I Don’t Care Much About the Pope

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Pope Benedict stepped down from the papacy during my first year as a Catholic, and, all during the conclave, my friends wanted to know if I was excited or overwhelmed.  Was I watching the livestream of the Vatican chimney?  Did I have a favorite candidate?  Which of the cardinals would disappoint me?Except for taking a look at some of the twitter jokes about @ConclaveSeagull, the bird that was photographed on the conclave chimney, I mostly ignored the whole thing.  Catholicism isn't like Was … [Read more...]

Recursion on the Road to Emmaus

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I find today's Mass readings particularly wonderful, for reasons that I think are plenty enjoyable for non-Christians, too.  In this selection of Luke's Gospel, we hear about the experience of two of the disciples who are travelling on the way to Emmaus.  They are joined by a third traveler, who seems ignorant of the recent death of Jesus in Jerusalem.  The two disciples explain what has happened, including the rumors that their teacher's body is missing.  And then... And he said to them, “Oh, h … [Read more...]

Praying with Viola’s Firm Resolve

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Ross Douthat and PEG have been having a back and forth over the possibility of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics (part 1, part 2, part 3), and my attention was caught by Douthat's discussion of the "firm resolve" to turn from sin required to make a good confession and return to communion.  He writes: To use a higher-stakes version of the professional case Gobry references — if you work at a job that by its nature requires grave sin for full participation (let’s say, I dunno, you’re … [Read more...]

A Discerning Pareidolia [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's chapter of Open Mind, Faithful Heart, Pope Francis is discussing the promise of Christ's return and the good fruits of its uncertain timing.  Let's recap that part of Christian thinking briefly using Handel's Mess … [Read more...]

The Blessings of Asked For Mercy

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Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, which providentially turned out to be the day my friends and I are holding our debate on the Brendan Eich donnybrook.  But, since both faith and works are both required to save us, I've also thrown together the NYT Best Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, so that we can all break bread (or better than bread) together.But, while I'm occupied with my gavel and the oven mitts, I think I do have an appropriate story for today from church. Some indeterminate length of … [Read more...]

Out, Dusty Spot! Out! Hell is Murky [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.Pope Francis narrates the presentation of Christ at the temple, and the prophesies and joy of Simeon and Anna.  And then he says: There is radiance in the temple because the Light is entering into it: "a light for revelation to the Gent … [Read more...]

The Last Enemy to be Destroyed is Death

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From a very old Holy Saturday sermon: What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. … [Read more...]


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