I spend a lot of time in the car driving from Annapolis to St. Jane. I often drive in quiet. Sometimes I will do Morning or Evening Prayer conveniently from my phone. I recently found some interesting podcasts that I can play on my phone while driving. A podcast is an audio file you can access on your phone or computer. For instance, you can access a conversation of a doctor talking about some Alzheimer's issue, an interview with a basketball player, or a chef talking about ravioli. There are millions out there. You have to download a podcast player but there are also many free ones available. What I have recently found is “Pints with Aquinas.” The premise is what would happen if you could sit down with a beer and ask Saint Thomas Aquinas, probably the greatest Catholic theologian, a single question. The podcast asks about grace, sin, angels, the Eucharist, and all sorts of theological questions. Matt Fradd is the presenter, and he quotes often from the Summa Theologia, Aquinas’ masterwork. It is always interesting, and I recommend it.
Laudate, Ignatius Press Bible App, and Pocket Catholic are other phone apps that I use that provide access to the bible, prayers, and lots more information. For summer reading, Pope Benedict Emeritus is a wonderful theologian whose books, Jesus of Nazareth, offer great insights into our faith. My favorite writer is Henri Nouwen whose books are beautiful and articulate. Pope Francis has presented his ideas in a very down-to-earth manner in The Joy of the Gospel, The Name of God is Mercy, and On Care for Our Common Home. Finally, I would recommend, James Martin, Jesus: a Pilgrimage. There are great materials out there to enliven your faith.
“We must be like the shepherds in the fields during the winter. They have a fire, but from time to time they search about for sticks to keep it alive. If we knew how to keep up the fire of the love of God in our heart by prayers and good works, it would not go out.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars
“INSIDE OUR SACRED SPACE”
Each church stores holy oils for use in various ceremonies. New oils are blessed annually during Holy Week by the bishop at the chrism Mass and then distributed to parishes. The oils are: the oil of the catechumens, the oil of the sick and the chrism. They are kept locked in an ambry, a French word meaning wall safe or cupboard. Our Catechism says, “The sacred chrism (Myron), used in anointings as the sacramental sign of the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit, is traditionally reserved and venerated in a secure place in the sanctuary. The oil of catechumens and the oil of the sick may also be placed there” (CCC, No. 1183).
***This article “Inside Our Sacred Space” was originally published in the OSV Newsweekly, www. OSV.com, on January 8-14, 2017 and is used with permission of the author D.D. Emmons. ***