Political Narratives or the Pope? Dross to Gold.

Benedict Last Mass Consecration

Immersion in Benedict resignation news, I find the worldly political stories to be stale theater in comparison to the richness of the words I am reading and the authenticity of the pope and the faithful as they meet. Dross to genuine gold.In what is likely his last public homily, Benedict today said: "he reward of the righteous is God Himself, to be united to Him, here, on a journey of faith, and at the end of life, in the peace light of coming face to face with Him forever." Part of me is … [Read more...]

A 7 Word Summation of Benedict’s Pontificate

Benedict Last Mass Applause

During an entire liturgy full of beautiful, sweet and touching moments, there was an especial sweetness to the conclusion of today's Ash Wednesday mass at St. Peter's Basilica, which was also the last public liturgy that will be performed by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.Rocco Palmo has the moment, and the video, and his title, quoting Benedict, can appropriately summarize the entire pontificate of Joseph Ratzinger: "Thank you; let us return to prayer..."Even for two millenia of a very … [Read more...]

The Big Book of Lent and Easter – UPDATED

Ash Wednesday OOR

Every Ash Wednesday I put away Book III of the Liturgy of the Hours, and pull out Book II for the Lenten and Easter Season.Book III is pretty big, but Book II is "the big book." It's a book that carries a little bit of penance for me, on days when the arthritis in my hands is acting up, because just holding it in prayer sometimes makes me aware of pain. The book gets heavy, but Lent is a heavy time; as my prayer is distracted, I simply offer it up -- I look at the crucifix on my oratory and … [Read more...]

Prayer and Penance: Did Twitter Hasten Benedict’s Retirement?

benedict in shadow

In hindsight, we're seeing clues, now, and reading words he uttered indicating that Pope Benedict XVI has clearly been thinking of renouncing the papal throne for some time.Forgive me if this sounds absurd on the face of it, but I am wondering if, despite these pieces of evidence, Benedict's recent entry into Twitter has had anything to do with the seeming abruptness of his announcement.Before you scoff, consider: the pope's interest in, and support of, the church's engagement with new … [Read more...]

Digital Field of the Lord: Hoeing the Rows, for the Seeds

benedict at desk

In my my first reaction to Benedict's announcement yesterday, I wrote:Listening to some of the inanities coming out of the mouths of cable news anchors, and noting the way they are quickly, predictably, focusing on the "negative narratives" -- one voice on cable anchor is making it sound like the church has just endured 32 years of misery and she imagines "great joy" among "progressive" Catholics and "confusion" among "conservative" ones -- how grateful I am that, thanks to Benedict's … [Read more...]

Another Roundup of Reactions on Benedict’s Move – UPDATE

RAINSTORM IN ST.PETER'S PLACE

First -- best comment of the day, from I know not where. Stole it from Mark Shea on Facebook:"Pope joins Twitter. Loses interest in job."I think part of the reason some people have had trouble processing what Benedict is doing -- aside from the fact that we've never seen this in our lifetimes -- is that we have become so habitually ironic that we don't know how else to be. But even irony has grown stale. Only authenticity can still surprise us, and being shaken from our torpor today … [Read more...]

Talking Benedict with Kathryn Lopez and Ed Morrissey – UPDATES

benedict sunny

If you're free from about 4PM Eastern you might want to turn your online radio dial to Ed Morrissey's daily show, where I will join Ed and Kathryn Jean Lopez in discussing today's startling news out of the Vatican:The Ed Morrissey Show and its dynamic chatroom can be seen on the permanent TEMS page. Be sure to join us, and don’t forget to keep up with the debate on my Facebook page, too!What's a plug among friends.Check back for more linkage and updates, but if you have a spare m … [Read more...]

Benedict Announces Retirement (It’s what he WOULD do!) UPDATES!

benedict springflowers

(photo source)In the Pope's most recent tweet, our dear Papa had this to say to us: We must trust in the mighty power of God’s mercy. We are all sinners, but His grace transforms us and makes us new.And today, on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will retire in just a few weeks.He's been looking very tired for a while -- he is 86 years old. Funnily enough, I was pondering my Pope App this past weekend and marveling the schedule of a man c … [Read more...]

Newly App’d (but Always Apt) Pope Talks Up Social Media UPDATES

popeapp

Yesterday saw the release of the Vatican's new "Pope App", which is so well-done that even God and the Machine's Tom McDonald gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up, writing, "I may have to take back all the bad things I’ve been saying about Vatican communications. (Okay, some of them.)"I downloaded the app to my phone last night, and agree that it's pretty groovy. But right on the heals of that app roll-out, the pope has more to offer on these virtual fields in which the sheep do graze.On … [Read more...]

A Papal Validation from @Pontifex on Twitter

papal tweet1

Those who think that Pope Benedict XVI is engaged in mere schtick by making an occasional tweet during a papal audience should think again. If we believe that the Holy Spirit can use all things to God's purposes -- even the most confounding things in the most surprising ways -- there is no reason to think that twitter will not be used thusly.The Holy Spirit can do anything. It can even make a tweet generated by a pope, and meant to appeal to a very broad audience, become an intensely … [Read more...]


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