Ruminations from Deacon Hank Lyon

Peace in Our Homes

The words of St. Paul, “…mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” These words from St. Paul come from this Sunday’s second reading and I say Mother Church is providing us with wisdom for these troubling days. Watching the news and seeing the mess that is happening around our country and our beloved home is enough to make one lose his peace. A sense of helplessness might certainly follow from the sight, and it is for these reasons that the words of St. Paul are worth praying with. If we take St. Paul’s words into our hearts, then we can begin to find, once again, peace in our homes.


St. Augustine

St. Augustine is a great doctor of our Church, and as a doctor of the Church, his words give timeless counsel, teaching and fatherly wisdom. Something of his recently struck me to be a clear and concise way of understanding how our sufferings can be united to Christ’s own suffering, if we offer them to Our Lord. The good doctor writes:



Oh, the cellphone, can’t live with it and can’t live without it. It seems to have everything I need, yet I don’t need to be always looking at it. What did we ever do before cellphones? Maybe we had more peace of mind? If the cellphone isn’t going away, then let’s sanctify it. Let’s use the cellphone to glorify God and sanctify our days instead of distracting us from our day. A great way to do this is to download the iBreviary App on your smartphone.



What do you do with a problem like Maria? Title and refrain from a very famous movie, The Sound of Music. A great movie to watch if you have exhausted your movie queue. It’s the ever so charming movie about a young woman who is discerning her vocation: to become a nun or to be married. Young Maria is a postulant, meaning that she lives within the convent but has not professed permanent vows for life. The nuns notice that Maria does not seem to do well following their rule of life, and so the Abbess sends Maria to spend some time outside the convent caring as a governess, or nanny, to seven children. I won’t give away any more details.


Mobile Art Gear and Drawing Dens


Have you picked up an old hobby in the midst of staying at home? An unfinished project or perhaps finding time now to start a project that had been waiting. Last summer, I brought my mobile art gear along with me when I spent the whole summer here at St. Juliana. I fashioned a drawing den for myself in the basement. My mobile art gear consists of a very simple round folding chair, a portable easel and a tacklebox full of misc. art supplies. This gear is not only the means of extending my creative mind into concrete visuals, but it also belonged to my grandfather. He passed away when I was a junior in high school. The summer before he passed, we spent it entirely outside in various locations painting and drawing on sight. A very cherished memory that has been preserved for me by carrying around his old gear.


St Thomas Aquinas

In my second year at Mundelein, my course load was packed with dense theology courses, such as Christology and Doctrine of God. One afternoon, I had just come out of class and my brain was fried. I must have had a dazed look on my face because an upperclassman, who I knew well, stopped and asked how my studies were going. I said, “Oh…fine”. He chuckled and asked, “have you found yourself staring at walls yet?” I was surprised by how accurately he named the very thing I would do as I studied for a class.


An Infinity of Little Hours

An infinity of little hours. No, I’m not trying to describe how I feel about beginning another week of self-quarantine. Though, it does feel rather apt as a description for all this time at hand. An Infinity of Little Hours is a book about the life of Carthusian monks who live in Parkminster, England. It would not be far off to describe the Carthusian Order, started by St. Bruno in 1084, as the marines of Catholicism.


Psalm 84

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,

In [c]whose heart are the highways to Zion!

Passing through the valley of [d]Baca they make it a [e]spring;

The early rain also covers it with blessings.

They go from strength to strength,

[f]Every one of them appears before God in Zion.



How Lovely are Your Dwelling Places


84 How lovely are Your dwelling places,

O Lord of hosts!

My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;

My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

The bird also has found a house,

And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,

Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,

My King and my God.

How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!

They are ever praising You. 



In the Face of a Fragile World

Boy, a lot has certainly changed in our lives and rather quickly too. It’s all too much at some moments to really fathom the effects the virus has had on the entire world. Sports! Sports are gone. I never would have seen that one coming. Taking sports as an example, it is always the guaranteed entertainment that would be around. Perhaps here and there a rain delay occurred or a game is postponed, but the entire sporting enterprise is cancelled. Unreal.


Mater Dolorosa



Mater Dolorosa is a title for Our Lady; it is Latin for Mother of Sorrow. Moving further into Lent, we will soon come into Holy Week when we will walk with Our Lord through the darkest moments of His life on earth. I offer this aid to help intensify our prayer in preparation for and during Holy Week: the Seven Sorrows of Mary.


Deacon Cook What?


Missing meat on Fridays? That classic Catholic crisis when we realize it is meal time and it is Friday and it is during Lent…"Oh shoot, that is right it is Lent…ugh". Classic. Friday meals can be creative and strangely more delicious than maybe we first thought. One of my favorite recipes to cook during Lent is close to something like a burger. It is not a tofu burger, or what not. It is very filling. Try making Quinoa patties. I highly recommend them.



Conscience is a Gift - Vox Dei

The conscience is connected with the Vox Dei, the voice of God, within us all. Victor Hugo recognizes this connection in his great novel, Les Miserables. St. John Henry Newman wrote essays on this wonderful truth of our being. Conscience is a gift. It directs our Will to what is truly good, beautiful, true, lovely and excellent for our flourishing. We know all too well, however, from our lives that we can have some serious wrestling matches with our conscience. This too is part of the human experience: our inner deliberations over what is good and what is evil.


So that He may continue to walk with His people...

After years of going to Mass, learning to actually say Mass presents it in a completely new way. It is indeed familiar, but it carries a whole different weight to it. It is a good and holy weight. In Hebrew, the word for “weight” or “heaviness” is kavod; it is also used to describe, “the Glory of God.” Think of a rich dessert, after one bite you say, "woah, that is too rich for me."