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...]

Three More Little Words UPDATED

In the post below, we look at Three Little Words -- "Don't be afraid" -- that we should perhaps use to begin more of our sentences.Here are three other words, that perhaps should end more of those sentences: "Pay it forward.""Don't be afraid; pay it forward." It's almost the perfect one-sentence summary of the Gospel.And here are a few more words, from both my mom and Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes:"God is never outdone in generosity."This is true. I know this … [Read more...]

Muldoon's Sex and Christianity

Tim Muldoon has begun a series in his column space, Culture at the Crossroads, on the huge subject of Christianity and Sex:From Part I:What I will propose is the idea that authentic discernment of desire means recognizing that not all kinds of freedom are very life-giving. Discernment is the careful sifting of goods from bads: so, for example, it will be important to discern how in the modern/postmodern world women can discover their vocations, while rejecting ideas that make both men and … [Read more...]

Attitude of Gratitude

We've talked a lot around here about how joy is unattainable without gratitude -- that it needs a perspective grounded in an awareness of all the things one has to be grateful about.Clearly, this man wasn't waiting until the end to take stock … [Read more...]

Sacramental Joy of the Priesthood and of Vows

Via New Advent, Msgr. Charles Pope gives a glimpse of the joy he finds in his priesthood, particularly in conferring sacraments among the faithful -- worshiping with them, communing with them, receiving them, anointing them. It is a look at one day in his life, an atypical one, surely, which also happened to include his own birthday celebration. His pleasure in all of it, his gratitude for the ability to confer these sacramental gifts, is evident in every word as he describes a day that brought … [Read more...]

The Great, Holy Mr. Rogers

Oh, I needed to read this wonderful piece on Fred Rogers today!As for the agenda of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood", it was deeply resonant with the agenda God offers us as co-creators of our life and world, and with the comfort of being held in good hands. First and always was the affirmation of unconditional love: "I like you just the way you are" is what every child heard from Fred every single day. That's a message any of us would welcome hearing ourselves.Some parents, however, … [Read more...]

Gay Marriage, Eden & Our Constant Illusion – UPDATED

My column at First Things this week completes the journey I began three weeks ago, and I have to say the timing of the whole thing seems oddly coincidental, to me. I've had the idea of discussing homosexuality and God, otherness, nature and nurture and calling and depth of longing and marriage for a while, but never felt like it was the right time to bring it up, and then -- even though I wasn't paying much attention to the headlines when I began -- it all seems to have landed at the same time … [Read more...]

The Deep Waters and Gay Marriage

I rarely recommend subscribing to RSS feeds, because I know what it's like to get enough email, but I am going to urge you to subscribe to Theologian (and Patheos columnist) Tim Muldoon -- at least over the summer -- as he continues to plumb the theological depths in consideration of gay marriage.He started out wondering if Christianity was having a Gamaliel moment on the matter.This week, he thinks about what does true violence to the spirit, and whether "facsimiles of love" play into … [Read more...]

Ah, this is Romantic and Sound

Tim Muldoon's piece this week really is both profound and romantic and profoundly romantic:On the day this column is published, a woman named Sue will make a decision that will affect the rest of her life. To be more precise, she will reaffirm a decision that she has already made 6,574 times: to spend the day married to me. On this day, she and I will celebrate eighteen years of marriage.In days like these when fewer people choose to marry, and when the ideas of what marrying means are … [Read more...]

You don't want to miss these…

I know, I know, I said the Summablog would take the place of multi-link posts, but this time indulge me, because these are all things you will want to read and since they're all Patheos things, you know...old habits and such....First up, On the battlefields and in the hospitals, soldiers on both sides of the Civil War owed their consolation, and sometimes their limbs or their very lives, to the that most exotic and mysterious of creatures: the Catholic Nun.Next, Tim Muldoon writes a … [Read more...]