Of He-Men, Fathers and Popes who Do Not Swagger

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If you are not subscribing to The Catholic Answer, you're missing a lot of good stuff. My column for the Jan/Feb issue jumps off an interesting piece on the Feast of the Throne of Peter, to ponder why it is that the Vicar of Christ--beginning with Peter, himself--does not swagger:For competitive purposes, our fathers were invested with outsized swagger, but, in truth, we held them in a bit of awe and wonder. If our mothers were so familiar to us that we went running to them interchangeably … [Read more...]

Rescuing Devotional Babies from the Bathwater…

CSP Book Club

Over at the Patheos Book Club, there's an interesting selection being discussed, a slim volume simply entitled Catholic Spiritual Practices, Edited by Colleen M. Griffith and Thomas H. Groome.I'm going to confess right now, I did not get to read this book, but that wasn't due to lack of interest. In tidying up for Thanksgiving the thing was accidentally donated to my parish along with a slew of other books -- but I figure that was the Holy Spirit getting into hands that needed it. I was … [Read more...]

My Prayer at Adoration

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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...]

Effective Evangelization Ought to Persuade, not Provoke

A few weeks ago Deacon Greg posted this video, and people are still visiting it and many of them are sending it on to me, believing I must not have seen it, and wondering what I think about the "tolerance double standard" it reveals.Well, here's my response to that, over at First Things:There is no denying that the notion of “tolerance” has become somewhat fluid in the United States over the last decade, or that double standards apply to its application. Just last week, the Boston Globe … [Read more...]

What the CO shooting “says about us”

Jack Shafer with a thoughtful piece: . . . attempts at pattern recognition are as inevitable as they are necessary. Philosophers may be capable of throwing the null set at a suburban bloodbath. For the rest of us, attempts at finding causation – however tenuous – helps settle the mind. The shooter did it because he was crazy, we say. He did it because he was evil. He did it because we (or somebody else) made him that way. He did it because guns make it possible. Any explanation that will hel … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

Pray Litany of Sacred Heart of Jesus With Me!

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Photo courtesy of shutterstock.comIt's one of my favorite solemnities and one of my favorite litanies -- let's pray it together with my podcast!:*after each invocation, respond with “have mercy on us.”Lord, have mercy Christ, have mercy Lord, have mercy Christ, hear us Christ, graciously hear us.God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us* God, the Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, One God, … [Read more...]

Benedict at 85: a Cloister Unto Himself

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Today is the 85 birthday of our dear Pope Benedict XVI, and he speaks very plainly to the day:“I find myself on the last stretch of my journey in life, and I don’t know what is awaiting me.”“I know, however, that the light of God exists, that he is risen, that his light is stronger than any darkness and that God’s goodness is stronger than any evil in this world, and this helps me go forward with certainty."In a few days we'll celebrate the 7th anniversary of his pontificate. I canno … [Read more...]

Easter Praise: Update on Sarah K.

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On Good Friday I posted a plea for prayers for friend Sarah, whose kidneys seemed to be shutting down.A few hours later, everything seemed to turn around. Sarah writes: "It seems to me a very large coincidence, yet, I hesitate to call it a miracle. Who am I God would do even a small miracle for?"Who are any of us? Who were Peter and Andrew that Christ should call them? Who was the adulterous woman that Christ should defend her? Who was the nameless leper to be made clean? Who was the … [Read more...]

Easter Monday Office of Readings – UPDATED

Speaking just for myself -- because in recent years I always seem to host the family feast of Easter Sunday, Easter Monday is a respite, almost a day of retreat and recovery; regaining energy expended over the past 4 days. I will be spending most of my day before my oratory, I think. I hope your Easter was wonderful.From an Easter homily by Melito of Sardis, bishopWe should understand, beloved, that the paschal mystery is at once old and new, transitory and eternal, corruptible and … [Read more...]


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