Pope Francis To Form Commission To Study Women Deacon Option UPDATES

Deacons

 

The source? Fr. James Martin,SJ,  via Facebook:

Huge news. Josh McElwee of NCR and Cindy Wooden of CNS are reporting that Pope Francis has told a gathering of women religious meeting at the Vatican that he will set up a commission to study the question of women deacons.

This is not only an idea whose time has come, but a reality recovered from history.

Women deacons would be able to baptize, preside at marriages and funerals, and preach during the Mass. Their preaching at Mass would mean that the church would finally be able to hear, from the pulpit, the experience of over half its members. Taken together, all this would be an immense gift to the church. This news fills me with immense joy.

Perhaps the past is prologue. This has been discussed before, informally. Read up on it here, and at WomenDeacons.org.

UPDATES [Read more…]

Thanks to Our Mothers: Past, Present, and Future

Breakfast in Bed (1897) by Mary Cassatt – oil on canvas, Huntington Library

This Sunday in the United States we celebrate our mothers. Though it is a secular holiday, it’s one of the best ones on the calendar. I want to wish a Happy Mothers Day to all of the mothers out there.

The portrait above is by Mary Cassatt and is entitled Breakfast in Bed. I have very fond memories of being cuddled by my mother and of seeing my wife cuddle my children like this (before they grew into bean stalks!) as well.

To help celebrate this life giving vocation, I found these thoughts on the importance of motherhood from one of my favorite Catholic authors. Once again, G.K. Chesterton, the Apostle of Common Sense, hits the nail right on the head. [Read more…]

Your Marriage Quote of the Year

 

This works both ways, I hope.

When a guy is happily married, no matter what happens at work, no matter what happens the rest of the day, there’s a shelter when you get home. There’s a knowledge, knowing that you can hug somebody without them throwing you down the stairs and saying get your hands off me. Being married is like having a color television set; you never want to go back to black and white.

–Danny Perasa

Get over to Chelsea Zimmerman’s blog and see the video the Rauch brothers made for Story Corps. It’s built around the recorded interviews between Danny Perasa and his wife Annie. Bonus! Read a few thoughts on marriage by Pope Francis there as well.

You’ll be glad you did.

For All the Saints: Catherine of Siena

 

Fearless. Bold. Doctor of the Church. Poet. Mystic. Stigmatic. Correspondent of Popes and Royalty. Correspondent to the Faithful. Action-oriented contemplative. Saint Catherine of Siena was all these and more. [Read more…]

Making the Connection Between the Pill and Water Pollution

Ingesting things with names like this? No thanks!
Image: Flickr, outcast104

So what does a playwright, TV writer, and author know about water pollution and heightened levels of estrogen in our drinking water? I’m glad you asked. Way back in 2009 (practically the Stone Age), Susan Kim opined on her Huffington Post blog that,

Obviously, much of this pollution occurs as a result of routine manufacturing and commercial farming. Yet we can’t ignore the fact that another potent source of estrogen pollution in our water comes from our love of the Pill – [Read more…]

Scientific Proof that The Blessed Virgin Mary is “Blessed for All Generations” UPDATED

477px-Cranach_Madonna_under_the_fir_tree

Madonna under the fir tree, Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Joe Six-Pack here. You know, I’ve said it often in this space that Catholics can dig science. And I’ve written posts highlighting scientific events from time to time with the (Because Catholics Can Dig Science) title-ender. Is there such a word phrase as “title-ender?” I don’t know.  I think I just made that up. [Read more…]

Because Sexually, You Aren’t a “Black Box”


This is Joe Six-Pack here. I haven’t received much hate mail in a while so I must be doing something wrong. Therefore, I will explain sex to everyone who stumbles in here today. What with all the hoopla going on with the HHS mandate, you might think that that development is all about birth-control and such.  But it isn’t.

After all, for some strange reason, the modern world believes the wacky idea that sex is a “black box” that simply cannot be understood. [Read more…]

Because My Boys Needed to Know About Hildegard of Bingen

I received a note the other day in my e-mail inbox informing me of a movie that would soon be released on DVD. I noted the title of the film and realized that it was still playing in one of the theaters in our town.The movie I’m referring to is Visions: From the Life of Hildegard of Bingen.

Now, my plan was to take my wife with me to this film, but she and my daughter were engaged in another endeavor. [Read more…]

Because the Disciples Were Just Like You (Friday Funnies)

Let me start this post with a hat-tip to Brandon Vogt, convert and Catholic blogger over at The Thin Veil. You may recall that Brandon hosted one of our book club meetings once.

He posted a link on his Facebook page today to a blog of a fellow named Don Miller who, you guessed it, I had never heard of before today. This is reason #1367 for why I didn’t give up Facebook for Lent.

Is Don Miller a Catholic? I don’t think so, but as I’ve explained here before I don’t hold that against anybody, especially when they are as funny as what I will be sharing with you here. See, he put together a wee list of traits of true disciplines of Christ. Guess what? You’ll make the cut. Take a look,

Here are some actual characteristics of the disciples I think we can safely trust. If you resonate with any of these, you’re in a good spot and likely following Jesus:

1. You think Jesus wants to take over the government so you cut off a soldiers ear in order to get the fighting started. (The neo cons are definitely disciples!)

2. You keep pestering Jesus about who he will give more power to in heaven.

3. You have no theological training but own a small fishing business which somehow makes you qualified because you “get it.”

4. The Holy Spirit crashes into one of your mini sermons so everybody can speak different languages and outsiders think you’re drunk.

5. People ask you if you know Jesus and you freak out and say no and run away.

6. You hear they killed Jesus on a cross and you figure the whole thing was a wash and you got duped.

7. You choose other disciples by playing rock, paper scissors.

8. You teach bad theology and have to have somebody else come over and correct you.

See? You’ll do just fine too. Trivia Question Bonus Round: Can you identify which disciples met these particular characteristics? Put them in the combox below by number. The answers may surprise you. Then head on over and read the whole post at Don’s blog.

Update: The Horror!

Because of the Way This Desert Father Handled a Calumny

—Feast of St. Joseph  

There are scandals, and rumors of scandals and there always will be. To be tainted by scandal, whether you are wrongly accused or guilty, is really a no-win situation. How does one take on the burden of this situation?

Christ was wrongly accused and He barely said a word to defend himself. But others have been wrongly accused and have borne their accusations in a similar manner.

One of my favorite examples of this is from an episode in the life of my patron, St. Macarius the Great. I can’t even begin to fathom the depth of this Desert Father’s humility, renunciation, and faith. Accused of sexual misconduct, Sister Benedicta Ward translates this episode in the saints life in her book Selections From the Sayings of the Desert Fathers.

Abba Macarius said this about himself:

‘When I was young and was living in a cell in Egypt, they took me as a cleric in the village. Because I did not wish to receive this dignity, I fled to another place. Then a devout layman joined me; he sold my manual work for me and served me.

Now it happened that a virgin in the village, under weight of temptation, committed sin. When she became pregnant, they asked her who was to blame. She said, “the anchorite.”

Then they came to seize me, led me to the village and hung pots black with soot and various other things around my neck and led me through the village in all directions, beating me and saying, “This monk has defiled our virgin, catch him, catch him” and they beat me almost to death.

Then one of the old men came and said: “What are you doing, how long will you go on beating this strange monk?” The man who served me was walking behind me, full of shame, for they covered him with insults too, saying, “Look at this anchorite, for whom you stood surety; what has he done?”

The girl’s parents said, “Do not let him go till he has given pledge that he will keep her.” I spoke to my servant and he vouched for me. Going to my cell, I gave him all the baskets I had, saying, “Sell them, and give my wife something to eat.”

Then I said to myself, “Macarius, you have found yourself a wife; you must work a little more in order to keep her.” So I worked night and day and sent my work to her. But when the time came for the wretch to give birth, she remained in labor many days without bringing forth, and they said to her, “What is the matter?”

She said, “I know what it is, it is because I slandered the anchorite, and accused him unjustly; it is not he who is to blame, but such and such young man.” Then the man who served me was full of joy saying, “The virgin could not give birth until she said ‘The anchorite had nothing to do with it, but I have lied about him.’ The whole village wants to come here solemnly and do penance before you.”

But when I heard this, for fear people would disturb me, I got up and fled here to Scetis. That is the original reason why I came here.’

See what I mean? Is that not the most amazing, most Christ-like lowering of oneself that you have read, short of the trial of Our Lord? Short of the prophet’s words in Psalm 22?

But I am a worm, hardly human,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer;
they shake their heads at me

Sun Tzu

Who accepts blame like this when wrongly accused nowadays? With humility? With quiet reserve and with faith that the truth will come to light and set them free? This reminds me of something that Sun Tzu, in his Art of War wrote, five centuries before Christ was crucified, and eight centuries before Abba Macarius endured this calumny,

The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.

That is the truth. May it ever be so. And as for the example of Abba Macarius, Sister Benedicta shares this anecdote in Paradise of the Desert Fathers,

They said of Abba Macarius the Great that he became, as it is written, a god upon earth, because, just as God protects the world, so Abba Macarius would cover the faults which he saw, as though he did not see them; and those which he heard, as though he did not hear them.

Another very Christ-like character trait. Abba Macarius, Pray for us.

You will find Sister Benedicta Ward’s book on the YIMCatholic Bookshelf.

Update: For Stuff My Abba Macarius Says