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

Dolores and Don

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...]

“All love relationships don’t end at the altar!” – Part I

As a rule, when it comes to interviewing celebrities, Tony Rossi is our go-to guy, around here. Last week, though, he could not work into his schedule an opportunity to talk to Mother Dolores Hart, the actress-turned-Benedictine-nun who was the subject of last year's documentary, "God is the Bigger Elvis", and this year's best-seller, The Ear of the Heart. Mother Dolores is currently missing her cloister while she makes a major promotional tour in support of the book, and I had the opportunity … [Read more...]

Men on Strike: Fathers, Family, Frank Talk and First Things

Men-on-Strike-Cover (1)

Two weeks ago at First Things, I wondered what it would be like if Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) had her way and women ruled the world.This week I'm continuing on the theme of men and women and families and faith:Family illiteracy, [author Mary Eberstadt] says, “breeds religious illiteracy.”In turn, increasing our scriptural literacy is one way for Christian communities to help their members understand and form families. Eberstadt’s book...has, in tandem with Helen Smith’s Men on Strike, … [Read more...]

The Francis Puzzle: Is he an agent of continuity or change? – UPDATED

We're still getting to know Pope Francis. To me he seems like the embodiment of Catholic universality, in that his words are thoughtful, reasoned and never kneejerk. Like his predecessor, Benedict XVI, he appears to be willing to discuss any idea, explore any topic because he knows that open dialogue and the ability to wonder about things allow reason to be fully deployed. And, again, like his predecessor, that indicates that Pope Francis is perfectly confident that such reasoning will always … [Read more...]

Sanger’s Racist Genocidal Plans and The Masque of the Red Death

I haven't commented about the creepy "Happy Anniversary Video" celebrating 40 years since Roe v. Wade; the suave African American man, holding a rose and cooing about the wonder of this anniversary really is, as Marc Barnes writes, "the creepiest sh*t..."If you haven't seen the video, you should go to Marc's place and watch. One of the truly chilling (and, yes, creepy)things about it is that for African Americans, abortion in America has been a true genocide. As we learned last week, in New … [Read more...]

Advent: Love Words and Expectations in the Dark – UPDATED

choosing joy

I am so grateful that Advent is upon us; my favorite time of year! It is all hope, depth, mystery and promise of light, and it feels like we need it; it feels as though we have all been so occupied with politics, natural disasters, willful (and unpersuasive) belligerence and our own daily anxieties and stresses -- so many people I know are anticipating Christmas with dread rather than joy -- that we need our heads turned toward something great!In my column at The Catholic Answer I put it … [Read more...]

“No one hates men! But…damn these men!” – UPDATED

On Facebook, Diane of Te-Deum blog embedded this interview between Christiane Amanpour and Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, whom Amanpour calls "a practicing nun."Because she's a class-A journalist, is the haughty Christiane. She's like the Anna Wintour of elite broadcasters, but even less interesting.Full disclosure: as a Benedictine Oblate, I've read and gleaned much wisdom from Sister Joan's books on Monasticism; she has a lot of good and instructive things to say about the psalms and … [Read more...]

My Elder Son Reads Everything

geddeswannabepic

My elder son, the dreamy quiet planet, has the most curious mind I've ever encountered.He never rejects an idea outright--first he acquaints himself with who and what is behind the idea and then finds out who influenced their thinking and he checks them out too. He will swim in the seas of an idea for a while before deciding whether he accepts or rejects it, and then washes up on the next shore, then the next. His library is formidable, and he is never intimidated (as I sometimes am) by a … [Read more...]

Those Year-End Book Lists!

augustine

First I get an email from Julie Davis wondering if I am going to rise to her reading challenge.I wanted to say "no" because I found her list daunting.But then I thought, "hey, wait, I shouldn't be intimidated! I actually just re-read The Brothers Karamazov, last year, in this terrific translation!And I'm actually, slowly, reading Saint Francis de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life, this year.And last week I began this marvelous, beautifully wrought translation (Maria … [Read more...]

Pratchett, Chesterton, Granny & the Grubby White

Over at First Things, I'm writing about Terry Pratchett, Sin, Chesterton and Assisted Suicide and referencing one of Julie Davis' favorite exchanges his great book, Carpe JugulumHaving announced several years ago that he is dealing with early-onset dementia, Terry Pratchett, the celebrated author of scores of fantasy titles, most notably the marvelously wise and entertaining Disc World series, has—despite rumors to the contrary—staunchly maintained his atheist’s stance. Last year he decl … [Read more...]


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