iDolatry? There’s an App for That!

Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life by Elizabeth Scalia Ave Maria Press, 2013While over for dinner the other night with his parents, my going-on-4-year-old grandson was engaged in his usual sweeping of my apartment for Interesting Stuff. I'm trying to keep the acquisition of things to a rigorous minimum, but Luke can occasionally spot a new refrigerator magnet, a surprise toy, or something chocolate, so this surveillance is part of the arrival ritual.He paused at the … [Read more...]

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“A Palpable Hopefulness”: A Book Response and a Wish

The Lady of the Angels and Her City: A Marian Pilgrimage by Wendy M. Wright Liturgical Press, 2013I can't think of a better day than May 13, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, to bring to your attention Wendy Wright's new book---and to make a wish for Wendy herself. The publisher's description sums up well the author's intent, and why this lavishly illustrated volume is of interest far beyond the widespread boundaries of the largest Catholic diocese in the United States: The Lady of the … [Read more...]

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In the Breaking of the Bread: A Book Review

Recipe for Joy: A Stepmom's Story of Finding Faith, Following Love, and Feeding a Family by Robin Davis Loyola Press, 2013We're all on a journey of faith, love, and family. It's a journey with detours and U-turns, scenic roads and midnight breakdowns. But whether in Emmaus or Columbus or wherever (as the airline pilots say) our final destination may be, when we come to ourselves it is always around a table.I'm weighing in shamefully late, as in the very last hours, with my contribution … [Read more...]

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Vale of Tears or Vale of Soul-Making? A Book Review

 The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life by Terryl Givens and Fiona Givens Ensign Peak, 2012Can God make a rock so heavy He can't pick it up? That's the playground version of the questions raised by the apparent paradox an omnipotent Deity presents to the limited human mind.When you get older, and life drops the heavy boulders of sin and suffering and death into your path, the questions get more complicated. Why do the innocent suffer while the guilty go … [Read more...]

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Spiritual AND Religious—Surprise!: A Book Review

Catholic Spiritual Practices: A Treasury of Old & New Edited by Colleen M. Griffith & Thomas H. Groome Paraclete Press, 2012This time of year, our thoughts often turn to the good things that come in small packages, the gifts that have the power to surprise us, to contain more than they might promise at first glance. Catholic Spiritual Practices, a slim volume published by Paraclete Press for Boston College's Church in the 21st Century Center, is just such surprise package.At … [Read more...]

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A Journal of My Council: A Book Review

My Journal of the Council by Yves Congar, OP Liturgical Press, 2012Even as my arteries and my religious views harden with age, I remain a daughter of Vatican II. The first session of the council was officially convened on my 12th birthday in 1962, and the fruits of the council were the single most important influence on my faith formation. As I've written here before, I still consider myself a Catholic of the John XXIIIrd Generation, and proud of it. I carried a well-thumbed copy of the … [Read more...]

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Road Maps to the Kingdom: A Catholic Review of Tim Stafford’s “Miracles”

The material world does not need God’s miraculous interference; but God cannot deprive Himself of the power to interfere with it when He sees fit to do so. ~ Rev. Charles Coppins, SJ, A Brief Text-book of Logic and Philosophy, 1891The world may not need miracles, but those of us living in it often seem to. Some more than others.I welcomed the chance to review Tim Stafford's new book Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern-Day Miracles from a Catholic standpoint for the Patheos Book Club ev … [Read more...]

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