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...]

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"Of Gods and Men" and John Corapi

The remarkable film Of Gods and Men is out on Netflix, and if you haven't seen it yet, I urge you to put it on your queue and move it to the top. It is one of the best films I seen in years -- gripping, moving, enlightening and insightful. I can't think of a film in recent memory that so truly and respectfully portrays the life of faith, the religious life, and most especially the value, use and meaning of liturgical prayer and the sacramental, Holy Mass -- how these enhance the life of faith, … [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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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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Abortion, Language and Looking Away – UPDATED

Photosource"Over a period of two decades, government health and licensing officials were repeatedly presented with evidence about Gosnell, and repeatedly chose to do nothing..."“No action was taken, even after the agencies learned that women had died under Gosnell’s care.”Kermit Gosnell was arraigned yesterday on 8 charges charges of murder, and much, much more.Most of the news reports I'm reading on this story are surprisingly succinct, given the 281 page Grand Jury Report which … [Read more...]

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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...]

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