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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Bible In A Year Podcast with Fr. Mike Schmidt

The Bible In A Year Podcast with Fr. Mike Schmidt is a wonderful way to read the entire Bible in a year over audio. This is a free podcast with 365 20-minute episodes in which Fr. Mike reads a number of chapters, offers a short prayer followed by some commentary. My wife and I have been listening to it for 2 weeks and it's hard to believe we're already up to Genesis 30 and Job 20.

Father Mike reads chapters from the key narrative books of the Bible and adds in chapters from other books of the Bible to keep it interesting.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Super-detailed examination of conscience by Fr. Robert Atelier

 If you're like me and have trouble recalling your past sins for confession using only the Ten Commandments, check out Fr. Robert Atelier's Examination of Conscience (pdf, website). It's a 4 page checklist of mortal sins and a 4 page checklist of venial sins. It's very helpful to me to be able to scan through these lists to remember my sins to confess.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Steven Greydanus top movie picks

 I came across this site summarizing all of the movie reviews of Catholic movie reviewer Steven Greydanus. Click Rating to sort by rating to get his top movie picks of all time:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Short books of the Bible

Here are 7 and 7 under 100: 7 Old Testament books and 7 New Testament books, each under 100 verses. The number of verses in each is given (from the source mentioned in my previous blog post).


2 Tim,83 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Books of the Bible ordered by length

Here are the books of the Bible, sorted from shortest to longest, for people who like to try reading the shorter books first.

It is in CSV format (title, number of verses). The data is from Fr. Felix Just.

2 John,13
3 John,15
2 Peter,61
2 Tim,83
1 Peter,105
1 John,105
1 Tim,113
Song of Solomon,117
2 Cor,256
Wisdom of Solomon,436
1 Cor,437
2 Maccabees,556
2 Samuel,695
2 Kings,719
1 Samuel,810
1 Kings,817
2 Chronicles,821
1 Maccabees,922
1 Chronicles,943

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Decent Films

An excellent site for Catholic movie reviews: Decent Films by Steven Greydanus.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Top 100 Proudly Catholic Films

Check out this list of Top 100 Proudly Catholic Films. Someone should come up with a list of those films that are available on Netflix Online.

Knox Bible Online

If you've been looking for the perfect Catholic Bible translation (and are into literature/poetry), the Knox Bible may be the ideal translation for you (review by The Anchoress).

It will set you back $55 if you buy it new. But you can also find it online at New Advent. You may want to try it online for a few months before deciding to buy it.

If you have a Mac, you can even create a Fluid app to turn the website into a Mac app. (If you want it to remember the last page when you close it, go to Preferences > Behavior > Closing the last browser window only hides the window).

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Routine for Morning and Evening Prayers from the Baltimore Catechism

If you're not sure what to pray in the morning and evening, the Baltimore Catechism has a good routine for morning and evening prayers:


Sign of the Cross. Kneel down. Our Father. Hail Mary. 

Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, 
his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by
the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again
from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge
the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.


I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done
and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

May the Almighty God have mercy on me, and forgive me my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen.

May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon, absolution, and remission of all my sins. Amen.

Act of Faith

O my God! I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

Act of Hope

O my God! relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

Act of Love

O my God! I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.


Thank God for the benefits received during the day and during your whole life. Kneel down. Sign of the Cross. Our Father. Hail Mary. Apostle's Creed. Confiteor. Glory be. 

Now think how you have acted during the day. Are there any big sins on your soul? Any little sins? Try to tell Jesus how sorry you are for all your sins, and say the Act of Contrition.

Act of Contrition

O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you.
O my God, bless my father, mother, and all my relatives and friends.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Bless yourself with holy water.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Baltimore Catechism for Kindle (including iPhone)

If you want good, solid Catholic teaching in black and white, look no further than the Baltimore Catechism from a century ago. You can download it for free from this page, which has a Kindle link that even works for iPhone Kindle.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chime (mobile-phone app)

At the Catholic Men's group at St. Mary's in Vancouver, someone mentioned that he uses an app called Chimes that makes a sound every hour from 9am to 9pm. When he hears this, he prays a Hail Mary for the consecration of the coming hour to Mary's Immaculate Heart, and that she would watch over him. Might be a good way to grow closer to our Blessed Mother.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cardinal Mercier's Prayer to the Holy Spirit

From Fr. Larry Richards' book Be A Man, here is Cardinal Mercier's prayer for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Fr. Richards has prayed it daily since he was in high school. Submitting to the Holy Spirit is the key to a serene and holy life:
O, Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do. Give me your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your will.
Try praying it each morning for the rest of your life!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vatican Top 45 Film List (with descriptions)

Here is a list (with brief descriptions of each) of 45 "important films" selected by the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications in 1995.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Morning Catholic Must-Reads

If you're pressed for time but want to keep up with daily happenings in the Catholic Church, check out this daily online column in the Catholic Herald. It is a brief list of Church news for the day, typically ending with a funny or unusual item: Morning Catholic Must-Reads

Monday, February 06, 2012

Multiple choice quizzes on the Catechism

Bill M. sent me this great link to some challenging multiple-choice questions on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Looks like an interesting way to get to know the Catechism (or to test your orthodoxy)!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Prayer-Style Checklist

Do you get restless or distracted when you pray? Perhaps your form of prayer does not match your preferred "mode" of giving and receiving information. Try the following: choose all of the following communication modes that work for you:

___ A. Auditory (You are alert when listening to lectures, speakers, homilies)
___ B. Auditory [Music] (You are alert when listening to music, CDs, choirs)
___ C. Reading (You are alert when reading books, magazines, the Bible)
___ D. Reading [Aloud] (You are alert when reading books and articles aloud)
___ E. Visual (You are alert when looking at paintings, sculptures, photos)
___ F. Audio/Visual (You are alert when watching TV, movies, and plays)
___ G. Writing (You are alert when typing, journalling, drawing)
___ H. Speaking (You are alert when speaking your thoughts aloud)
___ I. Moving [Postures] (You are alert when prostrating yourself, kneeling, standing with arms raised)
___ J. Moving [Walking] (You are alert when pacing the room, going for a walk)

Knowing your preferred modes of giving/receiving information can give you ideas for ways to pray that work for you:

A. Listen to Scripture/homilies through online video or audiobooks. Or listen in silence for God's still, small voice.
B. Put on some Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, or other sacred music in the background.
C. Read Scripture, or the writings of the Saints, or the Catechism.
D. Same as C, but reading aloud.
E. Pray before a home altar with a crucifix and candles. Place before you some holy cards, or images of sacred paintings, or statues of biblical figures.
F. Watch a few minutes from a movie like The Nativity Story or a documentary like Catholicism, to put you into a prayerful mood.
G. Pull out your journal and write (or type) your prayers. Or if you like to draw, draw.
H. Speak to God aloud. Recite a traditional prayer, or make up your own. Speak to Him as to a friend, or as to a king.
I. Kneel, or stand, or check out St. Dominic's 9 prayer postures.
J. Go for a prayerful walk. Or pace around the room, praying aloud or reading a few lines from Scripture and pondering them.

Hopefully that gives you some interesting new ideas that will help you to remain alert during your prayer time.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Where to find the daily Collect online

The Collect, or Opening Prayer, is a theologically packed prayer that happens at the beginning of daily Mass and at the end of Morning Prayer. But where to find this beautiful prayer online? There is really only one place I know of that provides it consistently, and that is the Liturgical Year page at Catholic Culture.

Today's Collect is:

O God, who gave the Martyr Saint Thomas Becket the courage to give up his life for the sake of justice, grant, through his intercession, that, renouncing our life for the sake of Christ in this world, we may find it in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monte Carlo prayer-request management system

Do you have too many prayer requests? Is your prayer list getting unmanageable? Are you overwhelmed by the number of prayer requests you need to keep track of?

Here is a simple way to manage your prayer requests. Simply write down each prayer request on a separate index card. Then shuffle the index cards. Then just pray the top 3 or 4 cards in the deck.

It doesn't matter if you have 20 requests or 200 - you just need to do 3 or 4 at a time. And because you are only praying a few, you can really concentrate on them and give them your all, striving to move God's heart.

You can also do this electronically with a flash card app that does shuffling, such as Flashcardlet:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some suggestions for spiritual reading

Wondering what are the best books for spiritual reading? Check out the short list at the bottom of this page for the FSSP seminary. Stuff like Introduction to the Devout Life, Imitation of Christ, etc.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Summary of the 7 Teresian Mansions of Prayer

If you don't have time to read Fr. Dubay's 358-page Fire Within, and you'd like to know the gist of St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, here is a 1-page blog post that summarizes her 7 "mansions" of prayer simply and clearly.

Most people stop at the third mansion, but there's no reason why people can't go on to the seventh.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Index card of responses in the new translation of the Missal

Here is a PDF that you can print out on two sides of a single index card. It contains the responses in the new translation of the Roman Missal.

Or if you want bigger text and have two index cards to spare, here is a PDF with text that is twice as big.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Which Temperament Are You?

There are four temperaments: Choleric (assertive leaders), Sanguine (joyful people-persons), Melancholic (thinkers, poets), and Phlegmatic (easy-going, diplomatic people). Which one are you? Most people are a combination of two (I'm melancholic-phlegmatic).

Here are a couple of great Catholic resources:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A couple of pages from A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture

The web doesn't seem to have an image showing pages from the delightfully orthodox Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture from 1953. So here is one:

Friday, August 26, 2011

TLM Propers

I made this webpage that extracts the propers for the Traditional Latin Mass of the day. The propers are extracted from Divinum Officium.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How to deal with WYD hecklers

Yesterday, American Papist posted some pictures of people taunting pilgrims at World Youth Day.

When this happens, I think a good way to fight back would be for someone to lead everybody in shouting down the hecklers with a good ol' Litany of the Saints. We should be praying this prayer more anyway.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Virtual Adoration

Live webcam of the Eucharistic host. It's in a convent in Philadelphia.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Collect (opening prayer) for daily Mass

If you are looking for the Collect (opening prayer) for today's mass, it seems that there is only one page on the web that shows it daily:

The Collect is packed with profound theology. Fr. Z often analyzes the Collect of the day. It will get even better with the corrected translation coming out in Advent 2011. If you are praying the breviary, you can refer to the above site to get the new collects from the corrected translation (at least I hope that the site will be showing the corrected translation).

Update: This webpage is actually pretty neat. It contains brief commentary on the readings from the ordinary and extraordinary forms of Mass, and information on the saint of the day. Sort of like Magnificat.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

How to pay attention when saying the Our Father

I read somewhere about a good way to pay attention while praying the Our Father. It's to identify, every time you say it, the 7 points in it - 3 petitions about God, and 4 petitions about man. Try it!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Catholic Poets

Looking for good Catholic poets? Here are a list of poets from the Norton Anthology of Poetry 3rd ed. who were Catholics (found using the data from the Database of Poets):

  • 1926 James K. Baxter
  • 1923 Denise Levertov
  • 1912 William Everson
  • 1899 Allen Tate
  • 1867 Ernest Dowson
  • 1844 Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • 1688 Alexander Pope
  • 1649 Richard Crashaw
  • 1631 John Dryden
  • 1596 James Shirley
  • 1561 Robert Southwell
  • 1558 Chidiock Tichborne
  • 1558 Thomas Lodge
  • 1550 Alexander Montgomerie

How to Obtain a Plenary Indulgence Through 30 Minutes of Reading Scripture

A plenary indulgence is "the remission of the entire temporal punishment due to sin so that no further expiation is required in Purgatory" [1]. It "can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth" [2]. Sounds good, no?

There are four plenary indulgences that can be obtained at any time and any place:

  • "with the veneration due the divine word [, making] a spiritual reading from Sacred Scripture...for at least one half an hour" [3]
  • recitation of the rosary "in a church or public oratory or in a family group, a religious Community or pious Association" [4] (see additional norms)
  • "make the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross" [5] (see additional norms)
  • "visit the Most Blessed Sacrament to adore it...for at least one half an hour" [6]
Other things that must be done:
  • "Sacramental confession. A single sacramental confession suffices for gaining several plenary indulgences; but Communion must be received and prayer for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff must be recited for the gaining of each plenary indulgence.
  • "Eucharistic Communion.
  • "Prayer for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. The condition of praying for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary; nevertheless, each one is free to recite any other prayer according to his piety and devotion.
  • "It is further required that all attachment to sin, even venial sin, be absent. If the latter disposition is in any way less than perfect or if the prescribed three conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence will be partial only, saving the provisions given in Norms 34 and 35." [7]
Definitely do-able.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Twelve Latin Chants Every Catholic Should Know

There's a great article called Twelve Latin Chants Every Catholic Should Know. There's only one problem. It doesn't include the music for the chants themselves.

Until now. Using the fabulous and free Parish Book of Chant, I have assembled the music for the Twelve Chants into a single pdf. Enjoy!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Apologies for not responding to blog comments

My apologies for not responding to comments on this blog - evidently they have been building up in the approval queue, and I wasn't receiving email notifications about them. I will respond to them this evening.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Examen Conscientiae on an Index Card

Here is an index-card examination of conscience based on a page from a 1936 book for confessors posted on Fr. Z's blog. Fr. Z recommends that you do an examination of conscience at a regular time, such as when you brush your teeth. Post this card on your bathroom mirror.

index card

Sunday, June 26, 2011

CD: The Essential Tallis Scholars

If you have just come from a Mass in which "Leaping The Mountains" or "Gather Us In" was sung, restore your sanity by listening to this wonderful CD of sacred polyphony: The Essential Tallis Scholars. It contains polyphonic works by Palestrina, Victoria, Tallis, Byrd, and other sane composers of sacred music.

For more Palestrina, this writer recommends this CD as his favorite. And it is indeed lovely.

A Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

There are some lovely books listed on Fr. John McCloskey's A Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

World History on an Index Card

On this pdf, which you can print out on an index card, I have put about 60 key dates from history.

They are taken from Richard Overy's The 50 key dates of world history and Diane Moczar's Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Best Catholic RSS Feed: New Advent

If you're looking for a good Catholic feed to add to Google Reader or your favorite feedreader, look no further than New Advent. This feed contains the best Catholic articles from around the web - it selects articles from blogs like Fr. Z, the National Catholic Register, Peter Kreeft, Creative Minority Report - good places like that.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Godparent Book

Are you a godparent? I'm a proud godparent of a 13-year old boy, and when I was asked to become a godparent 13 years ago, I had little idea about how to be one. I purchased this slim volume and it has a variety of interesting ideas for the new godparent: The Godparent Book, by Elaine Ramshaw. Check it out!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Timeline of Dominican History

I created this 1-page illustrated Timeline of Dominican History for those who are interested in the big picture of the history of the Order of St. Dominic:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dryness and the Rosary

Bored or distracted while saying the Rosary? See what Saint Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort has to say about it. (Turn off the cheesy music at the bottom of the page though.)
Being human, we easily become tired and slipshod, but the devil makes these difficulties worse when we are saying the Rosary. Before we even begin, he makes us feel bored, distracted, or exhausted; and when we have started praying, he oppresses us from all sides, and when after much difficulty and many distractions, we have finished, he whispers to us, "What you have just said is worthless. It is useless for you to say the Rosary...

Read the rest.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Catholic Answers' Voter's Guide

When looking for a voter's guide, it's hard to do better than Catholic Answers' classic Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Two Good Books for Apologetics, Freely Available Online

I have found that two of the books recommended in Karl Keating's apologetics book Catholicism and Fundamentalism are freely available online:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The 21 Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church

Check out this great summary by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture

There is a great series of Catholic bible commentaries coming out called A Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. It has numerous endorsements from bishops and cardinals. It has a Kindle edition. Unfortunately, the translation it uses is the NAB; what I do is have my RSV open beside it. I have read the first bit of the Kindle sample for the Gospel of Mark, and it provides very interesting historical, patristic, and theological background. Also the text and notes are interspersed, unlike the Ignatius Study Bible[1] which puts the notes in footnotes, so it should make for easier reading (and listening) on the Kindle. Check thou it out.

[1] which I also like

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass

Here is a good list of gestures and postures of the congregation at Mass.

Ones I need to start doing are:

  • Bow your head when you say “Lord, have mercy” during the Kyrie.
  • Make the sign of the Cross at the conclusion of the Creed at the words “I believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
  • Reverently fold your hands and bow your head as you pray the Lord’s Prayer.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism

Dr. Edward Feser's The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism is an interesting counterargument to the books of the New Atheists, based on Aristotle (for the distinction between actuality and potentiality, form and matter, and final causality) and Aquinas (for the existence of God, the immateriality and immortality of the soul, and the natural law conception of morality – which follow from Aristotle). Not only is his approach effective in countering his opponents, but also it is a good introduction to key ideas of Aristotle and Aquinas. It was an Editor's Choice selection in the American Library Association's BookList in 2008.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Spiritual Combat

The Spiritual Combat is the book that St. Francis de Sales carried in his pocket wherever he went. It is a series of 66 articles on everything from "What To Do When The Will Is Apparently Overpowered" to "The Defense Against The Artifices Of The Devil When He Suggests Indiscreet Devotions". There are a few translations out there – the TAN Classics one is, in the words of one reviewer, "theologically grounded in the Latin church and is the most literal translation". Here's a taste:


THE PRESUMPTUOUS MAN is convinced that he has acquired a distrust of himself and confidence in God, but his mistake is never more apparent than when some fault is committed. For, if he yields to anger and despairs of advancing in the way of virtue, it is evident that he has placed his confidence in himself and not in God. The greater the anxiety and despondence, the greater is the certainty of his guilt.

The man who has a deep distrust of himself and places great confidence in God is not at all surprised if he commits a fault. He does not abandon himself to confused despair; he correctly attributes what has happened to his own weakness and lack of confidence in God. Thus he learns to distrust himself more, and he places all his hopes in the assistance of the Almighty. He detests beyond all things the sin into which he has fallen; he condemns the passion or criminal habit that occasioned his fall; he conceives a deep sorrow for his offense against God. But his sorrow, accompanied by peace of mind, does not interrupt the method he has laid down, nor does it prevent the pursuit of his enemies to their final destruction.

I sincerely wish that what has been proposed here would be attentively considered by many who think they are very devout. yet from the moment they commit a fault they will not be pacified, but hurry away to their director, more to rid themselves of the distress arising from self-love than from any other motive. Their principal care should be to wash away the guilt of sin in the Sacrament of Penance and to fortify themselves with the Eucharist against a relapse.

Friday, February 11, 2011

For the Liturgy of the Hours: National Liturgical Calendar

If you pray the Liturgy of the Hours (and I highly recommend Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer), it is a good idea to have on hand the liturgical calendar for your country, so you know which Saint to celebrate each day. Here are liturgical calendars for Canada and the United States.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Ignatius books on Kindle

There are currently 251 Ignatius Press books on Kindle, with some really interesting titles in there.

Update: Other Catholic publishers on Kindle:

Servant Books has 11 books.

St. Anthony Messenger Press has 7 books.

Emmaus Road Publishing has 46 books.

Ascension Press has 25 books.

Catholic Answers has 1 book.

Catholic Book Publishing has 4 books.

IHS Press has 32 books.

Scepter Publishers has 26 books.

Tan Books has 31 books.

Saint Benedict Press has 12 books.

Paulist Press has 2 books.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Relative lengths of the Bible, the Summa, and the Catechism

Number of words in the Bible (Douay-Rheims): 1,063,100

Number of words in Aquinas’ Summa Theologica: 2,569,567 (2.4x Bible)

Number of words in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 227,929 (0.2x Bible)

Altar Server Schematic

This PDF shows the actions of an altar server at a Traditional Latin Mass. With some modifications, it can be adapted for the Novus Ordo Mass.


The first part of the Mass (the Mass of the Catechumens) contains the Introit and the Collect prayers, said by the priest. For the altar server, the main action to remember is to transfer the Missal from the Epistle side to the Gospel side.

The next part of the Mass is the Offertory. The altar server will present the wine and the water to the priest. Then he will give the water and the finger towel for the Lavabo. The priest says the Preface and the Sanctus.

The next part is the Consecration. When the priest spreads his hands over the offerings and says “Hanc igitur...”, the altar server rings the bell, genuflects in the middle, and goes up the steps. During the consecration of the Host and the chalice, the bell is rung a number of times as indicated.

The last part is the Communion. After the priest receives the Host and removes the pall from the chalice, the altar server gets the Communion paten, genuflects in the middle, and goes up the steps to receive Communion.

At the end of the Communion, the ablutions are done. Then the altar server transfers the Missal from the Gospel side to the Epistle side.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

A Good Book: Pope Benedict XVI's "Light of the World"

Light of the World – Peter Seewald's interview with the Pope – is an interesting book. It gives insights into what the Holy Father thinks on a variety of issues. Since it's an interview, it makes for easier reading than his heavier books (Introduction to Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth).

It's also available for Kindle. Kindle has a great text-to-speech feature, so I enjoyed listening to the book on the ferry today.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What's on my Kindle

Here's what I have on my Kindle:

* Aquinas 101 (Selman) ($10)
* A Shorter Summa (Aquinas, Kreeft) ($10)
* The Ignatius Bible ($10)
* The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Yes, you can download the CCC as a plain-text file, but the website making it available does not seem to have obtained permission from the USCCB to make it available)

* Missal (Extraordinary Form)
* Missal (Ordinary Form, old) (Copy and paste into a text file)
* Missal (Ordinary Form, new)
* Examination of Conscience
* Introduction to the Devout Life (St. Francis de Sales)
* The Interior Castle (St. Teresa of Avila)
* Baltimore Catechism

Butler's Lives of the Saints (text file)

A good book to put on your Kindle, iPad, or other mobile device: the plain-text version of Butler's Lives of the Saints: With Reflections for Every Day in the Year.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sample pages from F.C. Bauerschmidt's Holy Teaching: Introducing the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas

If you search around the web for sample pages from F.C. Bauerschmidt's highly regarded annotated abridgement of the Summa, Holy Teaching: Introducing the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas, you unfortunately will not find any. Until now. I emailed Dr. Bauerschmidt and he kindly provided me with a scan of two pages from the book:

Aquinas on Charity as Friendship

Aquinas on Charity as Friendship 2

Also see the Table of Contents for the book.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Recommended Books

I love Fr. Gary Coulter's Recommended Formation Reading book list (not just for priests!) It's got great titles like Pieper's "Leisure: The Basis of Culture", Trochu's "St. John Vianney", Chesterton's "Aquinas: The Dumb Ox", Merton's "Seven Storey Mountain", Pope John Paul II's "Witness to Hope", Dante's "Divine Comedy", etc. etc. etc.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Aquinas on Kindle

There are about 100 Aquinas titles on Kindle.

Some interesting ones:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

RSS Feed for the Liturgy of the Hours

I found an RSS feed for the Liturgy of the Hours. You could set up Calibre to download this daily onto your Kindle.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

PDF of the Missa de Angelis and other Gregorian chants for Mass

If you attend a Traditional Latin Mass and want to sing along with the choir, but aren't exactly sure about how the chants go, print out a "Complete PDF Score" from this site. The commonly used Missa de Angelis is also known as Mass VIII.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tools for approaching the Summa Theologica

Based on what people say, the following seems to be a good way to approach Aquinas' Summa Theologica:

Step 1: Adler's Aristotle for Everybody
Step 2: Kreeft's Shorter Summa (5% of the Summa Theologica, with footnotes)
Step 3: Kreeft's Summa of the Summa (18% of the Summa Theologica, with footnotes)
Step 4: Summa Theologica (all 3011 pages of it!)

I am currently in the middle of Step 1.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A comparison of two TLM altar-server manuals

Here is a visual comparison of two popular altar-server manuals for the Traditional Latin Mass: Dom Matthew Britt's "How to Serve in Simple, Solemn, and Pontifical Functions" and Rev. William O'Brien's "How to Serve Low Mass & Benediction".

The Britt is a good overview. I've only started the O'Brien, but it seems more detailed. I would recommend starting with Britt and moving on to O'Brien afterwards. There are also some TLM altar-server manuals online.






UPDATE: Also see Fr. Z's review of "The General Principles of the Roman Rite: For Inferior Ministers". I have this book as well. It's more about the finer points of certain actions (like how to bow, how to strike your breast, how to turn, etc.), so is less critical than the above books but a useful supplement to know how to do things properly. It uses terms like "in plano" (on the floor of the sanctuary), "in actu functionis" (in the act of a function), and "ex actu functionis" (outside the act of a function), which are defined on the last two pages of the book.

Here are pics from "The General Principles of the Roman Rite: For Inferior Ministers". Note that most pages don't have pictures/diagrams, but these ones do.




It seems that a lengthy section from this book is online.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Jubilate Deo: PDF of Minimum Repertoire of Gregorian Chant

In 1974, Pope Paul VI issued Jubilate Deo (PDF, MP3s), a minimum repertoire of Gregorian Chant to be learned by all the faithful. It's got famous chants like Salve Regina.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Dowling's Wheel: Tool for Learning Latin

For those who want to learn Latin fluently, a good approach is Dowling's Method. And Dowling's Wheel is a web tool that helps you get started with the method.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not only for priests: Books for Catholic spiritual formation

This looks like a great reading list: Book List for Catholic Seminarians and Priests.

Fr. Coulter's site has a bunch of other interesting lists, like good novels by Catholic authors.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Textbook: Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma

This book is a 560-page compendium of important Catholic dogmas. For each dogma, it gives the degree of certainty (the highest being De Fide). It also points out related heresies.

This textbook can be dull at times, but also quite informative. I just read the section on dogmas about Angels, and found it fascinating. I try to read a little bit each day.


Page on Angels

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Flannery O'Connor quotes

From “The Habit of Being”, the collection of her correspondence:

“You don't serve God by saying: the Church is ineffective, I'll have none of it. Your pain at its lack of effectiveness is a sign of your nearness to God. We help overcome this lack of effectiveness simply by suffering on account of it.”

“I don't want to discourage you from reading St. Thomas but don't read him with the notion that he is going to clear anything up for you. That is done by study but more by prayer.”

On the priesthood: “a man, in spite of his intellectual limitations, his neuroticism, his own lack of strength, give up his life to the service of God’s people, however bumblingly he may go about it…”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vocation Match (Discernment Tool)

Every person has a vocation, whether it be to marriage, priesthood, the religious life, the consecrated life.

Vocation Match is a website that asks you to answer some questions, then it matches your answers to various groups representing possibilities for your vocation.

Note: Some pages don't work on Safari. Firefox (and probably Internet Explorer) are OK.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Significant Catholic Poets

Using the Database of Poets, I give you: The List of Significant Catholic Poets:

1550-1598 (48) Alexander Montgomerie
1558-1586 (28) Chidiock Tichborne
1558-1625 (67) Thomas Lodge
1561-1595 (34) Robert Southwell
1596-1666 (70) James Shirley
1613-1649 (36) Richard Crashaw
1631-1700 (69) John Dryden
1688-1744 (56) Alexander Pope
1844-1889 (45) Gerard Manley Hopkins
1867-1900 (33) Ernest Dowson
1899-1979 (80) Allen Tate
1912-1994 (82) William Everson
1923-1997 (74) Denise Levertov
1926-1972 (46) James K. Baxter

Saturday, July 31, 2010

PDF of Latin-English Missal for Traditional Latin Mass

If you need to print out a Latin-English Missal for visiting relatives, here's one. You can also print out some nice-looking propers.

Update: I have annotated the Latin-English Missal with "turn to proper" wherever the propers should be referenced.

A Catholic in Politics: Lord Chris Patten on the Relation between Church and State

From an interview with Lord Chris Patten, who is overseeing the Pope's visit to Great Britain in September:

Interviewer: How can we define the relation between Church and State in your country?

Lord Chris Patten: It's important to recognize that they're separate. I've been in politics - I am no longer - but I've been a Catholic in politics. I've always voted my conscience, and that has sometimes meant that I've voted against governments, or opposed what governments are doing, both of the left and the right. I think it's very important when there are issues of morality arising about which the Church feels strongly for the Church to make its views very strongly, and it's perfectly reasonable for governments to engage in a debate about them - we don't want and we don't live in a theocracy. So there's an important if sometimes tense and stretched relationship between Church and State. I think that it's part of our liberal tradition that that should be so.

Let me give you an example of that, which doesn't directly relate to the Catholic Church. There's just been a discussion in France about the wearing of the burka, trying to ban it. Most of us in Britain, when we consider this question, think that's an intolerable infringement by the state of people's religious views. Similarly, if an Islamicized country, if people were trying to do the reverse, we'd feel very strongly about it. Now, it does sometimes produce arguments, but I think those are the sort of arguments that you are accustomed to in a free society.

I don't think that the British government and the Catholic Church see eye to eye on everything. I don't see eye to eye on everything with the British government. But I hope that it's possible for us to focus on the biggest issues where we see eye to eye: global equity, education, sustainable environmental issues, sensible disarmament, the role of faith groups like the Catholic Church in promoting social solidarity and a stronger sense of community - those are the big issues on which we see eye to eye; and occasional disagreements about this or that aspect of legislation, I'm sure, not in my view be dominating the agenda. So I don't think - I have to repeat myself - that everything the Church and a conservative government - a conservative liberal government - in Britain do will be on all fours, but by and large I think we're both trying to shape the world in a more civilized way.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Daily online TLM broadcast from Christ the King (FSSP) in Venice, Florida

If you want to watch the daily Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) online, check out the site of Christ the King Catholic Church. Click "Today's recorded Mass" for the video and "Missal" for the text.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Yet More Conversion Stories (from Coming Home Network)

I found a good page of Catholic conversion stories, from the Coming Home Network.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Which Church Father are you?

Find out which Church Father you are.

You’re St. Melito of Sardis!

You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Catholic Conversion Stories

Found a big list of stories of converts to the Catholic faith:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Meditation timer for Mac OS X

This free meditation timer for Mac works great: Lotus. I've set it to chime at 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and three times at 26 minutes.

Opus Dei's "The Way" as a daily RSS feed

Here's a daily RSS feed for St. Josemaria Escriva's The Way.

2. How I wish your bearing and conversation were such that, on seeing or hearing you, people would say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Catholic conversion stories (audio)

I love listening to these converts to the Catholic faith tell their stories. I've recently enjoyed the ones by Kimberly Hahn and Thomas Smith.

Ten Commandments for the Scrupulous

Overscrupulous in confession? Check out the Ten Commandments for the Scrupulous (the first three in particular).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

4 plenary indulgences that can be obtained on any day

I did not know this. There are four plenary indulgences that can be obtained on any day: reading Scripture, reciting the Rosary in a church or with family, exercising the Way of the Cross, and adoring the Blessed Sacrament. See that link for the conditions required to obtain a plenary indulgence.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

25 most subscribed-to Catholic blogs


Saturday, June 05, 2010

Book for men discerning a vocation to the priesthood: To Save A Thousand Souls

Someone mentioned to me this book for men discerning a call to the priesthood: To Save A Thousand Souls. It's supposed to be really well written, with lots of stories and answers to questions. Check out excerpts from the book.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Daily RSS Feed: Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Here's a daily RSS feed of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church - one entry per day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daily Mass on the Web

You can watch daily mass on the web. It is broadcast several times a day.

Schedules and the broadcast are on (American) and (Canadian).

I've recently started doing this every night at 11:30pm. It's awesome to be able to participate in the highest prayer of the Church, on a daily basis.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Father Turner's articles on the Eucharistic Prayers

It's not easy to find articles on the differences between the four Eucharistic Prayers. But here are some by Father Paul Turner on Eucharistic Prayers I, II, and III. Hopefully he'll be writing one on EP IV soon.

Father Barron on the Jesus Prayer

Father Barron talks about a quick prayer called the Jesus Prayer, in this video at the 2:00 mark.

I like to say this prayer whenever I have some time on my hands - walking to my destination, or waiting in line.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Padre Pio's 5 rules for spiritual growth

Weekly confession, daily Communion, spiritual reading, meditation, and examination of conscience. From Wikipedia.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Favorite 5 quotes from Spe Salvi

Pope Benedict's 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi (on the virtue of Hope) resonates with me.

It starts off rather slowly, but I found the second half quite interesting.

Here are 5 of my favorite quotes from it:

  1. "[Eternal life] would be like plunging into the ocean of infinite love, a moment in which time—the before and after—no longer exists. We can only attempt to grasp the idea that such a moment is life in the full sense, a plunging ever anew into the vastness of being, in which we are simply overwhelmed with joy."
  2. "Let us say it once again: the capacity to suffer for the sake of the truth is the measure of humanity. Yet this capacity to suffer depends on the type and extent of the hope that we bear within us and build upon."
  3. "What does it mean to offer something up? Those who did so were convinced that they could insert these little annoyances into Christ's great “com-passion” so that they somehow became part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race."
  4. "As Christians we should never limit ourselves to asking: how can I save myself? We should also ask: what can I do in order that others may be saved and that for them too the star of hope may rise? Then I will have done my utmost for my own personal salvation as well."
  5. "Human life is a journey. Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Comparison of the Structure of the Novus Ordo Mass and the Usus Antiquior Mass

Here's a handy table comparing the structure of Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form masses.
Ordinary FormExtraordinary Form
Entrance Song, Greeting, Penitential Rite, Kyrie, Gloria, Opening PrayerAsperges, Judica Me, Confiteor, Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Collect
First Reading, Responsorial Psalm, Second Reading, Gospel Acclamation, Gospel, Homily, Creed, Prayer of the FaithfulEpistle, Gradual, Gospel, Homily, Nicene Creed
Preparation of the Gifts, Prayer Over the Gifts, Preface, SanctusOffering of the Bread and Wine, Washing of the Hands, Prayer to the Most Holy Trinity, Orate Fratres, Secret, Preface, Sanctus
Epiclesis, Institution Narrative, Memorial Acclamation, Anamnesis, Intercessions, Doxology, Great AmenPrayers Before the Consecration, Prayers at the Consecration, Prayers After the Consecration
Lord's Prayer, Sign of Peace, Breaking of the Bread, Agnus Dei, Communion, Prayer After CommunionLibera Nos and the Division of the Host, Mixture of the Body and Blood, Agnus Dei, Prayers for Holy Communion, Prayers During the Ablutions, Communion Verse, Postcommunion Prayers
Blessing, DismissalDismissal, Blessing, Last Gospel

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Book: Surprised By Truth 2

This book of conversion stories is hard to put down: Surprised By Truth 2. Check out the reviews on Amazon. Then find a used copy on BookFinder.

Novena card for Pope Benedict XVI

Print out the novena card for the Pope and pray it every day from April 11 to April 19.

It fits perfectly on an index card.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Order of Mass PDF

If you're like me, you can follow Mass more attentively if the words are in front of you. Here I've created a handy 12-page booklet of the Order of Mass: front sides, back sides.

Order of Mass

Use my stapling technique to staple the pages on the crease.

The text and graphics are from

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Comparison of Eucharistic Prayers I, II, III, and IV

Here is an interesting side-by-side comparison of the four Eucharistic Prayers. The wording has been updated to that of the new translation of the Roman Missal coming out in 2011.

It's best to print this one out on legal-size paper.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Prayer For Coworkers

The well-known Parent's Prayer works quite well when you modify the words to say "coworkers":

Heavenly Father, make me a better coworker.

Teach me to understand my coworkers, listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly.

Keep me from interrupting them or contradicting them.

Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me.

Forbid that I should ever laugh at their mistakes or resort to shame or ridicule when they displease me.

May I never punish them for my own selfish satisfaction or to show my power.

Let me not tempt my coworkers to lie or steal and guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.

Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me.

And when I am out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue.

Let me not rob them of the opportunity to make their own decisions.

Bless me with the bigness to grant them all their reasonable requests and the courage to deny them privileges I know will do them harm.

Make me fair and just and kind, worthy to be loved and respected and imitated by my coworkers. Amen.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Differences between the Eucharistic Prayers

Ever wondered what are the differences between Eucharistic Prayers I, II, III, and IV? I found three brief articles that describe the differences: 1, 2, 3.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wide-Margin Catholic Bibles

If you're looking for a wide-margin Bible in which to jot down notes and thoughts, in a Catholic translation, a couple of options are:

Cambridge NRSV Wide-Margin Edition. $100, 9.3 x 7.4 x 1.1 inches, 2.2 pounds. No deuterocanonical books unfortunately.

Oxford NRSV Notetaker's Bible. $30 ($40 for deluxe cloth), 8.4 x 6.7 x 2 inches, 3.3 pounds. Nice single-column, but the font is smaller.

Below are the Cambridge and the Oxford, scaled up to approximate life size, from images at Amazon and This Lamp.

Cambridge  Wide-Margin NRSV

Oxford Wide-Margin NRSV

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Good flashcard program for memorizing scripture (or anything)

Mnemosyne is a good program to aid memorization. You input questions and answers; it shows you a question; you press a button and it reveals the answer. You then click buttons indicating whether you got it wrong, right with much effort, or right with little effort. The cool thing is that it shows you the cards that you are worse at more frequently. This aids memorization.

It's available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Mnemosyne flashcard program

Monday, February 08, 2010

Ideas for Lent

Here are 40 good ideas for what to do this Lent.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Need an Ordo for your country?

If you're looking for an Ordo for the US, Canada, or another country - in other words, if you're reciting the Liturgy of the Hours and want to know if today is a special feast or uses the normal four-week cycle, check It tells you what today is on the liturgical calendar specific to your country. For example, here is Evening Prayer for today for Canada.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Comparing some passages in the JB, NJB, RSV2CE, and NRSV

Four great modern translations of the Bible are the Jerusalem Bible (JB), the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB), the Revised Standard Version 2nd Catholic Edition (RSV2CE), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). How to choose between them? It is interesting to see how they render some of the most famous passages from scripture.

The Lord is My Shepherd: Psalm 23:1–2

  • RSV2CE: The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;
  • NRSV: The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
  • JB: Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack nothing. In meadows of green grass he lets me lie. To the waters of repose he leads me;
  • NJB: Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack nothing. In grassy meadows he lets me lie. By tranquil streams he leads me.

To Every Thing There is a Season: Ecclesiastes 3:1–2

  • RSV2CE: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
  • NRSV: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
  • JB: There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted.
  • NJB: There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted.

The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2–3

  • RSV2CE: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.
  • NRSV: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
  • JB: I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no gods except me.
  • NJB: I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you lived as slaves. You shall have no other gods to rival me.

The Beatitudes: Matthew 5:3–4

  • RSV2CE: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  • NRSV: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • JB: How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
  • NJB: How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.

Love: 1 Corinthians 13:4–5

  • RSV2CE: Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
  • NRSV: Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
  • JB: Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful.
  • NJB: Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Add placeholder ribbons to your Bible

If you're Bible does not have ribbons (or if its ribbons are frayed and you want to replace them), here are some instructions for adding ribbons to your Bible.

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