Margaret Rose Realy Nominated for a Frankie!

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This happened while I was on vacation, so I'm a little late to it, but it's terrific news, and not too late to vote for her! The Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network has nominated Margaret, along with other great Catholic writers, for a Frankie Award honoring some of the year's best blog posts.Margaret is nominated for her brief but well-wrought post, "The Perils of Digging Potatoes".I wasn’t one to dig potatoes using a spading fork; I found I did more harm to the tubers by using it. With … [Read more...]

Books in the Mail! Books Over the Air! – UPDATED

three great books

When I started blogging, I used to watch Instapundit make note of books he'd received in the mail, (even, eventually, making note of mine!) and I would be so jealous, thinking, "I want that! I want people to send me books in the mail!"I have come to understand why Glenn Reynolds makes a quick mention, when a book comes in, rather than waiting until he gets a chance to read them. The books, once they start coming in, tend to um...pile up quickly!Don't get me wrong. I love getting new … [Read more...]

Interviewing Brandon Vogt on Catholicism: New Evangelization

Catholicism NE

When, in 2011, Father Robert Barron's Word on Fire Ministries released the first part of its "Catholicism Project", the book-and-video series Catholicism, a Journey to the Heart of Faith, I called it "a course in revolution". Major blocs of the beautifully-wrought video were picked up and aired by PBS and the book is a stand-alone modern classic that I still frequently give as a gift because it is such a readable and thoughtful overview of the faith.The second part of the Catholicism … [Read more...]

Absent Grown-Ups: Over-sexed and Material-Worlded to Death

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

My column at First Things today is about what creates grown ups in the world, and what happens to the world when we resolutely refuse to be raised into it:A psychotherapist friend once confessed to me that she still makes each of her five grown children call her on rainy nights, to tell her they are safely at home. “So many mothers run away from their children or put them in nurseries or go out to work,” Dorothy Day noted, “because they can’t stand . . . the suffering that such love entails … [Read more...]

Wood-Grain Pens; Advent Candles; Wreaths! It Begins!

summit pen a

It's late for me; usually I am halfway through my Christmas shopping by now, but I'm doing a lot of "custom" stuff this year, and we'll know whether that was smart or not when we're ten days from Christmas.But my hubby, who loves pens, was looking through a writing instrument catalogue and wistfully eyeing a few. "They're so nice," he said, "but they're too nice. I could never be comfortable spending that much on a pen, and besides, I'd eventually lose it. Then I'd feel awful."The … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and Strange Gods: “A Meme on the Rise”? – UPDATED

francis bad meme

Yes, we've been joking for some time about how Pope Francis and I appear to be in some kind of mind-meld on the subject of idols -- he talks about them almost every single week, and brought them up in his encyclical, Lumen Fidei*. In today's homily, Pope Francis really hit hard on the theme:Once again, the liturgy of the Mass elicits from Pope Francis a reflection on the traps that punctuate the life of faith: To become an apostle of one’s own ideas, or a devotee of one’s own well-being, rat … [Read more...]

Remarks to Catholic Marketers, Shop Owners

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet and talk with members of the Catholic Marketing Network at their annual conference and trade show. The show is always delightful -- walking amidst a convention hall of Catholic wares, tsotskies and books is my idea of a very good time, indeed, and of course, I also got to photobomb the pope!And of course, there was the wine-and-cheese book-signing sponsored by Ave Maria Press, which was great fun and looked like this:The conference … [Read more...]

In your raving idolatry I find a bit of peace…

Strange Gods BN Bookshelf

Last night, I logged off fairly early and missed a big donnybrook on Facebook that had to do with people angry at me because of this piece from yesterday. Lots of namecalling and screaming in my direction, mostly because I dared to find anything worthwhile in Obama's speech, even as I identified it as a cynical move to divert attention away from his awful presidency.Apparently my near-constant criticisms of the man since 2007 were insufficient bona fides to allow me one instance of (mild) … [Read more...]

A good day for this book: Voices of the Saints

voices of the saints

I happened to be talking to Julie Davis -- who is the primo go-to person when pondering any book, because I do believe she may have read them all! -- about what collections of "lives of the saints" we would recommend. I have a few that I like a lot, and they're all well-known award winners: Father Jim Martin's My Life with the Saints, Colleen Carroll Campbell's My Sisters, the Saints and Robert Ellsberg's All Saints. And I've always liked Lisa Hendey's collection for Catholic Moms.Julie … [Read more...]

Part II The Chanting Coffin-Maker: Mother Dolores & Agape

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In Part I of my interview with Mother Dolores Hart, she shared an insight that struck me as being profoundly important to our understanding of the vagaries of love: "all love relationships don’t end at the altar".What is love but a means to an end, the end being to become for each other a model of God? Not an idol, nor an icon/image but a model that helps us to know more fully the depths the Creator's love for each of us.Ponder it: here were Dolores Hart, beautiful young actress and Don … [Read more...]


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