Hearing Pope Francis With the Ear of the Heart

Pope Francis Holds His Weekly General Audience

Over at The Crescat, Katrina Fernandez is puzzling out Pope Francis and the way people react to him.A lot of people have expressed to me the almost schizophrenic spiritual state Pope Francis puts them in. Admittedly, I too have felt this same bit of anxiousness at times. I’ve even heard comments suggesting the Pope is to blame for the divisive polarizing atmosphere between the “traddies” and “trendies”. They feel like he is constantly criticizing while we try and decipher who specifically he … [Read more...]

On Cantor: Dems Rang Pavlov’s Bell, Conservatives Barked

its midterms again

Well, Eric Cantor has lost his re-election bid to a fellow who seems exquisitely unready for prime time, and the questions are flying: did the Immigration issue sink Cantor? Is Immigration reform dead for this session? Will John Boehner "surrender" on "amnesty" and then run from office?I've said this before, multiple times. The immigration question is never going to be settled, because no one wants it settled. The GOP is too afraid of its base to do anything, and the Democrats love that … [Read more...]

“The Eye of a Samurai Knows No Tear”

Samurai with Sword, Circa 1860

The cruelest, most violent Samurai in Japan decides he wants to become enlightened. He bursts into the home of an esteemed Zen Master and demands that the Master teach him how to become enlightened.The Zen Master looks deeply into his eyes and says, “No. You are a dirty, vicious Samurai. I will not teach you.”Enraged, the Samurai yanks out his sword and places it right at the Zen Master’s neck. He hollers, “Do you have any idea who I am? I am the cruelest Samurai in the world. I c … [Read more...]

Good luck? In the arms of Jesus!

Sr_Cristina_on_The_Voice_Italy_CNA_3_20_14-300x192

Hopefully everyone can see this, because it's kind of adorable. Suor Cristina Scuccia gets the Italian version of "Break a Leg" and she charmingly says, "In braccio a Gesù!" -- it (or she) is in the arms of Jesus.And then she laughs like a bride.She says she expects to renew her vows next month, in anticipation of her final vows, and that her priorities are "Jesus and prayer." I believe her. … [Read more...]

David Mills Comes to Patheos

button down mind

Early in his career, Bob Newhart won several Grammy awards (including "Album of the Year") for his his debut comedy album, "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart".Something about David Mills' new blog at Patheos reminds me of that album. It's look is deliberately buttoned-down and unfussy. There are no extraneous photos, and nothing is presented to you but the Mind of David Mills.Whether you think that mind buttoned-down or not is of course a matter of perspective. Some may remember Mills … [Read more...]

How Does Vatican Interfaith Prayer Help the Peace Process?

Abraham and the Three Angels/Marc Chagall

We're seeing lots of internet coverage, stories, and opinions regarding Pope Francis hosting Israel’s President Shimon Peres, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tomorrow -- on Pentecost Sunday, at the close to the Easter season -- and the prayers that will be said.Here's the deal:. . .Vatican officials also confirmed that Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople will participate in the prayer service [and] stressed that the prayer service should be seen not as a p … [Read more...]

Suffering Servant: Did Benedict Actually Resign?

Pope Emeritus on Bench with Cat

This whole piece by John L. Allen is fascinating, but scroll down to the question:Did Benedict resign?Yet another point of interest from the recent press conference came when Francis took a question about papal resignation. He didn’t reveal his own plans, saying only that he’ll do “what the Lord tells me,” but did insist that he believes Benedict XVI historic decision to step down is not an “isolated case.”In that connection, an essay on Tuesday by longtime Vatican watcher Vittorio … [Read more...]

Not Firing Anyone: Kiss Hands Before Round 2

Hubert Robert, Incendie a'Rome

Sadly, while I did indeed bring everyone's intentions with me to the Holy Land, I was not able to pray in the holiest of places. I was denied Jerusalem thanks to a case of pneumonia that sent me home and then quickly to hospital. But know I did pray, and even in a hospital bed, gasping for breath, I offered it up for your intentions. It was the best I could do.I will write about Israel later, when I am well and stronger. Right now, I am forced to use this puny amount of energy I possess in … [Read more...]

Patheos Welcomes Dr. Pia de Solenni to the Mix!

Pia headshot

One of the great pleasures and challenges of assembling the Catholic channel at Patheos has been presenting a broad-but-balanced-view of Catholicism -- one that is not-too-conservative, nor too-progressive in scope, but finds the more common middle area between those extremes, wherein most Catholics reside.For most Catholics, in fact, arriving at Catholic Orthodoxy is a process. Our faith is difficult, sometimes; that's what makes it great.Catholicism demands not "blind obedience" but … [Read more...]

Pentecost: A Beautiful Illumination

Illumination from Hours of the Usage of Rome, French School, 16th Century

Sometimes the heart just longs for beauty. June's cover of Magnificat Magazine took my breath away. That's "Pentecost" an illumination from a book of Hours from the 16th Century, and this is what Pierre-Marie Dumont writes of it:Shown at prayer, Mary intercedes for her "daughter" [the church] at the moment of her birth at Pentecost, just as she will constantly intercede for her to the end of time. Kneeling in the right foreground is Saint Peter, the first pope, wearing the mozetta in cloth … [Read more...]


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