Poor Clares: "What a waste…"

bethlehem monastery

"What a waste..."You hear that from people, often, when they meet a handsome priest or a pretty nun, and even more often when they encounter monastic life. They either cannot believe that a life "apart" can be rich and meaningful or they believe (as one gent wrote me) that "women were made for bearing children and enriching the world through the family" and take issue with this sort of life - a life of prayer and separateness which has a long tradition in Christianity (predating … [Read more...]

Retreat and Lectio

I am not sure what effect, if any, our online retreat from last week had on anyone else, but it frankly has had rather a powerful effect on me, most particularly the "3 PM Wonder Hours" of which Gerard Vanderleun's "Frame Up" was the clear highlight, and if you missed it I urge you to read it. For me it brought the whole retreat together and helped me to understand that perfection is a natural state, and that we so often skew the trajectories of our lives by fighting the landing. On some level … [Read more...]

The Power of One

Deacon Greg has a homily up for this Sunday that is a cut-and-a-half above his usual superb offering: This week, in the Boston Globe, I read the story of an elderly couple named Sol and Rita Rogers. They’ve been married 61 years. They’ve raised a family and lived a long and happy life together. A few years ago, that began to change. Rita developed Alzheimer’s. And she is slipping deeper and deeper into dementia.Several weeks ago, she was taken to a health care center, where she now has to live. … [Read more...]

Welcome to Retreat!

:NOTE::::Check this post (below photo) for links to latest retreat posts::::END:Welcome to our first Online Retreat!Each day of the retreat (from now until sundown, August 16) will be found on its own page, and this notice will remain at the top of the "blog proper" until the retreat ends. In the interest of promoting interior silence, comments will be turned off.RETREAT START, beginning at Sundown, August 10, may be found here. -- First meditation (Sunday Night) is here.MONDAY … [Read more...]

If it's Tuesday…

...I'm not in Belgium, but I'm probably itching to get home. Not exactly a world-traveler type. Although I've always wondered about visiting Ephesus.Bethlehem Crypt at St. Mary Major, burial spot of the fascinating St. JeromeToday is the day we remember the Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica, in Rome. When I was a little girl the nuns told us it was built to honor the naming of Mary as the Theotokos: the God-bearer.Here is what my breviary says about it: After the Council of Ephesus … [Read more...]

Prayer request: Catholic Lotsa bloggers flagged

Please remember Julie from Happy Catholic and her husband in your prayers - especially this weekend - and well as those they serve and those who serve with them. Julie, and hubby, and several other couples are off to facilitate their "Beyond Cana Marriage Enrichment Weekend" and it seems like Old Scratch - who we know likes to get in the way of people trying to do good things - is doing his darndest to get in the way of the weekend - all of the volunteer leaders have had curves thrown at them … [Read more...]

Obama, you're no John Paul II – UPDATED

In pondering the question of whether or not Team Obama released for publication his prayer at the Western Wall, I wondered if any other politician had done the same. John McCain apparently did not.There has been a case where the text of a prayer left at the Western Wall was purposely released, but that was a very specific prayer, released for a specific reason. As part and parcel of a whole acknowledgment of wrongs against the Jewish people, John Paul II's prayer at the Western Wall was made … [Read more...]

Obama's prayer: What's the truth, now? – UPDATED

:::UPDATE:::Okay, so after writing all the reasons why I believed Obama and his campaign meant his prayer at the Western Wall to be private...there comes word from the Israeli paper Ma'ariv - which came under attack for publishing the prayer - that the prayer was released to the press as Obama was leaving the hotel. Which throws everything into doubt. Was the prayer "stolen" or not? Was it ever, in fact, "personal and private" or not? Was the whole thing, after all, staged to gain the … [Read more...]

Publishing Obama's prayer…

In a two-year election season we see a lot of ugliness, and a lot of boundaries pushed, and the publishing of Barack Obama's prayer at the Western Wall - the holiest site in Judaism - is seriously out-of-bounds.I'm kind of appalled that anyone took his prayer out of that wall, more appalled that it was made public, and incredibly appalled that some a faith-based site is "fisking" the prayer while a few bloggers (and forum commenters) are daring to mock it or to judge its content as being … [Read more...]

The Angel of the Lord appeared unto Mary…

A long, long time ago, in answering a question from a reader about why we Catholics make such fusses about things I wrote of Advent and the Incarnation:God kisses the earth, and nothing has been the same since...But no, maybe that’s not quite it, maybe God doesn’t just kiss the earth, for a kiss cannot last.Rather, God comes, as bridegroom - the real bridegroom who weds himself to us, divinity to humanity -and shares with us that most intimate privilege of marriage, the joining of two into on … [Read more...]