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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lent Ideas

Excellent list of ideas for Lent, from The CatholiCity Message, Volume XIII, Number 2:

A Lent well-lived needs an organizing principle. May we suggest that your conceit for Lent 2009--your organizing principle--be to:

Go. For. It.

Remember, there is no prohibition from "doubling" up, or choosing three, five, or seven things for Lent 2009 (Your Best Lent Ever!). We know that many of you have been intending to get off your duffs and do several of the following for years (and even decades--you know who you are).

We can only offer this bold encouragement because we are weak, slothful, wimpy, selfish, lazy, prideful, ashamed, and cowardly. Here are some suggestions to get into the spirit of GO FOR IT, followed by helpful hints, resources and comments...

1. Pray the Rosary every day.
2. Receive Communion at Mass every day.
3. Go to Confession every Friday.
4. Pray the Family Rosary every day or once a week.
5. Pray in silence 20 minutes a day.
6. Make a Eucharistic visit every day.
7. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet (at 3:00 PM) every day.
8. Fast on bread and water one to three times per week.
9. Read a spiritual book.
10. Give a painfully large donation to charity.
11. Give a donation to charity instead of buying something for you.
12. Pray "Jesus, I love you!" in the first waking seconds of the day.
13. Listen to Catholic CDs.
14. Do something major to improve your marriage.
15. Volunteer anywhere: at your kid's school, homeless shelter
16. Visit a home for the elderly
16. Give up something you absolutely love, crave, or spend time on, or that annoys the people you love, including:

-television or your favorite television show
-television before a certain hour
-television AFTER a certain hour
-diet soda
-chocolate, and anything with chocolate flavor
-all snacks or desserts
-movies, Netflix, movie rentals
-the Internet
-following your favorite sports team
-video games
-celebrity magazines
-golf (an objectively grave moral evil) (only kidding)
-watching golf on TV
-a destructive, irresistable "friendship"
-foul language
-picking your nose
-sports radio
-satellite radio
-music radio
-talk radio
-driving when you could walk
-sleeping in late on the weekends
-sleeping an "extra" ten minutes in the morning
-fast food drivethroughs
-not cooking breakfast for your kids
-shopping for clothes or food
-text messaging
-not stopping by your neighbors to say hello for weeks
-failing to visit or call your "not close by" relatives
-soap operas
-the beach (for those of you lucky enough to have one nearby)
-fishing, hunting, four-wheeling, skateboarding
-some of your "alone" time doing any hobby
-your absolute favorite, passionate hobby (aha, you just fainted!)
-nagging your husband (you know who you are)
-nagging your wife (she knows who you are)
-interrupting others
-not smiling when you arrive at the office
-knitting, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku
-knitting? (you addicts understand)
-cigarettes, cigars, gum, and "phony candy" breathmints
-cellphone calls in your car on the drive home
-bluetooth headset (harder than you think)
-fantasy football, basketball, or baseball
-eat your vegetables (even you adults)
-betting on March Madness
-gossiping at work--say something nice instead
-stealing "little stuff" from your employer, including time online
-relations with your spouse (on certain days or weeks)
-thinking about yourself when you wake up or go to sleep (pray instead)
-thinking about yourself when you drive (pray instead)
-buying anything you don't need

That, ahem, should get you started. We are also big advocates of children giving up video games and television. Consider encouraging your little ones to abstain from meat on Friday and even to fast (using your parental judgment, under your supervision of course). Have them give 10% of their piggy bank into the collection basket.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

WikiBiblica: A Public Commentary on the Bible

WikiBiblica is a new site that allows anyone to add to an online commentary on the Bible. It is the first biblical commentary open to public contributions. It promises to be an interesting way to exchange bible-study insights with people around the world.

Try contributing some commentary for next Sunday's Mass readings. You'll find that the readings will stick in your mind better.

WikiBiblica logo

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Google Maps for maps for bible study

Google Maps is a great resource for creating a blank map of the Middle East that you can mark up as you study the Bible (perhaps with the aid of the excellent Holman's Bible Atlas).

Here's a particularly good shot, containing Italy (Rome), Greece (Hellas), Egypt, Iraq (Assyria and Babylonia), and Iran (Persia):,33.00293&spn=29.258666,44.824219&z=5

God's Eye View

I love this art piece: satellite images for four biblical moments.

Below is Moses parting the Red Sea.


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Catholic bible commentaries

The Navarre Bible, Ignatius Study Bible, and Orchard's "A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture" are supposed to be good commentaries on the Bible. But there's also a couple of resources available on the web:If you want to check out the Navarre, Ignatius, or Orchard commentaries before purchasing, you can see previews of their content on Google Book Search and Questia. See what they say about this Sunday's readings!

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