“As THIS sort of person, THAT offends me…”

I-have-a-right-To-never-be-offended

A couple of weeks ago I chronicled my boredom with media, with our talking-head culture, and most particularly with the predictability of what passes for punditry, these days. Most of the people to whom we give willing (or unwilling) access to our ears and our time have become so incapable of thinking beyond their programming or of moving away from their preferred scripts, that there often seems little reason to turn on the news, pick up a paper or even check a combox. We all know what everyone … [Read more...]

Komen and HHS: The Day of the Bully Dawns – UPDATED

Moloch

In just about 24 hours the "non-political" billion-dollar entity known as Planned Parenthood -- which does not itself do mammograms, despite how ABC News frames it -- managed to leak the news that the Susan G. Komen Foundation would no longer be contributing $700,000 dollars to its coffers, get the two stupidest women in the US Senate to go into public hysterics, bring out the heavy guns of the mainstream media and apparently win Komen's surrender!We want to apologize to the American public … [Read more...]

Illumination: Feast of the Presentation

candlemas

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined to be the rise and the fall of many in Israel, and a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 2It is odd that this feastday -The Feast of the Presentation of Christ- (which as Deacon Greg explains, is also called … [Read more...]

Our “Yes” to God Brings His More Perfect “Yes” to Us

I love this month's cover of Magnificat Magazine -- Madonna and Child, by Marianne Stokes (1855-1927), Wolverhampton Art Gallery, West Midlands, UK. (© Bridgeman Giraudon) -- it captures the simple youth and energy of Mary, who would have been about 14 years old: her gaze is direct and open, and so is the child's. It almost harkens to Christ's ministry, and his command, "Ephphatha, be opened!"We are living in urgent times, where illusions are swirling all about, making it difficult to … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

In your light we see light

“No destructive action…can ever corrode the substance of Creation . . . there is a divinely guaranteed Goodness of being which no amount of mischief can undermine.” -- Josef Pieper, In Tune With the WorldI saw as in letters of gold this word Goodness, which I repeated for a long while with an indescribable sweetness. I saw it, I say, written on all creatures, animate and inanimate, rational or not, all bore this name of goodness. I saw it even on the chair I was using as a kneeler. I under … [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...]


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