Homeless in Advent, Thank God

Pieter Brueghel the Elder, The Census at Bethlehem

I've been dreading this Advent, usually my favorite season. In a time ripe with promise, all I could see was loss. But then God answered my prayer---with a big fat stupid No. Over at the Patheos Atheist Channel (a concept that still makes me giggle), blogger Bob Seidensticker has been engaged in a long and, to him, frustrating attempt to convince believers in general (and Christians in particular) that they are deluded, because prayer doesn't work and miracles can't be proved. The frustrating … [Read more...]

The Village of St Bernadette: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

People wondered why there is no statue of Bernadette in the Grotto. But at Lourdes, we are all Bernadette.

"There was everything hostile to my peace---an incalculable crowd, an oppressive heat, dust, noise, weariness; there was the disappointment of the churches and the image; there was the sour unfamiliarity of the place and the experience; and yet I was neither troubled nor depressed nor irritated nor disappointed. . . . To leave Lourdes at the end was like leaving home." Msgr Robert Hugh Benson, a convert from Anglicanism, wrote these words in his memoir of a visit to Lourdes in 1908. I … [Read more...]

Floating Martyrs, Desperate Housewives, and What Really Matters: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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On the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, we venerated a miracle wrought by desperation, and experienced one of our own. Saturday, September 15: Lisbon to Fatima by way of Santarem Landing in Lisbon after our mad scramble through the 9 circles of Charles de Hell Airport yesterday, we met our guides Guida (her name means Guide, so she is Guida Our Guida) and Francoise and boarded our buses. We are a two-bus pilgrimage (the Red and the Blue; I'm on Blue, with Guida) with this many people. All we … [Read more...]

Road Maps to the Kingdom: A Catholic Review of Tim Stafford’s “Miracles”

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The material world does not need God’s miraculous interference; but God cannot deprive Himself of the power to interfere with it when He sees fit to do so. ~ Rev. Charles Coppins, SJ, A Brief Text-book of Logic and Philosophy, 1891 The world may not need miracles, but those of us living in it often seem to. Some more than others. I welcomed the chance to review Tim Stafford's new book Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern-Day Miracles from a Catholic standpoint for the Patheos Book … [Read more...]

Look Here! Of Monsters and Miracles–UPDATED

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In the wake of the Colorado shooting, as is common with any tragedy or disaster, we are hearing a lot about miraculous escapes: people who should have been in Theater 9 but weren't, people who turned this way and not that, people who listened to an inner voice telling them something was wrong, or who developed superhuman abilities to navigate toward the exits in the dark and the chaos. In one of the many mysterious ironies of Aurora, one of the dead, aspiring sports broadcaster Jessica Ghawi, … [Read more...]


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