“The Secret World of Children’s Prayers”: Cari Donaldson

at Aleteia: When my oldest son was three, he had a special devotion to Our Lady of Breakfast, judging by his Hail Marys: Hail Mary, full of grace The Lord is with Thee Breakfast art Thou among women, And breakfast is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus He was so sweet and earnest when he said it, I always wrestled with correcting him, or just letting the prayer self-correct as his understanding of the words deepened.  Ultimately, I just let it go, and he now can say a Hail Mary with the best of … [Read more...]

“Morality as Worship”: Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

Why should Christians act morally?Because if they do they will go to Heaven and if they don’t they will go to Hell? Surely that can’t be the answer. For as the New Atheists rightly point out, a morality based on self-interest is no morality at all.It seems to me that the Biblical answer is that God demands worship and that acting morally is a form of worship. lots of good stuff here! … [Read more...]

“Every Day Is Like Sunday: Rediscovering Wilfrid Sheed’s ‘The Hack’”

Me at AmCon: Don’t call Wilfrid Sheed’s 1963 The Hack a forgotten Catholic classic. I don’t want it to be dismissed so easily.Sheed was the scion of Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward, the Catholic publishers and apologists; he knew that pre-Vatican II world of professional religion from the inside. The Hack is a satirical tragedy about Bert Flax, a man who supports his wife and five children by writing pabulum for the lower levels of the Catholic press: angels with cotton-candy wings, Irish … [Read more...]

A Backwards Catechism

This excellent post from A Queer Calling has been getting a lot of attention: ...First, a bit of context: there were twenty students in the class, mainly from Christian backgrounds. Thirteen identified as Catholic, five identified as Protestant, and two identified as atheist/agnostic. Of the thirteen Catholic students, ten had attended a Catholic high school. Eight of those had been through twelve years of Catholic education. Three Protestant students and one atheist/agnostic student had … [Read more...]

The Mask of Obedience

Last year I wrote this really scattershot, unsatisfying post about "The Beauty of Obedience," rescuing obedience as a positive term and a category you're allowed to care about. I recognize that that post was not the tightest thing I've ever written, and in fact, I'm still kind of flailing around trying to talk about what a positive vision of obedience might look like, but here are yet more extremely scattered thoughts.I've been thinking about that terrific phrase, "the mask of command," and … [Read more...]

“Hideous Strength”: I review “Degenerate Art” at the Neue Galerie

for AmCon: Leave it to the Nazis to make charity posters into advertisements for power-worship.In the late 1930s the Nazi regime created a traveling exhibition which contrasted Fuhrer-approved artworks with “degenerate” works produced by modernists, New Objectivists, and other riffraff. The exhibition was a bizarre contrast to the book-burning and art-destroying we might expect from a totalitarian regime. Instead of preventing people from seeing the art at all, the Nazis encouraged them to v … [Read more...]

“Everything in the Gospels Is About the Mass”: PEG Writes Your Homily for You!

Service journalism: I’m a very very beginning exegete, and the sort of Exegesis 101 rule for the Old Testament that they give you is “Everything in the Old Testament is about Jesus.”I’d like to propose a new Biblical exegesis 101 rule: everything in the Gospels is about the Mass.I mean, just off the top of my head... more (I really got a lot from this) … [Read more...]


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