Hating the Holidays as the Precursor to Happiness

You're supposed to be happy now, because it's the holidays.  The rest of the year, a civil disposition generally suffices.  But for the next eight weeks, if you aren't madly in love with every gift, every canape, every delightful holiday fete . . . you aren't just an ungrateful wretch, you're a menace to society. There are Good Reasons to Hate the Holidays The thing about the modern holiday season is that it's come unmoored.  We don't celebrate Thanksgiving, we celebrate Thanks-Getting -- he … [Read more...]

In Favor of Incompetent Housewives

 Your must-read column for today is Calah Alexander's essay on what it's like being part of the current generation of incompetents, "Those Pathetic Millenial Moms.". . .  I was raised by a loving, attentive mother who stayed home until I was in high school. But culture is pervasive. Kids learn it through osmosis, and unless you lock them in a fortress, they’re gonna pick up on it. “Stay-at-home-mom” had a negative connotation for me from the time I began hearing “mom” qualified as su … [Read more...]

Catholic Website Advises Parents: Obsession with the Occult is No Big Deal

The recently launched online Catholic magazine Crux has an advice column up, in which a parent is told that her child's obsession with the occult is probably no big deal:How would you feel if she were immersed in the Narnia books, written by the Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis, or in the dark and fantastical worlds imagined by J.R.R. Tolkein – a Catholic — in “The Lord of the Rings” novels? Many children in their pre-teen years find escape in fantasy.Yes, escape into fantasy is lovely.   … [Read more...]

A Right Relationship with Sister Death

The media is gushing over another high-profile suicide, which is of course high-profile precisely because the media chooses to gush over it.  What sane people do, when they learn that someone is contemplating killing themselves, is gently suggest a chat with the doctor about pain management.  Or they come over and help with the laundry. Dear Reporters, You are allowed to use both your brain and your moral sense when choosing how to cover a story.  When someone calls you with a big Suicide Sc … [Read more...]

ISIS and Just Warfare: Is Now the Time for Men of Good Will to Intervene?

To join the discussion about Rise of ISIS, a Threat We Cannot Ignore, or to order a copy, go here. This month at Patheos we're discussing Jay Sekulow's book Rise of ISIS.  For a general review, check out Rebecca Hamilton's comments here.  She's been documenting the state of affairs in Iraq all summer, so her perspective is well worth your consideration. What is this book? The Rise of ISIS is a call to arms, plain and simple. The authors document the heinous crimes committed by ISIS and … [Read more...]

#Synod14 – In Which Justice & Mercy Try Dating for a Bit

The overall theme of this month's Extraordinary Synod on the Family seems to be this: Catholics stink at being Catholic.  No, really, we're terrible at it.  Now what?The specific topic is everything that has to do with family life, marriage residing at the heart of that.  It turns out Catholics, like the rest of the world, aren't any better at marrying than we are at, say, remembering to read the parish bulletin.  And yet, weirdly, we still long for a deep, lasting, soul-rousing relationship … [Read more...]

If It Doesn’t Cost You Everything, You’re Not on the Little Way

I once made a mother cry by telling her it was the vigil of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.I thought I was doing her, and all the other 5th grade religious education parents, a favor.  We had failed to account for the feast in making our class schedule.  I knew that most of my students would not be able to slip out for a noon Mass on the day, and many had mandatory school activities in the evening.  But look! A vigil mass was scheduled during my class time, so please, parents, come gr … [Read more...]


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