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...]

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...]

Has Etsy banned the sale of sacramentals?

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To a casual onlooker, it really does seem like Catholics believe that if you die with a scapular, God has to let you into heaven; that if you stick a St. Christopher medal to your dashboard, you can drive like a maniac and walk away unscathed; that if you pray on a rosary blessed by an especially good Pope, or sneak a relic of your favorite saint underneath some sinner's mattress, then whatever you wish will come true. This is not what Catholics believe. We do not believe in magic, and we do n … [Read more...]

Should you read Laudato Si? A quiz

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Laudato Si is here, and not a moment too soon. Any day now, all the pundits and politicians and armchair theologians were going to start feeling ashamed for going so berserk over an encyclical that hadn't been released yet. Any day, I'm sure of it!. Now that it's here, should you read it? It is kind of long, and there aren't any pictures or gifs to break it up. Here's a short quiz to help you determine whether or not you should invest the time and effort. The more points you get, the more u … [Read more...]

Those unsophisticated Catholics just exorcised the entire country of Mexico.

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He was speaking about being too guarded against inexplicable wonders, being so sophisticated that we "miss Christmas."  But I think his warning is just as useful when we encounter inexplicable horrors. Just as we savvy, sophisticated, skeptical Catholics are in danger of insulating ourselves against the glorious works of God, we might also miss the blunt and obvious signs that the devil is also busy and active in the world. If the Mexican clerics believe an exorcism was necessary, then I believe … [Read more...]

Does it matter if Medjugorje is real or not?

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I would say that Mary, my mother in heaven who knows me and loves me, would not be happy to see her children duped into following around a sock puppet that looks like her, even if it makes them say the rosary and go to Mass more often. I would say that, as the eternal queen of Heaven and earth, Mary can work to convert the hearts of sinners without the help of a tour guide agency.  I would say that no one should dare muscle past my Holy Mother and say, "Looks like you need some help with these pe … [Read more...]

In which I nag you to buy life insurance

No pressure!

I really hate it when people say, “You have no business having children if you don’t have life insurance!” or “How can you claim you love your family if you don’t have life insurance?” Hey, things happen. Life doesn’t always work out in a sensible order. Lots of non-horrible people don’t have life insurance. Just consider this your reminder, you loving parents, to take a look at your budget and see what you can do. Read the rest at the Register.  And by the way, my agent is Daniel Finn with New … [Read more...]


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