Real Things from Fiction

Happy New Year everyone!  I'm doing fine, a bit tired and a lot busy with regular life, which finds me offline more than usual lately.  I'm looking forward to getting back to more blogging in the weeks ahead.  Meanwhile, as often happens in winter, I've been writing fiction.  It's a hobby, and addictive enough I probably need a National Don't Write A Novel Month.  First drafts are my specialty, thanks.In a rare bit of online reading today I came across Brandon Watson's well-timed post at Siri … [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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Good Things Priests Do, Episode #328,345,798 . . .

I could spend a very long time listing all the good things I've seen priests doing -- Father E.* stories are practically a genre for me.  But my husband asked me to tell one that happened to him recently, and I wasn't there which is why it all happened in the first place, so forgive the lapses that come from second-hand reporting. *** The background is this: My family is divided 50/50 between choir members and pewsitters.  Thus, normally at Mass the little ones and I sit down with the p … [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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What My Dog Knows About the Immaculate Conception

Every evening at nine, Fitz kids and parents gather in the living room and talk to each other for an hour, and then we go to bed.  It's not a rule, it's a thing that happens.  There are usually two or three cats present, and always one dog.The dog is not my dog, and I almost never provide any particular dog care.So I was puzzled one evening a few years ago when I realized the dog was standing in front of me, paws firmly planted in a ready-for-action stance, gaze even, silent, still, wa … [Read more...]

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Gun Culture, Public Safety, and the Politics of Offendedness

I live in Gunlandia.  My new neighbor phoned the police to inquire about my longtime neighbors, who apparently shoot at the squirrels in their yard with a .22.   Law enforcement gently explained that since we live in the county, as long as no one gets hurt and no one else's property is damaged, it's perfectly legal.  Though weapon of choice varies a bit (we just send out the dog to chase them off), I'd say the neighborhood's split three ways between those who shoot squirrels, those who feed sq … [Read more...]

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