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...]

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 … [Read more...]

"Racism is a God-damned thing!"

If you are not reading historian Pat McNamara's weekly column In Ages Past, you're missing great profiles, of American Catholics who impacted this nation in dramatic and often downright exhausting ways.This week, say hello to Father John Markoe, S.J. - football star, soldier, alcoholic, priest, and a civil rights activist a few decades ahead of the rest:Born in 1890 to a blueblood family whose ancestors included Benjamin Franklin, John Prince Markoe was the son of a prominent Minnesota … [Read more...]

No, Virtue is not impossible

Call it Virtue. Call it Chastity. Call it Continence.Whatever you want to call it, our society loves to tell us that it can't be lived, is weird to try, and an attraction to it probably means that you're all neurotic and hung-up, provincial and you know, like, so lame.In an era where city governments are celebrating the creation of iphone apps that can take you to your leader nearest free condom (because when sex is just a bodily function, free condoms are the answer to many questions) … [Read more...]

Red Hot Catholic Love

Happy February 1st! For the month of St. Valentine, let's talk about love, love, love! Red Hot Catholic Love - as per Tim Muldoon:Some twenty years ago my girlfriend and I made a daring wager: what if we did exactly what the Church recommended when it came to sex?At least in this first twenty-year span, the answer is this: experience joy.We dated. We talked about sex. Of course we wanted it. But we waited.Ours was a transcontinental romance nourished by letter-writing (which I … [Read more...]

American Idol and Human Dignity – UPDATED

Who would have thought it?I've been a vocal critic of the way American Idol so often showcases people at their undignified worst (admittedly with their permission) during the auditioning process. Paradoxically, that winnowing-the-worst process eventually permits the audience to witness others at their artistic best, because art can be transcendent. It invites the God-spark.This season, however, American Idol seems to be collecting an unusual number of contestants with personal stories that … [Read more...]

Gabby's Neckrub; Love Never Fails

From her bed in the ICU, where she is making breathtaking progress in recovering from a point-blank gunshot wound to the head, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords understood that her husband Mark Kelly was weary and stressed - worn out in the way only concerns for our beloved can wear us out. And because she loves, too, Gabrielle Giffords demonstrated her comprehension of all her husband is feeling--she expressed her solidarity with him in all of their shared concerns--in the best way she … [Read more...]