Word of the Day – UPDATED

Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa, in Santa Maria della Vittoria Church, RomeYou're going to like this one. And it has a St. Philip Neri connection, again, too!Also, check out a more modern saint with whom you may be unfamiliar, Alberto Hurtado. … [Read more...]

God is not sophisticated enough

There is a quote from Archbishop Oscar Romero that both traditional and progressive Catholics love to latch onto, because each feels Romero was speaking for them:A church that doesn't provoke any crisis, a gospel that doesn't unsettle, a Word of God that doesn't get under anyone's skin, what kind of gospel is that? Preachers who avoid every thorny matter so as not to be harassed do not light up the world!In truth, Romero was speaking for Christ. His words are a challenge to all of us, from … [Read more...]

Life of Faith, Power of Prayer

The life of faith, in truth, is -like Jumpin’ Jack Flash, a g-g-gas; it is a mind-blower. We humans tend to try to put everything, including God, and love and life, into manageable compartments, and we hide in them. We hide inside our frameworks, our structures, our plans, our narratives, our willful and our unintentional bigotries.But God -who created a world of order- points cannons at those tidy compartments and goes ba-boom! And when we ask, repeatedly, “why did you do that, when I had it a … [Read more...]

John Allen; definitive on Benedict, Scandals

The great John Allen, perhaps the best English-language reporter on the Vatican beat, does yeoman's work in three different articles, to which I am linking today. Allen takes knowledgeable, sometimes devastating but always fair looks at Pope Benedict XVI and the crisis that has engulfed him over the past few weeks and has come to -rather unjustly- define his papacy.None of these pieces is fun to read. All of them are thoughtful, instructive and very valuable, particularly to anyone who wants … [Read more...]

The Myth of Held-back Catholic Women

New Monastery Going Up Through the Efforts of Five WomenPolitics is opportunistic; in the wake of the last three weeks unending coverage of the decades-old scandals in the Catholic church, Lisa Miller of Newsweek has decided that this is the time to push for the feminist interests.The chasm between the church's stated principles and its functional reality yawns wide. In the U.S., 60 percent of Sunday massgoers are women; thus most of the contributions to the collection plate—$6 billion a y … [Read more...]

Pelosi Doesn't Know from St. Joseph

I'm sorry. Almost nothing that has come from this woman's mouth has infuriated me like this.This woman is a profound grotesque who gets virtually everything wrong here, from what feastday it is, to the kinds of Catholic religious sisters supporting her monster's bastard of a bill.Note, because it is important in the face of her stupidity, her mendacity, her slander and her willingness to use any-and-all means to achieve her ends, the Catholic sisters who vehemently oppose this health care … [Read more...]

The Ball & the Cross & the Bread

[In Chesterton's novel The Ball and the Cross, old Turnbull, the atheist] starts falling in love with a young Catholic woman named Madeleine. . . she finally talks to him not only about his duel, but about the sacraments:He advanced upon Madeleine with flaming eyes, and almost took her by the two shoulders. "I do not love God," he cried, . . . "I do not want to find Him; I do not think he is there to be found. I must burst up the show; I must and will say everything. You are the happiest … [Read more...]

Accents and Recording Booths

Our friend Fr. James Martin has been recently imprisoned in a stuffy, soundproof booth, recording his modern classic My Life With the Saints. Over at America, he has a delightful post up about his adventures in enunciation and I am so happy to know that I am not the only person who really has no idea how to pronounce Mother Teresa's birth name:I didn’t know how to pronounce everything. The team had to clue me in on the most accurate pronunciation of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, aka Mother Teresa. … [Read more...]

OOR: The end of podcasts

I know I haven't done them in a while, but this morning -up early and venturing into the splendid Office of Readings (OOR)- I thought I would share them with you. As we approach the end of the liturgical year, the readings are full of end-times scripture and prophecy, and the lessons are full of love, and warming us up for Advent. I can't help but think they would be appealing to Catholics and Evangelicals, alike.Unfortunately, it turns out that recording as I have done in the past, right … [Read more...]

Good Morning Turn Up the Speakers

I don't know what this organ piece is, but it's joyful, exuberant and energy-pumping.Rise and shine, and get jiggy with the habits in Rome! … [Read more...]