Americans and Obedience: Oil and Water

It's a rare thing when Julie Davis climbs up on a soapbox; she is the most genial of ladies, and not one to kick up a fuss, but she's got something to say, today and it's worth hearing and pondering:Why did God highly exalt Christ Jesus? Why did God bestow on him the name above every name, that at that name every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth? Why shall every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father?Obedience.He took the … [Read more...]

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NPR’s really good piece on the LCWR Story

Every time I think I've had it with NPR, they surprise me -- they pull me back from the ledge with something really good. This time, it's a three-way interview on the LCWR story with Journalist John Allen, Christendom College's Donna Bethell and Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK. All three are considerably more thoughtful and balanced on the issue than some print-media reports and Catholic analysts would suggest.Give it a listen or read the text. It's good stuff. … [Read more...]

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Pope Benedict: Faith and the Future

In 2009 Ignatius press released this prophetic little volume, written by our pope over 1969-1970 -- while the world was in the first throes of the social revolution. I thought I'd share a few of Joseph Ratzinger's prescient thoughts. They seem timely:"The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many … [Read more...]

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Our “Yes” to God Brings His More Perfect “Yes” to Us

I love this month's cover of Magnificat Magazine -- Madonna and Child, by Marianne Stokes (1855-1927), Wolverhampton Art Gallery, West Midlands, UK. (© Bridgeman Giraudon) -- it captures the simple youth and energy of Mary, who would have been about 14 years old: her gaze is direct and open, and so is the child's. It almost harkens to Christ's ministry, and his command, "Ephphatha, be opened!"We are living in urgent times, where illusions are swirling all about, making it difficult to … [Read more...]

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Barron’s “Catholicism” Book is A Course in Revolution

Recently I posted the first of what are bound to be many, many posts raving about Catholicism; A Journey to the Heart of the Faith and urging you to purchase the book, read it and -- you won't be able to resist -- give it to everyone you know.My husband and I are giving it to our priests and the parish DRE, and we're not waiting for Christmas!And I haven't actually even written my rave review, yet. But while I figure out how to do that, George Weigel has written a rave of his own, this … [Read more...]

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Spiritual Communion

It seems like a small thing, but this story stirred something in me, and gave me hope:More than a million young Catholics learned the hard way about a venerable Catholic tradition: "spiritual Communion" or the "Communion of desire."After a wild storm Aug. 20 at World Youth Day in Madrid left six people injured -- including two with broken legs -- Spanish police collapsed the tents where most of the unconsecrated hosts for the next morning's Mass were being kept.Without the hosts in … [Read more...]

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Making Love in the Light

My column at First Things for the upcoming Feast of the Ascension:It is this onenes Father Barron describes when he writes of the “interacting and interpenetrating fields of force” that are heaven and earth, constantly commingling, and within the church embodying a true encounter between bridegroom and bride. That is considered archaic language, I know — Flannery O’ Connor called it “a metaphor that can be dispensed with” — but the brilliant Ms. O’ Connor was uncharacteristically off the mark … [Read more...]

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Feast of Dear St. Philip Neri

Today is the memorial of my dear patron, teacher and friend, St. Philip Neri, whose chapel in Santa Maria in Vallicella (also called Chiesa Nuova) in Rome feels like a very natural and welcoming second home, for me -- where I was able to participate, daily, in the mass on my last visit.In her column, "A Word in Season" Pat Gohn takes a really wonderful look at this very great saint, whose "mission" was to the people of Rome; the churches and hospitals he built are still serving. The Oratory … [Read more...]

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Meeting Him on the Mt. of Olives

" . . . let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere … [Read more...]

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A Hermitage in Your Future?

My husband thinks this will be me, one day:The hermitage isn't what you'd expect: a small home in a quiet neighborhood of Essex, Maryland, that was originally built as a one-room fishing shack 100 years ago. But then, the hermit who lives there isn't what you'd expect, either. Mary Zimmerer, now Sr. Maria Veronica of the Holy Face, is a bubbly widow who discerned a call to the contemplative life after her husband passed away five years ago. Having made a public profession of vows last … [Read more...]

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