"Would you dress like that to meet the Queen of England?"

“We have reached the point that just about anything goes. We keep making appeals to our people, but it doesn’t seem that anyone is paying much attention. … Some of the ladies, well, you just have to wonder if they looked in a mirror before coming to church.  I often ask people this question: ‘Would [Read More...]

And now, some wise words from the catechism …

We hear a lot around The Bench about what the catechism teaches. Lest we forget: Charity 1822 Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. 1823 Jesus makes charity the new commandment.96 By loving his own [Read More...]

Sacred transformation: another wedding story

You might consider this the flip side of the story I posted yesterday, courtesy Fr. Dwight Longenecker.  He approached a wedding ceremony the same way I approach baptisms, by first reminding those present of what is really about to occur and underscoring the solemnity of the occasion. The results, I think, speak for themselves: As [Read More...]

When the government decides what religions do

Sister Mary Ann Walsh takes a look at what government will be doing with contraceptives — and the “religious exemption” — and isn’t impressed: When it comes to church-state relations, both church and government historically have watched to keep the government out of church business. The U.S. Constitution acknowledged the significance of the role of [Read More...]

"When people deride their bishops and priests, they undermine the Church…"

“Bishops, priests, and deacons are too often weak and sinful. They need to be held to high standards. Some deserve to be chastised. The clergy’s leadership in the Church should always be marked by humility and service, and never by a sense of entitlement. But men and women didn’t found the Church, they don’t own [Read More...]

Lisa Graas is crazy about the Lord

And she has been posting some wise and brave thoughts about that — and specifically, about her own struggles with Bipolar Disorder. To one concerned reader, she writes: There is nothing in this but the Cross…but that is the whole point. Jesus is our leader, and we follow Him in carrying the Cross. If we [Read More...]

Ha!

Get a load of this: H/T to the jolly Frank Weathers, who has more here. Thanks, Frank.  I needed that. [Read more...]

The life of a priest: "Too much of a good thing"

At my parish, we’re in the middle of an annual novena to St. John Vianney, praying for vocations to the priesthood. It’s a beautiful tradition in our church; we begin the novena with a jubiliarian celebrating mass, and we conclude nine days later with a newly ordained priest, who also offers special individual blessings after [Read More...]

That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing

The Anchoress is pretty fed up with the noise coming out of Washington these days — who isn’t? — and offers a brief meditation this afternoon on hate, and praying not to hate. She concludes with this wisdom from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Within the best of us, there is some evil, and [Read More...]

"I'm getting more comments that are just plain rude…"

The virus of hateful commenting seems to have infected a lot of otherwise tranquil corners of the blogosphere — including the very fine blog of Msgr. Charles Pope, in the Archdiocese of Washington. He writes: I DO appreciate vigorous and honest discourse and am undisturbed that disagreements are frankly aired. But there comes a line [Read More...]


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