Learning The Artist's Rule

I'm a sucker for wavy stripes; I find them restful. So when I saw the cover of Christine Valters Paintner's The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom, I gave a little gasp of appreciation -- okay, I stared at it in a kind of bliss for a while -- and anticipated in those blurred, calming lines the message: more restful stuff within!Well. . .yes and no. There's a little treasure trove within the book, but how restful one finds it depends, ultimately, upon one's … [Read more...]

Moments "After America"

On Sunday I'd mentioned that I was reading Mark Steyn's After America.Finding the book less "LOL funny" than Steyn's previous book, America Alone, I was nevertheless unable to put After America down, and I write more about it in my column at First Things:I thought of Chesterton a great deal while reading After America. Steyn quotes de Tocqueville liberally throughout the book and makes great, relevant references to H. G. Wells’ Eloi and Morlock populations, but in reading about the sort of … [Read more...]

Rainy Sunday Read

Yes, it's quiet over here.It's quiet so's I can listen to the rain pattering on my roof, while I plow my way through Mark Steyn's latest:As a rule I have stopped reading ideological and political books because increasingly they contain 40 interesting pages -- which are always well-covered in the reviews and promo tours -- and 250 pages of boredom-unto-torpor, but I'm halfway through Steyn, and not bored, yet. I am horrified, depressed, disturbed and a little mind-blown, but definitely not … [Read more...]

Betraying Charity or Truth?

Every once in a while, I find myself saying "yes" to too many people asking me to look at their books, and I amass a rather slap-dash pile of books I feel like I will never plow through. Occasionally I miss a review "due" date, and I am never happy when that happens.I am especially not happy to be late on The Betrayal of Charity; the Sins that Sabotage Divine Love, which the Patheos Book Club has been talking about and excerpting for over a week, and which I have almost missed, to my overbusy … [Read more...]

Muldoon and Coffey Honored by CPA

Well, bust my buttons!It seems that while passing out awards recently, the Catholic Press Association singled out two of our Catholic Portal columnists for distinction:Congrats to Boston College's Tim Muldoon, who runs his own page, here and also toils weekly at Culture in the Crossroads, where his recent series on Sex and Christianity has been a popular feature.Of his book, Love One Another, co-edited with Cynthia S. Dobrzynski and honored with a third place prize in the book category … [Read more...]

Late Summer Bookchat

It is unbelievable to me that we're into August, already. Before you know it, the kids go back to college (buy them this and this!) or high school (buy this for sure!) the leaves go crisp and crimson-gold and then we're into the work of Thanksgiving and ta-da! It's Advent again!And Advent, of course, is when we'll begin using the new missal translation of the mass. In her weekly column, Pat Gohn (aka "the sanest woman on the internet") is going to do a special four-week series on those new … [Read more...]

Tony Rossi Talks to Julie Davis

We love her book, and we love her blogsite, and we love her columns, but Julie Davis has proven herself to be a very engaging, warm and um, "happy" interview subject, as we saw when she chatted with Pat Gohn, so now we love to listen to Julie being interviewed.Here she is talking to Christopher Close-Up's Tony Rossi!Give a listen!Julie also manages to mention one of the best books ever written … [Read more...]

When Young Faith is Tested

In his column today, Matt Emerson, who teaches at a Jesuit prep school, expresses concern over the effectiveness of our current religious education programs. Addressing the aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, he writes of working through Psalm 46:Those classes, and that day, were sacred moments. There had been an uncovering. In the darkened room, in the mild glow of a projector screen bearing ancient words, I had been given an x-ray of my students' spiritual life. The images were … [Read more...]

"Of Gods and Men" and John Corapi

The remarkable film Of Gods and Men is out on Netflix, and if you haven't seen it yet, I urge you to put it on your queue and move it to the top. It is one of the best films I seen in years -- gripping, moving, enlightening and insightful. I can't think of a film in recent memory that so truly and respectfully portrays the life of faith, the religious life, and most especially the value, use and meaning of liturgical prayer and the sacramental, Holy Mass -- how these enhance the life of faith, … [Read more...]

Holy Healing, Holy Art

Mary Magdalene by Antonio Veneziano graces the cover of this month's Magnificat Magazine, and once again I find myself as engaged with the wonderful artwork this publication routinely presents, as I am with all the wonderful prayers and readings within. It's a beautiful Icon, but the glossy Magnificat cover really brings it out in full force, rather like this snapshot, but even better.Here's what Pierre-Marie Dumont says about the work:Here we see "the sinner of love" represented not as a … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X