"If you can keep your head…" UPDATED

There is a poem by Rudyard Kipling - I'm sure we all know it:If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:As I wrote below, I don't often come up to smack. But it's important to keep … [Read more...]

The Idea of Praying Through Time

Pondering prayer, and the notion of praying through time, thanks to our Holy Father:We can love ourselves only if we have first been loved by someone else. The life a mother gives to her child is not just physical life; she gives total life when she takes the child's tears and turns them into smiles. It is only when life has been accepted and is perceived as accepted that it becomes also acceptable. Man is that strange creature that needs not just physical birth but also appreciation if he is … [Read more...]

A Geek's Analogy to Prayer

Was talking to an IT fellow about internet access-issues and the sorts of big-and-small server issues that are the everyday bane of those who make their living on the internets and he described a recent moment of angst:It is SO incredibly frustrating when you try EVERYTHING you know and most things you barely understand to fix a problem and NONE of it works. Then of course someone else looks at it and goes - "Oh there's a password in this file over here that we forgot to change yesterday, … [Read more...]

Seriously, who triumphs, here?

My "Surrender" piece on the home page, and my blog post which expands on it, are creating some angry or confused reactions. I anticipated that, to an extent, and wish I were a better writer, so there would be less confusion, less anger. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit has, via Taylor Marshall, provided a visual aid that touches on my point: our lives are not really ours. The world is not ours. Civilization, even...is not ours:Look at the picture, and tell me who triumphed. Who won? Your … [Read more...]

Surrender unto Surrender for Peace – UPDATED

I admit, my Tuesday column requires some patience. If you jump too quickly you're going to think I'm saying Christians should never defend themselves.Jesus surely didn’t preach that; he didn't preach a crusade either. He taught us to turn the other cheek.Our instincts tell us that turning the other cheek is stupid, but this is what Christ preached. He did not teach that we were meant to conquer others—be they radical Islamists, or gay activists, or evangelical atheists—but that we were to co … [Read more...]

Get Your Patron Saint for 2011 – UPDATED

Regular readers know that around this time each year I have been fortunate enough to have someone "pull a patron saint" - someone who will be a specific teacher and friend for the coming twelve months. My patron for 2010--you can see his picture in the sidebar--has been the great St. Philip Neri, of whom I knew nothing beyond the fact that he was famous for his sense of humor.I did some research on him, bought a book and found that there was much more to this "Apostle of Rome" than his … [Read more...]

A 2011 Gift to Self & the World

Christmas has, in too many ways, become the equivalent of an overdone theme-park vacation. By its end, one is knock-kneed with exhaustion and desperately in need of a genuine opportunity to rest.A Christmas snow, like the one we’ve just had, does wonders to cull the silence. A few inches of white powder brings an unusual and welcome softening of sound—in cities, the hum of traffic is muffled; in the suburbs even the broom of the ubiquitous snowblower is reduced to a faint and unintrusive whir, … [Read more...]

O Sapientia! (O Wisdom!)

As Pat Gohn's column so rightly pointed out yesterday, our Advent is like a pregnancy, and we are nearing our culmination.Finally, we come to the last week of Advent, and the gorgeous O Antiphons which precede the Magnificat at Vespers. They lead us into a quieter mindset, so that we can concentrate more fully on what is about to overtake us. As with every birth, everything will change; we will be changed, if we allow ourselves to be, by the coming of Christ, who makes all things new!I … [Read more...]

"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...]

A Few Hours Off – UPDATE

15th-century Madonna Della Strada at GesuOne of our first stops in Rome was to Gesu, which was around the corner from our lodgings.I fell in love with this Madonna and Child. Amid all of the beauty of that church, and it is very grand and gorgeous, this simple image stood out. Our Lady of the Way, or Our Lady of the Road.With the liturgical year ending, the work (thankfully, blessedly) increasing, I realize I need to take a few hours away from the desk and the computer, so that I can get … [Read more...]


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