighthearted as this story is, there is a serious message here. Read more…
from Patrick Madrid, “PatrickMadrid.com”
Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac quotes it, and an English politician named Algernon Sydney (d. 1683) is said to have also proclaimed it in slightly different wording. But neither man was responsible for originating this idea. Actually, the ancient Greeks appear to have coined the phrase.
Interestingly, most people assume that the phrase, “God helps those who help themselves” is from the Bible. It’s not — though there is an early patristic example of its usage. St. John Chrysostom (A.D. 349-407), the renowned Archbishop of Constantinople, expresses this idea in his Homily on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. He explains how this principle is true (though not in the sense that men can “earn” their salvation), insofar as God grants all human beings sufficient natural revelation to know He exists and to seek Him diligently. Read more…
from Jane Sloan, “See Jane Single”
Recently I was spending some quality time with my friend Kaitlyn and her 14-month-old son Becket. We had finished dinner and were sprawled on the floor among Becket’s toys. He was ignoring his toys and climbing the furniture.
Out of the blue, Kaitlyn remarked, “One thing I now realize is how much time I wasted as a single person. What was I doing?”