Just for Anchoress readers:

Picking up on something Fr. James Martin wrote in a chapter on Friendship With God, in his latest book, The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything; A Spirituality for Real Life, I asked Fr. Jim:You talk about tuning into the various ways God can actively communicate with us in "real time," -emotions, insights, memories, physical feelings - what you seem to be describing is a kind of "everyday" and casual mysticism. Catholics tend to be very careful when it comes to mysticism, unwilling to … [Read more...]

KKK & Catholics

This is not what you think. See hereYeah, that was news to me, too, but then again, the Crescat is all about blowing the mind:... I once had the pleasure of attending a Nascar event with a certian Franciscan friar friend dressed in his brown Capuchin habit. You would not believe the questions people stopped us to ask him. My favorite of course being, "are you in the KKK?" Wearing a habit to a Nascar race in North Carolina proved to be quite a teaching moment.I always wondered what would … [Read more...]

Lent: Back to Eden

"Most probably we are in Eden still. It is only our eyes that have changed." --G.K. Chesterton, Introduction to The DefendantSomehow Lent always seems to lead me, in one way or another, toward Eden.This year -and coinciding with a Lent that seems to be all about re-appreciating family- I find myself back in Eden thanks to this thoughtful piece about birth control and its effect on vocations, including the vocation to marriage.Writes Fr. Dwight Longenecker:The second shift due to … [Read more...]

Having a Retreat Day

Will be taking occasional retreat days during Lent. This is one of them. Time for prayer and spiritual reading.I like this, from this morning:Are you assailed by temptation of the serpent? Then gaze at the mystical serpent lifted up on Calvery; see there our Lord victorious and triumphant in his bodily death, and the cross will prove a healing remedy. -- Saint AugustineCould it be, after all, that within our crosses are all our remedies?My Lectio. … [Read more...]

March 1st: To Confession!

The Archdiocese of New York , in a move that will be replicated in many Diocese throughout the country, will be offering 'round the clock confession on March 5-6.A well-publicized 24-hour period of confessions has proved to be an effective invitation to the sacrament, and there are always big "turn-outs," which some might find surprising. As I am swamped today (in a good way) I wanted to direct you to Deacon Greg's very personal, thoughtful and inspiring story of his own transformative … [Read more...]

Incarnate Word = Undercover Boss

I've never seen the show Undercover Boss, although I do think the premise is interesting. Deacon Greg brings his appreciation for the program into this week's homily:[The undercover] CEOs got to experience what their employees have to put up with - indignity, long hours, low pay, sexism. But they also got to share in the spirit that sustains these workers - optimism, faith, love of family. They saw the enthusiasm and sense of humor that some people bring to even the most menial jobs. The … [Read more...]

Lenten Disciplines

A note by the Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur, a married French laywoman whose cause for canonization is being studied. She died in 1914, and her musings moved me; I identify muchly, particularly with the last bit.I have jotted down in my notebook my lenten resolutions, but I want to confirm them here. I must truly renew my life, and it is God whom I ask in all simplicity to transform me. I want to live interiorly more spiritually, exteriorly more gently and lovingly so as to make God … [Read more...]

Call an assembly, proclaim a fast!

And so we begin, again, the forty days of finding our way back to the God who says, "even now, return to me with your whole heart . . . rend your hearts, not your garments and return to the Lord, your God."I have always appreciated that idea of "rending" the heart. Take your hands and tear it open, and expose yourself to God, willingly, needfully, humbly. Open wide the heart; let the poisons that have hardened it or fouled its workings drain out. Make room for God, who will replace our … [Read more...]

Lenten Themes

Always, as I prepare for Lent (and there is a big Lenten post coming up with lots of links, reading suggestions etc), I find that there is a common theme that is being put before my eyes -something that I figure I am meant to particularly pray about, work on or discipline myself to, with God's grace, over the course of Lent.Now, clearly, I am such a wretched and faulty creature that any headway I do make (and it is scant) is pure gift and not by my own merits. Someone asked me the other day … [Read more...]

The Ash Wednesday Sermon I Would Give

Reposted from 2008It's always the sermon.I don't know what it is with priests, but they just don't get it. Without a laughtrack or a commentator or a jumbotron we only have a four-minute attention span, and they keep insisting on giving us 10-12 minutes, even on Ash Wednesday at 5 PM when people tired and thinking about supper and the kids are getting cranky.Yes, I did the 5PM service today. Just a Service of the Word, not a mass, and it was packed. And the priest - a wonderful, holy … [Read more...]