Happy Birthday, Mom!

May 22, 2010

Since the weekend’s big feast, Pentecost, is sometimes colloquially referred to as the birthday of the Church, I thought I’d offer a little birthday greeting.  I couldn’t fit two thousand candles on a cake, so I came up with a top ten list instead.  Maybe it’s not really my top ten, but here are ten things I love about the Church.  (The New York Times doesn’t want you to know this, but, yes, it’s still okay to love being Catholic.)

10.  Songs about Mary. Whether it’s Pavarotti belting out “Ave Maria” or tone-deaf Jesuits (like yours truly) humming their way through the “Salve,” the Blessed Mother brings out something sweet and beautiful even in the gruffest of us.

9.  Relics. They may seem a little weird to contemporary American tastes, but think about all that relics say about the importance of the body, the embodied nature of our faith, and our hope, ultimately, in the resurrection of the body.

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Favre, Hopkins, and the Languor of Youth

September 13, 2009

Brett Favre will begin his 19th NFL season today.  And yet if there is one word I associate with Favre, it is youth.

My reasons are twofold.  The first is personal.  Growing up in Packer-crazed Wisconsin meant watching Favre play Sunday after Sunday – in fact start every game for his team since I was a nine-year old fourth-grader.  Much has changed in the years since: friends grew up and got married, loved ones died, girlfriends came and went (as did my hair), somehow I ended up as a vowed Jesuit.  But Favre remained.

The second reason is Favre’s style of play.  How many times have I heard people exclaim when watching Favre, “He’s like a little kid out there!”   Read the rest of this entry »