The Evil of Banality

2019-02-15T08:24:40-04:00February 15th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , |

A famous phrase was coined after the Nuremberg trials..."the banality of evil." Wishing to stand things on their head I wonder sometimes about the evil of banality. I'm thinking of the banality of much religious life which is given over to dull talk about theology, rules, regulations and rubrics. It's boring. It's banal and perhaps the [...]

The Environment of the Mass – Liturgy 3

2018-01-25T10:47:26-04:00January 25th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

This is the third part in a series of blog posts about the liturgy. As I've said before, I do not presume to be an expert in the liturgy, and these posts are written from my own experience and what bit of study I have undertaken on the subject. The environment for the liturgy interests me [...]

The Orientation of the Mass – Part Two

2018-01-23T13:41:41-04:00January 23rd, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

In the first blog post on liturgy I explored the cultural and social background on the clash between two essentially opposite approaches to the liturgy. The first can be characterized as "facing the Lord" the second as "facing the people." Both viewpoints were loaded with political and cultural baggage. OK, but what to do about it? [...]

The Orientation of Worship

2018-01-23T13:10:26-04:00January 21st, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

I have been asked to write a series of articles about liturgy. Now I must make it clear right up front that I am not an expert in liturgy. All I have to share is from the reading and study I have done and from my own experience first as an Anglican priest, and now as [...]

The Sacred Page

2018-01-13T15:55:52-04:00January 13th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

I highly recommend The Sacred Page. It is a terrific website maintained by Catholic Biblical scholars Brant Pitre, John Bergsma, Michael Barber and John Kincaid. Every week they post commentary on the Mass Readings. In addition to this Brant Pitre records videos explaining the Mass Readings. They last about 20-30 minutes and are crammed full of [...]

Chaos or Cosmos, Liturgy and Light

2018-01-03T20:56:59-04:00January 3rd, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |

There are a few details in today's Mass readings which come together in a remarkable way. The reading from I John says that those who engage in sin engage in lawlessness. This is because sin is something disordered. There is nothing original in sin. Sin is always the distortion or destruction of something beautiful, good and [...]

Relics in the Altar: Where is That in the Bible?

2017-11-28T10:28:57-04:00November 28th, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |

When they come across a Catholic custom they do not like or do not understand, Protestant Christians are likely to challenge Catholics with "Where is that in the Bible??" One of the Catholic customs most dislike is the veneration of relics. In every consecrated Catholic altar, for example, there are placed relics of the saints. Our [...]

What is “Healing the Family Tree”?

2017-11-25T10:54:22-04:00November 25th, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

Over the years I have mentioned the concept of ‘healing the family tree’ or ‘generational healing.’ This ministry (to my knowledge) was discovered by an English Protestant psychiatrist called Kenneth McCall. Dr McCall wrote a book called ‘Healing the Family Tree’ in the 80’s recording his discoveries that seriously mentally ill people could sometimes have the [...]

Would Jesus Recognize Catholic Worship?

2017-11-24T15:38:26-04:00November 24th, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |

Some time ago I posted a picture of  worship at St Peter’s. There was a crowd of altar servers, robed clergy in procession and clouds of incense. Someone criticized, “Would Jesus recognize this as worship?” It sounded like a common misunderstanding of the roots of Catholic worship and the nature of Jewish worship in Jesus’ time. [...]


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