February 27, 2024

What does the Catholic Church have to say about the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling on embryos and wrongful death of minors lawsuits? Today I want to run through several aspects of the case that touch on the Catholic faith, from legal questions to very personal family planning decisions. Every aspect of this case is highly emotionally charged, and my goal here is to sort out truth from hyperbole.  You may not be comfortable with the Church’s stance on a... Read more

February 13, 2024

Quick thought about this year’s St. Valentine’s Ash Wednesday: Why not consecrate this Lent to your marriage? If you’re already married, what’s the thing you need to be praying, sacrificing, and working on to make your marriage more conformed to God’s plan for your life together? Maybe this is the year that . . . You finally acknowledge you’re in an abusive relationship and take the necessary steps to get yourself to a place of genuine safety. You schedule a... Read more

January 31, 2024

It is with great joy that I observe Darwin Catholic and Wine-Dark Sea have brought back some classic  blogging with the Immediate Book Meme. I am obliged to join in out of pure patriotism. Even though a personal blog would be the more apropos traditional location, since this is where I’m currently writing my day-to-day, all-topics blogging, we’ll do it here. 1. What book are you reading now? A Chinese Village: Taitou, Shantung Province, Martin C. Yang. Thrift store find... Read more

January 24, 2024

Question that’s been generating some unnecessary panic: Is it okay for a Catholic to celebrate Valentine’s day, birthdays, anniversaries, or other special events that happen to fall on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday? Short answer: In the United States, at present yes in fact you can, though with some restrictions. Here are the details.   #1 It’s always better to fast as fully as possible. If your health and state in life allow it? Nothing but prayer, water, and works... Read more

January 3, 2024

Day three of Mag 90, and let me tell you about Costco. My gosh, that *place*. I mean yes, we knew it was the land of the impulse buys. But what a difference the experience is when you’ve decided to follow a plan of no unnecessary purchases. You just walk in and buy the one thing you dropped by for on your way home, and the two other things you remembered you’re getting low on and they are actual-need items (a... Read more

December 30, 2023

Is “Calories In Calories Out” the reality about weight loss and obesity? I caught a few glimpses of the recent Twitter food fight over that question, and here are the two main, credible arguments in favor: It is a mathematical fact. We understand that many people find the math hard, so they use other rules that are simpler to follow, and that’s fine, but it’s still CICO. I’d like to weigh in with a reality check: CICO is sometimes the... Read more

December 27, 2023

Take a look at the actual text of California’s Assembly Bill 1084, the one about the gender-neutral toy departments, a quick read.  I’ve been wondering: How exactly would you enforce such a concept? The answer seems to be the bill doesn’t really do anything, unless you have a toy or childcare items department that is explicitly labeled “boys” and “girls”. What does the law require? Here is the portion of the bill that gives an actual mandate: A retail department store... Read more

December 23, 2023

As I’m thinking through the Magnify 90 spiritual disciplines, what stands out is how tightly they are aligned with the types of addictions women are commonly prone to, and their corrective antidotes (stronger relationships, for example). I don’t think the Catholic concept of attachment and detachment can be boiled down to addictions-and-that’s-it, but it is certainly a reasonable starting place. Here are a couple podcasts from Huberman Lab to shed light on the science behind parts of the Mag 90... Read more

December 20, 2023

The reason I’m doing Magnify 90 this January is because my sister called me up and asked if I would, and it didn’t seem like a good idea to say no. I’ve never done one of these programs before, and I’m not a really penance-y kinda person.  Honestly I dread offering things up anymore, because my inner shirker screams do not tempt God to give you things to offer up! Nooooooo!  So this’ll be an interesting time. If you aren’t familiar... Read more

December 5, 2023

The question I volunteered to cover today is: Why is Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ considered a Catholic movie? I’m going to run through some caveats first, and then look at ways the film is particularly consonant with Catholic spirituality; finally we’ll get down to the one non-negotiable that secures this movie its ultimate Catholic street cred. #1 Oh my gosh it’s so violent. Sometimes we say a movie is “Catholic” or “Christian” as code for “G-rated, with... Read more

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