The Mount of the Transfiguration.

The Mount of the Transfiguration.

The mountain. What does this mountain signify? If we read the Gospel, we find various meanings. The mountain is, above all, the place where Jesus prayed, the place where he was alone with the Father. If we do not ascend this mountain of prayer, if we do not enter into the dialogue of Jesus with the Father, we cannot find him. The mountain is also the site of the Beatitudes, the new Sinai of the new law. The mountain is his word. To go to the mountain of Jesus means, then, to wander on the majestic mountain of his words. The mountain of the Transfiguration combines both these aspects: the Transfiguration takes place while Jesus is praying; but it is also the revelation of the true content of the books of Moses and of the Prophets. The voice of the Father is heard at this moment: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5).

Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year, ed. Irene Grassl, (Ignatius Press, 1992), page 316.

My notes: Bold emphasis added by me.  The picture of the Mount of the Transfiguration is from the Logos Bible Software (Faithlife Corp.)

What is the intellectual backing behind the word “Christian brotherhood”? The central point on which this word lives, in which its force is rooted, is nothing other than the central point of Christian reality in general: the table fellowship of the faithful with the risen Lord. People have always experienced sharing a meal as the most effective way of creating fellowship; here, though, when they eat the one divine bread that the Lord himself desired to become for us, this is raised to the highest power: it is in the final analysis nothing other than incorporation into the Lord’s Body, into the realm of the risen Christ; the process that takes place here is meant to be quite concrete, as we can understand from the bold saying of Saint Paul, who declares outright: “You are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

Benedict XVI, Dogma and Preaching: Applying Christian Doctrine to Daily Life, ed. Michael J. Miller, trans. Michael J. Miller and Matthew J. O’Connell, Unabridged Edition. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2011), pages 207–208.

My Notes: This is something to pray about. ‘Dear Jesus, help me to be the best brother or sister that I can be, to all those who are “One” in you.’

The Liturgy of the Hours, as the public prayer of the Church, sets forth the Christian ideal of the sanctification of the entire day, marked by the rhythm of hearing the word of God and praying the Psalms; in this way every activity can find its point of reference in the praise offered to God.

Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, paragraph 62, Apostolic Exhortations (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010).

My notes: (Bold emphasis added by me.) The Liturgy of the Hours has an importance that goes far beyond the fact that it is a prayer (a communication) with God. The Liturgy of the Hours is spread throughout a day and has as one of its purposes to sanctify the day. Perhaps this is better expressed as making our lives holy as we live out our lives, day by day. Without a constant prayer to our Lord during a day, what purpose does our day have? Is a Tuesday or a Thursday just like any other day, just the same old thing, just another day in the “daily grind” of life? Praying the Liturgy of the Hours brings a purpose to our typical day: each day is an opportunity to talk to God. Morning Prayer (Lauds in Latin) has a characteristic of praise, and Evening Prayer (Vespers in Latin) a characteristic of thanksgiving. Praying or talking to God every day, throughout the day, should be a primary purpose or event in our lives. The reason for this is because communicating with God (prayer) is what we will be doing for all eternity in heaven.

The central formula (of the Christian faith) is not “I believe in something”, but “I believe in you.” It is the encounter with the man Jesus, and in this encounter it experiences the meaning of the world as a person. In Jesus’ life from the Father, in the immediacy and intensity of his converse with him in prayer and, indeed, face to face, he is God’s witness, through whom the intangible has become tangible, the distant has drawn near.

Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity (Revised Edition), trans. J. R. Foster (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), page 79.

The first step in the interpretation of Scripture, says Augustine, is to be moved by the holy fear of God, by which we seek to do his will. Fear of God reminds us that we are mortal and thereby curtails our foolish pride.

The second step is to attain piety. Piety makes us meek readers of Scripture. Otherwise we tend to defend our vices against Scripture’s condemnation or to place ourselves above Scripture in other ways. To learn from Scripture, we must be docile to God speaking through it.

The third step in the interpretation of Scripture consists in knowledge. The reader of Scripture comes to know that we must love God for his own sake, and we must love our neighbor and ourselves in reference to God. This knowledge challenges us to realize that our loves have not been well ordered; we have loved creatures to the contempt of the Creator. In fear of God and piety, the interpreter of Scripture must begin, therefore, by lamenting his sins.

The fourth step is to gain fortitude. Such fortitude enables us to seek justice and extract ourselves from the love of the world, so as to learn to love eternal things—the Trinity—as we should.

The fifth step is mercy. Loving our neighbor purifies our minds and hearts so that we can love the Trinity.

When we love our enemy, we have arrived at the sixth step, purity of heart. This step involves dying to the world, so that our joy comes from the light of the Trinity and we do not allow the desire to please others and avoid adversity to cause us to turn from the truth that challenges us.

The seventh and final step in the interpretation of Scripture is the peace of wisdom.

Matthew Levering, The Theology of Augustine: An Introductory Guide to His Most Important Works (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), pages 9–10.
(Note: Professor Levering is writing here about St. Augustine’s book “On Christine Doctrine”.)

There is a mutual inter-causality between deep conversion and deep prayer. They are not merely juxtaposed, one next to the other. Each one helps to bring about the other. The more we are rid of our egocentrisms the more we are opened to the divine infusions of love and intimacy. As Saint Paul puts it, we are transformed from one depth of beauty to another, a gift of the indwelling Spirit (2 Cor 3:18). In the other direction a progressively deepening of prayer furthers our purification from venial sins.

Fr. Thomas Dubay, Deep Conversion/Deep Prayer (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), Page 64.

I recently celebrated my birthday, and received a great gift: a “Rugged Rosary”.

I can review this by saying both what it is not as well as what it is. As a Rosary, it is not a piece of jewelry. It is made with parachute cord, it is strong, durable and perfect gift for the man (or woman) who wants to bring a Rosary out into the world. I do not intend to be sexist by what I am about to write, but some men do not want to be seen with a piece of jewelery (the typical Rosary). This Rosary can go anywhere, praying while hiking a rough trail, while riding the subway. It is a durable tool meant to help anyone pray the Rosary anywhere and at any time.  The company makes full size and well as “pocket” size ones like this.  They can also do custom orders, and the prices are reasonable for a hand made item.

I have mine hanging from the rear-view mirror of my car. For me it is a subtle, yet visible method of evangelism. I am a Christian and a Catholic, and I pray.

The company website:


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