"Are you a woman of God?" UPDATED

That's the question Sr. Lisa Doty got from a kid in trouble:“Yes, I am,” I responded, “is there something I can do for you?”Looking down at his feet, he stammered, hardly audible, “I’m not sure what you can do, but I really could use your prayers.” He went on to explain how he had gotten into a lot of trouble at school, and as a result of it, he was expelled. Naturally, his folks are angry, and they worry he won’t be able to go on to college. “I’ve ruined everything! I have no future now!” Te … [Read more...]

"Movin' On Up;" the Background!

Deacon Greg Kandra--who is due to move The Deacon's Bench over to Patheos on December 13--is busy hanging up bookshelves and making the place ready. As evidence of his excitement he's posted the greatest TV-Theme song ever written.An interesting background story on that memorable song. If you remember the series Good Times, you may recall Ja'net Dubois being cast as Florida's friend and neighbor, Willona.What most don't realize is that Dubois, was an dis an accomplished musician and singer. … [Read more...]

Paving Over Grace & Preparing a Place

Two must-reads for you, over at Patheos--well, three, actually!If you are a fan of books and movies, and I know you are, check out Joseph Susanka's excellent take on Paved Over Grace; The Road to Perdition, and how Hollywood deviated from the book in ways large and small, to essentially eliminate all the grace-notes, but manage to focus (with perhaps too much emphasis) on the message of "non-violence." Including both, says Susanka, would be better:The film’s final lines, delivered by the y … [Read more...]

Happy Friday Reading!

Another week speeds by, and I have a tabbar full of stuff I meant to share with you, opine on, or whatever. Is it just me or does it seem like time is speeding up? I am so not ready for Christmas, but Advent will slow us down a little, and help us to get into focus.Today, let's focus on what's new:You know Ed Morrissey? Nice guy from Hot Air, with the radio show, the great interviews and so forth? Well, he's not the only writer in the family anymore! His wife, Marcia, recently answered … [Read more...]

"A Word in Season"

Ever have one of those moments, as you go through life, when someone comes along and says just the right word at the right time? It's usually when we needed it most!Or did you ever have a song play on the radio, or in the shuffle of the iTunes library, and you just knew that somehow that song was meant just for you?A moment of inspiration can make all the difference, for it contains a small blessing.Tucked deep in the Revised Standard Version translation of the Old Testament book of … [Read more...]

St. Leo the Great, Attila & Children of Men

One of my favorite saints and favorite popes, today we remember Pope St. Leo the Great, whose homily excerpts in the Divine Office never fail to stir me:For there are two loves from which proceed all wishes, as different in quality as they are different in their sources. For the reasonable soul, which cannot exist without love, is the lover either of God or the world. In the love of God there is no excess, but in the love of the world all is hurtful. And therefore we must cling inseparably to … [Read more...]

"What Does God Look Like?"

Deacon Greg has a way of finding the perfect graphic to go with a piece, and he has done it again here - using that painting (which I have shamelessly cribbed) to illustrate this excellent piece by Shu-Fy H. Pongnon"What if I told you Jesus was a Black man?"How I came to ask Marie this entirely provocative question five minutes before the start of 7:45 a.m. Mass is a mystery to me now, but I never forgot her answer and its delivery, "Jesus can't be Black, because I would never bow down to a … [Read more...]

Sociology doesn't "get" Hope or Holy Spirit or Work

Forgive me for this, but I really must direct your attention to three excellent pieces, all arising from the blog Summa This, Summa That:The first is by Pat Gohn (yes, that Pat Gohn and that Pat Gohn; she's going to be a star!) who writes about simple hope, in all of its paradoxical complexities:The author of the book of Hebrews puts it this way:“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23.)”That says a whole lot more abo … [Read more...]

Pryor, Bruce, VH-1, & Coarsened Culture

I've said more often than I care to remember that our culture and our media are being controlled by perpetual adolescents who act and think like eternal 14 year olds, but after reading David Mills' essay on the home page today, I'm thinking I have to adjust the age downward. Watching a VH-1 roast, Mills observes:It is hard to exaggerate the crudity of the performance: not so much the crudity of the language and subjects, but its intellectual crudity. Every single remark was the foul-mouthed … [Read more...]

A Habit Story & a Challenge!

A couple of weeks ago my On the Square piece took at look at the visual witness of the religious habit, and wondered whether it might not be worth it for some communities to take a second look at the wearing of them.Happily, that piece has inspired the Nunspeak blogger, Sr. Lisa--a Canossian Sister (like St. Josephine Bakhita) to begin a blog-series chronicling encounters she and other sisters have had that occurred because of the habit.She calls the feature "In the Habit" and her first … [Read more...]