Unholy Rage Inspired by the Birth of the Christ

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My little cousin and I watch as my uncle washes away the blood, and examines the wound. He is making that odd breathless noise—halfway between a gasp of surprise and a sigh of regret—that he always makes when an attack has been thwarted. My uncle, after all, is nearly forty; an old man long past the charms of making his bed upon the chill earth at night; disenchanted with stargazing while wolves in the dark distance howl, or creep in silence, just beyond our sight.It is different for his son … [Read more...]

Award-winning “Strange Gods” Now in Polish! (UPDATED)

Strange Gods Award

In the successive pages of this modern day City of God...Say whuuuuut? From a review of Strange Gods than left me a bit speechless, when I read it last week!A couple of days ago, I shared old news that my regular column at OSV had been honored with an award.And a friend said, "I thought it was your book, not the column, that was recognized."Which reminded me that oh, yeah, Strange Gods was also recognized by the Association of Catholic Book Publishers.No, I didn't mind … [Read more...]

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...]

3-Minutes Hate; Anti-Sex League; Doubleplusungood!

1984 book

Golly I just took a look at Hot Air, and saw these two stories: University of Michigan Prof: It's OK to hate Republicans and Defining Nearly All Sex as Rape, a notion with which one of my own Senators seems enthralled:During an MSNBC-hosted panel discussion on Monday at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Gillibrand said she was considering taking the “yes means yes” law to the federal level.“I definitely have been studying it and looking at it,” she said. “I think there's something the … [Read more...]

I Never Told You! My Column Won an Award!

Ora pro nobis award

Earlier this year when I was really involved with the pneumonia, I learned that "Ora Pro Nobis", my regular column for The Catholic Answer, had been honored with an award from the Catholic Press Association:Really cool, right? Hey, I am grateful for any kind word! And 2013 was the year I really got comfortable writing stuff like this, and this, and a few more.As I never cease to tell you when each issue comes out, it is an privilege to write regularly for The Catholic Answer, which … [Read more...]

Duke Ellington Sent Christmas Cards All Year Long

The story goes that if the legendary composer and orchestrator Duke Ellington had met you, and gotten his hands on your mailing address, you’d have gotten a Christmas card from him. It may not come at Christmas, but at some point during the year, his personally written and signed greetings would grace your mailbox.“Duke Ellington and I exchanged Christmas greetings each year,” wrote Joe Delaney of the Las Vegas Sun. “Mine were sent in mid-December. Duke sent his when the spirit moved him.” … [Read more...]

Suggestions for Stocking Stuffers and Kid’s Books

poo

Earlier, I posted some Christmas gift suggestions for under $50.00, but I totally forgot to recommend some kids books and also stocking stuffers, and this year we're going heavy on stocking stuffers, ourselves, so, here we go!The first time someone gave me a giant natural sponge for a Secret Santa, I thought it was strange, but after I used it I understood. SO MUCH BETTER than a loofah, in every way. I love my sponge. This giant sponge, combined with something like these outstanding soaps? … [Read more...]

Patheos Welcomes Marge Fenelon!

Marge Fenelon

You've heard her mellifluous tones gracing the airways on Relevent Radio's Morning Air program, and EWTN's Son Rise Morning Show, and you may have recently caught her providing live coverage and commentary for EWTN's coverage of the the international broadcast of the Schoenstatt Movement’s Centennial events. In fact, if you're looking up these days, you're likely to see Marge Fenelon, somewhere, including -- in 2014 -- Israel, where she covered Pope Francis' visit, and Rome, where she p … [Read more...]

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...]

“Slovenly!” New from KardashianFashian! UPDATED

I'm sorry to rant, but I just don't get it.I mean, it's one thing for extremely rich celebrities to do their everyman-poseur thing with the ripped jeans and tee shirts; their homage to working class people (who would very likely love to afford better wardrobes) has been old hat for decades.But this! This I really don't get:Go HERE to see what I'm talking about!Why would someone as rich as Kim Kardashian -- with stylists and handlers all around her -- go out in public wearing … [Read more...]

Immaculate Conception: 3 Reasons I Love the Day

vladimir theotokos

Later today, I'll be talking with Sheila Liaugminas (around 6:00pm, Eastern) as we take "A Closer Look" at the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes.If you ask Catholics which Marian feastday is their favorite, many will tell you it's this one, and I would be among their number, for three reasons:I love the day because it arrives just as we are beginning to deepen our experience of Advent. We place ourselves in the desert and give … [Read more...]

“Survival, Resilience, Redemption”: Heroes of 2014

(Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Heroes of 2014. Read other perspectives at the page beginning today.)If you ask a well-established charity whether they'd rather have a large dramatic donation a few times a year or a steady income from small, dependable donors, they'll tell you they want, need and appreciate "both", but that if they had to choose, they'd take the everyday small donors, who manage to remain faithful in lush times and in lean; they are the o … [Read more...]

Missing the Advent Beauty that Used to be Catholicism – UPDATED

He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

Part of what makes Patheos so interesting is this: it's a place where you can find a progressive female Christian minister write so exquisitely about a Lutheran Advent Vespers as to make a Catholic's soul lurch in holy envy:In those soft evenings, the quiet of late December surrounded me – but my life itself was loud. I did not know how much I needed to settle for 45 minutes into song and silence and hear someone sing about the angel Gabriel and Mary. The first time I heard, "you have cast … [Read more...]

Anchoress Annual Christmas Gift Suggestions

calligraphy book

You wouldn't have known it by my 2013 "suggestion" list, which took up two separate posts -- along with the usual monastic goodies list (the Summit Nuns have a lovely hostess gift!) -- but last year at Christmas, we cut 'way back on our gift list and increased our charity-giving.We liked that. It really helped re-orient our hearts and minds and de-emphasize the materialism that is taking over the season.For 2014, we are feeling inclined to repeat that effort, and this time my … [Read more...]


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