“The Bottomless Lie that Perverts Our Lives…”

"When a man sets himself against God," said Pope Benedict, "he sets himself against his own truth, and therefore does not become free, but alienated from himself."The pope is so prolific, it's hard to keep up. Only just read this from Holy Thursday. You can read the whole homily, here … [Read more...]

Benedict at 85: a Cloister Unto Himself

benedict springflowers

Today is the 85 birthday of our dear Pope Benedict XVI, and he speaks very plainly to the day:“I find myself on the last stretch of my journey in life, and I don’t know what is awaiting me.”“I know, however, that the light of God exists, that he is risen, that his light is stronger than any darkness and that God’s goodness is stronger than any evil in this world, and this helps me go forward with certainty."In a few days we'll celebrate the 7th anniversary of his pontificate. I canno … [Read more...]

In Cuba, being too pretty can land you in jail – UPDATE

Laura is in her 30s, stunningly beautiful, and not yet married (although she would like to be). To reward her hard work, she once won tickets from her employer to go to a night club with live music. Such clubs are frequented by tourists to Cuba, but the entrance fees are out of the reach of most Cubans, even those like Laura with good jobs. When leaving the club, Laura’s beauty caught the attention of the police, who accused her of having gone to that club to work as a prostitute for f … [Read more...]

The Pope and the Giant Egg – UPDATED

UPDATE: Also, I don't know where I got this, but it's kind of stunning to listen to almost 20 years later.The press' obsession with abortion -- and the possibility that this mean old church might somehow take it away from them -- has been breathtakingly consistent, over-dramatic, and pathetic."It could deprive them of a freedom of choice the communists never tried to take away from them."And obviously a legion of female news reports learned their voice-over technique from Bert … [Read more...]

Levering: Jesus and the Demise of Death


In promoting this book giveaway, I realized I had another book I wanted to bring to your attention: the Patheos Book Club is taking a look at Matthew Levering's Jesus and the Demise of Death -- which seems like excellent reading for the season, particularly for this week and next week, if this intro excerpt is any indication!In his intro, Levering writes:I seek to contribute to the "robust recovery of apocalyptic teaching and preaching" by setting forth a theology of resurrection … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict and St. Oswald Church

Benedict Statue

A family member just returned from Southern Bavaria where, while moseying about doing a little site-seeing, he found Saint Oswald's church, an important parish in the life of Joseph Ratzinger, and just outside the church, this:My dear Papa! And my new wallpaper! … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict: Faith and the Future

faith future

In 2009 Ignatius press released this prophetic little volume, written by our pope over 1969-1970 -- while the world was in the first throes of the social revolution. I thought I'd share a few of Joseph Ratzinger's prescient thoughts. They seem timely:"The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many … [Read more...]

To Defend HHS Mandate: Look at Anything but Constitution


The vacationing Deacon Greg Kandra has still managed, between spending time with Mickey and Minnie to post this interesting piece by Dave Gibson, who has written an informative article about what I called my First Things piece, yesterday, the "nuances between direct and indirect co-operation with evil".Gibson does his usual brilliant job in expanding on it, but he does so from a place accepting that President Obama's recent "accommodation" did actually accommodate the churches. Completely … [Read more...]

The day looks different if you don’t just stumble into it”

This is a really enjoyable report from the Catholic News Service, on dear our Pope Benedict XVI and his personal prayer:And something to think about on this Sunday:One should therefore deplore certain attitudes of mind which are sometimes found even among Christians because of a failure to recognize the legitimate autonomy of science. These mental attitudes have given rise to conflict and controversy and led many to assume that faith and science are mutually opposed.If, on … [Read more...]

To be more than mere machine…


God has all the essential characteristics of what we mean by a "person," in particular conscious awareness, the ability to recognize and the ability to love. In that sense he is someone who can speak and who can listen. That, I think, is what is essential about God. Nature can be marvelous. The starry heaven is stupendous. But my reaction to that remains no more than an impersonal wonder, because that, in the end, means that I am myself no more than a tiny part of an enormous machine. The real … [Read more...]