I Confess (but not frequently enough)–UPDATED

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Over at The Deacon's Bench, Greg Kandra has shared a piece by John Cornwell from The Tablet on the decline of confession among Catholics worldwide. It's a fascinating article, reflecting the research Cornwell has done for a forthcoming book. For reverts of a certain age, like me, there's much that resonates.Among the reasons Cornwell posits for the decline (which in itself is more a presumption than a matter of fact, as statistics aren't tracked for confessions the way they are for Baptisms, … [Read more...]

Sex and the Singular Woman: The Assumption and Helen Gurley Brown

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When I was exactly three weeks old, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be a truth of the Catholic faith. The year I turned 12, Helen Gurley Brown published Sex and the Single Girl. I have to admit that for most of our lives, women my age---Catholic or not, for good or for ill---have been more influenced by the latter event than by the former. Today, on the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption, as the mainstream media fill with tributes to the late Gurley … [Read more...]

10 Things I Wish a Facebook Meme Knew About the Church

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Warning: Excessively long post. If I were a better writer and less actively involved in wrestling with the topic, I could write a lot shorter.I really wasn't going to post on this past week's Tempest in a Chickenfryer. As if we weren't polarized enough around the issue of marriage and what it means to society and to religion! The blogosphere has been a-boil with a dipping sauce comprising equal parts of vitriol, grandstanding, and pain, into which we dunk our nuggets of hard-fought belief … [Read more...]

Oh, for [Delete Deity]‘s Sake!–UPDATE 3

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A friend posted this news item from the Steubenville, Ohio Herald-Star on her Facebook page, along with what I think is a remarkably restrained amount of dudgeon: STEUBENVILLE - City officials agreed Tuesday night to change the city logo after a Madison, Wis., organization threatened legal action.Law Director S. Gary Repella announced the decision following a 15-minute closed-door meeting with City Council members."We will be approaching Mark Nelson of Nelson Fine Art and Gifts and … [Read more...]

Look Here! Of Monsters and Miracles–UPDATED

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In the wake of the Colorado shooting, as is common with any tragedy or disaster, we are hearing a lot about miraculous escapes: people who should have been in Theater 9 but weren't, people who turned this way and not that, people who listened to an inner voice telling them something was wrong, or who developed superhuman abilities to navigate toward the exits in the dark and the chaos.In one of the many mysterious ironies of Aurora, one of the dead, aspiring sports broadcaster Jessica Ghawi, … [Read more...]

Praying For and With and Through Colorado: A Spiritual Blogaround

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Image sourceOne of the blessings of belonging to a community of bloggers on religion and spirituality is being fed and sustained by the reflections of others on a day when evil is in the headlines, questions are in the heart, and my own spiritual, physical, and blogging resources are so low.There are many points of view represented in this banquet of links, but each is included because it is---unlike the kneejerk responses of the media, with the announce-retract-handwring-blame cycle in … [Read more...]

5 Things That Too Shall Pass

Photo copyright Jean Howat Berry

When we were kids, and grieved some ill or injustice, my mother would say, "This too shall pass." We never believed her, and she was always right.I need her back. I'm feeling stuck in all kinds of impossibilities and griefs at present. That's why my friend Jean's photo---the phrase THIS IS ONLY TEMPORARY stenciled on a concrete barrier by the Great Miami River---speaks so strongly. The phrase carries the weight of consoling prophecy, and Jean's discovery of it was a piece of lovely … [Read more...]

Bless the Lord, All You Particle People!

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Particle man, particle man Doing the things a particle can What's he like? It's not important Particle man Is he a dot or is he a speck? When he's underwater does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead? Nobody knows, particle man ~ "Particle Man," They Might Be GiantsImage sourceAs much as I love having TMBG as the soundtrack to my understanding of science, that last line is not quite so true today, at least when it comes to one particular---and particularly … [Read more...]


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