When We Truly Love, We Model God to Each Other – UPDATED

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A while back, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mother Dolores Hart, OSB about her book, and she talked of breaking off her engagement in order to enter the Abbey: He was furious. Oh, He was so upset. But he said a very unexpected thing which was, ‘you know all love relationships don’t end at the altar, and I will be faithful to you in this.’ Well, I thought that was a head-trip too. I didn’t see how in the world he could do that, but in effect, fifty years later, Don did … [Read more...]

Absent Grown-Ups: Over-sexed and Material-Worlded to Death

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My column at First Things today is about what creates grown ups in the world, and what happens to the world when we resolutely refuse to be raised into it: A psychotherapist friend once confessed to me that she still makes each of her five grown children call her on rainy nights, to tell her they are safely at home. “So many mothers run away from their children or put them in nurseries or go out to work,” Dorothy Day noted, “because they can’t stand . . . the suffering that such love … [Read more...]

Small Steps Book Tour Ends Here!

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Hey there! This is the final stop in the Small Steps Blog Tour, hosted at CatholicMom.com to celebrate the release of the latest CatholicMom.com book, Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act, by Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss. Think: "Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world that passes like a shadow." Pray: Infant Lord, the world becomes noisier and noisier as we approach your birthday. Help me to remember that infants are best appreciated in the … [Read more...]

Francis Focuses on Family Formation Over Family Illiteracy

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Good news! Putting Families First at Top of Pope’s Curia Reform Agenda Halfway through their meetings, Pope Francis and his council of cardinals have addressed many different themes, but the formation and care of families is a top priority in upcoming discussions. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi revealed in an Oct. 2 press briefing that, so far, the council has reflected on the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council and the upcoming Synod of Bishops. But Father … [Read more...]

Men on Strike: Fathers, Family, Frank Talk and First Things

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Two weeks ago at First Things, I wondered what it would be like if Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) had her way and women ruled the world. This week I'm continuing on the theme of men and women and families and faith: Family illiteracy, [author Mary Eberstadt] says, “breeds religious illiteracy.” In turn, increasing our scriptural literacy is one way for Christian communities to help their members understand and form families. Eberstadt’s book...has, in tandem with Helen Smith’s Men … [Read more...]

Dissecting Bodies, Sex, Sin, Selves: Catholic, Muslim and Plasticine

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A couple of days ago Muslimah Media Watch examined the way the media indulges in reductive stereotyping of Muslim women, whenever sexual issues are discussed: Thank you Jezebel for your groundbreaking work in this field and for using phrases like “Islam, surprisingly…” and “All of which may make many a Muslim woman blush,” because that’s not reductive at all – particularly when discussing Muslim women and their intimate lives, completely missing the point that sexuality is a … [Read more...]

French Kids Rescued from “the tyranny of their own desires…” – UPDATED

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Over on Facebook, Melanie Bettinelli -- the wise and graceful blogress at The Wine Dark Sea -- posted this article from Psychology Today on Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD, or at least not the way American kids seem to have it. To the extent that French clinicians are successful at finding and repairing what has gone awry in the child's social context, fewer children qualify for the ADHD diagnosis. Moreover, the definition of ADHD is not as broad as in the American system, which, in my view, … [Read more...]

As Mothers Day Looms, Two Obituaries to Die For – UPDATED

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Well, in a manner of speaking. I hope when I die, my kids can manage to produce something as wry and fun as this: Waffle House lost a loyal customer on April 30, 2013. Antonia W. "Toni" Larroux died after a battle with multiple illnesses: lupus, rickets, scurvy, kidney disease and feline leukemia. She had previously conquered polio as a child contributing to her unusually petite ankles and the nickname "polio legs" given to her by her ex-husband, Jean F. Larroux, Jr. It should not be … [Read more...]

“I will not forget the lessons you have taught me…” – UPDATES

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You all know I am not a sentimentalist. I'm always suspicious of emotionalism and of course, tough-as-nails, right? But I am human! And this video which Kevin Knight put up at New Advent got me all verklempt! It's just priests, saying thank you to Pope Benedict. But it's very moving. And with this sort of thing, that so few of us even knew about, it's like, "yeah...thank you for that, too!" UPDATE I: And a video of young people saying thank you, too! UPDATE II: Fresh off of … [Read more...]

Matt Archbold’s Talented, Funny Kids

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I really love thew way Matt Archbold writes about his kids, but this piece on a school talent show, and what he learned from it is a hilarious,insightful and touching keeper that really resonated with me, for all the nights I've lain away regretting a too-hasty answer, and for all the times -- like the day pictured above -- that I let a kid surprise me: She dropped to her knees in the living room, put her hands on her head, and moaned an anguished yawp as if her visions of grammar school … [Read more...]


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