“Eating Jesus Led me Home”

happyboyhood

Over at Geek Goes Catholic, Jonathan Ryan writes occasionally and movingly about his reversion to Catholicism. This piece, and the vivid visual power of it, makes me think his story should be a film!: He knows that some of the people in his small town look down on him and his family for being poor. Most of the time that doesn’t matter because he still has baseball, books that fuel his scary imagination, and the arms of the Catholic Church. He lives for stories, lives for going to mass, … [Read more...]

Remember “Catholicism” and How I Raved? Welp…

word on fire sweepstakes

Okay, regular readers must remember how much I loved Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith, both video series and book? I wrote about it a lot, because it was like a call to revolution -- a Revolution of Re-appreciation of the church, from its earliest beauties and truths. For me, Father Robert Barron's book (and video) remains one of the first great Evangelical tools of the new century. Okay, enough gushing. So, I get a note from Image books, asking me if I'd like to participate … [Read more...]

A Sidelined Sharyl Attkisson Leaves CBS News – UPDATED

attkisson

It's not really a surprise. Back when CBS News confirmed that the reporter's computer had been hacked, one sensed a tension when reading between the lines. Sharyl Attkisson had this habit of putting aside dictation in order to do actual investigative reporting -- a tendency that got her labeled (this is rich) "biased." Now, after over twenty years at what used to be the most respected network news division in mainstream media, Attkisson is gone: CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl … [Read more...]

“Christ was there! And I missed him!”

Doorman

Just because I prefer, on Sundays, to attend the Mass of the Very Old Men doesn't mean I often make it. It's a very early mass and despite my love of the silence, and the prayerful examples of the regular attendees, abandoning my warm bed for it -- particularly this winter -- has not been a priority. Having turned the clocks ahead last night, the chances of my making early mass today were even more reduced, but a restless husband -- oddly kicking the bedcovers and stealing the pillows -- more … [Read more...]

The Weirdly #Ashtag “Look-at-Me” Lent of 2014

Seriously, guys, this is no hardship!

Maybe it's me but there seem to be a lot of "oh no! It's Lent! We're going meatless for a day and how shall we endure it!" sorts of posts showing up on the 'net this year, and I'm puzzled about it. I mean, it's one meatless day. I'm betting many of us experience them at least once a week, without thinking about it. We might get up and have cereal or waffles in the morning, and then an egg-salad or tuna sandwich for lunch, and then decide on a veggie pizza for supper, without stopping for a … [Read more...]

No Black Opera Singers, No White Kid in a Gi, No Kabab in UK!

Jessye Norman killed it as Ariadne

I hope Randa Jarrar will break the news to Zaineb Abdul-Nabi, the young, female student-filmmaker featured among a group of six talented young people at last week's Oscar telecast, that Zaineb cannot make movies because they didn't originate within her culture. Hey, it's not my call. I'm all for a young Arab-American woman becoming a cinematographer, if she wants, but Jarrar says, no -- that people have no business "appropriating" artforms outside their culture. Because purity or something … [Read more...]

Pacem in Terris: Anchoress Comboxes Closed for Lent

Lent header

What I am already discovering in this first day of Lent is that I am being drawn out, into the desert. The first word in the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict is "Listen" and I am being asked to rediscover silence and learn to listen again. To slow down and look at beautiful things, too. Because this is so, I have already let folks in social media know that -- while I will still be posting Patheos work and interesting headlines to Facebook and Twitter -- I will not be participating in FB discussion … [Read more...]

“SNAP OUT OF IT!” An Ash Wednesday Sermon I’d Give

snap out of it

The Ash Wednesday wake-up call is the start of a spiritual spring-cleaning I always love, even when the spiritual work is heavy and messy. I love the mass readings (Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart. . .). I love the sense of ancient tribalism that accompanies the smearing of ashes onto foreheads -- this outward sign of penance, of belonging, and self-revelation: I belong to Christ, and I am a sinner. I even love being reminded, as the priest or deacon marks me, that … [Read more...]

Lenten Resources: Apps, Links, Music and More – UPDATED

Lent at ephesus

The sun is beginning to set. We're just a few hours away from quietening down for Lent and it's odd, but all day I have felt -- alone in my office, as I am -- a sense of party. I've nibbled at chocolate all day, even though I shouldn't, because it's Fat Tuesday and a worldly sort of day. Even so, I've been collecting some interesting resources to share with you all -- things to help you achieve at least a small measure of interior calm, to start; things to put some heart into your Lenten … [Read more...]

Go and Learn What this Means: “Cognitive Dissonance”

beauty shopgif

So, you know all this brouhaha, all these hysterics about how bakers, and photographers, and other service-providers who routinely work for gay clientele (but draw a line at serving gay weddings because they feel it imperils their souls) are horrible people? And you know the whole "if you think that way, then you're a bigot," thing, because governments and pundits have taken it into their heads that it is their job to define "sin" to another person? And you know that whole, "refusing to … [Read more...]

Russia, Ukraine, Poland and 2 Timely New Saints

europeukraine

"President Obama's foreign policy is based on fantasy." That's the Washington Post's ultimately restrained assessment, not mine. But I think along similar lines. The man's sense of himself has been over-indulged to a reckless point. The current sense of impotence, however, is not wholly Obama's fault. Yes, he damaged his own credibility, and ours when he drew a red line regarding Syria (and then not only ignored it being crossed but tried to deny that he ever drew it) but in truth, the … [Read more...]

Lenten Reading Recommendations 2014

books lent

In Chapter 48 of his Holy Rule, Saint Benedict says "During this time of Lent each [monk or nun] is to receive a book from the library, and is to read the whole of it straight through. These books are to be distributed at the beginning of Lent." The books an Abbot or Abbess might choose for the benefit of a particular monk or nun were not always religious; sometimes fiction or secular books were given, too, and so I'm including a few of those in here, too. That collection of books above … [Read more...]

As Lana Kane Would Say With Narrowed Eyes…

couple things

1) So...in this gentleman's world, someone who will sell a person cream puffs but not a wedding cake? Totally equivalent to building concentration camps and perpetrating genocide. Hyperbole, much? 2) Fully aware of the irony inherent in what I am about to say, I'm going to say it, anyway: the next person who tells me that because Jesus drove the moneychangers from the temple, all enraged non-God-men are justified in being cruel and ugly to their also-redeemed fellow humans is going to … [Read more...]

Holder Hospitalized: “Lord, the one you Love is Sick…”

holder eric

Attorney General Eric Holder has been hospitalized with symptoms of what could be a heart attack, or a panic attack. Stress is a killer and the whole nation is under stress right now, and that's a thought I may consider and flesh out later, but for now, let's whisper up a prayer for his good. I know, it's not always easy to pray for someone toward whom you may not have warm feelings, but we are called to it, and a good way to enter into any prayer with humility is through scripture. … [Read more...]