Francis’s papacy in just one word

Photo: CNS And it’s: mercy. John Allen explores that theme and posts this singular quote from the pope’s presser on the plane:  “I believe this is the time of mercy. This change of epoch, also because of many problems of the church — such as the example of some priests who aren’t good, also the [Read More...]

“This Man Who Had Given Everything He Had to Others Had One Last Lesson to Give…”

My blog neighbor Tom McDonald has just lost his father after a long illness, and writes powerfully and poignantly of a life lost and lessons learned: He wasn’t suffering, mind you. Hospice does wonders in that regard, and morphine is a beautiful thing. He just was in that shadowy land between life and death. Everyone [Read More...]

“Well, screw that!”

With those three little words, The Anchoress opens the floodgates (or, perhaps, unlocks the pen?) on the subject of cursive penmanship: I was told that cursive isn’t taught any longer because “with computers and texting it is not required.” Well, screw that! If something is not absolutely required in life, it’s not worth teaching? Do [Read More...]

Joe Marotta on the Sacred Heart

On this day when so many of our hearts are breaking, I thought this reflection from Joe Marotta— posted almost exactly a year ago, as he concluded another vacation at the beach—was worth sharing. (The picture above, uploaded to his FB page at the time, carries the caption: “Great view to end the day!”) Here, [Read More...]

On Choosing a Vocation: “Making Yourself is Different Than Producing a Product…”

A little profundity —and a challenge to the world—from David Brooks, in the New York Times: A human life is not just a means to produce outcomes, it is an end in itself. When we evaluate our friends, we don’t just measure the consequences of their lives. We measure who they intrinsically are. We don’t [Read More...]

“I think I owe some apologies…”

Mark Shea strikes a poignant tone of contrition and humility in this morning’s post. Listen closely and you can hear the fervent thumping of his fist against his chest. Snip: The past week has not been a pleasant one, but it has been a fruitful one.  I won’t bore you with a lot of autobiography, [Read More...]

“Humble Service Means There’s Nothing in It for You”

Here’s something for every deacon to ponder—and it comes from a woman helping her cousin through childbirth. Elizabeth Duffy expected to be like Mary rushing to the aid of Elizabeth. It didn’t work out that way:  As I drove home later that day, assessing the situation in hindsight, it became clear that what I went [Read More...]

“Parish-based Catechesis Has Been An Abject Failure”

Remember scenes like this one in a Catholic classroom?  Learning the catechism?  The basics of Catholicism?  Things have changed. Not long ago, I heard of a grade-schooler who was attending his First Communion and, when the pastor in his homily mentioned the honor and privilege of “eating the Body of Christ,” the kid freaked.  He [Read More...]

One reason why Heather King is my hero

For thoughts like this:  I don’t read most Catholic blogs for the same reason I don’t watch TV: because I find a culture of carping, snitching, and gossip inherently un-Christlike. As you know, I don’t tend to weigh in on Church scandals (partly because I usually don’t even know of them); global disasters; who, in the [Read More...]

15 days in Rome: how Jorge Bergoglio became pope

The Wall Street Journal has just published an e-book on the papal election, and there’s a fascinating excerpt in today’s paper: On March 5, after a long day of speeches at the Congregation, a group of cardinals arrived at the Pontifical North American College under the cover of night and were directed through long quiet [Read More...]


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