My Blog Posts on Prof. Heather Voccola’s “Historical Happenings: A Compilation of Coursework”–by Cameron Daly

I was recently able to contribute two posts to Prof. Heather Voccola’s blog Historical Happenings: A Compilation of Coursework for my Church History midterm! In one, I gave a review of Origen’s On Prayer, and in the other, I gave an overview of the philosophical views of some of the Church Fathers. (I can’t figure out how to reblog directly from Blogger to WordPress; if anyone has any tips on that, please feel free to let me know.) Take a look, and enjoy! (And take a look at some of my classmates’ work while you’re there!)

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College Discussion Post Turned Lenten Reflection, by Cameron Daly

I wrote the following last week in in response to the Week 7 discussion prompt in the Church History class I’m taking. Looks like it even formatted properly here!

One passage from Scripture can sum up my three points from this week: “do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Mt 10:28, NABRE). The points I would like to highlight from this period will hopefully drive home the importance of this teaching and how seriously it was taken in the Middle Ages; they should provide an example for us in our own age. So, the first: “Boniface was only one example of hundreds of Benedictine monks who worked and died to establish the Catholic faith in Europe.” 1 The Church was very blessed with so many dedicated, faithful people! How many does it have today? Could we claim to follow in these monks’ footsteps? We, too, should be willing to work and die as necessary to establish the Catholic faith—whether it be in our loved ones, in our communities or societies, or even in ourselves. In doing so, we must remember the Beatitude, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me [Christ]” (Mt 5:11). Which “absolute value,” as they say in math, is greater—that of temporal suffering or that of eternal joy? This leads to my second point, which is that the Church employed torture to the end of bringing heretics back to the true faith and thus saving their souls. 2 What I want to highlight in bringing this up is the how much more important eternal happiness than it is than temporal happiness. This isn’t to say I think we should physically torture others to get them to believe in the Catholic faith, but that we should be willing to suffer discomfort—again, as necessary—to help bring others and ourselves to heaven. St. Francis (upon whom my third point centers) is a perfect example of this. He was willing to expend whatever effort it took to physically rebuild Christ’s churches; but when the task turned out to be harder, and involve a life of poverty so as to rebuild Christ’s Church herself, he willingly took up that as well. 3 Now maybe we aren’t all called to “[hold] up the pillars of the Church” in the way St. Francis was; 4 but we are called to help uphold ourselves—we who are members of God’s Church. This Lent, let’s try to follow St. Francis’s example in ourselves, and rebuild what is lacking of God’s Church (and of God’s plan in general) in ourselves and others when we’re given the chance, and strive to grow closer to Him through the sacraments and Church teaching and prayer, not fearing but joyfully embracing any difficulties it might entail.

1 Alan Schreck, Ph.D., The Compact History of the Catholic Church, revised ed. (Cincinnati, OH: Servant Books, an imprint of Franciscan Media, 2009), 39.
2 see Schreck, Compact History, 58.
3 see Schreck, Compact History, 59.
4 Schreck, Compact History, 59.

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Catholic Answers Teaches us How to Pronounce “Augustine” and Gives us a Good Laugh–by Cameron Daly

So I was recently debating with my mom over how to pronounce “Augustine”; I thought it would be pronounced “Uh-GUS-tin,” while she thought it would be “AW-gu-STEEN.” In my quest to prove my point, I came upon a Catholic Answers video that helped us out … take a look at it to see whose pronunciation was right (according to them)–AND to have a good laugh:

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Happy Valentine’s Day!–by Cameron Daly

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know some people think of Valentine’s Day as little or nothing more than a cheesy and commercialized “fake holiday” as one guy put it. While I won’t deny that people have commercialized it, I will ask–what legitimate holiday HASN’T been commercialized to some extent? Because keep in mind, Valentine’s Day DOES have a legit origin in St. Valentine himself!

“St. Valentine of Rome (c. 270) was a priest who lived in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Little is known of his life with certainty, except that he ministered to Christians who were persecuted and imprisoned for their faith, and died a martyr. One account has it that the emperor banned all marriages and engagements in Rome, believing this was the reason Roman men were unwilling to serve in the army. Valentine defied this unjust decree and continued to perform marriages for lovers in secret. He was arrested, and while in prison he restored sight to his jailer’s blind daughter, causing the jailer and his entire extended household, forty-six people in total, to immediately convert to Christianity. Upon hearing this, Claudius ordered Valentine’s execution. St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended, and signed it “From Your Valentine.” He was beheaded on February 14th. St. Valentine is the patron of many causes including bee keepers, betrothed and engaged couples, lovers, love, happy marriages, and young people. His feast day is February 14th.” (Quoted from The Catholic Company’s emailed Morning Offering.)

See? Told you Valentine’s Day was a thing!

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For Those Mourning the Deaths of Loved Ones

I know a number of people who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Please take a moment to watch this clip I took of the movie “The Encounter: Paradise Lost,” where Jesus is talking to a man whose son has died (and keep in mind that this makes no claim to depict a real event like a private revelation or anything). May the hope of seeing our loved ones again help spur us to put our faith in Christ–and may we know what it truly means to do that: (see this Facebook link, since I apparently can’t upload a video here without upgrading my WordPress plan:

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“For we all seem to give our lives away/ Searching for things that we think we must own”–by Cameron Daly

Here’s a good song to think about this time of year (by one of my favorite bands–Trans-Siberian Orchestra). Try to pay particular attention to the line “I think I would be alright if on this Christmas night/ I could just find my way home.” What does this mean, and why is it set apart from anything else “we think we must own”?

Here are the lyrics, for those who have an easier time understanding the whole song by reading it:


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Scandal Among Clergy vs. the Incorruptibility of Christ, the Church, and the Sacraments–by Cameron Daly

Some people have a hard time getting around scandalous clergy members. They kind of blame the Church herself–and I can see why they’d think to do that, since the clergy basically represents the Church. But it’s important to keep in mind that not every representation is perfect or even good. As the Church teaches,

“This presence of Christ [as head of the Church] in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister’s sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1550).

Should people blame police brutality on the law that forbids it? Of course not–the police who commit such crimes own their own actions. Should they any more blame the scandalous behaviors of some clergy on the Church who is against hypocrisy? Anyone can draw a bad picture; anyone can misrepresent what they supposedly stand for. But no matter how bad their representation, THEY CANNOT CHANGE THE REAL TRUTH OF THE REAL THING THEY REPRESENT! No matter how bad a minister a person may be, or how bad a person a minister may be, his actions do not take away from the goodness and truth of Christ, the Church, or the sacraments.

The Ghost of Christmas Present uses similar reasoning:

“Hear me, Scrooge.
There are some upon this earth of yours
who claim to know me and my brothers,
and do their deeds of ill will
and selfishness in our name.
These so-called “men of the cloth”
are as strange to me and my kin
as if they never lived.
Charge their doings to them, not us” (quoted from the script for Disney’s “A Christmas Carol”).

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