So, Mr. Jesus. We Meet Again.

This Sunday's Gospel has Jesus out for a walk on the beach, and he sees these fishermen and tells them to drop everything and come become apostles.  To hear it preached sometimes, you'd think they'd all never met before.  But take a look at last Sunday's Gospel:John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, … [Read more...]

Evading the Useless Fairy Through the Miracle of Central Heating

I periodically give the friends and relatives a health update, which I don't usually publish here.  But thermostat settings, everyone wants to talk about that, right?   So everything is holding steady, which is good.  Miracle drug still doing its miracle thing.  I got hold of a fitness tracker this winter and have started watching the daily exertion count, which makes it much easier to manage my activity level, but also maybe a little more depressing (she said buoyantly).  Basically the pace of … [Read more...]

When the Romans Call You to Task, It’s Time for Sackcloth and Ashes

Reminder that today is a day of prayer and penance.  Why, you ask?  Because any society that makes Rome seem like the good guys is doing it wrong.Artwork: by Pietro Perugino,  Marcus Porcius Cato [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons … [Read more...]

Satan Ups His Game: Supreme Court Declines to Protect Secrecy of Sacramental Confessions

Bad news for human souls: The US Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of the case in which the Louisiana Supreme Court called for a priest to break the seal of the confessional.UPDATE: Simcha Fisher explains why there are other, better ways to protect victims of abuse.To bring you up to speed on the implications, here is why this is such a travesty, and what we can expect as a result of this ruling.If you prefer your theology brought to you by Alfred Hitchcock, here's my … [Read more...]

For the Love of Rabbits, Have Another Baby Already

I wasn't going to comment on the Pope's rabbit talk until I saw Dr. Greg Popcak's summary of what the Church actually teaches about responsible parenthood.  The picture reminded me of how much I love rabbits, which is directly related to the other side of the same coin, the Church's teaching about openness to life: 1652 "By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning … [Read more...]

Racism in the American South Today

In 1988 I moved to a small town in South Carolina, not far from where my paternal grandfather had grown up. In enrolling me at the local high school, among other paperwork my parents had to indicate whether they did or did not permit the principal to administer corporal punishment. Also, in those days they kept records of the racial balance in every classroom.On the day of the census in 1990, my homeroom teacher faced an awkward situation: The form called for a tally of the number of white … [Read more...]

The 2nd Commandment is Like It: The US Bishops Face Their Boko Haram

In thinking about the massacres in Nigeria, my train of thought ran like this:How can anyone bear to be associated with this?  I was thinking about the whole Muslim world.  You want to be part of this? No. Of course not.One of the rare pleasures of being me is that thus far every faithful Muslim I've gotten to know has been a gentle, God-loving person.  The kind of person who would have nothing to do, ever, with the atrocities of their coreligionists.We on the outside of the Mu … [Read more...]


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