"Non Nisi Te, Domine" (Nothing But You, Lord)

Today's feast of St. Thomas Aquinas reminds me of the time many decades ago when I bought the 5-volume Summa Theologiae which he wrote. It was in Latin. It was a basic textbook and resource book in our philosophy and theology classes in the seminary. One can not but wonder at the extraordinary intellect of the author who produced it and earned for him the title "the Angelic Doctor." The work is well structured, which helps the student to study and understand the numerous topics treated. But being in Latin and due to the abstract nature of the subject, the Summa posed some challenges to me then. We did not use English translations then. St. Thomas Aquinas was not only a brilliant thinker,

A Conversation with Joey on the Way to the Shrine -- continued

Continued . . . Grandpa: So, Joey, when you receive Holy Communion you are eating the Body of Jesus Who is the Lamb of God. Right? Joey: Yes, Grandpa, that is what the priest says when he raises the Host at Mass. He also says "The Body of Christ" when he gives Communion. GP: But why does the priest say that Jesus is the Lamb of God. Was jesus a lamb? J: No, Grandpa. Jesus was not a lamb but He was like a Lamb. Gp: In what way? J: Because the Jews killed lambs and other animals as sacrifice. Gp: Why? J: Because they wanted to be sorry for their sins. Gp: What about Jesus? J: They also put Jesus to death. Gp: Why did Jesus allow this? J: Because He wanted to take away the people's sins.

A Conversation with Joey on the Way to the Shrine

Today, Joey, my 8-year-old grandson, wanted to go to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a 30-minute drive away. Following is part of our conversation in the car: Grandpa: Joey, do you know it's the feast day of your mom today? Joey: Yes, Grandpa, it's the feast of Saint Agnes. G: Good, Joey. Do you know the meaning of Agnes? J: I don't know. G: It means lamb, from the Latin word "agnus," for lamb. J: Okay. G: Your mom said she does not eat lamb. Do you know why? J: No, Grandpa. Why? G: Because she does not want to eat herself. (Grandpa laughs. Joey laughs also.) G: But seriously, she eats Lamb. At least once a week. J: When and where, Grandpa? G: In church. J: (

What's In A Name?

"What name do you give your child?" This is the first question the minister asks the parents of a child to be baptized. The name given by the parents is not one thought of at the spur of the moment but was decided upon after several options were considered beforehand. A name is chosen to honor, for example, a parent, grandparent or another loved one. The Church also suggests names of saints, who are models of a virtuous life. Some names are chosen for the precise meaning they convey. All persons have names. Even pets have names. Everywhere one looks one can see names attached to things: streets, buildings, airports, stores, products, cars, etc. From the start of creation, God gave Adam the t