iDolatry? There’s an App for That!

Elizabeth-Scalia-Strange-Gods

Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life by Elizabeth Scalia Ave Maria Press, 2013While over for dinner the other night with his parents, my going-on-4-year-old grandson was engaged in his usual sweeping of my apartment for Interesting Stuff. I'm trying to keep the acquisition of things to a rigorous minimum, but Luke can occasionally spot a new refrigerator magnet, a surprise toy, or something chocolate, so this surveillance is part of the arrival ritual.He paused at the … [Read more...]

Vale of Tears or Vale of Soul-Making? A Book Review

The Lord Answering Job out of the Whirlwind 1825, reprinted 1874 by William Blake 1757-1827

The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life by Terryl Givens and Fiona Givens Ensign Peak, 2012Can God make a rock so heavy He can't pick it up? That's the playground version of the questions raised by the apparent paradox an omnipotent Deity presents to the limited human mind.When you get older, and life drops the heavy boulders of sin and suffering and death into your path, the questions get more complicated. Why do the innocent suffer while the guilty go unpunished? Why, in … [Read more...]

It’s Always Apocalypse, Now

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One more midnight gone, but for Christians---especially in Advent---we live always in the end-times. And that's good.As a small, fearful child with a galloping case of scruples, I was terrified of the End of the World. Those were apocalyptic times for Catholic school kids, the late fifties and early sixties. There were the weekly drop drills intended to prepare us for the nuclear annihilation that was always thisclose; Sister Maria Consuelo, our Cuban refugee third-grade teacher, was always … [Read more...]

Thank You, and Please Pass the Faith

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Responding (belatedly) to a Patheos roundtable on giving thanks for those who nurtured our faith, I am---as usual---overwhelmed by the possibilities. In my 62-year dance of reversion, just about every person I've encountered has given me reason to believe. Like J. D. Salinger's Seymour, I have been blessed by those who've touched my life: “If or when I do start going to an analyst, I hope to God he has the foresight to let a dermatologist sit in on the consultation. A hand specialist. I have s … [Read more...]

Dear Lord, Baby Jesus: Black Friday and the New Evangelization

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Could Black Friday become a feast day of the New Evangelization? In this post from December 2010, I may have been on to something._____Tis the season when Christians collectively bemoan the commercialization of the holy day, reminding ourselves of the importance of turning away from the retail rat race and putting Christ back into Christmas. Yesterday, though, while tuning one ear to the Christmas muzak playing in one of my favorite coffee establishments (as it has been playing … [Read more...]


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