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

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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 CNS-produced 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 … [Read more...]

Back from Vacation and Ripe for Confession! – UPDATED

Basilica Santa Sabina, Roma

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

"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...]

Communion; Hand or Mouth?

Yesterday at Mass, my husband noticed that on the floor of our pew, by our feet, was a quarter of an unconsumed Host. He picked it up and consumed it.Discussing it on the way home, my husband chose to think the best, not the worst. "Maybe [at a previous Mass] the wedge was part of Consecration Host, and it somehow got picked up with another one and missed, or dropped onto a sweater, or something."My husband is always quick to think the best, especially when a matter is too troubling to … [Read more...]

Fr. Barron on Eucharistic Adoration

It takes a genuine bigot to suggest that Eucharistic Adoration is a practice reserved to the stupid and the uneducated. Another sort of elitism. … [Read more...]

A Habit Story & a Challenge!

A couple of weeks ago my On the Square piece took at look at the visual witness of the religious habit, and wondered whether it might not be worth it for some communities to take a second look at the wearing of them.Happily, that piece has inspired the Nunspeak blogger, Sr. Lisa--a Canossian Sister (like St. Josephine Bakhita) to begin a blog-series chronicling encounters she and other sisters have had that occurred because of the habit.She calls the feature "In the Habit" and her first … [Read more...]


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