Humble Kinds of Holiness [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 selection from Open Mind, Faithful Heart, Pope Francis talks about how we can discern God's will for us in the great sweeps of history and the small, internal movements of our own hearts: As I said before, if we want our … [Read more...]

The Wrong Kind of Resilience [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.I'm pulling out a longer quote from Open Mind, Faithful Heart this week because I at least should probably hang this one over my bed or something. In our sinful human heart, as well as in our mysterious clinging to the realm that Paul c … [Read more...]

Hold on Loosely with Blessed Scammacca

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This month, the saint I drew from Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generatorisn't actually a saint at all yet.  I pulled out Blessed Bernard Scammacca. He turned out not to have a wikipedia page, but, when I went a-googling, I found this in a compendium of lives of Dominican saints: Bernard Scammacca was born of a noble family at Catania in Sicily.  His youth was spent in sinful disorders, but a wound which he received in one of his legs proved the means of his conversion.  [Another history notes the wound … [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...]

Logismoi, Vampires, and Other Intrusive Thoughts

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When it comes to the problem of how to get some of the dust off of your mirror, recently, I've been thinking about logismoi.During Holy Week, I picked up Kyriacos C. Markides's The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality, which is where I first encountered the word.  At one point, recounting a conversation with a monk from Mount Athos, he writes: "Logismoi are much more intense than simple thoughts.  They penetrate into the very depths of a human being.  They have enormous po … [Read more...]


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