The Element of Surprise

The story about Joshua Bell playing in a Washington, D.C., subway station a few years back surfaced again last week on a Facebook post I saw. The point of the story is that, in 2008, a Washington Post reporter enlisted Bell in an experiment about people’s perceptions—in this case, how many passersby...

Part of the Gang

Most Sundays at Mass, I have one of the best seats in the house. That’s because I’m in the choir, and in our church, the choir sits behind the altar, facing the assembly. It can be a bit of a nuisance, because you have to think about what you wear (no short skirts!), what you do (not cool to nod off...

Evangelize Me!

Like many, my mind when kablooey when the term “New Evangelization” popped back into the vernacular a year or so ago. What does it mean? How do we “do it”? And why? Since Vatican II, a renewal of the evangelizing charism has been a part of the Church’s agenda, although somewhat on the back burner....

Yay, Lent!

Hallelujah, it’s Lent! (OK, forgot to bury the alleluia last night.) Excuse me if I’m excited, because I know part of the tradition is sackcloth and ashes, sorrow and repentance, fasting and more fasting. But oh, isn’t it wonderful to have a justifiable opportunity, an excuse, if you...

Away, Manger!

The Christmas tree finally came down this past Sunday, along with the rest of the decorations that were still up. We tend to be a wait-until-the-last-possible-moment-before-Christmas-to-decorate kind of family; if it weren’t so darn impractical, I’d start to decorate on December 24. Indeed,...

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