The Love That Impels

A personal note about a bright spot in today's onslaught of spin and viciousness regarding Catholics and our role in American life: Today the generosity of the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati took the annual Catholic Ministries Appeal, still underway, to its $4 million goal. It's a personal note (and a disclaimer of sorts) because I am blessed to be an occasional part of the team that promotes the Appeal in our archdiocese, but the important part is that bright spot: the light of … [Read more...]

Judged and Found Wanting

While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." ~ Acts of the Apostles 1:10-11This morning, as I was leaving to run an errand or two before Mass, I met Jesus. And as he did with the Samaritan woman at the well, or with any … [Read more...]

Freezing the Kool Aid

Bad enough I'm always torn between explaining to my artist friends that being a faithful Catholic is not drinking the Kool-Aid and explaining to my faithful Catholic friends that it's not worth sweating over "art" that challenges Catholic piety. Now artist Sebastian Errazuriz has to go and put the whole business on ice:At a party this weekend celebrating New York Design Week, which begins today, the Chilean-born artist plans to hand out 100 "Christian Popsicles" made of "frozen holy wine … [Read more...]

Ascension Thursday: Never on Sunday!

It's Ascension Thursday. Or at least it is if you live in the US ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, or the state of Nebraska. For the rest of us, by vote of our bishops, Ascension Thursday doesn't arrive until Sunday.That fries me. The Feast of the Ascension is one of my favorite holy days, one which I am obliged to keep by nothing more than happiness. So I was mightily disappointed, upon my reversion, to find that my bishops think they're making … [Read more...]

Angels in the Fields

Out here in the fields I fight for my meals I get my back into my living . . . ~ The Who, "Teenage Wasteland"Today is the feast day of the man usually known in English as St Isidore the Farmer.I don't know much about farming, even though I've lived my life in two major agricultural states. Growing up in California, what I saw of farming was the view out the station wagon windows driving north on 101, El Camino Real, from Los Angeles to San Francisco for family vacations. In the 1950s, … [Read more...]

Of Wanderers and Anchorites: A Mother’s Day Reflection

I come from a line of mothers who wander.One of my maternal great-grandmothers, otherwise a paragon of Irish Catholic virtue, used to save up her housekeeping money and disappear for weekend drinking binges on regular occasions. During one of those absences, her daughter, my maternal grandmother Maggie, played a game of jumprope with a friend. Because they didn't have a third, they tied one end of the rope to an old icebox, which toppled over on Maggie while she was jumping. She was … [Read more...]

The Heartburn of Sex

When Max Lindenman sent me a link to this story last night, I got heartburn. I knew I was going to have to post on it, and that whatever I said would be taken as heresy by people I care about. I gave it a sleepless night, hoping somebody else would beat me to it, but although there are many posts and comments out there this morning--a few of them even adding light, not more heat--my heart still burns. So here goes.I've said before that the Church's hard teaching on sexuality (by which I mean … [Read more...]

Where the Wild Things Are Reunited

Maurice Sendak, who died today, was always someone I respected more than loved. I was 13 when Where the Wild Things Are was published, so too old to come to it as a child. My son liked it fine, but it wasn't up there at the top of the list of read-it-AGAINs with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day, or the weird Swedish fairytale about Princess Ingeborg.My grandson as Max, stirring up a wild rumpus with a sleepy … [Read more...]