Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Teresa and the Scapulars

The general attitude toward Teresa and the Scapulars by those in the know is "the less said, the better." Formed at a Catholic girl's school in Los Angeles in the late 1960's, a school that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent and guilty alike, the Scapulars began as a student folk ensemble intended to play at school Masses. The members, all avid listeners to local radio, soon slipped the leash of the school's music teacher, Sr. Mary Incontrovertible, and began to experiment with … [Read more...]

Listening to God Redux

I don't know whether Tom McDonald's latest post was inspired by my post on Listening to God or not, but it's well worth your time. My post focused narrowly on my personal experience in prayer, and on the human dimension. (You can't say everything at once, darn it!) But as Tom points out, every instance of human prayer is a response to a conversation initiated by God, however it seems at the time. … [Read more...]

Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Time

So you've begun to pursue the interior life. You're learning to respond to the Lord's nudges. Maybe you've even asked Him to help you hunger and thirst for righteousness. So what happens next?It's like this. There's this person you've been bumping into. Maybe you meet them at the grocery store, or in the hallway at work, or at the gas station. And you find that when you bump into them, you have one of those neat conversations that just goes on and on, even though you both really need … [Read more...]

Flannery O’Connor Not Your Cup Of Tea?

So you've heard people talk about Flannery O'Connor and how deeply Catholic she is, and maybe you've glanced at her stories and been repelled. As Tod Worner suggests, try out her collected letters. … [Read more...]

UPDATED: Listening to God

I've often been told that prayer is talking with God, not talking to God, and so you can't just talk: you have to listen, too. This is usually followed by the suggestion that I spend time just sitting and listening. I've tried that, but it never seems to work out that well for me, I think because it's never been all that clear to me what I'm supposed to be listening for. God's voice, sure. If I'm listening to God then I'm hoping to hear His Voice.But what does God's voice sound like? … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Magisterium

Magisterium is an orchestra of sorts, with full choir, playing original compositions as well as a number of classic standards from every generation. Their members are veteran musicians drawn from every country of the world, much like The College of Cardinals, but Magisterium is a significantly larger ensemble with a great many more releases. Their original choral works are all written in Latin; but most unusually the words are translated and re-recorded in the local language before release in … [Read more...]

How To Call Someone To Repentance

Last month I spent many pixels criticizing a particularly bad and ineffective way of explaining to someone the error of their ways and calling them to repentance. It seems only fair that I should spend some time talking about the right way to do it.Um.Well.You know, I'm not sure I know just what the right way is, as a general thing. It's a hard thing to do. (Q: How do porcupines make love? A: Very carefully.) But there are couple of things I think I know.First, I think it … [Read more...]

Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Direction

A couple of weeks ago I compared the interior life to a kitchen remodel. You've got a skilled workman doing a complicated job, and while he's responsible for the work, you still need to cooperate with him or the job won't get done.But there's another way that the interior life is similar to a kitchen remodel: it's not always obvious what's going on. In fact, it's usually not obvious what's going on. Some weeks it seems like there's a flurry of activity to no great effect. Other weeks, it … [Read more...]

Discovering the Saints: Justin Martyr

My latest column for CatholicMom concerns one of the Church's first apologists, St. Justin Martyr, and how he helped me come back to the Catholic Church. … [Read more...]