In the Face of Such Evil, the Only Thing Left is Hope

For those who know what such a thing is, the theme around my corner of the Catholic world over the past few weeks has been Spiritual Warfare 101.  I don't have any particular talent for that fight, so it ends up about as unlovely as any other battlefield.You may be finding yourself on similarly unlovely territory just now.Despairing.  What is the point? How to continue in the face of this latest news, that latest turn of events? *** Meanwhile, my monthly Gospel reflection ran earlier t … [Read more...]

Annulments, Divorce, Remarriage: We’ve Got it All Backwards

The Synod for the Family is coming up, and one of the vexing problems it hopes to address is the situation of Catholic bigamists and polygamists.Vocabulary review:Digamy is the act of marrying again after one's spouse has died, and is a topic that comes up among the early Church Fathers with respect to clergy marriage.  It's a non-issue for the laity (us normal people who aren't ordained), but it's fun to say out loud, so everyone should know what it means. Bigamy is the act of m … [Read more...]

When your marriage is in dire straits . . . there’s a book for that.

It is with great joy that I pass onto you the news of Dr. Greg Popcak's latest book release When Divorce Is Not an Option: How to Heal Your Marriage and Nurture Everlasting Love.  I haven't read it yet, but it's on my wish list.  There's a huge void in the marriage literature between the cliffs of Marriage is Wonderful!  and Better Luck Next Time!  I'm glad to see Dr. Greg making a stab at filling that chasm. You can read more about it here. *** Lest we forget the Catechism doe … [Read more...]

Confession Primer: Forgetting to Confess a Mortal Sin

H/T to my friend John Hathaway for sharing this classic image from the Sacrament of Confession Facebook Page, and hosting a discussion to go with:Here's the scoop on how the sacrament works when you've got an unconfessed mortal sin:1. If you are aware of having committed a mortal sin, make an act of contrition right away.  (That means: Pray to God and tell Him you are sorry.)  At your first opportunity, go seek out a priest and make a sacramental confession.  Refrain from presenting you … [Read more...]

God is on the Altar, but He isn’t the Guy in Vestments

Round about the moment of the consecration, there's a massive case of identity confusion going on in the minds of many of the faithful.  The Holy Spirit descends upon the altar, and something at the front of the church turns into the Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus Christ.Hint: It isn't the guy who was there the minute before.  It's the one who just showed up.(I mean okay, yes, God was hanging around the whole time.  It's what He does.  But at the consecration He becomes pr … [Read more...]

I Confess: The Hero Movie Par Excellence

The boy and I stayed up late last night watching I Confess, long overdue and hands down one of the best movies I've ever seen.  [Note, the wikipedia link includes the complete plot synopsis, so don't read it until you've watched it.]I had not watched the film sooner because I thought Hitchcock = Too Creepy for Me, but it was fine. Mature themes and violence, suspense in the many-plot-twists meaning of the term, but not a scary movie.  Having just endured a dreadful 80's-something BBC attempt … [Read more...]

Sinning Bravely: Start Like You Mean to Finish

Some time ago, my husband went to confession with a particularly thorny sin on his soul.  The kind that he wanted to avoid, and yet seemed to be utterly unable to shake.  Father used an expression that we both contemplated thereafter at long intervals: Sin bravely.Apparently it's a Lutheran thing, and I assure the scandalized reader that Father B. is neither Lutheran nor proposing that we go through life with sin as our goal.Rather, I inferred, in the battle against sin, we stay in the fi … [Read more...]


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