Category Archives: Theology

Turning Pink With Joy on Gaudete Sunday

Why is one candle not like all the others? Advent and its counterpart, Lent, are seasons of penitence. On the Advent wreath, the three purple candles mark the preparation Christians undergo while awaiting the arrival of Christ on Earth. But, unlike dour Lent, Advent is usually a happy season, full of food, parties, shopping, music [...]

The Pope Emeritus Responds to an Atheist

The National Catholic Register’s website has the full text of Pope emeritus Benedict’s letter in response to the Italian atheist, Piergiorgio Odifreddi.  Odifreddi had written a book –Dear Pope, I am Writing to You–which dealt critically with some of Benedict’s own writings, such as Jesus of Nazareth and Introduction to Christianity.  Odifreddi’s book came out in [...]

Five Disappointing Things About Advent

Advent must have been something great back in the day. The sober, quiet calm before the storm of Christmas cheer. A time to hole up and gather energy for the Christmas feast. It is not so anymore. 1. The music is disappointing. Imagine if, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and all the days between, [...]

101 Reasons to Give Thanks For Your Body

Yes, your body. The one you think is too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too old, too weak. The one with the scars and the stretch marks, the wrinkles and the cellulite, the acne and the bald spot. The one you’ve long been wishing were just a little (or a lot) different from [...]

Want to Express Yourself? Then Ditch the Daisy Dukes and Dig Out the Iron.

Hope springs eternal. Or so they say. It certainly springs eternal for fashion historian Katy Werlin. In the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s recent assessment of our culture’s fashion sense (or lack thereof), Werlin remarked, “Fashion is very cyclical, and if you study fashion history, you see trends repeat themselves. So, I’m sure maybe in 50 years [...]

Mass Confusion: Liturgy – What Difference Does it Make?

I’ve been reading through the lively discussion under my last post about laity assuming the orans prayer posture during Mass. In it, I laid out arguments surrounding the topic from the points of view of the USCCB, the liturgical rubrics (a k a the Vatican), a canon lawyer, a priest and a Catholic apologist. The [...]

Mass Confusion: Orans Is the New Black?

In the course of my reversion to the Faith, I had to re-educate myself about what went on at Mass. So, long before I ever sat again in a pew, one way I did that was to watch the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word celebrate Mass on EWTN on Sunday mornings. As anyone who’s [...]

What Makes A Body Beautiful

It made no sense. People would see the old woman—frail and bent, her face lined with a thousand wrinkles. They would talk to her, look her in the eye, then walk away, invariably saying the same thing: “She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.” Again, it made no sense. At least not by the [...]

Top 10 Scholarly Tweets About the Body

Live tweeting an academic conference is a strange, self-contradictory thing to do. Creating a top 10 list from the tweets is probably worse. But here I go. Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture presented its celebrated Fall Conference Nov. 7-9.  The Fall Conference is a remarkable event, an ecumenical and interdisciplinary investigation of an [...]

What the Pope Taught Me About Food, Sex, and God

When I was 19, I stopped eating. Not entirely. Just mostly. For the better part of six years, I survived on lettuce, tuna, and frozen yogurt. It’s not a diet I recommend, but at the time, it made me feel safe and in control. I hated my body back then. I hated its softness, its [...]


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