How I Loved My Kitschy Madonna!

dita von teese as mary

My column in the latest Catholic Answer Magazine, is entitled "Mary, Mystery and Imagination", and I explore therein the value of Catholic kitsch to a developing soul:Because my mother was devoted to Our Lady, and also susceptible to Catholic kitsch, my childhood home was filled with small plastic statues of saints and devotional artwork that fascinated for the sheer incongruity of it.On my bedroom wall, she had hung an image that looked for all the world as if Mary had brought the Baby … [Read more...]

Reconciling Eve and Mary in Another Way – UPDATED

Eve and Mary by Sr. Grace Remington, O.C.S.O

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. -- Ecclesiastes 3:1Via Deacon Greg, we get this terrific story out of Missouri:A former monastery for Catholic nuns is preparing for new life. It will now become home to Life House Crisis Maternity Home, which has partnered with Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri.For more than forty years, it was a quiet place of prayer. "They were here praying, praying for all of us in southern Missouri, and … [Read more...]

As Mothers Day Looms, Two Obituaries to Die For – UPDATED

Toni

Well, in a manner of speaking. I hope when I die, my kids can manage to produce something as wry and fun as this:Waffle House lost a loyal customer on April 30, 2013. Antonia W. "Toni" Larroux died after a battle with multiple illnesses: lupus, rickets, scurvy, kidney disease and feline leukemia. She had previously conquered polio as a child contributing to her unusually petite ankles and the nickname "polio legs" given to her by her ex-husband, Jean F. Larroux, Jr. It should not be … [Read more...]

“the usual efforts at Church reform are useless…”

The English writer and mystic Caryll Houselander is one of those people whose work I keep meaning to read, because every time I am exposed to even a little of her thinking, I'm intrigued and want more -- she always puts me a bit in mind of Heather King.At the Philanthropy Daily blog, Scott Walter serves up a dose of Houselander that packs a relevant wallop: Pope Francis’ election reminded me of a passage in Houselander's letters.She's writing to a Mr. St. George about [a man whose t … [Read more...]

“Born of the Father before all Ages. Wait, What?

credo-lionheart

As the Year of Faith got launched, Melanie Bettinelli of The Wine Dark Sea undertook the ambitious project of enlisting various writers to take on single, separate lines of the Creed, and create a series that focuses on these lines throughout the year.When I learned that "born of the Father, before all ages" was unclaimed, I happily nabbed it -- it is my favorite line.So far, Melanie's writers have hit home-runs with their lines -- these writers have all been splendid, instructive, … [Read more...]

It’s October: Do you know where your Rosary beads are?

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About 20 hours from the time of this writing, The Year of Faith will be officially launched from Rome!Here at Patheos, we have something special planned -- and a Facebook page to keep you up-to-date on everything new, but more about that later.For now, a quick question: Do you know where your Rosary Beads are?Deacon Greg wants to know;I still have my first set. Do you?It was given to me as a first communion gift: simple black beads with a plain plastic cross. They're … [Read more...]

Do not Despair; Get a Crucifix

benedictine crucifix

If you are anxious and despairing and worried, here is my advice: get a crucifix.Not a cross, a crucifix. Get a small one you can keep in your pocket; and another you can keep discreetly at your desk; get one for your home.Keep the crucifix before your eyes, and it will teach you everything. It will train you to the longview.The earthly goings-on that make us anxious and full of despair are a manifestation of the wholly spiritual war that proceeds apace -- continually,though unseen … [Read more...]

Hawaiian Folk Music, Crusades and Columns

soundtrack

Last night, my husband got home from an outing and watched The Descendents, starring George Clooney. Not really a Clooney fan, but he was very good, and the movie was engrossing. Hubby and I both wished that some religious perspective might have been introduced, but then that would have made it a completely different movie, so -- it is what it is. The reason I'm mentioning it at all, though is because we both commented, almost at precisely the same moment, that we were really enjoying the … [Read more...]

Our Lady of Good Counsel, Pray for Us

I love her. She is in my hallway, above the holy water fontBut you know, when you see something every day, sometimes you forget to look, really look.So I am glad that Terry at Abbey-Roads wrote about her today. It reminds me that I need some Good Counsel; I need it right now, in fact.So I have taken an Icon from my desk and put it over the font, and brought Our Lady of Good Counsel to my desk, so I can look at her. And beg some prayer from her.And from you, too. I could use … [Read more...]

Saint Bernadette Soubirous: a Quiet Riot – UPDATED

soubirous

Today is the feastday of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes -- a woman brought up in such mean poverty that her whole family lived in the equivalent of a jail cell. She was a shepherdess; a poor student who could barely learn her catechism, yet was able to burst into her pastor's office with the words "Immaculate Conception" pouring forth; a visionary who faced public ridicule for digging with her hands, until the healing spring showed forth the next day.I love Bernadette. … [Read more...]


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