First approved Marian apparition in the U.S.

A little chapel in Wisconsin called Our Lady of Good Help has officially become the first site in the United States of a validated Marian apparition, according to the New York Times. In 1859, a Belgian immigrant named Adele Brise claims to have been visited by Mary three times. The Blessed Mother instructed Brise to devote her … Read more

Racing toward Christmas

One of the first Christmas gifts I received this year was a speeding ticket. For years, I have made a hobby of collecting verbal warnings for driving too fast. I know I drive too fast. I am working on it. And I am getting pretty good at smiling, apologizing, and offering sympathetic and yet entirely … Read more

Friday Free-for-All: Christmas Eve Edition

Happy Christmas Eve! Things might be a little quiet around here today, as the InsideCatholic staff goes about its last-minute preparations for tomorrow (please tell me I’m not the only one who still has presents left to buy?…). In the meantime, below are a few quick holiday links to tide you over. And from all … Read more

A Different Kind of Christmas Movie

Has there ever been a season that has stood by Hollywood longer or more faithfully than Christmas? From Clarence’s Twain-wielding celestial bumbler to Wallace and Davis dancing their former commander back to relevance; from leggy lamps and BB guns to John McClane’s profane holiday jingles — the list of memorable Yuletide moments is almost endless. Nearly … Read more

Hollywood Knows Him Not: Christmas Movies You Want to See

Christmas is to Hollywood what a bank is to a crook. The kids are home for the holidays, the house is full of restless guests who need tending — so why not take the afternoon off and go to the movies? And go we do, in numbers that fill the larcenous hearts of studio moguls … Read more

Christmas Gift Ideas — Fourth Week of Advent

It’s December 23rd, a little late for me to be throwing out gift ideas for Christmas. Then again, the celebration only just begins on the 25th, and then there’s the 12 days of Christmas and the feast of Epiphany. Plus, there’s something to be said for getting an early start on next year, right? When … Read more

‘Habits are the new radical’

First it was the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, on Oprah; now, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville are taking over NPR. Or, at least, “All Things Considered”: A segment on last night’s program profiled the Dominican sisters who, like their counterparts in Ann Arbor, are theologically orthodox, live in … Read more

Lanny Davis does his best Nathan Thurm impression.

I put this on our Twitter feed yesterday, but it’s too disgusting to let pass without a post. Lanny Davis, high powered Democratic lobbyist and former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, has a new client: Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo. That would be the same Laurent Gbagbo who refuses to recognize his re-election loss … Read more

Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix Sends a Message

2010 was a horrible year for health care — that is, if you believe abortion is not “health care.” The ObamaCare health legislation, if not amended by the next Congress, will result in hundreds of thousands of federally funded abortions that would not happen without that funding. But Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, who is a … Read more

Putting the Christmas Back in Christ

That’s Chesterton’s idea, not mine. But he was surely right. Chesterton knew that, so long as the atheist remembers a Christmas of long ago, when it seemed that the stars themselves were made only that they might twinkle upon a stable in Bethlehem, he may yet someday become a man worthy of the boy he … Read more

I Don’t Make the Natural Law, I Just Enforce It

To me, there’s nothing that quite says “Christmas” like schadenfreude — that grim satisfaction one takes in watching the suffering of others, especially other people whose ideas are evil. The Church father Tertullian used to write in lengthy detail of how the Romans who tortured Christians would undergo the same tortures themselves in hell, while … Read more

British royal calls abortion “most grievous moral deficit”

The Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (PNCI), a pro-life outreach to members of democratically-elected legislatures, reports that Lord Nicholas Windsor has described abortion as “the single most grievous moral deficit in contemporary life.” The great-grandson of King George V penned the essay “Caesar’s Thumb: Europeans should not forget their most pressing moral issue: abortion” in … Read more

Christmas nonsense from a funny man

I’m a Ricky Gervais fan… a big Ricky Gervais fan. The original BBC version of The Office was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, and there were moments in his follow up series, Extras, that were equally hilarious. I’ve also enjoyed his stand-up comedy — rare for me — as well as his frenetic and … Read more

Pope highlights sex scandal in his Christmas message

The New York Times reported yesterday on Pope Benedict’s Christmas message to Vatican hierarchy in Rome where he spoke about the clergy sexual abuse crisis: Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday that the continuing sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church had reached a “degree we could not have imagined” this year, and that … Read more

Art and Liturgy: The Splendor of Faith

Forty years after the close of the Second Vatican Council, liturgical reform remains one of the most contested topics of Catholic debate. The subject, most often discussed from either the dogmatic or historical perspective, leaves little time for the powerful role played by visual imagery in worship. Although it is universally conceded that the visual … Read more

The Big Picture, Year-End Edition

One of my favorite year-end traditions has got to be The Boston Globe’s “Big Picture” blog’s photographic retrospective. And this year’s three-parter (Part One, Part Two, and Part Three) is certainly no reason to change my mind. The felicitous timing of some of these shots is absolutely mind-blowing. Enjoy!

‘I don’t want to escape. I want redemption.’

I know next to nothing about Roald Dahl outside of his children’s books, but apparently his daughter Tessa is better known in England as a novelist, socialite, and drug addict with a checkered history. These days, though, she’s making headlines for a different kind of rebellion: as she puts it, “leaving the life of addiction … Read more

Questioning God

Most people know there is a rather intimidating portrait in the Old Testament of a stormy Yahweh thundering from Sinai. It is a portrait to give one healthy pause. It reminds us that “our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29), the awful and perfect Judge who can see into the tiniest cranny of conscience … Read more

Sunday Comics (on a Monday): Rose Is Rose

I don’t know if you’ve ever run into Rose Is Rose, but it’s a fairly long-running strip about a married couple (with a delightful, romantic relationship), their young son, and often his guardian angel.  Imaging–a funny strip that doesn’t descend into cynicism and sarcasm! has lots of collections of the strip, and our family … Read more

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