Advent: Love Words and Expectations in the Dark – UPDATED

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...]

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It’s a Snapshot! It’s a Love Letter!

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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My Prayer at Adoration

When I go to Adoration, it is such a privilege and such a humility. I go there in poverty -- unworthy of anything, but willing to be open, because I trust that all God wants of us is our willingness. Always with the reminder jangling in my brain: Weakness is sown, strength rises up.It is part-and-parcel of the great paradox: when I am weak, then I am strong.I am weak, often at my weakest, when I go to Adoration. But I know my prayer there -- even though I have nothing of myself, am … [Read more...]

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The Aurora Shooter: Image of Loss – UPDATED

We all know his name, but I prefer not to use it in a public forum, mostly because his name should not be better known than the names of his victims.I will use it, though, in private prayer.Social media is abuzz that the shooter is in court being arraigned. People are looking at the images and using words like "catatonic", "evil", "empty", "scared".I think he looks lost. Lost boy, lost soul. Knowing nothing at all about him, I can't know if he has snapped out of a psychotic … [Read more...]

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Fearless Pat Gohn: “Do You Want to Pray About It?”

About a year ago, Pat Gohn and I were chatting via skype about work-related issues, when the subject came around to our kids. I mentioned that my older son was, that very day (and after a discouraging two year search) interviewing for a job that seemed perfect for him.Although I felt strongly that the Holy Spirit was at work, and that the job was "meant" for him, I suppose my voice still betrayed some tension; Pat picked up on it and said, "would you like to pray about it right now? We can … [Read more...]

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In other News, Fulton Sheen is “Venerable” UPDATED

While the SCOTUS ruling was breaking, this story came over the wires, too:Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is now “Venerable” after the Vatican announced today that Benedict XVI had signed a decree recognising that the archbishop heroically lived Christian virtues.The announcement of the decree marks a significant step in the canonization cause of Peoria, Ill.-born Archbishop Sheen (1895-1979), the Emmy award-winning televangelist whose program, "Life is Worth Living," was bro … [Read more...]

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“I guess Morality just loves me, or something…” UPDATED

You guys remember Leah Libresco, right? The favorite Philosopher Atheist of many of us, here in the Catholic portal? The adorable, ubersmart Yalie grad whom I introduced a while back, as "a smart young cookie and a life-long atheist" and whose blog began as a geeky atheist picking fights with her Catholic boyfriend?Yeah, her, the girl whose banner has been flying at the atheist's corner:Well, today she makes an announcement that will startle many:I tried to keep my eyes open … [Read more...]

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“Emerging into Orthodoxy” at Patheos

Every once in a while, I get an email from someone asking, "WHEN are you going to get some Orthodox blogging going?"Well...finally, we begin with "Emerging into Orthodoxy!"Blogger Drew Tatusko writes:I was baptized Catholic. I went to seminary to become a Presbyterian pastor. On June 3, 2012 I became Eastern Orthodox. This blog is about my journey and practice of this new way of life with God and a new community. Join me in the journey!Tatusko is a fellow-Lyme's-endurer, and he … [Read more...]

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A Papal-Ordered Penance – UPDATED

Joanne writes on the pope-ordered penance that accompanied the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland:. . . at the request of the Holy Father—the papal legate Cardinal Mark Ouellet spent last night in St Patrick’s Purgatory, fasting and keeping barefoot vigil in prayer for reconciliation and healing of the grievous wounds dealt by Ireland’s clergy abuse scandals. [...]Of course, this gesture will be read by many (if not most) as one more cynical photo opp, one mo … [Read more...]

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Another vowed Domincan nun! – UPDATE

Last December, I had the privilege of attending the first profession of Sister Mary Magdalene of the Immaculate Conception, OP. I don't know if I will ever forget how powerfully resonant was her quiet but obvious deep and joy as she received her black veil. I have seldom encountered such a punch of supernatural serenity.Just six months later, the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ are celebrating again as another young nun pronounces her first vows and becomes Sister Mary Cecilia of the … [Read more...]

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