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What to do about refugees?

Betender_Mönch_bei_Kerzenschein

Pray. Pray!

Maybe you don’t need a reminder, but I do. Almost none of us are in a position to do anything else. We can vote, we can argue, we can maybe collect money or baby carriers or signatures or other signatures or bug-out bags – but if you believe in God, then doing any of these things without praying is like shopping for furniture when you’re homeless. Prayer is where we ought to live, where we ought to start our day from and where we come home to at night. Prayer is the foundation under our feet and the roof over our heads. Going it alone, without prayer, turns us all into refugees.

Read the rest at the Register. 

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image:  in the style of Godfried Schalcken (http://www.bassenge.com/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Dr. Louise Cowan: A Heart that Sees

Although she smiled warmly and spoke gently (and, if I remember rightly, barely cleared five feet in height!), I was somewhat abashed, not only by her chic southern elegance, but by the dark sunglasses she wore at all times. Dr. Louise suffered from a thyroid disorder which left her nearly blind, and after a series of surgeries, her eyeballs protruded and were discolored, and her face was scarred.

Another student went into her office after me. For several reasons, this girl was on the outs with the community in our small school, and she was difficult to live with.  What private sufferings she endured, I don’t know, and never cared to consider at the time. The young woman said that Dr. Louise talked with her for a while, and then took her sunglasses off, exposing the part of her that she hid from most of the world. I don’t know if they talked about literature at all, or just about life, but the girl came out radiating peace. Dr. Louise did not, I believe, acknowledge such a thing as an “outsider.”

Read the rest at the Register.

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The hardest part of being a woman

caitlyn jenner

When I was a zygote, I was female. I was as feminine then as I am today at age 40. When I do something — anything at all — I do it as a woman. There is no such thing as me doing something like a man. I’m just me, doing things, and I’m a woman. I’m just me, feeling things. I’m just me, acting and thinking and feeling and behaving like me. And I am a woman.

It sounds stupid because it’s stupidly simple; and it’s so stupidly simple that most people don’t want to hear it. This nutty “you are whatever you say you are” nonsense is just the ugly cousin of “you are whatever I say you are” which conservatives have been trying to push on women for millennia. Same song, different verse.

Read the rest at the Register. 

Photo credit: Alberto Frank via Flikr

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Should we smile, smile, smile?

Mother_Teresa_of_Calcuta,_portrait_painting_by_Robert_Pérez_Palou

What’s the difference between feigned joy that cult members are required to display, and a suffering saint’s determination to smile at everyone she meets; and what does it have to do with the awful client with the beautiful blue eyes?

Read the rest at the Register.

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image: By Robert Pérez Palou (http://www.robertperezpalou.com/) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Thanks, Mom.

twopenny starvers

Does she cook and clean for us and do our laundry? Oh, yes, she does. She feeds us with grace, with the Word of God, and with Eucharist, and she invites us to throw our smelly old sins down the chute and — okay, here the analogy breaks down. I guess she washes, dries, and folds our consciences for us, and leaves them in a tidy stack on our bed? She bustles around, caring for our needs, even anticipating our needs, telling us what we need and making sure we have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of what she has to offer us, from birth to maturity to death.

She knows us intimately, cares for us personally, never stops thinking about us, never stops loving us, never stops desiring everything good for us. But the Church is about more than us — and she’s about more than giving us stuff, too. Mother Church isn’t just a sacrament dispenser, who fades into existence for an hour here and there, whenever we need something; and we should be careful not to treat her that way.

Read the rest at the Register.

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image by Paul Townsend

(And I realize it’s some obscure Anglican tradition in the photo, but I found this image so charming, I couldn’t bring myself to find something else.)

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An Ethically-Produced Shingles Vaccine?

vaccine elderly

Many pro-lifers still decline to use any vaccine that was not ethically derived, choosing instead to face the risk of contracting and spreading preventable, often fatal diseases.

Whatever is keeping Americans from taking full advantage of vaccines, this potential new shingles vaccine is a step in the right direction, and pro-lifers are rightly heartened by the possible advent of at least one ethically-derived vaccine. It’s a bit early to celebrate, though.

Read the rest at the Register.