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Reflecting On ‘Lord of the World’

by David Oatney on July 20, 2014

Monsignor_R._H._Benson_in_Oct._1912,_Aged_40In the last couple of days, I’ve finished the classic Catholic novel Lord of the World, which was mentioned in this space a few days ago. It isn’t intended for this entry to be a review of the book, largely because an actual review might deter some Life At 25 readers from reading it, and it is a book that I would heartily recommend a devout and thinking reader should carefully read. In doing so, however, the reader should be aware that the book characterizes a future that was imagined in 1907, and so World War I, World War II, the rise of a Russo-centric Soviet Communism, the Cold War, and the Soviet collapse were all things that had not happened. That’s important to understand, because Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, who wrote Lord of the World, imagined a Western Europe dominated by Communists and Marxism. That merely shows that Benson had read The Manifesto of the Communist Party quite thoroughly, because Marx and Engels envisioned their “workers’ revolution”as being something that would likely be a Western European phenomenon. The idea that Russia, a country that was largely agrarian and rural outside of it’s major cities, would be the birthplace of the first Communist state would likely have seemed strange to them. They imagined a Marxist West, and so, in the beginning of this book, did Monsignor Benson. [click to continue reading…]


jeffemittIn the wee hours of this morning I happened to see a Facebook post from Bishop Stika that he had been at the hospital visiting Jeff Emitt, a seminarian of the Diocese of Knoxville, and that Jeff was in his final hours, and that he would likely “return to the Father” within a very short time. The Bishop later posted that Jeff had entered Eternal Life not long after he had left him. Jeff was our diocese’s oldest seminarian, and he was waging a very long battle with cancer. I first came to know Jeff myself when we were parishioners together at Holy Ghost, and were both active members in Knights of Columbus Council 645. When Jeff entered seminary for the diocese, this seemed like no surprise at all to me when I heard about it, and I doubt I was the only one. Those of us who knew Jeff believed he would be an excellent priest because he had so much life experience. He had been married and widowed, he knew what it was like to labor for a living, and he identified with the marginalized, with the weak, and the powerless. He certainly made me feel welcome when Nicole and I first came to Knoxville together as husband and wife and we became a part of Holy Ghost at the time, and I joined 645. [click to continue reading…]


Blessed Are the Peacemakers

by David Oatney on July 14, 2014

popefrancisPope Francis asked that pilgrims assembled in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus yesterday take a few moments and pray for peace in the Holy Land, a place where there seems to be no peace to be had, merely a whole lot of suffering for a lot of people on all sides, who in turn blame the other side for the suffering that they are experiencing, reasoning that their suffering and the suffering of their people would end if the “other people” were done away with. History shows us that there are times when wars must be fought, but the student of history knows that nearly every major war that has been fought, certainly in modern times, was absolutely avoidable. World War I, the centenary of which the world commemorates beginning this year, could have wholly been avoided, with soldiers on all sides at it’s beginning wondering why they were fighting at all. The Second World War and all of its terrible horrors might have been wholly avoided had it not been for the inhumane peace terms dictated at the end of the Great War. In continuing to beat the drum for peace, Pope Francis is continuing a long tradition of Popes speaking up in an attempt to bring world conflict to an end. [click to continue reading…]



Pray Prayers of Thanks

by David Oatney July 10, 2014

Each day, Catholic clergy, religious men and women, and laypeople from all over the world pray the Liturgy of the Hours. These powerful prayers, rooted in the psalms and in Sacred Scripture, move according to the rhythms of the Church’s ecclesiastical year and invite us to bring our petitions to God. I often find when […]

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Catholic Blogs

What You Won’t See On This Blog

by David Oatney July 9, 2014

In the last day or so someone commented on a recent post here at Life At 25, specifically the post which I happened to write on the situation in Oklahoma City, where a Satanic “Black Mass” is currently scheduled to be celebrated on September 21st. I wrote about the reaction of Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley, […]

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis Asks Forgiveness On Behalf of the Church

by David Oatney July 8, 2014

Pope Francis met yesterday with just a few of the many victims of the clerical sex abuse scandal in the Vatican at private audiences in his residence at the St. Martha House. Yesterday, some of the came from Ireland, Great Britain, and Germany-three men and three women. These meetings needed to happen, because the victims of […]

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The Devil and Oklahoma City

by David Oatney July 5, 2014

Not more than a month and a half after students at the Harvard University Extension attempted to sponsor a “Black Mass” wherein the Adversary would be worshiped, an event which was canceled after a massive outcry from the Catholic community of the Archdiocese of Boston, it has emerged from Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City […]

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Standing Earnestly For the Faith

by David Oatney June 30, 2014

Today the Supreme Court of the United States made a ruling in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which was formerly called Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, in which it ruled through the well-written majority opinion of Justice Samuel Alito that Hobby Lobby, while being compelled under the Affordable Care Act to offer insurance coverage to its […]

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Go and Live the Paschal Mystery

by David Oatney June 27, 2014

At the end of the Easter season,  the Church celebrates a series of feasts beginning with Pentecost, and moving into Ordinary Time with Trinity Sunday and then the feast of Corpus Christi (the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ) the following week. After that, today is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, […]

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25th Anniversary

Speak Lord, Your Servant Is Listening

by David Oatney June 17, 2014

The Diocese of Knoxville was blessed this past Saturday to ordain three new deacons, Deacon Jesus Guerrero-Rodriguez, Deacon Raymond Powell, and Deacon Scott Russell. These three deacons will, with the help of God, go on to later be ordained priests, adding to the already swelled ranks of the presbyterate in the Diocese of Knoxville. We […]

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