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...]

Urgent Prayer Request for Jadon

Last month, we were asked to keep two little ones in our prayers -- Baby Michael David, who suffered distress at birth, and young Jadon, who came down with an life-threatening infection after two bouts of chemo for leukemia treatment.Michael David is doing well, and has gone home, but the news on Jadon is not as hopeful. From reader Karen:Jadon's prognosis is now "grim" according to his granddad. . . Since last I wrote he has been started on dialysis, has had I think 3 sinus surgeries for a … [Read more...]

Blessed Kateri, Pray for Us

Today is the feast day of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, one of my favorite beatas and the first Native American put on the path to sainthood. Pat Gohn does an excellent job of looking at this young women who many of us hold in great affection:Born in 1656 in the Mohawk River Valley in what would become Auriesville, New York, Tekakwitha had a Christian Algonquin mother and a pagan Mohawk warrior father. Tekakwitha's battle with the small pox left her face pock-mocked and scarred, and with very … [Read more...]

Sacramental Joy of the Priesthood and of Vows

Via New Advent, Msgr. Charles Pope gives a glimpse of the joy he finds in his priesthood, particularly in conferring sacraments among the faithful -- worshiping with them, communing with them, receiving them, anointing them. It is a look at one day in his life, an atypical one, surely, which also happened to include his own birthday celebration. His pleasure in all of it, his gratitude for the ability to confer these sacramental gifts, is evident in every word as he describes a day that brought … [Read more...]

"Of Gods and Men" and John Corapi

The remarkable film Of Gods and Men is out on Netflix, and if you haven't seen it yet, I urge you to put it on your queue and move it to the top. It is one of the best films I seen in years -- gripping, moving, enlightening and insightful. I can't think of a film in recent memory that so truly and respectfully portrays the life of faith, the religious life, and most especially the value, use and meaning of liturgical prayer and the sacramental, Holy Mass -- how these enhance the life of faith, … [Read more...]

Prayers for a First Profession – UPDATED

Sr. Rose Marie, the young Passionist nun who so charmingly invites people to pray about their vocations in this video will be making her first profession of vows tomorrow, with this very joyful community. Let's pray for her on the eve of her big day!My understanding is that Passionists take an additional vow -- one of enclosure -- and that they receive their ring at first profession rather than at final profession. It will be interesting to check the Passionist blog after the event and learn … [Read more...]

Update on Jadon & Second Urgent Need

From reader Karen -- some good news!:Just wanted to give you an update. Jadon started making urine again so did not need dialysis. Just this morning his mom sent me a message that he has opened his eyes and wiggled his fingers in her hand. His heart rate when I visited yesterday was down to the 140s and his blood pressure was up to normal. He still has a way to go, but this is good news and prayers are so appreciated! We are still praying for a miracle - that he completely recovers from … [Read more...]

Chasing Grace

My fraternal grandmother -- a woman from Naples from whom I inherited the round shape but not, thankfully, the mustache --was, I am told, a "healer" to whom neighbors would come for hand-on release of headaches and fevers, and also an interpreter of dreams. I never knew her, but my mother occasionally shared her dream-interpreting standards: If you dream of death, there will be a birth, and vice versa. If you dream of dirty water, you will come into money. I can't remember what dreaming of poop … [Read more...]