My New Friend: A Rugged Rosary

Rugged Rosary

I've got a new friend; he lives in my car.  That's him, over there to the right.I often pray the Rosary on the way to work in the morning.  In my old car, which had an automatic transmission, I used a little teeny finger rosary that I would hang on one of the vent knobs between uses.  I had to be careful doing that, because if I dropped it, it was gone: under the seat or into a crevice or into another dimension or somewhere; at least, I very seldom found them again.  But it was fun … [Read more...]

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The Evil Catholic Hierarchy?

Crucified Jesus

A commenter on my post about why I remain Catholic asked, Have you considered the possibility that you can still believe what the Catholic Church teaches but leave the organization itself in protest against its history of protecting abusers? I responded: The Church is the Body of Christ. Its members are all sinners, and sometimes they do horrible things. But I will not willingly cut myself off from it.To amplify: I believe what the Church teaches about itself.  It is not simply a human … [Read more...]

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Seven Lies Christians Tell

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Tony Kriz had a piece in Christianity Today some while ago about the lies Christians tell when they evangelize, or, as he puts, about “How to talk about your faith without being a total jerk.”  He’s writing from an evangelical point of view; but I thought his points were worth talking about from a Catholic point of view.  You’ll want to read his piece first (it’s short) to get his descriptions of the “seven lies”.1. We lie when we claim we are more confident than we really are.  I admit I do … [Read more...]

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My Road to Catholic Belief

Mountain Highway

Last week I explained why there is no magic bullet for belief, no simple, straightforward argument that will compel belief in the Christian God.  This raises some questions: how do believers come to believe in Christianity?  And how can Christian belief be rational absent such proofs?First, most Christians come to belief experientially.  Some are taught as children, and later reach out to accept what God has for them: they "taste and see that the Lord is good," as scripture has it.  Others co … [Read more...]

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What’s the Good of Christianity? And Does it Matter?

Mother Teresa

Last week I opined that the question of what religion is good for is the wrong question; the question is whether a religion is true or not.It doesn't matter a bit whether religion (in the broader sense) is good for anything if it isn't true.  If the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob doesn't exist, if Christ did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is a lie and a sham and unworthy of practice, and ought to be shunned by all good men.  Any good that it does is in spite of itself.One c … [Read more...]

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Living on a Prayer Trigger

Archer

St. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.  Just what that means is not entirely clear; opinions range from continuously (literally, every waking moment) to continually, on a very regular basis.  In the Eastern tradition, for example, it's a recognize devotion to say the Jesus prayer under your breath as continuously as possible.Me, I come down somewhere in the middle.  As I related few months ago, I have a regular daily prayer schedule as a Lay Dominican, so I certainly do pray co … [Read more...]

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Lent, Weight Watchers, and Aristotle

Chocolate Bundt Cake

I associate dieting with Lent.  Not because I equate fasting with dieting, but because of a double coincidence.  Ten years ago I was extremely overweight, and my doctor put me on a strict diet.  It was a couple of days before Ash Wednesday, and I came home and told Jane, “I’m giving up food for Lent.”  It was one of the those jokes of the “funny/painful” variety.That diet was success; I lost lots of weight, and kept it off for quite a while; but a couple of weeks ago I went to do the doctor a … [Read more...]

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A Little Perspective on Father Serra

Mission San Carlos Borromeo

Being a California kid, I first became acquainted with Fr. Junipero Serra almost as soon as I got to school. I've visited many of the missions, and many of them many times, especially San Carlos Borromeo in Carmel, California, which was Fr. Serra's home base. And being a resident of the Left Coast, I also here fairly regularly about Fr. Serra's sins, how he dragooned the local Indians* into living at the missions and prevented them from leaving, how he exploited their labor, how he forced … [Read more...]

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Steven Brust on Being at Peace with Yourself

I remember being accosted on Forbes and Murray in Squirrel Hill by a Buddhist who expressed a desire to know if I wanted to be at peace with myself. I didn’t answer him, and I didn’t think much about it until I was reminded, thirty or forty years later, by a rant on the subject in a trashy sci-fi novel I happened to read. In general, I agree with the author of said trashy sci-fi novel: I don’t want to be at peace with myself. I want to be fighting with myself, struggling, looking for answers; I w … [Read more...]

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