Lisa Hendey, the Accidental Innovator

hendey speaking

You might call her an "accidental innovator". When Lisa Hendey tried to digitally explore better ways to be a Catholic while raising a family, she couldn't find what she needed. So she created it. As she writes in her new book, The Grace of Yes, "I went looking for answers, and when I didn't find them online, I bought a domain name and some of those For Dummies books about the Internet and launched Catholicmom.com."The rest, as the saying goes, is history. Since its inception, … [Read more...]

6* Questions for Jennifer Fulwiler

fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler is one of those people I can't keep up with. I blink and she's got a successful blog. I blink again and she's got a reality show.I come back from retreat and she has another baby, and an annual woman's conference.I get momentarily distracted and she's released a bestselling memoir; I take a little nap and awake to discover that she's got a radio show on Sirus!Seriously? I can't even get through my email, and she's getting through a half-dozen lifetimes! And … [Read more...]

On Being Distracted While at Prayer

strange gods cover tilt

Tom McDonald came across some very unhelpful advice on how to deal with distraction while at prayer. He turns to some of our Catholic prayer masters for better instruction, and you should go read it, because it's great, helpful stuff we don't read enough.But I also couldn't help remembering Sister Alice McConville, rc, who long ago gave me the sanest and simplest advice on dealing with a wandering mind at prayer. I wrote about it in Strange Gods:“To pray is to love,” she said, “and that i … [Read more...]

In the Land of No, “Yes” is a Most Dangerous Word

yes book

Its so much easier to say "no," isnt it?No, I cant change; no, I cant give up this person, or this opinion, or this thing. No, I wont do this; no, I cannot deal...Its is such a "safe" place, the Land of "No." You never have to step out of a comfort zone.It's very safe, but also very sterile. Here is what I wrote about the word "no" and its impact on the spiritual life, in Strange Gods:What has “no” ever created, besides Hell? And what is Hell founded upon but the “no” born of a … [Read more...]

Social Justice and Mercy: “Two Threads of the Same Helix”

For yourself, for the world, read this book!

All it takes to sustain a culture war is a few select voices shouting in ideological indignation and people who are willing to label themselves “left” or “right” and then fall in line. In the 21st Century, this uncompromising mindset is creating economic and political stagnation and a socio-political distrust that is destroying us.It doesn’t have to be this way. With Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World, author Brandon Vogt dares to suggest that our world might be saved f … [Read more...]

Before October’s Synod on the Family, Read this Book!

Eberstadt book

When the Patheos Book Club told me they were going to be featuring the paperback release of Mary Eberstadt's How the West Really Lost God, I wondered what else I could possibly say to recommend the book? I had brought it up -- not once, but twice -- at First Things, and referenced it here on the blog a number of times -- always with the recommendation that people read it for themselves because How the West Really Lost God gives us a fresh, and very wise, perspective on how we as a society (and … [Read more...]

Blegging What to Read, Retreat Topics, Book Subjects

books in mail

So, I owe some apologies. If you've asked me to review your book, or to read your pdf, or to write a book for you, and I haven't gotten to reading it, or offering assessment, or um, writing the thing due in August, I am really, really sorry.I truly intend to do all of those things, or most of them, and have them done by the end of summer. Right now, there is just an awful lot of material coming in, breaking stories, very long workweeks, exercise regimes, prayer hours, boatloads of email, a … [Read more...]

The “it’s an honor to be mentioned” cliche

Strange Gods, now with Study Guide!

You know that whole, "it's an honor just to be nominated" thing that people say when they discover they're up for some sort of award?It's a true thing! I know, it sounds hackneyed and cliched and false, but it's a reality.I know it's a reality, because the Association for Catholic Publisher’s Excellence in Publishing Awards has announced their finalists for titles published in 2013, and I just learned that Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life is one of them! It is a f … [Read more...]

Harry and Hermione, Agape and Narrative Thrust: What do you think?

Leah Libresco is deeply gratified that JK Rowling regrets putting Ron and Hermione:It’s not just that Ron seems less intelligent and inquisitive than Hermione in the books, but that her joy in research and making connections leave him uninterested at best and impatient or contemptuous at worst. And she hardly seems to share his interest in Quidditch or Wizard Chess. Couples don’t need to share every interest, but a partner who checks out when you’re at your most engaged and joyful is bad n … [Read more...]

The New School: Saving Education from Itself

reynolds new school

The Federal Reserve also found that those with student loan debt were less likely to purchase houses or cars than those without student loans. This isn't surprising. [Such debt] doesn't encourage people to live large. But with young people traditionally being a major source of demand in both the housing and auto markets, two areas deemed important to economic recovery and prosperity -- buying first houses and first cars and then moving up to something fancier every few years -- this burden is … [Read more...]


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