Blog

November 23, 2020

The Problem with the Catholic Church

The problem with the Catholic Church is the crucifix. That was the first sentence of an article published shortly after my conversion to Catholicism. That there could be meaning in suffering was a concept which both beckoned and baffled me. My career in academic medicine and doctoral studies had been aimed at preventing or at least mitigating suffering. Consequently the Catholic spotlight on the Cross, and St. Paul’s exhortations throughout Corinthians … …But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles fascinated and repelled, yet felt eerily logical. A lifelong writer, finding the search for […]
November 23, 2020

Extrovert, Introvert or Ambivert: Which One Fits You?

Extrovert, introvert or Ambivert? Extrovert, introvert or Ambivert: Which one fits? “Hey Margaret, I’ve discovered I’m not an extrovert but an introvert!” After listening to my score on author Susan Cain’s twenty- question introvert versus extrovert questionnaire, along with my observation of my husband’s classically extroverted behavior contrasted with my own, my friend from undergraduate days response was a hearty laugh followed by, “Lin, we’re both introverts! It’s just taken us years to figure it out!” If you have spent more a week in the corporate world, then the Meyers Brigg Inventory is undoubtedly familiar to you; perhaps you too […]
November 23, 2020

Quo Vadis America: Revolution of Jefferson or St-Just?

Quo Vadis America: Revolution of Jefferson or St-Just? The satanic character of the French Revolution does not lie in the deposing or even in the execution of a king but in the raising up of that ancient god, the State, in place not of the king but of God Himself. “The general will” is what the regicide Saint-Just called it, identifying it with morality and virtue that come to be by the inexorable march of historical development. “Our aim is to create an order of things,” he said, “which establishes a universal tendency toward good.” [Italics are mine]. And the […]
November 23, 2020

Arrogance and Scorn have now grown strong.

“Arrogance and scorn have now grown strong; it is a time of disaster and violent anger.” The speaker is Mattathias in the first book of Maccabees. “King Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, each abandoning his particular customs. All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, and many Israelites were in favor of his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.” Taken from the Monday Office of Readings of the Divine Office, the words of the ancient king ring eerily familiar 2300 years later. All should be one people meant […]
November 23, 2020

A Tribute to Wisdom: The Corporate Nature of Prayer

A tribute to wisdom. Even as a a college kid, wisdom was frequently the word I used. Not education, but it was wisdom I was after. Looking back, I see the desire as providential, because I got into the habit of searching—a good thing, I think. That is… if one is clear about her goal. Once back as a believer, one of the very first things I did was to read the Bible. Although much of what I read was opaque-even incomprehensible, two books seemed oddly familiar. Reading the books of Wisdom and the Psalms felt right…fitting…packed full of precisely […]
November 23, 2020

Why Look Back to the Ancients?

Why look back to the Ancients: Aurelius, Seneca, and the Stoics? Why would we want to return to one of the last Roman Emperors and Greek philosophers who personified rigorous self-denial, extreme fortitude and emotional indifference? Perhaps because we live in an age characterized by self-indulgence, cowardice, and untrammeled emotion? One of the very first books I devoured as a college undergrad was Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. A college professor I admired greatly and have written about in previous posts would liberally quote Aurelius’ pithy observations. I had walked away from God and all things religious but was ferociously searching […]
November 23, 2020

Fatima: A New and Magnificent Film

Fatima: A new and magnificent film Most of us know the story, or at least its outline. But for me, it was history, Fatima statues and primarily warnings from the Mother of God. The recently released film produced by Origin Entertainment highlights the oldest of the three visionaries, Lucia, with an astounding and mesmerizing performance by fourteen-year-old Spanish actress Stephanie Gil. Astounding and mesmerizing because of the seeming ease with which Gil portrays the simple faith of a child. A child who becomes a visionary, seeing what no one else sees, hearing what no one else does and suffering the […]
October 4, 2020

He Made Adam First

He Made Adam First It’s almost fall and I am behind in the writing of Plausible Liars, the fifth in the Dr. Lindsey McCall medical mystery series. Way behind, for I had intended that the first draft be completed by the end of October. Although it is true that we have sold and moved from our beautiful northern Nevada home of eighteen years and my eight-year-old laptop finally bit the dust the week we got here, (the reason there was no article last Sunday) those are not the reasons that my deadline will come and go before the story is […]
September 20, 2020

It’s Just a Little Incense: Saints Cornelius and Cyprian

It’s just a little incense-Saints Cornelius and Cyprian In the Christian liturgy, Wednesday, September 16 was celebrated as the feast of two early martyrs: Saints Cornelius and Cyprian. Men persecuted by the Roman Empire for their Christian faith…fourth century Rome and therefore irrelevant to us seventeen hundred centuries later. But that is because I never bothered to learn anything about these two men. Father Mitch Pacwa celebrated the daily televised mass on EWTN and delivered a riveting homily on these two saints. The polyglot Father Pacwa (he fluently speaks thirteen languages) is a bit of an oxymoron in that he […]
September 13, 2020

Thomas More-A Man For All Seasons

Thomas More- A Man For All Seasons Most of us know the movie, and not the play, a misfortune. Because the film, although excellent, is incapable of conveying the complexities, nuances, and timeless relevance of Robert Bolt’s two-act play, A Man For All Seasons. Had it not been for my undergraduate English teacher, I’d have missed this stunning, starkly written drama about the most important battle any of us face: conscience versus obedience. In the preface, Bolt writes a piercingly sardonic explanation about why he selected a sixteenth-century Chancellor of King Henry VIII as his archetypal hero. …why do I […]
September 6, 2020

I Live in My Head Until Suddenly

I live in my head until suddenly something happens to vault me down to my heart. Naturally, I’m a writer. And am therefore constantly conjuring plots and characters. Or working on an article. So this move from our Nevada home for the last eighteen years merely consisted of jumping through the hoops of keeping the house as nearly perfect as possible for all the showings. Then negotiating with realtors and buyers. And accepting the offer, jumping through more hoops of all the inspections-you know, you’ve been there. And then deciding to divest…free yourself from stuff. Books, furniture, clothes, paintings. All […]
August 30, 2020

The Things I’ll Miss: Ode to the High Desert of Northern Nevada

The things I’ll miss constitute a very long list. So I will share only the top few. The items on my list of the things I’ll miss competed with one another for top priority as the boys (Shadow and Seymour) and I hiked to the top of Pipeline for what may be the last time. Given that the home inspections next week reveal no awful stuff, we will leave our sacred place to buyers who will take over 36 Grant Drive, Wellington, Nevada in just under a month. It was eighteen years ago that we moved here. Eighteen Years!!! Really? […]
August 23, 2020

Karol Wojtyla and The Sign of Contradiction-Can These Bones Live?

He fascinates me, this Karol Wojtyla and the sign of contradiction- this man who shocked the world to become the first Polish Pope:  This was so long before I had any inkling that I would become a Christian Catholic. With ease I can recall vividly my reaction to an article in Harper’s Magazine. In an article she called, Arguing With the Pope journalist Barbara Harrison wrote about Pope John Paul’s trip to Denver in August of 1993 for what the Pope called the eighth, World Youth Day. I remember little more than my complete sense of bafflement that a man […]
August 9, 2020

Reflections on The Lincoln Conspiracy

Reflections on The Lincoln Conspiracy There’s a secret on this train. With their first sentence, Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch had me captivated. In fact, I could barely put the book down, the story was so engrossing. Complete with the world’s first detective agency, first female detective, undercover cops and crooked Police Chiefs, The Lincoln Conspiracy rivals a Grisham, Connelly, or Lee Child mystery. One reviewer calls it a first-rate nonfiction thriller. Indeed, that it is. Here’s my favorite review: Think you know everything about Abraham Lincoln? Well, think again. The Lincoln Conspiracy not only revitalizes history, it transforms it, turning its […]
August 2, 2020

The Tale Seldom Heard About Martha’s Faith

The tale seldom heard about Martha The three siblings are well known: Lazarus-the man who is raised from the dead, and his two sisters are close friends of Jesus. So close is the family to Jesus that He goes to dine with them. Martha is remonstrating Christ, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died!” We hear only from the two sisters, Mary and Martha, who are compared frequently, usually with Martha as inferior, at least spiritually, in the earlier part of this tale. Lazarus is silent. Focused on the work of welcoming and feeding Jesus and […]
July 26, 2020

Mary Called Magdalene: A Portrait (Originally written on July 21 2019)

Mary Called Magdalene is a woman alternately thought to be prostitute, mystic, secret lover of Jesus, and the apostle who reached higher levels than did any of the male apostles. Throughout the ages, Mary beckons both believers and non. Her relationship with Jesus is a curious one, implying an intimacy that our age can conceive of only as sexual…think Sarah Brightman’s I Don’t Know How to Love Him. While at the Baptistery in Florence several years ago, my husband John and I saw Donatello’s wood sculpture of Mary, Called Magdalene. The sculpture of Mary Magdalene is a study in human […]
July 19, 2020

Sanctify The Mess: Relearning Old Lessons

Ever had a week that looked like this? Several days during this past week seemed, virtually anyway, like a humongous pile of dirty dishes that kept replenishing themselves, independent of me. Meaning that my productive intentions for the day were cast aside and piling up. That there was very good reason for my lack of productivity did not help-the fact remains that I’m behind. Way behind. By now-the middle of July- I should be writing like crazy, clear about the plot and direction of my newest book, Plausible Liars, but I am so far from that destination that I am returning […]
July 12, 2020

Our Real Poverty-Not Knowing What We Lack

Real Poverty-Not knowing what we lack. We hear the phrase a lot: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” And most of us are more or less aware that St. Mark qualifies St. Luke’s with two words: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Until hearing this morning’s EWTN daily mass and homily by Fr. Mark Mary, I’d not given any thought to the qualifier, “poor in spirit.” When hearing that beatitude, my mind almost automatically interpreted the words of Christ to mean material poverty: the poor have far more chance of making heaven than […]
July 5, 2020

I Will Be Lowly in Your Esteem-Lessons from King David

I will be lowly in your esteem-Lessons from King David Filled with awe, wonder and the wisdom of God, the Israeli king, “girt with a linen apron, came dancing before the Lord with abandon, as he and all the Israelites were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn. As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Saul’s daughter, Michal looked down from the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord and despised him in her heart…He then distributed to each man […]
June 28, 2020

The Most Powerful Force in the World: The Human Will

The Most Powerful Force in the world is not thought to be the human will, not by a long shot. Maybe an earthquake? Or hurricane? Tornado? But the human will? A resounding YES! Only we-of all His creatures-have the capacity to deny the Creator Of this world. Of this universe. Of all universes known and wholly unknown. Only human men and women have the capacity to refute our nature as sons and daughters of God. To deny the divinity of Jesus Christ. To walk away from salvation and Eternal Life. Because I think about Eden-right, the Garden of- a lot, […]
June 21, 2020

We Will Never Change the Outside Until We Change Within.

We will never change the outside until we change within. This is a phrase used by Ravi Zacharias in a talk given at the Mormon Temple in 2017. It was my husband who introduced me to the Indian Christian apologist. After hearing just one riveting talk, I was hooked. And then proceeded to read many of his over thirty books and listen to countless presentations similar to the one I write about today. In this excellent presentation, Ravi teaches me, albeit inadvertently: The ease with which we can be seduced into the wrong judgement of another. About the extreme dangers […]
January 29, 2017

Reflecting on Why We Write

It’s a peculiar club. At least for some of us. Marked by long solitary mindwalks prompted by a person or a thought which leads to a question and then another question. Until we realize the only way to rid ourselves of it is to write. Every once in a while, I come across another writer who explains, like Flannery O’Connor does: I don’t think literature would be possible in a determined world. We might go through the motions but the heart would be out of it. Nobody could then ‘smile darkly and ignore the howls.’ Even if there were no […]
January 22, 2017

Overcoming Anger: The Final Spiritual Struggle

We feel it everywhere: Anger. Whether a seething whisper or bellowing roar, resentment, anger, even rage, feels like the fuel of this brand new year as the second decade of the twenty-first century heads south. The source is anyone’s claim. An endless laundry list of injustice, victims and causes. Here in what is arguably the safest country in the world. Here in a country where close to twenty percent of the population receive free food, where the government spends more money on its citizens than does any other country. Millions of Americans believe it’s not enough. Remember that axiom, “May you […]