The Kissable God

The feasts of the liturgical year intertwine.  At Christmas we adore the baby Jesus, cuddly, but it's on Good Friday that the liturgy invites us to come forward and give that grown-up baby a kiss.  God become man, a man we can hold, and touch, and thank.  And then on Easter, Mary Magdalene, apostle to the Apostles, mistress of tenderness, embraces that Man and is told to let go: There is more still coming.There is still more coming.  From the God who can be kissed.Happy Eas … [Read more...]

Five Reasons I Love Ashtags. Actually Six. And a Youtube Video.

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I know these people who don't love ashtags.  People like Monique Ocampo, who is even giving up selfies for Lent.  I get it, but I am not these people.  Five reasons, six for the intrepid, and the first one will shock you:Reason #1: I like people.I particularly like the people I'm friends with on social media.  So I like to see photos of them.  It makes me happy to be able to see you with your cat, or your birthday cake, or your brand new, freshly-repentant ashes.  It's like getting Christ … [Read more...]

Something Beautiful for Lent: Cultivating God’s Garden by Margaret Rose Realy

The book I've just finished reading is Margaret Rose Realy's Cultivating God's Garden Through Lent.  I'm going to concede it took me a long time to open this one, because I had several stupid book-fears:That the book would be tied to the upper Midwest's seasons, and would be all out of sync for a southern gardener. That the book would be too nice for me.  Margaret is a really nice person. That I wouldn't like it, and that would be awkward, since Margaret and I are writing fr … [Read more...]

50 Shades of Arousal Disorders: BDSM and the Moral Life

If you browse among the purveyors of sex toys, which you most emphatically should not do, among the offerings you'll find all the regalia of oppression and humiliation.  BDSM as a variant on traditional women's porn as sold at the grocery store didn't come out of nowhere.   Long before the intelligentsia were conflicted in their literary analysis by the clash between "cutting edge" and "terrible writing", the neighbors were busy acting out sexual fantasies straight from the annals of Amnesty In … [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...]

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...]

A Youth Group Story You Need to Hear

My recent post on my own youth group experience (when I was the "youth") has generated a pile of enthusiasm and a modest amount of panic.  So I'm going to tell you a story, brand new, that you need to hear.I'm chatting with a fellow mom this weekend, whom I'm just meeting for the first time ever, and it's not in a professional-Catholic context so she doesn't know what it is I do here, or really anything else about me other than that I'm another mom like her, dealing with the same … [Read more...]


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