The Grace of No #GraceofYes

Jen Holding Grace of Yes by Lisa Hendey

I've joked all summer that I need Lisa Hendey to write me a companion volume to her new book, The Grace of Yes.  It would consist of a single index card with the word NO in giant letters.   She assured me: There's a chapter for you. So when my copy of the The Grace of the Yes arrived, I stared at it nervously for a minute, then quick checked the table of contents.  Chapter 7: The Grace of No.  Written for people like me.  I flipped straight to it, like an alcoholic racing past the bar towards th … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Salvation Controversy by James Akin

The topic of Catholic vs. Protestant views of salvation has come up several times in conversation lately.  With that in mind, here's a reprint of the review I wrote several years ago of Jimmy Akin's book The Salvation Controversy, published by Catholic Answers in 2001.  The book is currently in print in electronic version only, but you can find hard copies used here and there.Read on, and see if you are the target audience.  If you're not, give it a skip; but if you are the likely reader, I' … [Read more...]

Why Being a Writer Isn’t as Obvious as All That

Karen Kelly Boyce has a good piece up at the Catholic Writers Guild on cementing your identity as a writer. Her two instructions are: 1. Tell people you are a writer. 2. Treat your writing seriously.  Make an office, use it. For those of us transitioning from "I'd like to be a writer one day" to "I am a writer" there's a vicious cycle of self-doubt: We don't take ourselves seriously, so others don't take us seriously, so we don't take ourselves seriously . . ..Karen's instructions are j … [Read more...]

The Go-to Guide for New and Struggling Catechists Now Out in Kindle

Something fun: I was putting together my author bio for the 2015 Gospel Reflections e-book, and discovered my catechist book is now out in Kindle.  Woohoo! Pretty cool, huh?  That makes me high-tech and stuff, right?If you know a religious education teacher who's floundering big time, this book is your answer.  It's short, readable, and gives you step-by-step methods that anyone can use to put together a passable Sunday school class.Yes! Even at your cra … [Read more...]

Chris Tollefsen on the Case Against Incest

(UPDATE: Link fixed.)It just came to my attention that Chris Tollefsen has an essay up at Public Discourse on the case against incest.  Those who've been reading me for many years know I'm a longtime Tollefsen fan, that's just the way it is.   One reason is that Tollefsen is always getting into arguments on topics I've never thought about, and incest would be right up there.  My thinking on the subject until about half an hour ago consisted of, "Um, what?"The good news: It's about more th … [Read more...]

The Feast of Small Things with Great Drama + My Favorite Calendar

It's the feast of St. Therese, and I have a serious post coming up some other time.  Meanwhile, let us observe that hidden in the word Piety is pie.  And when someone says pie, that means chocolate and coffee.We can thus remember that today is the Little Flower's feast day because it is also the first day of Fall, if by "Fall" what you mean is "when the summer shipping charges at Equal Exchange no longer apply."We'd been waiting with Therese-like restraint to reorder coffee -- it had go … [Read more...]

Be Catholic: Fight the Tyranny of “Fitting In”

My latest at New Evangelizers is up: Catholicism is for People Who Don't Fit In.Funny story: The other week at confirmation class, my kid won a gift card to Zaxby's for being able to define and explain the word "Catholic."  Important concept for a group of 9th graders thinking they might want to commit to this Jesus thing after all.  It's not a club.  It's not a lunch table you get to sit at. It is understandable that we might seek out a place where we fit in.  Who doesn’t want to find “our” … [Read more...]