Encomium for a Good Friend I Mistreat

I have such a thoroughly excellent baptismal patron, I often feel unworthy of him. I guess we could all say the same.

The New Testament makes it clear that St. Mark served the original leaders of the Church with unassuming, faithful friendship. Mark himself had no interest in the spotlight. He delighted in accompanying St. Paul, and then St. Peter, helping them in their work. Mark synthesized Peter’s teaching about Christ, and gave us the shortest and most to-the-point gospel.

Then St. Peter sent St. Mark to Egypt. The evangelist repeatedly risked life and limb to proclaim the kingdom of Christ. Eventually, the pagans got the better of him. They tied him behind a team of oxen and dragged him through jagged rocks on April 24, in the year 68. On April 25, St. Mark succumbed to his wounds.

St. Mark has been a faithful friend to me, like he was to Peter and Paul—through thick and thin, ever since my parents took me to the baptismal font and made me St. Mark’s client.

On the days that I have prayed to my patron, he has prayed for me before God’s throne on high. On the countless other days when I haven’t given St. Mark a moment’s thought, he has prayed for me then, too.

That’s what our patrons up in heaven do. They watch over us, no matter what, loving us like our mothers do. If we ignore them or treat them badly, they patiently endure it, waiting and hoping for the day when we will wake up and smell the coffee. When we finally make even the slightest gesture of appreciation, they rejoice, forgiving and forgetting all the slights.

Thank you, St. Mark. Please keep helping me, even though I don’t deserve it.

Musings on Mark 6, the Martyrs of Japan, Etc.

A faithful reader has a nomination for best scene from “Prince of Egypt.” It is pretty cool.

Another faithful reader asked me what I thought about the “Bishop Williamson affair.” The prelate in question is also known as the Dinoscopus. (You can read an eloquent letter if you click the link.)

I already spilled a little ink on this business. It looks like our Holy Father may not have written the letter I wished he would.

If he didn’t write it, I certainly don’t hold it against him. He knows better than I do. No one’s job is more demanding than the Pope’s.

That said, “being media-savvy” is not really part of the Pope’s job.

auschwitzAbove all, the Pope has to be a prayerful, obedient priest–obedient to the sacred inheritance that he has received. Secondly, the Pope has to try to be a loving father to ALL his children.

Continue reading “Musings on Mark 6, the Martyrs of Japan, Etc.”

Words of St. John the Baptist

st-john-baptist-grecoThe mission of St. John the Baptist is to call us to repent of our sins so that we will be ready to welcome Christ.

This is what St. John said, as recorded in the New Testament:

Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3:2-3)

Brood of vipers, who warned you to fly from the retribution that is coming? But if you are repentant, produce the appropriate fruit, and do not presume to tell yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ because, I tell you, God can raise children for Abraham from these stones. Even now the axe is laid to the roots of the trees, so that any tree which fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:8-10/Luke 3:7-9)

To King Herod: It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife. (Matthew 14:4, Luke 6:18)

Continue reading “Words of St. John the Baptist”