Need Draws Out Grace

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The miracle of the loaves and fishes is one of the ones that I'd heard before I ever considered becoming Catholic.  But I'd always heard about it in isolation, as just one in a series of extraordinary (but interchangeable) events.  This past Sunday, the story came up in the Gospel reading, but, this time, the story started a little earlier than I expected, which gave me some additional context: When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by h … [Read more...]

Fixed is not Unbroken

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The post on judgement and culpability has (terrifyingly) crested 300 comments (but I probably deserved that).  I'll be reading through them and making notes tomorrow, but I won't be responding until later in the week, since there's a highly relevant lecture tomorrow night that I'd like to hear first.  And DC area folks may want in.The Dominican House of Studies is holding a series of talks on the Four Last Things for the four Sundays of Advent.  (Advent is an anticipatory season, but, in ad … [Read more...]

For I am a Woman Under Authority

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This weekend, I attended a silent retreat.  The timing of the retreat on Saturday made it a good time to reflect on preparations for Advent (and plenty of other things -- the retreat ran from 9am-6pm, and my friends offline will know it was only by the grace of God that I kept my motormouth from running all that time).  The Advent season is similar to Lent, a time of reflection, purification, and anticipation before a great feast.  So, many Catholics take on Advent fasts the same way they do at L … [Read more...]

Hey, Hallquist, want to give me a one-sentence long early Christmas present?

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Yesterday, I wrote a little response to Chris Hallquist's open call for comments on his book draft.  Turns out I had misunderstood how big a claim Chris was making, which he helpfully clarified in a comment, and I'm sure the finished work will help prevent people from making my mistake.  I only had two other issues worth commenting on with the chapter, one that's picayune, and one that's probably beyond the scope of what Hallquist is trying to do in this chapter.  First things first:Chris men … [Read more...]

“To Be or not To Be” How to frame the question?

I've been doing lectio divina in the Gospel of John, and I found myself paying a lot of attention to the use of the verb "to be."  (I was thinking about the I am that I am answer that God gives to Moses when asked for his name).But then I got a bit distracted by a nerdy translation question: How do people translate Exodus 3:14 ("And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you") into languages that don't inclu … [Read more...]

It’s Hard for Me to Hear You Over the Sound of Your Nazi Analogies

The "Let's Talk About How to Have Reasonable Discussions about Religion" post has over a hundred comments and the tone in some sections is pretty well summed up by one reader: I love this comment thread. Leah: My commenters are great and tend to argue in good faith and assume that others do the same. Commenters: NAZIS! People who disagree with me are NAZIS! NAZIS EVERYWHERE! NAZIS!! And speaking of which, today, I was frustrated by a post by Mark Shea in which he mockingly awarded a Son of … [Read more...]

A meal plus an extended argument? Seders are the best!

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Last night, my housemates and I threw a by-the-seat-of-our-pants Seder.  It's the first one I've ever been to (assuming watching Shari Lewis's on TV didn't count).  And plenty of it was un-orthodox (small o) starting with what we had standing in for a lamb shank on the Seder plate.Our Seder party was about evenly split between Christians and Jews, and the Christians tended to be more theistic than some of the Jews, which prompted the following (paraphrased) exchange between the Seder leader a … [Read more...]


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