This blog has been going for one month shy of six and a half years now — and this is its 897th post. Many daily visitors arrive here by internet search, and sometimes the stats on an older post will spike, suggesting that someone found it helpful and shared it on social media. I have several current post ideas that I am mulling over but not a lot of stamina to write semi-intelligently about them at present, due to general busy-ness and also some seasonal illness that I’ve been trying to shake. If you could whisper a quick prayer for me, I would certainly appreciate it!
For a while now I have been hoping to find the time to put together a topical index of the blog. Absent that time/effort, I thought it could be good to create a couple of short lists. Here follow, then, two lists: the first, a selection of the top 10 most-visited posts of the blog since it was started; the second, 15 assorted posts that I think will be of interest, especially to more recent readers. Thank you for reading!
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SELECT TOP TEN MOST-VISITED POSTS
10. First Blessings and Masses of New Priests (March 2016) — debunks an urban legend about an indulgence allegedly connected with a priest’s first blessing, but explains then how a seminarian can arrange special indulgences for his first Masses (plural!).
9. Sick Call Crucifix (June 2014) — explains not only what the unique type of crucifix is that many married couples (historically, at least) had hanging above their marriage bed, but also some customs surrounding its use.
8. Applause in Church (May 2014) — encouragement not to applaud in church, but also an explanation of why applause is not fitting.
7. Our Lady of Fatima (May 2015) — a homily I had given on Our Lady of Fatima, with the theme of “do not be afraid” as a refrain.
6. Put St. Joseph to Work for You (May 2014) — commentary from Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI on devotion to St. Joseph, a saint for our time.
5. Prayer before and after Mass (February 2014) — simple prayers that I composed (and at one time had on a holy card) to help recollect before Mass and give proper thanks after.
4. Prayer of Absolution (July 2017) — what is the minimum prayer that a priest must say to absolve us from our sins? This post addresses this delicate yet important topic. Be sure to read the post that is linked at the bottom, also, for additional info.
3. The Sort of Things Priests Say (February 2014) — a bit of liturgical trivia, but the third-most popular post on the blog! This surprised me a bit. Seminarians and priests who visit Rome will certainly (or at least hopefully) want to know about this wonderful pious tradition.
2. Non Fecit Taliter Omni Nationi (June 2013) — in sending his mother as Our Lady of Guadalupe to the American continent, God truly gave a grace that he had not given to any other nation. Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe is so important for us; this information will help you grow in your understanding and appreciation of this devotion.
1. Caring for Liturgical Linens (August 2014) — that this is the most-read post on the blog provokes in me a certain sadness: it suggests to me that ignorance surrounding the proper care of liturgical linens is great (this conclusion is amply supported by other evidence I’ve heard of or seen first-hand throughout my ministry). But I’m glad to be able to provide this information also, hopefully to help improve the state of things.
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FIFTEEN ASSORTED OTHER POSTS OF INTEREST (in no particular order)
15. Sign of the Cross in Blessings (April 2014) — although many priests are now preferring to confer blessings from the 1962 Rituale Romanum instead of the newer “Book of Blessings”, it is important to know — and this is not taught in most seminaries — that the Church intends for us to include the Sign of the Cross in the newer blessings, also, even where it is not explicitly included (as is the case for most of them).
14. Working on Holy Days of Obligation (November 2018) — in which I challenge Catholics in general and Catholic business owners in particular to take the day off/close up shop on Holy Days of Obligation, in order to follow the divine and ecclesial law on the santification of such days and bear witness of the faith to others.
13. Pyx Problems (July 2015) — many people have pyxes (small containers to carry the Eucharist to the sick) that are totally unsuitable for The One whom they are carrying. This post challenges them and especially priests to improve the overall situation.
12. Confession during Mass (June 2019) — many people do not realize that hearing confessions during Mass is not only permitted but very traditional; moreover, one may go to confession during Mass and still fulfill his or her Mass obligation, if it is a Mass of precept. Supporting documentation included in this post.
11. Scrupulosity (April 2019) — the cross of scrupulosity is a terrible burden for some people, and there are not always spiritual directors and confessors readily available to help a soul deal with and even move beyond the terrible throes of this psychological condition. This post is not meant to be a comprehensive solution but an initial guide to help such souls (and priests/spiritual directors) navigate these delicate circumstances.
10. Baptism Booklet for the Extraordinary Form (October 2018) — so far this year I have baptized some 25 infants, fully two-thirds of which have been in the Extraordinary Form, due to the rediscovery by many of the beauty and power of this older form of baptism. This participation guide not only provides the prayers (in translation, where applicable), so that parents may make an informed decision about which form they wish for their child, but also serves for laity and clergy in following along with (and learning) the rite.
9. The Contempt of Some Priests! (May 2016) — rather biting commentary by St. Alphonsus Liguori on “Masses celebrated with little reverence”, a problem that we have all encountered.
8. Sufficient Confession Times (July 2019) — some practical thoughts on how to determine if a parish has sufficient confession times for its population and the true spiritual growth of its members.
7. The Biretta (June 2019) — information about the traditional three-cornered hat that clergy and seminarians may wear… as well as the surprising lack of symbolism connected with it!
6. In What Color Are Priests & Deacons To Be Buried? (May 2014) — while funerals are commonly celebrated in white today and clergy are often vested in white for their burial, the traditional color for burial was different and perhaps needs to be rediscovered!
5. Mass “For the People” — All the People (June 2014) — have you ever wondered why Mass was offered “for the people” or “for the people of the parish” (or similar) each week in your parish? Or, have you not seen that intention published (yikes!)? This post explains it in greater depth.
4. Communion in the Hand (November 2013) — I strongly believe that this contemporary practice (which originated through a movement of disobedience) has contributed to the overall erosion of faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. I humbly ask every Catholic who receives this way to reconsider.
3. Fat Priests (August 2019) — there is no doubt that rates of obesity are higher today than in the past, and clergy do not cease to be members of the larger society, affected by its trends. Many clergy today are also terribly (too) busy. This post suggests some concrete ways that are rooted in proven spirituality for them (us) to get “back on track”.
2. Blessed Rolando Rivi: “I Belong to Jesus” (October 2013) — when I wrote this post, this Blessed was barely known outside of Italy, and my attempt was to help spread his fame. I believe it has contributed to that end. A very important holy man for our time!
1. Having A Home Chapel (August 2017) — a lovely Catholic tradition that is perhaps more “within reach” than ever for your average American family that has extra space and could benefit from devoting some of it to true devotion to our Lord and his saints!
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Thank you for reading my blog!