Quote of the day

“Heaven awaits us – let this be the only stirring hope in your heart. Do not plant your feet too deeply in the soil of this world for our eternal destiny calls us home.”

Thanks Pam 🙂

Friday Frivolity: Religion & Sports

Ever wondered what Sunday church would look like if it was an NBA game? Nah, me neither… 😉

Hocus Pocus

This was an interesting little tidbit I heard the other day…

Have you ever wondered about the origin of “hocus pocus”, the phrase commonly uttered by magicians?

Well, the story I recently heard was that it came from a corruption of the words of the Latin Mass:

hoc (enim) est corpus meum”
“This is my body”

It sounded reasonable, but I went and did a little bit of digging…

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) says that this explanation was the conjecture of John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury. It can be found in his rather nasty sermon in 1694:

“In all probability those common juggling words of ‘hocus pocus’ are nothing else but a corruption of ‘hoc est corpus’, by way of ridiculous imitation of the priests of the Church of Rome in their trick of Transubstantiation.”

It’s possible that the Archbishop is right here, but it’s clear that he isn’t exactly the most impartial judge!

It has been suggested instead that the phrase is simply “faux Latin”, a collection of nonsense words conjured up out of thin air 😉 to aid the magician in his stagecraft.  I’ve found references to a performer of the 1620s who called himself “Hocus Pocus” and who used the following incantation in his act:

 “Hocus pocus, tontus talontus, vade celeriter jubeo.”

Unfortunately, there’s a lack of definitive evidence to confirm with any real certainty the origin of this phrase – there really are quite a wide range of possibilities. Still, speculation is fun 🙂

The Gospel of John

One of my goals with this blog has always been to put people into contact with decent resources to help them deepen and strengthen their relationship with God.

Today I’d like to to share a resource that Msgr. Pope blogged about a while ago:

“[Fr. Francis] has been a great teacher of mine though his retreats and tape ministry. He has also been instrumental in my spiritual life through his careful and clear articulation of a theology of transformation, and insistence that we, as Christians, come to know and live the normal Christian life, a life of on-going and total transformation by the grace of God. He is a humble and prayerful man of God, a holy priest”

Fr. Francis has a number of resources on his YouTube channel which include commentaries on the Sunday Mass readings. What I would like to draw your attention to here, however, is his series on my favourite Gospel, the Gospel of St. John.

So, if you’d like to work through John’s Gospel with a great teacher, now is your opportunity…

Talk 1: Part A | Part B
Talk 2: Part A | Part B
Talk 3: Part A | Part B
Talk 4: Part A | Part B
Talk 5: Part A | Part B
Talk 6: Part A | Part B
Talk 7: Part A | Part B
Talk 8: Part A | Part B
Talk 9: Part A | Part B
Talk 10: Part A | Part B
Talk 11: Part A | Part B
Talk 12: Part A | Part B

Culinary Adventure: Chicken Stir Fry

Last night I cooked a slightly more complicated Chicken Stir Fry than usual. All of my culinary adventures to date have involved beef.

I decided to mix things up a bit… 🙂

Sunday Lectionary: August 21st

August 21, Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this week’s readings we hear the passages of Scripture which have been used by the Church throughout the centuries to defend the Primacy of Peter and the authority of the Pope. Our Gospel Reading, in particularly, was cited at the First Vatican Council in the document “Pastor aeternus”.

I’m going to do my best this week to ensure that these notes remain a Scripture commentary, rather than an apologetic defense of the Papacy. I may well write a more apologetic piece later in the week. 😉

“When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel.” – Ezekiel 3:10


Reading I: Is 22:19-23

The First Reading this week is our hermetical “key” for understanding the Gospel Reading.

In this section of the prophet Isaiah we hear how Shebna, the Chief Steward of the Kingdom, was replaced by a man called Eliakim. Understanding this ministerial office is critical to our understanding of what Jesus says in the Gospel which, in turn, is paramount to our understanding of the Papacy.

In this passage we see foreshadowed a man on whom God would bestow His blessing. This man would exercise authority on behalf of the King in the administration of the Kingdom. He would be a secured feature, a father to the people and an honoured member of the family of God…

Thus says the LORD to Shebna, master of the palace: “I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station. On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut when he shuts, no one shall open. I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family.”


  • What is happening here in Isaiah?
  • Who is Shebna?
  • What kind of job did he have?
  • Who is Eliakim?
  • What symbol of authority is Eliakim given?
  • What does he mean when he says when he opens, no one shall shut when he shuts, no one shall open”?


“Thus says the LORD to Shebna, master of the palace: ‘I will thrust you from your office…'”

Through the Prophet Isaiah, God “fires” Shebna from his position as “master of the palace”. Up until this point, Sheba was the Chief Steward, the Prime Minister in the Davidic Kingdom. The Master of the Palace was not the one ultimately in charge, the King was, but the Prime Minister exercised the King’s authority in the administration and running of the Kingdom. This is the same kind of post that Joseph (son of Jacob) had when he lived in Egypt.

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Catholic Bucket List #1: Visit an Eastern Rite Parish

Lists and buckets

I’m a big fan of lists.

Seriously, lists are brilliant!

A little while ago, there was a film released called The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. In the movie, both characters are diagnosed with a terminal illness and, as a result, they decide to write a “bucket list” – a list of things which they want to do before “kicking the bucket”

If you google “bucket lists”, you will find them on many blogs. If you read a lot of them (and I have), you start to notice some commonalities among them. As in the film, the common theme that runs through all of them is that they are attempts to really try and experience the depth and breadth that that the world has to offer and to truly suck the marrow out of life.

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