Gentle Ben in the Holy Land

My latest piece for Pajamas Media is up this morning, entitled Pope Brings his Gentle Touch to the Holy Land.An excerpt: Israel’s unending struggle is written into her very name, Isra-El: “struggles with God.” Since its formation in 1948, the world has watched the tumult of the modern state of Israel and one thing remains unclear: is the “struggle” between Israel herself and God, or between Israel and the world, with God beside her?Either way, that Israel will always struggle should by now be … [Read more...]

Happy students writing research papers

H/T to reader Dick, here is a great post (with pictures) by Pioneer Woman on how to teach students to write research papers.Now, as a mother I am tuned in enough to my 3rd grader to know she was not going to be as excited as I was about writing her first ever research paper. My oldest? She’d write a research paper for the fun of it, but personalities differ and Meredith rolled her eyes, moaned and asked, “How long will this take?”For a brief moment my heart sank, but since I held enough excit … [Read more...]

Mother's Day; What do you thank mom for?

Still down with a bug; this is a repost from 2006 - Have a good one!My birth mother and I had our rough times, and they're not worth expounding on, but she was an interesting person. A child of the depression (she had me kinda late in life - I've always been a surprise in one way or another), and of deaf-mute parents, she grew up an only child given many responsibilities at an early age. She was the polar opposite of the generation of children coming up, whose parents seem intent on … [Read more...]

I Love My TwitterMonkey!

I've taken some (mostly) good-natured guff in my emails for the glittery-twitter link in my right-hand sidebar. Yes, it's a monkey. Yes, the monkey is wearing a sort of Flying Nun habit.She's beautiful! She's a Flying(nun) Monkey!And she is wearing Cardinal Red which is my absolute favorite color in the whole world.I call her Sister Simian of the Glittery Guimpe. And I love her; every time I look at her, she cracks me up.This is not the first time I have fallen for the idea of red … [Read more...]

Catholicism; a small appreciation

We all know the story of St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine who prayed for him, for years, to finally be turned to Christ.Last weekend I picked this CD up from church - Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea talking about how the prayers of his own mother led him out of a terrible life (he was a streetfighter and a union thug) and into the priesthood.I have to admit, I was a little put-off at first by his accent. Fr. John Corapi, the charismatic "hard-ass" of a priest is a tremendous-but-gruff speaker, … [Read more...]

More on Susan Boyle…

More information on the remarkable Susan Boyle, who I linked to in the post below and the story just gets nicer and nicer, and one just wants all good things to happen for her.It seems that Simon Cowell's people are already pursuing Boyle, who got a standing ovation from her church after her appearance on Britain's Got Talent.Before going on stage, Ms. Boyle admitted some self-deprecating facts about herself (she's never been kissed and lives alone with her cat, Pebbles). For those reasons … [Read more...]

SoulWow Clean, Cobb & other things

A friend of mine just dropped a hint - a veiled one, as in, "maybe I'll go to the church down the street and find out what it takes to become Catholic," which made me happy, of course. I gave him the line from noted conservative Paul Johnson: "come on in, it's awful!" We can keep each other company in exile.Anyway, that's cool. Pray for his discernment?While you're praying, please pray for Kim and her husband and their baby. I briefly mentioned their plight here, but was waiting for … [Read more...]

"Abortion is a blessing!"

You know, it's so sick, I really didn't want to write about it. I linked to Amy Welborn and figured I'd let you folks find this monstrosity on your own, but I want to make sure you read it.These remarks were made before a NARAL audience, in 2007, but are only just getting some reaction, perhaps because of the current movement to suppress the conscience clause that protects doctors, nurses and pharmacists from losing their jobs, and Catholic hospitals from closing their doors.Or, perhaps her … [Read more...]

Advice: In Hard Times, "Give More" – UPDATED

He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood." -- Mark … [Read more...]

Quick links around

Happy Hannukah! Or Oy, Come all ye Faithful!Mulling Advent and Friendship over coffee. It's a nice, thoughtful piece by Patrick O' Hannigan, even though he does not say whether it was the delectable Mystic Monk Coffee being served. No, I can't recommend it enough!We'd like Rites and Rituals: but with no transcendence, please.Bush is mulling a farewell message. I personally think he should buy an hour of tv time and debunk the NY Times one distortion, spin or outright lie at a time. At … [Read more...]