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

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...]

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Could Newtown Massacre be Latent Effect of Bullying?

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo is expressing embarrassment at just how much the press got wrong, yesterday, as they rushed to tell us anything they could about the terrible slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Perhaps he also feels mortified by the press tweets to families and friends of the victims looking for a story.I mean, I'm not a member of the fourth estate, and I'm mortified by it.But as we wonder what happened, why it happened and what motivated this terribly dark … [Read more...]

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Newtown and the God who Knows

"In the face of horror ... there is no other answer than the cross of Christ: Love that descends to the abyss of evil." -- Pope Benedict XVIWords fail at this terrible news, somehow made all the more tragic for the season.Christmas is coming. These beautiful children, who likely had written their letters to Santa, or perhaps had opened a new window in an Advent calendar before going to school, are lost to us -- now -- in these weeks where nothing gives us a better sense of promise, a … [Read more...]

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The Cross always threatens Communists – UPDATED

Found Via Deacon Greg:Government authorities from a district in the Central Highlands last week compelled ethnic villagers to remove Catholic pictures and items from their chapel and replaced them with images of Ho Chi Minh last weekend.“After local Catholics finished prayers in the chapel on Sunday morning, local government authorities came and asked them to remove a cross and a Marian picture from the chapel,” a Church source said.The source added that authorities from Kon Thu … [Read more...]

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Aurora Victim: “I do forgive him…”

A remarkable take-back of power:Within just a few short hours of surgery on his foot Monday, Aurora, CO shooting victim, Pierce O’Farrill tells nationally-syndicated radio host, Todd Schnitt, that he wants to talk to the shooter, James Holmes.In the exclusive “Schnitt Show” interview, O’Farrill, who was shot three times, recalls the horror in vivid detail and says,“I would like to talk to him. I do forgive him.”Mr. O'Farrill is in better shape than other victims, but this reminded me … [Read more...]

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The Talking, Thinking and Wondering Will Continue

There is a saying attributed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, that I used to keep up on my header: "Ideas lead to idols; only wonder leads to knowing."I wonder about that phrase often, and continually draw new understanding as I apply it to different subject matters. It reminds me that I am not only free to ponder, but that as a Catholic, I am (quite contra-CW) required to think. Not to give in to the soft tyranny of sentimentalism until I'm so busy feeling that thinking is dismissed; not to … [Read more...]

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Why We Need Redemption

This ugly, deplorable, heartbreaking picture showed up in my facebook feed.That's a beautiful baby, who looks to be full-term. And there are thousands if not millions of people who cannot have babies, and who would quickly claim this little one for their own. In a world where the fullness of love is constantly being challenged by hate and emptiness, the love therein created -- parent-to-child-to-grandparents and so on -- would have brought a little more affirmation, a little more "yes" into … [Read more...]

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Heresy is Rare and Everywhere

In the comments section of another thread, I wrote in response to a commenter:". . .it is extremely distressing to me that so many Catholics are willing to make a decision about our fellows, stick a label on them and figure they know all about them and can ever-dismiss them as “that sort” of Catholic, or not as good a Catholic or the wrong sort of Catholic than you know…”better” Catholics.”To that another commenter wrote:This is where you completely lose me . . . a broad question in g … [Read more...]

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"If you can keep your head…" UPDATED

There is a poem by Rudyard Kipling - I'm sure we all know it:If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:As I wrote below, I don't often come up to smack. But it's important to keep … [Read more...]

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The Healy Brothers; a Thrilling, Shameful Story

February is Black History Month, and to kick it off historian Dr. Pat McNamara brings us a fascinating story that thrilled and shamed me. What a remarkable family of faith existed in the sons and daughters of Michael Healy and Eliza Clark; they became priests, nuns and even a bishop emerging from their home in Georgia, where mixed-race children were called "slaves." But none of it came easily or peacefully in 19th century America:By any standard, the Healys were an impressive family. … [Read more...]

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