Why people hate people who call themselves Christians UPDATED

Image via KMBC

I just can't even:So, a server went to pick up a check after restaurant patrons had eaten, and found this message on the bill:"Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD'S love, but none … [Read more...]

Science Proves It: Creation Actually Sings Praise!

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

There is a moment in the dawn -- and it comes again in the gloaming, the evening twilight -- when a stillness falls, and for just the merest second it seems like the veil between heaven and earth has thinned out and may be more easily pierced. The birds chirp; the leaves rustle; the crickets cheep. It is a moment. If you happen to be taking part in Lauds or Vespers at that time, you can particularly feel it slip in and then away. A moment of singularity; one-ness with creation.As weakly as I … [Read more...]

God in the Balance; Loving Dark and Light

shutterstock_128909486 fallencrucifix

Regardless of our religion -- whether we are Catholics or Evangelicals or Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist -- the spiritual life challenges us to find balance. One of the reasons I was attracted to the Rule of Saint Benedict was because in ora et labora there is a prescription for balance. In the recitation of the Divine Office, we not only sanctify our time but we also set a pace for the whole day of prayer; work; prayer; work until -- if we are good Benedictines (and I am not one) it all flows … [Read more...]

Graces and Grousing and Gladness — UPDATE

Thank you for your prayers after yesterday's pathetic post. I did go to see Saint Philip Neri and I believe he helped me; I am sure your prayers and good wishes also helped. I ended up having a lovely lunch with Kathryn Jean Lopez, followed with a bit of Sambucca, which I had never had before. I drank it thinking, "well, either I'm better or I'm not but I'm tired of not having fun."Perhaps the Sambucca helped tame the stomach bug. Or made it too drunk to bother me!In any case, I am … [Read more...]

Prayer and Penance: Did Twitter Hasten Benedict’s Retirement?

benedict in shadow

In hindsight, we're seeing clues, now, and reading words he uttered indicating that Pope Benedict XVI has clearly been thinking of renouncing the papal throne for some time.Forgive me if this sounds absurd on the face of it, but I am wondering if, despite these pieces of evidence, Benedict's recent entry into Twitter has had anything to do with the seeming abruptness of his announcement.Before you scoff, consider: the pope's interest in, and support of, the church's engagement with new … [Read more...]

Pillar of Cloud, Water of Life: All of a Healing Piece & Peace

baptismofoursavior

For a little while longer, we are still in Christmas, but every day the mysteries of the season seem to wither a little, like the leaves of the poinsettias; the expectation of Advent seems far away, and in just a few days we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, and enter -- with some sense of refreshment, because after a time we long for the comforts of what is routine and regular -- into Ordinary Time.The Baptism of the Lord is being presaged in the readings and prayers of the Divine Office. … [Read more...]

For Newtown: Office of the Dead

If you wish to pray the Office of the Dead with me this morning -- from the Office of Readings -- the podcast is here … [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...]

Advent: Love Words and Expectations in the Dark – UPDATED

Madonna and Child, by Marianne Stokes (1855-1927)

I am so grateful that Advent is upon us; my favorite time of year! It is all hope, depth, mystery and promise of light, and it feels like we need it; it feels as though we have all been so occupied with politics, natural disasters, willful (and unpersuasive) belligerence and our own daily anxieties and stresses -- so many people I know are anticipating Christmas with dread rather than joy -- that we need our heads turned toward something great!In my column at The Catholic Answer I put it … [Read more...]

It’s a Snapshot! It’s a Love Letter!

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Actually, my column at First Things this week is both:SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 6:25 AM: In the palest light, I follow footprints left in the season’s first frost, just a few minutes behind the regulars. The church’s glaring overhead lights are softened by the flame-glow of a few dozen candles—real wax, seven-day candles that burn a constant supplication—and by the shimmer of one gloriously large and eye-catching Icon of the Crucifixion scene. I wait to stand my candle as a slope-shouldered older … [Read more...]


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