A Gospel Pasteurized for Our Protection

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My gratitude at arriving home after a difficult trip abroad meant that my guard was down. So happy was I to be back in the bosom of my family that I consented to attend Palm Sunday Mass at a parish whose liturgical committee sometimes indulges in the painfully “creative” modernization of standard liturgies… . Continue Reading »

The Intrinsic Disorder of Me

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Any Catholic who has attended a parish fundraiser is familiar with the concept of a so-called “Chinese Auction”: One buys a round of tickets, surveys a table laden with baskets of cheer, baby items, sports memorabilia and other tchotchkes, and then drops a ticket or two into paper bags near selected items . . . Continue Reading»

The Pope’s Benedict Option

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As a cloistered nun in the Dominican order makes her first profession, her white veil is replaced with a black one and her superior declares that she has become “recognized as a house of prayer … and a temple of intercession for all people.” The expectation and desire of her life, from that moment on, will be to spend the rest of her days in monastic enclosure, unseen by most but”in the mysterious way of prayer”deeply and efficaciously connected to the world through the near-constant praise, supplication, and penance she offers for its sake… . Continue Reading »

Rows to Hoe in the Virtual Fields of the Lord

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When, in May of 2011, Vatican representatives arranged a meeting with Catholic bloggers from all over the world, Brandon Vogt was anticipating the release of his charity-benefiting book The Church and New Media. Since then, a shrewd Pope Benedict XVI has initiated the launch of the Vatican’s news site with a mere touch to a tablet, and (on Twitter, as @Pontifex) has answered tweeted questions and mastered the art of dispensing genuine theological insights in 140 characters or fewer… . Continue Reading »

How Do We Respond to ‘So What?’

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Flannery O’ Connor told a friend, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say,” and it is the same for me. Last week saw me bed-bound, dealing with a bug that left me more addle-brained than usual, and in perusing my phone and tablet, I kept coming across the most interesting stories to ponder on my bed. Unable to sit up and write, though, I could not know what I thought… . Continue Reading »

Think Respectable Thoughts, or Pay the Consequences

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For Pastor Louie Giglio, a frequent visitor to the Obama White House in 2012, an invitation to pray the Inaugural benediction meant a spotlight on his efforts to end global human trafficking, an issue which deserves greater awareness. But it seemed some sermons of his from the 1990?s were problematic; they suggested that there was a sinful element to homosexual behavior, and”even worse, by some measures”that Jesus could turn a gay man straight… . Continue Reading »

Republicans’ Atomic Stupidity

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In his weekly column at the Washington Post, Marc A. Thiessen, a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, recently offered an interesting appreciation of Barack Obama, surprising in its suggestion that his Republican friends be more like our extremely driven, results-oriented president. He writes … Continue Reading »

Doing Better with the Hard Questions

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In his first autobiographical book, The Moon’s a Balloon, the actor David Niven relates a great story about the film director William Wyler, whose nickname”“Once More Wyler””stemmed from his demand for endless retakes by his actors. While working together on a film adaption of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Niven watched Laurence Olivier play a scene again and again for Wyler, while the director read a newspaper… . Continue Reading »