Pope Francis Endorses My Book, “Strange Gods”? – UPDATE

strangegodspublished

Well, no, not officially, but I had a little fun on Twitter this weekend, when several friends mentioned Pope Francis' latest tweet at @Pontifex:It just slips in so very well with the whole topic of my book, Strange Gods; Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life, which will be hitting bookstores soon. In the introduction I write:Do we stop to think of what it means to have something "before God"? It means to put something "first", yes, but more fundamentally, it means to put something … [Read more...]

“Pope Francis” a snapshot and keepsake of a historical moment – UPDATED

pope-francis-matthew-bunson

One of the pleasures of writing for Our Sunday Visitor, either as a freelancer (or pamphleteer!) or as a columnist for The Catholic Answer has been getting to know the great people who make up their editorial staff. Catching a meal with Greg Erlandson in Rome (or a papal audience with Sarah Hayes) only made them more memorable, and working with Dr. Matthew Bunson, who edits TCA is a joy. I haven't fully made a deadline yet, and he's been a very patient fellow about it, indeed!But even if he … [Read more...]

A Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious Theology of Womanhood

CathPT_BlessedBeautifulBodacious_1

"Each woman's life, well lived, might be the best gospel anyone will ever read. But before the doing, before the carrying out of the mission, there is the being. The personhood of each woman, without her ever saying a word or doing a thing, is a sign of life.Womanhood. Life.Those terms are inseparable" -- Pat GohnOutside of my husband and sons and my heroic and saintly in-laws -- and my dear Benedict, who still astounds me -- I haven't got too many heroes in my life, but Pat … [Read more...]

Interviewing John Thavis: Inside, under and atop the Vatican

John Thavis

After receiving an advance copy of John Thavis' timely new book The Vatican Diaries, and enjoying it immensely, as I relate here, I emailed a few questions to Thavis -- the "retired" former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Services who is currently back in Rome covering the impending conclave, and even blogging at his own site.Since I am so highly recommending his book -- and I really urge you to pick it up as soon as you can, and read it as a lead-up to all the conclave coverage -- I … [Read more...]

“The Vatican Diaries” is one great read – UPDATED

Vatican Diaries

There is an old saying: "if you want to know what is really going on in a city, ask the cabbies; ask the doormen." Watch the main players in all of their theatrics, but talk to the people no one is noticing, because they notice everything.John Thavis, Catholic News Service's recently-retired Rome bureau chief, spent a quarter of century watching the Vatican main players and seemingly talking to everyone, and all of that has translated into a thumping good read. His timely book The Vatican … [Read more...]

“The Pope’s Jews: Pius XII Not “Hitler’s Pope” Afterall?

Portrait of Pope Pius XII

Martin Luther King said "a lie can't live."It can travel around for a while, but eventually, like spinning top that is spent, a lie must tumble .It's supremely interesting to me that at the very moment we are watching the beginnings of an all-out effort by the press and others to "define" the papacy of Benedict XVI, and solidify it in people's minds as a catastrophic failure, King's words are being borne-witness to by newly emerging information about another pope. Pius XII has been … [Read more...]

A Gentle, Encouraging Voice for Lent

margaret book

When I invited Margaret Rose Realy to develop her beautiful blog here at Patheos, I did it for the authenticity and clarity of her contemplative voice, as with this voice:I remember a couple of months ago several Goldfinches rocketing across the backyard. I wondered if there was a disagreement about whose yard it was. Typical of these lively little birds, they are unconcerned about my purpose or presence in what they have claimed as their territory. They continued to dart about and I … [Read more...]

“Salt and Light”: Tasty, Clarifying stuff for Lent!

Salt and Light cover

So, I have a pile of books that have come my way, freebies--gifts from publishers or authors hoping I will read their book and recommend it--and I am feeling terrible that so many books have come in and received nothing but silence on this end.Since I really do need a little downtime from the ordinary routine, I think I will spend the rest of January trying to get at least a good sense of some of these books and letting you know about them. Tonight, this book was on top of my pile, so I … [Read more...]

Cravings: New Personal Perspectives for a New Year

cravings

I have been waiting for a long time for the release of Mary DeTurris Poust's latest book, Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image and God, and here it finally is:Before I had read a word about the book a glimpse of the cover spelled out a central aspect of its message: we see a luscious berry, so overripe it's almost bursting; you want to just grab it and indulge in it, but note the thorns that warn against mindless excess. It brilliantly conveys the essential message of the … [Read more...]

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 ChurchLooks 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...]


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