Maria Goretti didn’t die for her virginity

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When you think about holiness, do you fall into bathwater thinking?Bathwater thinking is when you forget the baby -- the living, breathing, vulnerable persons in front of you -- and instead, you wallow around in that warm, familiar bathwater of your indisputably worthy cause. Let’s think about St. Gianna Molla.  A good many people believe that this woman’s greatness came in her eager, joyful acceptance of death in order to save her baby.  Not so.  It is true that she was willing to accept th … [Read more...]

In defense of deploring poor taste

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You should know that terrible times have a sifting effect, letting the truly important human experiences of loss and pain and death and forgiveness stand out in high relief -- and that if your lesser pain gets sifted away, then you just deal with that. You just do. Because to raise your hand in protest at the minor outrage you've suffered, when the bodies of the dead are barely cooled, is just . . . .in such poor taste. Good taste is not much of a virtue to strive for. In the hall of monuments t … [Read more...]

Poetry-ize your house for the summer

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Behold my triumph in a stealth supplemental classical education!  My nine-year-old son, the one affectionately known as "Rat Boy," came up to me and said, "I really liked that thing you put up, the one about the cows and everything."  He meant the great G. M. Hopkins poem "Pied Beauty," which I had printed out, matted on construction paper, and tacked over his gerbil's tank without comment. He and his siblings certainly did not want to memorize poems when we were homeschooling!  Boy, did they no … [Read more...]

The Stupids Get On Board the Potty Train

This is the advantage of having ten children. I don't even think, "This doesn't bother me, because I know I have good reasons for doing things the way I do them." I just think, "Yep, I'm a bad parent. Oh well. Hey, maybe she'll give me some of her candy!"

Sorry for the bloggy silence lately! Lots of writing deadlines coming up (if you could spare a prayer I do a good job, I'd appreciate it very much!), plus birthday parties, doctor appointments, potty training, and July 4th (which we're having at our house, and which is bringing out the Marney in me).Maybe you're wondering where I was on Monday, during my radio spot with Mark Shea. Well, I was lying down, because I forgot it was Monday. Sorry. It wasn't because I didn't feel like talking … [Read more...]

Because I said I would: Nope, the CDF has not ruled Medjugorje non-supernatural

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So the Italian media was wrong!  Dun dun dunnnnn. I said I would acknowledge it if yesterday's report turned out not to be true, so here I is. According to an interview in the Register with Father Ciro Benedettini in the Vatican Press OfficeThe Vatican said Friday that contrary to reports in Italian media, no decision has been made regarding certain doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje. The CDF is slated review a report made after three years of inv … [Read more...]

Will the Catholic Church be hurt by the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage?

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Hats off to everyone who was surprised by today's Supreme Court ruling that states cannot constitutionally ban gay marriage. Hats off for your optimism and your faith in the judicial branch!Those of us with a more jaded view knew that this ruling was inevitable, and that the seeds for this decision were sown decades ago, when contraception and no fault divorce became the norm.  If marriage is just a financial and emotional arrangement to make adults happy, why not gay marriage? If marriage is … [Read more...]

Knock knock! Who’s there? A Catholic.

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As an evangelist, I'm laboring under a triple whammy: I'm a New Englander, I'm shy, and I'm a Catholic. (Also I was in my pajamas, but so is half the country.) All three together mean that I'm entirely focused on closing the door as quickly as I can and getting back to my comfortable, private living room. I have almost zero inclination to tell a stranger, "Hey, have you heard about this magnificent truth which will transform you life? Let me tell you .  .  ." But that is what the Pope (and all t … [Read more...]


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