“My Side of the Confessional: What Is It Like for a Priest?”: LifeTeen

w/a very touching piece--last anecdote is esp striking: I was once riding in a shuttle-bus with a number of older folks on the way from an airport. They noticed that I was a priest and started asking questions about it.“Do you do all of the priest stuff?”“Yep.”“Even the Confession thing?”“Yeah. All the time.”One older lady gasped, “Well, I think that that would be the worst. It would be so depressing; hearing all about people’s sins.”I told them that it was the exact oppo … [Read more...]

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“Reflections on the Feast of St Francis”: Ron Belgau

on a great saint (and a great hagiography):G. K. Chesterton’s biography of St. Francis was one of many books that helped introduce me to the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith. But Francis himself stuck with me in a special way. I was particularly drawn by the powerful combination of joy and asceticism in his personality. Asceticism was not new to me. I had grown up Southern Baptist, and joined the Presbyterian Church in America in college. I had been profoundly moved by Bonhoeffer’s Co … [Read more...]

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“On Abstaining from Communion”: Poignant, Funny Post from Max Lindemann

on a recurring theme here: ...As the episode with the baffled usher illustrates, some people simply aren’t used to non-communicants. During one early-morning Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan, I approached the celebrant with my arms crossed. (This was before I had been properly briefed on how barbarous an abuse of the liturgy abuse this constitutes.) The poor priest tried to thrust the Host into my mouth, forcing me to block his hand with the crux of my arms and clamp my mouth s … [Read more...]

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“Always Consider the Person”: Homosexuality at the World Meeting of Families–This Is Less Boring Than It Sounds

(sorry--ANYWAY this is the transcript of the presentation by Ron Belgau and his mom):...I don’t think my 17-year-old self could ever have imagined my dad being as passionate as he is about protecting kids from homophobia. But it’s a reminder everyone can grow and transform. Turning back the clock to my adolescence, it never really hit home to me just how big a burden I was carrying until I was telling the story to a friend in college. He looked at me incredulously and said, “I can’t imagine … [Read more...]

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“An Unlikely Nun Every Snake Person Should Meet”: Joel J. Miller

on Mother Maria Skobtsova, and I STILL don't have a tag for Orthodox Christianity, sorry!! ...For a nun, Maria’s story is more than a little unconventional. At Bishop Anthony Bloom’s first encounter with her, Maria sat at a cafe table with a beer. She was often seen shambling around the Paris market in her tattered habit, cigarette perched on her lip, haggling for deals. And she kept company with the lowest of the low.That was her calling. Twice divorced, she knew the meaning of God’s mercy … [Read more...]

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“Love, Covenant, and Friendship”: Ron Belgau Looks at the Biblical Models

at Spiritual Friendship:In my previous post, I drew attention to the way the Catholic Church frequently references friendship in her pastoral advice related to homosexuality. In this post, I want to examine the nature of friendship itself more deeply, particularly as it relates to two other crucial Biblical concepts: love and covenant. The relationship between love and covenant will be obvious to most contemporary readers; the connection between covenant and friendship, however, is … [Read more...]

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“The Wisdom of the Beguines”: Commonweal Book Review on Medieval Laywomen Mystics

with tons of fascinating stuff: In the twelfth century, single women began moving in large numbers from farms to cities of the Low Countries to work in the textile industry. Many of these women formed communal living arrangements that offered safe, affordable accommodation, and a life of service to their neighbors. According to Laura Swan’s recent book, The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women’s Movement, the beguines, who flourished for several hundred years, were one … [Read more...]

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