The Alleluia that Defeats the Chill of Evil – UPDATE

sing hymns drink beer

A friend of mine sent me this piece from the WSJ on the "rapid descent" of the Aurora shooter, pointing to one paragraph, in particular:On June 25, the Lead Valley Range received Mr. Holmes' online application with answers to basic questions about age, gun ownership and drug use; all seemed normal, said range owner Glenn Rotkovich.Mr. Rotkovich called Mr. Holmes to set up an orientation time, and heard an "incoherent, bizarre" voice-mail message, which he described as "very guttural." … [Read more...]

A Hermitage in Your Future?

My husband thinks this will be me, one day:The hermitage isn't what you'd expect: a small home in a quiet neighborhood of Essex, Maryland, that was originally built as a one-room fishing shack 100 years ago. But then, the hermit who lives there isn't what you'd expect, either. Mary Zimmerer, now Sr. Maria Veronica of the Holy Face, is a bubbly widow who discerned a call to the contemplative life after her husband passed away five years ago. Having made a public profession of vows last fall, … [Read more...]

Lenten Reading: Jesus and Jewish Roots of the Eucharist

It's that time of the year again. As Ash Wednesday approaches (it's later than usual this year, and am I the only one who feels likes she's missing it and needs it to begin?) I'll be suggesting books that may enhance the Lenten journey.Foremost in my recommendations will be this book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. It is foremost because the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, and it is so poorly understood by so many -- even among Catholics -- that I can … [Read more...]

Stars and the Excess of Clarity

Spent some time stargazing a while back, when I couldn’t sleep.No telescope, just the naked eye, a dark neighborhood and a willingness to wonder. I was digesting a bit of Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain, and it had stayed with me through evening's pass – the sight of the stars, the early, wise writings of a monk.Does the fact that we can no longer see the stars have anything to do with our loss of wonder? These things, the stars, and all creation - they are more splendid, perfect, … [Read more...]

Most Excellent Vid on Mariology

Sent along by reader Vicki, who is not Catholic, this video is one of the best brief expositions I've ever seen on the theological role Mary plays in this whole pageant of salvation in which we live, and for which we seek understanding.It may seem a little long at 11 minutes, but it moves quickly and covers quite a lot of ground. Stick with it and enjoy! … [Read more...]

"Hail, Full of Grace!" – UPDATED

The Annunciation by WaterhouseA little collection of links and videos appropriate to the Holy Day:Start with Deacon Greg, whose affection for Our Lady seems to have blossomed into one of his loveliest homilies:. . . one of the women said, “We’re Jewish, from up in Orange County, and we just don’t have anything like these [stained glass windows]. They’re just magnificent.”Well, she’s right. They are magnificent. But she was wrong about something else. The Jewish people do have somethi … [Read more...]

Out of Iraq: the Gospel Message Writ Large – UPDATED

Our Lady of Salvation Church, IraqIn the gospels, Our Lord made it very clear that to claim His salvation and his Name was to put oneself at odds with the world. His cross is a sign of contradiction, and our lives are meant to be, as well. In truth, Christians should be happy, not angry, when the world despises them; it despised Him, first. If the world loved Christians, or loved the church, it would indicate that the church (or the Christian) has become too much "of the world."And where … [Read more...]

"Imagine" a Love so Real

As John Lennon's birthday recently passed, a few articles have floated my way via email. Chuck Colson's piece wondering if Lennon was an unwitting prophet, while including Beatles titles within his text was a fun read.Mark Shea, who dislikes the song "Imagine" published a lengthy response to an "Imagine" lover was also interesting and fun.My own thoughts on "Imagine" are currently up at Patheos, and while I don't know if they're fun, I hope you'll find them interesting - I look at it from … [Read more...]

Unemployment Numbers & a Timely Meditation

The unemployment numbers are looking pretty dismal and bleak, aren't they?A while back, I was praying for someone's job intention when it turned into a meditation through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, which adapt themselves perfectly and powerfully to the feelings of abandonment, isolation and exposure that those suffering a job loss can experience.The folks at Our Sunday Visitor wondered if I could adapt that post, after some revision, to a pamphlet that could help prayer groups, … [Read more...]

This is True

An excellent thought on this particular feastday:Only by the power of grace can nature be liberated from its dross, restored to its purity, and made free to received divine life. And this divine life itself is the inner driving power from which acts of love come forth. Whoever wants to preserve this life continually within herself must nourish it constantly from the source whence it flows without end - from the holy sacraments, above all the sacraments of love.To have divine love as its … [Read more...]


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