Lay Witness Magazine

10 Advent Customs Tailored to Your Hearth

Michaelann Martin, Carol Puccio, Zoe Romanowsky From the Nov/Dec 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Advent is a time to prepare to celebrate the Incarnation of Christ. Advent is a time to prepare to celebrate the Incarnation of Christ. At the start of the season, discuss family goals for Advent, such as praying together, doing good works for one another, giving alms to the poor, and fostering devotion to the Holy Family. Here are ten ways to prayerfully and joyfully journey toward Christmas with your family this year. 1 Pray an Advent Novena Begin an Advent novena as a family … Continue reading

Ask CUF: What Are Gregorian Mass and the Apostolic Pardon?

What can you tell me about the Gregorian series of Masses and the Apostolic Pardon? I understand they have been around for a long time. Gregorian Masses An ancient but mostly unknown custom of the Church is the offering of a daily Mass for 30 days for a soul in purgatory. After the Masses are said, the soul is immediately freed from purgatory and enters into heaven. Gregorian Masses (also called a Gregorian series) are named after St. Gregory the Great, Pope from 590 to 604 AD, who is credited with promoting and popularizing the practice. His Dialogues were widely … Continue reading

Book Reviews – November/December 2010

Sin: A History, Wisdom for Everyday Life from the Book of Revelation, and My Journey to the Land of More Various From the Nov/Dec 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Wisdom for Everyday Life from the Book of Revelation by Fr. Richard Veras (Servant Books, 2010) In a society simultaneously fascinated by the “end times” but daunted by apocalyptic literature, Fr. Richard Veras offers a unique and relevant contribution in his Wisdom for Everyday Life from the Book of Revelation. Fr. Veras addresses the “relentless use of strange symbolism” by looking at the major sections in Revelation “to show what … Continue reading

Dollars and Sense of Stewardship – An Interview with Frank J. Hanna, III.

Frank J. Hanna with Mike Sullivan From the Nov/Dec 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine When you are in the business of making money, how do you determine that you have enough? I don’t think that there’s an easy answer to the question, but the fact that finding answers is difficult doesn’t mean that we should avoid trying to get an answer. We don’t have to have absolute precision with how much money we need, but it is worth looking at, just like looking at the sky and questioning, “Do I need an umbrella?” Asking, “How much money do I … Continue reading

Literary Witnesses: Dumbing Down Dogma

David Mills From the Nov/Dec 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine As a young student at Oxford, Evelyn Waugh listened to a Protestant minister question the Bible and speculate about who Jesus actually was. This did not reconcile him to Christianity. “When he had removed the inherited axioms of my faith I found myself quite unable to follow him in the higher flights of logic by which he reconciled his own skepticism with his position as a clergyman.” This kind of theologian—and even the Catholic Church has suffered from them— claims that God has not spoken clearly, or that the … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Rest on the Flight into Egypt

This 1510 painting by the Netherlandish artist Gerard David, now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., is one of the loveliest masterpieces. The Virgin Mary is often depicted with a touch of cloying sweetness, sometimes too earthly and other times too ethereal. In this painting she is sweet without being the least bit sentimental, she models with chaste reserve without being distant. It brings to mind the words of John of Ford in the twelfth century: “She is fragrant beyond telling.” She and the Child, all in being real are holy, and have a supernatural aura of … Continue reading

Martha, Martha–Who, Me?

Regis Flaherty From the Nov/Dec 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine “By Mary who sat and heard our Lord’s words, is signified the contemplative life; by Martha engaged in more outward services, the active life. Now Martha’s care is not blamed, but Mary is praised, for great are the rewards of an active life, but those of a contemplative are far better. Hence Mary’s part it is said will never be taken away from her, for the works of an active life pass away with the body, but the joys of the contemplative life the rather begin to increase from … Continue reading

Open Mike: A Helping of Hospitality

Mike Sullivan From the Nov/Dec 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt —Lev. 19:34 For two years while I studied in New England, my wife and I lived in an “Irish Battleship”—a type of tenement building with eight apartments stacked four high, like blocks, one atop another. When we moved to New England, we had not realized how isolated we’d be. Our families lived in Michigan and Colorado—not exactly a … Continue reading


Donald DeMarco From the Nov/Dec 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Pride As Good or Bad Like cholesterol, there are two kinds of pride: one good, one bad. With good pride, a person can be justified in exulting over the fact that he is a Catholic, for example. He can be justly proud of his family, his country, his neighborhood, etc. The key term here is “justified.” Good pride implies the inclusion of justice. Now justice is a proper correlation between two things. A parent can be proud of his child when his child’s life conforms to a standard of … Continue reading

Signs of Grace: God’s Way of Getting Physical with Us

Gerald Korson From the Nov/Dec 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that most Catholics have great difficulty approaching the Sacrament of Penance. In fact, I suspect many Catholics would prefer not to approach it at all. The reasons are obvious. Going to Confession requires humility and can make us feel ashamed. We must state aloud how we have offended God, ask His forgiveness, and resolve to avoid all sin. We might fear the priest will recognize us and think badly of us for what we have done. If our aversion to the … Continue reading