Holy Advent; Holy Hope in Light

Advent 13

Welcome! Welcome! I shed tears of gratitude and joy that you have come round again, O Advent, to shake us from our torpor as early night comes, and the match is struck, and the message is brought home once more; that we are forever in the absence of light; it is beyond us and exterior until we make it welcome and bring it, like a lover, within. Welcome into our deepest void, welcome into the parts of us touched by human frost and stunted. Welcome, O Light, beaming glorious, into remotest … [Read more...]

Crouched Behind our Ideologies; Blocked from Salvation – UPDATED

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Almost a year ago, I announced that I was going to make a full-hearted effort to pull back from the temptation to ideological excess, and I completely meant it. I was tired of being angry, more than a little convinced that my anger suited the purposes of others, beyond my ken, and fed up with consenting to being bitter -- which was not only exhausting but took me nowhere I wanted to go.Here's what I've learned, so far: It's not always easy. Absent a grace-filled miracle, one can't can't … [Read more...]

Evangelii Gaudium and My Joyful Grouse Rome-ward

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Well, the little I've managed to read of it today, I've loved, and you will likely love it, too, because in my skimming, I'm finding it gorgeous.In my skimming, my eyes landed on this bit, which is rather glorious, and a true challenge to all of us. It more or less explains what Pope Francis meant when he called proselytism "solemn nonsense":Loving others is a spiritual force drawing us to union with God; indeed, one who does not love others “walks in the darkness” (1 Jn 2:11), “remains … [Read more...]

Will Leaving a Cash Tip Open Us Up to This Kind of Fraud? -UPDATED

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Because my mother was a waitress who worked for mainly for tips, when my husband and I dine out we will very often strike a line through the "tips" portion of the bill, and leave our gratuity in cash. We do this for a couple of reasons -- because often food-servers need the cash to pay the babysitter when they get home; because keeping track of what tips should show up on a paycheck is difficult; because why not let people access their tips immediately?Well, we may decide to stop leaving … [Read more...]

Jennifer Lawrence is a Class Act

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We've been fans of Jennifer Lawrence in this house since Winter's Bone, in which she was just a revelation, but far more important than her prodigious gifts, Lawrence appears to be a really well-grounded young woman, whose head is on straight. Here she is daring to suggest that women like Joan Rivers should grow up:“Shows like the Fashion Police and things like that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on things [that don't matter]. They put values in all t … [Read more...]

Why people hate people who call themselves Christians UPDATED

Image via KMBC

I just can't even:So, a server went to pick up a check after restaurant patrons had eaten, and found this message on the bill:"Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD'S love, but none … [Read more...]

Where Government Drops Ball, People Must Take Up

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

This is one of those stories that makes you feel good about one human being seeing and hearing and helping another human being, but it also frustrates, because long-term answers are not forthcoming.When she asked if she had paid for all the food she was carrying, Robles confessed that she hadn't."I asked her, 'Why would you do that? What would make you do that?'" [Officer] Thomas told WSVN. "And she said, 'My children are hungry.'"Thomas pulled her aside and checked her criminal … [Read more...]

Lino Rulli: “Perfect people don’t inspire me…”

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Okay, I've been very upfront about it, so we already know that I am an idolator!But perhaps you didn't know how bad it has become.Take a look:Aye, that's not just a copy of Lino Rulli's new book, Saint: Why I Should be Canonized Right Away, but a medal, and a prayer card and, yes, an I-mean-business 7-day candle.Let's call it what it is: The Shrine of Saint Lino de Sirius-ly Imperfect, patron of "Catholic Guys" and Gals, Bookies, and People Who Expect Every Flight to End … [Read more...]

“My name is Kevin; that’s spelled Q-E-V-V-E-N

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A month or so ago I was doing a book-signing -- which, believe it or not, is actually a fun thing to do, even when you're shy -- and as people came up and we greeted each other, they would ask me to inscribe a copy of Strange Gods to "Mary" or "Anna" or "Joe". About 60 books or so into it, I declared that I loved signing books for Catholics, because we tend to use rather conventional names of saints and also the conventional spellings.So, naturally, the very next person in line asked me to … [Read more...]

“We are Church.” As self-referential as the Curia.

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You might think it takes a peculiar sort of mind to find common themes uniting an interview with Antonin Scalia and an exhortation from Pope Francis, and you'd be right. My piece at First Things this week brings these two divertingly counter-cultural men together on the subject of narcissism and idols:After his election to the papacy, notes were released outlining the pre-conclave intervention delivered by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, which many of the Cardinal-electors said impressed them … [Read more...]


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