Jimmy Stewart Shows Us How It’s Done

There's been a great deal of unpleasant discussion in the blogosphere this week, and I don't intend to add to it; but I've been repeatedly put in mind of a scene from the movie The Philadelphia Story. Socialite Tracy Lord, played by Katharine Hepburn, has a romantic moonlight swim with report Mike Connor, played by Jimmy Stewart. Tracy had been drinking rather a lot, and the next morning she can't remember what happened. She's dreadfully afraid that she went rather farther than she had … [Read more...]

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They Also Serve Who Only Sit And Study

So on Tuesday night I dropped my daughters off for dance class at 6:30 and then went over to the church for the Tuesday night inquirer's session. The session starts at 7 PM; I usually try to get there at least twenty minutes earlier to get the ventilation working (A/C or heating, depending on the time of year), and I've gotten into the habit of saying Evening Prayer as soon as I've set the thermostat. When I finished that, I picked up Rod Bennett's truly excellent new book, The Apostasy That … [Read more...]

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Tuesdays with the Talking Head

On Tuesday nights since last September, I and my friend Diana have been co-leading our RCIA program. We're a smallish parish, and in the time I've been involved we've usually had maybe two people preparing for baptism and a few preparing just for first communion/confirmation. We're a good team; I joke that I'm the talking head, and Diana's the loving heart.The RCIA process finished up at Pentecost, naturally. But Diana and I had been thinking...the newly baptized and confirmed still need … [Read more...]

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What’s in a Confirmation Name

We usually attend the evening mass on Sunday; and for an added treat, yesterday's mass was also Confirmation for our teenagers with our new auxiliary bishop, Joseph Brennan. I liked Bishop Brennan and the way he spoke to our confirmandi very much.And then, of course, as the sacrament proceeded we got to listen to their confirmation names, which is always interesting. Two of my children have been confirmed in the past few years, and I have two more to come, and it's interesting to look for … [Read more...]

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Three Ways to Correct Your Brother

Or sister, of course.Fr. Mullady talked about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy at our Lay Dominican retreat on Saturday, and made a particular point about correcting the sinner. This is indeed a work of mercy, but it needs to be done carefully because people often do not respond well to being corrected. When he was in formation, lo these many years ago, he was taught that correction should generally be left to the religious superior, because they hold a position of authority and … [Read more...]

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Mercy and the Green-eyed Monster

My Lay Dominican chapter had a retreat yesterday led by Fr. Brian Mullady, OP. Given that this is the Year of Mercy, Fr. Mullady spoke extensively on mercy and the works of mercy; and he made a point that I hadn't considered before.In normal, everyday speech we often contrast justice and mercy, as though to be just is to not be merciful and to be merciful is not to be just. But this is not quite right. Justice and mercy are certainly distinct, and complement one another; but the true … [Read more...]

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Did We Expect Too Much From the Synod?

So the Synod on the Family concluded recently, as you very well know if you’ve been following Catholic social media recently; and as a result, I’ve been pondering.During the past weeks I heard two major areas of concern, from two disparate groups. The first was that the Synod was rigged to change Catholic pastoral discipline in a way counter to Catholic teaching on marriage. Sufficient pixels have been spilled about this, and I’m not going to add to them. The second, which got less airtime bu … [Read more...]

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You Can’t Change Him…But He Can Grow

My wife and I went and saw a production of Guys and Dolls this past weekend, and got to hear Miss Adelaide sing,At Wanamaker's and Saks and Klein's A lesson I've been taught You can't get alterations on a dress you haven't bought For those coming late to the story, the show concerns Miss Adelaide, a dancer at the Hot Box night club, and Miss Sarah Brown, captain of the Save A Soul Mission, who have both fallen in love with the wrong kind of guy.  Miss Adelaide has been engaged for f … [Read more...]

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Let’s Be Unfriends!

How often have you heard statements like this on Facebook? "I unfollowed three nut cases on Twitter today.""I will unfriend anyone who posts about X on my wall.""If you post pictures of X on your wall, then I will unfriend you." (That last one is an exaggeration; you can't use italics on Facebook.)Now, there truly are some nut cases out there. When someone you don't know is  posting the crazy to your wall or messaging strangeness directly at you then unfriending or blocking might … [Read more...]

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