BY MICHAEL MULLINS
Most bloggers on the Newtown tragedy feel dumbfounded. But there is clarity in Tina Beattie’s reflection on President Obama’s speech.
Dear President Obama, please remember that every single word of your speech would be just as poignant, just as moving, just as true, and just as necessary, if your were referring to children killed by American drones.
Phil Fox Rose comments on the irony that the Sunday after the Sandy Hook school shooting was Gaudete Sunday.
Gaudete means rejoice. This third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete Sunday — designated by a color shift from violet to rose in the Advent wreath candles — is the signal that it’s OK to start acting more Christmasy.
In a post titled “Where Were You, God?”, James Martin prays.
We know that you understand our terrible anguish.
You accept our bitterness and our confusion to
Country Priest writes in a similar vein.
I knew this morning, when I read the news, that I had to rework my homily on joy. ...
God is Emmanuel — God With Us. But in the midst of affliction, that knowledge means little. Anger at God is normal. God has broad shoulders. He can take it.
There is Kevin Clake’s wry blog at America.
This week I dreaded having “the” conversation with my oldest about human sexuality ... I have been forced to have another conversation with my son and his three siblings today. This one will concern the nature of evil, the problem of mental illness and how to survive if an intruder blasts his way into their school.
Also at America, Tim Reidy quotes two opinions at a sister publication, The Jesuit Post. Sam Sawyer’s angry ho-hum:
As a society, we’ve seen enough mass shootings that we have evolved a pattern of response, and part of the ritual is a debate about what laws might have prevented it.
And Matt Spotts’ plain angry.
Literally, God: damn it. Declare it accursed. Banish it. Abolish it. I don’t even really know what “it” is. I don’t even know what I mean by “damning” it, except that every fiber of my being cries out against whatever IT is.
As the battle against gay marriage in the UK is looking to be lost, Fr Ray Blake chides the English and Welsh bishops for dragging their feet, and raises the possibility of civil disobedience.
We thought of the great examples of the saints like St Edmund Campion putting printed copies his "brag" on the seats of Bloody Bess's Privy Council when they met in Oxford. I favoured the spirit of St Lawrence presenting the wealth of the Church of Rome to the Emperor and feeding the hungry in front of the Town Hall on Saturdays during the wedding season, someone else suggested doing so outside our our Brighton MP's houses. We thought that blowing trumpets or vuvuzelas outside the local Conservative Party Offices.
Francis Phillips at the Catholic Herald asks “Is it too late to save marriage?” But his lament is prompted not by the spectre of gay marriage but the UK census results that “showed a disturbing trend away from the institution” of marriage.
Liz Dodd at The Tablet writes on the the census results’ revelation of a disturbing trend away from nominating their adherence to New Age religion. It’s disturbing because it the picture is no longer vaporous, but more specified and therefore threatening to established Christianity.
The New Age has diversified. Only 698 people actually call themselves New Agers, but almost 20,000 subscribe to faiths that sprang from the New Age movement [including] Wicca, Druid, Thelemite etc.
There are more instalments in the Sentire Cum Ecclesia pilgrimage journal, including a story of buying an altar bread stamp at a monastery shop in Greece’s Meteora Mountains.
I inquired about it, and the nun told me that it was made in Mt Athos ... A liturgy addict and his euros are soon parted and I purchased this as well. I doubt if I will ever use it for sacred purposes, but I thought it would make a wonderful way of decorating our Easter bread.
Liturgy Lines writes on posture and gesture for receiving Communion.
The revised General Instruction asked all communicants in future to make a simple bow of the head as they step forward ... Adherence to this direction seems to be patchy. ... Unity in gesture is a sign of our oneness in Christ.
Andrew Sullivan blogs on “The Real Saint Nick” and his use of corporal punishment.
St. Nicholas, describes the man as an "every saint" who appealed to the common Christian. ... He also was a man of God who stood up for his faith, who challenged pagans, who was willing to confront people. Into the Middle Ages, he's depicted using the whip against Christians who have fallen astray. He may bring punishment as well as good things—to determine, in other words, whether we've been "naughty or nice."
Finally Fr Ron Rolheiser, much loved and respected by CathNews readers for many years, celebrates 30 years of blogging. That’s if the word “blogger” is used in a loose sense, as he is what is otherwise known as a syndicated columnist, and his original medium was rather more individual.
I was putting notes into milk-bottles and floating them out to sea, across an ocean in this case, hoping somebody might read them. The first person that actually pulled a note from one of those bottles was Glenn Argan, the editor of the Western Catholic Reporter, in Edmonton, Canada. I will forever be in debt to him for being the first editor who took a chance on me... I relied on providence and chance, and I got lucky, pure and simple.
Michael Mullins, founding editor of CathNews, compiles this 'Blog Watcher' column every week.
Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.