Christian Calamities: A Taste of the South to Help You Choke on America

There's been pearl-clutching in odd quarters ever since Pastor Mark Burns, a South Carolinian, delivered his benediction on the Republican party.  I am not a Republican and I won't be voting for Trump, and I don't think you should either.  I am dismayed by the weaselly justifications some of my fellow Christians are spouting these days in their support for the GOP candidate.Still, it amuses me that the professionally-impious are suddenly offended on our Lord's behalf for what is, as I will sh … [Read more...]

Easter, Better Late than Never

I would like to tell you something interesting that happened for my Easter present.  It was these two things:My parish did not cancel the regularly-scheduled Sunday evening Mass on Easter. I went to it.The whole story isn't so important, but we must emphasize, concerning #2, that I was not being one of these venerable church-helping souls who ends up at three different Masses on the holiday. Though I be a Triduum-loving girl to the core, and though I certainly did not mean to … [Read more...]

What Place for Bare Minimum Catholicism?

What is it a Catholic really must do?You don't have to go to Mass on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday.  You do have to fast, unless for some reason you don't.  You don't have to go to confession for your venial sins, though you ought to, but you do need to confess your mortal sins.  You need to go to Mass on Sundays, unless for some serious reason you can't.  You need to generally rest on Sundays, and allow other people to rest, but exactly how much restaurants and house chores are implicated in … [Read more...]

Is Catholic Lent Too Easy? + Lent-o-Rama – UPDATED

UPDATED: Ted Seeber saves Lent by reminding me that no Lent-o-Rama is complete without This Time of Forty Days.  I love you, so I post it here:Now resuming our previously written post . . .A friend posted this useful infographic on Lenten basics, but observed that the current norms seem like an awfully light penance.  They are.  At this time, the Church has, in her wisdom, chosen to throw out a little test: Are you in or aren't you?Are you so very intractable, so very rebellious, … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Magazine for Sane Women – It’s Out!!!

I am so stinking proud of Elizabeth Scalia for launching Aleteia's new magazine For Her.  I worked for Elizabeth during her tenure here at Patheos and she was a superlative editor -- smart, insightful, hardworking, compassionate, and loads of fun.  But wow, I had no idea she was about to go do something this fabulously amazingly awesomely cool.It's a dream-come-true quality magazine launch: Finally we've got a real women's magazine with the fashion spreads and the beautiful stuff, only with a … [Read more...]

Catholic Life Hacks: St. Nicholas Day S’Mores

You know you're raising them right when two different children independently invent these within an hour of getting the fire going in the woodstove:Spekulatius + Chocolate Coins + Roasted Marshmallows = St. Nicholas Day S'Mores. These: Plus these:  Plus marshmallows roasted over the heat source of your choice:= Catholic childhood done right. You're welcome.  Photos:Spekulatius via the Aldi … [Read more...]

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...]