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...]

The Hope of Zechariah: Freedom Beyond a Fortnight

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 The longing for religious freedom is as old as religion. On this Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist, falling within the US Catholic Bishops' Fortnight for Freedom, it's worth looking at what that longing and that freedom really mean---and what working to protect that freedom and fulfill that longing may require of us.The Fortnight for Freedom, you might recall, was instituted last year as a period of prayer, fasting, and action to defend religious liberty in the … [Read more...]

Five for Joy: June Gloom, Love Decoded, and Other Saturday Mysteries

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On the always sage advice of The Anchoress that the best way to recover from a fall off your blog is to climb right back on it with a little something every day, I'm back. Not quite George Costanza-style yet,but here I am. And because Saturday is a low readership day, I'm going to start with a collection of little bits, like the 7 Quick Takes Friday format popularized by Jen Fulwiller at Conversion Diary. I'm hoping to make this a regular Saturday thing, and taking counsel from my … [Read more...]

iDolatry? There’s an App for That!

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Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life by Elizabeth Scalia Ave Maria Press, 2013While over for dinner the other night with his parents, my going-on-4-year-old grandson was engaged in his usual sweeping of my apartment for Interesting Stuff. I'm trying to keep the acquisition of things to a rigorous minimum, but Luke can occasionally spot a new refrigerator magnet, a surprise toy, or something chocolate, so this surveillance is part of the arrival ritual.He paused at the … [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...]

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...]

“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...]

“To Know the Unsurpassable Joy”: A Message from The Hermit

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In the wake of yesterday's post on the futility of picking papal teams, I received the following message from My Friend The Hermit (Br Rex Anthony Norris of The Little Portion Hermitage). He thought it should be for my eyes only, but I think differently. Thank you, dear Brother. This is wonderful advice to carry with us into Holy Week: It is to know and to make known Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen that is the beginning and end of the mission of the Church. For that, dear reader, you … [Read more...]


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