As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like. I'll serve up more next Friday...
[Day late again...I know. I've been preparing for Christmas, decorating, etc.]
The Dating of Christmas - "As we approach the Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord, periodicals both secular and religious attempt the task of explaining the dating of Christmas. It never ceases to amaze me how even when theories have been sufficiently debunked they continue to persist in popular myth."
Pope to Bishops: Keep Church Charities Catholic - 'In the motu proprio, the Pope directs bishops to foster charitable initiatives across their dioceses and to scrutinize the policies and practices of such programs in order to guard the integrity of Catholic charitable work."
Contraception and Women’s Wellbeing: NFP, Disillusionment, and the Poor - "It is hard to communicate to young women—but we should try— how wonderful it feels as a woman at age forty or fifty or beyond, to have a body free of the health worries associated with decades of hormonal drug use (more on this later), and a marriage permeated with inescapably mutual responsibility respecting sex, not to mention regular conversations about the meanings and consequences of sex, and about why or why not to seek another child." (Part 2 of a 3 part series. Take the time to read the whole series.)
Catholics Don't "Believe" Life Begins at Conception - [We KNOW is does.]
HHS Mandate Takes a Hit - "Not only did the Obama administration lose, it got a well deserved lecture from the bench: it was taken to task for misrepresenting the current burdens that the HHS mandate has placed on the New York Archdiocese."
FEMA trailers sit empty while storm victims battle cold - [Hmmm...Can anyone say "Katrina"? I guess this President gets a free pass.]
There’s Something about “Mary” - "Mary is a common name in the United States; a very common name. But it used to be much more common. In fact, for generations and generations, it was far and away the most common name given to baby girls in America."
Nothing Special - "Here I am, a week away from celebrating my ninth baby's first birthday, and I can report, with relief and delight, that this kid is nothing special." [Read the whole piece and you'll understand.]
How to Value a Child - [Another interesting piece on parenthood.]
More Babies, Please - "American fertility plunged with the stock market in 2008, and it hasn’t recovered. Last week, the Pew Research Center reported that U.S. birthrates hit the lowest rate ever recorded in 2011, with just 63 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age."
Two Became Three - "When disagreements arise between spouses a solution is often elusive, but the exhortation to love is clear."
Requiescat in pace: Dave Brubeck, jazz giant and convert to Catholicism from "nothing" - "As a composer, Mr. Brubeck used jazz to address religious themes and to bridge social and political divides."
What’s the Difference Between Sisters and Nuns? - [And interesting bit of Catholic trivia.]