Five for Joy: June Gloom, Love Decoded, and Other Saturday Mysteries

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On the always sage advice of The Anchoress that the best way to recover from a fall off your blog is to climb right back on it with a little something every day, I'm back. Not quite George Costanza-style yet,but here I am. And because Saturday is a low readership day, I'm going to start with a collection of little bits, like the 7 Quick Takes Friday format popularized by Jen Fulwiller at Conversion Diary. I'm hoping to make this a regular Saturday thing, and taking counsel from my … [Read more...]

Catholic and Crazy: The Asylum of Faith

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When you're locked in a rubber room, wearing paper pajamas that leave far too little to the imagination, trying to find patterns in the ceiling tiles as cracked as your brain, you wouldn't expect to find yourself conversing with the spirit of an Irish teenager 1400 years dead---murdered by her own father, the story goes, when she resisted his incestuous advances. But that's how it works when you're Catholic and crazy. The communion of saints means we're never alone, even in a psych ward.In … [Read more...]

Seven Buses: The Love That Builds Bridges

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This started to be a story about attending my 45th high school reunion last Sunday. But it's really more a story about the ways a good mother loves---which is to say, it's a story about God.Alma MaterThe first mother in this story is my alma mater, my soul-mother, Immaculate Heart High School. I've written before about the debts I owe the Women of Great Heart I encountered there---the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart who taught me and inspired me and called me out on my idolatrous … [Read more...]

In the Breaking of the Bread: A Book Review

Fritz von Uhde, "The Mealtime Prayer"

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...]

Oh, Mercy, Mercy Me, Still

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From last year, slightly updated, my tangled relationship with the Divine Mercy devotion: Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me their song And I hope you run into them, you who've been traveling so long Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control It begins with your family, and later comes round to your soul Well, I've been where you're … [Read more...]

“The whole earth is our hospital”: Good Friday in Painting and Poetry

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Some reflections on the Passion in art and poetry, from last year's Good Friday post.I find myself longing for the respectful quiet of the earlier Good Fridays in my life. I know that Church and State were, if anything, even more clearly separated when I was a child, but in the Catholic (with occasional threads of Bulgarian Orthodoxy) ghetto of our little neighborhood on the seamy side of Hollywood, you wouldn't have known it. The TV, the radio were shut off for the day. We could play, but … [Read more...]

Why I Am Catholic, Again

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In response to a Patheos prompt inviting bloggers to explain, in 200 words or less, why they follow their particular religious traditions, here is my apologia. The "again" in the title of this post is meant in two senses: As a revert, I am a Catholic again after many years away from my cradle faith; and I offered my responses last year in a much longer (of course!) post, from which I've selected and edited the following key reasons, in ascending order of importance to me.(The word count … [Read more...]

“Something to Love, Something to Be Bugged By”: Pummeled by The Anchoress

A 24-foot long cast bronze arm and fist monument to boxer Joe Louis is seen hanging from a balance suspension on Jefferson Ave at Woodward in downtown Detroit

I didn't sleep last night, playing out my crankiness over the Pope Wars in mental and spoken potential posts of staggering snarkiness. I raised my moralistic eyebrow higher and more uncontrollably than The Bachelor's notorious Tierra, whose eyebrow had its own Twitter handle. What made me so cranky was the inevitable rebound effect. Lots of those folks who, early on, so resented enthusiasm for Team Francis expressed as criticism of Team Benedict are now turning the tables and expressing their … [Read more...]


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