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...]

Wrong Choice, Bad Love: Why Bernadette Sugrim Makes Me Scream

This morning I did something I thought I'd never find myself doing. Watching the TODAY Show, I screamed at a woman who had been emotionally abused by her husband. And if I could scream at her in person, I would.There was Bernadette Sugrim, blow-dried and made-up and smiling, seated on the interview couch with her two children, talking to an empathetic Matt Lauer about how she had claimed the courage last summer, after years of marriage, to turn her husband in to the police--not for beating her, … [Read more...]

Fleeing Babylon: The Old Order(s) Changeth

. . . I may be admonished,by the thought of my vanishing years,that it is high time to flee from Babylon.~ Petrarch, "On the death of Laura"In the wake of yesterday's announcement of the CDF's intention to impose reforms on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, I wrote an angry post. It was not as angry a post as it started out to be, but it was as much anger as I've directed at the Church since my reversion. And underneath the anger was what felt like a tsunami of grief, as unexpected … [Read more...]

An Uppity Woman Prays for Answers

Honest to You, God, I don't get You.I mean, if You had told me anytime before noon today that I would end up feeling sympathy (a weird, twisted, highly reluctant sympathy, but sympathy all the same) for a bunch of schismatic anti-Semites, I'd have guffawed. But then came the release of the public report on the latest . . . I don't even know what to call it, though Rocco Palma uses the term inquest, which is generally used to describe what happens when someone's been whacked and everybody wants … [Read more...]

Groping for God: Why and Where Catholics Blog

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he grew exasperated at the sight of the city full of idols. So he debated in the synagogue with the Jews and with the worshipers, and daily in the public square with whoever happened to be there. (Acts 17:16-17)Yesterday the online religion site Patheos debuted a new look. It's streamlined, consistent, and accessible, and what's more important, making the transition didn't appear to overly fry the brains or exhaust the tech skills of anyone involved. … [Read more...]

Not Doubting, But Astonished: Being Thomas–UPDATED

Jesus said,"Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds.When he finds, he will become troubled.When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished . . ."~ The Gospel of Thomas (Coptic), Logion 2On the Sunday after Easter, we meet Thomas--one of the most intriguing of the Apostles. Oh sure, the familiar Gospel reading from John makes him a kind of dolt, a believer-come-lately who somehow manages to miss the first appearance of the Risen Christ to the Apostles and responds to accounts of that … [Read more...]

A Magical Mystagogical Tour for Reverts?

Some days, my revertigo is beyond dizzying.On this Easter Monday I am suffering from a kind of religious withdrawal. Having the disciplines and ceremonies of Lent, Holy Week, and the Triduum to steer me into the second year of my reversion has been terrific. I was able especially, in this last week, to submerge myself completely in the depths of the Paschal Mystery, being part of the beautifully and reverently celebrated liturgies at my parish. But today, getting back to the real world and the … [Read more...]

Hell, Harrowed

"He descended into hell."I have my quibbles with a lot of the latest translation of the Roman Missal--especially, at the Vigil, the messing about with the texts for the baptismal rites that Deacon Greg Kandra points out--but I am delighted that the language of the Apostles' Creed has returned to the old phrasing. It's a reminder that in those hours between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, when all creation waited in hushed stillness, Jesus himself wasn't just waiting, just dead, just in … [Read more...]

Walking the Via Dolorosa as a Family

I wasn't going to post again today, but then I read the meditations on the Stations of the Cross used by the Pope today at the traditional Good Friday prayer at the Colosseum. Each year, a different writer or team of writers is commissioned to compose these meditations. This year, for the first time, the meditations were penned by a married couple, Danilo and Anna Maria Zanzucchi, founders of Focolare's New Families Movement.It's hard to put into words what an amazing gift it is to see the … [Read more...]

“In Spite of That, We Call This Friday Good”

"It's a good Friday, for lots of reasons!" Ann Curry chirped on the TODAY Show this morning.The reasons? An exclusive interview with the British woman who's getting international guff for complaining about how tough life is when you're beautiful. Another exclusive with Kim Kardashian, who also chirps as she explains how cuddling with Kanye West at The Hunger Games helps her mourn the ending of her 72-day marriage. A visit from the host of a TV fishing show. (Well, at least that's fish.) The news … [Read more...]