In Blessed Memory of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI


Just a few days ago Pope Francis encouraged us all to pray for Pope Emeritus Benedict, as his health condition had worsened - today Pope Francis has announced the death of Pope Benedict. 

The modern era of two popes (one emeritus) has ended. Though the two had their differences, clearly Pope Francis enjoyed his time with Pope Benedict.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, may his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.


Cheeseburger Friday! Dec 30th!


Solemnity of the Holy Family

This year the Feast of the Holy Family would have fallen on Sunday, January 1, but since January 1, on the modern liturgical calendar, is the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God (traditionally, it is the Feast of the Circumcision) the Marian feast takes precedence and the Solemnity of the Holy Family is moved to December 30th.  So, when it comes to this Friday - this means there is no penance! I like to call these special Fridays "Cheeseburger Fridays" - several posts have been made here on Cheeseburger Fridays. Now, before you accuse me of irreverence, I like to draw attention to Cheeseburger Fridays because it gives you yet another opportunity for an ice-breaker to discuss your faith! Those who know you likely know you offer up a penance on every Friday throughout the year - but what they may not know is that it is not EVERY Friday, for if a solemnity falls on a Friday, we are not to do penance.

This also gives me the opportunity to remind all my fellow Catholics - you are STILL required to do some sort of penance on ALL Fridays throughout the year that are not solemnities! This is not simply a Lenten tradition - it is Canon Law! Canon 1250 is the one that expressly states this and Canon 1251 is the one that tells us "unless it falls on a solemnity." Canon 1251 goes on to tell us we do not HAVE to stay with the offering up of meat on Fridays throughout the year (in Lent, it still HAS to be meat) but it needs to be something equivalent, and you cannot be hit-or-miss on it. Pick something and stick with it! For me and my house, we stick with the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays. 

Why stick with meat? 

Because 1) it is easy to remember! 2) not eating meat on Fridays USED to be synonymous with Catholicism - and ever since the requirement was modified (again, NOT eliminated) it has become less clear that Catholics still have this practice - and to be honest - many do not observe this at all anymore, but in their ignorance - they commit a mortal sin! OK, in order for it to truly be a mortal sin, you have to be aware it is a sin and choose to do it anyway... well, if you are reading this, you do not have that excuse anymore! I urge you to not merely take my word on this - research the topic, as I have, and realize and start recognizing this required Catholic tradition. Back to the count, 3) if it has to be equivalent to abstaining from meat - why struggle to find something different?! Stick with abstaining from meat!


Just like every Sunday is like a "little Easter," every Friday is to be thought of as a "little Good Friday." In abstaining from meat on Fridays we should think of WHY we do this - and it is to unite us, in a small way, to the Sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us on the Cross on that first Good Friday. Even on a "Cheeseburger Friday," we can think about Christ's suffering and death - and be thankful to Him for this great gift He gave to all who believe in Him.

The Solemnity of the Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family continues the story of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph with the flight into Egypt. It usually falls on the Sunday after Christmas. This year, though, the celebration of the Holy family falls on Friday, Dec. 30. This is because the Sunday after Christmas this year is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. (Source: Click Here). Traditionally, and still in the Extraordinary Rite, January 1st is the Circumcision of Jesus.



(Updated December 31, 2022)

Happy 5th Day of Christmas!

 On the Fifth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

5 Gold Rings!

4 Calling Birds

3 French Hens

2 Turtle Doves

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

(You had to be born before the 1970's to get this one!) 

And a reminder! Christmas lasts at LEAST until January 5th, with the Season of Epiphany starting on January 6th - BUT - Christmastide lasts all the way through February 2nd - Candlemas!

The 8th and Final Day of Hannukah and 1st Day of Christmas!

The 8th and Final Day of Hannukah

And, as it works out this year (it doesn't always), 

it is also ChristMass Day!

On the First Day of Christmas

My true love gave to me...

A partridge in a pear tree!

Hannukah - Day 7

Day 7 of Hannukah!

And remember, to keep the Han in Hannukah!

OK, that one was just to make you smile!

Day 6 of Chanukah

 Chanukah, Day 6

The Festival of Lights

O Emmanuel - Last Day of the O Antiphons!

 Last Day of the O Antiphons!

 O Emmanuel 

From the Vespers of today:

 And the verse from O Come, O Come, Emmanuel:

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.


Hanukkah Day 5

 Day 5 of Hanukkah!

The prayers for the Fifth Night:

Blessing of the Candles:

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech ha-olam asher kideshanu be-mitzvotav, ve-tzivanu le-hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us by his commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.

And the Second Blessing:

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech ha-olam she-asa nisim la-avotenu ba-yamim ha-hem ba-zeman ha-zeh.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.

And remember, no Hanukkah, no Christmas!


O Antiphons - Dec 22 - Rex Gentium

 December 22, O Rex Gentium

Today is Day 6 of the Great Antiphons, or O Antiphons (they all start with "O"), and it is O Rex Gentium - O King of the Gentiles! Jesus was born not just for the Jewish people, but for ALL people! Six ornaments on our Jesse Tree, only one more to go before the Eve of the Christ Mass!

Here is a video of the Latin chant from the Extraordinary Rite of Vespers for today:


And here is today's verse in the song O Come, O Come Emmanuel:

O come, Desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

A Blessed Advent to you and Happy Holy Days! Remember, it's NOT Christmas until the Christ Mass is celebrated on the First Mass of Christmas!

Keep Christ in Christmas by keeping Mass in Christmas!

Hannukkah - Day 4

 Day 4 of Hannukkah!

The Blessing of the Candles:

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech ha-olam asher kideshanu be-mitzvotav, ve-tzivanu le-hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us by his commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.

The Second Blessing:

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech ha-olam she-asa nisim la-avotenu ba-yamim ha-hem ba-zeman ha-zeh.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.


O Oriens - O Antiphons Day 5 - O Morning Star


O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris,et umbra mortis.

O Morning Star, splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness:Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

 From the Latin Vespers:

O Oriens, O Morning Star, O Rising Sun... on this day, which is also the Winter Solstice, we are ending the longest night of the year - and the Sun will rise a bit earlier from today through the Summer Solstice. We look to the Lord our God, who brightens our darkest day! Hallelujah!

And, Happy Birthday to my baby brother, Bill!

Hannukkah - Day 3


Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

 Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

O Clavis David - O Antiphon Dec. 20

 O Clavis David - O Key of David

Day 4 of the O Antiphons - O Clavis David or O Key of David.

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;qui aperis, et nemo claudit;claudis, et nemo aperit:veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis. (hear this chant below)
O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;you open and no one can shut;you shut and no one can open:Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

We are reminded not only of the Key of David to free the people of Israel from captivity - but also Jesus as that Key, who releases us from the bonds of sin. Jesus also gives to St. Peter the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven - as His vicar to bring the faithful into Heaven.

Hannukkah Day 2

 Hannukkah - Day 2

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b-mitzvotav, v-tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.  

Blessed are you, Our God, Ruler of the Universe, who makes us holy through Your commandments, and commands us to light the Hanukkah lights.

O Radix Jesse - O Antiphon Day 3

 The Third O Antiphon - O Radix Jesse - O Root of Jesse. O Lord is both root and flower of Jesse - the decendent from the kings of Israel, the King of Kings! Isaiah 11:1. Below is a Latin chant of today's O Antiphon:

And from O Come, O Come, Emmanuel:

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Hannukah - Day 1

 Today is the First Day of Hannukah!

Without Hannukah, there is no Christmas! Well, sort of. The coming of the Messiah is a promise from God, so Christmas would have happened some other way if Hannukah had not been a reality. Why is Christmas owing to Hannukah? Well, Hannukah, the Miracle of the Lights, is the celebration of not only the recovery of Jerusalem by the Maccabees from the Greco-Syrian oppressors, but also the re-dedication of the Second Temple. The miracle was that the invaders had destroyed all the sacred oil, except for enough to last one day for the sanctuary lamps, and the process to bless new oil took 8 days. They started with the blessing of the oil - and the one lamp which should have only lasted the one day - remained lit for all eight days! 

The victory over the Greco-Syrian oppressors was significant too because their aim was to totally annihilate the Jewish people from the earth - had they succeeded, there would have been no generation from David for the Messiah to come to us, as prophesied. Again, God would have found another way - but this is the way He used.

Dec. 18 - O Antiphons Day 2 - O Adonai!


Day 2 of the O Antiphons - O Adonai!

O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law,
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,
to thee shall come Emmanuel! 

Today we hang the second ornament to O Adonai, (O Lord), as the Advent Season is winding to a close.  We are reminded of God giving the Law to His people.

4th Sunday of Advent = ChristMass is Almost Here!


The Fourth and final Sunday of Advent! The ChristMass is almost here! 

Drop down  dew, ye  heavens, from  above, and let the clouds rain the just  one:   let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior.  [Ps.viii]   The heavens  show forth  the glory  of God,  and the firmament declares the work of His hands.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Drop down  dew, ye  heavens, from  above, and let the clouds rain the just  one:   let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior. 

Stir up  Thy power and come, we pray Thee, O Lord, and with great might succor  us; that  our deliverance, which our sins impede, may be hastened by the help of Thy grace and the forgiveness of Thy mercy. 

Since ChristMass this year also falls on a Sunday, this is the longest possible Advent Season! The last week of Advent is usually the shortest week of Advent, but again - with ChristMass falling on Sunday, we get the full week before ChristMass!

 And remember - it's NOT CHRISTMAS YET! Christmas begins with the ChristMass - usually the Midnight Mass or First Mass of Christmas.


The O Antiphons Have Begun!

 Yes! Today begins the traditional celebration of the O Antiphons! What are the O Antiphons? Well, each time you sing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (the whole song) you're singing them!

At our home, we have a "Jesse Tree" and each day, from today up to ChristMass Eve, we put another ornament on the tree for the O Antiphons!  

Today, the 17th, is Sapientia - or Wisdom.

O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go. 

 Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.



Third Sunday of Advent - Gaudete!


 The Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday! Rejoice!

We light the Rose Candle on this day (not "pink"), to rejoice in the Lord, ALWAYS! We are joyful not only for the coming of the ChristMass and celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but also for His glorious victory over sin and death celebrated not only on Easter Sunday, but EVERY Sunday which is like a "little Easter" every week! Through the Mass we remember His life, death, and resurrection every single time we celebrate the Mass. Likewise, every Friday is like a "little Good Friday," a time to reflect upon the unequaled Sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us - which is why we still observe some sort of penance (or act of mercy) which used to be the abstinence of meat on Fridays (and is still recommended to be that or equivalent to that) based on Canon 1250-1252, still in force and effect, of Canon Law, but I digress.

The Rose Candle is remembrance of the joy in our hearts for the risen Lord - afterall, He didn't "pink" for us on Easter Sunday, He "rose" for us!

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Well, I'm a bit late - "today" is nearly over, but I did not want to let this day go by completely unnoticed! Today is the day we celebrate the ORIGINAL SANTA CLAUS!

That's right! St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Turkey during the 3rd to 4th Centuries.

I encourage you to go to the ACTS Website to see an article I posted there years ago, which references several other articles documenting the origin of Santa Claus. You can't post comments on the website, but you can here!  After you read the article(s), come back here and share your thoughts.



Missed It By That Much!

This time I am giving this "Missed It By That Much" - to ME! I was back in the hospital last week and one of the chaplains and I were discussing the Blessed Virgin Mary. I made a comment about Catholics do not "worship" her like a goddess. He responded, with, "Well, some do," and gave me a look like, "you agree with me on that, don't you?" I responded that it is not Catholic teaching, but I cannot speak for every single professing Catholic out there - and that is where I "Missed It By That Much!" 

I told my wife about this discussion and she was quick to point out, as a "cradle Catholic," she has NEVER heard of ANY Catholic worshiping Mary as if she were a goddess - NOT ONE! Of course, that is a bit anecdotal, but true! I too know of NO Catholic who believes the Blessed Virgin is a goddess. Now you might find some former Catholic professing he/she worshiped Mary as a goddess - but that might be one of the reasons they are no longer Catholic - they didn't KNOW their faith!

The problem here is many Protestants, like this chaplain, have a perception of Catholics where they believe that WE believe the Blessed Virgin is essentially a goddess. I did explain that prayers to Mary are essentially petitioning her to petition her Son to gain graces or answer prayers. She does not replace Jesus, as when we go to her, ultimately we are going to Him THROUGH her. 

We discussed the Wedding at Cana, Jesus' first public miracle, where she intervened and even after He told her, "this is not My time," she turns to the servants, knowingly, and says, "Do whatever He tells you." Jesus then goes to them and has them fill the large water pots to the brim with water, and turns the water into wine! (John 2:1-11).

 Want to discuss this more? Please leave a comment!

Second Sunday in Advent


The 2nd Sunday of Advent

Prepare ye the way of the Lord! 
During the Season of Advent, like Lent, but with less intensity, we should be doing penance to remind ourselves of the "Reason for the Season," which, of course is Jesus Christ who became incarnate by the Holy Ghost through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Keeping in mind that the Incarnation is not just His conception and/or birth, but also His life, death, and resurrection!

On the Second Sunday of Advent, we light the second purple candle and as we do, it is customary to read the Collect of the day (see picture above).
Remember also, this is NOT the Christmas Season! Christmas starts with the First Mass of Christmas (typically "Midnight Mass"). Right now we celebrate our holy days BEFORE Christmas. One coming up on December 6th is the Feast of St. Nicholas, from where the legend of Santa Claus arises - more on that on December 6th. Two days later we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.

So, Happy Holy Days!

Round 5 - On Hold!

Well, Round 5 of chemotherapy was to begin on 11/30 and conclude today - but on 11/29 I was put back into the hospital! This time with multiple bilateral pulmonary emboli (blood clots in both lungs). On 11/28 while I could breath - no matter how deeply I breathed I felt like I was suffocating! I called in sick for work that day and put myself on oxygen - and started feeling better. On 11/29 my cardiologist called me back (I had left him a message on the 28th) and had me come into his office for an echocardiogram - and that showed my heart was slightly enlarged on the right side, like it was being overworked, so he told me to go straight to the emergency room and get a CT and "don't plan on going home, I believe you have a pulmonary embolism."

As it turned out, it wasn't just "A" pulmonary embolism, but several and in both lungs. As my cardiologist suspected, I was admitted into the hospital and put on a Heparin drip. By Friday (12/2) I was on an oral blood thinner and by late that afternoon - I was sent home. I am still using oxygen a little, but it is getting much better.

I have a message in to my oncologist about when to start back on chemo. Round 6 is scheduled for next 12/14 - so he may decide to just hold off until then. I await his call to let me know.


First Sunday in Advent!


Today is the First Sunday in Advent! 

We begin the to prepare ourselves for the celebration of the First Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

What IS Advent?

As stated above, it is a preparatory time. Christians celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus at the Christ Mass (aka: Christmas) and Advent is the season to prepare us for the Christ Mass. 

Advent is often compared to a "Little Lent" as this preparatory time is a time of penance and reflection. The liturgical color is purple, just like Lent too - for that reason. What little sacrifices can you make during this season to remind you of the First Coming of our Lord?

What Advent IS NOT!

Advent is NOT the Season of Christmas! Christmas begins with the Christ Mass - or the First Mass of Christmas. So during the Advent Season, consider responding to people who wish you a Merry Christmas, before Christmas has begun, with "And a Blessed Advent to you!"

Offended by "Happy Holidays?"

Well, DON'T BE! "Holidays" is short for "Holy Days" - so when someone wishes you "Happy Holidays" they are (whether they are a aware or not) wishing you to have Happy Holy Days! You might consider responding with, "Thank you, and may your Holy Days be special too!"

Some argue that they are "taking Christ out of Christmas" - but that is not true! First off, as already stated, it is NOT Christmas yet! These are the Holy Days which lead UP TO Christmas! In the context of the liturgical year, Christ isn't here yet, so how can you be removing Him?


Yes! In the Church year, today is the first day of the new liturgical year! So, Happy New Year!

My Anniversary Too!

November 27, 1981 - I married Katherine Marks - and we have had 41-derful years together! Here's to the start of year 42 and even more wonderful years to come - Lord willing!


Cardinal Zen

Cardinal Zen was found guilt by a Hong Kong court, but fortunately did not have to go to prison (this time) instead he received a fine. Still his stance had been for the religious freedom of Catholics in China, and is not being supported by Pope Francis. See below for what Dr. Marshall has to say about this...


Dr. Taylor Marshall on the Cardinal Zen situation in China and how he is being treated by Pope Francis.

Quoting from CNN, they ignorantly referred to Cardinal Zen as “former bishop.” How can such a large news organization make such a mistake? The mark of bishop is indelible, as a cardinal, he’s still a bishop.

Bishop Georg Bätzing

Bishop Georg Bätzing - a leader among Catholic bishops in Germany is making comments in direct opposition to Catholic teaching on the matter of sexual relationships.

The teaching of the Catholic Church is pretty clear, sexual relationships are reserved to married, male and female - period. Having sex before marriage is called fornication, and it is a condemned sin - always has been and always will be - regardless of what bishops in Germany may want to "teach."

Likewise, homosexual acts are outright condemned in both Scripture and Church teaching as "an abomination to the Lord." Yet, Bishop Georg Bätzing is saying:

“no one” adhered to the Church’s teaching that sexuality should only be practiced within marriage, saying: “That’s true. And we have to somewhat change the Catechism on this matter. Sexuality is a gift from God. And not a sin.”

Asked if same-sex relationships were permissible, the German prelate replied: “Yes, it’s OK if it’s done in fidelity and responsibility. It doesn’t affect the relationship with God.”

No, Bishop Bätzing, no matter how you justify or rationalize - sex outside of marriage is a sin. Just because a majority of society partakes in sex outside of marriage does not make it "right." God has ALWAYS condemned extra-marital sex and just because there is a movement afoot to try and change Catholic teaching on this matter cannot change the entire history of God's Word and the Church! It is a sin which can be forgiven, but not overlooked.

Round 4 Is In The Books!


OK, chemotherapy started for me on October 5, 2022 and last week I completed Round 4 (of 12) chemotherapy treatments.

So far, so good! My only side-effect has been hyper-sensitivity to cold in my fingers, toes, and mouth. Cold air or touching anything cold turns my fingers into pin-and-needles, I can barely touch anything until I warm up my hands again. In the mouth, if I attempt to drink cold milk or any cold liquid, it feels like someone put some electrified steel wool in my mouth around my lips and the tip of my tongue - and then again in the back of my throat, making it difficult to swallow. Anything room temperature or warm to hot, I can drink/eat just fine. 

I am not "losing" my hair, but it is thinning a bit, my wife has noticed - and I can tell too, to a point. I'm not supposed to lose my hair, but the doctor did say it will likely thin a bit.

Anyway, I am one third of the way through treatments now. When I am half-way through he plans to send me in for a PET scan to see how things are going on the inside. As mentioned earlier, the CT scans of my chest and abdomen did not show any signs of cancer spreading to other organs.


With God's help, and your prayers of support!

The 24th and Last Sunday After Pentecost

Today is the last Sunday of the liturgical year!  Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent! What are some of your Advent family practices?

In the Extraordinary Rite, the Gospel is a lesson and teaching of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. So we end the year with the end of the world, and next week we start the new year with anticipation of His First Coming.

In the Ordinary Rite, today was the celebration of Christ the King, which is similar to the ancient tradition since with the Second Coming, He will return in glory and as King!

Feast of the Assumption

 The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and...