2013 Christmas Stamps Speak to Common Humanity

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...]

A Most small-c Catholic Drama

Over at Pajamas Media, I have a piece that you might call an addendum to my weekend article at First Things.In 2009 an Arizona woman, pregnant with her fifth child and suffering from pulmonary hypertension (an often, but not always fatal complication), consulted with her doctor and the ethics committee member on call — a Catholic Sister of Mercy — and obtained an abortion at the St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.As the story has gone public, the reactions have been predictable across r … [Read more...]

The Value of a Good "Mea Culpa"

Reposted, by request, from 2007:It's struck me for a while, now, that we Catholics, who begin each Mass with a Penitential Rite meant to free us from the lesser - not grievous or mortal - sins, have been short-changing ourselves by our choice in how we do it.In most parishes today, the Penitential Rite will be a series of affirmations tied in to the Kyrie, so you might hear something like this:"Lord Jesus, You are the Light of the World and our Salvation, Lord Have Mercy" (to which the … [Read more...]

St. Therese & Our Own Genius

Ste. Thérèse de L'Enfant Jesus et de la Sainte FaceFrom the Responsory for today's Office of Readings:From the very beginning, O God, you came to me with your love, which has grown since my childhood - Its depths I cannot fully grasp.O Lord, how great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. - Its depths I cannot fully grasp.Coming directly after Therese's nearly ecstatic words in the second reading, the quiet acknowledgment of ongoing mystery and unplumbable depths i … [Read more...]

Mariette in Ecstasy

And Christ still sends me roses. We try to be formed and held and kept by him, but instead he offers us freedom. And now when I try to know his will, his kindness floods me, his great love overwhelms me, and I hear him whisper, Surprise me. --Mariette Baptiste, Mariette in EcstasyIt has been a long time since I first read it, but last night I found within this wonderful and strange novel by Ron Hansen, a permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church, things I have longed to share since my … [Read more...]

Obamacare & the Insistent Vector of Love -UPDATED

When Sarah Palin talked about the “death panel” provisions residing within the Obamacare bill she was excoriated in the press and by the left for her inelegant and un-nuanced language, and –because she is the left’s Emmanuel Goldstein-in-training – for also being stupid and wrong, and a hick.Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee quietly scrapped the provision to which Palin was referring. No, the words “death panel” had never existed in the bill, but Palin neatly identified the inevitable tr … [Read more...]

"The stuff priests are made of…" UPDATED

Wow, a great photo via the Crescat, who recounts the story she found here and marvels at "the stuff priests are made of":4 June 1962. Navy chaplain Luis Padillo was giving last rites to dying soldiers as sniper fire surrounded him. A wounded soldier pulled himself up by clinging to the priest’s cassock, as bullets chewed up the concrete around them. Hector Rondón Lovera, who had to lie flat to avoid getting shot, later said that he was unsure how he managed to take this picture. [See all pi … [Read more...]


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