Too Funny: Is the Pope Cribbing from Deacon Greg? – UPDATES

We've had a little fun, noting how frequently his Holiness brings up idolatry in his homilies and talks (he just did it again, on June 2!); the joke, of course, is that he and I are mind-melding.Now it seems Deacon Greg and Pope Francis are visiting a similar frequency. Posting his homily early, as he always does, the good Deacon preached this about the Solemnity of Corpus Christi:Communion is, to a great extent, about community. It is about being united in love for Christ, love for … [Read more...]

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“the usual efforts at Church reform are useless…”

The English writer and mystic Caryll Houselander is one of those people whose work I keep meaning to read, because every time I am exposed to even a little of her thinking, I'm intrigued and want more -- she always puts me a bit in mind of Heather King.At the Philanthropy Daily blog, Scott Walter serves up a dose of Houselander that packs a relevant wallop: Pope Francis’ election reminded me of a passage in Houselander's letters.She's writing to a Mr. St. George about [a man whose t … [Read more...]

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Political Narratives or the Pope? Dross to Gold.

Immersion in Benedict resignation news, I find the worldly political stories to be stale theater in comparison to the richness of the words I am reading and the authenticity of the pope and the faithful as they meet. Dross to genuine gold.In what is likely his last public homily, Benedict today said: "he reward of the righteous is God Himself, to be united to Him, here, on a journey of faith, and at the end of life, in the peace light of coming face to face with Him forever." Part of me is … [Read more...]

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Jesus and the Hemorrhagic Woman: Accountability and Thanksgiving

Today's Gospel reading (Mark 5:21-43) tells us of Jairus' plea to Jesus, that he go to his sick little girl, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”Oh, that spoke to me; on a snowy, cold morning, with the arthritis screaming, I read that and thought, "me too, that I may move!"Along the way to Jairus' home, we read what is (for me, anyway) one of the richest and most powerful stories of Christ's healings:There was a wom … [Read more...]

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My Prayer at Adoration

When I go to Adoration, it is such a privilege and such a humility. I go there in poverty -- unworthy of anything, but willing to be open, because I trust that all God wants of us is our willingness. Always with the reminder jangling in my brain: Weakness is sown, strength rises up.It is part-and-parcel of the great paradox: when I am weak, then I am strong.I am weak, often at my weakest, when I go to Adoration. But I know my prayer there -- even though I have nothing of myself, am … [Read more...]

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Afflicted by Boredom…”Say something new!”

My piece at First Things, today:With something like horror I realized that I—the news junkie whose earliest memories involve sitting on the floor, transfixed as Nancy Dickerson read the afternoon headlines and the iconic black and white images burned themselves into my imagination; the girl who had devoured political and religious stories and had made a happy career out of the chomping; the woman whose greatest joy after family was the perpetual wellspring of the internet where one c … [Read more...]

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A GREAT Communion Gift!

It's almost time for all the little girls in white and the little boys in blue (or white) to make their First Holy Communion, and every year I get folks writing me asking, "what is a good gift?" The kids usually get rosaries and prayerbooks in their "Communion Kits" so, what else is good?This. This is goodAmy Welborn Dubruiel and Ann Kissane Engelhart collaborated on this charming, delightfully illustrated chronicle of a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI (who has often discusses his … [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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Five Little Words

My column at First Things this week brings me back to a retreat experience that I am still processing and learning from:How does one assist at adoration and not feel inclined to bash all anger, all fear, all frustration, temptation, hopelessness, upon the cross of Christ—which can bear all things—and simply consent; simply allow him to recreate, revive, restore to make everything, everything, new.His majesty will do it; He will not wait to discuss all the ways you have failed him—there is tim … [Read more...]

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Unbearable

It's not about sex. Sex abuse and rape are always about asserting power and dominance and control. (H/T)And it is always evil.Today, despite his hospital treatment, Jean Paul still bleeds when he walks. Like many victims, the wounds are such that he's supposed to restrict his diet to soft foods such as bananas, which are expensive, and Jean Paul can only afford maize and millet. His brother keeps asking what's wrong with him. "I don't want to tell him," says Jean Paul. "I fear he will say: … [Read more...]

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