Failing…in love again

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"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love." - First reading at Mass, from 1 John 4:17-18(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)As Popeye would say, "well, blow me down."I fail at love all the time -- grievously -- and when I consider how often that failure is connected to fear, I have to say, this is pretty spot-on.There is a great deal I do not fear; usually for me fear is … [Read more...]

Benedict: @Pontifex Does Real Theology in 140 Characters – UPDATE

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(Image shamelessly cribbed from Lisa Hendey's post)Pope Benedict XVI launched his first tweet today, on this feastday of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to much fanfare.And then -- like the rest of us -- he found the act so ridiculously fun and ingratiating that he did it some more! And yes, he is answering questions:Q: How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives? A: By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in … [Read more...]

“Shepherds lead as they follow” Even to Twitter – UPDATED

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Anyone who thinks that Benedict XVI's foray into Twitter is not, in its own way, shaking the earth, needs to pay attention. If you check out the #AskPontifex you see a roiling energy -- the feed is teeming with it -- aggression and curiosity and timid love and preening hatred are crashing into each other. It reminds me of dark water a few hours before a storm.I like what Sam Rocha has written about it, here:Why would he come here, to this wild place? Why dwell in virtual reality, this … [Read more...]

Twitter Advice for the Pope and What to Ask Him?

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So, two days ago the Vatican announced the Pope's new Twitter handle and relative hashtags. Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has amassed about half a million English-speaking followers (he will tweet in 8 Languages) and there are innumerable (and sometimes irreverent, often downright hateful) questions awaiting him at the #AskPontifex feed. The pope is not at a loss for reaction or, for that matter, advice. Our friend Brandon Vogt offers His Holiness Five Suggestions as he becomes a Tweeting … [Read more...]

“Our Life is Over Like a Sigh”

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That astonishing vestment (to me, beautiful-in-message-and-execution) is making the rounds, on Facebook. It's a vestment specific to the day, as we celebrate All Soul's Day -- a day when, as Dawn Eden reminds us -- we remember that our loved ones are still with us, and that we are still connected to them via prayer.It's good to remember that our time on earth is short -- that, as Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton said, "we are made for eternity" and not just for our brief sojourn, here.Our … [Read more...]

A Divided Church and a Movement with Momentum

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(Image courtesy of shutterstock.com)Over at Egregious Twaddle, Joanne McPort asks (and answers) whether the church can survive the times:The received narrative paints a Church disproportionately and irreconcilably divided between The People, a vast international sea of those who reject doctrinal pronouncements, tradition, and authority in favor of relevance, inclusivity, and individual conscience, and The Bishops (among whom the Pope is just one of the boys), a tiny aged and withering … [Read more...]

Are Catholics Tiring of Apologizing to the Culture?

I think so. Joanne McPortland continues to say the stuff I want to say but so much better than I can say it:Conservative critics, especially of academia, have made much over the years of the Tyranny of Tolerance, the ways in which thoughtful exchange among those who differ is purposely derailed by accusations of privilege and claims of victim status, examined for evidence of political incorrectness with a scrupulosity usually reserved for clerks of the Spanish Inquisition. I am not a … [Read more...]

Three Nuns, Three Different Ways of Serving

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The lovely and tireless Sr. Mary Catharine of The Dominican Nuns of Summit sent this my way, and I knew I had to share it with you, particularly in light of all the "nun news" and the sometimes caustic remarks people can make about sisters whose communities are not habited. No one appreciates a good old habit better than I, but I know too many good, faithful sisters in streetclothes to get all uppity about it.I can't embed the video that accompanies this article from the Statesman, but … [Read more...]

Of Christ, Monasticism and Radio Astronomy

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Alright, after a couple of politically-flavored posts, I'm going to have mercy on everyone and give you a gift for the weekend, and it comes to us in two parts via an excellent site within the Evangelical Portal, Good Letters, where guest contributor and writer/poet Richard Cole relates how his first-ever retreat at a Benedictine Monastery resulted in his coming to Catholicism and his second grounded him within it:From Part I, where our hero is given no assignment except to be:At … [Read more...]

Nuns and Bishops and Popes, Oh My! – UPDATES

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The sisters are all Joan of Arc and the Bishops are all Don Giovanni!Allow me to clear my tabbar of these numerous links touching on the Sr. Margaret Farley story, the LCWR leadership meeting with Rome story and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad menfolk -- offering "the contorted thinking of celibate men" -- who just don't appreciate the linear and perfect thinking of the celibate women.I guess female celibacy is superior to male celibacy and therefore confers credibility on … [Read more...]


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