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 upa wild rumpus with a sleepy dogThat was fine with me. I … [Read more...]

Holy Communion!

I attended my first post-reversion First Communion last Saturday. My friends' daughter Sylvia wrote and shared with me a terrific journal entry at the end of the day. Favorite observation: "The Wine was much better than I thought it would be," which if you think about it is probably what the guests at that wedding in Cana wrote in their journals afterward, too. Inspired by Sylvia, my reflections on the event.We offer you these gifts . . .In preparation, I asked Sylvia's big sister Clare for … [Read more...]

Over the Chalice of the World

There are much better photos of Saturday nights's Supermoon, but this is how I saw it, turning the night to day and looking like nothing so much as an enormous Host elevated over the Chalice of the world as I left my young friend Sylvia's First Communion party.And because every moon is super and our sister and full no matter from what perspective it appears and a reflection of its Creator, some Mechthild of Magdeburg (from Book 8 of The Flowing Light of the Godhead) for moonwatching in nights to … [Read more...]

The Doorway into Thanks: Reflections on the National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer in the United States--or, as President Obama put it in his either-ironic-or-clueless-depending-on-how-much-slack-you-give-him presidential proclamation, our National Day of Giving Thanks for the Freedom of Religion that Allows Us to Abstain from Praying. There used to be an interfaith prayer breakfast hosted by the White House on this day, but the President has chosen to exercise his right to abstain from eating food that might have gotten blessing all over … [Read more...]

Always a Dryad, Never the May Queen

Daily, daily sing to MarySing, my soul, her praises dueAll her feasts, her actions worshipWith the heart's devotion trueLost in wond'ring contemplationBe her majesty professedCall her Mother, call her VirginHappy Mother! Virgin blest!~ May hymn from the St Gregory Hymnal, lyrics recalled from (50+ years of) memoryA day late. I wanted to post about this yesterday, but I was too busy trying to catch up with my real jobs (promoting Catholic stewardship, marketing cosmetic dermatology--and yes, I … [Read more...]

Stop Killing the Wabbit! A One-Day Fast from Catholic Opera

Catholics are reminded to keep Friday as a day of penance, a little Lent all year long. Although it's no longer the abstinence fest it was in my childhood--pining here for the fleshpots of Mom's tuna noodle casserole and "Welsh rarebit" (Velveeta on English muffins, run under the broiler)--Friday still offers a weekly 24-hour window of opportunity to review my life and make better choices. Today, I'm giving up opera.Not real opera, of which I am deeply fond, having been inducted into it by Mom … [Read more...]

Onward, Christian Soldier (Not)

When I was confirmed in 1963 as a 12-year-old seventh grader, then-Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Manning bestowed a gentle slap on my face as a sign of my induction as a soldier of Christ. His homily, preached to a pimply gang of barely pubescent Hollywood kids, was a lot less gentle. "You are growing up in a moral cesspool," he told us. "You are in a war for your immortal souls." Welcome to the Church Militant.On that spring day, the President of the United States was a Catholic, and presumed to be … [Read more...]

Through Our Sister, Mother Earth, Praise God

Yes, I am celebrating Earth Day. And no, in spite of what you read in my blog or in other people's comboxes, this does not (necessarily, anyway) make me a pagan disciple of Gaia-worshiping hippie nuns with degrees in creation-centered theology, thank you. I am also not going to use this space to trigger a combox steel-cage match on global warming, the wisdom of filling the earth and subduing it, or the outrage of being deprived of my inalienable American right to finally remember to pick up a … [Read more...]