Child Breaks Host in Half to Share With Divorced/Remarried Father

The headlines, and the stories could not be more different.From Italy, (via Google Translate): A Child Moves the Synod; divides the Host with this divorced father. We read that Pope Francis and 270 Synod Fathers listened with emotion today in the Synod Hall to the story of a bishop who witnessed — while celebrating a parish First Communion Mass — the scene of a child who came to the altar to receive the consecrated host in his hand, on his own initiative took steps to break it in two, givi … [Read more...]

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Adoration Changed Everything For Me

I like this piece by Mary DeTurris Poust, on the effect of Adoration on parishes and individuals:Despite the mystery — or maybe precisely because of it — adoration is growing in popularity and practice among American Catholics. Perhaps that’s because daily life, for so many, has become chaotic that there is a desperate search for a place and practice that can become the calm amid the storm: Eucharistic adoration can become that place.Too right! I also like what this fellow says, further d … [Read more...]

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On Taking Communion While Not Catholic: A Primer

The holidays always bring out these sorts of conversations. A Catholic friend who confesses to being "lukewarm" to the faith "because it's so crazy, with all the people who are not welcome" expressed some consternation at the idea that there are actual "rules" about receiving Holy Communion. The rules, she complained, "get in the way of a person and Jesus."Once upon a time, I believed that, too.I am still not one to go bug-eyed and cry "heretic!" if someone receives Communion … [Read more...]

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The Burke and Kasper Videos: Epic Fail All Around – UPDATED

If you're not already fully repelled by everything in our world being politicized, this might do the trick.Seriously, when I watched these two videos -- which take a page from the political propaganda playbook -- my stomach turned. I actually had a visceral reaction to the overt manipulation at work, here. Propaganda videos, complete with dark music and heavy messaging on one side and fluffy light and goo on the other, are repellent enough in in the political arena. To see them being … [Read more...]

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Oh, So Ripe for Confession!

It's been quiet around here for the past few days, I know; I forgot to post that my husband and I were taking a time away to celebrate anniversaries. We're not quite back -- we're going to try to take the rest of the weekend off -- but we're at home, now and I am very much looking forward to going to confession in a few hours, in anticipation of the end of the liturgical year, the end of the Year of Faith and the coming of Advent, which is my favorite season.And I wanted to encourage … [Read more...]

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The Constant Reality of Christ

Sister Briege McKenna likes to tell the story of King Badouin of Belgium, who remarked that sitting before the Blessed Sacrament was like sitting in the sun; nothing is required of you but to come out of the shade, and you only feel the strength of its effects, later.This is Truth:The Cardinal Newman Society is promoting Eucharistic Adoration to high school and college students -- people who can very much benefit from some quiet, focused one-on-one time with His Majesty.We can all … [Read more...]

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Holy Eucharist, Humility and Flannery O

My column at First Things this week looks at the story of Father Augustin Escobar, the California priest who recently had his priestly faculties suspended for concelebrating Mass with a Presbyterian minister. As few details had yet emerged as I was writing, I stuck to the question of closed communionThere exists an odd double-standard concerning Catholic observances and almost any other ritual. Culturally nuanced and sensitive Americans would never presume to attend a Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, … [Read more...]

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Lenten Reading: Jesus and Jewish Roots of the Eucharist

It's that time of the year again. As Ash Wednesday approaches (it's later than usual this year, and am I the only one who feels likes she's missing it and needs it to begin?) I'll be suggesting books that may enhance the Lenten journey.Foremost in my recommendations will be this book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. It is foremost because the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, and it is so poorly understood by so many -- even among Catholics -- that I can … [Read more...]

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Stars and the Excess of Clarity

Spent some time stargazing a while back, when I couldn’t sleep.No telescope, just the naked eye, a dark neighborhood and a willingness to wonder. I was digesting a bit of Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain, and it had stayed with me through evening's pass – the sight of the stars, the early, wise writings of a monk.Does the fact that we can no longer see the stars have anything to do with our loss of wonder? These things, the stars, and all creation - they are more splendid, perfect, … [Read more...]

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"Are you a woman of God?" UPDATED

That's the question Sr. Lisa Doty got from a kid in trouble:“Yes, I am,” I responded, “is there something I can do for you?”Looking down at his feet, he stammered, hardly audible, “I’m not sure what you can do, but I really could use your prayers.” He went on to explain how he had gotten into a lot of trouble at school, and as a result of it, he was expelled. Naturally, his folks are angry, and they worry he won’t be able to go on to college. “I’ve ruined everything! I have no future now!” Te … [Read more...]

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