Newtown and New Media: must we “do better” on big questions? UPDATED

David_Niven grande

That's the question I'm asking in my column at First Things, this week. More correctly, I suppose I am wondering, does the Pope (and the church) need to do better with the "hard" questions of faith that are now subject to New Media?Or do we -- and especially the non-believers who are pining for "big" questions -- simply not understanding the depth of the answers?It all started with a tweetback from...a self-described “Agnostic Atheist, Freethinker, Skeptic . . . ” called the Pon … [Read more...]

O Sapientia! O Wisdom! Antiphonal Healing

O Sapientia

Tonight, it begins; at Vespers, before the Magnificat, we take up the gorgeous "O"Antiphons. We chant them in full solemnity, with their wandering air, their voice of deep longing.We have been wandering, and longing, for a long, long time; we seek an end to the journey, and the wanting.As the whole nation is gripped in mourning and wondering what first to correct in ourselves, in our laws and our society, have we ever needed these powerful antiphons more than this week?Tonight: O … [Read more...]

Newtown and the God who Knows

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"In the face of horror ... there is no other answer than the cross of Christ: Love that descends to the abyss of evil." -- Pope Benedict XVIWords fail at this terrible news, somehow made all the more tragic for the season.Christmas is coming. These beautiful children, who likely had written their letters to Santa, or perhaps had opened a new window in an Advent calendar before going to school, are lost to us -- now -- in these weeks where nothing gives us a better sense of promise, a … [Read more...]

“Shepherds lead as they follow” Even to Twitter – UPDATED

PeterShadowheals

Anyone who thinks that Benedict XVI's foray into Twitter is not, in its own way, shaking the earth, needs to pay attention. If you check out the #AskPontifex you see a roiling energy -- the feed is teeming with it -- aggression and curiosity and timid love and preening hatred are crashing into each other. It reminds me of dark water a few hours before a storm.I like what Sam Rocha has written about it, here:Why would he come here, to this wild place? Why dwell in virtual reality, this … [Read more...]

Let’s Go Shopping! Christmas Gift Ideas!

pretty knife

A lot of you have been asking for this annual post, and it feels like I am much later with it than usual, but in looking at my archives it seems that with one glaring exception, I'm pretty much on schedule, so let's get to it.To start with, be aware that it's getting towards the deadline to order gifts made by monastic houses. It's already too late to order the wreaths, but I think you can still squeeze in candy, coffee and soap/creme orders. I just ordered these St. Nicholas Shea Butter … [Read more...]

Twitter Advice for the Pope and What to Ask Him?

PopeTwitter

So, two days ago the Vatican announced the Pope's new Twitter handle and relative hashtags. Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has amassed about half a million English-speaking followers (he will tweet in 8 Languages) and there are innumerable (and sometimes irreverent, often downright hateful) questions awaiting him at the #AskPontifex feed. The pope is not at a loss for reaction or, for that matter, advice. Our friend Brandon Vogt offers His Holiness Five Suggestions as he becomes a Tweeting … [Read more...]

Does Church Suppress God’s Will? That’s Wicked, Right?

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Like Mark Shea, I too thought the National Catholic Reporter had endorsed female ordination years ago. I actually had no intention of writing about it for my First Things column, today.Yet somehow -- and though I had intended to write more about Calah Alexander and the idea of a Ministry of Succor to young mothers, I ended up at female ordination, asking a few questions about NCR's stand:The overbearing men of Rome, most particularly Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are depicted as … [Read more...]

@Pontifex Papa Comes to Twitter! #HabemusPapam

Pope Benedict XVI arrives to lead his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican

So, the big news this morning is the rollout of Pope Benedict XVI's new twitter handle, which is @Pontifex.You can also follow feeds using the hashtags #HabemusPapam and even #AskPontifex, because His Holiness will be taking the occasional question. The man has written bajillions of brilliant, instructive, eye-opening and mind-blowing words, and now he is going to tackle the 140 character theology challenge of twitter!Huzzah, sez I! This is the logical and savvy next step in the … [Read more...]

Open Hand, Open Heart: Ministry to Young Mothers

shutterstock_81463102 helping mom

It occurs to me that 21st century realities for young mothers -- particularly for young mothers willing to have larger families -- are quite different than they were thirty years ago, or fifty. In "the old days" -- back when my mother had me, for instance, and my Mother-in-Law had my husband -- families were larger to start with, and extended family members lived nearby. My grandmother lived with us; my husband's grandmother lived a few blocks away; one aunt lived right up the street and another … [Read more...]

Resurrected Messianic Obama and “Being Apocalypse” – UPDATED

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An interesting resurrection is taking place: the re-emergence of the Messianic Obama theme from the tomb to which it had been consigned.It began rather modestly, with the release of The Gospel According to Apostle Barack. But that was a mere gospel. Jamie Foxx then upped the ante by referring (ironically?) to "our Lord and Savior, Barack Obama!" and today Drudge is featuring this story about a 2009 painting depicting a Messianic Obama who is "The Truth"The truth painting is old … [Read more...]


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