“Pope Opens Holy Door at Homeless Shelter”: Vatican Radio

woot: Pope Francis on Friday visited a new homeless shelter in Rome’s Termini – John Paul II train station, where he opened a Holy Door for the Jubilee of Mercy. ...The decision to open a special Holy Door of Charity at a homeless shelter is a unique feature of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, designed to emphasize the centrality of concrete works of charity in the life of the Church. more … [Read more...]

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From Jean-Pierre de Caussade, “Abandonment to Divine Providence”

For example, let's take a piece of stone destined to be carved into a crucifix or a statue. We might ask it: "What do you think is happening to you?" And it might answer: "Don't ask me. All I know is that I must stay immovable in the hands of the sculptor, and I must love him and endure all he inflicts on me to produce the figure he has in mind. He knows how to do it. As for me, I have no idea what he is doing, nor do I know what he will make of me. But what I do know is that his work is the … [Read more...]

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“Jingle All the Way to Hell”: I revirew “Krampus”

for AmCon: With 2007’s “Trick ‘r Treat,” horror fans hailed director Michael Dougherty for reviving both the horror anthology and the Halloween flick. Now he hopes to do the same for Christmas horror with “Krampus.” I liked but didn’t love “Trick ‘r Treat” and I wish I didn’t have to say the same thing about this new movie, since its ideas are fresh–but the execution, so to speak, leaves a few things to be desired. more (and see my Christmas-horror list here) … [Read more...]

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Beyond “Die Hard”: Some Christmas Flicks for the Cold and Creepy Child Within

A few years back I started noticing how many bleak, cheerless, or just unexpected films are set during tinsel season. That penitential stretch from just-before-Thanksgiving to just-after-New-Year's can be really hard for people. Meta-emotions are at an all-time high (It's the most! wonderful!! time of the year!) and you're intensely reminded of all your financial and familial stresses. A couple of the daytime workers at the pregnancy center agreed with me that we've been getting an unusual … [Read more...]

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“The End of Hitting Rock Bottom” and My Actual Most-Unpopular Opinion

This is a very good article from the Boston Globe (h/t Maia Szalavitz, whom you should follow if this sort of thing interests you):Shortly after 1 a.m. on March 27, Susan Knade awoke to the sound of her cellphone ringing. It was her 21-year-old daughter, Caroline, calling. She was crying. Please, Caroline said. Please, come pick me up.Nine hours before, the woman running the halfway house had told Susan that Caroline could stay so long as she passed a drug test after the weekend. But … [Read more...]

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“Can Prison Help Convicts?”: A Panel Answers a Lot of Questions (But Not the One It Asked)

So a couple weeks ago I watched this videoand it's an interesting intro to a lot of prison-related issues. I don't think it answered the question in its title, which is fine since a) Dostoyevsky already did that (twice!) and b) Dostoyevsky's answer is basically, "That's not a question that makes sense." A few notes:So Tim Carney's interlocutors are these two guys who have both served time for politics-related chicanery. The conservative one is full of bonhomie; the liberal one is … [Read more...]

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“In Single Moms’ Households, Two Heads Are Often Better Than One”: Washington Post

on finding vocation, and new paths of love, in hard circumstances: When Kimberly Taylor separated from her husband three years ago, she and her daughter, Amelia, stayed in the marital home — a four-bedroom house in Woodbridge, Va., with a finished basement and a huge back yard. It was a lot of square-footage and a financial strain. But rather than downsize, Taylor decided to fill it with someone she could relate to: another single mom.She placed an ad in Craigslist — “Mother w/awesome child … [Read more...]

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