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26 Apr

Francois de Montmorency Laval


Francois de Montmorency Laval was born to an aristocratic French family in 1623.  Renouncing his family title and estate, Laval became a Catholic priest.  After spending time in prayer and study under the incredible tutelage of Jean-Jacques Olier and future saints Vincent de Paul and John Eudes, Laval was made bishop at age 35 of New France, becoming the first bishop of Canada. 

19 Apr

Springtime in the Heart

Easter, an old-English word, derives from estre, which was the name of the pagan springtime God.  In German, ‘Easter’ comes from ‘east’—the point being to emphasize hope, as the sun rises in the east at dawn.  Hopefully we can make an opportunity in this ebullient season to experience a “springtime” in our faith.  If we desire it, God will grant it.  “It is always springtime in the heart that loves God,” said Saint John Vianney, the curé of Ars.

12 Apr

On the Way to Emmaus

Caryll Houselander once wrote,

It seems that this is Christ's favorite way of being recognized, that He prefers to be known, not by His own human features, but by the quickening of His own life in the heart, which is the response to His coming. When John recognized Him, he was hidden in his mother's womb. After the Resurrection He was known, not by his familiar features, but by the love in Magdalene's heart, the fire in the hearts of the travelers to Emmaus, and the wound in His own heart handled by Thomas.

Yes, we can know Christ through the meditation of theological truths, the unpacking of Sacred Scripture, and the sacraments, just to name a few.  But when our hearts are moved in a particular way to the good—which is to say, to God—then we are in the midst of knowing Christ. 

05 Apr

Nikolaus Gross

Nikolaus Gross worked as coal miner in Germany before becoming editor of the union newspaper.  Married with seven children, he actively resisted the Nazi movement, which led to the paper's suppression.

Gross was imprisoned in August 1944 and hanged on January 23, 1945.  It was reported about the execution: "Gross bowed his head silently during the blessing. His face already seemed illuminated by the glory into which he was getting ready to enter."  Nikolaus Gross was beatified in 2001.