Category: catholic publishers

HEROES AND HEROINES

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, O.P. When I use the word “saints” (lower case), I refer to a group of people all of whom are baptized with water and the Spirit, those in Heaven, those awaiting purification, and those special persons whom we hold up as…

BIRTHDAY THOUGHT FROM A BROKEN-DOWN, OLD, LAY CISERCIAN

Here is what came out of my Lectio Divina meditation on my 79th birthday. That in all things God be glorified. –St. Benedict. Listen to the poem in silence and solitude. –A traveler in a foreign land

SPIRITUAL READING

Part of what it means to be a Lay Cistercian is a reverence for the word (lower case) that writers have for the Word (upper case) of God and how they interpret it. Cistercian authors advance the understanding of the Word by their words….

A PRAYER BY THOMAS MERTON

Here is one of my favorite prayers from Father M. Louis (Thomas Merton), O.C.S.O. 6 months ago “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it…

YOU ARE RETIRED, NOW WHAT?

Several people around me, myself included, have retired from a regular job. Retirement affects each individual differently. The big question seems to be, can I keep busy doing something that is meaningful to me. Had I placed my job at the center of my…

WHERE ARE THOSE OLD WEDDING PICTURES, NOW?

When was the last time you looked at those old wedding pictures? Blow off the dust and take a look at them again. They transport you back to a time when you celebrated something wonderful, your marriage with each other and your reliance on…

BLUE SKYS

Here is a story that brings to mind all kinds of spiritual linkages. It is one that I heard from my wife, a true story that is happening in our days. When meditating on Philippians 2:5, this blue sky story led me to places…

CONCENTRATED ORANGE JUICE

Try to drink this cup of the Mystery of Faith! It is like concentrated orange juice–very tasty but strong. I had to address this in one of my Lectio Divina meditations (Philippians 2:5). I warn you, this is way out there (out there is…

READINGS IN CONTEMPLATIVE THOUGHT

In order to develop contemplative practice, you must practice contemplative thinking. One way I do that is by reading. If your reading on a daily or weekly basis is on topics that deepen your “capcitas dei” the capacity to grow in Christ, then reading…

THE POLITICS OF HATRED

Do you remember the late Sen Ted Kennedy and Sen. Alan Simpson, (R-Wyoming) debate in the early 1990s?  https://jfk.blogs.archives.gov/2018/09/24/facing-off-senator-ted-kennedy-debates-his-republican-colleagues/?subscribe=success#blog_subscription-5 Now, the era of civility in politics is out the door. Respect for the office of President is lacking among lawmakers. Oh, did you look…

MAKE A CONTEMPLATIVE RETREAT

Making a retreat is one of those events where there are a thousand reasons not to go but only one good one to go– to grow in the capacity to move from self to God. Movement is a sign you are alive. You can…

JOIN THE SCHOOL OF LOVE

St. Benedict composes a Rule (d. 649 A.D.) to organize monks into forming a school for charity (love) in which they can move from the false self to the true self. What follows is an excerpt from my book on Learning How to Love….

SLOW DOWN

The first time I attended the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours (4:00 a.m.) at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit (Trappist), Conyers, Georgia, I noticed that the monks were deliberate with their prayers and said them slowly. While trying to stay awake…

LUMEN GENTIUM: The Mystery of the Church

There is no more challenging sign of contradiction of our Faith than that of the Church. At once, holy and sinful, one yet diverse, catholic yet individual, and apostolic and current in each age. The Ecumenical Council of Vatican II produced a profound statement…

ALL IN

There was a casino scene in a James Bond Film, Casino Royale, where the suave and debonaire Mr. Bond plays against the bad guys. The thing I remember about it is that players can make various degrees of wagering. One in particular that has…

YOU HAVE NO IDEA

Once, there was a highly educated and refined woman, who wanted to become more spiritual. She began attending Eucharist almost every day. She was very happy when attending the meetings with those who also shared her Faith. The opportunity presented itself to attend a…

DO WHAT YOU SAY

Maybe you have read my blog on Mean What You Say (maybe not). Meaning what you say is about aligning your mind with the words you say. Doing what you say is about aligning your heart with your activity. Christ is always urging his…

ARE YOU LISTLESS?

If you read this title you might be fooled by the actual purpose of this blog. Listless means being lifeless and without enthusiasm. It reminds me of those who seem to decry the state of imperfection in the World or the Church (or both)…

THE DIDACHE

This blog has taken the liberty of copying the whole of the text of the Didache from http://www.NewAdvent.com because of its significance. There is no commentary following it. Read and ponder. New Advent is an excellent source for looking up readings from the early…

TEMPTATION AND FALLING AWAY FROM THE FAITH

This is an excerpt from my latest book, WE ARE DEFINED BY OUR CHOICES: A Lay Cistercian reflects on Temptation, Truth, Reason, and Free Choice and why people fall away from the Church. (out August 2, 2019) which are my reflections on the phenomenon…

WHAT LAS VEGAS HAS TO SAY ABOUT MY FAITH

If you haven’t done so already, then you know I must have flipped out or had too much to drink (I only drink holy water which makes the plastic flowers grow). I only say that because where my Lectio Divina (Phil 2:5) led me…

USING SCRIPTURE AS A TOOL FOR PRIDE

I keep bumping into them everywhere I go. You know the kind, the self-righteous, pompas, know-it-alls who have recently found Jesus in their hearts and want to spread their particular interpretation of who Jesus is to everyone who will listen. All religions have them….

LISTEN WITH THE EAR OF THE HEART

There is nothing more difficult for a human being than to listen to God with the ear of the heart. That God would even consider speaking to me in the silence of my heart is, in itself, astounding. What I try to do as…

WHAT IS GREATER THAN FAITH?

If you are a person who places their whole Faith in Faith, you will not want to read the rest of this. Like everything is the spiritual universe, nothing is what it seems. Not only is everything a sign of contradiction, but much of…

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Despite the bad press about Mary and her being divine and the object of a cult, she is the mother of Jesus, the Son of the Living God. Of course, none of this makes any sense using the assumptions of the World. It is…

WHO ROWS YOUR BOAT?

What follows is an exerpt from my book, Who Rows Your Boat: How you can be happier than you can possibly imagine. Use these thoughts to expand your horizon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=books+dr.+michael+f.+conrad Who Rows Your Boat? Who Rows Your Boat? If your life is a boat,…

TWEEKING MY LAY CISTERCIAN PRAYERS

Praying, for me, is not the same as when I began my Lay Cistercian odyssey seven years ago. I considered myself somewhat religious, but I could never have imagined I would be where I am today in my prayer life. Some of the prayer…

GROWING DEEPER IN YOUR FAITH: Five Levels of Spiritual Awareness

I have uncovered five levels of spiritual awareness as I sat, one Sunday morning at Eucharist, thinking about how my attention span waxes and wanes as I listen to the Word. I usually must make an effort to keep my focus on the readings…

TEN THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE POPE

Here are some of my thoughts about the Pope. They are not sensational or even revelational, but reflect my own appreciation for the person selected by the Holy Spirit to lead us in how to love with our whole hearts, our whole minds, and…

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