“A House of Prayer; a Temple of Intercession”


Would to God that . . . all men could know how very easy it would be for them to arrive at a high degree of sanctity. They would only have to fulfill the simple duties of Christianity and of their state of life; to embrace with submission the crosses belonging to that state, and to submit with faith and love to the designs of Providence in all those things that have to be done or suffered. . . This is the spirituality of all ages and of every state." --Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, … [Read more...]

The Lower Lights: Fresh Christmas Sounds – UPDATE


Regular readers know I've been ranting for years about the need for fresh interpretations of our most beloved Christmas Carols; some of the radio stations around here have been looping Christmas music since before Thanksgiving and it's the same stuff, every year: Mariah Carey bouncing, Tammy Wynette keening, Andy Williams howling and bombast from all the new, young singers. They're all talented, but really? Is that loop all of the worthy Christmas music out there?I mean, I've given up … [Read more...]

Eve in Mary Reconciled as are we All – UPDATED

evemary reduced

Eve and Mary by Sr. Grace Remington, O.C.S.OA couple of years ago I wrote about This beautiful illustration and the poem "O Eve":A Trappistine nun, [the late Abbess] Columba Guare of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, who composed the texts for the Abbey’s Christmas cards, wrote this lovely poem, wherein the Virgin Mary addresses Eve with hope and gladness:O Eve! My mother, my daughter, life-giving Eve, Do not be ashamed, do not grieve. The former things have p … [Read more...]

Fulfilling God’s Longings for Us


We don't often picture God has having a longing for our sake; the image is too startling and goes against the idea of God's omnipotence. Most people would reject an image of God, like a parent watching from a distance, hoping we'll make the right decisions, the best decisions -- grounded in his realities -- so he can be more fully involved with our lives. We think, "God can do anything; if he wants something for me, he'll make it happen."But as we see throughout scripture, and particularly … [Read more...]

Well, since they’re talking about habits…


Deacon Greg has a video and a link to a post from Msgr. Charles Pope that I'd actually seen a while back -- it's all about a sister looking back at the habit her order used to wear, design, purpose, etc.Some of the comments are interesting, particularly from women who used to wear the old, heavy habits.I personally like the modern habits that are being designed and taken up. The Sisters illustrating the piece by Pope are the Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin Matara, a fairly new … [Read more...]

Me, as a Nun, and New Cecilias! UPDATED


I have one of those very ordinary faces that are a dime-a-dozen in a crowd. People are always telling me, "I work with someone who looks exactly like you," or "I grew up with someone who could be your double; I hated her, come to think of it." Or, "we had a maid, looked like you."But this time, I think I may have found a genuine doppelganger, or one who, at least in 1948, looked like me in my own younger years.She was a religious, a novice with the Sisters of St. Francis, of Perpetual … [Read more...]

Bishopalooza! Great American Bishops -UPDATED


Recently the Gregorian Institute polled some Catholic bloggers and writers, asking them to name the top ten American Catholic Intellectuals, lay or clergy.I was flattered to be among those polled, but never did manage to participate. For the record, the (slightly controversial) Top Ten came in as follows:1. Orestes Brownson (1803–1876) 2. John Courtney Murray (1904-1967) 3. John Senior (1923-1999) 4. Avery Dulles (1918-2008) 5. James Schall (1928-) 6. Ralph McInerny (1929-2010) 7. … [Read more...]

Little Sisters with Big Grins

Deacon Greg Kandra recently highlighted a beautiful video of a Our Lady of the Stars, a small community of young men in France with Down Syndrome.Also in France one will find The Little Sisters, Disciples of the Lamb, a monastic community:The Institute of the Little Sisters Disciples of the Lamb, a contemplative vocation, offer young girls with Downs the possibilty of realising their religious vocation. This realisation is made possible only by the support of sisters without this … [Read more...]

NY’s Tri-Diocesan Merger of Seminaries

Seminary Merger

(Photocredit Gregory A. Shemitz for The Long Island Catholic)Patheos' Future of Seminary Educationsymposium included some thoughts specific to Catholic Seminaries, but there was one issue I really wanted to write about and couldn't because the timing was off -- the truly historic Tri-Diocesan merger of three important seminaries in the New York area:Archbishop Dolan and his brother bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre Nov. 10 jointly signed a joint … [Read more...]

The Priest as Bridge and Balm – UPDATED


Over on the Dedicated-Catholic page of Patheos' symposium on the Future of Seminary Education, two more entries, and I think they're both exceptional expositions of both the challenges facing our new generation of priests, and the profound gift of opportunity that lies within those very challenges.Read Deacon Greg Kandra's remarkable and moving story (it made me cry) of Father Martino BaThong Nguyen, who was born in great deprivation in Vietnam and now serves in the Diocese of Savannah in … [Read more...]