The Mystery of Obedience: The Presentation of the Lord

My latest at CatholicMom.com. Mary and Joseph had no idea, as they gathered their things and took up their infant son for the long walk to Jerusalem, that they were going to be an answer to prayer, and would be the redeemers of God’s promise to Simeon. But they went in obedience, and in His providence God used their obedience in ways they would never have imagined. … [Read more...]

I’d Fall On My Face and Worship

The other day I saw a blog post (I don't remember where) in which a Muslim friend accompanied the blogger to mass, and said, "If I really thought God was in that gold box, I'd fall on my face in worship. I'd be afraid to stand up." I've seen similar sentiments ascribed to Gandhi, and the challenge is clear: if we Catholics truly believe that the bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, why don't we act like it? Why don't we fall down on our faces and worship?The … [Read more...]

Sacrificing Your Idols

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry wrote a while back about the role of sacrifice in the worship of God, and says that sacrifice is all about gratitude, certainly in the New Testament, and probably in the Old Testament as well. He's clearly on to something; the central sacrifice of the Christian faith is Christ's sacrifice on the cross, which we participate in through the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist; and the word "Eucharist" means "Thanksgiving".However, I've also read (I'm sorry, I cannot … [Read more...]

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats—Or Does It?

Recently the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has been calling for an increase in the minimum wage. I don't like to argue with the bishops, and I'm not going to do so now; but I worry about efforts to use the Big Hammer: to try to fix social problems by fixing the "system", rather than by helping individuals.It's true that our society has systemic problems. It is clear that we have problems in the area of poverty and access to healthcare that, strictly speaking, we don't need to have. … [Read more...]

Lumen Fidei: When Practice and Theory Don’t Match

Angry man with knife

There's an old joke that's not really a joke: Q: What's the difference between theory and practice? A: In theory, there's no difference; and in practice there is.This is actually the best description of the difference between theory and practice that I've seen, and it gets to the heart of it. Theory is clean, pure, and ideal; practice is real, messy, and human. Practice can approach theory in the best of us...and then, there's the rest of us.Last week, I wrote that Christian truth is … [Read more...]

Spiritual Engineering

People have the notion that Christians are control freaks. We want to tell you how to live, and what you should do, and take all of your freedom away. And certainly there are Christians like that. (Pick any sin you like, there are Christians who exemplify it—and that's no surprise, it's just what you'd expect if you understand Christian teaching.)But really, we aren't meant to be control freaks. At our best, we should have no desire to tell others just exactly how they should l … [Read more...]

The Mystery of Service

This month's post at CatholicMom concerns the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary: the Visitation, or, as I often think of it, the Mystery of Service. Enjoy! … [Read more...]

My Joy is Complete

On Saturday I made my life profession as a Lay Dominican, and that was a good day. But today, Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, was a day of great joy.Some background. I've been a member of our parish's RCIA team this year, and for those who don't know, RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is the name of the usual process by which adults become members of the Catholic Church. For the last six months, I've been meeting and talking with people who are … [Read more...]

The Desolation of the Draggin’

The Anchoress wrote last week about her experience of desolation in Penn Station. She was people-watching, a favorite activity, and then everything changed:I wouldn’t presume to say that anything was being communicated to me, but I nevertheless had a glimpse — or an overwhelming “sense” — of something. In that brief flash I knew that hovering over us, near us, within us, all about us, was an awful, unstoppable ache of love and sadness; a sense of “Oh, my people! How often I have wanted to ga … [Read more...]


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