Young Women of Good Intention

I'm going to ask a favor of my readers who pray, to keep the intentions of a few young women in their prayers, particularly for the next week.First up, Elder Son's Sweet Girlfriend. This kid has been going to grad school full time (and earning all-A's) while working full time, and managing to pull it all off as she commutes between two states. Last semester was an absolute killer, but she never gave up. Now, it looks like she may have an opportunity to snag a much-desired assistant's job on … [Read more...]

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"Why does 'green' have to look so Commie?"

Got that question in an email today along with this link to a story and video showcasing the move by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey (a venerable, beautiful and historical monastery) to their new digs:The community is used to upheaval, having moved five times in its 385-year history, including an 18-month stretch behind bars during the French revolution. The latest move was prompted by a need to down-size.An overall decline in Catholic vocations has left the community with 22 … [Read more...]

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St. Catherine & Me!

For a Benedictine, I do seem to write an awful lot about Dominicans and particularly about St. Catherine of Siena.Kind of odd, don't you think?My latest on the Unforgettable Catherine can be found on the First Things Home Page today, a review of Edmund G. Gardner's The Road to Siena; The Essential Biography of St. Catherine, and I think you'll enjoy it. Please check it out and I'll be back with a round up of Catholic/Anglican reactions and more, later! … [Read more...]

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The Leadership Void; we need St. Benedict

Deacon Greg sent this my way, noting, "this is extraordinary, and the piece mentions you, too!"Such a star, I am!What is "extraordinary" is the lengthy post Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley put up in his blog, addressing the criticism he has received for presiding (in a very minimalist way, it must be said) at the Funeral Mass of Sen. Ted Kennedy.For the record, I wasn't one of those suggesting Kennedy should not have a Catholic funeral; my gripe was with the sanctification of the man … [Read more...]

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"I Love My Life"

I don't know why it is but my nightstand drawers routinely get filled and then overfilled with the weirdest, most random stuff, until finally I cannot close them anymore. This morning became "clean up" day, and aside from finding scores of broken pencils and no sharpeners, a paper I'd written for an Anthropology class 15 years ago, a worrisome number old invoices, some snarled up threads and a small tube of toothpaste, I also found a little card Buster had made for me when he was about 5 or 6 … [Read more...]

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Weakness is sown; strength rises up – Repost

Continuing with the idea shared by reader Mark S, I have decided it might be fun, after all, to repost some of my older pieces as I introduce myself to new readers. The following is from 2006, written after spending the anniversary of 9/11 at Adoration and praying the Office for the Dead. Today, having spent some time before the blessed sacrament for the intentions of all on my prayer list (please don't forget Patrick O' Hannigan's daughter, Jane, or our friends Liz and Sarah, who are dealing … [Read more...]

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"I come from a long line of depressed Germans…"

I was going to hang on to this piece and save it for an upcoming post on Vocations, but I was so charmed by the sisters being interviewed, here, that I am going to do a "little" Vocations piece, today. This is H/T Deacon Greg:"The [Monastic Dominican Nuns] didn't want to come to Hollywood," Sister Mary Pia says with a smile. "That was the funny thing. They didn't want any kind of worldly association."But as it turned out, Hollywood - even back in the '30s, before most of the studios and … [Read more...]

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What is your favorite psalm?

I actually meant to talk about psalms yesterday, but somehow that post, almost from the first word, was taken out of my hands and morphed into this piece on Oblates and Tertiaries, and I've gotten to the point where I just don't fight that sort of stuff anymore.Those who check in from time to time to pray Morning Prayer or Vespers with me in the podcasts know that I consider psalmody a spiritual wellspring for our eternal thirst, and a most perfect reflection of the human condition in all of … [Read more...]

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Oblates, Tertiaries, Professed Laypeople

I was corresponding with a Dominican nun the other day and I joked with her that, although I am a Benedictine Oblate, I am lately finding myself very drawn to Dominican spirituality, likely due to my friendship with her and also because of those those two charismatic and intrepid Dominican nags I have mentioned with some frequency, lately, St. Catherine of Siena and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, both of whom were laypeople, not vowed religious."If you become a Dominican Tertiary, your chances … [Read more...]

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Saintly Relics, Babylon & Nimrod

As a Benedictine Oblate, it was with great joy that I read this article on the discovery of ancient relics, including one of our Holy Father, St. Benedict:The new medieval gallery at the British Museum is full of beautiful images of saints in ivory, stone, gold and wood - but invisible to visitors, it also holds the bones of 39 real saints, whose discovery came as a shock to their curator.The relics, packed in tiny bundles of cloth including one scrap of fabric over 1,000 years old, were … [Read more...]

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