. . . That would be me, writing about “loving your enemies.”  Ha. It’s the 16th of the month, which means I’m all pre-prayed over at CatholicMom.com.  One of those days when you have no choice but to lay it all out: One of my chronic frustrations is that it seems like my pagan friends are such better people than me. They are kinder and more merciful; they work harder – why can’t I be as virtuous as they are?… Read more

Yesterday I wrote this, and you might be wondering why: You can talk to an officer at your local police station and describe the situation first before naming the perpetrator, if you are unsure whether a crime is actually taking place. Isn’t it obvious if sexual abuse is taking place?  The answer is no, not always.  Today we’re going to look at why that is, and why you should go ahead and make an inquiry with the police about a… Read more

The idiots in question are ordinary people like yourself, busy, overwhelmed with responsibilities, always trying to figure out which situations are the most desperate and which are okay enough to leave be for the moment.   Elizabeth Scalia and others report on the latest round of resigning bishops, and here’s the thing you need to understand: That diocese is just like yours, and by that I mean it is filled with people like you. –> In the unlikely event that… Read more

I don’t have a rash, so I can read this book: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Guwande. What it is: Published in 2003, so technically it’s sort of old, in medical-technology years, but no, not really I don’t think so, the book is a discussion of the imprecisions and hazards of practicing medicine, told from the point of view of a freshly-minted surgeon. You get a combination of riveting stories (including a time Dr. Guwande really… Read more

Being pretty has never come naturally to me.  I like the concept in theory, but I don’t have the patience for it. I grew up immersed in that world where gender-equality was translated as prove you can do everything a boy can. The going entertainment-industry trope was the odd-couple pairing of the pretty girl who was beautiful but whiny and useless with the tomboy who got things done and then got a makeover at the end of the movie. That culture breeds misogyny…. Read more

Tip for you: Don’t read a book about the history of tuberculosis while you’re laying around listlessly with a persistent cough. On the other hand, it’s a great book.  When you want to learn a little bit about a new topic, children’s non-fiction is a good place to start.  I actually picked this one out for my daughter, who’s interested in gory topics, but then it was sitting around, so I read it.   Now I’m double glad I didn’t… Read more

My chief occupation this Memorial Day was doing things to prevent my lungs from making interesting squeaky sounds (no, really: the squeaking was fascinating — and harmless, as it happened, which adds to the appeal), and that means watching movies. These are the ones that are worth your time, and I’m looking at you, Julie Davis. Still Life A decade or so ago I inherited a collection of poetry, one of those mass-market-intellectual anthologies that was so popular back when… Read more

Late this afternoon I gave up all pretense that my runny nose might be allergies and conceded the ugly truth. It’s a cold.  Minor disappointments follow: Missing the Pentecost sequence again (I hate that), missing the chance to go to Mass on Memorial Day again (double hate). Now what usually happens when you are a sickly person who comes down with some kind of common complaint is that people who love you immediately inform you of all the reasons you are responsible for… Read more

Having just observed how desperate Catholics are for serious discipleship, I’d be remiss if I left you hanging on how to meet that need. Here’s about fifteen years of experience with discipleship groups across a variety of contexts (evangelical, Catholic, young adult, grown-ups, mixed-generations, mixed-gender, single-gender, etc. etc.) summed up in a blog post that will, yes, actually tell you what you need to know. To start a discipleship group you need three things: 1. A leader. 2. An excuse… Read more

In conversation with Devra Torres, she commented: I’m starting to think that the habit of EVER addressing persons in clumps is a terrible idea, even though it seems so efficient and realistic. In fact, that’s one of the main points of personalism, but one that’s taking a while to sink in for me. Her remark couldn’t have been better timed.  One of my challenges lately has been explaining to bystanders that what often looks like a “club” or a “clique”… Read more

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