Ladies and Gentlemen, Voyager Has Left the Building!

voyager

NASA image Maybe because I grew up being awakened before dawn to watch Gemini and Apollo launches with my space-bedazzled father, maybe because I'm Catholic and therefore understand that science and theology are just two different languages for the same wonder, but this story just makes my heart soar. Today the Voyager spacecraft---and with it, our earthbound eyes---left our galaxy and ventured into the depths of interstellar space. Though no man has gone there before, Voyager didn't … [Read more...]

Hey, Who You Callin’ Egregious?: More on a Blog Name

twaddle

In which Pope Francis gives me an inadvertent shout-out, and I get schooled in the etymology of egregiousness. The news service Zenit has released its English translation of Pope Francis's recent open letter to the founding editor of Italy's La Repubblica, a secular newspaper known for posing challenging questions to the Church's role in Italian life and world politics. In the letter, the pontiff addresses some of these questions directly and personally, as a conversation with Eugenio … [Read more...]

The Power of Names: 9-11, Nameless Children, and Deportees

names

Image source Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name. (Isaiah 49:15-16) I'm thinking about names today---the names of the dead. The tolling bells this morning, the moments of silence into which fell, one by one like stones into the rippling reflective pool of memory, the names of those who died 12 years ago today. We all have our snapshots, … [Read more...]

On Labor Day, Saying Thank You

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Are you off today for the Labor Day holiday? Don't forget to say thanks. Thank the barista who brews the latte you can relax over, the waitress at the IHOP, the grocery checker who rings up the last-minute stuff for the cookout. Thank the amusement park cast members, the movie ticket sellers, the baseball umps and peanut-tossers. Thank the lifeguards, the park rangers, the zookeepers, the museum staff. Thank the folks who refold all the clothes and rematch all the shoes during the blowout … [Read more...]

Susie Q, the Dancing Angel

Giovanni di Paolo (Italian painter, 1403–1482) Angels Dancing in the Sun

Medieval theologians---so goes the cliche---spent a lot of time arguing about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. (As with much medieval theology, you had to be there to get why this mattered.) I know an angel who has been dancing on the points of pins, of nails, of knives all her life. And now, thanks to another angel---a podiatrist!---her amazing dance will continue with less pain. We were in high school when Susie Q was born. I remember how her twin sisters, my friends and … [Read more...]

Quick, Martha, Your Girdle! Slaying the Beast of Internet Ordure

tarasque-parade2

What with so many heads 'splodin' in so many directions this morning---see this wise, sane, unexploded post from The Anchoress Elizabeth Scalia if you've somehow escaped getting brain matter on you thus far---I am in grave need of the intercession of a holy buttkicker. As the grace of the Catholic calendar would have it, today is the Feast of St Martha. Couldn't be a better cavalry to call in. Wait, you say, St Martha of Martha, Martha, you worry too much? St Martha who appeared to get her … [Read more...]

Fine Print on the Invitation: Who Is Welcome at the Table of the Lord?

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I am confused. This will probably seem disingenuous, or a violation of my fast from bile. But I truly am curious, not angry. How do I understand my call to mission---our common calling to evangelize? What kind of invitation do I issue, and to whom? This is what Pope Francis said to the bishops and clergy gathered in Rio today (h/t to Fr James Martin, SJ): Let us help our young people to discover the courage and joy of faith, the joy of being loved personally by God, who gave his Son Jesus … [Read more...]

Adios, Wretched Hive of Bile and Gluttony

Personification of Bile, with its heartbreaking bitterness, fire, lion's rage, and organ-gnawing eagle

I've been tag-teamed this month by a deadly sin and a medieval disease. I think this stuff is going around, like measles among the uninoculated. So let's consider this a health advisory. In my case, the deadly sin was gluttony. And I'm ashamed to admit it took me by surprise. You'd think a fat woman would see that one coming . . . and going. But since moving to L.A. to address my depression and hoarding, I've been pretty good---better than I can remember for a long, long time---at making … [Read more...]


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