Our Daughters Dreams Arise from this Glad Slaughter!

The president, whose administration last Friday declared that religiously-founded institutions -- schools, hospitals and charities -- have no right to their own consciences when it comes to paying for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization -- dropped these pearls for us on the occasion of the anniversary of Roe v Wade, a law passed some 40 million abortions ago:As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a … [Read more...]

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...]

Orthodox Nuns and “God is With Us”

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After wading around in the filth of this post, I needed a palate cleanser; this seems just the ticket. Beautiful Orthodox nuns, and a lovely recording by the Mennonite Sharon Singers: We Are Not Alone; God is With Us … [Read more...]

The Priest as Bridge and Balm – UPDATED

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Over on the Dedicated-Catholic page of Patheos' symposium on the Future of Seminary Education, two more entries, and I think they're both exceptional expositions of both the challenges facing our new generation of priests, and the profound gift of opportunity that lies within those very challenges.Read Deacon Greg Kandra's remarkable and moving story (it made me cry) of Father Martino BaThong Nguyen, who was born in great deprivation in Vietnam and now serves in the Diocese of Savannah in … [Read more...]

The Monster, Human

File this under Evil, or The Dignity of the Human Person, and wince while you read this horrific story brought to you by David Mills, over at First Things:Dr. John C. Cutler was a monster. A monster who died after a long and successful life in government and academia, with scholarships and lectures created in his memory. As readers may know, in the mid-1940s he experimented upon poor Guatemalans, including mental patients and orphans as young as nine, trying to find a cure for syphilis. The … [Read more...]

Misunderstanding Dorothy Day Misunderstands Mercy

Kathryn Jean Lopez has written a thoughtful and terrific piece addressing Stephen Prothero's puzzling or deliberately provocative notion that Dorothy Day's abortion could interfere with her cause for sainthood.Prothero wrote: “Can Catholics abide a saint who had an abortion?"Possibly reconsidering the question as a bit aggressive, he rephrased it: "Can you be a saint if you have committed the original sin of contemporary Catholicism?"Lopez writes:It’s probably fair to say that D … [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...]

Tumbling America and the Narrative Thrust UPDATED

America is in the process of tumbling: she has one party interested only in "remaking" America with or without the constitution's guidance; it is a party become so expert at political maneuvering that it no longer believes it actually has to lead, build consensus or compromise -- ever -- and another party that can't manage to stick a post into a hole and call it a goal. The Democrats and Republicans remind me of nothing so much as Jules and Brett in Pulp Fiction -- the Democrats alternately sly … [Read more...]

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...]

Jerry Lewis Retires from Telethon – UPDATED

For so many of us, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon has been part of our earliest memories, a steady and dependable marker in the year. I am 52 years old. I cannot remember a time when Lewis and the telethon were not around.My parents would keep the telethon on all day while firing up the last barbecue of the season, and we kids would hector them to be allowed to phone in a pledge. We'd go about the neighborhood picking up spare change and tally it up, just like the big board on tv! In that way, … [Read more...]


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