Why Mention 5,000 Men, and Slight Those Women and Children?

As I mentioned the other week, Sr. Simone Campbell has shown herself to be a dreadful sexist (and a bit of an atheist) in her reflection on the Gospel accounts of the feeding of the 5,000 men.  The question she posed, however, is a good one.What she wanted to know is: Why do the Scriptures give a counting of the men present so specifically?  We can't even say the authors were using the term "men" in a generic way to mean "mankind" or "people."  The Bible clearly states that the estimated at … [Read more...]

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Doing Something Right, Priest Edition

This past week a priest in our region died, suddenly and unexpectedly.  He was not someone I knew personally, accident of geography.  Friday morning as I opened class in prayer, I completely forgot to include Father in our prayers until one of the moms reminded me.  In the excitement of a morning teaching, that sorrow again slipped from my mind.On the way into Benediction before Mass, I saw an acquaintance in the narthex, the father of one of my daughter's friends.  It was a pleasant sur … [Read more...]

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Prayer Time – For a Dad in ICU, and others

Yesterday was my sister's birthday, and since I'd lost her phone number (again!) I dropped her a note online to wish her many happy returns of the day.We chatted a bit, and then she asked that I unleash you prayer warriors on behalf of Casey Colvin, a young father who went in to the hospital for routine shoulder surgery and failed to come out due to cardiac arrest.  So in your charity, please remember Casey and his family in your prayers.She didn't ask, but if you'd lift up my sister as … [Read more...]

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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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When Your Priest is a Jerk

So I have a couple priest-friends who can pretty much match me for jerk-power, but it works out because we know each other.  We can do something stunningly stupid, and those who know us will put that low moment into the overall context of all the other things we do, shrug, and tell us to straighten up and fly right.This is how it is with all your friends and family.  Because you live together, you see them at their worst, but you also see some of their bests and mostly their middles.  I can b … [Read more...]

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Good Riddance Evangelism

So this week at Mass I saw a priest pick a fight with a group of little girls (not mine).  He stood up before final blessing and announced to the congregation that a thing these girls were doing during Mass needed to stop.The behavior in question was one of those liturgical quirks that people like to argue about.   If it's to your taste you argue for a spirit of charity and broadmindness, and point out the many reasons a person might find it spiritually edifying; if it's not to your taste, yo … [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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