Racking Up My Balls So You Can Crack Them! UPDATED

balls

Like billiard balls on the table, I am sort of scattered all over the internet just now, so, let's rack these things up and then you can have a crack at me.Earlier this week Kathryn Jean Lopez published Part II of our long interview last May. Reading oneself seven months later can be interesting, and self-instructive.KJL: “When something is true, there is no point in arguing. We cannot make anyone believe anything.” How does that gel with the Gospel mandate to evangelize?Scalia: Jes … [Read more...]

John Allen’s Stark Reality of a Global War on Christians – UPDATED

global war book

Deacon Greg Kandra has linked to the words of an Orthodox Priest, Fr. Peter-Michael Preble, who is sketching out the difference between what American Christians perceive as persecution, and what what real persecution is:Are you, as a Christian, prevented by anyone from setting up a Christmas tree in your home? Are you, as a Christian, prevented from attending the church of your choice on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?. . .Have armed rebels stormed your church or home and taken you hostage … [Read more...]

Should Religion Just Shut Up on Policy Matters? – UPDATED

That's the question currently being bandied about over at Patheos' Public Square page, where a Druid, an Evangelical and others are piping up.From the Catholic side, Joseph Bottum -- whose book An Anxious Age will be out in the spring of 2014 -- picks up more or less where he left off, last August, when he argued that our social condition is such that we've moved beyond the question.Sounding a bit exasperated, Bottum writes:Read the Creed, for God's sake—not a single line of which … [Read more...]

When Hating Oneself, the World, and God Seems Like Right Reason

Cosmic_Magnifying_Glass_-_Hubble_Space

There are times when -- all too innocently, because we have not been mindful of what is before us -- we give too much license to a dead past that cannot be changed, and then we lose our handle on things. Like the Sorcerer's Apprentice, we conjure from the ether of our past a solitary-but-sharply-outlined idea, and then suddenly, one after another, memories begin to fall upon us, like bright orbs called from galaxies far beyond, and much better kept in the distance. Our disappointing families … [Read more...]

Bad Benedictine; "I love you, go home!"

As I anticipate coming into my tenth year as a Benedictine Oblate, I rejoice that the effect of Benedictine spirituality in my life has helped me to become less savage than I was, although I am still quite feral in some ways. But, as I explain in my latest column at First Things, there is a part of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict that still has me stymied: Benedictine Hospitality, and St. Benedict's dictum that we must receive everyone we encounter as receiving Christ. I have a long way to go, … [Read more...]

Mary Anne Marks, Harvard ’10 -UPDATED

This is really charming, and comes our way thanks to reader Jenny, whose son graduated from Harvard University (motto: Veritas ) last month, with this young woman, Mary Anne Marks.Ms. Marks, a classics and English joint concentrator hailing from Queens, NY, chose to give her salutatory address in Latin; and manages to be engaging and lively with this "dead" language:You can read read the speech, here.Come the fall, this gifted, confident and serene young women will head to … [Read more...]

Dwelling in Possibilities of Life & Death – UPDATED

We have recently seen pro-life conservatives like Sarah Palin and Ed Morrissey admit that fear of the unknown, and the possibility of complicated outcomes, were brief temptations toward abortion, an option which they rejected, and rejections they pointedly do not regret.Their acknowledged temptations are something most of us would understand. People want to feel sure of themselves and what is going on in their lives; they want an illusion of control.An abortion performed at a Catholic … [Read more...]

Immigration & the Storm Next Time

Last week, I was in Brooklyn taping a few episodes of In the Arena, and one of the drivers, taking a route that brought us past The Green-Wood Cemetery, reminisced about Park Slope, where he had lived all his life."We were working class, then. Our fathers were train conductors and shoe salesmen. No, we'd never be able to afford to live here. We'd cut through Prospect Park to Ebbets Field to watch the Dodgers. In the summer, they'd close off four city blocks to create a play area for us … [Read more...]

Sex Abuse is about Control and Power

The Catholic League has taken out a full-page ad in the NY Times that tries to be a point-by-point rebuttal to the Times' reverberating prelude to Holy Week.As rebuttal it is a tad weak -that's what happens when your answer rightly requires 10,000 words and 350 is all you can manage in 18 pt Arial Narrow- but it hits its main targets; it manages to make one important point that is too-often ignored, that the church (and secular organizations as well) erred greatly in taking the advice of … [Read more...]

The Father Scanning the Horizon

While he was still a long way of, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. - Luke 15:20We all know the story of the Prodigal Son. It is (as Msgr. Charles Pope says here) almost "overly familiar".At mass today Fr. Dyspeptic -my favorite homilist, because he is scholarly but witty, and always blessedly brief- suggested that it is easy for us to identify with either of the sons, the prodigal or the ignored-feeling … [Read more...]


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