A couple of last-minute gift ideas!

history of the catholic church hitchcock

This landed in my mailbox yesterday: James Hitchcock's History of the Catholic Church Looks delicious, and I can't wait to read it, but before I could even peer at it, my son -- who likes reading all sorts of history -- grabbed it. He's been outside on the porch, reading and smoking, and reading, and he says he's loving it. So...a Buster recommend! If he didn't like it he'd say so, succinctly and in no uncertain terms. I was really happy to receive a signed copy of Amy Welborn and Ann … [Read more...]

Newtown and the God who Knows

newtown 1

"In the face of horror ... there is no other answer than the cross of Christ: Love that descends to the abyss of evil." -- Pope Benedict XVI Words fail at this terrible news, somehow made all the more tragic for the season. Christmas is coming. These beautiful children, who likely had written their letters to Santa, or perhaps had opened a new window in an Advent calendar before going to school, are lost to us -- now -- in these weeks where nothing gives us a better sense of promise, a … [Read more...]

“Shepherds lead as they follow” Even to Twitter – UPDATED

PeterShadowheals

Anyone who thinks that Benedict XVI's foray into Twitter is not, in its own way, shaking the earth, needs to pay attention. If you check out the #AskPontifex you see a roiling energy -- the feed is teeming with it -- aggression and curiosity and timid love and preening hatred are crashing into each other. It reminds me of dark water a few hours before a storm. I like what Sam Rocha has written about it, here: Why would he come here, to this wild place? Why dwell in virtual reality, this … [Read more...]

Twitter Advice for the Pope and What to Ask Him?

PopeTwitter

So, two days ago the Vatican announced the Pope's new Twitter handle and relative hashtags. Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has amassed about half a million English-speaking followers (he will tweet in 8 Languages) and there are innumerable (and sometimes irreverent, often downright hateful) questions awaiting him at the #AskPontifex feed. The pope is not at a loss for reaction or, for that matter, advice. Our friend Brandon Vogt offers His Holiness Five Suggestions as he becomes a Tweeting … [Read more...]

Does Church Suppress God’s Will? That’s Wicked, Right?

womenpriests2_04

Like Mark Shea, I too thought the National Catholic Reporter had endorsed female ordination years ago. I actually had no intention of writing about it for my First Things column, today. Yet somehow -- and though I had intended to write more about Calah Alexander and the idea of a Ministry of Succor to young mothers, I ended up at female ordination, asking a few questions about NCR's stand: The overbearing men of Rome, most particularly Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are depicted as … [Read more...]

@Pontifex Papa Comes to Twitter! #HabemusPapam

Pope Benedict XVI arrives to lead his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican

So, the big news this morning is the rollout of Pope Benedict XVI's new twitter handle, which is @Pontifex. You can also follow feeds using the hashtags #HabemusPapam and even #AskPontifex, because His Holiness will be taking the occasional question. The man has written bajillions of brilliant, instructive, eye-opening and mind-blowing words, and now he is going to tackle the 140 character theology challenge of twitter! Huzzah, sez I! This is the logical and savvy next step in the … [Read more...]

A Year of Faith! A Year of Discussion!

YearofFaith-SeekingthefaceofJesus2-1

Here at Patheos, we like to say we are "hosting the discussion on faith", and we try to live up to it. To that end, and as the Holy Father today declares open a dedicated "Year of Faith", we at Patheos are today launching a dedicated Year of Faith Page. Every week throughout the Year of Faith that page will be showcasing Catholic voices from around the world, featuring people of all stripes and callings – women and men, and Catholic youth; bishops, religious, deacons and priests … [Read more...]

Plenary Indulgence for Year of Faith? What IS That?

Keys

Yeah, I know, indulgences have gotten a bad rap, thanks to past-abuse in our history, and myths do abound, but an indulgence is a good thing, and something that helps Catholics pursue active devotions and grow in understanding and piety. I'm really happy to read that the Vatican has decreed a plenary indugence for the Year of Faith: During the whole span of the Year of Faith, proclaimed from October 11, 2012 to the whole of November 24, 2013, all individual faithful truly repentant, duly … [Read more...]

Portrait of Saint Francis, Subiaco – UPDATED

Francis at Subiaco

When we visited the Benedictine abbey of Subiaco in 2010, my husband -- obedient fellow that he is -- did not take pictures of the glorious and vivid ancient frescoes that so fully adorn its walls. It was a grief to me, at the time, because my eyes couldn't take it all in, and I wanted to remember. But of course, I got the souvenir book, which I do look at, and there is the internet, where one can still get a glimpse. It's not the same as being there, of course, amid the cave where Benedict … [Read more...]

Happy Feast of Saint Benedict – UPDATES

Subiaco Cave

Happy Feast Day of Saint Benedict! Vision of Saint Benedict (c.1360). Giovanni del Biondo (fl.1356-1392). Tempera on wood. © Art Gallery of Ontario. PMA:J99.1089. Saint Benedict marvels at the smallness of the world, in contrast with the immensity and appeal of heaven. About an hour's ride from Rome, one reaches Subiaco, and there one may visit the cave where Benedict of Norcia, 1400 years ago, spent time in isolated prayer (I touched my rosary to its walls!) and marvel over the … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X