Surrender unto Surrender for Peace – UPDATED

I admit, my Tuesday column requires some patience. If you jump too quickly you're going to think I'm saying Christians should never defend themselves.Jesus surely didn’t preach that; he didn't preach a crusade either. He taught us to turn the other cheek.Our instincts tell us that turning the other cheek is stupid, but this is what Christ preached. He did not teach that we were meant to conquer others—be they radical Islamists, or gay activists, or evangelical atheists—but that we were to co … [Read more...]

"A Terrifying Sign of the Times"

Fr. Robert Barron looks at Pope Benedict XVI's Christmas Message. … [Read more...]

Did Benedict Stir the Water on Purpose?

Did Pope Benedict know he was sparking a debate with his responses in Light of the World?I suspect he did. Benedict is not stupid, and he's not unsavvy about media; he knows the press is reactionary and slavish to the sensational - that they would grab his answers to Peter Seewald and run with them, and that after their first noise, some of them would actually settle down and seek to understand, while others never would.Meanwhile, the faithful would be jarred from their torpor, and … [Read more...]

Pope, Condom, TSA & Crucifix – UPDATED

With a title like that, what else could I be talking about but my Tuesday column:I had been driven to the crucifix because I had become overwhelmed with the media/internet cacophony that had followed L’Osservatore Romano’s weekend revelation of Pope Benedict XVI’s thoughts on the use of condoms in certain situations, and by the uproar over newly put-in-place TSA regulations on pre-flight searches and pat-downs.In both cases, reactions were swift, and they varied according to agendas but fe … [Read more...]

Communion; Hand or Mouth?

Yesterday at Mass, my husband noticed that on the floor of our pew, by our feet, was a quarter of an unconsumed Host. He picked it up and consumed it.Discussing it on the way home, my husband chose to think the best, not the worst. "Maybe [at a previous Mass] the wedge was part of Consecration Host, and it somehow got picked up with another one and missed, or dropped onto a sweater, or something."My husband is always quick to think the best, especially when a matter is too troubling to … [Read more...]

Benedict, Condoms, Humanae Vitae – UPDATED

"O Lord, in your light we see light itself." --a 1st Antiphon of LaudsIn the comments section of the post below, the subject of Humanae Vitae has arisen. I am of the opinion that Paul VI's encyclical was prophetic, but poorly taught and too quickly dismissed; its message was unwelcome in an "if it feels good do it" era.Deacon Greg notes that what Pope Benedict has said in Light of the World is not appreciably different from what Paul VI proclaimed in 1968:"The Church does not consider at … [Read more...]

Pope & Condoms – UPDATED & UPDATED & More

The press loves its "Rottweiler narrative" on Benedict, but he has confounded them on it, over and over again. Sooner or later they will realize he was never the hammer they claimed he was. He has always been extremely pastoral; wedded to the truth while aware of human complexities. And here he is, proving it again:As a book launch it is certainly bound to move some product, but expect the usual clarifications that always appear about 4 days after the press has blared a headline as subtle as … [Read more...]

The "Safe Haven" of Grace

I like this piece by Tony Rossi, over at Patheos, about Nicholas Sparks, author of The Notebook, who talks about his latest novel, Safe Haven, but also about what he has learned about the safety and strength that comes from making a commitment, either to marriage, or to something else:Commitment through difficult times has been a factor in Nicholas Sparks’ relationship with God too. Both his parents were killed in accidents and his sister died of brain cancer, so the author admits to having s … [Read more...]

Benedict & the UK; The First Fruits

Benedict Speaking on Hildegard of Bingen, 09/08/10English and Welsh bishops are urging Catholic parents to dress their children as saints this Halloween.At first consideration, that might not seem too remarkable. But when one takes into account how timid Catholics have been in the UK in recent years, perhaps it is remarkable indeed. Perhaps the Halloween suggestion reflects some of the first fruits of Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to England and Scotland. British journalist Paul … [Read more...]

Reasoned Loyalty; the Tuesday Column

My Tuesday Column is up, wherein I wonder about whether an adult and fully-formed faith should rest upon reason or loyalty, and decide that, well...it requires both:Reasonable Catholicism is reasoned loyalty, or sometimes even loyalty with gritted teeth; it is loyalty that insists upon the application of reason lest its value be questioned. By the same token, intellectualism that is not tempered with loyalty ends up pickling itself in its own ego. Either one, by itself, is incomplete. Both … [Read more...]


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