In her latest On the Square column , Elizabeth Scalia reflects on how the Holy Spirit uses even our toss-offs and our dross to effect the movement of grace:

For some of us who work in new media—I almost wrote who “live and work” there—and who have taken to pondering the negative effects of a life perhaps too plugged-in, there is some consolation to be found in that. The message reminds us that there are things “seen and unseen” constantly at work.

In the midst of what seems like chaos, God is always quietly working his mysterious wonders. Mary’s life must have held an element of chaos in it—would she be stoned; would Joseph put her aside—even as the King of Kings was being knitted together in the quiescence of her womb, God working all unseen.

Also today, Rodney Howsare on hating the sinners at Penn State :
Modernity amounts to the gradual but steady emancipation of the political sphere from the religious sphere. This begins in America with simple non-establishment, but has grown into a more or less aggressive “separation of church and state.”

Even if we are to admit that the state should not establish an official religion, we will always have an ethos that undergirds our political commitments. And that ethos will inevitably have been born in the context of a particular religion. This is especially true given the fact that there simply is no such thing as religion in general or politics without undergirding values.