Singing From the Grave

It was the seven-year-old's birthday. At religious ed the night before, I willed myself to look forward to the prayer time, since it would be in the Sanctuary where Jesus is, and sometimes we say the Rosary or have Benediction. But unfortunately the prayer turned out to be "Praise singing."I'd been hankering for something solemn and silent, but our music minister usually does praise singing at a tempo too fast and a key too high for my voice, and sometimes she steps away from the piano in an … [Read more...]

Quick takes–for married people

1.The week was off to a distressing start, wasn't it? Lots of controversy, threats of war, Catholics being sassy to one another, and maybe there were other personal challenges too.Something that put it all in perspective for me, was watching this movie:Maybe you hated Terence Malick's "Tree of Life"--too long, too impressionistic, and what is his thing with ladies dancing in the sunset?I'd still give "To the Wonder" a chance. It's much more concise and plot oriented but still … [Read more...]


I don't want to presume, of course, but I think it's fair to say that this post got the boot from this post.Dish it out/take it. At first pass I almost always agree with the last thing I read. She wins. … [Read more...]

Something More Comfortable

Every morning that I have gone into the office at the middle school, there has been one or two or three students standing at the front desk talking to the secretary. The secretary says softly, and so kindly, "I'm sorry, but you can't wear sleeveless, Honey," or "Your shorts are higher than two inches above the knee."This morning, the secretary was explaining to a very pretty young lass, "I don't… think… you're allowed to wear a shirt that says 'I love to fart'…Let me check…" (Turning to the g … [Read more...]

The Relationship Between Pornography and Pedophilia (Updated)

Remember when The Onion posted an offensive tweet about the young actress, Quvenzhané Wallis, who starred in the movie The Beasts of the Southern Wild?Sasha Weiss at the New Yorker commented:  "The tweet was taken down and apologized for, but The Onion, as usual, had blurted out a terribly ugly version of a suppressed, itchy attitude that is probably more widely held than we’d like to think: the idea that young girls are ridiculous, annoying, and a little disgusting. They’re glitt … [Read more...]

Joseph Bottum and Boredom

One thing I like to do before I comment on a piece of writing is read the piece of writing. I do not understand the glut of postings this weekend that begin a criticism of Joseph Bottum's piece in Commonweal titled The Things We Share: A Catholic's Case for Same-sex Marriage, with the caveat, "I didn't bother to read the whole thing," or "I just skimmed it."So much has been made of its length, in fact, that people are falling asleep in the first paragraph, poking their eyes out in boredom, d … [Read more...]


I need to clear off my desk. Yesterday, I went through all the papers in my secretary, paid bills, and threw a bunch of stuff away. Felt good. Today, I need to clear my virtual desktop. When I'm blogging something, I usually open a blank page on my laptop, and write down as many sentences as I have available to me on a particular topic that's on my mind. I leave the page open, and as the day goes on, I'll swing by my desk and drop off a sentence or two, here and there, as it comes.Later, … [Read more...]