The Fifth Sorrow of Mary: The Crucifixion and death of Christ

The first time she beheld Him, He was naked, soaked in her amniotic fluid and smeared with her blood. This last time, thirty-three years later, He was naked again. He was covered in sweat and the spittle of those who pushed Him to the place of execution. The blood that coated His body was not hers, but His. She wished it were hers again. She would have done anything to make it hers. To find that it was all a mistake–… Read more

The Fourth Sorrow of Mary: Mary Meets Jesus on the Via Dolorosa

    It is not going to be all right. It is not going to be all right. Mothers: recall to yourselves how it feels when your child is suffering and you can’t make it stop. Now remember that Miriam was the perfect mother. Miriam loved her only Son with the fierceness, the tenacity, the ardor of all the hearts of all the mothers in all the world. There has never been a mother who loved as she loved. There… Read more

Old Scratch and Baba Yaga

It was bitterly cold, and the bus was a little late. I was so grateful when it arrived that I barely had time to register that the driver was Old Scratch.  Old Scratch no longer shaves his head; he’s growing it out on top in one of those Richard Spencer haircuts, which does not flatter him. He was arguing with an old woman downtown when I boarded the bus. As far as I could gather, the topic of their argument was Donald… Read more

Santa Claus and the Broken Gift

  I never knew how I’d broach the truth about Santa to my daughter, Rosie. I don’t really remember how I told her the myth about Santa in the first place.  I think I told her “a lot of people believe that Santa Claus comes down the chimney to give gifts at Christmas, but of course I’ve never seen such a person,” and pop culture took it from there. She firmly believed in Santa. For awhile in there, she also… Read more

The Fifth Joy of Mary: The Finding in the Temple

  After three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening and asking them questions. The Lord had been taken away from Miriam’s sight, even thought she was perfect and had done nothing wrong. No one knows the agony of the dark night better than she does. Now, Miriam beheld him again. She had seen the Lord naked, helpless, covered in amniotic fluid and splashed with her blood; she had seen Him swaddled on the straw straw. She… Read more

Comfort and Joy in Downtown Steubenville

  I was recently informed by a disgruntled reader that I “literally threw the entire population of Steubenville under the bus.” I wish I remembered that occasion. There are days when I’d like to think back on it with grim satisfaction. In any case, what the gentleman was trying to say was that I never write anything nice about Steubenville; I only write about its flaws. Obviously, there are plenty of flaws to write about. Practically everyone admits that. The place… Read more

Meet the Advent-o-Saurs!

I don’t know exactly whose idea it was to come up with an Adventosaurus. My friend just got on Facebook and asked that somebody draw a picture of the Adventosaurus to be an Advent mascot, as if this was a normal thing, and I didn’t ask questions. I love arts and crafts. I also love dinosaurs lately. As I’ve mentioned before, my daughter is obsessed with dinosaurs, the grislier the better. We love all kinds of books about dinosaurs, educational documentaries… Read more

A Carol and A Petition

  Christmas is on its way!  Here’s today’s earworm: This is just your periodic humble reminder that Steel Magnificat is my family’s only income right now, and the vast majority of that comes from gratuities. We are beyond grateful that we’ve made it all the way into December without a disaster or a shutoff. Heck, I haven’t even had to go downtown to beg agencies for utility assistance since March.  I feel like the queen of Sheba. Spring and Fall are relatively easy… Read more

The Third Sorrow of Mary: The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple

Things had been easier for so long. Herod was dead. They were not in Egypt any longer; they were raising her Son in Nazareth, in relative quiet. The neighbors knew Him as Yehoshua, son of Joseph, and didn’t ask questions. He was helping in the carpentry shop, by all accounts an ordinary child. He was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him, but not many noticed that. Not many noticed them at all, for which Miriam… Read more

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