Roman Collar as Yoke and Witness

There is a story--or a bit of blarney, I'm not sure which--about why Catholic priests wear the distinctive Roman Collar, all black with just a tab of white showing at the front, rather than the full white collar. I heard it a while ago, and don't remember details, but in this telling it seems that during wartime many priests were easy targets because their all-white collars were easy to see, particularly at night, and so the collar was changed to what we see today, and the rectangle of white … [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...]

Let Your Light So Shine Before Men

Writer Ada Calhoun has come out" as a Christian. (H/T HotAir)I especially liked this part:All of us need help with birth and death and good and evil, and religion can give us that. It doesn't solve problems. It reminds you that, yes, those challenges are real and important and folks throughout history have struggled and thought about them too, and by the way, here is some profound writing on the subject from people whose whole job is to think about this stuff.Over much of the rest of … [Read more...]

Benedict and Obama and You and I

Earlier I wrote of President Obama's distant chill:Perhaps Obama, turning inwardly protective, rather than outward, has kept himself so hidden for so long that he is not sure where there is, anymore. When you are living in a shell – or behind a mask – it’s easy to imagine you are somewhere when you are in fact, somewhere else.Dusting a bookshelf today I came across a book I like very much - and have recommended to you before:This is a beautifully produced day book with 365 excer … [Read more...]

Prayer is ruining me for blogging…

I love my oratory. It's so nice, so restful, so mine. Going there to pray every day ("going there;" it's on the other side of my desk) just...shapes the whole day.But it's really playing hell with my blogging and the direction of the blog.I mean, here's my morning: I shower, get dressed, wrap the towel around my wet head (hey, it's a handy headcoving!) and then go to my oratory. I light tea candles, one before each Icon, one before the Crucifix, one before my little pewter statues. … [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...]

A Study in Contrasts

Two Polish men.Both artists.Both "brilliant."Both persecuted by Nazis, in their native land. One was a prisoner, one was a slave. When the Nazis left, the Communists came.One, Roman Polanski, becomes a filmmaker. He encounters a 13 year old girl.One, Karol Wojtyla, becomes a priest. He too, encounters a 13 year old girl.After his encounter, the filmmaker -still a youngish man- runs away, out into the world, saying "everyone wants to do what I did." He lives what is for the most … [Read more...]

Polanski: Althouse dares to ask…UPDATED

Honestly, you'd think that -of all issues in the world- the rape of a 13 year old by a 44 year old man would be one issue on which people on the left and the right could come together.Apparently not.For the record, let Kate Harding remind us what Roman Polanski did.As the chronic moral arbiters of the world, who work out of Hollywood, rush to defend Roman Polanski by signing petitions, crying about how they can't watch movies in Switzerland "knowing Roman Polanski is sitting in a cell 5km … [Read more...]

15 Hours: Lifetime of Love

Love goes on, and on.Love, permitted to enter the world, never fails and never ends.God is Love. When we permit new life to enter into the world, we permit ourselves to feel newly-minted love. We permit God to come in, again, to the world - in the form of love.And when we do not permit it to come, what then?I wrote in this post:Does our pride or our bashfulness make it difficult for others to gift us? In all of these ways, when we inhibit gift-giving, we get in the way of simple … [Read more...]

The ACORN Grows into a Mighty Mess

Regular readers know I don't ordinarily cover the big, sensationalist stories that go viral through the blogosphere, unless I feel I have something to contribute, so I haven't said much of anything about these shocking videos of ACORN workers advising an undercover "pimp" and "ho" as to how they can get housing, evade taxes and -most repellent- traffic in underage prostitutes brought in from Latin America.I had incorrectly and naively assumed that given the nature of the relationship between … [Read more...]


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