April 7, 2016

Okay, get this, you have got to hear this. You have got to hear this one. A Dominican priest walks on to a college campus and is mistaken for… oh, you’ve heard that one? Never mind. How about this one? A Franciscan TOR from the local university and a Byzantine Catholic priest from the church across the river walk into a Chinese restaurant. The host says “Is there a Star Wars convention in town?” Yes, that really happened. This one… Read more

April 6, 2016

  Father Reginald* was a young Franciscan priest in a long brown cassock, with sandals on his feet and three knots on his belt to represent the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Father Reginald was also very tall and spare with buzzed hair and a short brown beard. He didn’t look much like the real Saint Francis is supposed to have looked, but he looked quite a bit like the standard kitschy representations of Saint Francis on prayer cards. I was… Read more

April 5, 2016

a meditation based on Matthew 25: 14-30 A man was going on a journey, so he called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To the first he gave ten talents; to the second, he gave five. To the unwise and unprofitable servant, he gave only one talent, and went on his way. The servants with ten and twenty talents took the gold and went to the nearest city to trade, taking the main road and moving slowly, for… Read more

April 4, 2016

This is my first year to plant potatoes. “When do they go in the ground?” I asked the lady at the garden shop. “Around Saint Patrick’s Day,” she said. I found that oddly appropriate. In the Ohio Valley, Potatoes go into the ground on Saint Patrick’s day. Onions go in earlier, as soon as you can work the soil; Candlemas is not too early if you can manage. Garlic should be planted with the onions, or plant it during Advent,… Read more

April 2, 2016

At the time of our Visitation it was two O’clock in the morning, the night after the Carmelite feast of Holy Father Saint Elijah. As on most feast days, I’d been too sick to pray the Divine Office; now that it was night, I was wide awake, worrying. My husband Michael was downstairs, reading. Our daughter was asleep. The windows were open, because it was hot and we couldn’t afford air conditioners. All was quiet as the tomb. Then I heard a… Read more

April 1, 2016

  I will never become a grown-up, because I don’t like hot drinks. When I was a little girl, I tried to drink hot chocolate after coming in from the snow, but it burned my tongue every time. I let it cool down and then drank it, but it was neither warm nor comforting; regular chocolate milk was much nicer. Along with every child my age, I watched the BBC’s dramatization of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe when… Read more

March 30, 2016

I don’t know where to begin. I had resolved, when first I began to blog, not to mention the belligerent yam or any other presidential candidate. But now I find he’s suggesting that post-abortive women should be punished for their abortions, which will, mark my words, only lead to even more suffering for women who miscarry. And I find it’s almost April First, so waggish young couples are going to make joke announcements about fake pregnancies. Also, a total stranger… Read more

March 29, 2016

  My husband is a devout bibliophile who has collected books his whole life; he still owns many of his beloved children’s picture books from the early 80s, and they have been passed on to my four-year-old daughter, Rose. Her favorite books to be read aloud are her father’s collection of joyless and cynical dinosaur stories. This is a collection of about twenty stout, colorful, lavishly illustrated hardcover books, each telling the story of a day in the life of a… Read more

March 28, 2016

I am a city child, but once a year my family used to visit a state park deep in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, and it was there that I learned everything I know about Divine Mercy. Once, I hiked the Anne Bailey Lookout Trail with my great uncle who had hiked it many times. It’s five miles, gradually up a mountain and into a patch of tasty huckleberries; then to the lookout post where you can see for… Read more

March 25, 2016

  In the moments before the first light of dawn, darkness seems eternal. So it was on the morning of the First Day of the Week. It was over. Over forever. Man had killed God. Christ walked among us and we knew Him not– or perhaps we did know, and were afraid. But whatever He meant to do, He could not do it now, could He? He was dead. His mother wept, his disciples fled; He Himself declared that He had… Read more

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