Being David’s Harp: Walking Mercifully with Mental Illness

David

Save me, O God, for the waters have risen to my neck. I have sunk into the mud of the deep and there is no foothold. I have entered the waters of the deep and the waves overwhelm me.Two important posts to share with you today---not on the theme of Rethinking Catechesis, though I invite you to keep your cards and letters coming in, as it were. This is another critical issue that requires rethinking and merciful response, an issue with which readers of this blog know I have the most … [Read more...]

The Blogger Who Kicked Over the Hornets’ Nest: More Buzz and Sting about Religious Education UPDATED

Karoly Ferenczy, The Sermon on the Mount (1896)

Now I know how Jonathan Swift felt when he proposed ending English famine by eating Irish babies. Friday's post suggesting that we quit catechizing children touched more of a nerve than I expected, opened more worm cans, and (best of all) sparked some great conversations. Thank you for commenting here and on Facebook and Twitter, for sharing the post and linking to it. We're talking out loud about our larger hunger, and no babies have been harmed in the process.As clarification and … [Read more...]

What’s Really Wrong with Catholic Religious Education? Everything. UPDATED

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You know that 40 Years of Bad Catechesis you've all been scapegoating for everything that ails the Church? That Babylonian Captivity of Sound Doctrine, that Wandering in the Wilderness of the Butterfly Banner for which I've been saying a grudging mea culpa ever since my reversion? Well, you're partly right. And partly really, really wrong.Bad Catechesis has been an integral part of our tradition for a lot longer than 40 years, and it still goes on. Our seeming inability to form Catholics who … [Read more...]

Dear Jamie Stiehm & US News: Leave Jefferson Out of Your Know-Nothing Screed

Jefferson

Image sourceIn a US News op-ed this morning, columnist Jamie Stiehm has put forth some of the most brazenly bigoted anti-Catholic crapola in this country's example-studded history of the stuff. Reactions have been immediate and pointed, with Elizabeth Scalia's "Fisking Stiehm's Bigotry at US News" the most cogent and damning.The nouveau Know Nothings have been stirring for a couple of years, but this marks a new low. It's not really surprising; the media's love affair with Pope Francis, … [Read more...]

O Key of David! Opening Wide to the Thrill of Hope

prison

We're all prisoners, every damn one of us. The more free we declare ourselves to be, the more restraints we chafe at and goads we prick against, the tighter we're bound. You're not the boss of me! we shout---at the Church, the government, each other, God---but inside, we know better. All our running and rebelling and freak-flag waving and commitment phobia is just distraction from the shadows the bars cast over our lonely lives.Guess what? That's GOOD news. Because it's only when we … [Read more...]

O Root of Jesse! Grant Us Patience, and Step On It!

tree of jesse

Time. This time of year, we're obsessed with it, because there's never enough of it. Counting down the days, opening the doors of the Advent calendar, frantically checking the last-date-for-Christmas-delivery schedule. Weaving holiday parties and extra baking and penitential services and the kids' concerts and the trips to the airport into the already tightly stretched fabric of our daily schedules. Trying to squeeze a little peaceful anticipation from the 24/7 carols and jingling and very … [Read more...]

O Adonai! Because You’re God, and We’re Not

Moses_2_manuscript

Names mean something. In the ancient world, the cauldron of cultures where Israel took shape, all words were performative: they called into existence what they described. Names and titles defined relationship. One's true name was a word of immense power, guarded carefully. To entrust another with one's name was an act of the deepest intimacy because of the vulnerability such a revelation implied.Tonight we chant the second of the O Antiphons, and we invoke the Messiah by one of God's most … [Read more...]

O Wisdom! Pile on the Prudence, Please!

prudence-2252-mid-798123

Tonight they begin, the seven prophetic antiphons chanted before and after the Magnificat at Vespers. Each invokes the Messiah by one of his scriptural titles, and each calls on us to prepare a place for him--at his coming now and at his Final Coming--with an attitude that demonstrates our readiness.So, for December 17, O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodidisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviter disponensque omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae. O Wisdom, who … [Read more...]


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