All Saints Day & Modern Martyrs – UPDATE

Chapel & Tomb of St. Philip Neri, Chiesa Nuova, RomePodcast of the Readings for All Saints Day via the USCCBLate yesterday, word began to come of a "bloodbath" during Mass at Baghdad's Syrian-Catholic cathedral. Details are still emerging; it portends nothing good:The terrorists, some wearing suicide vests, had taken over 120 faithful hostage at the Syriac Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation, one of Baghdad's largest, during Sunday mass and demanded the release of al Qaeda … [Read more...]

Halloween & All Saints Day – UPDATED

Girlfriend needs to take a day off; I need to pray, play, rest and regroup - pull it together if I am going to be of any use at all for next week's elections and its aftermath or the ongoing shenanigans all around us, so today is a good day to read and consider signing this letter to politicians, and then veg-out and consider all things Halloween-y.I love Halloween for the fun of it, and also for the shivery edge to it that most of us don't think about much but which Mark Shea notes well, … [Read more...]

The Beating Heart of the Team

Philip Kamrass / Times UnionWriter Fran Rossi Szypylczyn emailed a great story that is a perfect spirit-warmer on a cold, dank day, and a great reminder the pro-life month of October comes to a close, of the dignity of every human life.Shaker High School's freshman girls' soccer team says it has 11 players, 22 feet and one heartbeat.Gianna MacPhee isn't the best player, or the fastest on her feet, but she clearly illustrates the team's big heart.Gianna has Down syndrome, and her decision … [Read more...]

The "Safe Haven" of Grace

I like this piece by Tony Rossi, over at Patheos, about Nicholas Sparks, author of The Notebook, who talks about his latest novel, Safe Haven, but also about what he has learned about the safety and strength that comes from making a commitment, either to marriage, or to something else:Commitment through difficult times has been a factor in Nicholas Sparks’ relationship with God too. Both his parents were killed in accidents and his sister died of brain cancer, so the author admits to having s … [Read more...]

"We had Cancer & Christ in Common

"Friendship" by PicassoIt's breast cancer awareness month, and Pat Gohn has permitted me to reprint an affecting piece she wrote a couple of years ago, about her own breast cancer, and the a deep and faith-filled friendship that came like a balm and gift to counter the medical chaos:Sometimes friendships blossom where we least expect them -- like in foxholes. That echoes my relationship with Judi. I was in a battle, but lacked experience. As a cancer veteran, Judi helped me adjust my armor … [Read more...]

Roundup for Noontime Reading

Busyness has made me remiss in letting you folks know about Patheos' Religion and Faith Book Club, which is currently discussing Stephen Prothero's God is Not One, with a nifty tie-in to the PBS-series, which is also looking at the book.Sadly, neither the book nor the series has crossed my path, simply because of a lack of time, but you'll want to check out the sites and reviews, I think.Speaking of reading, Halloween is coming up. Check out John C. Wright's guffaw-inducing thoughts on the … [Read more...]

Chilean Miners Give Unfiltered Witness – UPDATED

Esteban Rojas, the 18th miner rescuedOver at Deacon Greg's place:We sit here in our living rooms and offices, sipping coffee and checking e-mails, and hour after hour, another one emerges, up a long dark hole, to a shaft of daylight, and there are cheers and tears -- and then something more. Something that moves even the most hardened heart. The world is blinking back tears as we see it, again and again. One man, breathing his first fresh air in months, falls to his knees and prays. … [Read more...]

In the Day of the Bully

Over the weekend, I mentioned to someone that I hate the tv ad for the Chrysler Town and Country--the one where a little boy is being chased by bullies; he dives into the open hatchback of a waiting minivan, and his mother--who apparently knows her son is the target of bullies, but parks some distance away from school--then smiles as he makes his escape and the hatchback slowly closes behind him. Still smiling, and oblivious to the fact that thwarted bullies do not surrender, but only slink … [Read more...]

Reasoned Loyalty; the Tuesday Column

My Tuesday Column is up, wherein I wonder about whether an adult and fully-formed faith should rest upon reason or loyalty, and decide that, requires both:Reasonable Catholicism is reasoned loyalty, or sometimes even loyalty with gritted teeth; it is loyalty that insists upon the application of reason lest its value be questioned. By the same token, intellectualism that is not tempered with loyalty ends up pickling itself in its own ego. Either one, by itself, is incomplete. Both … [Read more...]

The Glory of God on Your Face -UPDATED

Nothing thrills a writer more than to read something and tsk wistfully about it, "boy, I wish I'd written that!"Which is how I began my morning. Thrilled and wistful!The great Pat Gohn has written something truly wise, wonderful and valuable in Something of the Glory of God Shines in Your Face. I'm calling it today's must-read:If we lined up all the major issues of Catholic social teaching and compared them to the Himalayas, the “dignity of the human person” would be Mount Everest… the mo … [Read more...]