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...]

The Idiot Christian: How to be Inconvenient to Classify

For better or worse now, my children go before me into the world, and for the most part they have brought some very good people into our lives. They've chosen good friends for themselves, and their friends' parents' have been trustworthy faithful people.We're on a bigger playing field now at the middle school, a huge one, actually, and the easiest way to approach it is to divide everyone into their appropriate tribes and deal with the people we're likely to see most often.Some of these … [Read more...]

Change and Surrender

The Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary: "In her it is always Jesus we meet..." (Father Maurice Zundel)  I'm sad. Our Religious Education program on Wednesday nights no longer serves dinner. "It was always the same people every week… a big waste of money…" someone explained about the reasons why the dinner was ditched.I hadn't realized dinner was canceled. Our DRE offered it as a courtesy to families trying to get to class on time, because she knew it was c … [Read more...]

Life Hacks for Four-year-olds (Boys’ edition)


It's hard to be a little person in a big world. Here are five tips to make it easier to be you.  1.Congratulations! You received a plastic suit of armor for your birthday. But it only came with a helmet, a shield, and a plastic sword that your brothers broke within about five minutes. The thing is, you know what really needs protection. You've got to make the armor work for you, and not the other way around.And while you're at it, just use a stick for the sword. … [Read more...]

Back to School Quick Takes

I think I'll get a jump start on my quick takes, since I have a minute right now that I am not likely to have again soon. It's been a very busy couple of weeks. 1. The kids started school last week. Two of my kids are in middle school this year, sixth and seventh grade. This is a new experience for all of us, since I home schooled my now seventh grader last year for sixth grade. He didn't know the middle school ways, the middle school kids, how to dress--and frankly, neither did I, … [Read more...]

The Secret Life of Mr. and Mrs. Average

I had a dream that I was cleaning a sanctuary, and there was a beam that needed dusting high in the rafters. In order to clean it, I had to put on a special suit and scoot my whole body across the beam like a human swiffer sweeper.From my elevated perspective, I could see people down below in the Church, and I couldn't help thinking, "None of them would have bothered to clean this beam. They can't even see what's up here. But I see it, and I have to do it right, even if it means I die in the … [Read more...]