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...]

Good Cop/Bad Cop For Catholics! UPDATED

Boston College professor and theologian Tim Muldoon's column, "Culture at the Crossroads" strikes a daring note this week; in pondering the recent Nobel Prize awarded to Robert Edwards for the development of human in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy, Muldoon wonders about the morality of it:IVF does not serve the common good -- that is, the good of countries and states providing loving homes to all their children. It interrupts the transformative process -- the conversion, if you will -- … [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...]

"Hail, Full of Grace!" – UPDATED

The Annunciation by WaterhouseA little collection of links and videos appropriate to the Holy Day:Start with Deacon Greg, whose affection for Our Lady seems to have blossomed into one of his loveliest homilies:. . . one of the women said, “We’re Jewish, from up in Orange County, and we just don’t have anything like these [stained glass windows]. They’re just magnificent.”Well, she’s right. They are magnificent. But she was wrong about something else. The Jewish people do have somethi … [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...]

Did Benedict Stir the Water on Purpose?

Did Pope Benedict know he was sparking a debate with his responses in Light of the World?I suspect he did. Benedict is not stupid, and he's not unsavvy about media; he knows the press is reactionary and slavish to the sensational - that they would grab his answers to Peter Seewald and run with them, and that after their first noise, some of them would actually settle down and seek to understand, while others never would.Meanwhile, the faithful would be jarred from their torpor, and … [Read more...]

Pope, Condom, TSA & Crucifix – UPDATED

With a title like that, what else could I be talking about but my Tuesday column:I had been driven to the crucifix because I had become overwhelmed with the media/internet cacophony that had followed L’Osservatore Romano’s weekend revelation of Pope Benedict XVI’s thoughts on the use of condoms in certain situations, and by the uproar over newly put-in-place TSA regulations on pre-flight searches and pat-downs.In both cases, reactions were swift, and they varied according to agendas but fe … [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...]

The Heroic Ordination at Dachau – UPDATED

Deacon Greg brings us a look at a secret ordination that took place at Dachau:Leisner was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and in Dachau his condition began to deteriorate. Fearing that the great dream of his life -- to be a priest -- would never be realized, he and the priests in his cellblock secretly sent a petition to a local cardinal (aided here, and in so many areas, by a heroic nun known as the "Angel of Dachau," Sister Imma Mack.) The cardinal granted permission for a French bishop … [Read more...]


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