Faraway, So Close

I really like Joseph Susanka's column for today:Try as I might, my "Social Networking" escapades are rarely social and even less regularly network-y; more "dialed in" now than I've been at any other point in my life, I actually find myself less connected than ever. Rather than an easy opportunity to engage with friends and family throughout the country, new media has become for me an information-induced malaise—a passivity that finds me watching status updates and tweets fly by without raising … [Read more...]

Steve Jobs, RIP –UPDATED

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in Reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? -- Hamlet, Act II, Scene IIWell, we are stardust, finally. And what a force has passed, like a comet, through our era!I confess, my geek husband and Elder Son appreciated his multi-layered genius much better … [Read more...]

Horizontal Schisms meet Vertical Hope

Every once in a while, something comes across the desk or email and and it makes you aware of how quickly time goes by.For instance, it seems like just yesterday, I was talking about debuting a new column in The Catholic Answer Magazine, and "holy smokes...a month has gone by!" and here is my second column, entitled "And They Will Set You Free"Imagine a people, and the church in which they grow up — a church in which the people worshipped with fervor during adolescence and to which, perhaps … [Read more...]

Snapshot of Brilliance: Bad Catholic, Age 18

Merciful heavens!Sacre bleu!Marc Barnes, aka the Bad Catholic has moved his blog here to Patheos, and with his very first post he has my head spinning, my synapses leaping for joy. He'd have my wordsmith mother whirling like a dervish, had she been inclined to whirling.The child's writing chops and original thinking have me gasping: "if he is writing like this at 18, what sort of fabulous monster will he be at 35?":Back when we had a faith, curses were fabulously blasphemous. ‘Sblood’ (C … [Read more...]

Occupiers as Mindless Drones -UPDATE

Wow. And they say religious folk want to be told what to think and what to say!This is pathetic. It reminds me of kindergarten. It's actually kind of terrifying: "just tell me what to say and I'll parrot it." Completely mindless.UPDATE: At the urging of a few commenters, I looked at the video again, and concede that this may in fact be less a mindless-drone-fest than I had thought. As some know, I don't venture forth into crowds very often, so I have not experienced or witnessed … [Read more...]

Moments "After America"

On Sunday I'd mentioned that I was reading Mark Steyn's After America.Finding the book less "LOL funny" than Steyn's previous book, America Alone, I was nevertheless unable to put After America down, and I write more about it in my column at First Things:I thought of Chesterton a great deal while reading After America. Steyn quotes de Tocqueville liberally throughout the book and makes great, relevant references to H. G. Wells’ Eloi and Morlock populations, but in reading about the sort of … [Read more...]

Sarah Palin, Centerfold

My column at First Things. You know I can't stand it when people get stupidly unfair and abusive:American’s sad ideological balkanization is most obviously exposed for the sickness it is whenever this woman’s name is mentioned. Thanks to cable news and the social media echo-chambers that invite us to pledge allegiance to a stark perspective and then hiss “enemy” at anyone who thinks differently, Americans are being conditioned to absorb The Daily Outrage on cue; we are one nation, quite divided … [Read more...]

A Hermitage in Your Future?

My husband thinks this will be me, one day:The hermitage isn't what you'd expect: a small home in a quiet neighborhood of Essex, Maryland, that was originally built as a one-room fishing shack 100 years ago. But then, the hermit who lives there isn't what you'd expect, either. Mary Zimmerer, now Sr. Maria Veronica of the Holy Face, is a bubbly widow who discerned a call to the contemplative life after her husband passed away five years ago. Having made a public profession of vows last fall, … [Read more...]

Why Tyranny Fears Art – UPDATED

About ten years ago, maybe longer, I read an interview with U2's Bono, and he said (paraphrasing from memory) "art and lovemaking are the ways to touch God."I think he meant that art and lovemaking were transcendent because they are both activities are a means of self-revelation - that they take us out of ourselves and make us vulnerable in an act of creation, or co-creation, and there is tremendous power in that.Well, I happen to think - if that's what he meant - that Bono was correct. The … [Read more...]

The Beatitudes & Sargent Shriver

Deacon Greg Kandra has had a very impressive career; as a writer and producer with CBS News, he won Peabody Awards and Emmy Awards, and Writer's Guild Awards - and then he went to the Diocese of Brooklyn and helped establish Currents, the first daily Catholic news broadcast in the country, at New Evangelization Television. He has a gift for zeroing in on the human center of a story, and extending it in a way that brings all the peripheral loose ends together into a cohesive and marvelous … [Read more...]


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