Oh, Lord, Come by Here!: Letting Our Longings Out

Leather_bucket_of_a_well

No matter how you spin it, the papal interview published last Thursday has prompted some remarkable soul-searching. When that seed fell on the good ground here in the Patheos Catholic neighborhood and environs, it was as though the spring rains had come to California's high desert. Something impossibly beautiful is blooming in the way that Catholics of all ages and conditions and walks of life and places on the gameboard are wrangling personally with what they hear in Pope Francis's … [Read more...]

The Parable of the Papal Interview

Vincent van Gogh, Sower with the Setting Sun

Hear this! A pope went out to give an interview.¬†And as he talked, some of his words fell to the media, and those birds gobbled them up before they could even be heard. Others of his words fell to those who didn't understand his context. They received his message with joy, but the first time it occurred to them how difficult it would be to live by those words, their enthusiasm withered like seedlings in a drought. Some of his words fell among cranky people who believed those words … [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...]

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

GuercinoAdultress1621Dulwich

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...]

In “That Uncomfortable Silence,” Let Love Grow

love

I haven't blogged since Wednesday. Struggling too much with what to say and how to say it, taking my pain to the cross. That pain, I have to be honest, does not come from the rulings the Supreme Court made on same-sex marriage, which the US leadership of my Church---to whose mysteries, including the sacramentality of marriage, I give full assent, though I have a devil of a time with the way those mysteries are proclaimed---called "tragic." It's far more personal (and therefore selfish) than … [Read more...]

Angry Birds Biblical: A Modest Proposal

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I am chewing on a couple of more serious and thoughtful posts, but in the mean time I can't resist wondering aloud why a critical marketing need isn't being met. After spending hours watching my 3-year-grandson level up through Angry Birds Original, Space, Seasons, Rio, and Star Wars (not to mention Bad Piggies) on his daddy's iPad, devouring endless EvanTubeHD videos in which a young boy with either something nasty on the toy manufacturers or the most overindulgent parents in the world opens … [Read more...]

Sewn Shut with Rusty Wire

220px-Jacques_Callot,_The_Seven_Deadly_Sins_-_Envy

"Of the seven deadly sins, only envy is no fun at all." ~ Joseph Epstein Image source Envy really is just miserable. Dante punishes the envious by having their eyes sewn shut with wire, because in life they drew pleasure from watching the downfall of others. In my experience, though, envy doesn't even involve the dubious pleasures of schadenfreude. It's less about wishing ill on others than it is about feeling the ills of being "less than others" too severely. It's ingratitude on a … [Read more...]


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