Busybodies intrude on childhood friendship

Sometimes I wonder if "enlightened experts" ever had childhoods,. . . increasingly, some educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise their parents: Should a child really have a best friend? ... “I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School … [Read more...]

Hyundai Goes too Far?

It begins with the Agnus Dei - what they are chanting here is "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us."A most excellent prayer.It is unfortunate that such a prayer is lost in the mess of images, here:Every Catholic blogger I know is getting emails about this. Lots of really angry people out there who feel like the ad goes too far.One blogger emailed me saying, "I wanted to shrug it off as dumb until I saw the pizza-as-communion shot."I can understand why … [Read more...]

Feast of Charles Lwanga & Ugandan Martyrs

St. Charles Lwanga and Companion MartyrsVia Fr. Steve:Today is the feast of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions, whose martyrdom, as discussed here is especially moving and reminiscent of the early Christians:They were marched to Namugongo, where, bound with ropes, shackles, iron rings and slave yokes, they waited for one week. During that time the martyrs prayed and sang hymns; the Catholics among them recited morning and evening prayers, grace before and after meals, as well as the … [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...]

Hilarion: "No longer a competitor but an ally…"

Pope Benedict XVI & Archbishop Hilarion I mean all due reverence when I say that I have been a fan of Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev (his site has been in my blogroll for as long as Archbishop Dolan's, at least) for some little while.As a musician/composer/scholar/monk he rings my maternal bell by reminding me of my own sons. Like Pope Benedict XVI, he is a brilliantly gifted man and prolific writer, who is nevertheless an accessible joy to read.The lack of taste for solitude and silence … [Read more...]

"Martyrs Made Our Faith"

Martrydom of St. Cecilia, Stefano MadernoWhile in Portugal this past week Pope Benedict XVI talked about Christian witness, and faithfulness, within a secularist world: “Seek dialogue, but be ready for martyrdom.”The pontiff's remarks on the need for Christians to be ready for “the radical choice of martyrdom” were a tidy lead-in to today's New Testament reading:They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Sa … [Read more...]

The New Celibates

How ironic that in a year where religious, and especially priestly, celibacy has been put under a microscope, debated and often excoriated, the secular hipsters in New York City are discovering the power that comes with celibacy:“I had man whiplash,” [Julia Allison] says. “I needed to put my neck in a brace.”She issued a proclamation, writing on her Web site last week, “I decided to codify my unofficial gut reaction of ‘I really don’t feel like dating’ into an official ‘No Dating, No Sex’ sta … [Read more...]

Retreat Day For Me and Thee -UPDATED

Have you had enough?I have. I'm having one of those weeks where I feel like The Great Unread, like I am the mutt who cannot pass muster with the pedigrees.Well, okay, I am a mutt. But I'm God's Own Mutt, and quite privileged.Yes, I am privileged to write for a modest living, which is so much better than having to manage an office, for one. So, before I start giving in to the "why do I bother, no one reads me," ego-roasting and self-indulgent megrims (which quickly lead to acedia) I'll do … [Read more...]

The Fundamental(ist) Imbalance

Nowadays, the truth of peace continues to be dramatically compromised and rejected by terrorism, whose criminal threats and attacks leave the world in a state of fear and insecurity. These are often the fruit of a tragic and disturbing nihilism.Looked at closely, nihilism and fundamentalism share an erroneous relationship to truth: the nihilist denies the very existence of truth, while the fundamentalist claims to be able to impose it by force. Both show a dangerous contempt for human beings … [Read more...]

The Paradoxes of Christianity -UPDATED

***It seems that Bill Maher, who has never demonstrated more than an adolescent understanding of religion, wrote recently in Newsweek, “The problem with faith ... is it kind of screws up your priorities. Your priorities shouldn’t be about saving your own (butt), which is the focus of Christianity.”Over at the National Catholic Register, radio host Tony Rossi writes:Is [Maher] right?Of course we Christians do want our souls saved so we can spend eternity in heaven. The concept Maher ignor … [Read more...]


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