Sweet Promise and Rank Propaganda

If you missed Sr. Lisa Doty talking about talking in Church, do check her out, and while you're over at the portal, do yourself a favor and avail yourself of some thoughts on promises and propaganda.First, read Max Lindenman -- typically sharp, sweet and funny -- On Dating Nice Catholic Girls:Annie Proulx once ascribed to a crippled ex-rodeo cowboy "a carved-wood quietude common among people who had been a long time without sex, out of the commerce of the world." That's it: the visible sign … [Read more...]

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Perpetual Adolescents in the Widening Gyre -UPDATED

I give you two rather different pieces, both sharing a common thread: the full-rein head we have given to all of our adolescent leanings.If the society has been dumbed-down -- and it has been -- it has also developed a case of arrested development, and both issues appear to stem from a generational and cultural mindset that has embraced the sensibilities and reason of 14 year-olds.Think about being 14, for a moment. When you are 14, you know everything, and you resent anyone saying you … [Read more...]

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Challenges, Rewards of Teaching Deaf Children

Catechist extraordinaire Lisa Mladinich, whose weekly column "Be an Amazing Catechist" has become a first-stop resource for RCIA facilitators and CCD teachers, has for the last two weeks been focusing on the challenges and rewards of serving the Deaf community of faith. Last week, she looked at the great needs within the church - what they are, and how well we are addressing them:In November 2009, Pope Benedict met with 400 deaf and hearing Catholic clergy and lay people, from sixty-five … [Read more...]

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The Boy Without a Cerebellum

Medical science is a wonderful thing, but it is not the only thing.And doctors understand many, many things, but not everything.Which is why we should not be too quick to give up on people.Chase was also born prematurely, and he was legally blind. When he was 1 year old, doctors did an MRI, expecting to find he had a mild case of cerebral palsy. Instead, they discovered he was completely missing his cerebellum -- the part of the brain that controls motor skills, balance and … [Read more...]

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Heather King; the Anti-Anne Rice – UPDATED

Last summer, when Anne Rice loudly announced that she was "quitting" Christianity but not Christ, I wrote a long point-by-point response that seems to have gone missing in my move over to Patheos. Hopefully it will be recovered, but thanks to Ed Driscoll, some of it can be read at his place, including this part:Anne Rice wants to do the Life-in-Christ on her own, while saying “Yes” to the worldly world and its values. She seems not to realize that far from being an Institution of No, the chu … [Read more...]

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The Yin and Yang of Catholic Young

It is fascinating to ponder the Taoist idea of Yin and Yang - the notion of an eternal cycle that grows to a fullness that must then transition to something else. I wrote about it once, in a manner of speaking, when thinking about the bliss of the Divine Office:A beautiful depiction of the constant-renewal of the world and all Creation in it, including you and me. I prayed the psalms and considered the slow lifting of the darkness on this overcast autumn day, the first-turning leaves, from … [Read more...]

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Catholic ComBoxes, Catholic Harumphs!

My friend Tony Rossi -- who has a fun and thoughtful piece up over at Patheos, looking at the headline-reflecting themes on this seasons episodes of "V", particularly as pertains to the ongoing battle between people of faith and the secularists (do read!) -- sent along this cute piece from NCR, asking which personality are you in the Catholic Combox?.Encyclical Man. Encyclical Man has a quote from a papal document for every occasion. Doesn’t matter if you are talking social justice or the L … [Read more...]

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Anxious Parenting – UPDATED

I love this piece by David Mills:Once at a cookout, our youngest son and another boy, both seven or eight, were bouncing from opposite sides of the trampoline and bumping into each other in the middle, laughing hysterically as they fell down. Neither was a physically adventurous child, and they collided very gently. They loved the game, and would have played it for hours.The other boy’s father and I were talking while we watched them, when the boy’s mother came over, drew her husband aside, … [Read more...]

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US vs Tiger Mothers, Lion Fathers – UPDATED

Our Sunday Visitor is carrying a piece of mine looking at the controversial question of whether the berating Chinese "Tiger Mother" is truly superior to the doting and timid "you're so special!" Western mode of parenting. I am of two minds on it:In America we have allowed genuine excellence to be sacrificed upon the altar of our children’s self-esteem, and our barely earned praise has become a kind of cheap grace. In our schools, every test gets a star, every assembly gets a “participation cer … [Read more...]

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The Audacity of Wonder – UPDATED

Illustration Source)Over at First Things, my Tuesday Column is looking at our mania for credentials and how it closes doors, narrows minds and holds wonder at arms length:He has authored over a dozen books, written a syndicated newspaper column and countless essays and articles covering a broad range of subjects—sports, politics, mobsters, union thugs, cultural touchstones, booze, and blades of grass—all of it written in a smart, literate voice of the casual sophisticate who takes his sub … [Read more...]

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