94 results
July 30, 2014

It's become something of a genre for advice columnists: What not to say to: a pregnant woman, a grieving parent, ...

July 23, 2014

In the modern Jewish tradition, converts to Judaism are often called Jews by Choice, which indicates that they were not born to Jewish families but chose to become Jews. A few years ago, I listened to a roundtable discussion on conversion to Judaism by Jewish converts. One gentleman participated in the discussion only very reluctantly and after concerted effort by the organizer to...

July 16, 2014

Soon after becoming a Catholic, I started collecting "Catholicana" to hang about my neck. Eventually I was wearing a brown scapular, a crucifix, and a "dog tag" chain with twenty or more holy medals. No joke, people could always tell when I was approaching by the clinking of my medals. I liked to think of that necklace as my "cloud of witnesses." One day the chain broke, and I never replaced it. The only sacramental I continued to wear was my brown scapular.

Why was the brown scapular...

June 18, 2014

Whenever I go to eucharistic adoration, I have a little ritual that I follow, something I consider to be a good deed before settling into adoration. I sift through the free devotional literature set out for adorers to use in the adoration chapel while praying, looking for any problematic materials that need to be removed. If I find them, I stuff them in my purse for disposal later.

(Nota bene: I limit this practice to tracts, pamphlets, and other cheap leaflets that the...

June 11, 2014

A few days ago, a friend who is the busy pastor of a parish asked if I would take a look at a question that had come in from an inquirer through his parish's website. He hoped that I could take the time he did not have to research the answer and provide some resources for his inquirer. In a nutshell, this person wanted to know why Catholics affirm that believers could both be a part of the communion of saints and yet sin, since the apostle John said of believers:

He who...