THE BEAUTY WITHIN

Sister Hanna Maria:
It’s a daily being confronted by the truth of God, which is not apart from me. It’s not different from me, not apart from me, but it is to go into my heart and to meet God in my heart. And also by repeating the Psalms day out and day in. They are so rich. There is no mood where you can’t find yourself in the prayers of the Psalms. So whatever mood I’m in, you go to the office and the day is… The office, the liturgy for us, it’s like the spine. It’s like the skeleton of a body. It’s what keeps the day for us. And it is what keeps us up.

SANTA MARIA NOVELLA: THE WORLD’S OLDEST APOTHECARY

There are deep burgundy bags of potpourri, fragrance diffusers, and cleansing sprays–a different scent and mood for each season of the year. You can buy Iris Toothpaste (20 bucks a tube), Crema de Barba (shaving cream) at 71 dollars a pop, and Sapone allo Zolfo—sulphur soap—with which to scrub off after, say, an exorcism.

SEND ME A POSTCARD

The mailperson, almost inevitably a man in my experience, is right up there in my mind with the local librarian and the priest as a consoler, a bringer of sustenance, a conduit between my cloistered little world and the world at large. I have come close to tears in my occasional outbursts of gratitude and wonder that the guy reallly does show up, mostly, rain, shine and here in Tucson, almost dangerous heat.

THE GLOBAL GARAGE SALE

“Before the 1960s, Japanese had a feeling of mottainai, a difficult-to-translate Japanese word that expresses a sense of regret over waste, as well as a desire to conserve,” reports Rina Hamada, editor of Japan’s Reuse Business Journal. But that was before the living standard in Japan shot sky-high. Now people are way more acquisitive, though they’ll buy second-hand if it’s of high quality.

NOTHIING BUT THEE

One year the Catholic Press Association had me as a speaker for their annual awards conference. I went up after some guy from EWTN who crowed about having recently expanded the station’s reach to 18 trillion or something like that. When I got up there, I laughed, “Well, my own media empire is a bit smaller…I operate it from a desk in my bedroom that’s about four feet long”…

EVOLUTION AND FAITH

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: “Evolution and Faith: What Is the Problem?”, an essay by Georgetown University Distinguished Professor of theology John F. Haught, was published earlier this year by the Portsmouth [RI] Institute for Faith and Culture.  Having asked the same question myself many times, I read the article with […]