Ana Marie Cox “Comes out” as a Christian

Israel Tabgha Loaves and Fishes mosaic

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...]

On Taking Communion While Not Catholic: A Little Primer – UPDATED

Food for the World, lain in a Food Bin. Image copyright Dayna More, courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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...]

“I Hate Youse All!” Uncle Charlie, Christmas & Authentic Love

snowsanta

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...]

Unholy Rage Inspired by the Birth of the Christ

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

My little cousin and I watch as my uncle washes away the blood, and examines the wound. He is making that odd breathless noise—halfway between a gasp of surprise and a sigh of regret—that he always makes when an attack has been thwarted. My uncle, after all, is nearly forty; an old man long past the charms of making his bed upon the chill earth at night; disenchanted with stargazing while wolves in the dark distance howl, or creep in silence, just beyond our sight.It is different for his son … [Read more...]

Immaculate Conception: 3 Reasons I Love the Day

vladimir theotokos

Later today, I'll be talking with Sheila Liaugminas (around 6:00pm, Eastern) as we take "A Closer Look" at the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes.If you ask Catholics which Marian feastday is their favorite, many will tell you it's this one, and I would be among their number, for three reasons:I love the day because it arrives just as we are beginning to deepen our experience of Advent. We place ourselves in the desert and give … [Read more...]

Christ: the King Who Ravishes and Gives us All

Strange Gods cover final

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...]

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...]

Why Francis and Benedict are Right: Proselytizing is Folly

Do you know why, as Pope Francis rightly noted (as Benedict did, before him), proselytizing doesn't work?Because it is not Incarnational. It has nothing in common with the example set by the Word when he condescended to join humanity and "set his tent among us". Not near humanity, but still apart; not above humanity, overseeing it, but among and with and in commonality with us.When Proposition 8 was roiling California in 2008, a group of Evangelical Christians decided to make a weekly … [Read more...]

“It is Consummated”: the “Mad Eros of the Cross”

Christ the Bridegroom**

On the Cross, God’s eros for us is made manifest. Eros is indeed – as Pseudo-Dionysius expresses it – that force “that does not allow the lover to remain in himself but moves him to become one with the beloved” ("De divinis nominibus", IV, 13: PG 3, 712). Is there more “mad eros” (N. Cabasilas, "Vita in Cristo", 648) than that which led the Son of God to make Himself one with us even to the point of suffering as His own the consequences of our offences?Dear brothers and sisters, let us look a … [Read more...]

Christ Crucified Explains it All…

A friend of mine, reading about Pope Francis' admission to children that he is sometimes fearful, wrote admitting that he too was often fearful -- debilitatingly so -- particularly when reading the headlines and watching our social dynamics. He wondered how to not be afraid.I told him, "I know I sound like a broken record, but get a crucifix." I told him to "study the crucifix while pondering the words of Julian of Norwich."Her words, juxtaposed against the crucifix, explain everything. … [Read more...]


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