Fear of An Ambitious Laity

“Bean-counting” is a dead metaphor for most people, but a few years ago, on retreat, I saw it come back to life. I was serving as junior scullery maid, and the two older women who’d squared off over mastery of the kitchen had agreed that I should sift through the black-eyed peas for errant pebbles. [Read More...]

The Church and the Cracked Kettle

My parish’s associate pastor comes from the Phillipines. At Sunday Mass, I sit only about one-third of the way back, and church acoustics are topnotch. Nevertheless, when Father takes the pulpit, I count myself lucky if I can catch one word in three. Even these often reflect his cultural displacement. Recently, he compared faith to [Read More...]

How It Feels to Be Received Like Christ

The first thing I noticed about the vocational discernment retreat was the median age of the guests, which I estimated at 65. Then I saw the girl in the wheelchair. I couldn’t put a name to her disability, but her legs appeared withered or stunted, and she was wearing child-sized shoes. Her hands, though normal-sized, [Read More...]


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