Holiday Despair and the Meaning of Christmas

Years ago my husband had a business trip to Milan, and he went to church while he was there.  A local colleague tried to puzzle out this behavior, for it wasn't mere tourism.  "But nothing is wrong with you," he protested.  "You are young, healthy, intelligent, educated, successful. Why would you go to church?"  Church was where the old and the poor and the disabled went -- people who were desperate.  People who needed consolation.He wasn't entirely wrong.The "Holiday Season," as we call … [Read more...]

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What My Dog Knows About the Immaculate Conception

Every evening at nine, Fitz kids and parents gather in the living room and talk to each other for an hour, and then we go to bed.  It's not a rule, it's a thing that happens.  There are usually two or three cats present, and always one dog.The dog is not my dog, and I almost never provide any particular dog care.So I was puzzled one evening a few years ago when I realized the dog was standing in front of me, paws firmly planted in a ready-for-action stance, gaze even, silent, still, wa … [Read more...]

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Return by Brandon Vogt – When Your Child Has Left the Faith, or Before

I had a chance earlier this fall to preview Return by Brandon Vogt.   I haven't seen the video series (information here) but I did read the pre-release version of the book cover to cover.  It's about what to do if you have a child who's left the Catholic faith, and it is extraordinarily good.   Not a project I'm involved with personally in any way, other than that I did a happy dance just reading the table of contents on my review copy.  The book delivered on its promise.Here's the endo … [Read more...]

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Do Girls’ Sports Even Matter? What to do with the Transgender Athlete

Rebecca Hamilton reports on the recent ruling by the Department of Education that girls' sports teams must now admit certain boys -- both to playing on the team and to the girls' locker room.  It's a problematic ruling on many levels, but to get our minds around the issues, we need to pull apart the different questions involved. 1. Girls like to play sports. I know that girls like sports because I can't think of a single female in my family that I ever met who didn't take an interest in sports … [Read more...]

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When You Want to Understand that Marriage Thing

Two links and a note:The best summary of the theology behind the Great Communion Debate of 2015 is over at Darwin Catholic. A snippet from the conclusion: Given all of that, to say that a divorced and remarried couple (unless they have decided to live together celibately) may receive communion necessarily means that you disagree with one of the following teachings of the Church:- That someone in grave sin may not receive the Eucharist - That having sex outside of marriage is a grave … [Read more...]

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Catholic Life Hacks: Truly Last Minute Saint Costume

If you have a group of children who need a saint costume, stat, ask if anyone can lend you some red lip gloss.In the hands of a skilled teenager, you can have a company of martyrs of the French Revolution in no time at all.  Hint: A white t-shirt is maybe not the best combination, when you are going for the freshly-decapitated look.  Thank goodness for bleach. ***Of course for pure All-Hallow's-Eve report-giving pleasure, you want a martyr of the Roman Empire.  No really: When she said a … [Read more...]

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The Rosary and a Rule of Life When You Haven’t Got Time

Happy All Saints Day!  I'll be staying home with a cold, thank you.   Which is why we want to talk about the super-novena that begins today and finishes up for Christmas.Here's the story: I stink at praying.  I used to be okay at it, but real life kicked me in the rear, and I'm not one of those people who takes every trial as an opportunity to watch less TV so they can pray even more.If, to take last night's example, my throat is painful to the point of distraction, this does not make me … [Read more...]

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