Advent: Love Words and Expectations in the Dark – UPDATED

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...]

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Dear NY Times: Less Yapping, more Actual Thinking!

I have been meaning to write for several weeks about Mary DeTurris Poust's lovely new book, Everyday Divine: A Catholic Guide to Active Spirituality, which I had a chance to read while stuck in a plane that never did leave the ground for Baltimore. I liked the book very much, as it gives some very personally-rendered, tried-and-true practical advice for bringing a contemplative habit to so much that is "ordinary" about our days, and helps to make them much less ordinary, and sanctified. This … [Read more...]

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A Journal of the Council and Counsel for Pregnancy – PODCAST ADDED

The Patheos Book Club is a busy place with a wide variety of books constantly being explored and discussed. This Tuesday, it started looking at two Catholic books that could not be more different. One is the posthumous publication of the writings of an often physically-challenged Dominican priest assisting at the Second Vatican Council; one is written by a house-afire of a woman assisting pregnant women.So, I guess you could say that both books have to do with the process of giving birth -- … [Read more...]

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A Prayerful Book Tour with a Pregnant Theme

A few days ago, while talking about myself I took a breath to mention Sarah Reinhard and her new book, A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. It's the first "Catholicmom.com Book" to emerge from the creative partnership between Ave Maria Press and Lisa Hendey.I recently met Sarah Reinhard while at an event in Dallas, and she is one of those tiny, dynamic balls of energetic smarts; not only is she raising three small children, writing … [Read more...]

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Lisa Hendey, making me look good

August and September were unusually busy months -- they flew by in a blur -- and for that reason I wasn't able to really clue in to what Brandon Vogt had in mind when he started a generous project meant to identify and promote Catholic speakers. See, I'm telling you that I was too busy to focus and get it, because I'd rather say that than simply admit, "I am dim."Vanity, vanity!The second part of the project was an interview process (print and video) and since no one else wanted me, … [Read more...]

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Mothers of the Church

In the mail comes, Mothers of the Church: The Witness of Early Christian Women, by Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey. It's the follow-up to Aquilina's hugely popular book, The Fathers of the Church.A book of martyrs, mothers, abbesses, desert solitaries and (believe it or not) entrepreneurs who "left their mark on sacred history by responding to God's call. Included are some of my favorite women: Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Saint Thecla, Saint Agnes of Rome, Saint Monica, Saint Macrina, … [Read more...]

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NRO’s Summer Reading List

NRO's annual Summer Reading List is up and you can find my suggestions on page 6 of this long, excellent list.Some of you may be surprised to note that I did not include Sigrid Undset's Stages on the Road among my suggestions, but since I wrote the foreword to it, I guess I felt like suggesting it might be too self-promoting. I did notice that I was the only woman participating, but perhaps many more were invited and scheduling/busyness prevented others from making recommendations.The … [Read more...]

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Leah Libresco, Media’s Favorite Puzzle

When Leah Libresco informed me that she was entering an RCIA program and wanted to know how to move her blog over here to the Catholic portal, she said she thought there might a some reaction to her conversion, but not enough to take up a whole day, so her main plan was to "sit on the porch and eat ice cream."I'm thinking the vanilla swirl has melted and congealed in the bowl, by now.Being busy with travel and a conference since last Wednesday, I've been a mostly-passive observer of the … [Read more...]

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Good Reads and Dawn Eden’s Latest! – UPDATED

Over at Aquinas and More they're sponsoring the Catholic Summer Reading discussion, and I am really pleased to see several books I have liked and recommended up on the list of recommended adult reading. You can vote for adult and teen titles you recommend. Happily, the list includes Sigrid Undset's Stages on the Road, about which I cannot say enough good things, and also Amy Welborn's Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope and Hallie Lord's Style, Sex and Substance.One book that … [Read more...]

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A Pro-Life/Social-Justice Catholic: Imagine That

Over at the USCCB Media Blog Sister Mary Ann Walsh pens a nice review of Mark Shriver's A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent ShriverWrites Sister:Two moments stand out in the book for me. One was mention of the Choice Program, an effort Mark Shriver started with small government and foundation grants for youthful offenders moving into the work force. As he struggled to keep Choice afloat, he met a priest who offered help from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Mark … [Read more...]

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