Building on what you’ve built: A GREAT Story

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My Patheos colleague Tim Dalrymple has a story and video that really should make everyone stop in their tracks and think about what we all mean when we say (or sneer) at each other: "success", "capitalism", "share", "evil corporations", "collectivism" and "church." We get caught up in words like those -- particularly in an election year where, suddenly, words like "hard work", "build", "success", "welfare", "human dignity", "profit", "business", "hand-outs", "hand-ups" and "community" are … [Read more...]

Getting to Know Ramadan

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Don't know much about Ramadan? Well, join the club, but I became more interested in Islam's holiest month after reading this award-winning essay from ONE Magazine, which is put out by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. On the surface, Ramadan resembles Christian Lent. It differs, however, in several fundamental ways. Perhaps the most apparent difference is that after breaking the fast at nightfall, Muslims celebrate and often feast. During the first weeks of the month, there are … [Read more...]

Peter and the Sons of Caesar: A World Upside Down

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In observance of the "Fortnight for Freedom", my column at First Things considers that the ever since Peter was crucified upside down, the church has seemed like a screwball, topsy-turvy proposition to the worldly world, and all it's glamor. And all its empty promises: In the first chapter of Father Robert Barron’s remarkable book Catholicism, he discusses the utterly revolutionary fact and idea of Jesus Christ, son of Mary, son of God, as communicated in the “fighting words” that … [Read more...]

NY Daily News: Can’t we put aside politics to help people?

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(Photosource) Would have missed this editorial in the New York Daily News, if not for the invaluable New Advent: Modern-day slaves, hostage to abortion: Set aside politics to help Catholic groups that fight human trafficking Some problems are more important than politics. Human trafficking should be one of them. As Secretary of State Clinton has said, “If this issue doesn’t demand zealous advocacy, it’s hard to figure out what does.” In fact, just this week, a new State … [Read more...]

A Spanking Good Analogy on Casual Sex/Contraception

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Photo courtesy of Olga Besnard / Shutterstock.com "Why did Mike Ditka and Joe Paterno recommend the removal of facemasks from football players' helmets?" asks BC professor, Tim Muldoon, "It's because when I perceive I'm protected, I amp up my risk level. Same with contraception." That bang you just heard was reality, closing in on you. Muldoon's analogy is what my Auntie Lillie would have called "a spanking good telling" that delivers an inarguable truth to our … [Read more...]

Good Reads and Dawn Eden’s Latest! – UPDATED

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Over at Aquinas and More they're sponsoring the Catholic Summer Reading discussion, and I am really pleased to see several books I have liked and recommended up on the list of recommended adult reading. You can vote for adult and teen titles you recommend. Happily, the list includes Sigrid Undset's Stages on the Road, about which I cannot say enough good things, and also Amy Welborn's Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope and Hallie Lord's Style, Sex and Substance. One book that … [Read more...]

Afflicted by Boredom…”Say something new!”

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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 … [Read more...]

A Church Where Sheep May Safely Graze

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Imagine you're pregnant, unchurched and addicted, and you want to step out of the darkness and into the light. What sort of hand will you trust to lead you out? My first child was conceived out of wedlock. I was, at the time, not only unmarried but also a crystal meth addict. I was not Catholic but some strange combination of agnostic/lapsed Protestant; my boyfriend and the father of my child was a Catholic. Obviously neither he nor I were living virtuous lives at the time, but the reality … [Read more...]

Mercy Strewn, the Feathers Still Linger

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Over at The Catholic Answer Magazine, my column dredges up the pain caused by gossip, and hints that mercy is always a good, if not-always-perfect, option. Answering the phone, I was alarmed to hear only a deep, guttural sobbing on the other end. After a moment, the caller collected herself enough to say, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” “Who is this?” I asked, suspecting a wrong number. In another second I recognized the voice; it belonged to someone who, 20 years earlier, had … [Read more...]

War on Women Propaganda

All wars have their propaganda I must say, I like this salvo -- a clever video put out by the Susan B. Anthony List: I especially like the closing line: "Tell President Obama to respect a woman's choice to practice her beliefs...not his." And you can do that here. In other news, DC Bishop Donald Wuerl is trying some pastoral instruction on Georgetown. My bet is Georgetown won't be listening. I am more than ever convinced that schism within the American church is around the … [Read more...]


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