Are the 21 Coptic Martyrs of February Creating Converts?

The news moves so quickly and we gorge ourselves on it so mindlessly, that I sometimes wonder if anyone really remembers the 21 Coptic martyrs created just last February, and whose deaths moved us as much and as deeply, back then as the deaths of Aylan and Galip Kurdi are moving us now.Have we forgotten the 21 men, all Christian save for one whom, is was reported, watched the Christians die proclaiming Jesus and declared that he was taking their savior as his own.Tertullian said "the … [Read more...]

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The Stuff and Fluff of Jesus Christ

On the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I posted some thoughts on how the science of microchimerism enhances our belief in Mary's assumption into heaven.The blogpost was basically linking to my column at The Catholic Answer, and when I hit that site the other day I noticed lots of action in the combox. Of particular interest was this comment:When I first learned about the concept of microchimerism, I pondered this too, and I believe in the Assumption. The only thing is … [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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Pray Litany of Sacred Heart of Jesus With Me Thru June!

Photo courtesy of shutterstock.comJune is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.It's one of my favorite litanies. If you'd like, let's pray it together with my podcast!:*after each invocation, respond with “have mercy on us.”Lord, have mercy Christ, have mercy Lord, have mercy Christ, hear us Christ, graciously hear us.God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us* God, the Holy Spi … [Read more...]

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Empty Tomb: The Improbable First

As part of Patheos' Easter coverage, some of us are pondering what that morning would have been like for the witnesses of the Resurrection. Imagining the soldiers has been my contribution. For more 'accounts' and other resources for Holy Week, visit the Patheos Engaging Easter page.Empty Tomb: The Improbable First What the soldiers saw by Elizabeth ScaliaHe was not afraid. Of course he was not.Only, he could not seem to open his eyes.The air was soft, light on his skin. In … [Read more...]

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Ana Marie Cox “Comes out” as a Christian

She explains why, over at The Daily Beast:It is true that I feel intimidated by a conservative culture that seems intent on creating boundaries around Christianity rather than open doors. But it is also true that I wrote this article knowing that at least a few of them will probably like it—some might even tell me it needed to be written. The image of Christianity and progressivism as a newly hip fusion genre—it’s fucking edgy, man—is a strong siren song.Yet any rumbling desire to turn … [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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“I Hate Youse All!” Uncle Charlie, Christmas & Authentic Love

Christmas day never comes without my remembrance of "Uncle Charlie", a family friend who once appeared on our doorstep, decked out in all of Santa's raiment and tripping in his boots only slightly. He had apparently been Santa for a party at the local soup kitchen (or the local bar; this was never clear to me) and -- just a trifle in his cups -- had decided during his walk home that he would stop at the houses of his friends and give all the kids "a treat." And if the friends wanted to toast the … [Read more...]

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Christ: the King Who Ravishes and Gives us All

He became incarnate so he might share our lot with us, and he died in order to redeem us. In Co-Workers of the Truth, Pope Benedict XVI, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, put it this way:It is obvious that God did not intend Israel to have a kingdom. The kingdom was, in fact, a result of Israel’s rebellion against God and against his prophets, a defection from the original will of God. The law was to be Israel’s king, and through the law, God himself . . . But Israel was jealous of the nei … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis: No Commendatore, No Michael Corleone

It may have gotten a four minute standing ovation from his Bishops, but Pope Francis' closing remarks to the synod, which I thought were pretty beautifully wrought, are being praised-but-quietly by others, at least as I am surveying today.It seems to me people aren't really appreciating what Francis said there -- how capably and clearly he let both the "left" and the "right", the progressives and the traditionalists, know that neither side has a corner on the fullness of the faith or the … [Read more...]

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