Antidote to Pride and Vanity: Cesspool Problems

So, I have an announcement I want to make — it’s an exciting announcement, and I thought I would make it first thing this morning. But instead, first thing this morning, the cesspool made itself known to us in a literal and olfactorily disturbing way. My announcement will be held off for a few hours, while we address this rather urgent need. Perhaps it is because I am so devoted a daughter to Saint Philip Neri, but I’m finding the… Read more

Why Yes, I Do Think Reforms of Annulment Process Are Needed – UPDATED

The thing I appreciate about hate mail is that, while it usually comes my way because someone on the internet is holding me up as an example of Bad Catholicism (with all of the attendant inaccuracies one finds when someone is making a sacrifice to the godling of snotty superiority), the hate mailer usually references something I’d written-and-forgotten, and usually just when I need to revisit the topic. So, then, the hate mail becomes a kind of gift. The Holy… Read more

No, I don’t hate Pope Francis, and other stupid ideas

Recently, someone on the internet claimed that I was “done” with Pope Francis (wrong) and also that I hoped he would magically wave a wand and destroy our teaching on the indissoluble nature of marriage (so wrong as to border on slander). I know a lot of people have had fun spinning my plea for a little middle-class encouragement as Francis-hate, if it suits their purposes, while others have amused themselves by willfully-misinterpreting my advocacy for annulment reform as Francis-lovin’… Read more

The Stuff and Fluff of Jesus Christ

On the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I posted some thoughts on how the science of microchimerism enhances our belief in Mary’s assumption into heaven. The blogpost was basically linking to my column at The Catholic Answer, and when I hit that site the other day I noticed lots of action in the combox. Of particular interest was this comment: When I first learned about the concept of microchimerism, I pondered this too, and I believe… Read more

How am I Actually Losing Weight for the First Time in Years?

This book. This stupid book,, which I think I learned about from Instapundit. Who knew? Who knew that all I needed was permission to eat a sandwich for lunch, if I really wanted to? None of this crazy trying to live with 20 net carbs a day, nosireebob. Keep it to 50 grams of carbs or less per day, and the weight is just melting off. A Turkey and Tomato Sandwich for lunch, and I’m good to go. No sense… Read more

How St. Philip Neri Gave Us Stephen Colbert

I had already read, and appreciated, this GQ interview with Stephen Colbert, in which Colbert beautifully expounds on his Catholic faith, but I hadn’t realized that there is an indirect-but-clear connection between the comedian and our wise spiritual uncle, Saint Philip Neri, who was known for his playful, sometimes stinging, sense of humor. Father Robert Barron spells it out: Discussing the trauma that he experienced as a young man—the deaths of his father and two of his brothers in a… Read more

“Amends”: A Novel Hilarious, True, and Masterful

It’s a rare thing for me to begin reading a novel and, only paragraphs into it, wish I’d written it. J. Malachi MacCool was born in Berkeley, California, in the last decade of the Cold War, to parents who deserved better. He had a dilapidated body and a face like the last days of the Raj: jowly, discredited, eager for the final defeat. He was thirty-two, he lived in a cockroach-infested studio apartment in Washington, DC, and fans of his… Read more

Bartholomew and the Weakness of God

The weakness of God is stronger than men. That the preaching of these men was indeed divine is brought home to us in the same way. For how otherwise could twelve uneducated men, who lived on lakes and rivers and wastelands, get the idea for such an immense enterprise? How could men who perhaps had never been in a city or a public square think of setting out to do battle with the whole world? That they were fearful, timid… Read more

Ways & Means: Planned Parenthood Vids a Salvific Good

Guest Post By Erin Brownback Last Thursday, after a lengthy Twitter conversation with an ardent supporter of abortion, I posted this tweet. Since then, it has been redistributed in a variety of contexts, and most recently has been used to make the case that to lie to expose the truth of evil is to say, “I will try by any means that is not sinful or illegal to DESTROY you.” I’d like to be clear. We are called to love, respect,… Read more

For the Reality of the Personal Vocation, Let us Pray!

We are all created for and called to a specific role; consider your calling by Russell Shaw In the prayer of the faithful said at Mass in my parish day after day we regularly ask God for “an increase of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.” Sometimes “lay ministry” gets added to the list. When we pray for these things, I’m happy to join in the response — “Lord, hear our prayer” — because I share the hope that… Read more


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