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

lesson-6-actual-sin1

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...]

Sex and the Singular Woman: The Assumption and Helen Gurley Brown

assumption

When I was exactly three weeks old, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be a truth of the Catholic faith. The year I turned 12, Helen Gurley Brown published Sex and the Single Girl. I have to admit that for most of our lives, women my age---Catholic or not, for good or for ill---have been more influenced by the latter event than by the former. Today, on the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption, as the mainstream media fill with tributes to the late Gurley … [Read more...]

Chiara, Lady of Light: A Renewed Prayer for Guidance in the Nun Wars

ClaraPainting1

UPDATE: I wrote this reflection on St Clare two years ago, at the start of the Nun Wars. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and its head-butting with the Vatican are in the news again, and on the feast of St Clare it's worth looking at (and praying for the intercession of) this singular woman religious who both challenged and obeyed the Church. At root, the word religious means "one who binds herself again." To what---and to whom---do today's women religious, sisters and nuns, … [Read more...]

Mea Maxima Culpa: An Upstart Blogger Eats Crow

eating-crow

There is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that, with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide, supposes he is as well able to bumbast out a blanke verse as the best of you; and being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrie. ~ Robert Greene, The Groatsworth of Wit, 1597Robert Greene's oft-quoted smackdown of a rookie Renaissance playwright, generally assumed to be one of the first public references to William Shakespeare and a … [Read more...]


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