Finding the Frog: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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In which we learn that pilgrimage cultivates a different way of seeing: We come to honor visionaries, and are expected to come away visionaries ourselves. Pilgrimage 2012, Day 4: Fatima to Salamanca, Spain, by way of Coimbra, Portugal I've gotten behind in posting, due to a combination of the exhaustion that accompanies cramming so many powerful experiences into each day and the instability of network connections. The downside is that you're probably wondering whether, like that Italian … [Read more...]

The Peace of the World: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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"Tell everybody that God gives His graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from her, . . . for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her." ~ A message from the Lady of Fatima, according to Lucia Pilgrimage 2012, Day 3: Fatima We pilgrims spent yesterday in Fatima. In the early morning, a tour of the Sanctuary, the huge devotional complex that encompasses the Chapel of the Apparitions on the site where the Lady most often appeared to the three … [Read more...]

Floating Martyrs, Desperate Housewives, and What Really Matters: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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On the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, we venerated a miracle wrought by desperation, and experienced one of our own. Saturday, September 15: Lisbon to Fatima by way of Santarem Landing in Lisbon after our mad scramble through the 9 circles of Charles de Hell Airport yesterday, we met our guides Guida (her name means Guide, so she is Guida Our Guida) and Francoise and boarded our buses. We are a two-bus pilgrimage (the Red and the Blue; I'm on Blue, with Guida) with this many people. All we … [Read more...]

Hollowed Be Our Aim: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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Prepare to Yield. That's what the sign flashed when we entered the departure lanes at Cincinnati/Northern KY International Airport yesterday (was that only yesterday?) afternoon. Other than Whan that Aprille with his shoures shoote, I can't think of a more apt start to a pilgrimage. That's what pilgrims are called to do, after all---to yield themselves to God's will and the vicissitudes of the road, to let the Spirit blow them where the Spirit wills, to break down those resistances of pride and … [Read more...]

The Dance of the Cross and the Crescent: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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Our bags are . . . well, not actually packed yet, but close. We're . . . well, not exactly ready to go, but with a flurry of last minute chores (sync the iPad, stock up on protein bars, don't forget the European plug adapters) we'll be leaving on a jet plane tomorrow afternoon, after Mass at the Cathedral of St Peter in Chains in Cincinnati. Tomorrow, of course, is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and there could hardly be a better day to set off on pilgrimage. It was as a … [Read more...]

‘Who Would True Valor See’: Egregious Twaddle Goes on Pilgrimage

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We're going on pilgrimage. You, me, the Archbishop of Cincinnati, and 80+ assorted pilgrims, hitting the road Friday for 10 days. We may be packing light, but we're carrying priceless cargo---our prayers and those of others who've asked our intercession, the burdens and fears and and hurts and losses we long to lay in the lap of the Mother of God, the weight of our heart's devotion. The Marian shrines of Portugal, Spain, and France are our destination, but we know that destinations do not a … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Dear Mary!

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  As with any family stories, some of the best family stories of our faith are embroideries, fashioned from tradition, love, and a longing for closeness with those who went before us. They tell us as much about ourselves as they do about our ancestors in faith. Today, September 8, the universal Church---East and West---celebrates Mary's birthday. The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, the God-Bearer, in Orthodoxy) is one … [Read more...]

Between Two Shores—But Not Lost

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As Church and as individuals, we are always neither here nor there. Up early on the West Coast, getting ready to fly back to Dayton, my heart (as always) in ribbons at leaving family for "family," home of record for the place to which God inexplicably called me. I'm hearing Neil Diamond's "I Am, I Said" in my head: Nowadays I'm lost between two shores: LA's fine, but it ain't home, New York's home, but it ain't mine no more. Switch those around and replace New York with Dayton, and … [Read more...]


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