Consigning Joni Mitchell to the Prayers of Dorothy Day

Joni Mitchell smoking

Very likely due to being ill for nearly four months, I'm in a bit of a work-and-spiritual funk just now. I've got the blues and am hauling out all the usual prescriptions to try to help myself along.I want to "snap out of it" because I know that I have no business feeling glum; my life is too full of good things, for which -- when my head is on straight -- I am everyday grateful. My husband and kids are healthy. My son is happily married to a wonderful young woman. My other son is making … [Read more...]

Belying Emily Letts’ “good abortion” Words: Her Face UPDATE

Emily Letts

Kathy Schiffer calls a video of Emily Letts getting an abortion "weird", and if all you take into account is this young woman's words, they are weird; they make almost no sense.“I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.”If you let yourself become distracted by what is coming from her mouth, you miss all that is … [Read more...]

Girls and Guillotines: Glorifying God


If you're not subscribing to The Catholic Answer Magazine (which you should because it's a little six-times-a-year gem of Catholic information on scripture, doctrine and tradition, but I won't scold!) I hope you're at least liking the OSV Twitter account so you can click on to some of its goodness!The July/August edition is particularly rich, as it examines Eucharistic Adoration, Concupiscence, the Eastern Churches and the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne. Much of that is behind the paywall -- … [Read more...]

Dear NY Times: Less Yapping, more Actual Thinking!


I have been meaning to write for several weeks about Mary DeTurris Poust's lovely new book, Everyday Divine: A Catholic Guide to Active Spirituality, which I had a chance to read while stuck in a plane that never did leave the ground for Baltimore. I liked the book very much, as it gives some very personally-rendered, tried-and-true practical advice for bringing a contemplative habit to so much that is "ordinary" about our days, and helps to make them much less ordinary, and sanctified. This … [Read more...]

Would “Saint” Dorothy Day like that?

In just about any article or bio of Dorothy Day, one of the first quotes you'll come across that is ascribed to her is, "Don't call me a saint; I don't want to be dismissed that easily." One the heels of news that the USCCB has enthusiastically endorsed her cause Father James Martin, S.J. talks to Robert Ellsberg (who edited her wonderful diaries for The Duty of Delight) about that remark, what it means, and in what context Dorothy might have made it:Dorothy’s own relationship with saints w … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Dorothy Day!


“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” ― Dorothy DayThis, of course, is correct, and precisely why I have to go to confession on Saturday. I have to confess to loving Harry Reid very, very, very little and badly.Happy Birthday to Servant of God Dorothy Day; Benedictine Oblate, fangirl of St. Therese of Lisieux; an "obedient daughter of the Church" who loved the Mass, had no time for bullshit and managed to commingle Catholic teaching about the Eucha … [Read more...]

Curiosity Killed the Cat, and the Atheist?


Over at the Atheist channel, Bob Seidensticker is experimenting with prayer, in a (to me) closed and complicated way. He has no expectations, doesn't especially want faith, but has decided to participate in an experiment.Leah Libresco, the brilliant little Yalie who also used to blog in the Atheist channel before she reasoned her way into faith (which happens more than many realize), has taken an interest in Seidensticker's adventure, and today she offers some creative and helpful advice for … [Read more...]

Calming the Catholic Caricatures

Three excellent pieces, today, all making the very excellent and true argument that Catholics cannot really be labeled and pigeonholed into political and ideological caricatures, no matter how desperately the media (and too often Catholics themselves, of each other) try to do it.First up, Father Robert Barron looks at Paul Ryan and says, he's neither the social menace or the knight in shining armor that partisans want you to believe:In its social teaching, this same sort of "bi-polar … [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 Day is mo … [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...]