A New Welcome Mat for the Year of Mercy

Pope Francis just gave me an idea:  I need a new Welcome Mat to kick off the Year of Mercy, which begins December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.Granted, I already have a mat, but it's seen quite a few sneakers and sandals and sling-backs and stilletos. What once greeted guests with a cherry "Welcome!" has lost its "Come On In and Make Yourself at Home" luster. See what I mean? Ugh!But Pope Francis has just reminded us to make our churches, and similarly the "domestic … [Read more...]

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Five Years in Heaven: A Young Man’s Unlikely Friendship with an Elderly Nun

When I first saw the title of John Schlimm's new book, Five Years in Heaven, I thought I'd be reading another in a long chain of near-death experiences:Don Piper, a pastor, was in a serious car accident. Paramedics at the scene declared him dead and laid a tarp over the window of his car, after his heart stopped beating and he was without a pulse for ninety minutes. Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, was afflicted with a deadly E. coli bacterial infection, and lay comatose for seven … [Read more...]

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