Parenting Has These Joys

Thursday, September 12, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (15)

A mommy reader sends along this little moment of joy:

Additional - a reflection

Sisters playing sight word smackdown
Together, laughing
The game ends and one runs off to play
The other, focusing on the homework she still thrills to do
Looking at the assignment together
Silently reading instructions that were written in parent-ese
And not expecting you to read them aloud
But your little voice glides over the syllables
And I follow along but read ahead, Thinking there are words you don't know,
Words too hard for a new reader,
Words that cause even seasoned bookworms to trip up sometimes.
But you never falter
You read fluently and then you reach the one,...READ MORE

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"Pronoun Trouble", Writes a Reader

Sunday, September 08, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (123)

er, scratch that, Noun Trouble.

I think I understand you better with respect to gay Catholics. I see your point about the struggle that gay Catholics have, and the curiosity that orthodox Catholics might have about whether or not these openly gay Catholics are living chastely.

The problem is that both "gay" and "Catholic" are ambiguous terms.Yes, it is ambiguous whether or not the gay person is chaste or not. More importantly, both terms are, unfortunately, ambiguous about whether a person is loyal or docile toward the Magisterium. As lay people, we can't say a person is, or isn't Catholic, no matter how much that person dissents from the Church. The word "gay" also carries...READ MORE

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A Conversation with a Military Mom

Thursday, September 05, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (21)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about two high profile suicides and, inter alia, spoke of my deep loathing of politicians who shovel around our troops like concrete and treat them as though they are toys who can be disposed of when broken.  No doubt due to my own ineptitude in making my meaning clear, a number of readers took me to be dissing the troops, not the pols who treat them with such contempt and neglect.  One fine woman, a mother of a Marine, wrote to express her concern and a correspondence ensued that I think is important for anybody who cares about the strain our men and women in harm's way face as our feckless government continues to play with their lives, force their families on to...READ MORE

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I hate being right all the time

Sunday, September 01, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (106)

Long ago, in my capacity as columnist for the Register, I wrote a series of columns on what happens when a civilization stops paying attention to the idea of the Common Good and instead adopts the libertarian hyper-individualist notion that consent is the sole criterion of the good.

The basic point of the series is that we are living on borrowed capital from the Catholic tradition and burning through it like Paris Hilton spending Daddy's money while creating nothing of value to replace it.  As each phase of history passes by, we keep saying that nobody will ever take the next logical step from the premisses we have just set up as a platform for jettisoning some aspect of the Christian...READ MORE

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The Horse I Rode In On Rides Back Out

Monday, August 26, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (23)

A reader writes:

I happened to be flipping through some old e-mails from The National Catholic Register when I ran across your article, “God Bless you and the horse you rode in on,” As usual, your ability to look beyond the top layer of things produced an outstanding account of how the subject of masked hatred can be demonstrated, rationalized, excused and then just simply explained. 

I take from your description that there are at least two possibilities for why people vent anger and hatred, then follow it up by a “may God bless you.” The first is hypocrisy. They want to hate you – and they do – but at the same time, they want to appear to be “honorably motivated,” thus the...READ MORE

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The Indomitable Barbara Nicolosi Harrington Writes:

Friday, August 23, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (11)

Dear Friend of the Culture of Life:

Here's a heads-up about an event I am coordinating through my new company Catharsis: The Story Lab and Azusa Pacific University.  

The event is called, "Communicating the Culture of Life: Media and Messaging Training for Medical Professionals."  It will be happening in October the two days before the Catholic Medical Association Conference which is happening this year in Southern California.  We are limiting the media training event to twenty people so there can be the opportunity for camera interviewing practice, and individual/ministry message crafting on all the vital life issues confronting us today.

The website and registration link...READ MORE

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Just Give Me My Lines and My Blocking

Sunday, August 18, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (77)

I don’t like thinking about the liturgy for the same reason I don’t like thinking about the fact that I blink.  Blinking is very important.  If you didn’t blink, extremely horrible things would start to happen within minutes and never stop getting more excruciating till you went mad and then went blind.

But important as blinking is, it is one of those hugely important things we should (unless we are neurologists, ophthalmologists, or blinkologists) not think too much about, because if we do, that will also drive us mad and blind.  Both liturgy and blinking have, for most people, a “so that” importance:  Blinking is hugely important so that we will be able to do the far more important...READ MORE

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Scratch an Atheist, Find a Fundamentalist

Thursday, August 15, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (103)

So a couple of weeks ago, an atheist was holding forth in my comboxes on the Blessed Virgin Mary (turns out the atheist is agin' her).  What struck me was the interesting combination of quack biblical scholarship and "Babylon Mystery Religion"-level historical scholarship of the atheist's remarks.  Behold:

[N]one of the Gospels in their earliest form recorded a virgin birth of Mary: ‘The remark has long ago and often been made that, like Paul, even the earliest Gospels knew nothing of the miraculous birth of our Saviour.’
.
[T]he church admitted that Virgin Mary was created at the third Council of the church at Ephesus in 431 when Bishop Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) embraced the...READ MORE

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About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.