Do you want to sanctify your life in simple ways? Try praying the Angelus

Finding time to pray is certainly difficult. As I have advocated before, it is essential to create your own daily schedule of prayer. However, sometimes we don’t know where to start and only have a vague idea of what we want to do.

One excellent idea that will get you started and help sanctify your day in a simply way is by taking up the ancient practice of the Angelus.

But what is the Angelus? How do I pray it devoutly?

Please take my 5 minute survey about Catholic comic books!

Recently I have been brainstorming new ways to evangelize youth and young adults and the thought hit me: what about comic books? Oddly enough, while the comic book industry took a hit during the past two decades, sales over the past year have skyrocketed. This is due in part to the rise in superhero movies and has resulted in a new audience craving fantastic adventures.

The comic book realm is an interesting one, being a visual format accessible to many different age groups. It presents unique opportunities for evangelization to an audience who wouldn’t typically pick up a book about a saint.

Did you notice the Celtic cross in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

Apparently the first Jedi were Christians...

In preparation for my short book on the Last Monks of Skellig Michael, I watched again the final scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens when Rey makes her way through the ancient monastery, which in the Star Wars universe is reportedly the first Jedi temple. It is the place of refuge for Luke Skywalker and will play a vital role in the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi.

What’s interesting is that when I paused one of the scenes of Rey walking among the bee-hive huts, I noticed the special effects wizards at Lucasfilm did not erase a Celtic cross that features prominently on the screen. (As a side note, there are a few other interesting details about his snapshot, like what is Rey looking at?)

The moment only lasts a few seconds, but it is interesting to see the first Christian cross embedded into the Star Wars universe. It was likely an oversight, and the decision not to erase it came from the fact that most people would hardly notice it.

Here is a close-up of the cross that Rey walks by and that has been worn down through the centuries. A faint outline of a cross can also be seen in the center.

In The Last Jedi most of the scenes were filmed at a reconstructed set, so it is likely we won’t see this Celtic cross again.

If you are interested in learning more about this ancient monastery and the mysterious monks who lived there, check out my latest book, The Last Monks of Skellig Michael.

 

Looking to deepen your sense of wonder? Then this book is for you

Typically when we think of living a sacramental life, we immediately think of the seven sacraments. While that is not wrong, we often miss a much larger sacramental experience that encompasses everything we do.

This is what Regis Martin, professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, sets out to correct in his latest book, Witness to Wonder: The World of Catholic Sacrament. Martin expertly lays out a much broader definition of sacrament that sees in all of God’s creation a “sign” that points to God’s truth, beauty and goodness.

5 Reflections on Fatima

100 years later, Our Lady of Fatima is still leading souls to God

© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro /, CC BY-SA 3.0

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, I thought I would compile all of my articles over the past year on the topic. There is much to reflect on in her appearances to the three shepherd children 100 years ago and a single article would never do her justice.

So without further introduction, here are all 5 articles I have written on the weighty topic of Fatima and the many spiritual truths we can learn from Our Lady’s appearance.

5 Surprising revelations of the third secret of Fatima

Fatima, the Rosary, and hell

The surprising connection between Our Lady of Fatima and Islam

5 Things to Know About First Saturdays

7 Powerful quotes from Fatima visionary Sister Lucia

Enter to WIN a FREE autographed copy of “The Last Monks of Skellig Michael”

This week I will be giving away an autographed copy of my latest book, “The Last Monks of Skellig Michael.”

The rules are fairly simple. All you need to do is follow the instructions below to gain additional entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest starts TODAY and ends on FRIDAY.

At the end of the contest, there will be one winner randomly selected. This winner will receive a personalized copy of “The Last Monks of Skellig Michael” with a message from me!

There you have it!

And please SHARE this with your friends! 

An inside look at my new book on Skellig Michael for #StarWarsDay

Inspired by the monks who lived there 1,000 years ago

With the release of latest Star Wars films, the ancient monastery atop Skellig Michael has enchanted the world with its beautiful vistas and mysterious history. While much has been written about the architectural feats achieved by the monks on the lonely island, little has been discussed about the daily life of the religious hermits.

What was it like 1,000 years ago?

Why did the monks choose Skellig Michael?

What was their spirituality like? Why did they leave and never return?