Spiritual AND Religious—Surprise!: A Book Review

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Catholic Spiritual Practices: A Treasury of Old & New Edited by Colleen M. Griffith & Thomas H. Groome Paraclete Press, 2012 This 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...]

10 Things I’ll Miss Most About Catholic Ohio

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I haven't been Catholic in Ohio all that long---only two out of the 16 years I lived here. And my Catholic experience is limited geographically to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. But now that the trajectory of my life is flinging me precipitously (though blessedly, blessedly!) west to Los Angeles again, I want to name some of the things I'll miss most about being Catholic here. If you live in the archdiocese, cherish these. If you're passing through, make their acquaintance. In no particular … [Read more...]

Your Assigned Reading for Election Day–UPDATED

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It's all over but the shouting, which I imagine will go on for oh, another four years. I voted so early this year (on my birthday in October, in a one-stop-shopping visit to the Montgomery County Building to renew my car tags), and so reluctantly (see here and here for why), that this Election Day arrives not with a bang but a whimper. A political junkie in withdrawal, I anticipate a couple of bouts of the shakes tonight as I try not to spin through the spin of the "news" channels or unglue … [Read more...]

I’m That Guy: The Gunpowder of Being Catholic in Public

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On the eve of a contentious election, pondering the explosive nexus of faith and politics. Please to remember The Fifth of November Gunpowder, Treason, and Strife . . . Back when I was in my Anglican interim, I loved commemorating Guy Fawkes Day. A haunting little historical nursery rhyme, bonfires, the burning of effigies, and children in raggedy clothes with ash-blackened faces accosting householders, begging A penny for the Guy!---what's not to love? I had a vague notion of the … [Read more...]

A Journal of My Council: A Book Review

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My Journal of the Council by Yves Congar, OP Liturgical Press, 2012 Even 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...]

Our Life, Our Sweetness and Our Hope: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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Everybody else in Paris was lined up to see Lady Gaga. But we were gaga for another Lady. Pilgrimage 2012, Day 10: Lourdes to Paris We left Lourdes early on a Sunday morning, bidding our bus drivers farewell and gathering at the Gare de Lourdes to catch the high-speed train to Paris. We were clustered in little groups throughout several train cars---our guides Guida and Francoise later confessed to putting some time into choosing who would be compatible with whom on the 5-hour … [Read more...]

Let My Prayers Rise Like Incense

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We burned prayer cards last night at my friend Michael's house, on a truly cold evening under a last-quarter moon. It's an annual ritual, one that Michael---Director of the Stewardship Office of the Cincinnati Archdiocese---started a few years ago. As part of our annual archdiocesan appeal, we send donors a prayer card with their thank you letter from the Archbishop. We invite them to list their intentions on the cards and return them, to be prayed for at the three regional Appeal … [Read more...]

The Village of St Bernadette: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

People wondered why there is no statue of Bernadette in the Grotto. But at Lourdes, we are all Bernadette.

"There was everything hostile to my peace---an incalculable crowd, an oppressive heat, dust, noise, weariness; there was the disappointment of the churches and the image; there was the sour unfamiliarity of the place and the experience; and yet I was neither troubled nor depressed nor irritated nor disappointed. . . . To leave Lourdes at the end was like leaving home." Msgr Robert Hugh Benson, a convert from Anglicanism, wrote these words in his memoir of a visit to Lourdes in 1908. I … [Read more...]


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