Prayer Request

From a woman who wants to be The Anonymous Protestant:I'd like to request prayer for an 81 year old man who is dying of renal failure, congestive heart disease and pulmonary fibrosis. He has been arguing with me about the existence of God for over 30 years. When I read a post, some time back, by Julie at Happy Catholic about talking to her dad and getting him to promise that if he saw Jesus reaching out to him in the moment of his death to reach back and take Jesus' hand, I asked my friend … [Read more...]

Patheos Book Club: Catholicism and New Media

From today until October 15, the Patheos Book Club will be taking in-depth looks at three books, Father Robert Barron's Catholicism: a Journey to the Heart of the Faith, Brandon Vogt's The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet, and Richard J. Foster's Sanctuary of the Soul; a Journey into Meditative PrayerI confess, I know nothing about Sanctuary of the Soul, although it looks very interesting (and I will check it out) but that's only because for … [Read more...]

Ground Zero: Out of Darkness UPDATED

My column at First Things is not meant to rile anyone, but I am sure some will be riled and for that I am sorry:At the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Robert Kennedy—finding kinship with a doomed heroine of fiction—referenced the loss of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, by quoting Shakespeare’s Juliet:When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the gari … [Read more...]

UK Launches New English Translation

Via Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church and the BBC, we can listen to the liturgy here."The Lord be with you.""And with your spirit."It seems to go off without a hitch. I was interested in hearing the confiteor. I do love hearing a (blessedly brief) homily -- and this one explains the importance of the changes, particularly that exchange highlighted above -- in such a lovely, clipped accent.Listening to the new translations has had a more powerful effect upon me than reading them has … [Read more...]

Chatting with Heather King – PODCAST UPDATE

Later this month, we'll be celebrating the release of Heather King's latest book, Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Therese of Lisieux, but while we wait in joyful anticipation for our copies to arrive, check out my interview with this wise and self-knowing author:Thérèse wrote under obedience. You sort of write under obedience, too, don't you?In a sense, yes. I am not affiliated with any movement, organization, cause, politics, or institution other than the Church. But that "other than the C … [Read more...]

Much Sinned-Against and Sinful

Over at Conversion Diary, the incredibly busy-but-still-lovely Jen Fulwiler has begun an interesting project, asking various writers to take a word from The Lord's Prayer and share some informal musings on that word.For instance, the great Heather King got "we forgive":When we stop counting the cost, the universe stops counting the cost toward us. When our hearts overflow toward others, the heart of Christ overflows toward us. The very letting go of our calculating and scheming and fear—not w … [Read more...]

Anointing – Not Just for the Dying

A few weeks ago Sr. Mary Ann Walsh gave us 10 Good Reasons to Go to Confession (and they were good 'uns, too!).Today Sister gives us a brief ten-point look at what many call the most misunderstood of the sacraments:The Sacrament of the Sick may be the most misunderstood of the seven sacraments, probably because of its informal name from years past, “Last Rites.” When you hear “Last Rites’ you see a movie scene of a somber priest who made it just in time standing beside someone gasping his las … [Read more...]

Kathy Coffey at Patheos

Today, a new column debuts in the Catholic Portal with award-winning writer Kathy Coffey's Catholic Being -- and nothing could be better-timed, I think, than her excellent exposition on how the pathway to prayer can be accessed by stress:If we think of prayer as long, uninterrupted stretches in a quiet church or retreat house, we might get more stressed out worrying that we'll never achieve that. Instead, we might want to think of prayer in terms of the different voices heard in John … [Read more...]

Prayers for Norway – UPDATED

(photosource)A day of terrible stories out of Norway:20.46 Oslo's mayor Fabian Stang said that the capital was struggling to come to terms with the idea that it had joined the list of cities targeted by bombers. "Today we think about those people living in New York and London who have experienced this kind of thing," he told Sky News. Living without any sympathy for other people, for me, it's impossible to understand. "I do not think it is possible for us to understand what has happened … [Read more...]


It's not about sex. Sex abuse and rape are always about asserting power and dominance and control. (H/T)And it is always evil.Today, despite his hospital treatment, Jean Paul still bleeds when he walks. Like many victims, the wounds are such that he's supposed to restrict his diet to soft foods such as bananas, which are expensive, and Jean Paul can only afford maize and millet. His brother keeps asking what's wrong with him. "I don't want to tell him," says Jean Paul. "I fear he will say: … [Read more...]