Unplugging for the Triduum

We have a tradition of turning off the lights on the evening of Holy Thursday, and not turning them on again until after the Easter Vigil.  We don't go so far as shutting off the main breaker, though we've threatened to do so if children get sneaky.  In the interest of safety, candle-esque night lights and flash lights are fair game. It's a custom that serves us, not us the custom.  Thus, accommodations for unusual situations: This year a boy will be hovering over Dad's shoulder making sure the … [Read more...]

Atheists for Religious Freedom

Another great piece from The Federalist, this time from an atheist:I am an atheist, which puts me firmly on the secular right. There aren’t a whole lot of us, but we’re out here, in some surprising places.Yet I consider the current campaign against religious liberty—the attempt to coerce Christians into providing service to gay weddings or to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees, against the dictates of their faith—to be a deep cultural crisis.On the differe … [Read more...]

Modesty as the Language of Virtue

I was watching a detective show recently (doesn't matter which one) featuring a smart, competent, nerves-of-steel female lead.   A genuinely likeable character.  I was irritated that while the male characters all dressed like the serious business-types they were, there seemed to be a mandatory minimum of exposed flesh for all their female colleagues.  It was as if the female characters were being cast for their cleavage.I like detective shows, so I set aside my feminist indignation and wat … [Read more...]

Evangelical Poverty, Fasting, and the Foods We Eat

We've been graced with a delightfully candid neighbor boy, and a few years ago he asked us point blank, "Are you poor?"No, most certainly not. The appalling situation in which some of our children must share a bedroom not withstanding, let's be clear: I live luxuriously.  Hot water, indoor plumbing, coffee, books, very many shoes . . . everywhere you look, my home is the very picture of superabundance.  Elizabeth Scalia shares a letter from a mom who actually tried the $1.25/day grocery c … [Read more...]

On the Use of Foul Language

I don't go in for the whole "strong language" defense of everyday profanity.  Sam Guzman makes the case for not cussing here, and it's good enough for me.My own conversion to the anti-profanity league is more historical than apologetic.  I grew up in a non-cussing household, not because we were anything amazing, but because back then most folks did.  The occasional strongish word was let loose when tempers flared, but overwhelmingly my parents kept it civilized, and kept us civilized.  Cer … [Read more...]

The Church is No Place for Cowardice – Homily Link

Link for Rebecca Hamilton: a Palm Sunday homily against cowardice.  At minute 5:38: The temptation to refuse to witness to one's faith, and to act according to a well-formed conscience, is a temptation to cowardice for us all. . . . It is not only a temptation for individuals, but a temptation for the Church herself, as she is increasingly pressured by civil authorities and public opinion to be silent on the great moral questions of our time. From the same source, Psalm 22 for your Holy Week … [Read more...]

Quick – Go to Confession this Afternoon!

If you haven't been this Lent, today's the day.  Check for your nearest parish, and drop in for confession.What if my last confession was 47 years ago?You should definitely go today.What if I don't know what to do?If there's a brochure laying around that tells you what to do, you can do that.  Or you can tell the priest, "I haven't been to confession in 47 [insert your amount here] years, can you help me along?"  He will.What if I'm sorry for my sins, but I have no idea how I' … [Read more...]