Benedictine Hospitality in Israel

Entrance to the Abbey of Saint Mary of the Resurrection, Abu Ghosh

Thanks to an oxygen-depriving case of pneumonia that cut the trip short, too many of my memories of Israel reside in a nebulous haze that has prevented me from writing about my experiences there. On this great feastday of Saint Benedict of Nursia, however, my Oblate's heart cannot help but share with you the experiences of Benedictine hospitality with which I was blessed and graced, even during so short a visit.The first occurred in Tabgha, at the Church of the Heptapegon, ("The Church of … [Read more...]

‘Sense’ and Sensibility (In Defence of Donald Rumsfeld)

Serving as a human hook for discussions of epistemology since

I don’t know the man, but I’d wager that Donald Rumsfeld treasures “Top 10 Dumbest Political Statements” articles rather more than the average retired politician.Because, of course, “Top 10 Dumbest Political Statements” pieces have a reasonable chance of including Rumsfeld’s memorable declaration on 'unknown unknowns – and thus of reminding Rumsfeld that despite everything, on this particular point he was considerably smarter than his critics.Every single time I read someone dismiss the “ … [Read more...]

Outwitting the Language Assassins (SYNOD)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

Greetings to one and to all! Guest blogger Ben Conroy here. First of all, a go raibh míle maith agat to the magnificent Anchoress that is as heartfelt as it may be cheesy. It’s an overwhelming honour to be posting here, and I will do my very best to live up to the ludicrously generous introduction Elizabeth has given me.As the Patheos Catholic Channel's Synodal Summer Symposium draws to a close, I keep thinking of the passage from Mary Eberstadt’s How The West Really Lost God that the Sym … [Read more...]

US Bank “Blessing” Brouhaha; Not a Hill to Die On? – UPDATE

All the blessings

Over at Kathy Shiffer's place, she links to a story about a woman who goes beyond "Have a Nice Day!" and is suing US Bank, for her "right" to do so.Except, from the story at Christian Today, it kinda sounds like this woman was making a pest of herself and her faith, not merely wishing blessings but putting people on the spot, too:The former Walton branch employee had worked for the bank for over 20 years. She said that she started saying "have a blessed day" to all of her customers … [Read more...]

The Sickly Anchoress, Getting an Assist from Ireland

CathPT_BenConroy_bio

So, this is how things happen, sometimes:Leah Libresco mentioned on Facebook that she would be heading to Ireland with her mother, and wondered if anyone would be interested in having her speak to their group while she was there.Naturally, because she is an endlessly interesting young woman who has countered the culture in a most public way, people did want to engage as you can see here.I am not her agent but one young Irishman, seeking to book her in Dublin, wrote an inquiring … [Read more...]

Noonan Sees It: Obama Past Caring. Happy Independence Day!

burning bush mosaic

Peggy Noonan has written an excellent, some might say worrisome piece re Barack Obama's historically rather perverse presidency. You'll want to read it.I have for a while, now, wondered if the president's disengaged "check-out", and the "so, sue me" smugness -- the absolute lack of concern for anything, including his own legacy or the "future of the party" -- has less to do with a conceit that he possesses the ethereal, above-merely-human-detachment of a godling, and more to do with an … [Read more...]

Marriage! Annulment! Sex! Sacraments! Symposium Roundup Part I UPDATED

jorisvo / Shutterstock.com

Our Summer Symposium on the Synod is off to a great start (and there will be more to come, through next Wednesday!) and there are enough interesting topics and great pieces to keep you going, even if your holiday weekend is rained out! What you can't find on the symposium landing page you should be able to find on the channel page, and quite a few pieces are embedded within the text of this post, but let me help you out by category, too! Getting Familiar: What is a Synod? What is it … [Read more...]

A Symposium on the October Synod for the Family!

Symposium banner holy family

There is nothing like a Symposium in Summer, or at least that's the way Patheos sees it, and when we've undertaken them, they've been ambitious, thoughtful and fun.This year, scaling back a little and trying something different, Patheos has devised a Summer Symposium utilizing the Public Square section of the site, and leaving each channel manager to choose a topic. Given the enormous (and it must be said, often unrealistic) expectations being placed upon October's Extraordinary Bishop's … [Read more...]

It’s so easy to explain who and why we hate, isn’t it?

Strange Gods cover with blurb

After reading some truly bizarre and uninformed hysteria over the Hobby Lobby decision -- so much incoherence on social media! -- and at least three out-and-out hate screeds against Catholics being on the Supreme Court (imagine, had the decision gone differently, and people ranted against "those women" on the court!) I couldn't help but think of these two excerpts:Hatred is a twisting perversion of paradoxes wherein one can claim a love for God so fervent that it justifies hating another, … [Read more...]

Social Justice and Mercy: “Two Threads of the Same Helix”

For yourself, for the world, read this book!

All it takes to sustain a culture war is a few select voices shouting in ideological indignation and people who are willing to label themselves “left” or “right” and then fall in line. In the 21st Century, this uncompromising mindset is creating economic and political stagnation and a socio-political distrust that is destroying us.It doesn’t have to be this way. With Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World, author Brandon Vogt dares to suggest that our world might be saved f … [Read more...]

Iraq Christians of Ancient Faith, Seeking Sanctuary

Christian refugees from Mosul have taken refuge in Saint Matthew monastery near Al-Faf, Iraq / Photo Ted Nieters Source

I almost didn't have the heart to read the piece beyond the headline and sub: Iraq's beleaguered Christians make final stand on the Mosul frontline; Some Christian families from Mosul have sought refuge in St Matthew’s Monastery...Others vow to take a stand against the Islamists - whatever the cost .Imagine having to leave your home, your work -- pack up the family and seek sanctuary in a Monastery, not knowing whether your life will ever seem stable again.Feeling helpless in the face of … [Read more...]

Before October’s Synod on the Family, Read this Book!

Eberstadt book

When the Patheos Book Club told me they were going to be featuring the paperback release of Mary Eberstadt's How the West Really Lost God, I wondered what else I could possibly say to recommend the book? I had brought it up -- not once, but twice -- at First Things, and referenced it here on the blog a number of times -- always with the recommendation that people read it for themselves because How the West Really Lost God gives us a fresh, and very wise, perspective on how we as a society (and … [Read more...]

Life Hack Tips Number 1 and 2 from the Anchoress

Tullamore-Dew-glasses-up

I have decided, since it's so easy to do and the internet can't get enough of it, that I am going into the advice-giving business:Life Hack tip #1:Buy a pack of spearmint gum that you will never use because it sticks to your bridgework. Tear it open, but not all the way, so the gum stays inside the packaging, and then leave it in your handbag.Whenever you open your purse, you will get a nice big whiff of freshness, and this is really the only good and practical use for chewing gum … [Read more...]

Scary John the Baptist – UPDATED

icon-of-john-the-baptist

A favorite priest calls him "Scary John the Baptist", and there are my notes on what makes him scary, culled from one great homily:John’s scariness; he embodies faith at its most primitive; he seems unsophisticated and a little exotic. He is the wild man, of wild places; he is not civilized.There is in him no facade of civilization or society. He delivers a unfiltered message, one undistracted by the worldly things or the niceties. He disgusts the Sadducees and Pharisees who see t … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X