Christ’s Loyal Widows [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 braids together three moments in Christ's ministry: his discoverty by the Magi, his baptism, and the wedding at Cana.  As Francis tells it, these stories are all about Chr … [Read more...]

The Stories We Tell About Illness

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Sarah Sparks has a really excellent post today at First Things about the interactions (good and bad) between theology and therapy.  As an Orthodox Christian and a recovering bulimic, Sarah has has to do a lot of translating between the sacred and the secular, since the treatment of sin, fasting, and self-control are very different in each of the two worlds she moves in.  It looks like both groups have a lot of cultural false cognates -- moments where they're using the same word to refer to d … [Read more...]

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]

constant vigilance

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...]


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