ROME, WITH A SMILE. It's Different There.

First, a little laugh at my expense.I used to do conference and event planning.  Our guests were accustomed to finer things, and so we set out to give them “the best”—whatever that was.  Perhaps it meant that we had a special treat delivered to their rooms each day, when they were at the conference events.  One day it might be a chocolate bar in the shape of the corporate logo.  Next day, a crystal picture frame.  Then, an autographed book….So I talked, as I packed for my Rome trip, about whe … [Read more...]

GOD’S FRIENDS, MY FRIENDS: The Precedent for Intercessory Prayer

At his weekly audience on May 18, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the efficacy of intercessory prayer.  He used the biblical patriarch Abraham as an example—reminding us of how Abraham prayed to God for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. “Not so!” cry about a half dozen people I know.  They buttress their argument by quoting 1 Timothy 2:5, “There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”   These devout and well-meaning friends believe, wrongly I think, that praying to saints is d … [Read more...]

TOMORROW IS CHESTERTON DAY! Well, If You’re in Rome, That Is.

I spotted the announcement this morning:  Over on Facebook, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J.—one of the organizers of the Vatican Blogfest—reported enthusiastically that tomorrow is Chesterton Day at La Civilta Cattolica, the College of Catholic Writers of Civilization.So I looked it up.  The panelists!  The topics!  And it’s free!!  Now all I need to do is buy another ticket to Rome, head to the Via di Porta Pinciana….  *     *     *     *     * Well, that’s just silly.  Funny how, when you do someth … [Read more...]