The Parable of the Order Muppet and the Turquoise Hightops


Max Lindenman shared a great piece yesterday categorizing everyone as either an Order Muppet or a Chaos Muppet. Today my Order Muppet manifested itself in a big and ugly way, leading to a reenactment of the parable we used to know as The Pharisee and the Publican. (The first time I heard this story, in second grade, I ran home to my Democrat family wailing at the notion that Jesus preferred Republicans.)This video, God in the Streets of New York (h/t to Deacon Greg Kandra), is the kind of … [Read more...]

The Light of the Body of Christ


Image SourceThis weekend Catholics in the Thursday-averse United States celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the feast more familiarly known by its Latin name, Corpus Christi. I can't get as worked up about the transfer of this feast as I did about Ascension Thursday, mostly because the Feast of Corpus Christi is itself a transfer, and hopped around a lot before settling into the Church's universal calendar.We owe this feast---and, by extension, Thomas … [Read more...]

Praying for a Win–UPDATED

Santa Anita

[UPDATE---Just after posting this, word came that I'll Have Another will not race tomorrow due to a developing injury. There will be a press conference at 1pm Eastern time. Complicated, complicated . . .  . Prayers for all.]"Around the turn and into the stretch . . ."According to family lore, that was the first coherent string of words I put together as I toddled around after my father, a man who played the ponies with a fervor so dedicated that the first condolence call we got after his … [Read more...]

Breathe, Henny-penny!


One day Henny-penny was picking up corn in the cornyard when---whack!---something hit her upon the head. "Goodness gracious me!" said Henny-penny. "The sky's a-going to fall; I must go and tell the king." Henny-penny (aka Chicken Little) seems to have seized control of my Facebook news feed lately. From those ubiquitous (and universally bogus) posts warning of dire privacy breaches or other internetual urban legends to news stories that appear to imply The End of the Catholic World as We Know … [Read more...]

Roll Up! Roll Up for the Mystery Tour!


Be careful what you pray for.I thought I was going to have trouble finding blog material, but it's arriving by the busload.In a spirited retort to the Vatican, a group of Roman Catholic nuns is planning a bus trip across nine states this month, stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised.The bus tour is a response to ablistering critique of American nuns released in Ap … [Read more...]

On Fire: St Barbara, MoDowd, Sr Farley and the Grand Inquisitor


The day began with fire.I smelled smoke at 4 a.m. and walked outside to see billowing grey clouds reflecting two-story flames and full of lightning flashes, just half a block away. Burned power lines cracked like rifleshot. Sparks and pieces of burning roof tar paper sailed toward me on the wind. I swear I saw a bird on fire, furiously beating wings of flame. In the predawn darkness, I prayed a storm novena (9 consecutive seconds of very intense prayer, a devotion I learned from my … [Read more...]

Howdy, Neighbors!


Hi. I'm Joanne. Come on in. Pull up a packing crate, help yourself to the cheese and crackers, and I hope you don't mind that the wine's in coffee mugs, because I don't quite remember which box the glasses are in. I'm still unpacking and hanging the new wallpaper, so please excuse the mess and make yourself comfortable.This is my first post from my new digs in the Patheos Catholic Channel neighborhood, and like anyone on moving day I'm excited and scared. I'm delighted to have made some … [Read more...]

The Stony Road of Scandal


Stones in the road Leave a mark from whence they came A thousand points of light or shame Baby, I don't know . . . ~ Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Stones in the Road"I'm thinking about stones today--particularly the stumbling stones in the road set down to trap and confuse us. The Greeks called a stumbling block or snare a skandalon, and it's from that root that we get the word scandal. The road we travel as Church seems littered this week with the stumbling stones of scandal, and I am … [Read more...]