Betraying Charity or Truth?

Every once in a while, I find myself saying "yes" to too many people asking me to look at their books, and I amass a rather slap-dash pile of books I feel like I will never plow through. Occasionally I miss a review "due" date, and I am never happy when that happens.I am especially not happy to be late on The Betrayal of Charity; the Sins that Sabotage Divine Love, which the Patheos Book Club has been talking about and excerpting for over a week, and which I have almost missed, to my overbusy … [Read more...]

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Three More Little Words UPDATED

In the post below, we look at Three Little Words -- "Don't be afraid" -- that we should perhaps use to begin more of our sentences.Here are three other words, that perhaps should end more of those sentences: "Pay it forward.""Don't be afraid; pay it forward." It's almost the perfect one-sentence summary of the Gospel.And here are a few more words, from both my mom and Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes:"God is never outdone in generosity."This is true. I know this … [Read more...]

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When Young Faith is Tested

In his column today, Matt Emerson, who teaches at a Jesuit prep school, expresses concern over the effectiveness of our current religious education programs. Addressing the aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, he writes of working through Psalm 46:Those classes, and that day, were sacred moments. There had been an uncovering. In the darkened room, in the mild glow of a projector screen bearing ancient words, I had been given an x-ray of my students' spiritual life. The images were … [Read more...]

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Peace of Mind, Distractions, Forgiveness?

Matt Emerson writes today of Peace of Mind. Why don't we have it? Do we really need it? What brings it?Of late, however, I've been unsettled less by the headlines and more by the trepidation of friends and family. I've sensed a growing unease and a strident wish to know when and by what means the economy gets fixed.At root, I sense a desire for peace of mind.But the cure we seek may never come. Gas prices may continue to rise, housing prices may continue to drop, and a second recession … [Read more...]

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SOLT and Corapi – UPDATED

Well, after hanging back on this story in order to verify it, it does appear -- via The SOLT's own website -- that the society did release a statement today that reads, in part:As the Society was engaging [a fact-finding] team, Fr. Corapi filed a civil lawsuit against his principal accuser. He contended that she had defamed him and breached her contract. The contract, according to Corapi's lawsuit, contained a provision binding the woman to silence about him. He offered the woman $100,000 to … [Read more...]

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Root of All Sin: Selfishness? UPDATED

My column at First Things today is about walking on The Diamond Path, a road some of us learned about as children, after a brazen caper:Flashback, forty-some years: as my friends and I prepare to make our first confessions God is very much on all our minds, as are the notions of sin and shame and forgiveness.Contrary to modern thinking, we six year-olds are not little dopes incapable of comprehending moral concepts. Knowing that we will soon be kneeling in a confessional and facing up to all … [Read more...]

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When True Evil Rises Before Us

Matt Emerson's piece this week looks at the horrifying ordeal of the Petit family, and ponders what faith provides when pure evil breaks into our lives.If you need a refresher, this is the story:The terror began after two long-time criminals, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, broke into the Petit home. After finding Dr. Petit, they battered him with a baseball bat, bound his hand and feet, and dumped him in the bottom of the home. They raped Mrs. Petit and 11 year-old Michaela.When … [Read more...]

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Gay Marriage, Eden & Our Constant Illusion – UPDATED

My column at First Things this week completes the journey I began three weeks ago, and I have to say the timing of the whole thing seems oddly coincidental, to me. I've had the idea of discussing homosexuality and God, otherness, nature and nurture and calling and depth of longing and marriage for a while, but never felt like it was the right time to bring it up, and then -- even though I wasn't paying much attention to the headlines when I began -- it all seems to have landed at the same time … [Read more...]

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Mo Dowd, Wrong Again

I am not sure she actually reads more than summary reports on anything, and even if that's true, I'm not sure she is able to comprehend sentences that do not conform to her worldview, still I am going to take a chance and send Maureen Dowd this piece on what critics and the press got wrong regarding the John Jay study on causality (pdf) and the sex abuse issue within the church.Dowd, you'll recall, went full metal mental all over Archbishop Dolan over gay marriage in doing so tried to sneer … [Read more...]

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EWTN's statement on Corapi – UPDATED

Unable to sleep this weekend, I was very grateful to be able click on EWTN in the wee small hours and find the brilliant art historian and writer Elizabeth Lev discussing the paintings of Georges Rouault and Caravaggio on this wonderful program on EWTN:Over on Facebook, a brief statement from the network:EWTN was deeply saddened by the news that Father John Corapi has announced his decision to resign from active priestly ministry and religious life. Unfortunately, his decision makes it … [Read more...]

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