Gradualism: Two More Thoughts on its Gravity #Synod14 – UPDATED

I: It is instructive, and a little depressing, to watch Catholic social media come alive with reactions to the synod's relatio text, which -- let's remember -- is going to be revised and clarified in another week, and then studied, thought about and prayed over for at least a year. The secular media is, naturally, trying to drive the narrative to its preferred talking points (and they're making sure to beat up on poor old Pope Benedict XVI, so whisper up a prayer for him).In social media, … [Read more...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

James Martin SJ: Gravity in Face of MSNBC Condescension – UPDATED

Having read and followed the work Father James Martin, S.J. for a decade or more, I would be hard-pressed to identify a time when he was less than smiling and serene in his discussions on matters of faith, prayer, church-life and more.So, it was striking, and meaningful, to see this most temperate of priests bring a respectful-but-grave presence to an MSNBC discussion that, it seems to me, was handled poorly. The participants, save the Jesuit, seemed unserious and … [Read more...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

“The apostles had wives!” Well, Peter was married, but…UPDATED

Father James Martin is a very kind man and a joyful priest who loves his vocation and will tell you that priestly celibacy is a discipline and gift that has enabled him to form deeply intimate, lasting friendships with with all kinds of people -- friendship that, removed from the flesh and the material, is free to seek out the God-element in each person, and to love with the mind of Christ.Many of my celibate friends feel similarly, whether they are priests, religious or layfolk. Their … [Read more...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Would “Saint” Dorothy Day like that?

In just about any article or bio of Dorothy Day, one of the first quotes you'll come across that is ascribed to her is, "Don't call me a saint; I don't want to be dismissed that easily." One the heels of news that the USCCB has enthusiastically endorsed her cause Father James Martin, S.J. talks to Robert Ellsberg (who edited her wonderful diaries for The Duty of Delight) about that remark, what it means, and in what context Dorothy might have made it:Dorothy’s own relationship with saints w … [Read more...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

St. Teresa of Avila and New Media

In the mail today comes a paperback copy of Father James Martin's book, Between Heaven and Mirth, and since I liked it so well when I read it the first time, I flipped through it again over lunch, and re-discovered this quote from St. Teresa of Avila:“From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.”Ah, I thought. Sour is the mot juste! I don't know whether it's simply because times are hard and headlines are harrowing, or because people are feeling pinched, but that's … [Read more...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Saint Bernadette Soubirous: a Quiet Riot – UPDATED

Today is the feastday of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes -- a woman brought up in such mean poverty that her whole family lived in the equivalent of a jail cell. She was a shepherdess; a poor student who could barely learn her catechism, yet was able to burst into her pastor's office with the words "Immaculate Conception" pouring forth; a visionary who faced public ridicule for digging with her hands, until the healing spring showed forth the next day.I love Bernadette. … [Read more...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

On Clergy, NYFD, Bloomberg Not Budging

A couple of weeks ago, I noted that Mayor Mike Bloomberg was inviting neither clergy nor First Responders to the 9/11 Memorial service in NYC.I thought public outcry might move the mule, but without any push from mainstream media, he is comfortably sticking to his guns. No clergy, no prayer, and there's no room for the First Responders, either. Only a few will be there, by special invitation.Making the point that the first recorded death at the WTC was Franciscan Father Mychal Judge, … [Read more...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Jewish and liberal paeans to a blessed pope

Here are two especially moving tributes to John Paul II, whose beatification ceremony Elizabeth is now winging her way to attend. The first comes from Dr. Michael Berenbaum of A Jewish Journal:Enter Pope John Paul II who as a young man in Poland witnessed the Shoah. Three million Jews of Poland were killed in the Holocaust. After the war, Polish cities, which were once the home of large and thriving Jewish communities, were bereft of Jews and the Pope’s hometown was the site of a large g … [Read more...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

And now…Bernadette! And Adele!

Father James Martin graciously permits Patheos to excerpt a chapter of his wonderful book My Life With the Saints so that we can get to know St. Bernadette Soubirous, the unschooled French visionary who made the acquaintance of the Immaculate Conception: "In the Grotto of Massabieille"On a Friday evening during my first year as a Jesuit novice I wandered into the TV room to see what video was being served up. Television watching was a popular pastime for novices still on a $35.00 monthly … [Read more...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

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, well...it 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...]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK