Oh, for [Delete Deity]‘s Sake!–UPDATE 3

Vistors Center Logo

A friend posted this news item from the Steubenville, Ohio Herald-Star on her Facebook page, along with what I think is a remarkably restrained amount of dudgeon: STEUBENVILLE - City officials agreed Tuesday night to change the city logo after a Madison, Wis., organization threatened legal action.Law Director S. Gary Repella announced the decision following a 15-minute closed-door meeting with City Council members."We will be approaching Mark Nelson of Nelson Fine Art and Gifts and … [Read more...]

Road Maps to the Kingdom: A Catholic Review of Tim Stafford’s “Miracles”

stafford

The material world does not need God’s miraculous interference; but God cannot deprive Himself of the power to interfere with it when He sees fit to do so. ~ Rev. Charles Coppins, SJ, A Brief Text-book of Logic and Philosophy, 1891The world may not need miracles, but those of us living in it often seem to. Some more than others.I welcomed the chance to review Tim Stafford's new book Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern-Day Miracles from a Catholic standpoint for the Patheos Book Club ev … [Read more...]

Look Here! Of Monsters and Miracles–UPDATED

new-dawn

In the wake of the Colorado shooting, as is common with any tragedy or disaster, we are hearing a lot about miraculous escapes: people who should have been in Theater 9 but weren't, people who turned this way and not that, people who listened to an inner voice telling them something was wrong, or who developed superhuman abilities to navigate toward the exits in the dark and the chaos.In one of the many mysterious ironies of Aurora, one of the dead, aspiring sports broadcaster Jessica Ghawi, … [Read more...]

Magdalene the Magnificent

magdalene

With the exception of that other Mary, the Mother of Jesus, she's the most famous woman in Christianity. (And in contrast to that other Mary, the most infamous.) Certainly, she's second only to that other Mary among artistic representations of the women of the New Testament. Her name in French, Madeleine, when run through the British mouth, gave us maudlin, which these days connotes a kind of boozy sentimental tearfulness, but originally referred to her penitential weeping. By extension, a … [Read more...]

Praying For and With and Through Colorado: A Spiritual Blogaround

colorado-shooting-witnesses-hug

Image sourceOne of the blessings of belonging to a community of bloggers on religion and spirituality is being fed and sustained by the reflections of others on a day when evil is in the headlines, questions are in the heart, and my own spiritual, physical, and blogging resources are so low.There are many points of view represented in this banquet of links, but each is included because it is---unlike the kneejerk responses of the media, with the announce-retract-handwring-blame cycle in … [Read more...]

Bright Lines

neon-arrow

You know when you hear a word or phrase you've never encountered before, and suddenly it's everywhere? While listening to the SCOTUS arguments on the health care case, I first heard the phrase a bright line used in its legal definition: "a clearly defined rule or standard, leaving little room for varying interpretations," as Wikipedia has it. I liked that notion, and could even visualize it. In the months since, it seems I'm hearing it used by news commentators in a slightly different sense, to … [Read more...]

Invoking the Pig Man: A St Swithun’s Day Card

William Blake (1757-1827), The Ordeal of Queen Emma (1793)

Tomorrow is St Swithun's Day, and it can't come to soon for our parched part of the country.I used to think St Swithun's Day was just a made up feast, a kind of shorthand for all those obscure feasts and festivals in our calendar, or the colloquial equivalent of some far-off day that never comes. "What are you waiting for, St Swithun's Day?" my English father used to say. My former mother-in-law, God rest her, was the greeting card industry's dream. She sent cards for any and every occasion, … [Read more...]

Stop Bashing Bishops! (Seriously)

Chess_bishop

Image sourceI've got a bonnet full of bees today. Here's one.Which Catholic job would I least want to have? Head of the Vatican Bank? President of the LCWR? Negotiator with the SSPX? Butler to His Holiness? Nope. Any of those would be easy peasey lemon squeezee, compared to the Most Thankless Job in Christendom:Catholic Bishop.Any bishop, anywhere, any day. And I say that with full disclosure of my secret ambition, egged on by my friends Michael and Brian, to be named, against … [Read more...]


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