On Finding a Husband: A Conversation with Amy Bonaccorso

For Catholic convert Amy Bonaccorso, the path to marriage wasn’t an easy one. After running the gauntlet of the modern dating scene, she finally found her husband… but not before having several preconceptions about dating and marriage shattered along the way. Noticing that there was little in the way of practical guidance for modern, devout … Read more

A New Year’s Wish for the New Atheist: Humility

S.E. Cupp has a message in her New York Daily Post column for members of the New Atheist movement: This New Year, try some humility. Cupp says people like Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Bill Maher are “mean-spirited, radically unenlightened and uninterested in learning something new:” Though more than 95% of the world finds some … Read more

Friday Free-for-All: New Year Edition

Happy New Year, IC readers! We’ve been taking it slow here over the holidays, and today will be no different — but we’ll be back with a vengeance in 2011. Below are a few last links from Oh-Ten, and feel free to add more in the comments — along with any resolutions, reflections, or hopes … Read more

The Constant Threat of the Miraculous

For the modern informed Catholic, the miraculous and the holy do not necessarily go hand in hand. Among many of the devout, confusion often exists as to whether miracles are real, whether they are from God or from somewhere else, and whether questionable people are profiting from them. In our time, places like Medjugorje have … Read more

‘Just Come Casual’

“Just come casual,” the hostess instructed. “It will be an informal evening, so just come casual.” Though I knew the familiar ungrammatical direction was a considerate gesture meant to put guests at their ease, I had my usual reaction: “What in the world will I wear?” Had my hostess simply said, “Come for dinner,” I … Read more

Should we conduct exit interviews for lapsed Catholics?

Over at America magazine, William Byron considers the idea of conducting “exit interviews” with Catholics who have left the Church: The church in America must face the fact that it has failed to communicate the Good News cheerfully and effectively to a population adrift on a sea of materialism and under constant attack from the … Read more

Back to the Middle Ages

Parag Khanna, senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, looks hopefully at the world stage and says we’ve been here before: Imagine a world with a strong China reshaping Asia; India confidently extending its reach from Africa to Indonesia; Islam spreading its influence; a Europe replete with crises of legitimacy; sovereign city-states holding wealth … Read more

He’s No de Tocqueville

Whether right or wrong or a bit of both, thoughtful foreign views of the American scene have a lot to contribute to our national self-understanding. Clifford Longley, a veteran columnist for the London weekly the Tablet, a journal of “progressive” Catholic opinion, is no de Tocqueville, but he’s an intelligent man who, despite his ingrained … Read more

What If Herod Wins?

To be honest, I forgot about yesterday’s feast. I had celebrated Christmas at the splendid little Gothic Church of the Holy Innocents in Manhattan — and a rousingly festive solemn Latin Mass it was, complete with lovingly sung polyphony. That parish has a shrine to the unborn, complete with a book where bereaved or penitent … Read more

Does Halliburton have a policy against procreation?

The Dallas Observer reports that a woman is suing Halliburton for allegedly being fired because of her pregnancy. This is from the court documents: In 2008, she was transferred to Texas and worked as an administrative associate in the dispatch office at the Alvarado Camp. Although a good, dedicated and productive employee, she was terminated … Read more

True Grit and True Grace

I’d already been planning to catch True Grit in the theaters, and now this review from Stanley Fish in the New York Times, who calls it “a truly religious movie,”  makes me even more curious: [In the original True Grit], we are told something about the nature of heroism and virtue and the relationship between … Read more

General Patton and the Third Army Prayer

During the Christmas season of 1944, General George S. Patton was leading the Third Army into Germany. Many Americans thought World War II was virtually won in the European theater, but in December Germany launched its last major offensive of the war. Overnight, Allied soldiers found themselves facing a tough fight in hard and cold … Read more

O the Mind has Mountains

It would be easier to follow James Thurber’s advice to leave your mind alone if it could be mutual. Besides, you’d have to put your mind to it and that makes following Thurber’s advice a contradiction in terms. Mind-boggling, as it were. Of course one could fall asleep, but then Thurber would lose a reader. … Read more

Reading souls… the easy way

If you’re familiar with the popular social art project Post Secrets, you’ll get the concept behind Soul Secrets right away. Sponsored by Patheos, Soul Secrets asks visitors to share their most private thoughts on God and religion. Posters are anonymous, and the contributions can be intensely personal: I really want to come out as a … Read more

A Sanctuary in Time

How lovely is thy dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. — Psalms 84:1-2   The deepest desire of the heart is expressed in Psalm 84. The lover of God “faints for the courts … Read more

IBM’s Technology Predictions for 2015

According to IBM, these technologies will be available in 2015: Batteries could recharge with air contact, leapfrogging lithium-ion for heavy metals.  Other batteries, such as those in laptops, could be recharged via kinetic energy. Holographic video chat would be available on cell phones. Personalized “adaptive traffic systems” would lay out routes that avoid traffic in … Read more

2010 in Music

It’s a race to the finish of 2010 to bring you the fruits of this year before it ends. Brevity, be by my side and slay the demon logorrhea. Here, in brief, are treasures. The Classical era is my favorite for its balance and grace, but what can be new from this period? Haven’t we … Read more

Papal preacher calls for return to apostles’ methods

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa is the official preacher to the Papal household and his Christmas meditations this year focused on how we need to return to the methods and means of the apostles to evangelize. According to the The Catholic News Agency: The three meditations gave a response of faith, with the help of Blessed John … Read more

My New Year’s Wish for President Obama

At a restaurant in Jerusalem last August, I listened incredulously as two prominent Israeli journalists explained to me that President Obama did not care about a second term. Obama, they told me, was going to forge ahead toward an Israeli-Palestinian agreement with total disregard for any political fallout. It was Obama’s nature, they each asserted, to put … Read more

‘A Raging Mirth’

A student gave me G. K. Chesterton’s Poems, a handsome book (New York, John Lane). In it are love, war, religious and miscellaneous poems, ballads, and “Rhymes for the Times.” Its most famous poem is probably “Lepanto.” The most intriguing is “Antichrist, or The Reunion of Christendom, an Ode.” The religious poems are often about … Read more

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