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

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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...]

“Dante-esque”: Train Crash Near Compostela on the Eve of the Fiesta

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Santiago de Compostela, patron of pilgrims and of Spain, pray for us.Please pray for those killed and injured in today's train crash outside of Compostela, and for their families. The head of the surrounding Galicia region, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, said at least 45 people were killed and round 70 injured, more than 20 of them seriously."The scene is shocking, it's Dante-esque," he said in a radio interview.The train was travelling from Madrid to Ferrol on the Galician coast when it … [Read more...]

Five for Joy: Michael, Mary’s Mantle, and Other Saturday Mysteries

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After a week of quiet for prayer, work, and celebration, I'm back with a First Saturday's worth of joyful mysteries.5It's been stormy in Catholicland, so I am delighted that we are going into this weekend under the doubly papally invoked protection of St Michael the Archangel. He's been my personal patron since my journey away from and back to the Church began, always leading and prompting me toward home again. I don't think it's coincidental that many of those who reached out to me, … [Read more...]

More Kind, More Demanding: Seeking the Way to Witness on Same-Sex Marriage

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This is an apology, but not a retraction. My most recent post---confessing to mixed emotions about the Supreme Court's decisions on same-sex marriage---seems to have created as much confusion in my readers as there is in my head.Some people are concerned that I personally believe what I said I feared: that my Church sees homosexual persons not as sinners, but as sin itself. I know that's not Church teaching, far from it. But it is, in my experience and observation, all too often Church … [Read more...]


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