Panis Angelicus: Why a Beautiful Liturgy is Important

I’ve heard this point made time and time again in homilies: “You shouldn’t be coming to Mass just because of the choir or the church architecture, because those things aren’t really important.” This statement isn’t necessarily untrue. The most important part of a Catholic Mass–the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ–occurs no matter where Mass takes place or what kind of music is playing in the background. A deficiency of beautiful churches and skilled choirs should not keep the faithful from participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. With that being said, the intent of this post is to make an argument for why Mass should be beautiful.

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An Argument for Murder Mysteries

I have a confession to make: I love murder mysteries. Agatha Christie, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are among my favorite authors. And not only do I enjoy reading their works, but I find the TV and movie adaptations delightful. You might call me a murder mystery junkie.

Now, it wouldn’t be unfair at all to assume that murder mysteries, with their grisly plot lines and often unsettling glimpses of humanity’s fallen nature, would be anathema to the Christian sensibility. Why on earth would anyone want to read a book or watch a movie about people killing other people? Don’t murder mysteries desensitize people to the gravity of sin and death?

Despite all these perfectly valid objections, I believe that murder mysteries are not only morally acceptable, but are actually one of the best literary (and TV/movie) genres available today. This is because, in our culture, where the line between good and evil is getting progressively more blurry–especially in modern books, shows, and films–murder mysteries are in general very clear about right and wrong.

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Monday Miscellany: Holy Week Edition!

Holy Week is here at last and my heart is rejoicing! It has been a long, long Lent, and I am so ready to enter into the mysteries of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Holy Week always reminds me that the story of our salvation is truly the world’s greatest love story. God’s love for us will overcome all things, no matter how dark or scary they seem. He has conquered sin and death, and if that’s not worth celebrating, I don’t know what is!

This year, with so many people staying home, Holy Week is bound to look a bit different. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate! There are so many amazing (and free) resources being made available so that we can still experience the rich traditions of the Church at home, by ourselves or with our families. Today I want to share some of these resources in the hopes that they will help you have a prayerful, grace-filled, and blessed Holy Week.

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How This Blog Got Its Name

Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

Matthew 6:28-30

Every spring, the rolling hills that surround my hometown are painted with color as the wildflowers begin to bloom. First the yellow of mustard, then the purples and blues of vetch and lupine, the bright pink of clarkia, the orange of poppies. I’ve always been fascinated by wildflowers. Each one is unique, one of a kind. The incredible variety makes me marvel at God’s craftsmanship—He not only created the mighty mountains and vast ocean but carefully designed every detail of these tiny flowers.

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