Clearing out the tab

I've got some deadlines to meet and a project I'd like to get started, so I need to stop futzing around, reading news and blogs and get to it. Here is what's been cluttering up my tab-bar for the last day or so - it's a bit of a jumble, sorry:Malta, shamelessly cribbed from CrescatBeautiful Malta! Where Doug Kmiec is the new US Ambassador after what Dan Gilgoff describes as a "strange religious/political" swearing in. Kmiec is the Catholic former Reagan WH Legal Counsel who campaigned … [Read more...]

"A pure gift…not a trophy."

A truly terrific videoI especially love the words of Archbishop Timothy Dolan, "This is a pure gift from God, and not an earned trophy. . .His grace lifts up our nature."A simple-sounding yet profound mystery. And what he says about the priestly vocation is true for all of our vocations, including the vocation of marriage, the vocation of the single life, even the vocation of the "necessary other," called to live in an altogether different way than most, with a great deal of … [Read more...]

St. John Vianney

Great Icon shamelessly cribbed from hereAt the Vigil for Easter Sunday, when Buster was very small, he looked forward to the chanting of the Litany of Saints, partly because the deacon who led it would invariably stumble on "St. Perpetua and St. Felicity" which became an almost beloved mistake, and because eventually we would get to "St. John Vianney." For whatever reason, Buster loved the sweep of the cadence and the accent on the "aaaaanyyy" syllable, and his little voice would pipe it out … [Read more...]

July 22 St. Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene, Pray for UsAt our most recent Big Family Party I got into a conversation with a dear friend of the family - a lady in her 70's who is very modern-thinking, and on top of the conventional wisdom. Somehow the conversation got into television programming, and a general consensus was reached: television was more entertaining when there were five channels to choose from and afternoon and late-night movies. Now? "Hundreds of channels and there's never anything … [Read more...]

Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Icon of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Available HereToday is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, one of my favorite feasts, because Carmelites are beautiful, beautiful people, and because someone I love very much celebrates a birthday on this feastday!From time to time, on this site, we check in with our Carmelite friends. Of course, first and foremost, we know that the Carmelite Monks are the brilliant, bald chappies who provide us with the world's greatest coffee! They are the only … [Read more...]

"Professional Pray-er"

I know many people who love the Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series of novels, including Julie at Happy Catholic, whose recommendations are always worth taking, but I have been so enthralled with Terry Pratchett's Discword series, I'd neglected Harry Dresden. Harry Dresden is a Wizard, and his office door reads:Harry Dresden - Wizard Lost Items Found, Paranormal Investigations. Consulting, Advice, Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties or Other EntertainmentYesterday, in … [Read more...]

Wisdom from the Saints

voices of the saints

The Father takes pleasure in looking upon the heart of the most holy Virgin Mary, as the masterpiece of his hands...The Son takes pleasure in it as the heart of his Mother, the source from which he drew the blood that has ransomed us. -- St. John Vianney (1786-1859)After a few emails asking for recommendations last week, I suggested a few books on Saints for your reading pleasure. One of those I recommended was Ben Ghezzi's The Voices of the Saints: A Year of Readings. I called it "a … [Read more...]

Bookchat; Saints, Alive! -UPDATED

Have had a flurry of emails lately (really, an actual flurry) asking for recommended books on Saints, and the requests cover a broad range. I realized today that there are confirmations coming up in some parishes, so perhaps that is why.One person is seeking a book that discusses the sort of "personal" relationships Catholics can establish with some saints, like my son Buster's devotion to St. Michael the Archangel, or all of the holy men and women I nag a lot, or those who nag me back.If … [Read more...]

Should I pray before an abortion clinic?

Had an email exchange with a reader who calls herself Owl in the Ruins, and given that we both feel like we're being nudged to "do more," I reprint much of it here, with her kind permission:Dear Anchoress, I just saw you on In the Area talking about blogs. ... I think it's sweet that Fr. K has so much faith in the fact checking mechanisms in newspapers.I am considering doing something tomorrow that I think I'm supposed to do, but, if I could get a clear message not to, I would be happy. A … [Read more...]

Jesus on the Seashore

I really like this lovely meditation from St. Gregory the Great (died 604) and wanted to share it with you. Via, once again, the invaluable Magnificat Magazine, which I cannot recommend to you more whole-heartedly....The question also rises as to why, after his resurrection, the Lord stood on the shore, while his disciples were laboring int he sea, when before his resurrection he walked on the waves of the sea in his disciples' sight. We quickly perceive the reason for this if we consider … [Read more...]