Dolan is Charged to Model Christ, Not the Pharisees

Feast in the House of Levi_Veronese

When Jesus rescued the adulterous woman from an angry mob intent on stoning her to death, he was very quiet about it. He wrote something on the ground -- perhaps the sins of the men with the stones? Words in which they might recognize themselves and their own sins and offenses?"But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in res … [Read more...]

Mother of Completeness: Nativity of Mary

Nativity of the Theotokos

"Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, proclaims joy to the whole world, for from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ our God; he freed us from the age-old curse and filled us with holiness; he destroyed death and gave us eternal life." - Antiphon for the Canticle of Zechariah, Morning Prayer for Sept. 8I was struck this morning at mass by the Gospel reading, which was the genealogy and Annunciation from Matthew. The whole list of patriarchs and fathers, with the occasional mention … [Read more...]

Fulton Sheen Might Counsel Patience, Today

sheen when we keep

At the news, late yesterday, that the cause for sainthood for Venerable Bishop Fulton J. Sheen had been suspended, there was some understandable confusion and sadness. Some predictable high-drama and Catholic angst got flung around the web, too, as it seemed like -- given the available information -- Peoria's Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria ("actor" of the cause and President of the Sheen Foundation) and New York's Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan were having a tug of war with the corporeal remains … [Read more...]

BREAKING: NY Archdiocese responds on Sheen – UPDATED

Fulton-Sheen

Cardinal Dolan's Office Responds to Suspension of Cause of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen:Minutes ago, Joseph Zwilling, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of New York, released the following statement today on behalf of the archdiocese, in an attempt to clarify certain questions concerning the cause of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.“The Archdiocese of New York joins Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria in his invitation to prayer that “God’s will be made manifest” c … [Read more...]

Organize the Arab World: Obama’s Sudden Ambition?

ISIS Map

On his way to a Wales-hosted NATO summit, President Obama stopped into Estonia -- he took the scenic route -- and gave a press conference chock full of leadershipy ideas. One of them is that we -- meaning the world -- will apparently whittle down ISIS until it is a "manageable problem" (see: "New Normal", here) and another is that we -- the whole world, again -- will need to "[organize] the Arab world", the Middle East, the Muslim world along with the international community to isolate this … [Read more...]

ISIS, Steve Sotloff, Kim Kardashian and the New Normal UPDATED

This is Kim Kardashian's job. Are we not entertained?

So, ISIS has beheaded a second US Journalist, and I am marveling at how much less attention is being paid to the grisly and unjust murder of Steven J. Sotloff.James Foley's murder shocked the nation, and in the midst of our insta-read-insta-forget culture of news absorption, his story survived a week's worth of news cycles, which is remarkable when you consider how quickly we consign stories to the memory hole and move on to the next big thing. Ebola? Is that still going on? What do you … [Read more...]

Consigning Joni Mitchell to the Prayers of Dorothy Day

Joni Mitchell smoking

Very likely due to being ill for nearly four months, I'm in a bit of a work-and-spiritual funk just now. I've got the blues and am hauling out all the usual prescriptions to try to help myself along.I want to "snap out of it" because I know that I have no business feeling glum; my life is too full of good things, for which -- when my head is on straight -- I am everyday grateful. My husband and kids are healthy. My son is happily married to a wonderful young woman. My other son is making … [Read more...]

Do The Rapes of Rotherham Tell a Tale of Conquest? UPDATED

Koran Graffiti Indiana

For days I avoided the story, as I know many others have. Coming on the heels of the atrocities of the Islamic State, the take-over of Mosul (now a holding camp for kidnapped Yazidi "brides") the purging of the Iraqi Christians from their ancient lands and the pursuit of genocide -- the disheartening knowledge that, despite the official pivot away by our government, there are still thousands on Mount Sinjar who will not be rescued, because they are very old, or very young, or very weak -- who … [Read more...]

“Let Nothing Disturb You”: A Virtual Choir of Carmelites

The nuns' silent presence behind the grill

This impressive both technologically and musically. With a few exceptions among apostolic communities -- and of course, the Third Order laity -- when you think Carmelite, you think enclosure; you think grilles; you think of interior castles and humble cells.And yet, thanks to the wonders of digital recording and the internet, we can listen to a virtual choir of Carmelite women, singing -- and wonderously -- a new piece of music set to the most famous prayer of the great Carmelite foundress … [Read more...]

Unhappy Nation America: Not a Family, Not a People

house adrift shutterstock_134984156

America is not happy. However it might look on paper, in reality we are not getting along. We are e pluribus unum, no more.I wrote that, and later struck it as being too harsh, for my latest column at First Things, which was written after an evening's troubling conversation with an African American friend who is feeling done with everything and everyone. The militarized police in Ferguson so strained his basket of disciplined goodwill that I suspect one more straw, no matter how light, will … [Read more...]


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