Happy Birthday, Dear Mary!

102_Presentation_Titian

 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

cathedral

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...]

Holier Than None–UPDATED

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Why are we so shocked when priests go rogue? After all, holiness isn't applied with chrism.In the same week that a good part of the Catholic blogosphere was convening in Texas for the Catholic New Media Conference, and the Republicans were convening in Tampa for whatever it is they were convening for, and Hurricane-then-Tropical-Storm Isaac was convening to make the folks of the Gulf even more miserable, my external and internal news feeds filled up with reaction to two stories of priests, … [Read more...]

A View from the Gentler Foothills

foothills

My post refuting a Facebook meme on same-sex marriage continues to draw comments from people who challenge my right to say anything about this topic, even though I prefaced my remarks with quite a bit of personal history that contributes to my own ambiguity on the topic. I understand that I come across as doctrinaire and unfeeling, just as the Church does when she defines marriage. I understand that if it is your life that is being questioned or limited in some way, you don't want to hear about … [Read more...]

A Little Left-Coast Lull

Our Lady Queen of the Angels (La Placita) in Olvera Street, the place where Los Angeles was founded 231 years ago this September 4

I'm in the City of Angels this week---not (only) because it's about as far from the Republican convention as I can get, but because my heart is here year-round: son, daughter-in-law, grandson and all the rest of my earthly family, which includes the Dodgers and many of my Panda sisters. I'm sure I'll find a few things to blog about, the twaddling here being at all times egregious, but it will be a slow week. That applies to comments, too: I'm monitoring, but not as frequently. Your wisdom may … [Read more...]

The Myth of the Femuncula

Preformation

Listening to MSNBC, Planned Parenthood, and other devout partisans of the new American sacrament of abortion rant about the reignited War on Women (if I have to hear Rachel Maddow repeat, grim frown in place, "THE GOP IS FORCING WOMEN TO BEAR THEIR RAPISTS' BABIES!!!" one more time . . .), one claim stands out: No man has a right to tell a woman what to do with her body. Funny thing is, it's a claim with which I agree 100%, even when I'm not crazy about some of the things we women choose to do … [Read more...]

I Confess (but not frequently enough)–UPDATED

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Over at The Deacon's Bench, Greg Kandra has shared a piece by John Cornwell from The Tablet on the decline of confession among Catholics worldwide. It's a fascinating article, reflecting the research Cornwell has done for a forthcoming book. For reverts of a certain age, like me, there's much that resonates.Among the reasons Cornwell posits for the decline (which in itself is more a presumption than a matter of fact, as statistics aren't tracked for confessions the way they are for Baptisms, … [Read more...]


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