The Worth and the Witness of Women Bloggers

I meant to write about this earlier this week, but I got distracted by something stupid and ultimately not worth my time.This, however, is worth your time, and not at all stupid: a terrific piece from Lisa Hendey, who looks at female Catholic bloggers and how their motivations and sense of mission can evolve as they move forward:In an age when many discount the role of women in the Church, I hold an opposite perspective, one edified by personal relationships. Indeed, Pope Francis … [Read more...]

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17 Silly, frivolous love stories, for Valentine’s Day!

Love stories, courtesy of National Review, where you will find Charmaine Yoest, Elizabeth Kantor, John J. Miller, Richard Brookhiser, and many others talking about their favorite love stories.I'm in there, too. Were I holier, I would simply have said "The Incarnation" but since I am a sinner and self-obsessed, I told about "How I met my husband; aka An Irish Love Story":At age 20 I began the process of discerning a vocation as a contemplative religious, specifically as a Poor Clare … [Read more...]

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From the Chapel Hill Murders, an Opportunity for Real Tolerance

When Representative Gabrielle Gifford was shot while meeting constituents, a reckless press took no time at all to blame ideology: obviously the shooter must have been a crazed Christian Tea Partier following the instructions of a hapless Sarah Palin who -- like some Kos diarists -- had used "targeting" language and imagery in discussing election strategies.You could tell the press really, really hated it when they had to admit that the shooter was so truly, pathetically, deranged that no … [Read more...]

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Sr. Mary Ann Walsh: A Humble Way of Mercy

A few years ago I happened to be sitting at a conference breakfast next to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, who at that time was serving as director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. -- a position of weight, responsibility and connections that might be a terrible temptation to ego in another person. Sister Mary Ann managed to wear it lightly, yet powerfully and to great effect. As we munched on sausages and scrambled eggs, I marveled at her energy and … [Read more...]

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For Post-Christmas: Unwrap a Bit of Silence

The silence of which we sing so wistfully at Midnight Mass, is at an all-time premium at Christmas; it is so difficult to find a silent night, let alone sit within one and become immersed in it, that the possibility of a seasonal soothing of the heart—a quieting of the grief of the world—seems the stuff of illusion and myth.Christmas has, in too many ways, become the equivalent of an overdone theme-park vacation. By its end, one is knock-kneed with exhaustion and desperately in need of a gen … [Read more...]

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Mothers and Sons: The Atomic Truth

My husband, sitting across the table at breakfast, pointed to a lovely photograph in today's Wall Street Journal: under a heading, "In Detroit, Christmas Means Volunteering for Many Jews, Muslims" was an image of two women, one wearing hijab, working together in the kitchen of Congregation Beth Shalom, to feed the homeless on Christmas Day.The article is not online but there are other sources telling the story.The press is so frequently negative about religion, particularly about … [Read more...]

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Obama and Francis: Authoritarianism is Bad, Until it’s Fine

So, I'm watching Obama single-handedly alter our relations with Cuba, and we're reading from Politico that the president is feeling liberated and ready to be the president he always wanted to be -- that is, a president who doesn't deal with Congress and pretty much does as he damn pleases.I used to say Obama didn't want to be president, with all of its haggling and jawboning; he just wanted to be the ceremonial prince, making speeches about end-results. Seems, though, that what he has always … [Read more...]

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Middle Aged Women and the Challenge of Laughter

In my neighborhood there are a couple of women, about 50 years of age, who will several times a week take a noonish walk about the block.This morning they were early and one of them must have said something hilariously funny to the other. As I … [Read more...]

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Telling National Review What I’m Thankful For

Over at National Review, they asked a few folks to share what they are truly thankful for, in the Year of Our Lord, 2014. Given my grouses about the holiday, my answer might surprise some:This Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks to God for the lives of my in-laws, one a daughter of Sicily and the other the son of immigrants. They are either approaching age 80, or on the other side of it, and 2014 has been the first year either of them have had to deal with a serious health issue. As ever, they … [Read more...]

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“Gradualism is Another Word for License.” No, It’s Not.

I keep seeing these same six words all over social media:"Gradualism is another word for license."Think so? Really? No possibility that it is the process of grace, working within us?So, no grace at work, here? an atheist-turned-nun: I was attending Mass for an entire year before I went to confession. I don’t make excuses for myself. My soul was not in the proper state to be receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, but it took time for grace to work in me in order for me to realize t … [Read more...]

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