"Goodnight, Chesty"

I had never heard of "Chesty Puller" until reading this piece just now, but it sounds like a film needs to be made, here:Enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1918 he would serve until 1955, rising in rank from private to lieutenant general. Throughout his career he led from the front, never asking his men to go where he would not go. For his courage he was five times awarded the navy cross, a silver star, a distinguished service cross, and a bronze star with a v for valor, along with … [Read more...]

Get Your Patron Saint for 2011 – UPDATED

Regular readers know that around this time each year I have been fortunate enough to have someone "pull a patron saint" - someone who will be a specific teacher and friend for the coming twelve months. My patron for 2010--you can see his picture in the sidebar--has been the great St. Philip Neri, of whom I knew nothing beyond the fact that he was famous for his sense of humor.I did some research on him, bought a book and found that there was much more to this "Apostle of Rome" than his … [Read more...]

Behold! We have always been "radical" -updated!

I very much like this piece by Pat Gohn:"Behold!" is one of my favorite words from the Bible. The wordsmith in me adores words that tickle my ears, words that are uncommon yet descriptive. Behold sounds somewhat archaic yet it still shows up in modern usage. Behold makes me perk up and pay attention. Simply defined, behold means to see, to gaze upon, to observe, to have vision.Whenever I find it in the New Testament, I always watch what happens next. Behold is like the sound of the drum roll … [Read more...]

O Come, O Come

Emmanuel, God-With-Us...Emmanuel, born in Haiti the day after quake in which father died. He did not survive/Photo, "Missionary Ed"Stricken with some sort of bug, over here, and it has me under the weather and working at half-speed. But while I try to pull myself together, here is one of the best versions of this haunting call I have ever heard:Video via Matt Labash, who is looking at this Christmas with a perspective permanently changed thanks to his post-earthquake trip to Haiti, his … [Read more...]

Hecker like the Flour!

Illustration by Dr. Pat McNamara, 1993I somehow neglected to share with you last week this very interesting profile of a very interesting Catholic priest who had an profound impact on the faith in America.Dr. Pat McNamara writes about the Vibrant, Active Piety of Fr. Isaac Hecker, yes, Hecker like the flour that is currently in my cabinet. That family:Early 19th-century America was an exciting time, an age of reform. Known as "the era of the common man," it saw a movement toward greater … [Read more...]

A Balm for Fried Brains

Longtime readers know that when I get over-busy and overworked there is a crash and burn, (strangely enough, it's often an Crash-and-Burn-in-ADVENT) followed by a period of fried-brains-recovery that involves staring at beautiful fabric and period clothing, because despite my Tomboyish ways, somewhere within me there is a pathetically girly girl who is living in the wrong era and occasionally must be served.The past few days, which featured all my regular work, plus a few promised projects and … [Read more...]

"Are you a woman of God?" UPDATED

That's the question Sr. Lisa Doty got from a kid in trouble:“Yes, I am,” I responded, “is there something I can do for you?”Looking down at his feet, he stammered, hardly audible, “I’m not sure what you can do, but I really could use your prayers.” He went on to explain how he had gotten into a lot of trouble at school, and as a result of it, he was expelled. Naturally, his folks are angry, and they worry he won’t be able to go on to college. “I’ve ruined everything! I have no future now!” Te … [Read more...]

Finding Closure with Jumper Cables

The latest entry into the Habit of Witness series is a particularly poignant one, written by Carmelite Sister Timothy Marie.When the convent car breaks down, Sister seeks out some help and her need allows kindness to come full circle, putting paid to "centuries of ignorance and prejudice:A lot of big trucks were parked nearby. Truckers! My answer had come! Saying good-bye to my newfound friend, I went to the crosswalk and, feeling like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music scene where she is … [Read more...]

Buster, Gratitude, Hillbilly Thomism UPDATED

When Buster was pretty small, perhaps three or four years old, a priest asked a rhetorical question during his homily--I don't remember the question; it might have been "why are we here, today" or something like that--but the boy was determined to answer it, and his hand shot up and remained there, like one long skinny flagpole wavering, while the priest tried to ignore him.After a while, Fr. Patient--who had baptized Buster and knew him well--sighed and said, "okay, Buster, what's your … [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...]


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