Evading the Useless Fairy Through the Miracle of Central Heating

I periodically give the friends and relatives a health update, which I don't usually publish here.  But thermostat settings, everyone wants to talk about that, right?   So everything is holding steady, which is good.  Miracle drug still doing its miracle thing.  I got hold of a fitness tracker this winter and have started watching the daily exertion count, which makes it much easier to manage my activity level, but also maybe a little more depressing (she said buoyantly).  Basically the pace of … [Read more...]

Christian Community Renewal for Ordinary Moms

This story is for Melanie Bettinelli, who is far more thoughtful than I am, and her house is in better order.So just before Thanksgiving this year, me and another mom got an invitation.  We had a new friend who we'd met because our daughters played sports together and liked each other.  And she said, "I'd like to have you over to do a Thanksgiving craft with us."We said yes, even though we were not really looking for Thanksgiving crafts, but we knew that friendship and community life is i … [Read more...]

Friends in High Places: Get Yourself a Saint for 2015

Matchmaking time.  Jen Fulwiler's Patron Saint Generator is up and running. If you haven't done so already, go get yourself an assigned saint for 2015.I did this in 2014, and got Don Bosco on my case.  We had started out with a rocky relationship some years ago, so I was a tad nervous when we were paired last winter.  But we've come to an understanding and we're friends now.Still, I had to hold my breath when I clicked the button this year, because I'm always secretly afraid I'll get so … [Read more...]

Being Someone New for 2015

Two links to my work elsewhere that deserve your attention as we start the new year:1. At CatholicMom.com earlier this month, I wrote about a Gospel passage I never quite grasped until the events literally happened to me.  And then I got it.  Read the whole thing, and then you'll know the context for my summing up: Is there an area of my life where I’m clinging to a past identity? Allowing what I’ve done to define me? To condemn me? What can I do, right now, to become a person who is no long … [Read more...]

Something Beautiful for Christmas: Marriage, Faith & Alzheimer’s by Larry Peterson

Up at Catholic Writers Guild today, Larry Peterson is stealing the show with his beautiful essay on his first Christmas with Alzheimer's under the tree: The past ten years of her life seem to have literally vanished from her brain. She does not remember us getting married. (We were both widowed and married eight years ago. She has no clue.) So she asks me if we are really married. I show her our marriage license and pictures from our wedding. She is shocked. “I can’t believe it, ” she says. We r … [Read more...]

10 Reasons It’s Safe to Come to Mass this Christmas

You've no doubt seen Saturday Night Live's chillingly (hilariously) accurate tour of what you can expect at Mass this Christmas, but you might still be thinking, Hmmn.  Is it really a good idea for someone like me to go to place like that?  With Jesus in it and stuff?The answer is yes.  Here are my top ten reasons why:10. It really is the Church for anybody at all.  There might be other religions where you're expected to have your act together from day one.  Catholics, on the other hand, … [Read more...]

Why Can’t We Do Evil that Good Might Come of It? Even to Save a Life? – UPDATED

Erin Arlinghaus challenged me (update below) to explain why it so important for any ethical system, religious or otherwise, to be built on the principles I explain here.  I'll recap them quickly, but check the tutorial for more examples and explanations.Principle #1 is "Double Effect" or "Parallel Effect."  What it means is this: It's okay to do something good, even if there's a chance that something bad might happen.  Without this principle, you literally cannot act.  Everything you do bears … [Read more...]


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