Climb Down from a Catholic Ledge: For every Koch, there is a Sarah

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Participants in New York City's June 1-4 "Sacra Liturgia 2015" gathering received a letter from Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cardinal Sarah was appointed to that position by Pope Francis in November of 2014.The letter reads in part: When The Holy Father, Pope Francis, asked me to accept the ministry of Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, I asked: "Your Holiness, how … [Read more...]

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The Surest Way to Be Happy? Take the Diamond Path

Image by Renata Novackova, via Shutterstock.com

Pondering this story, yesterday, about how focusing less on your own concerns and more on the needs of others leads to happiness, I recalled a childhood episode worth revisiting*:Recently I came across two items which superficially would seem to have nothing at all to do with each other. The first was an advertisement: a religious sister was promoting a women’s retreat about “finding oneself” and “coming to a place of ‘centered’ peace.”Highlighted within the ad was a sort of inverted pyra … [Read more...]

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On Happiness, Science Agrees with Jesus and the Saints

happiness MLK

I mean, that's how I'm taking this:Now, after decades of research and a dozen clinical trials, researchers at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, say they’ve actually cracked the code to being happy, and published it in a handbook.Dr. Amit Sood led the research and says the first and foremost way to be happy is to focus our attention.“You can choose to live focusing on what is not right in your life,” Dr. Sood said. [...] “So for example, if you’ve had a difficult day, when you get back … [Read more...]

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Why are YOU Still a Catholic? Sometimes it is a Struggle

Photo, Elizabeth Scalia

I remember sitting next to a a woman on a plane who was so passionate about her new Evangelical church. It was inspiring to watch her, and to hear her excitement. After she got done telling me all about it, I told her I was Catholic.She excitedly said, "Oh, then you should come to my church. I was Catholic...but this church has awesome music and great preaching." I looked at her, smiled and slowly said, "I wouldn't leave the Eucharist for anything!"Her demeanor changed and she said, "I … [Read more...]

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A Nation of Suckers: Jenner, Kardashians and a Commodity of Gossip

call me caitlyn

Over the past few days, I have wondered if I was the only person in America completely disinterested in the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner story, or -- correct that -- if I was the only contrarian refusing to become interested, simply because the voracious Jenner-Kardashian Machine, and their compliant media, so desperately wanted me to be interested, and so insistently needed me to approve, as well.These ghastly modern Pavlovs ring their outsized bell, and the world obediently begins to bark and yip … [Read more...]

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Book of Tobit, Perfect for Year of the Family

The Angel Raphael, Image Mine

All week at Mass we have been treated to readings from the Book of Tobit, one of my favorite books, which I have called "instructive and under-utilized". I have used passages from this book both while helping to prepare liturgies for marriages and also for funerals. It has made me very appreciative, as well, of the Archangel, Raphael.Because it is a book so full of strong family relationships, it seems perfect that its cycle in the readings comes up in the Year of the Family. A couple of … [Read more...]

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Dear Catholic World: Why do YOU Remain a Catholic?

Photo: Elizabeth Scalia

So, as I mentioned in this post, our own "Catholic Thinker", Tod Worner -- following the recent Pew report on diminishing Catholic numbers, and the glee that inspired in some corners -- decided to write a post on why he will not be leaving the Catholic church.Tod's piece reminded me of an older piece of mine from NPR, where I also catalogued why I remain a Catholic, and it inspired Monique Ocampo to explain why she remains, as well.And then Dr. Gregory Popcak chimed in, writing so well … [Read more...]

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About #Biking4Vocations? Even I Managed 45 Minutes!

45 minutes

So, these 2 Catholic priests and 3 seminarians are "biking for Priestly vocations." They're doing a a 29-day,1,400-mile bike pilgrimage from Saint Augustine, Florida to Rockville Centre, Long Island. My very own diocese!Several of us have been challenged by Father Michael Duffy -- a young priest of the diocese -- to participate, either by biking (or otherwise exercising) or praying for 45 minutes. OurUnfortunately, this is not retroactive, so I can't offer up my prayer time from last … [Read more...]

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Ashley Bridges Still Lives, but in Hospice

Photo: Elizabeth Scalia

You recall this post from six months ago, concerning Ashley Bridges -- the young mother who was ten weeks pregnant with her daughter, Paisley, when she diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer.Her daughter Paisley will be a year old in July, and Ashley has been told she will probably not be alive to see it, but she is a fighter:“I am really pushing for Paisley’s first birthday. This is what I do. I do October, OK, I just got to make it to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving comes around — OK, let … [Read more...]

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Why I Remain a Catholic, Pew Studies Be Damned!

Photo: Elizabeth Scalia

At a time when Pew studies suggest a vast exodus from Catholicism (although Sherry Weddell's antenna is up on some of the numbers) Tod Worner has written a terrific piece on why he is NOT leaving the church:I am NOT leaving the Catholic Church because I believe that the Catholic Faith is true.The edifice of Catholicism is Jesus Christ. Countless times, a good friend of mine has “flipped pages”. What he means when he says this is that he has read the Gospel of Mark. Again. And again. … [Read more...]

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Bakhita’s Gaze of Striking Serenity

Bakhita

"One day I unwittingly made a mistake that incensed the master's son. He became furious, snatched me violently from my hiding place, and began to strike me ferociously with the lash and his feet. Finally he left me half dead, completely unconscious. Some slaves carried me away and lay me on a straw mat, where I remained for over a month. A woman skilled in this cruel art [tattooing] came to the general's house...our mistress stood behind us, whip in hand. The woman had a dish of white flour, a … [Read more...]

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The Art of the Painless Coup

Distracting Ourselves into Another Country Andrey Popov/Shutterstock

On Twitter, Ron Fournier post his latest piece, here, with a glum, "We can't trust Hillary. Her team is convinced trust doesn't matter to voters!"To which I replied: "[They] Might be right; a majority contentedly distracted w/Kardashians and zeitgeist can be brought along; we get "leaders" we deserve."Fournier suggested that people can watch the Kardashians and The Bachelorette and still be well-informed, but I have my doubts; I suggested that a "Kardashian Distracshian" is precisely … [Read more...]

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Pray Litany of Sacred Heart of Jesus With Me Thru June!

shutterstock_95824924 sacred heart

Photo courtesy of shutterstock.comJune is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.It's one of my favorite litanies. If you'd like, let's pray it together with my podcast!:*after each invocation, respond with “have mercy on us.”Lord, have mercy Christ, have mercy Lord, have mercy Christ, hear us Christ, graciously hear us.God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us* God, the Holy Spi … [Read more...]

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For Chesterton’s Birthday, a 30-Quote Salute!

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1) Our Civilization has decided, and very justly decided, that determining the guilt or innocence of men is a thing too important to be trusted to trained men. It wishes for light upon that awful matter, it asks men to know no more law than I know, but who can feel the thing that I felt in the jury box. When it wants a library catalogued, or the solar system discovered, or any trifle of that kind, it uses up its specialists. But when it wishes anything done which is really serious, it collects … [Read more...]

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