The Beautiful Doubled-Edged Sword of Hospice – UPDATED


Carl McColman has lost his beloved daughter, Rhiannon:Many well-meaning friends and loved ones say things like “At least she’s in a better place now” or “She’s no longer stuck in a wheelchair” or “Well, her suffering is over.” That’s all true and I believe it — thank heaven for my faith, or I think my sense of being plunged into an abyss would be far more engulfing than it is. And I don’t mean to criticize the genuine love and concern from the many people who care. But every time I hear a com … [Read more...]

One of those awful stories that clutches at the heart…

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Around here we love Joseph Susanka and his Summa This, Summa That blog, because in a world that sometimes challenges us to find authentic charm or a touch of wonder amid all the dross, Joseph reliably "brings the pretty."So it was all the worse, yesterday, that it was Joseph who shared some ugly, tragic news within social media:Two young girls were killed in a car crash Tuesday morning on Highway 789 between Hudson and Lander.Olivia and Emma Lewis died of injuries sustained in the … [Read more...]

Calah puts period and exclamation point to Hell Week


I do believe that with this piece by Calah Alexander, we can put our unintentional Week of Hell Writing to bed. Pretty sure Calah has nailed it:A few years ago, about two years after my conversion to Catholicism, a chance conversation with friends led me face-to-face with the realization that I could actually go to hell.You’ll appreciate the novelty of this idea more if you understand that being raised Evangelical, I had understood from an early age that I was saved. Hell as a reality f … [Read more...]

“Our Life is Over Like a Sigh”

All Souls Day

That astonishing vestment (to me, beautiful-in-message-and-execution) is making the rounds, on Facebook. It's a vestment specific to the day, as we celebrate All Soul's Day -- a day when, as Dawn Eden reminds us -- we remember that our loved ones are still with us, and that we are still connected to them via prayer.It's good to remember that our time on earth is short -- that, as Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton said, "we are made for eternity" and not just for our brief sojourn, here.Our … [Read more...]

Owned by Ownership; The Need to Simplify


In one of those happy synchronicities, my column at First Things this week appears to play right into the hands of the Patheos Book Club.Allow me to explain. Over at First Things, I chronicle the existential agida I am experiencing over how my husband's pack-rat instincts overwhelm my need to throw things away, and the influence of Western prosperity on our sense of material balance and well-being:Our Christmas was a modest one, by choice, and no one in our family is consumed by a … [Read more...]

Bring Out Yer Dead, Mr. Santorum! – UPDATED

Those of us who work in alternative media--particularly we who run blogs, which require daily updating and a continual perusal of news in order to remain relevant--run a high risk of becoming so inured to non-stop political spin, and so desensitized to public rudeness that we become not just observers, but bobbing participants in the overheated muck and stew of the daily outrage, the daily hysteria, the daily meme. Mired in the thick of things, we can lose sight of the depths of madness to which … [Read more...]

Drawing A Veil over A Villain

In The Four Stages of Cruelty, William Hogarth depicts the body of Tom Nero, a fictitious murderer, being dissected during an anatomy class. From the ceiling hang the skeletons of Burke and Hare, the infamous grave-robbers. Tom Nero might never have existed, but the fate of his mortal remains was entirely plausible: in 1752, the British Parliament had passed a law, permitting the authorities to donate the bodies of executed criminals, as it were, to science.Hogarth was preaching a homily in … [Read more...]

Bloggers' New Ars Moriendi

Salon reports that Canadian blogger Derek Miller died shortly after blogging his own death. Miller, first diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2007, had been using his blog as a platform for his meditations on illness and death, longing and loss. His final post begins:Here it is. I'm dead, and this is my last post to my blog. In advance, I asked that once my body finally shut down from the punishments of my cancer, then my family and friends publish this prepared message I wrote—the first p … [Read more...]

Joshua Goldberg, R.I.P.

. . . and, when he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night, And pay no worship to the garish sun. - Romeo & Juliet, Act 3; Scene 2It was a great sadness to learn today of the passing of Joshua Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief of and Blogs Lucianne Loves. He was the son of Lucianne and the late Sidney Goldberg, only brother of Jonah Goldberg and husband to Chantal.In the way of … [Read more...]