“It is good to let the jeering skulls laugh…”
A little something worth keeping in mind: Mostly, we are powerless over the vagaries of life. Rather than disturbing us, that reality should help
Advent: Come on and work it on out
Okay, so what do our boys up there mean? What does it mean to "Rock Advent". Well, as with anything else, "it works, if
The blessing I’ve just remembered, thanks to Taylor Swift
Did you know there is within the Catholic Church, a blessing offered to parents who are grieving the loss of a child through miscarriage
BOOKS: A Perfect Gift for Your Favorite Gardener
It feels like those of us who knew it was coming have waited forever for Margaret Rose Realy's Garden Catechism to finally be published
In Flood, In Disaster, in Human Pain, Where Are Our Angels?
October 2 being a Sunday, the day takes precedence over the memorial on the calendar of the Catholic Church, but as we look at
The “Nones” and the Church: “Sometimes God matters so much they can’t stay in the structure.”
I’ve left the idea that “better catechesis” will end disaffiliation w/the church, or with Christianity in general. I have too many well-catechized pals who
A 5 Mile Queue for ERII: Bishops Missing a God-Given Cue
We've seen nothing like this since the funeral of John Paul II, but in England, an uncountable crowd is queueing up and patiently waiting
Polio, again? George and Frassati are 2 great intercessors
The news would have seemed unthinkable a decade ago, but it seems that here we are, in the Year of Our Lord 2022, once
On Charles III and the Value and Power of Ritual
Most people now living have never seen the level of pageantry that will be coming out of England over the next two weeks, and
Science and the Sacred Heart: Hello, Mandelbrot Set!
During this month of June -- the Month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the Church - I have been each day**
Mary, Mother of the Church, Takes a Walk with Jesus
Today is the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, instituted by the Holy Father, Pope Francis. Here is an excerpt of a short
Prayer for Our Hearts, for Spiritual and Physical Health
O God, by whose command the sands of our lives run fast or slow, clean or clotted, your psalmist sang, “Create in me a
Healing the Children of Uvalde Will be the Work of a Lifetime
The funerals are beginning. We are seeing gut-churning images of parents, siblings, playmates, a whole community in grief. We've gasped and cried our way
“The Dragon and the Beast”: the Buffalo Shooter, Deep Fakes and Revelation
I was nosing around through scripture last night and found myself looking at Revelation, a book that -- thanks to the promptings of a
Following the Guts: When you gotta go…
Blogging is dead, so the saying goes, but you know... it's where I'm comfortable so I will be eschewing the trend toward Substack and
White Nationalism is Especially Egregious in Catholics
A friend of mine, a deeply faithful and kind man, and someone I'd call a true classical liberal, because he listens and then thinks
A Christmas Litany of Mercy
This little Christmas litany is one I had forgotten I'd written and was glad to find. May we praise you, Christ Child, and welcome
Advent is Coming! Time to Read a Good Book!
It's that time of year again, and thank God for it, sez I! Thank God for 26 days in which to turn away from
The Wind and the Woman and Election Day 2020
Well, it is cold and windy this election day here in New York, and my husband and I stood in line for over two
A Royal Invitation is Issued and Accepted
Isn't that a beautiful young couple up there, circa 1957? They're still a beautiful couple 62 years later, but the joy of that day
Ginsburg; RIP Scalia, RIP; Happy Warriors, RIP
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away this evening after a long and courageous battle with cancer, wrote a wonderful piece for
St. Hildegard, Doctor of the Church, Embraced God’s Immensities
Lots of people don't realize that though she was beloved since her own time and popularly declared a saint, it wasn't until 2012, when
‘Bring your gift of Blackness to the Church…” Gloria Purvis is trying!
Over at the University of Notre Dame's Church Life Journal my old Patheos colleague Sam Rocha is featured interviewing EWTN's Gloria Purvis. It's a
Ven. Pierre Toussaint, Born a Slave, Model of Charity, Pray for Us!
The Archdiocese of New Orleans gives us gives us this lovely portrait of Venerable Pierre Toussaint, whose cause for sainthood has been languishing for
In a Post-Covid-19 World, Everything Will Be Different
I was pondering, today, the idea that once retail stores open, people will be less willing -- perhaps unwilling at all -- to try
Draw a Line: Let’s Not Let Ideologies Interfere With Medical Research and Discussion
"These days, politics seems to dictate that if one party says, “The sky is blue,” the other party is obligated to reply, “No, it’s
2020: The Way of the Cross When You Are Physically or Emotionally Ill
The Way of the Cross is an ancient devotion of the Church which has been used for centuries to bring the believer into deeper
It’s a time for hard questions. And hard answers. Ask Mary.
It's a time for hard questions. And hard answers. All week long, I have been pondering this piece I wrote a while back, a
How to Tweet Without Losing Your Soul
One of the great pleasures of working with the Word on Fire Team is the opportunity to contribute, as both writer and editor, to
Coronavirus: A Prayer for Wisdom in the Midst of Mystery
O, Christ Jesus, help us to refine our perspective on what we call a blessing or a curse. Help us to remember that hindsight
Coronavirus and Quarantine Challenge us. Do Not Be Afraid.
When evil wants to foment misery, it destroys the joyful. When evil wants to sow darkness, it clouds the light. When evil wants to
Jesus’ urgent question: What are you thinking in your heart?
Over at Word on Fire, I am still looking at one particular piece of scripture -- and the important question Jesus asks -- because
On Christmas night, the fury of hell saw the glory of heaven, and the earth shook
I wrote this short story for Christmas in 2013. Hope you will share with your family. Audible link below My little cousin and I
“Set aside every fear…” with the help of Catherine of Siena
It was a great pleasure to be asked to blurb the latest edition in Ave Maria Press' "30 Days With a Great Spiritual Teacher"
How Duke Ellington Kept Christmas All Year Long
The story goes that if the legendary composer and orchestrator Duke Ellington had met you and gotten his hands on your mailing address, you
The Sheen Postponement: What was I thinking?
If this feels "long" to you, you can get the shorter version here In general when on social media, I have tried to have
Got Questions for Jesus? He Has Some for YOU!
Just received a copy of Leonard DeLorenzo's new book, A God Who Questions, and I want to make a point of recommending this slender
So… Couple things on my mind tonight…
I realize I don't blog much these days -- perhaps it's true that blogs are dead -- but it feels like I should at
Who Wants to Kill…Will Kill, Who Wants to Forgive, Will Forgive
I only just realized today that we have just passed the second anniversary of the shooting massacre in Las Vegas, a strange story --
“No one was saved”: Paul McCartney out-harshed Lennon’s Critique with 4 words
Well, Happy Birthday to James Paul McCartney, who was born this day in 1942 and grew up to be one half of what became
God means to woo us and to have us, but always with our consent.
Is there more “mad eros”* than that which led the Son of God to make himself one with us even to the point of
Failure and Victory: Finding Personal Meaning in the Wreckage of Notre Dame
I write this just days after watching Paris' Cathedral of Notre Dame become engulfed by flames and fearing that the most famous and treasured
Jesuits to admit women: Who will be the first female Jebbies?
I think this news is actually bigger and more exciting than I seem to be saying where I am quoted in this piece. It's
Think you’re too busy to pray? Guess again!
A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece for Aleteia encouraging people to Jumpstart Your Prayerlife and cited several small ways to bring
Huffman/Loughlin college scandal: can we talk about our mania for credentials?
The story of rich parents buying their children's way into the "best" schools is an opportunity to discuss how we value degrees over actual
How Beatlemania Touched the Mad Eros of the Cross
It all started very innocently. Vulture published a list ranking all of the songs recorded and released by the Beatles in ascending order, and
Musing a moment: When the Magi got Herod “All shook up”
Pondering the upcoming feast of the Epiphany, I found myself wondering about the message of the Magi, and imagining those last moments before King
Elizabeth Ann Seton is a saint for our social and familial times
Today's feastday brings us to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, or "Mother Seton" as she is also known. Over at the site for her National
A Light, Delicious Meringue Cake for Christmas!
Christmas being a feast day, people won't have much room for dessert -- hence the greatness of the Christmas cookie! -- but if you
Last Minute Book Ideas for Christmas!
If you still need a few gifts, I have some books to suggest, especially since I have been very remiss this year in reviewing
Thinking of walking away from Catholicism? Hang on…
My latest at Word on Fire: Recently a friend declared, "I need a break." He and his wife could not be convinced to look
Henneberger’s cri de coeur is a scorching rebuke to Catholic bishops
After the Vatican ordered US Bishops to refrain from voting on episcopal correctives to their failures on the sex abuse front (a February bishop's
Advent reading from a deacon, a nun, and a bishop. And more!
Almost every year I try to gather suggested Advent materials or reading selections to share with y'all. Last year, I skipped that in order
Voting in imperfect love, and fear
How are you voting today? I don't mean to ask who anyone is voting for, or even why. I'm just wondering whether we are
Synagogue’s Dr. Jeff Cohen: Who Each of Us Can Be, If We Are Only Willing!
Britain's Channel 4 News put up a tweet that had the rare effect of taking social media furies out of themselves for
Pondering truth while NOT watching the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing
I made my mind up last night that I would not invest any time in actually watching today's hearing regarding the accusations by Dr.
C’mon, Catholic Laity, remember who you are. If you don’t know, LEARN!
A few friends have expressed surprise to me at some social media reactions to my latest piece at Word on Fire, in which I
Catholic Moral Authority: Smothered by the Seeping Smoke of Satan
GUEST POST: Russell Shaw is the author of over twenty books touching on Catholicism, Politics and sometimes both at once. In this guest post,
Benedictines of Mary: Watch Some Old-School Monastic Rites, Livestreamed
We all know the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, of Gower MO, those old-school Benedictine nuns who sing like angels (they have recorded
Will Cupich’s terrible answer help Francis to focus on sex abuse, coverups?
So, earlier today I happened to see an interview with Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich with the headline, 'The Pope Has a Bigger Agenda': Cardinal
Bishop Robert Reed invites company during public penitential act
My friend Leah Libresco spotted a Church bulletin from Wayland, MA, where we read these encouragingly penitential words by Boston Auxiliary Bishop Robert Reed:
The Church’s “Summer of Shame” Promises a Fall of Shame. LOTH Helps.
GUEST POST: Daria Sockey is the author of The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours. (LOTH) She is also a frequent
Dear Bishops: Don’t Wait Until November to Take Action
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." H. L. Mencken
Hey USCCB, How About a Nationwide Holy Hour of Reparation?
Lots going on -- lots of pronouncements, lots of calls to penance and prayer from the Church leadership, for instance. We layfolk have been
Dear Cardinal DiNardo & USCCB: Do the Right Things, and We Will Have Your Backs
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President 3211 Fourth Street NE Washington DC 20017 202-541-3000 @USCCB Dear Cardinal DiNardo and US
Vatican: “The Pope is on the victim’s side.” Well, GOOD! But…
Two days after the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on the gut-wrenching abusive incidents by clergy, and subsequent cover-ups by the leadership,
How Can We #RebuildMyChurch? Cardinal Wuerl Accidentally Points the Way
While it might seem that way, I'm really not trying to pick exclusively on Cardinal Donald Wuerl at this blog, but things...keep...happening. Last night
Let’s Fasten Our Seatbelts, Fellow Catholics…Gonna Be a Bumpy Ride!
You'll pardon me for paraphrasing Bette Davis in All About Eve, but we're going to be on a bumpy ride for more than one
7 Steps to Start Fixing the Messes, Before the Catholic Church Empties Out
For many Catholics, there is a sense that if the gates of hell are not prevailing, they are coming loose at the hinges, and
BREAKING: Albany Bishop Scharfenberger Calls for Lay-led Commissions
I know I went on a little bit of a rant today about this, so it's very heartening to see the statement just released
With all due respect, Cardinal Wuerl, No. Bishops Investigating Bishops Won’t Do
This morning comes breaking news out of NCR, that Washington DC's Cardinal Donald Wuerl has proposed a "national panel" to investigate any serious allegation
Fulton Sheen, Laity and Catholic Leadership: If Called to Correct, Let us First Confess
Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have
Time for McCarrick and the rest to answer to the laity and the priesthood
We often hear of how the laity, by virtue of our baptisms, have a share in the priesthood of the Church and the priesthood
Amid the farce of pre-fab fury and fake narratives, the reality of Kavanaugh
Well, it's been very interesting watching predictable Americans react in completely predictable manners as regards President Trump's latest SCOTUS choice, Brett Kavanaugh. Yes, reactions
When a friend is suffering and you can’t help…
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice! O let your ears be attentive to the voice of
Victory of Ocasio-Cortez may signal where Trump meets his Waterloo
Last night a very bright political unknown named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez soundly defeated Joe Crowley, a 10-term member of Congress, in their New York primary
Parents of separated children: Bad moms and dads, or heroic?
A recent poll suggests a majority of Americans support the "zero tolerance" policy that separates children (ages 5 years old and up) from parents
Suicide and Love’s Suffering: “Put religion on it” cannot be our only response
?Within days of each other, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain took their own lives, and the world responded as the world always does, by
Why bother with Catholic Mass? Bishop Robert Barron explains.
Your kids have said it. Your teenagers have almost definitely said it. Perhaps your spouse has even said it. Maybe you've even said it,
Pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus my old podcast!
It’s one of my favorite litanies. If you’d like, let’s pray it together with an old podcast of mine: Lord, have mercy Christ, have
‘The Loved One’: We could stand to read this wicked-smart satire once more
Image: Alex Williams-cc My friend Russell Shaw has been sharing his thoughts on Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One, and I so like what he
Gay Wedding Cakes: SCOTUS goes 7-2 in favor of 1st Amendment with narrow instruction
The Supreme Court has handed down a 7-2 decision on the question of bakers and cakes and gay weddings, and Colorado's clear hostility toward
Vatican warns nuns: Use Social Media ‘With sobriety and discretion’
Image: Asolrac1-cc "The Vatican has released an instruction with new norms for contemplative orders of nuns. Nuns must use Facebook, Twitter and other social
The #MetGala: Not beyond the use of the Holy Spirit
My latest piece over at Word on Fire concerns this weeks Met Gala, which opened the Metropolitan Museum's latest exhibit, "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and
The Antidote to Envy or Feelings of Inadequacy? Whiskey and Whine
A young writer asks: I'm in need of a pep talk. I've fallen into the trap of comparing myself to other people and I
Zuckerberg’s Folly: Facebook silencing hate will only serve a cheap illusion
So, there I was, watching as much as I could stand of the congressional questioning of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and mostly feeling completely
“The Breakfast Club” and Molly Ringwald and 2 Millennials in a Deli
Overheard at the Deli: Millennial #1: "I don't get ragging on Breakfast Club like it's all harassment and stuff. What does she want, movies
Easter Fiction: What the Soldiers Saw
He is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Indulge me, please, a little fiction -- a brief imagining of what it might have been like
Baseball Begins! Life just got better
Photo: Anc516-cc There is nothing like walking into a local mom and pop store and hearing the singular sound of a baseball game playing
Pondering Christ as the Rabbi on the Cross
Image: Anthony Muhs, with permission Over at Word on Fire, my piece this week contemplates the "Lessons from the Rabbi on the Cross" --
Apparently, Facebook is listening: What about the Confessional?
Image: Public Domain In his testimony before the British Parliament, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christoper Wylie is testifying that Facebook has the ability to "listen in"
Nuns and “Nones”: Mama, We’re all missionaries, now…
Nun talking to women on steps of Basilica of Guadalupe. Image: Daniel Case-cc It's no secret that I have a high regard for Catholic
“Little Sins Means a Lot” honored by Catholic Publishers
Well, lookee what just arrived in my mailbox. I feel like it's Christmas and I've just received a "major award" although not one marked
Meet Frances of Rome at Word on Fire!
To be perfectly honest, I approached writing my first piece for Word on Fire Ministries with a bit of trepidation -- the old fear
Why did Moses grind up the golden calf into a powder?
In today's Office of Readings, we come to the dramatic moment in Exodus 32, when stupid Aaron (really, what was he thinking?) tries to
How one young woman’s suffering was redeemed through a single word and act
Featured Image: Rannah Evetts, Founder and Director of St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf, Uganda. St Francis de Sales School for the
God will tell Oprah to run, and Joy Behar will not call her mentally ill when he does
Image by Alan Light-cc A few weeks ago, Joy Behar a longstanding co-host of the morning gabfest "The View" made a typically lame "joke"
If in all things you seek sexism and oppression, doubtless you will find it
It was St. Teresa of Avila who said, "If in all things you seek Jesus, doubtless you will find him." After reading this piece
“Be kind, even if you are right…”
Every time I think I'm done with social media, I find a pearl that keeps me going back. Like this one, which is full
Catholicism in China: Monasticism will tell the tale
The current sense of unease regarding the status of the church in China reminded me of this quote from Mother Mary Francis, PCC --