2013 Christmas Stamps Speak to Common Humanity

christmas stamps 2013

Apparently while I was on vacation, I missed a wee brouhaha about a US Postal Service ad that managed to promote "Holiday" stamps without including the Christmas-themed ones, and nary a Christian image in sight.Well, if you haven't seen them, yet, here they are:I love this year's Madonna selection, "Virgin and Child" by Jan Gossaert -- I like how Mary presents her son and Lord to with a casual open gesture, while also resting her head on her hand as we mothers do, partly in wonder … [Read more...]

Adoration and the Guy in Church with the Gun. Er, Rifle.

shutterstock_70255408 (1)_Camo

So, I haven't been feeling great these past few weeks -- it's one of the reasons for the scant writing; between the aches and pains and the fuzzy brain, reasoning has been a challenge for me (that is, more of a challenge) and it's difficult to write with coherence when you feel like you are about to die right...this...minute.Tomorrow I go for more lab work -- including some gross stuff that goes on over a few days -- so hopefully by next week we will know more. On the one hand, it's … [Read more...]

Pillar of Cloud, Water of Life: All of a Healing Piece & Peace

baptismofoursavior

For a little while longer, we are still in Christmas, but every day the mysteries of the season seem to wither a little, like the leaves of the poinsettias; the expectation of Advent seems far away, and in just a few days we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, and enter -- with some sense of refreshment, because after a time we long for the comforts of what is routine and regular -- into Ordinary Time.The Baptism of the Lord is being presaged in the readings and prayers of the Divine Office. … [Read more...]

The Battle of the Blessings: Just a Warm Up

Flowers Before His Majesty via Crescat2

Deacon Greg Kandra is an old-school newsman; his decades at CBS News has honed his ability to sniff out a story -- particularly a human-interest story sure to tug at the heart strings or impart a universal lesson -- that someone else (like me) would pass over with a sigh (if the story is sweet) or an eyeroll (if it is sour).The deacon hates confrontations; if he had his druthers, he'd live on a straight path between Disney World and Rome -- between innocence and glory -- and never mind the … [Read more...]

Kim Jong Il is Dead; New Tyrants Come

While you were sleeping our already-roiling world took another hit to its tenuous stability:North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69, state-run television has announced.Mr Kim, who has led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, died on a train while visiting an area outside the capital, the announcement said.He suffered a stroke in 2008 and was absent from public view for months.Pyongyang described his son Kim Jong-un as the "great successor" … [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...]

Cardinal Van Thuan's Holiness

The process of beatification has begun for Vietnamese Cardinal Van Thuan who spent 13 years in prison for the crime of being a Catholic, and carries with him an almost transparent holiness.His story is similar to the story of China's Ignatius Cardinal Kung Pin Mei, who spent 30 years in prison for his faith, living the last part of his life in exile.Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pin Mei, in exileA little while back I wrote elsewhere:Like the Magi, the Church has been traveling resolutely … [Read more...]

Unemployment Numbers & a Timely Meditation

The unemployment numbers are looking pretty dismal and bleak, aren't they?A while back, I was praying for someone's job intention when it turned into a meditation through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, which adapt themselves perfectly and powerfully to the feelings of abandonment, isolation and exposure that those suffering a job loss can experience.The folks at Our Sunday Visitor wondered if I could adapt that post, after some revision, to a pamphlet that could help prayer groups, … [Read more...]

Wondering about Ameridolotry, Krugman, Absorption…

My plan to work, work, work, today is being interrupted by a family situation that needs attending-to (nothing awful, but important, nonetheless) so here's some interesting stuff I meant to respond to or comment on. Now, you'll have to do it! :-)I've wondered several times over the past five years whether some Americans are allowing their ideologies to become their idols. I've never quite had the answer, but thought it was an important question, nonetheless. Today Mr. Dalrymple asks the … [Read more...]

Benedict's UK Triumph Ignored in US

Shamelessly cribbed from Lucianne.comDeacon Greg, who rarely has time to really sit down and write like this, hits one out of the ballpark, today, as he takes a look at the complete non-coverage of Pope Benedict's triumphant visit to the United Kingdom. Really, it's so good that it's difficult to excerpt, but here is a little:One of the biggest surprises of Pope Benedict's historic trip to the United Kingdom may be how few people realize that it was, in fact, historic. Sunday night, I was … [Read more...]


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