In my Catholic elementary school, there were three minorities, all Hispanic. I lived in the country, and my neighbors were white. All of them. My teachers emphasized repeatedly and strongly that skin color was irrelevant in the eyes of God. I remember singing “What Color is God’s Skin?” (this version) in music class. But as I’ve…Read More
All articles filed in Christianity
When My Life Is Good, But So Many Others’ Lives…Aren’t.
I dreamed last night that I met Pope Francis. Well, not so much met as happened to be standing right there when he blew by, laughing and carrying, of all things, a part of a broken toilet that needed to be thrown away. I was supposed to be meeting up with a friend from grad…Read More
Syrian refugees: A Christian’s Responsibility
Friday afternoon, Nicholas sulked and glowered and procrastinated and found a dozen ways to avoid having to–gasp–clean the bathroom sinks. At last I snapped at him to think about the children who were crossing the sea in an inner tube in November and sleeping in the woods because it was too dangerous for them to…Read More
We aren’t losing people because of worship. We’re losing them because we’re hypocrites.
There’s a blog post making the rounds right now about the dismal record of churches, both mega- and traditional, to retain their youth into adulthood. The author and all the commenters have their pet theories about why this is–the age-old argument between “worship isn’t relevant” (i.e. it’s too traditional) and “the worship is too contemporary”…Read More
Blessed Are The Merciful (TLL Review and Excerpt)
Chapter 5 of This Little Light of Mine: Living the Beatitudes ties together the idea of mercy with the 4th through 10th commandments–as I like to call them, the “rubber-meets-the-road” commandments. Today’s excerpt comes from the section for children. Have you ever heard that old saying, “What goes around, comes around?” That’s kind of what…Read More
Did Mary Suffer From Powdered Butt Syndrome?
Financial guru Dave Ramsey often talks about “powdered butt syndrome.” Once you’ve changed a kid’s diaper, he says, you aren’t interested in being lectured about sex or money by said kid–no matter how much of an expert they grow up to be. I’d hazard a guess it’s not limited to sex and money, though. A…Read More
Losing Our Religion: A Response
NPR did a series last week called “Losing Our Religion.” In this story—the only one I heard in full–the interviewees talked about their ambivalence and in some cases rejection of faith. The ones that really struck me were those who experienced suffering and untimely death in their families, and concluded that God couldn’t exist, because…Read More
Advent Wednesdays: Light
Today I want to point you to a post by another blogger: Advent: On Seeing Light And Poverty. It’s been nearly two weeks, and I’m still turning this post over in my mind. Light is a central theme of Christianity: light of the world, Christ our light, light to the nations. When we pray for…Read More
Of Vocations and Computer Viruses
Friday afternoon I finished the last chapter of my new book for Liguori. I copied the text and clicked over to my email…and paused. I was so sleepy. Nicholas had been up twice a night for almost a week with nosebleeds, and I was worn out. In the last two days of writing, I’d had…Read More
Guilt is not a bugaboo
Catholics catch a lot of flak about guilt. Supposedly, we’re much more susceptible to it…something about the nature of the faith. I don’t know that I buy that, anyway, but I’ve been thinking lately that guilt really gets bad rap, unfairly so. Guilt, after all, is the sign of an active conscience. It’s generally the…Read More