Amoris Laetitia: Pregnancy Counseling, Penitence, And Pudding

my take at First Things:Philip Larkin lamented that whether or not anybody refills your drink at a party “seems to turn on where you are. Or who.” In our divided Catholic Church, pastoral care is a lot like Larkin's cocktails. Catholics who sincerely desire to submit themselves to the Church they love come to their local parish seeking the wine of resurrection; and receive sometimes water, sometimes vinegar. If you're in an especially culturally-contentious position, you may be favored with a … [Read more...]

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What Does Your Local Crisis Pregnancy Center Need?

I've been volunteering as a crisis pregnancy counselor for a little over a decade, and my friends often ask me what they can give us or do for us. It's Lent so maybe you're thinking about what you can give to women and families in need. Here are a few thoughts ranging in commitment level from very low to very high.First, obviously, the easiest way to know what your local center needs is to ask them. (I didn't do that for this post because I'm not actually going to donate anything so I didn't … [Read more...]

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Does Working-Class Marriage Need More Progressivism?

Ross Douthat lays out the question:Many optimistic liberals believe not only that such imitation is possible, but that what needs to be imitated most are the most socially progressive elements of the new upper class’s way of life: delayed marriage preceded by romantic experimentation, more-interchangeable roles for men and women in breadwinning and child rearing, a more emotionally open and egalitarian approach to marriage and parenting. The core idea here is that working-class men, in p … [Read more...]

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Wedding Crowns and Solidarity in Struggle: A “Gay and Catholic” Book Extra

I've been to two Orthodox Christian weddings so far, and my favorite part of them is the crowns. Both bride and groom are crowned during the ceremony. As with the breaking of the glass in a Jewish wedding (probably also my favorite part, though the chair-bouncing which terrified my father at my sister's wedding may take first place there) I'm guessing there are multiple meanings to this symbol, but the one I've heard most often is that these are the crowns of martyrdom. They're meant to remind … [Read more...]

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A Musical Rosary: New Series–The Annunciation

Hey y'all. I decided to start this new series of very brief reflections on the mysteries of the rosary, linked to songs, so you end up with a kind of rosary playlist. We'll begin at the beginning, with the Annunciation. In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was gre … [Read more...]

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The Pope and the Pregnancy Center

Last night I put in my two hours at the pro-life pregnancy center where I volunteer, and it was a real mixed bag. I know I did some good work, but I can't stop thinking about my first client, who needed something very different from what I initially tried to give her.Obviously I can't use any identifying details, but she was in her teens (and in fact explicitly called herself "a teen parent," as a shorthand for saying, "so you know that my life is kind of chaotic right now") and she was … [Read more...]

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Let’s play You Should Be Grateful

When Wilde extended a hand, he made no move to take it. "Prayer is the only thing that can console you in this place, prisoner. I trust you understand that. Prayer and a true spirit of repentance." --Robert Reilly, The God of Mirrors (of which more later)There's a way of saying true things so that they become false, and a couple recent posts by Catholic women bloggers have drawn attention to one of those ways. First, here's Calah Alexander sharpening her fangs on a self-righteous article … [Read more...]

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