Happy Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day/Check Out Our New Prayer Request Page

Wishing you all a happy and blessed Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day! Remember that, though Ash Wednesday actually is not a Holy Day of Obligation, the faithful are required to fast (eat only one normal sized meal and two smaller meals amounting to no more than the normal-sized one) and abstain (refraining from eating meat) today. No Valentine’s Day candy for snacks!!!! Please save it for Thursday, and offer up not eating it as Lenten penance!

Also, please take a look at our new prayer request page, put together mostly by Grace Marie (who did great work as usual! See https://camerondaly.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/)! Please read through it, and feel welcome to post any prayer request in the comments section! (And a note on that … for anyone who tried to post something in a comment on the suggestions page but could not, I have fixed that. Turns out I made a page asking for comments that didn’t allow comments….)

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Merry Christmas from RCR/Short Reflection on St. Southwell’s “The Burning Babe,” by Cameron Daly

Merry Christmas to all our followers and readers, and Happy Birthday to Our Lord Jesus!

I wanted to share with you a short, beautiful poem by St. Robert Southwell, entitled “The Burning Babe” and quoted at length from http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/burningbabe.htm

“As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow ;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear ;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I !
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns ;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defilëd souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I callëd unto mind that it was Christmas day.”

The fire of Christ’s Heart is His love, according to the poem; yet, truly, far too few of us make the effort to regularly draw close to this blazing flame, to warm our hearts and feel the fire of His own selfless, sacrificial, sometimes painful love for others. This Christmas Season, let’s strive to do just that: to let that burning love of Christ’s into our own hearts, making sacrifices for those around us as is necessary for the sake of that love.

God bless you, and again, Merry Christmas!

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“What Do I Know?”—Epistemology PowerPoint Presentation by Cameron Daly

Attached is the Epistemology PowerPoint to go along with the annotated bibliography I had posted previously. I’ve also included the transcript for what is said in the audio for the presentation. To access the audio for a given slide, please click on the speaker icon underneath the title for the given slide.

What Do I Know

Transcript for What Do I Know

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Connect with Roman Catholic Reflections Through Other Media Networks!–by Cameron Daly

Please connect with Roman Catholic Reflections through some of the other social media networks it’s been linked to!

Find it on Facebook @RomanCatholicReflections.

Follow @RCR_Blog on Twitter.

Connect with it on Tumblr at RomanCatholicReflectionsBlog.

Follow me personally on Path (the fact that RCR blog posts have been linked to my profile should be a dead giveaway that it’s me); and while you’re at it, if you have any advice about better using Path, please let me know! I may try getting the blog its own Path account and page at some point in the future.

I’m curious (actually as part of the aforementioned class project) to see which of these media networks yield the greatest response to the blog, so if you can, please connect with it on whichever ones you have accounts on. Thank you!

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Request for Assistance with Class Project—by Cameron Daly

As part of a project I’m working on in my Catholic Formation and New Media class, I’m looking for suggestions on how to improve Roman Catholic Reflections! I’m trying to make it a better, more effective tool for evangelization.

If you can, please take just a short time to take a look around the site and offer any constructive suggestions that come to mind; I would really appreciate it. Should the blog look different? Should there be more posts of certain kinds or about certain things? Is there anything that could make the site look more appealing or welcoming? Anything at all you can think of.

Thank you very much in advance for any help you’re able to provide!

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Annotated Bibliography for Upcoming Epistemology Presentation—by Cameron Daly

I’m working on a presentation for Epistemology (the topic of my presentation being what the human mind is capable of knowing—and it includes attempted refutations of denials of the human ability to know), and to my understanding, I am required to post my annotated bibliography for the presentation to my WordPress blog (which, as you can see, I conveniently already have). Thus, my bibliography is as follows:

Apodaca, Christopher. PowerPoint on Can the Existence of God be Proved? Cromwell, CT: Holy Apostles College & Seminary, distributed 4 September 2017. In this PowerPoint, Apodaca refutes any good reason to adhere to determinism, a principle that would basically cancel out genuine knowledge; this refutation may be useful in my own PowerPoint.

Augustine of Hippo. De Trinitate. At New Advent, http://www.newadvent.org. This is where St. Augustine states the “Three Things Concerning Itself” that “Every Mind Knows Certainly” (10, 10), which was a basis from the start for the topic of this project.

Copleston, S.J., Frederick. A History of Philosophy: Volume II: Medieval Philosophy: From Augustine to Duns Scotus. New York, New York: Image, 1993. Fr. Copleston cites some very key points of St. Augustine’s thoughts on knowledge (in contrast to skepticism) that I think might be useful in my lecture/PowerPoint.

Yates, Philippe. Class notes on Week 7 Can we Know? Wonder, skepticism, and method in Epistemology: Skepticism. Cromwell, CT: Holy Apostles College & Seminary, distributed 9 October 2017. I think that Yates’s refutation of skepticism could be a useful thing to add to a PowerPoint advocating the ability to know/what one can know, perhaps especially since it includes the skeptic’s claim to merely doubt the ability to know.

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One Day: A Reflection on Death and Decay—by Cameron Daly

I once saw an article posted by a Catholic page, about what a life-changer it can be to have a skull on your desk. After having written most of this post, I just now actually read it and would highly recommend it! https://aleteia.org/2017/09/12/memento-mori-how-a-skull-on-your-desk-will-change-your-life/

I can certainly see why this would be the case. A skull is a symbol of death—human death. Death can seem so far away from us, even when those close to us die; we might not think about how that will eventually be each and every one of us.

Harold the Skull

Does that make you think at all? About how you spend your time, perhaps?—what you do with it, how wisely you use it, what you put off or allow yourself to be held back from? It should. For one day, you will resemble that skull: one day, you will die. You will feel life slip from your grasp. What will you have done in the time leading up to that? How many regrets will you have? Will you be ready for what comes after it?

And not just you will one day die. One day, your loved ones will die (perhaps in your own lifetime), or perhaps grow distant; one day, every physical thing you possess will be lost to you—your physical abilities, your possessions, perhaps even your mental faculties.*

What does this mean? That we should cling to all these things with desperation? Not at all. It means we should appreciate and cherish each of them while we have them, but do so wisely, knowing that one day they will be gone. One day I will no longer have those I love around for me to appreciate; one day I will no longer have all my cherished possessions; one day I will no longer have my life, and will no longer have time to choose the path of salvation. When will these days be? I haven’t the slightest idea.

Yet, while we should appreciate these transitory things, we should never lose sight of He Who alone is not transitory. We must appreciate the transitory things transitoriness, and take care not to make any of them our foundation. God alone can be our true foundation; for He is the one foundation which will never break or cave in.

While I do as of very recently have a skull on my own desk, I’ll admit that it’s nothing from a laboratory … mine’s a rubbery Halloween decoration. But it gets the point across. For that matter, Halloween itself can help to get this point across. I know some Catholics do not celebrate it, and I respect that; but I am one of those who do. And I think that, if one remembers the true meaning of All Saints’ Day (which is tomorrow—and which, by the way, is a Holy Day of Obligation), and looks a little deeper than the surface appearance of the five-year-old Grim Reapers and little rubbery skulls, he will be reminded of the death that constantly stalks him and all that he knows of the physical world around him—the same death that overtook both the uncanonized souls (who we hope were well prepared for it) and the saints (who we know were well prepared for it). And what a crucial reminder that is.

A similarly important reminder is that which it gives us of sin, the cause of death. An/the original purpose of Jack-O’-Lanterns, for instance, was (to my understanding) to use them to scare away evil spirits. Ridiculous as that sounds, it can remind us of such spirits’ (i.e., demons’) very real existence—and, if we think about it enough, of their state of separation from God, something we want to take care not to share in. And of course, it also mocks them—wouldn’t you be insulted if someone thought he could scare you with a pumpkin?—something demons can’t stand: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2015/02/laughing-lucifer-lewis.html


This is what’s important to remember, then, when celebrating Halloween: in being “spooked” by things, we should remember why we’re spooked—out of fear of death and evil, both very real things which we should not fail to forget the existence of. If we keep this sort of thing in mind, along with Christ’s victory over sin and death** and take care to have a God-centered, non-evil celebration ourselves, there should be no issue with celebrating a spooky Halloween.


*I’ll admit that I’m inspired in part here by the line “One day, you’ll leave this world behind/ So live a life you will remember” in Avicii’s “The Nights.”

**The first article linked mentions part of this in regard to keeping a skull on one’s desk. A Word on Fire article about Halloween I think also mentioned this, I think.

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