Who is my neighbor?

Who is my neighbor?

We’ll be celebrating the Irish at the end of this week with parades, green beer and green rivers.  Although only about 10.5 percent of Americans truly have Irish heritage, far more than that will claim a drop of Irish blood on St. Patrick’s Day, and people who forget (or refuse) to wear green will be chided (or “affectionately” pinched, according to a Wikipedia article). But it wasn’t that long ago in our history that most Americans hated and feared the…

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Laments of a Newspaper Junkie

Laments of a Newspaper Junkie

I confess.  I am addicted to reading the newspaper daily, and if I’m not careful, it wreaks havoc in my life. I’ve had this problem for years.  It comes in part from my lifelong love of reading–ever since I learned to read, I’ve been pretty obsessive about it.  I was the kid who read cereal boxes, who always left the library with as many books as I could carry, who filled every minute not required for other tasks with reading…

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Beyond #MeToo?

Beyond #MeToo?

I first learned about my place in this world through a Lionel train set. Every Christmas while I was growing up, a Lionel train set ran around the base of our family tree.  Until recently, I would have told you that every year as we set the train up, I heard my mother explain that it was the train my father bought before I was born. “It was going to be yours if you were a boy,” my mother said….

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Faith is a Relationship

Faith is a Relationship

For years, when I taught English, I tried to hide my profession because whenever I met someone new, I often heard an embarrassed plea, “Oh, please don’t correct my English; I’m terrible at grammar!”  I would quickly assure the person that I only corrected papers turned in for grades, so worry was needless.  And I was speaking truth–I never noticed problems with spoken English, and didn’t feel responsible for correcting anything written (newspapers, magazines, letters) unless someone specifically asked me…

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The Insanity of Prayer

The Insanity of Prayer

Every morning my cat Minerva drives me nuts. The moment I sit down at the kitchen table, she starts jumping up on it.  And I start telling her–in no uncertain terms–to get down. “No,” I shout, and if I’m lucky, she jumps to the floor.  Then, in less than 30 seconds, she jumps up again. “No, down,” I shout (she never responds to less than a shout), but it never works a second time.  So I grab the nearby squirt…

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Still Dancing With God

Still Dancing With God

“How can you stay Catholic?” a friend asked me recently.  “For that matter, how in this day and age, can you believe in God at all?” I’ve faced these questions before–sometimes, I’ve been the one asking the questions of myself–and until recently my answers have dwelt on my personal experiences or my love of the ritual and Tradition (yes, capital T) of the Catholic Church.