Where Martyrs May Lead

This morning, I offer you something completely different - an essay by a still-new-Catholic writer who declares himself irredeemably self-involved and yet manages to write about others with both heart and humor and even to slop a dollop of humility upon himself in the most unusual and engaging way. Enjoy Max Lindenman trying desperately to avoid sharing a meal with people he has loved, known or admired, and the nuns who draw him out, in Houses and the Holy:But last year I had to break … [Read more...]

Suffering; the Great Leveler

My archives are not all moved over yet, so I can't find most of the posts, but we do sometimes muse about suffering here.Often the topic comes up because we are sharing sad news that reminds us once again that no one gets through life without experiencing what it is to suffer.We have been trained in the secular world to disregard life as something holy and to understand that our human potential is inextricably tied to our personal freedoms and our domination over those uncontrollable matters … [Read more...]

iPhone Confession; Verdicts Via NPR, Protestants

A few days ago I wrote about the new confession prep app developed by two priest and approved by the Bishop of Fort Wayne.While I thought the tool could be a terrific aid in the examination of conscience, I also worried that -- despite repeated declarations that the app did not constitute a confession, or dispense absolution, that it did not preclude the need to go to confession -- some would go through the app process and decide that, click, click, click, they had pretty much taken care of … [Read more...]

Heather King; the Anti-Anne Rice – UPDATED

Last summer, when Anne Rice loudly announced that she was "quitting" Christianity but not Christ, I wrote a long point-by-point response that seems to have gone missing in my move over to Patheos. Hopefully it will be recovered, but thanks to Ed Driscoll, some of it can be read at his place, including this part:Anne Rice wants to do the Life-in-Christ on her own, while saying “Yes” to the worldly world and its values. She seems not to realize that far from being an Institution of No, the chu … [Read more...]

A Golden Voice with a Word in Season

Every time I talk to Pat Gohn speak, I find myself marveling at the resonance of her lovely alto. She has one of those voices that belongs behind a microphone or a podium, and that -- coupled with her ability to reason smoothly and articulately -- makes her podcasts at Among Women such soothing, thoughtful programs.She's got a voice like rich honey.This week's podcast is not quite so soothing, however. Pat is mellifluous as ever but her guest is a bit on the hyper side and she can't shut … [Read more...]

New "Gloria" for New Roman Missal

Having long begged my musician sons to please try to compose a singable, non-bombast-filled-nor-sickly-sweet-nor-plodding "Gloria" to replace the two (just two) versions all of the local parishes have used for at least three decades, I rejoiced to see a new "Gloria" being made available in accordance with the soon-to-be released revisions to the Roman Missal.I admit, on my first listen of Jeff Ostrowski's treatment, I was not sure I liked it.On re-listening a few times, I have decided that … [Read more...]

Stars and the Excess of Clarity

Spent some time stargazing a while back, when I couldn’t sleep.No telescope, just the naked eye, a dark neighborhood and a willingness to wonder. I was digesting a bit of Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain, and it had stayed with me through evening's pass – the sight of the stars, the early, wise writings of a monk.Does the fact that we can no longer see the stars have anything to do with our loss of wonder? These things, the stars, and all creation - they are more splendid, perfect, … [Read more...]

". . .the heart of a Catholic Yogi"

In 1989 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith delivered a Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation.In Section V of that document, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) wrote:"Just as ‘the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in [the great religions]' neither should these ways be rejected out of hand simply because they are not Christian. On the contrary, one can take from them what is useful so long as t … [Read more...]

Un-baptizing; can that be done?

The Christmas season is over; today we read about the Baptism of Christ, and recall our own baptisms. some of us today renewed our baptismal promises.But not everyone. Deacon Greg Kandra notes that some are trying to "unbaptize" themselves.Some wish to "de-baptize" because they are responding to the sexual abuse scandals within the church; they are so sincerely disgusted that they cannot reconcile the message of Christianity, as voiced by the church, with the deceit and harm that has … [Read more...]