Holy, Holy, Holy

We sang the traditional version of this song at Mass yesterday for Trinity Sunday. I love it when they pull these old favorites out of the vault because everyone joins in, voices raised to the max. The beautiful version above comes via my friend Fran at There Will Be Bread (Thanks, Fran!) via our friend Paul at Between the ‘Burgh and the City. Go visit their blogs to see what they’re up to. Then listen to this haunting interpretation of this old favorite and contemplate this awesome faith of ours. God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

And if that’s not enough, head over to my wildly outdated Catechism Corner to see more on the Trinity HERE and HERE.

Merton’s influence on the Dalai Lama

My May 26 post from OSV Daily Take:

Today, in an op-ed piece in the New York Times, the 14th Dalai Lama writes about his belief in the need for world religions to work together and to learn from one another. He says his moment of clarity on this issue came not from a fellow Buddhist but from Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk whose writings on Eastern spirituality have garnered him as much criticism as they have praise.

As a huge fan of Merton, I know the power of his words, even when I don’t fully understand the depth of what he has written. His words take hold of me and resonate somewhere deep, allowing me to listen with the ‘ear of my heart,’ as St. Benedict taught, even when I’m figuratively scratching my head in confusion.

Both Merton and the Dalai Lama are right: We need to find a way to respect one another, to dialogue and learn from the best of our traditions. And we can learn from each other without losing ourselves or our faith.

Merton wrote in Zen and the Birds of Appetite: “When we set Christianity and Buddhism side by side, we must try to find the points where a genuinely common ground between the two exists.” He went on to write that to compare the two faiths would be like comparing mathematics and tennis. Obviously the differences between Buddhists and Christians, Jews and Muslims and Hindus are great and not easily reconciled, and yet, in our ever-shrinking global village, where we are so interconnected, it is imperative that we find a way to do what Merton suggested more than 40 years ago.

Today the Dalai Lama writes:

“A main point in my discussion with Merton was how central compassion was to the message of both Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus’ acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated by the desire to relieve suffering.

“I’m a firm believer in the power of personal contact to bridge differences, so I’ve long been drawn to dialogues with people of other religious outlooks. The focus on compassion that Merton and I observed in our two religions strikes me as a strong unifying thread among all the major faiths. And these days we need to highlight what unifies us.”

Read the full op-ed piece HERE, and then share your thoughts in the comment section.

I’ll be tweeting about the catechism today

Join me for a live Tweetchat on Twitter at noon ET today. I’ll be talking about The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism and Catholicism in general. All in bursts of 140 characters or less. Am I up to the challenge? Sign on, ask a question and find out! All you have to do is use #AskCIG in your question. That will put you in the right place. Or, if you’d rather just follow along, search for #AskCIG and you’ll see the conversation going by.

Come on. Isn’t this a great way to spend your lunch hour? See you on Twitter.

Here’s the cover of my newest book

I am very happy to share with all of you the cover of my newest book, Walking Together: Discovering the Catholic Tradition of Spiritual Friendship, which will be published by Ave Maria Press in November. You can actually pre-order through amazon HERE if you just can’t wait to snag your copy. I’ll be sharing lots more news about this book as we get closer to the publication date.

Here’s the front-cover blurb from the book’s foreword by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, catholic author and host of EWTN’s Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms: “Exquisite! Will help others open their eyes to the beauty within their friendships.” Thanks again, Donna, for the beautiful foreword to this book.

Inside you’ll discover the blessings of spiritual friendships, those relationships that take friendship to another level — a faith level. I’ve used stories from my own life, from the lives of kind people who were willing to share with me, and from the lives of the saints. And there are reflection questions and meditations at the end of each chapter for those who want to use this book as a study guide or for group discussions. That’s it in a nutshell for now.

I’ve created a “fan” page on Facebook where I’ll post regular updates about all of my books, speaking engagements, etc. So click HERE to go that page and then click “like” to become a fan. You can also go through the Facebook box on the top left side of this screen.

If you click on the image of the cover, you can see a larger version.

The joys, challenges of Catholic motherhood

From the May 9 issue of OSV:

By Mary DeTurris Poust

Mothers are often divided into categories: stay-at-home mom, working mom, soccer mom, super mom. But any mother will tell you that no single label could possibly capture the essence of what she does on any given day while caring for her children. Mothers are known to be champion multi-taskers, somehow managing to make dinner while helping with homework, doing laundry and, often, handling outside work and volunteer responsibilities all at the same time.

While the multi-tasking may help get the job of mothering done on a daily basis, it can take its toll on a mom over the long haul. Faced with myriad challenges and chores, many moms forgo things for themselves, from quiet time for prayer to social time with friends. But the truth is that a stressed and unhappy mom can lead to a stressed and unhappy family.

Think about it this way…Continue reading…

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