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Devra Torres

“No Good Options”

Sep. 10, 2013, at 11:31pm

Like many people in many countries, I prayed and fasted on Saturday for peace.  I tried, and failed, to be even-tempered with my family on a (comparitively) empty stomach.  And I tried, without much success, to feel my theoretical belief that prayer and fasting are a practical and effective response to real-life problems.

I should have known better.  We prayed and fasted just a few weeks ago for a friend’s teenage daughter who was struck by a car while riding her bicycle. 

She was in an induced coma in the hospital then, and the doctors were not sanguine about her living through the night.  Today we got word that she’s sitting up, responding, and steadily being detached from more

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Katie van Schaijik

Mercies hurt

Jun. 4, 2013, at 8:43am

Some months back, at the height of Presidential election season, I wrote a post castigating Mark Shea for sneering and caricaturing his opponents in debate. I find his habitual tone so off-putting that I practically never read his articles, even though they're often linked by mutual friends at facebook. I read a few lines of his critique of Lila Rose and then clicked away in annoyance. Impossible to engage someone simultaneously that obtuse and that self-satisfied.

Today, I have a very different impression of the man—one that endears him to me and makes me grateful that such as he lives and breaths in the Catholic blogosphere.

He has penned a penitent post of rare and precious humility. I

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Devra Torres

Beyond Biology

May. 3, 2013, at 4:05pm

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

--Robert Frost, "Death of the Hired Man"

Some people hear this as an insult to home and hearth (and I see what they mean), but I think it captures something. 

There’s something about family—which is pretty much synonymous with “home” here—that inspires the invention of counterfeits.  I heard an ad the other day for a “family of mutual funds”

and another for a “family of cleaning products.” 

Just what is it they’re trying to piggyback on?

Is it mere biology that ensures the kind of unconditional love (or at least acceptance) we associate with families?  No, there's no absolute guarantee. Is there anything

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Katie van Schaijik

Mark Shea jumps the shark on Paul Ryan

Aug. 13, 2012, at 9:38am

I'm not a fan of Mark Shea's.  He's too snide and sarcastic for my taste. His habit of berating fellow Catholics from a position of moral and intellectual superiority gets under my skin.  He writes as if everyone who doesn't see things exactly as he does must be insufficiently informed.  He lacks grace and nuance and receptivity.

Being aware, though, that we're on the same team, I usually deal with my distaste it by not following his column rather than taking him on directly.  But a post of his today at Patheos on Paul Ryan (linked by a facebook friend) goes beyond the pale.

He begins, as is his wont, with sneering sarcasm:

While everybody is busy having the vapors over exciting, dynamic 

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