Of Otherness, Gay Marriage, Rights and Offices

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The headlines of the past two weeks have given me a lot to process, and this weekend is a good time to think on things. Since the Obergefell decision, there are fights breaking out all over the internet, between Gays and Straights and Christians and Other Christians, and even between Catholics and Other Catholics.The idea of the "Other" got me thinking about a piece I'd written a while back at First Things, one that -- to my surprise (but then I never know how groups of people are going to … [Read more...]

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On Taking Communion While Not Catholic: A Little Primer – UPDATED

Food for the World, lain in a Food Bin. Image copyright Dayna More, courtesy of Shutterstock.com

The holidays always bring out these sorts of conversations. A Catholic friend who confesses to being "lukewarm" to the faith "because it's so crazy, with all the people who are not welcome" expressed some consternation at the idea that there are actual "rules" about receiving Holy Communion. The rules, she complained, "get in the way of a person and Jesus."Once upon a time, I believed that, too.I am still not one to go bug-eyed and cry "heretic!" if someone receives Communion … [Read more...]

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As Hispanics Depart: Does Catholicism Ask Too Little of Us?

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Spent some time reading about how Hispanics are converting to Islam and Mormonism.It is striking to consider that while some in the church are suggesting that we need to require less of people, we are losing members to religions that are perceived to require "more" of them -- particularly as pertains to prayer and fasting, and even to what people wear. Hispanic women assert that the head coverings or "temple garments" they wear in obedience tend to give them a sense of "self-respect" that … [Read more...]

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

For yourself, for the world, read this book!

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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“Why be singular when you can participate in heaven?”

tcabannercropped

My latest column at The Catholic Answer is called "Our Professors, Who Art in Heaven" and touches on the question that comes up again and again, particularly with those concerned about idolatry: why do Catholics show such reverence for saints?The Communion of Saints must seem strange to outsiders who wonder why Catholics and Orthodox Christians bother taking side roads in their orisons when a prayer to Jesus seems like a faster, more direct route. As a religious sister from my childhood put … [Read more...]

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Pentecost: A Beautiful Illumination

Sometimes the heart just longs for beauty. June's cover of Magnificat Magazine took my breath away. That's "Pentecost" an illumination from a book of Hours from the 16th Century, and this is what Pierre-Marie Dumont writes of it:Shown at prayer, Mary intercedes for her "daughter" [the church] at the moment of her birth at Pentecost, just as she will constantly intercede for her to the end of time. Kneeling in the right foreground is Saint Peter, the first pope, wearing the mozetta in cloth … [Read more...]

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

CathPT_BibleTellsMeSo_1

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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Charismatic: The Pope and the Pentecostals are 45 Minutes of FASCINATING – Updated!

I had just finished watching this video, when Marcel LeJeune sent this post of his my way, calling the it "astounding."It's that and more.I will tell you this: I watched the whole thing, and was fascinated, and blown away, and -- hard as this might be to believe -- moved to copious tears.I have seen some Catholics on Facebook say they forward through the video, only watching the last 15 minutes or so, with Pope Francis. I heartily recommend that you don't do that -- that you, … [Read more...]

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Racking Up My Balls So You Can Crack Them! UPDATED

balls

Like billiard balls on the table, I am sort of scattered all over the internet just now, so, let's rack these things up and then you can have a crack at me.Earlier this week Kathryn Jean Lopez published Part II of our long interview last May. Reading oneself seven months later can be interesting, and self-instructive.KJL: “When something is true, there is no point in arguing. We cannot make anyone believe anything.” How does that gel with the Gospel mandate to evangelize?Scalia: Jes … [Read more...]

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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...]

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