It has been a bad Lent, so far. I resolved to abstain on the proper days even if I couldn’t fast, but my health has been too iffy even for that. I resolved to have prayer as a family in the evenings, but we’re lucky if we remember to say one Our Father before bed. I have only had the blessed combination of solidly improved health plus a ride to a liturgy once since Lent began, last week, and that… Read more

    No one could understand what the dying man was saying. They thought He was calling Elijah. The Lord of Heaven and Earth took flesh in order to be with His beloved, and was given a blasphemer’s execution. He cried out in horror that God had abandoned Him, and no one understood. God is everywhere present. There is nowhere any man could be that He is not, not even in the pit of hell. God cannot deceive nor be… Read more

    (Author’s note: This is a piece I wrote for Rare Disease Day, which was actually the day before yesterday. Blame the fibro head fog.)  I started doing my yoga exercises again last week. I used my favorite video for beginners. I huffed and puffed through the 20 minutes of light stretching. I groaned in Downward Dog; I cringed in every plank. When it was over, my muscle pain was less, I was more flexible and I could breathe… Read more

  A member of a mawkish-looking facebook group which is specially dedicated to complaining about my friend Mark Shea, recently handed me a screenshot that made my hair stand on end. People responded with relish to this idea, commenting that they ought to show the article and screenshots to the police and Mark’s archbishop. I don’t know what they expect the archbishop to do to a layman writing a blog with his own opinions on his own time. I never… Read more

I’m not really into decontextualized quotemining of the Old Testament to find out what Christians are supposed to believe, but I’ve met many Christians who are. For example they like to quote Leviticus 18:22: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” To them, I would like to submit two verses from that same lovely and lilting King James translation of that same book of Leviticus in the very same Bible, which are extremely relevant today…. Read more

When Jesus saw His mother standing there, He said “Woman, behold thy son.” He said to the Beloved Disciple, “Behold thy mother.” And from that moment, the disciple took her into his home. In the beginning, when God created the Heavens and the Earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light…. Read more

  I saw a video today, of an attempted suicide. That isn’t what I was supposed to see. The video’s captions told me I was watching a hero save a man’s life. It was shown on one of those public facebook news feeds that promise to bring you good, encouraging news bites all the time, stories of rescued animals and happy adopted children. This video showed cloudy black and white surveillance footage of a train station that could have been… Read more

  Well, it’s as humble as I get anyway. Hi folks, I’ll be back with poetry and prayer and rants in a moment. This is just your periodic reminder that Steel Magnificat is almost entirely reader supported, and my family and I live on tips. Right now we’re rounding the bend to the last month of winter with a very high utility bill thanks to the extreme cold in January.  As a matter of fact, we paid all we have… Read more

  Rosie was excited to tell me what she learned in her Eastern Catholic catechism class. They’re learning about Confession lately, and though she’s a little young for her first reconciliation, she’s going to classes this year and probably going to receive the sacrament next year. “If a priest EVER tells anyone’s confession,” Rosie said gravely, “He can NEVER be a priest AGAIN.” “That’s true,” I said solemnly. “Confession is totally secret and the priest is never allowed to tell… Read more

I caught the last bus home from Wal Mart. It was quite dark, it was bitter cold, and I was exhausted. I’d bought too much to carry, as usual. I’d tried to save time by going to the self-checkout and stuffing my jumble of cloth bags myself.  There was a box of fresh strawberries, stuffed at a bad angle near the top of the mess. That was the first thing to spill when I grabbed all but one bag handle,… Read more

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