Craving Silence to Hear: Atchison Blue

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If I am late coming to a review of Judith Valente's new book -- which is currently being featured in the Patheos Book Club, it is only because the pope keeps all of us very busy these days, and Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith is too good for a slap-dash mention. After reading, it needed time for absorption, and even some revisits, to do it justice.People are fast to make comparisons between Atchison Blue and Kathleen Norris' beloved modern classic, … [Read more...]

“Everyone must make his choice…”

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Earlier today, I linked to remarks from Pope Francis (which you should go read, because they're great) and I mentioned that they reminded me of what are purported to be the last words of G.K. Chesterton: "It is between light and darkness, and everyone must choose his side."This afternoon, Francis' words came to me again, and once again, they brought me to Chesterton, but a different line.Pope Francis said: "Everyone must make his choice.”Chesterton said: "When you chose one thing, y … [Read more...]

More Thoughts on “Bad Mass”

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Earlier today I linked to two posts, by Cravings author, Mary DeTurris Poust, which gave vent to frustrations felt by far too many Catholics, these days -- including me -- regarding the quality of our liturgies. Mary is craving something better, healthier.This evening, Elizabeth Husted Duffy, who shares one priest with three parishes, looks at what it means to be a healthy parish:Our new priest’s schedule is brutal. On Saturdays, he says the vigil Mass at one church at 4, followed by a S … [Read more...]

A Spiritual Anti-venin for Catholic Battlers

AFP / Getty Images / Via americamagazine.org

Oh, boy. I'm still trying to put some thoughts together concerning Pope Francis' profoundly good, profoundly Catholic, profoundly touching interview, released yesterday. But as I do that, here's something for all of us to chew on, particularly those who are fretting that "this is the end of everything Catholic!" and those who are sneering that weird "nyahnyahnyah..." that I don't even understand. This is for all who are convinced that the church can't be righted until "those people" that other … [Read more...]

A “Priesthood” Disingenuous, Thoughtless and Vain UPDATED

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"I am Long Island's first female priest!"Deacon Greg has the story, from Newsday (while Tom has the impatient snark):A Sag Harbor grandmother says she has become the first Long Island woman to be ordained as a priest in a group that seeks equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church.Eda Lorello, a longtime church worker, said she was ordained during a service in Wellesley, Mass., on Aug. 10 organized by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an advocacy group that says it has ordained … [Read more...]

Four Sunday Humblers

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One from Karen Beattie, discussing her unexpected, out-of-nowhere conversion to Catholicism:One Good Friday, I watched worshippers line up in the aisle to walk up and kiss a wooden cross as a sign of reverence and love for Christ. I had never seen this before.I saw young and old, rich and poor, black and white, people from all walks of life who were carrying who knows what kind of sorrows and burdens, make their way down the marble aisle to the cross, kneel down, and gently kiss the … [Read more...]

Miley Cyrus, Syria and the Head of Saint John the Baptist

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A great deal has been written this week about 20 year-old Miley Cyrus and her maniacally over-the-top performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. As Mark Shea points out, as the world stands on the brink of something dire and deadly the public seeks only bread and circuses, which the bottom-line-obsessed press serves up with such alacrity that satire cannot surmount it.The headlines are grim, but they're bare blips within our awareness. Who wants to read about constitutional ethics, war … [Read more...]

“Hey, KILL your autistic kid, because he’s ANNOYING ME!!!!!! And my NORMAL kids!!!!!”

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Well, we've reached a new nadir;Click to enlarge. That's a letter left for the family of boy with autism. By someone who is raising "normal" children.The "pissed off mother!!!!!" who wrote this awful, sick, miserable diatribe has broken one of Elmore Leonards rules or writing:5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.More importantly, in demonstrating her terrifyingly utilitarian outlook that … [Read more...]

Ashton Kutcher: American Subversive?

Here he is, pitching lots of subversive ideas to a crowd that doesn't even realize it."Opportunity looks a lot like hard work." . . . He went on to talk about working from the age of 13 sweeping floors and washing dishes. "I've never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job."And..."The sexiest thing in the entire world... is being really smart," Kutcher said, gazing around at the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and the Art of War – UPDATED

Giotto, Peter striking ear of Malchus, John 18:10

“To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.” -- Sun TzuIn my column over at First Things today, I hope to lay a calming hand on a few shoulders that had nearly gone spastic yesterday, in response to early reports of Pope Francis' chat with reporters as he flew home from World Youth Day. A great many voices on social media were yelling that the pope was being "used" by the press to further a gay-sympathetic agenda; the fact that most sec … [Read more...]


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