Getting some hate mail from my piece up at Pajamas Media. I’m being accused of wanting an “American theocracy”. Not at all. I simply am pointing out that a determinedly secular mindset will not make much of a dent against an equally determined supernatural mindset, and so the West should not be so dismissive of the power and usefulness of the vocabulary of faith. And I can’t be completely wrong since, as we see here at Hot Air, most Americans are open to that vocabulary.
Today is the feastday of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who just before the 2000 elections was named by Pope John Paul the Great as “Patroness of the Americas and Patroness of the Unborn.”
Her feast day was immediately notable in 2000 as the day the SCOTUS finally settled the Election Imbroglio of 2000.
Julie also has a really great Catholic round-up of thoughtful pieces, and I’m not saying that because she links to me for one of them. She also brings to our attention this wonderful testimony of a confession experience and this reflection on Christmas through atheist eyes, and much more.
On a purely personal note: I usually go to confession 4-5 times a year. In the past two months I’ve gone three times. Can’t explain it – have simply felt the need – and the sense of grace, settling down and centering, the precious sense of containment and quiet that has resulted in my spirit has been enormous. And other people have told me this – that they’re feeling drawn to the sacrament and finding enormous fruitfulness from it. I’m going again, before Christmas.
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. a great American theologian, convert to Catholicism, reached his cumulation and passed on.
I liked him the way I liked John Cardinal O’ Connor, who was a very different man from a different background. Dulles was an elegant man from the “upper” classes (he was the son of former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles – yes, of the airport), who was completely comfortable with the rest of us commoners. O’ Connor was from the Irish working-class but equally at ease with “paupers and princes” as the cliche’ goes. Both great men. Fr. James Martin re-posts a thoughtful interview with Dulles. More on Dulles here, here, here, here and, comprehensively, here. Yet more here. Read about Cardinal Dulles. He’s one of those quiet hero-types.
Speaking of Jesuits, President Bush honored one of them the other day, along with many others including actor Gary Sinese, who seems like a guy I’d like to meet. I didn’t know it but he, like Dulles, is also a Catholic convert.
The other day, we read a terrific article about a group meeting for lunch in Washington DC specifically to share some good food and read aloud some Christmas poetry. You can take part in something like that tonight over at Fausta’s radio show, where she and Jane Goodwin will be reading Christmas poems and letting callers read, too! Sounds like great fun!
Snowed in by soap orders: The Nuns at Summit are closing orders for their soaps, lotions and balms on the 14th of the month, rather than the 17th, so they can ensure delivery. In an email, Sr. Blogger – who stresses how grateful they are for all the orders – writes:
We’re so snowed under that we’re going to stop taking orders on the 14th instead of the 17th…our volunteer ladies have been coming to help package. I’ve got all the sisters doing it at recreation at night! The poor novices are exhausted! [We made] 300 lip balms in the last 2 days and I’ve got everyone labeling and shrink wrap wrapping. And then the soap!
I bet they’re very grateful for their prayer time, as as outlined here. As one of my in-laws is stubbornly refusing to go along with the “no gifts for grownups” rule we’ve tried to instill, and since she has three dogs, I think I’ll hurry over there and order some room spray!
No word, yet from the Carmelite Monks as to whether they’re feeling snowed in with orders for their incredible coffees (I wish they’d offered those gift cards back when I had placed my big Christmas gift order!), but I know the mustard nuns are seeing lots of action in their kitchen from this post, and I feel happy about that!
Where to put it? I say get rid of it altogether. Never liked it.
Oy, I’ve been working for HOURS on this post – the day is almost gone and I still need to record Vespers. Okay, so I will not get to link to all of these stories emphasizing the lack of transparency that is defining Barack Obama’s presidency before it even begins. And his party isn’t helping him as they prove that their “culture of corruption” is at least as deep, wide and thick as any in the GOP. At least he has the press covering for him as much as they can.
And has anyone else noticed it? For the last 8 years, the Dems have been saying, “don’t question my patriotism” when no one was, now everytime you turn around, the patriotism bell is being rung. Classic projection.