How you receive a thing is up to you

Cannot write long today - the back is better but the schedule is full and guests are on the horizon, so that's where my focus is.But I wanted to just link you to this story, because it's something to think about.A walking stick is the unlikely center of a debate about political protocol, theological precision and news-marketing as a corporal work of mercy.President Bush gave the odd, carved walking stick to Pope Benedict XVI on June 9 on a visit to Rome. In some quarters, the gift … [Read more...]

Sorry so quiet…

I somehow hurt my back and have been unable to do more than stagger around today...sitting up is not fun either.You might be very interested in Deacon' Greg's thoughts on the birth of John the Baptist and what it all means as we hit the mid-year mark. And also his look at serving at Benediction for the first time..Great posts. Gifted writer being well-used. … [Read more...]

Vatican road rules; Rushdie, a conventless nun and more

Just yesterday I dared to confess my miserable mutterings as I drive:Driving this morning I saw the usual really bad, inattentive sort of driving one sees in a day, and spent my time behind the wheel muttering, “come on, ye bastid, drive like you mean it! Which lane do you want, sweetie, do you know? Why are you driving like you’re in a coma?”Yes, I'm distressingly bitchy, lately. But apparently I am not alone. Reader Kia kindly referred me to the Vatican's "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care … [Read more...]

Housecleaning, driving, Potts and Christian Islamists?

There are a lot of people in my house right now - several people home from college who either grew up here or are spending the summer, Buster and his large, noisy, pals. But today everyone is out and will be for a while, so I'm going to use the time for a bit of intensive housecleaning of the both literal and metaphorical sort, because I have a lot to think about, and lately it seems like none of us really get to think. Something is always blaring at us and we seem to be living in incessant … [Read more...]

Remembering Bobby Kennedy and Missing Great Oratory

rfk speaking on mlk

Today is the anniversary of the death of Robert F. Kennedy. On Facebook, Bishop Christopher Coyne posted this quote from him:"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."Something to ponder in a world where extremism is become commonplace.We’ll not see the like of RFK again, to our detriment. I don't say this because I t … [Read more...]


Over at Moniales, the blog of the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ, they're happily announcing the arrival of two new postulants, and:We are also looking forward to another postulant who hopes to enter this summer and to 2 aspirants. Please continue to pray for their perseverance and growth in holiness as they immerse themselves into our life of community, prayer, study and work.Good news.The Benedictines over at St. Walburga's in Colorado have put up a history page. … [Read more...]

Is Tony Soprano Dead or Alive, II

I like this post by Patterico:As I mentioned the other day, everything made sense to me the second that a commenter at Captain’s Quarters reminded me of a line from an earlier episode this season, in which Bobby and Tony talk about what death must be like: You wouldn’t even know it had happened; everything would just go black. [UPDATE: This article says the line is: “You probably don’t even hear it when it happens.” h/t Patricia.] Under this interpretation, Tony is whacked by someone in the res … [Read more...]

Gents, you may bypass this one…

Some of you may have noticed that I seem a trifle edgy, bitchy, lately - that I just don't seem like myself as I blog.No r/l I'm not exactly Little Mary Sunshine, either.A quick example: two weeks ago there was our dog, doing her job, which is to bark ferociously at the UPS guy...and I, instead of simply telling her to calm down and restraining her, began to scream at her to stop barking and shut up!I mean, I screamed at her. Fishwife, style.I think the UPS guy wasn't sure … [Read more...]

The mystery of forgiveness

In the post below I linked to this story about the found journal of one of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre, her expressed thoughts on forgiveness, and how those thoughts were impacting her family. It is a powerful, moving and thought-provoking story that I hope you will read.But there is another bit of writing on the subject of forgiveness - that comes from the other end, which is confession, or acknowledgment of our faults and missteps - and it is from Deacon Greg who is coming on … [Read more...]

Me, too, I’ve had enough politics, too.

Curt at Flopping Aces writes: Since I'm on a 'everything but politics' kick today..." and he links you to a story on the Buried Belvedere Unearthed. You'll like.I think I'm going to say "anything but politics" too...but for more than a day. Too much rage both left and right, and so much of it feels like a giant illusory overlay. I read a blogger today - can't remember which one, but it doesn't matter, there are so many right-wing bloggers are saying it - who was basically tapping his toe … [Read more...]

Shameful puns via Fausta

Fausta, who is writing and podcasting gangbusters over at her site, sent these puns. Shame on her. And on me for enjoying them so much!I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little … [Read more...]

Innocence slays

Deacon Greg writes:St. Paul thrown from his horse can hardly compare with what happens to Simon Cowel in about four minutes...I think of this child's singing as a sword of innocence thrust into the psyche a fierce world that has forgotten how sharp and bright is it's guileless tip.UPDATE: To clarify my meaning - I listened to that that haunting and unadorned little voice and found it so innocent, so fresh and free of pretense, of cynicism, spin or ego, and it simply made me think..."so … [Read more...]

Joy and the Saints

I've written often about the wonderful book My Life With the Saints by James Martin, SJ, which is a must-have, must-read, destined-to-be-classic bit of modern Catholic writing.Now Deacon Greg at Deacon's Bench delivers Martin to us via youtube, speaking to a gathering of booksellers, and it's a treat to listen to him talking about humor and joy and the saints. Don't miss it. It's a day-brightener.Enjoy. … [Read more...]

Mea Culpa has its values

I was considering doing a series of posts on the various "communal" prayers which are said at Mass.It's struck me for a while, now, that we Catholics, who begin each Mass with a Penitential Rite meant to free us from the lesser - not grievous or mortal - sins, have been short-changing ourselves by our choice in how we do it.In most parishes today, the Penitential Rite will be a series of affirmations tied in to the Kyrie, so you might hear something like this:"Lord Jesus, You are the Light … [Read more...]