Amish Plain Attire, Religious Habits and Chaotic Family Life

Your unruly brood, believe it or not, can become a sign – almost like a living habit that adorns your marital covenant

07/10/2015 Comments (18)

La Religieuse (A Nun) by Henriette Brown (1829-1901)

The Church must always seek to make her presence visible in everyday life,
which is often very secularized and yet sensitive to the language of signs.
Pope St. John Paul II

The horse-and-buggies are the first sign that you’re approaching Indiana’s Amish country. Our kids and our out-of-state visitors ooh and aah, point and smile – the simplicity is otherworldly, especially when the 18-wheelers fly by. Even after two decades living nearby, I’m still caught off guard by the stark contrast. 

Then we get out someplace – a restaurant or a shop – and encounter the Amish themselves. There’s no denying that we’re tourists, and we don’t want to be rude, but we find ourselves staring anyway. The...READ MORE

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Disgust is Not an Argument

07/09/2015 Comments (19)
James Gordon [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Umayyad Mosque, built by Christians as the Basilica of Saint John the Baptist, is considered the fourth-holiest place in Islam. The mosque holds a shrine which some believe contains the head of St. John the Baptist, regarded as a prophet by both Christians and Muslims alike.

– James Gordon [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s something you don’t read every day. Some years back, the Middle East Media Research Institute reported the following:

Media Uproar Following Egyptian Mufti's Fatwa on Companions of the Prophet Muhammad Being Blessed by Drinking His Urine

An uproar in the Egyptian media followed the recent publication of a book by Egyptian Mufti Dr. Ali Gum'a in which he claimed that the companions of the Prophet Muhammad would drink his urine to be blessed.

Many people don’t know that a “fatwa” is not a “death sentence” but an opinion by a Muslim leader. Because of this many western readers, merely glancing at the story, assumed that somebody has yet again been sentenced to death for saying...READ MORE

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How Can You Leave the Catholic Church?

07/09/2015 Comments (50)

The Arrest of Christ (Kiss of Judas) by Giotto

How can you leave the Catholic Church?

The question was rhetorical, not literal. I asked it of the air, more or less, as my husband was driving the car. At the same time that I asked it rhetorically, I meant it absolutely.

I recently talked to someone I know who told me that she'd "left" the Catholic Church. She's now attending one of those smorgasbord mega-congregations where they serve you Jesus-as-you-like-him. I felt as if I was listening to a person who'd told me that they had decided to give up eating balanced meals and ingest nothing cotton candy and donuts.

I get as aggravated with the Church as the next Catholic. I don't mind at all saying that I think this bishop or that has...READ MORE

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Is Your Facebook Feed the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea?

07/09/2015 Comments (11)

– "Place of the Baptism, River Jordan, Holy Land" by Snapshots of the Past [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

Evangelical Christians in Brazil are seeing early popular success with an alternative to Facebook, bearing the delightfully Brazilian name of Faceglória. According to an article in TIME

Faceglória prohibits content that is profane, violent, erotic or features gay couples. More than 600 terms are banned from use on the site, and more than 20 volunteers at a time patrol the site for content that violates the rules.

The network's founder says, 

On Facebook there is a lot of violence and pornography, so thought we’d found a network where we could talk about God, love, and share your word.

The Daily Mail offers a reflexively contemptuous response, describing the site as a "squeaky...READ MORE

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3 Things to Remember When You’re Feeling Hopeless

07/09/2015 Comments (6)

"Angel of Hope" by Carlos Schwabe

It’s a conundrum. As citizens and conscientious Catholics, we want to (and should) keep informed of current events.

That’s not easy. When our newsfeeds overflow with examples of immorality, religious persecution, heinous crimes and devastation, we can feel discouraged, fearful, and even hopeless.

But if we lose hope, we lose everything.

Hopelessness leads to apathy, and apathy leads to inactivity. Inactive Christians become monuments – they display nice words about God, but don’t carry those words into the world around them.

We must not become monuments by succumbing to hopelessness.

It's human nature to feel overwhelmed from time to time, but it's God’s nature to uphold you in his...READ MORE

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"Politically Safe": Obama Admin Resuscitates End-of-Life Counseling For Medicare Patients

07/09/2015 Comments (5)
Colour photogravure after the Hon. J. Collier, 1908. CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

"A Physician Telling a Patient That He is Going to Die"

– Colour photogravure after the Hon. J. Collier, 1908. CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Beginning January 1, 2016, Medicare will cover counseling sessions for end-of-life care, the Obama administration announced yesterday.

NPR noted that this development comes "just weeks after a Supreme Court decision solidified the Affordable Care Act." And Julie Rovner, senior correspondent with Kaiser Health News,  told NPR, "the decision might have prompted Medicare officials to conclude that 'it was safe politically ... to go ahead with this.'"

An estimated 55 million people are on Medicare. The New York Times reported that  the new policy will reimburse physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to have "conversations with patients about whether and how they would want...READ MORE

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How Should We Offer Ourselves to God?

07/09/2015 Comment

What's the best way to offer ourselves to God? How is it done? Why is it important? 

Of Oblation, from Finding God through Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara

Cordial thanks being given to God, presently the heart breaks naturally into that affection, which the kingly prophet David felt in himself, when he said: “What shall I render to our Lord, for all things that he hath rendered to me?” (Ps 115:12). Which desire, we shall in some sort satisfy, if we offer to God whatsoever we have.

First, therefore, we must offer to God ourselves, for his perpetual servants, wholly resigning ourselves to his holy will, howsoever he shall please to dispose of us. We must likewise direct all our...READ MORE

Filed under meditation, navigating the interior life, peter of alcantara, prayer, saint peter of alcantara, st. peter of alcantara

German Section of Vatican Radio Receives 'Wild Verbal Slap'

07/08/2015 Comments (28)

An article published July 3 on the German edition of Vatican Radio’s website headlined “Moral Theologian: Church’s Sexual Morality is In Motion”, together with an accompanying picture featuring two lesbians kissing, has caused consternation on the blogosphere and in social media.

A number of readers took to Twitter to say they couldn’t believe such a headline and photo would appear on an official Vatican website. One called it a “disgrace”, another described it as a “shocking piece.” A third tweeted: “Dear God, please help us!”

One reader said the picture was yet another example of "desensitizing" people, especially children and adolescents, to such immoral behavior and the last place one...READ MORE

Filed under germany, homosexuality, same-sex unions, synod on the family, vatican radio

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