Love, Death, and the Communion of Saints: There are Movies for That

My chief occupation this Memorial Day was doing things to prevent my lungs from making interesting squeaky sounds (no, really: the squeaking was fascinating -- and harmless, as it happened, which adds to the appeal), and that means watching movies. These are the ones that are worth your time, and I'm looking at you, Julie Davis. Still Life A decade or so ago I inherited a collection of poetry, one of those mass-market-intellectual anthologies that was so popular back when all we had for the … [Read more...]

The Perverse Pleasures of Chronic Illness: Ordinary Colds

Late this afternoon I gave up all pretense that my runny nose might be allergies and conceded the ugly truth. It's a cold.  Minor disappointments follow: Missing the Pentecost sequence again (I hate that), missing the chance to go to Mass on Memorial Day again (double hate).Now what usually happens when you are a sickly person who comes down with some kind of common complaint is that people who love you immediately inform you of all the reasons you are responsible for your fate:You've be … [Read more...]

How to Start a Discipleship Group the Easy Way

Having just observed how desperate Catholics are for serious discipleship, I'd be remiss if I left you hanging on how to meet that need. Here's about fifteen years of experience with discipleship groups across a variety of contexts (evangelical, Catholic, young adult, grown-ups, mixed-generations, mixed-gender, single-gender, etc. etc.) summed up in a blog post that will, yes, actually tell you what you need to know.To start a discipleship group you need three things:1. A leader.2. … [Read more...]

What Teens (and Everyone Else) Want: Serious Discipleship Time

In conversation with Devra Torres, she commented: I'm starting to think that the habit of EVER addressing persons in clumps is a terrible idea, even though it seems so efficient and realistic. In fact, that's one of the main points of personalism, but one that's taking a while to sink in for me. Her remark couldn't have been better timed.  One of my challenges lately has been explaining to bystanders that what often looks like a "club" or a "clique" in a parish may in fact be a very effective … [Read more...]

Marriage is Not a Purchase, Your Spouse is Not Your Slave

Unclear on the concept is abounding these days.  Michelle Arnold shared the link to this terribly twisted approach to marital relations and all I can say is no.  Just no.For a clear-headed discussion of the patriarchy movement in general, here's those wild liberals at HSLDA stepping up to disown this nonsense.  Christianity is not about this.  Just no, never, no way no how, end of story.What is marriage?  The free gift of self between husband and wife.  It's faithful, it's fruitful, it's … [Read more...]

Unclear on the Concept, Teachers Sexting Edition

A friend passed on this article, about a public high school coach who texted her students a photo of a man licking the teacher's ear.  You can read the article if you want to know more about the contents of the image.  Here's the part we want to talk about here:“This picture is extremely inappropriate,” Mafes said. “If she had on what I have on and he was licking her ear, it would still be extremely inappropriate.” Mafes doubts the district will do much. However, district policy does state “ … [Read more...]

That Perpetually Lost and Confused Feeling is not a Bug, it’s a Feature

The headline sets aside the question of pre-Fall living, which none of us are doing.  It's the 16th of the month, which means I'm pre-prayed.  Naturally I completely forgot and re-prayed this morning, which you're allowed to do.  I can't remember what thoughts I had this morning, but here's where my thinking went last time I reflected on today's Gospel: Lord, I don’t understand everything. I’m struggling with difficulties that are leaving me feeling completely lost and maybe even abandoned. Help … [Read more...]


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