Posted by Webster My preparation for the Catholic Church took 56 years, Frank’s something more than 40 years. I think that’s what people appreciate about converts. Like good Boy Scouts, we were ready. I thought of this today, as it was my day to serve on the altar and I had the privilege of watching Father Barnes prepare for Mass.Father is the friendliest of priests, and if you start a conversation with him before Mass, he will not ignore you…. Read more

Posted by Webster Have you ever wondered about the idea of Christ being “married” to His Church, the bridgegroom-and-bride thing? Or about a woman religious being “married” to Christ? I have wondered. The whole notion sometimes seems a bit—what?—intimate to me. But after this weekend, I think I understand it better.Katie and I had been planning to spend the weekend apart. Her weekends are usually booked solid, starring in our local stage magic phenomenon. When the powers that be announced that… Read more

Posted by Webster Frank had the conn this weekend (I was in Vermont with Katie), and the results were stellar: I thought I smelled mutiny in the air, but in the end the only smell was victory—for everyone but my New England Patriots. Frank’s post on a hymn by St. Romanus was a winner, to judge by your comments, and it got him searching for more stuff by St. Romanus. He posted this piece on our FaceBook Fan Page, the Akathist… Read more

I wrote earlier of my thanks for practical instruction on living the Christian life from a lecture I came across in the Liturgy of the Hours written by St. Augustine. I have always been enamored of “how-to” books that cut through the gloss and get straight to the point. For example, the theory on how internal combustion engines work is interesting, but the hands-on stuff you learn from actually tearing apart a motor (and putting it back together again) is… Read more

Posted by Frank No, it is not mutinous to correct your superior officer when they make a mistake. We consider this counseling our superior officer. You see, Webster pulled the plug early yesterday to head up to Vermont for a semi-long weekend. Trying to beat all the traffic streaming out of Boston, I suspect. So when he posted the Comments of the Week earlier today, he failed to notice that my post on my buddy Blaise Pascal garnered more comments… Read more

Posted by Webster Other Catholic blogs feature politics. Frank and I agree that we want to focus on our faith experience—which often means choosing the Good News over the not-so-good. Sometimes you have to dig for good in a media-driven world that seems to love the bad, but that’s why you pay us the big bucks, right?Here are some things that caught my attention this week.As a volunteer religious ed teacher in my parish, I have been thinking a lot… Read more

Posted by Webster No post this week drew more comments than the one on “Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” Franco Zeffirelli’s film about Francis of Assisi. Most readers loved it, although one decidedly did not. Here are excerpts from four readers.Amy wrote: “I’ve written before about how this is one of my guilty pleasures—lots of inaccuracies about Francis, very reflective of its own period, but HUGELY influential on me when I was in college. As idiosyncratic as it is, I think that… Read more

Webster has been serving at funerals lately, one in early December and one just a few days ago. And in a prediction that is all too likely to come to fruition, he believes he will attend the funeral of at least one dear friend this year. Reading these posts, I reflect on the fragility of human life and the sudden impact on our loved ones lives when we depart this mortal coil. A sudden death, an accidental death, the unexpected… Read more

Posted by Webster I do not think we Catholics can meditate too much on the words of our Pope, Benedict XVI. He is our greatest spokesman. If we could only learn to talk—meaning live—like him, the world would be flooded with converts, I bet.I thought of this last night on my way to sleep, as I read the early chapters of his Milestones: Memoirs 1927–1977 (Ignatius 1998). I came across the following passage about the liturgy, and I was the one… Read more

We have just one more chapter, one more week left on GK Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, and it looks like a horse race to decide the next book. Will it be Hillaire Belloc’s The Great Heresies or CS Lewis’s Mere Christianity? Caryll Houselander’s Reed of God could still make a comeback, but Par Lagerkvist’s Barabbas has been left at the starting gate. If you haven’t voted yet, please do. Chapter 8, “The Romance of Orthodoxy”When I was in boarding school and college,… Read more

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