How am I Actually Losing Weight for the First Time in Years?

This book.This stupid book,, which I think I learned about from Instapundit.Who knew?Who knew that all I needed was permission to eat a sandwich for lunch, if I really wanted to? None of this crazy trying to live with 20 net carbs a day, nosireebob. Keep it to 50 grams of carbs or less per day, and the weight is just melting off. A Turkey and Tomato Sandwich for lunch, and I'm good to go.No sense of deprivation. A big sense of wonder, and thankful praise.Who knew? … [Read more...]

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“Amends”: A Novel Hilarious, True, and Masterful

It's a rare thing for me to begin reading a novel and, only paragraphs into it, wish I'd written it.J. Malachi MacCool was born in Berkeley, California, in the last decade of the Cold War, to parents who deserved better. He had a dilapidated body and a face like the last days of the Raj: jowly, discredited, eager for the final defeat. He was thirty-two, he lived in a cockroach-infested studio apartment in Washington, DC, and fans of his writing -- for magazines like Intimations, Hound and … [Read more...]

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Pray Litany of Sacred Heart of Jesus With Me Thru June!

Photo courtesy of shutterstock.comJune is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.It's one of my favorite litanies. If you'd like, let's pray it together with my podcast!:*after each invocation, respond with “have mercy on us.”Lord, have mercy Christ, have mercy Lord, have mercy Christ, hear us Christ, graciously hear us.God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us* God, the Holy Spi … [Read more...]

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Christ: the King Who Ravishes and Gives us All

He became incarnate so he might share our lot with us, and he died in order to redeem us. In Co-Workers of the Truth, Pope Benedict XVI, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, put it this way:It is obvious that God did not intend Israel to have a kingdom. The kingdom was, in fact, a result of Israel’s rebellion against God and against his prophets, a defection from the original will of God. The law was to be Israel’s king, and through the law, God himself . . . But Israel was jealous of the nei … [Read more...]

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Gay and Catholic: A Vital Book for Our Time

Over at the Patheos Book Club, they're talking about several interesting new titles -- it's always a good place to stop and explore books; like an actual, old-fashioned, store you can read excerpts while sipping coffee in your comfy chair.I'm particularly interested in their November offerings, because they include titles by Patheos Catholic bloggers, Lisa Hendey (whose book, The Grace of Yes) will be featured in the second half of the month, so more on that, later) and Eve Tushnet, whose … [Read more...]

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

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...]

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Before October’s Synod on the Family, Read this 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...]

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Blegging What to Read, Retreat Topics, Book Subjects

So, I owe some apologies. If you've asked me to review your book, or to read your pdf, or to write a book for you, and I haven't gotten to reading it, or offering assessment, or um, writing the thing due in August, I am really, really sorry.I truly intend to do all of those things, or most of them, and have them done by the end of summer. Right now, there is just an awful lot of material coming in, breaking stories, very long workweeks, exercise regimes, prayer hours, boatloads of email, a … [Read more...]

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Cultivating a Habit of Ejaculation

I just spent more time than I had planned typing the word "ejaculations", along with my name or blog name, into search engines and, later, into document files.Okay, let's get it out of our systems: "she said 'ejaculations'! Heh-heh!"I was looking for a phrase I had written about what we used to call "ejaculations of prayer," and I was sure I had talked about it in Strange Gods, but I couldn't find it in my files and the only thing turning up in search engines was one line in this First … [Read more...]

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Supposed to be teaching, “I feel like I’m babysitting!”

The email was a cry from the heart from someone who really wanted to do the right thing:Dear Anchoress,I was asked to teach CCD to third graders making their First Reconciliation and First Communion. I am not a teacher. . .but having coached CYO (10-12-year-olds), and also having children (now adults), I agreed.I have been trying since September to "get into it." I prepare each week, sometimes for over a few hours. There are eleven kids in the class. They mostly show up, [but] if … [Read more...]

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