“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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“The Night I Outran My Demons”: A British Doctor

check out the tags on this article...: Looking back over my 29 years as a medic, I think my year at the cancer hospital was the hardest. Every fourth day and weekend without fail, I would cover the intensive care unit for 24 hours as the resident middle-grade doctor. In all my time there, not one patient survived, though not for lack of trying. Not one. more … [Read more...]

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Why the Long Face? I Watch “BoJack Horseman”

for AmCon. This piece could have been twice the length--I have a lot of feelings about this show, apparently: We’ve suffered a rash of cynical, sarcastic, hyper-competent white manchildren on our TV screens: “House” was one of the purest versions of this creepy fantasy, where self- and other-loathing make you cool and insightful. Recently there has been a bit of a backlash. Leading men (Walter White, Don Draper) now display the gross and pathetic nature of entitled narcissism, no matter how well … [Read more...]

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“St Maria Goretti in Sing Sing”: A Real Thing That Happened

w/very moving photo: The #PilgrimageofMercy, the tour of the major relics of St. Maria Goretti has officially begun! This is first time her sacred remains have visited the USA.St. Maria Goretti began her US tour by visiting Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in NY, where the inmates had the opportunity to venerate the relics of the “Little Saint of Mercy”—seeking the Mercy of God that the 11 year old Maria witnessed as she forgave her murder in her last breath. more … [Read more...]

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“Empathy Lessons for the App Generation”: Mockingbird

writes: ...Turkle here is indicating that there is a strong connection between empathy and solitude. I am reminded (beyond Louis CK) of Pascal’s famous line about humanity’s problems consisting of “man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” (Two Pascal lines this week?!) Turkle here conveys the human need to sit down with one’s self, to deal with one’s self, and while she doesn’t cover any religious dimensions, it is where prayer happens. For Christianity in particular, this is where repen … [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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“In Your Guts, You Know You’re Nuts”: Mockingbird Reviews My Novel

woohoo! In her hilarious first novel, Amends, just released this past August, Eve Tushnet brings together a lively troupe of totally unhinged characters to participate in a reality TV show about addiction. The novel’s “talent” (the cast) lugs around dark histories and fears and sins, but their instability makes them not only interesting but also completely approachable. more … [Read more...]

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