Sundays 101: Giving Up the Work Habit

Let's talk impossible penances. From this morning's readings: If you hold back your foot on the sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight, and the LORD’s holy day honorable; if you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice, then you shall delight in the LORD . . . And now for a quick peek at the Catechism before anyone starts in with the, "But that was the old law! Catholics don't have to do t … [Read more...]

Lenten Links – More Strategizing for Meatless Fridays

Taylor Marshall has some good suggestions for going meatless without losing your mind.My favorite quote: Nothing says “penance” like fish-sticks. So true.  So very true.Now let me be a tiny bit contrary, and give you a little encouragement on the penitential living.  Marshall writes: A couple of years ago, Joy and I prayed about it and switched our family over to meatless Fridays all year long. Now I agree: Decisions to take on greater penance for your family than the Church requires … [Read more...]

On Forgiveness: You Hate Me Because I’m Gay

A longtime colleague of mine, who is gay, thinks I hate him.  We've always gotten along fine, but now that our state is considering legalizing same-sex unions, he's convinced my opposition to that law must be fueled by hatred.  How do I convince him I don't hate him? I've changed the details to protect the privacy of the friend who asked, but it's a question many Catholics are facing these days. The hierarchy of sin and public opinion goes something like this:If you think masturbation is a s … [Read more...]

Happy Lent.

It's okay to be hungry today. … [Read more...]

Charity, Insularity, and the Extraordinary Form

Monday morning I swallowed hard when a post popped up on a small internet discussion group I run: Latin Mass trouble in Texas.  I don't need this. A flame war over this could get my group shut down.I didn't ask the original poster to delete. I did ask that we refrain from discussing the situation until the purloined letter could be authenticated, and the diocese had time to issue a counter-statement. Meanwhile, I did a little poking around to find out what might be going on behind the … [Read more...]

Lenten Tactics: Thwarting the Meat Demon

Meat Demon reports to duty at midnight tonight.  He prowls around every Lent, quietly working behind the scenes six days a week so that come Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays, all you can think about is meat, meat, meat. You are not helpless in this fight.  In addition to the grace of God, you also posess the ability to think, plan, and act. 1. Have a cheeseburger on Thursday. Meat demon will try to convince you that you are anemic, wasting away, and cannot possibly survive until Saturday w … [Read more...]

On Suffering: What Would Jesus Do?

What is the Christian response to suffering? We can take the question from any number of angles, and in time I'm hoping to hit most of them.  It's a thorny -- meaning, "Ouch!" -- topic, and as Joe Paprocki observed, it always comes up. Sooner or later everyone passes by way of the Cross.Today's topic: What do you do when it's your turn to hang? I'm going with the straight-up What Did Jesus Actually Do? answer on this one: 1. Sweat blood. Jesus lived a sinless, perfect life.  It turns out t … [Read more...]