Live-blogging Beatification John Paul II

(Photo SourceHe is a Beato! Loved singing the Gloria, in Latin, with my fellow Catholics. Bells ringing all over Rome!8:33 AM After doing more grousing than a mature woman and a Christian should, I stood up, watched the chopper overhead, the stunning vista, the crowds, the placement, the choir...and I was just overwhelmed. I found myself doing the hand-to-chest thing: holy moley, look where I am! This is unbelievable; it is breathtaking, heart-aching, staggering, and I want to share it with … [Read more...]

"your cross alone is the key…"

A profound and beautiful prayer, one packed with meaning: part of the Via Crucis led by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI:The meditations of this year's Way of the Cross were entrusted to Sister Maria Rita Piccione, O.S.A., President of the Our Lady of Good Counsel Federation of Augustinian Contemplatives in Italy. Sister Mary Rita is a member of the Augustian hermitage of Lecceto, near Siena (Italy,) one of the Tuscan convents of the thirteenth century and a cradle of the Order of Saint … [Read more...]

The Gates of Hell are Rattling…

My column at First Things this week looks at the aphorism that "those who can't do teach," and wonders what lessons have been learned from those bishops of ours who did not know how to do their jobs:If “those who can’t do teach,” then a few of our teacher-bishops imparted some profoundly important lessons to us over the past six weeks. The shocking story of Belgium’s Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, and his stomach-turning delusions about what constitutes love and “moments” between an adult and a child … [Read more...]

Theology of Heart and Mind

Even though I occasionally download a novel to my iPad, this is why I will never give up on real, cardboard-paste-and-paper books: I got this in the mail yesterday, and it was so tantalizingly beautiful, so sweet to the hand - and then I opened it and the newness of the page and ink nearly made me dizzy with delight, and -- yes, I did it -- I took a great big sniff of my new, beautiful book.A bouquet of roses couldn't please me more.Tactile and sensory pleasures aside, I began reading Pope … [Read more...]

Benedict, Therese and "Ze little vay!"

I love this. I have needed St. Therese (and St. Catherine of Siena - another strong woman) all day today, and I loved hearing our Holy Father expound on the Little Way which is actually the way of powerful warriors who have become masters in the art of spiritual warfare because they have trusted with their whole hearts and thus been given the greatest of weapons: love, love, love."My vocation shall be love," said Therese! … [Read more...]

Rob Bell, Common Names and Dominus Iesus – UPDATED

There's something to be said for having an unusual moniker. A few years ago, our family traveled with another family and the husband/father of the other gang kept getting pulled aside for extra searching and occasional questioning; apparently this hard-working fellow shares the same name as a bad-guy and about a million other men. Being good-natured, he did not mind the extra attention, which made him feel like the TSA folk were "on the job."But when one is already embroiled in a doctrinal … [Read more...]

Pilgrim, Ora et Labora; the Fountain of Youth?

Look at this 103 year-old Catholic Sister, Sr. Cecilia Adorni, as she dances a remarkably spry polka amid the senior citizens whom she still serves. Watch her dance -- I know 60 year-olds who can't move like that -- and notice her skin, which is gorgeous and youthful!We concern ourselves with holding on to our youthfulness and "defying age" with all sorts of medicines and foods and goops and ointments, while this sister appears to have found a "fountain of youth," and it's one St. Benedict of … [Read more...]

WYD, Madrid 2011 Awesome Sauce!

HOLY SMOKES!Via Deacon GregChills! Chills to hear that baritone voice again, and to see these youthful crowds.Chills to realize that Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have drawn millions of young people to them with the message they so need to hear: You are good. You are loved. You are created for a purpose. You are more than the pop culture. You are greater than the temptations of the age. You are the ongoing affirmation of unique individualism. Jesus loves you, he calls you. Do … [Read more...]

iPhone for Lent: A Confession App? – UPDATED

Gabriel Malor sent this my way, with the note: "very cool!"Catholic Church OK New Confession App for iPhone.An iPhone app aimed at helping Catholics through confession and encouraging lapsed followers back to the faith has been sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the United States.Well, no, that's an extremely misleading headline and lede. The "Catholic Church" has not approved the app; Bishop Kevin Rhoades, of the Diocese of Fort Wayne in Indiana, has given his imprimatur, though. … [Read more...]

The Idea of Praying Through Time

Pondering prayer, and the notion of praying through time, thanks to our Holy Father:We can love ourselves only if we have first been loved by someone else. The life a mother gives to her child is not just physical life; she gives total life when she takes the child's tears and turns them into smiles. It is only when life has been accepted and is perceived as accepted that it becomes also acceptable. Man is that strange creature that needs not just physical birth but also appreciation if he is … [Read more...]


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