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, 2013 We'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...]

“To Know the Unsurpassable Joy”: A Message from The Hermit

Benedict and Francis kneeling

In the wake of yesterday's post on the futility of picking papal teams, I received the following message from My Friend The Hermit (Br Rex Anthony Norris of The Little Portion Hermitage). He thought it should be for my eyes only, but I think differently. Thank you, dear Brother. This is wonderful advice to carry with us into Holy Week: It is to know and to make known Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen that is the beginning and end of the mission of the Church. For that, dear reader, you … [Read more...]

When It Comes to Popes, I’m on Team Jesus

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I hate choosing sides. It might be the Libra in me, or the hoarder's inability to make decisions, or the hideous memory of being picked last for everything in grammar school. I can't even fill out a decent NCAA bracket, because I can find some reason why just about any team should win the mirror-ball trophy from the Big Dance with the Stars. So I am particularly peeved by the swelling tendency to pit papal clique against papal claque, as though Catholics had to wear their popes on their … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: Intervention for a Hoarder Church

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I got my wish. Last week, the conclave elected as a successor to St Peter and to the retired Pope Benedict XVI a man who seems to embody the best of my two favorite popes (John XXIII and Benedict)---doctrinal faithfulness and pastoral joy. I even called St Joseph's Day as the perfect date for the inaugural Mass. What I couldn't predict is that the erstwhile Cardinal Bergoglio, with whose name I wasn't even familiar when it was announced, would take the papal name and embody the best of my … [Read more...]


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