It’s the Feast of Saint Cecilia, So Here’s the Pet Shop Boys

She's the patroness of musicians. … [Read more...]

More About Those Amazing Bejeweled Skeletons

Let's give a warm welcome to... those amazing bejeweled skeletons! Paul Koudounaris is not a man who shies away from the macabre. Though the Los Angeles-based art historian, author and photographerclaims that his fascination with death is no greater than anyone else’s, he devotes his career to investigating and documenting phenomena such as church ossuaries, charnel houses and bone-adorned shrines. Which is why, when a man in a German village approached him during a 2008 research trip and asked … [Read more...]

The Diversity of the Saints Is a Diversity of Pain

Speaking of the wild diversity of the saints--over the weekend I read this powerful & bluntly painful piece from Mudblood Catholic: "God is doing something in the dark." But what? And, really, "Why remain here in the dark?"And that post collided with a very intense night at the pregnancy center, and the readings from this past Sunday:For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing … [Read more...]

Fools, Drunks, And Americans

As much as I love the idea of a ballet about alcoholism, this article on "Why Russia's drinkers resist AA" seems to rely on unstated, wrong assumptions not only about addiction and recovery, but about the diversity of spirituality. Although the title is neutral--resistance can be heroic as well as bullheaded--the article itself seems pretty clearly slanted toward the conclusion that Russia needs to get with the Program.As you know, Dr. Bob, I have immense respect for the 12 Steps and my own … [Read more...]

Feast of Sts Cosmas and Damien

who were brothers, and doctors who treated poor patients without requiring payment. This is something my grandfather did also, and in fact one of my relatives recently received an email from a man who remembered how my grandfather had treated his family. So if you pray, and if you pray to saints, please pray for Sts Cosmas and Damien's intercession for the soul of Leonard Tushnet. … [Read more...]

Glorious Jewelled Skeletons

SO AWESOME. For the two people who read me yet haven't already seen these. Even back when I was reflexively anti-Catholic I was fascinated by reliquaries and similar examples of Catholic tenderness toward and adornment of the bodies of the dead. ...This Daily Mail piece also gets points for describing one of the awesome skeletons as "louche." … [Read more...]

“This Is Because of Their Similarity to the Human Head”: Orthodox Customs to Commemorate the Beheading of John the Baptist

which is what we're doing today. Commemorating it, I mean, not doing it. … [Read more...]


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