“The joy of quiet”

Who doesn’t crave that, especially this time of year? It turns out, we not only crave it, we need it. From author Pico Iyer, in this Sunday’s New York Times: LAST year, I flew to Singapore to join the writer Malcolm Gladwell, the fashion designer Marc Ecko and the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister in addressing [Read More...]

“This is my story”: Ben Breedlove’s astonishing testimony

The teenager died Christmas Day, just a week after making the brief videos below.  Read more about his life here and here. But watch these two brief YouTube clips (which have become a phenomenon on the Internet). They are his legacy — moving, heartbreaking, but ultimately luminous and full of hope. Eternal rest grant unto [Read More...]

Grief gives way to joy: the extraordinary tale of how a daughter finally came to know her mother

This is really something: the story of a woman who never got to see her birth mother, until she went to her wake.  From the Buffalo News:   When Jackie Oddo came downstairs on the morning of Dec. 13, she noticed that her husband seemed oddly quiet and still as he read The Buffalo News [Read More...]

What the world needs now: a little Hope for Christmas

A reader sent this my way, and it’s just terrific: some of the best moments from Bob Hope’s many Christmas shows that he performed for troops overseas. [Read more...]

“I have friends who are atheists who have called me and said, ‘I am going back to church’”

That’s the quote of the day from a mother whose son was about to be taken off life support — but then made an astonishing recovery. Details: Sam Schmid, an Arizona college student believed to be brain dead and poised to be an organ donor, miraculously recovered just hours before doctors were considering taking him off [Read More...]

Priest who was beaten, robbed returns to give out Christmas gifts

An inspirational story of the season from Chicago: The Rev. Daniel Mallette, the 80-year-old South Side priest beaten and robbed in his church’s rectory earlier this month, joked and handed out gifts to children this morning and declared, “It feels great being back.” With Mallette sitting in a chair, much like Santa Claus, the children approached [Read More...]

“What a wonderful world” — as recited by David Attenborough

Louis Armstrong made that song unforgettable.  This brief, spoken rendition gives it another beautiful spin, promoting Attenborough’s “Frozen Planet” series.  It’s in a class all its own.  Enjoy, because it is a wonderful world. [Read more...]

“Change”

Take 10 minutes and just watch.  Looking for something to connect to this Sunday’s readings?  I think this does it, beautifully.  Here are glad tidings being proclaimed, and the brokenhearted being healed, in a moving and inspiring way you might not expect.  Thank you, Patrick Madrid! [Read more...]

What happens when Santa gives $100 to needy strangers?

For some, it’s a gift of hope and an answered prayer.  From the Reading Eagle in Pennsylvania: Sitting in Reading’s Inter-City Bus Terminal on Tuesday night, Thomas Coates Jr. was out of work and out of hope. Then, out of the blue, a stranger sat next to him and restored his faith in human kindness. [Read More...]

Saving lives, one homeboy at a time

For those who may have missed it, the great Fr. Greg Boyle (shown above) is about to become the first religious figure inducted in the California Hall of Fame — alongside such luminaries as The Beach Boys, Buzz Aldrin and Magic Johnson. On top of that, Fr. Greg is also a finalist for the Opus [Read More...]


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