Seven Buses: The Love That Builds Bridges

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This started to be a story about attending my 45th high school reunion last Sunday. But it's really more a story about the ways a good mother loves---which is to say, it's a story about God.Alma MaterThe first mother in this story is my alma mater, my soul-mother, Immaculate Heart High School. I've written before about the debts I owe the Women of Great Heart I encountered there---the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart who taught me and inspired me and called me out on my idolatrous … [Read more...]

In the Breaking of the Bread: A Book Review

Fritz von Uhde, "The Mealtime Prayer"

Recipe for Joy: A Stepmom's Story of Finding Faith, Following Love, and Feeding a Family by Robin Davis Loyola Press, 2013We're all on a journey of faith, love, and family. It's a journey with detours and U-turns, scenic roads and midnight breakdowns. But whether in Emmaus or Columbus or wherever (as the airline pilots say) our final destination may be, when we come to ourselves it is always around a table.I'm weighing in shamefully late, as in the very last hours, with my contribution … [Read more...]

Something New, Something Other: An Annunciation Diptych

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Today we celebrated the Solemnity of the Annunciation, liturgically transferred from March 25 this year because Holy Week and the Octave of Easter take precedence over any other feast.I love the art of the Annunciation, from its earliest Byzantine expressions through the many beautiful and thought-provoking contemporary depictions of the angelic greeting to Mary. It's only right that this moment when the Word becomes flesh has inspired so much iconography. I usually celebrate this solemnity … [Read more...]

Oh, Mercy, Mercy Me, Still

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From last year, slightly updated, my tangled relationship with the Divine Mercy devotion: Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me their song And I hope you run into them, you who've been traveling so long Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control It begins with your family, and later comes round to your soul Well, I've been where you're … [Read more...]

“The whole earth is our hospital”: Good Friday in Painting and Poetry

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Some reflections on the Passion in art and poetry, from last year's Good Friday post.I find myself longing for the respectful quiet of the earlier Good Fridays in my life. I know that Church and State were, if anything, even more clearly separated when I was a child, but in the Catholic (with occasional threads of Bulgarian Orthodoxy) ghetto of our little neighborhood on the seamy side of Hollywood, you wouldn't have known it. The TV, the radio were shut off for the day. We could play, but … [Read more...]

Muslims & Convicts & Girls’ Toes, Oh My!

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Stop it. Stop it right this minute.Stop looking at the coverage of Pope Francis's visit to the Casal del Marmo juvenile detention facility to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper and then going into full Three Stooges Slapfest Mode on social media about it.Stop charging the Holy Father with heresy for deviating from a liturgical instruction (reserving the washing of feet on Holy Thursday to males) that can technically only be dispensed with by Rome. The Holy Father IS Rome. No heresy … [Read more...]

Why I Am Catholic, Again

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In response to a Patheos prompt inviting bloggers to explain, in 200 words or less, why they follow their particular religious traditions, here is my apologia. The "again" in the title of this post is meant in two senses: As a revert, I am a Catholic again after many years away from my cradle faith; and I offered my responses last year in a much longer (of course!) post, from which I've selected and edited the following key reasons, in ascending order of importance to me.(The word count … [Read more...]

“Something to Love, Something to Be Bugged By”: Pummeled by The Anchoress

A 24-foot long cast bronze arm and fist monument to boxer Joe Louis is seen hanging from a balance suspension on Jefferson Ave at Woodward in downtown Detroit

I didn't sleep last night, playing out my crankiness over the Pope Wars in mental and spoken potential posts of staggering snarkiness. I raised my moralistic eyebrow higher and more uncontrollably than The Bachelor's notorious Tierra, whose eyebrow had its own Twitter handle. What made me so cranky was the inevitable rebound effect. Lots of those folks who, early on, so resented enthusiasm for Team Francis expressed as criticism of Team Benedict are now turning the tables and expressing their … [Read more...]


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