“We became the thing we hate”

A stirring and challenging cry of the heart from Mark Shea:  Now that the Torture Report is out and we are discovering that the lies we listened to for so long (We only waterboarded three high value targets! We had to do it to save lives!  Valuable intel!  Are you telling me that some filthy [Read More...]

The more things change …

This is remarkable, via The Anchoress, quoting one of my heroes, Thomas Merton: “It has been remarked with truth that conservatives and progressives in the Church are so concerned with total victory over each other that they are more and more closed to each other. If this is the case, one seriously wonders about the [Read More...]

“There are three kinds of Christians that outsiders to the faith respect…”

The Christian writer Philip Yancey has a very good rumination on “preaching without words” over at Huffington Post, with examples of some who do it best. Take a look:    Writing for the Internet, I’ve learned, is a bit like taking on the hecklers at the Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park. The normal rules [Read More...]

If you’ve read “Rebuilt,” you’ll want to read this

The book “Rebuilt” has become something of a phenomenon of modern American Catholicism: the story of how a parish in Maryland almost literally “rebuilt” itself, rethinking everything from liturgy to lay participation and beyond.  I’ve lost track of the number of priests, deacons and even bishops who have asked me “Have you read ‘Rebuilt’?” (One [Read More...]

“Those who love the barque of Peter ought to stay out of the engine room!”

That’s Fr. Robert Barron, quoting Cardinal Newman. Fr. Barron today brings to all the hand-wringing and garment-rending over the the synod a bracing blast of common sense. Take it away, Fr. Barron: One of the great mysteries enshrined in the ecclesiology of the Catholic Church is that Christ speaks through the rather messy and unpredictable [Read More...]

Finding light in darkness: love and endurance in an Iraqi refugee camp

A sister helps Ghanaem Yadago, who is blind, find his way to his room at a refugee shelter set up for the sick and disabled in Erbil, Iraq. (photo: Don Duncan/CNEWA) A moving account of one family’s struggles in Erbil, from the CNEWA blog, One-to-One:  While Ghanem Yadago, his wife Waheeda and his two sons Wissam [Read More...]

“The pope’s most important step on sex abuse may come in Kansas City”

From John Allen in Crux:  News yesterday that the Vatican is investigating Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, first reported by Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter, is potentially a prelude to the most significant step Pope Francis may ever take with regard to the church’s child sexual abuse scandals. Francis has already [Read More...]

“We are called to be a missional church…”

Elizabeth Scalia this morning offers some words of wisdom that strike me as very diaconal in nature—but with a message for all of us seeking to serve the Church and save souls—especially our own. To wit:  Incarnational Evangelization happens when Christian men and women leave the comfortable place of their own origin, just as the Word [Read More...]

Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Shea sums it all up

The best thing I’ve read all day:  We need to become more fully Catholic, but in the sense of personal conversion, not in the sense of purging the church of lukewarm believers. By that I mean helping people to become more fully Catholic, as Pope Francis has been trying to do. This challenge, to me, [Read More...]

James Foley reminds us of what we knew all along: prayer matters

Elizabeth Scalia, as usual, nails it:  What I have been arguing for in these past months is what James Foley himself advocated: the acquisition of what used to be considered a rather conventional religiosity, one in which prayer was not something foreign, but something natural, practiced to varying degrees and understood widely as a real [Read More...]