What do you do with a rebellious teenager? Monsignor Guissani–founder of Communion and Liberation says go with the flow. Well, he doesn’t say that in so many words, but that’s what he means. In his book The Risk of Education he says that for education to be authentic a young person has to examine what he has been given and see if it works. This is especially true of religious education. In childhood we’re given a whole set of (let’s… Read more

Is this your image of a conservative? I’m not knocking stalwart ladies in tweed suits, but you needn’t be quite so prim to be a conservative. A conservative is not always a hatchet faced killjoy or a prim and parsimonious puritan. A conservative is simply someone who wants to conserve what’s good from the past to build a good future. A conservative doesn’t just look back with affection and forward with fear. He looks look back with criticism and foward… Read more

Amy Welborn has some news about attempts to get some decent norms established for Catholic Church Music in the USA. The people pictured above will be serving on the advisory committee.Talk about opening Pandora’s Box??!! There are so many upside down ideas about music at Mass. I knew a bishop in England who legislated that no one could use church music written before 1963 in services where he was presiding. Others want the other extreme with nothing after 1963 being… Read more

We know modernism can’t produce good art, but can Protestantism? I have a running argument with a non-Catholic friend about this. My point is that Catholics can produce better art because we have a sacramental system of belief. We really do believe that grace flows through the physical world.Protestants have problems with this. They’re suspicious of the physical. They’re semi-Manichees (and that is not the guy who composed the Pink Panther theme) Protestants don’t have sacraments because they don’t believe… Read more

It’s St Luke’s Day. He’s the patron saint of artists because he is supposed to have done portraits of the Madonna. The famous icon in Poland Our Lady of Czestochowa (image 0016) is supposed to be by him.So not a bad day to link over to The Cafeteria is Closed for some great pictures of beautiful tapestries at the much derided new cathedral in LA. Read more

I travel to Newark this week to Immaculate Conception Seminary for my final ordination examination. Prayers please!When I was taking the written exams some weeks ago my brother phoned and said, “I’m praying to the Cure d’Ars for you!””Thanks. The Cure d’Ars was holy, but he wasn’t real smart. Could you switch over to Thomas Aquinas?”One of our own bright saints at St Joseph’s, Dr Devanny, reminded me that St Joseph Cupertino (who could have taught Sally Field a thing… Read more

Rod Dreher’s recent defection to the Eastern Orthodox reminds all of us of the need to see the Church upside down in order to see it the way it really is.We converts from Protestantism find it difficult to shake the idea that the church should be what we expect it to be: a congregation of good people just like us. We have religious utopianism running in our Puritan veins. We expect the church to be made up of saints who… Read more

Here’s a hilarious take on Catholic heaven from the Simpsons, linked from Brian Miller at Just an Apprentice and it jives with my understanding that Catholics are the natural jesters of the Christian faith. Like blondes, they have more fun… Marge Simpson explores Catholic or Protestant heaven. Read more

Here’s St Francis with the Wolf of Gubbio, but did you know that St John Bosco had a sort of familiar guardian angel type dog named Grigio, who hung about protecting the saint on his forays into the bad part of town in nineteenth century Italy? This huge gray dog appeared out of nowhere, and when the saint was in trouble would attack and chase off the bad guys. Sometimes he would whine and warn the saint not to go… Read more

The Curt Jester has a good post about a non-Catholic healed by a Catholic saint.This seems to me a very good example of the right kind of ecumenical dialogue…My Presbyterian father used to tell us about his Great Aunt Anne…a staunch Mennonite woman who was healed of bone cancer by praying to the bones of St Anne. Great Aunt promptly converted to the Catholic faith and filled her room with rosaries, statues, Catholic images and lots of candles. This was… Read more

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