The Damnation of the Foolish Virgins

parable of wise and foolish

I'm always disappointed when a Mass reading has a perplexing or counterintuitive section, and the priest chooses to focus his sermon on the more obvious moral.  Luckily, I've got you commenters to turn to for exegesis, so maybe you'd like to take a crack at Matthew 25:1-13.For the Gospel selection at Sunday's Mass, the priest read Jesus's parable of the wise and foolish virgins.  In the story, ten virgins go out waiting for the bridegroom but only five were wise enough to bring enough oil to … [Read more...]

Adoration and Abramovic

Marina+Abramovic+Artist+Present+LA35ZvWEDm6l

Due to a convoluted sequence of events,  I spent about half an hour in an Adoration chapel last night.  For the non-Catholics, Eucharistic Adoration is the act of spending time in a chapel with a consecrated communion wafer, believed to be the real presence of Jesus Christ.  A friend had felt a calling that I should go, and since I could spare the time and didn't want to be accused of being a bad sport, I went along.  (Not to keep you in suspense: I was not converted).The time in the chapel r … [Read more...]

Doubting the Utility Argument

First, a quick clarification: in yesterday's post about Divine Mystery, I used the phrases 'Catholic' and 'Orthodox' to refer to two broad approaches to thinking about parts of theology. Both approaches are used in various proportions and contexts in each faith. I didn’t mean to present either approach as a totalizing aspect of either tradition, and I’m sorry for the confusion. [/religion is complicated!]So, on to a different part of the responses to that post. Several readers mentioned that … [Read more...]

Nitpicking Heresy

This past Sunday, I attended an Orthodox liturgy for the first time, in the company of Miss Tristyn Bloom of Eschatological Psychosis.  Tristyn gave me an overview Saturday night, so I'd know what to expect and be able to avoid augmenting my normal church awkwardness, but I still spent a fair amount of time of Google and Wikipedia to cover all my bases.  While doing my research, I ran across one article earnestly explaining that the Orthodox don't believe in Transubstantiation.  (Note, before yo … [Read more...]

Baffled by Divine Mercy Sunday

I am totally confused by Divine Mercy Sunday tomorrow.  According to my googling (which began, but did not end on Wikipedia) this Catholic feast was established on the basis of visions by St. Faustina.  On this Sunday, Catholics are asked to attend confession that day, before they go to Mass, parishes are asked to display the image above (or a similar design) during services, and, as a result of these practices, those Catholics who go to confession and receive the Eucharist that day wil … [Read more...]

In Which I Feel Like a Heel

This Easter season, I made it to two days of the Triduum: Maundy Thursday and Easter Vigil. (Since I couldn’t make it to Friday evening services, I went to Tenebrae with my boyfriend instead). The Easter Vigil was lovely, even if my boyfriend was so tired as a result of exams that his mom and I had to keep a close eye on him whenever he was holding a lit candle.Maundy Thursday was a little less pleasant. I had gone last year and had an awkward moment since I hadn’t checked ahead of time whe … [Read more...]

A Few Stories Worth Their Salt

After hearing today's readings at Mass, I wanted to share a favorite non-fiction book with you all.  For those who don't attend Mass, today's gospel reading was from Matthew 5:13-16: Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it … [Read more...]


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