My extra editorially-enhanced husband, Jerry Windley-Daoust, has launched a small press imprint named Peanut Butter and Grace, focusing on family formation and spirituality: books for kids, books for parents, people in between and people who love them! Two books were released January 1, 2015: First, The Joyful Mysteries: The Illuminated Rosary
Have you ever tried to do the rosary as a family and the "contemplation" part was a bit, um, missing, because of your squirrely 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 year old? That is how this idea came about: give them a book that has the recited prayer on the left page, and a piece of sacred art on the right page. At the end of the page, turn, continue. I'm telling you, it helps! But beyond that, adults are liking this as well: there is a lot of beautiful art in here, and it may help you pray the rosary as you haven't before. It is available at the website (while supplies last) at a discount, $11.99 (paperback). P.s. if you are into Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, this is way up your alley. But even if you are not, you will like it!
Do you need fresh ideas on how to incorporate prayer into your family's prayer life? Or you know this would be a good thing, but you don't even know where to start? This is your book, including the standards but also thinking outside the box opportunities to pray. The ideas are tagged by age appropriateness icons. Available in paperback ($9.99), and the e-book version ($4.99) will be out the second week of January. Both the above books have nihil obstats.
The third and fourth books, coming soon (February and April):
The Sorrowful Mysteries is a similar set up to the Joyful Mysteries book, just different mysteries, different art. Available Feb 2015.
The Little Flower: a Parable of St. Therese is a lovely children's book that introduces the child to Therese's "little way" through one of Therese's own parables, written in her autobiography, and lightly rewritten for presentation to a child. The book is written by Becky Arganbright and illustrated by Tracey Arvidson. It may be preordered at a discount here. Available April 2015.
But wait! You said I could win a book!
I did! Here is what you do:
1. Go to the PBGrace.com website and sign up for the weekly e-newsletter, chock full of family formation ideas. One chance to win, lasts all month.
Hasta la vista, 2014! It's been great! Long! Yearsome! And, it's almost over. My bloggerly friends have been posting their "Top Ten" lists...Top TenBooks, Occasions for Sitting Down, Facebook Flame Wars, etc.... Here at the Ironic Catholic, we have tried to provide the Top Ten Everything Else Catholic. We dig the scoops for you, dear reader. Enjoy. And Happy New Year!
1. The Top Ten Books Written By Matthew Levering In 2014 (Look, the man's theological writing is excellent. And, uh, profuse. I think he's gunning for Thomas Aquinas. Don't mind me that I wrote and published a single theological tome in three years. I am happy, I tell you happy, for him. Anyway, pick any ten.)
Fr. Barron, get cracking on that review!
2. The Top (Or Only) Ten Movies Not Commented On By Fr. Robert Barron In 2014 (Hint: One is the Penguins of Madagascar. But he still has 24 hours to note that "Private" is a Christ figure for the Postmodern Age, darn it.)
3. The Top Ten Catholic Media Post-Mortems For The End Of The Colbert Report (I wrote them out but the tears smudged my writing and I can't bear to go through that again and I just don't want to talk about it, OK?)
4. The Top Ten MSM News Stories That Got Pope Francis' Words Right. (Oops, sorry, there aren't ten. In fact, we're having a hard time finding one. So will you stop reading them already?)
5. The Top Ten News Stories That Seemed Like A Big Deal And MAYBE The Coming Of The Apocalypse But So Far Not THAT Bad. (What?! You want me up all night doing this post? Could you just insert any news story? Especially if you heard about it primarily through facebook or Twitter? But... cough cough cough ebola-in-the-usa cough cough cough)
Accurate Synod News? I've got nuttin'.
6. The Top Ten Helpful News Articles On The Synod on the Family Meeting. (Once again, we have no quorum for this. There were a couple, but most coverage was the journalistic equivalent of hyperventilating on helium. Go back and read those articles in a Mickey Mouse voice. There, don't you feel better?)
7. The Top (Well, Again, Only) Ten People Left in New York City Not Profiled On Humans of New York. (Next year: Humans of Syracuse. I'm not terribly hopeful.)
8. The Top Ten Catholic World Cup Miracles/Prayers/Liturgical Caxirolas/Jokes. (Again, I'm wondering why I have to do all the work here. I mean the event was in BRAZIL, which is practically more Catholic than Italy. And you know you're looking up caxirolas now.)
9. The Top Ten Catholic Buzzfeed Clickbait! You Won't BELIEVE #6! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
10. The Top Ten Satires Eye of the Tiber Missed. (Nah, I think they've gotten them all. Kudos!)
The Roamin' Correspondent of the IC, Regina Hiney, creates a timely and handy guide as a Christmas gift to Vatican-bound travelers.
In light of recent unfortunate events of a topless feminist
stealing the baby Jesus from the Vatican City Crèche this Christmas tide, I
have done a bit of research and lo and behold, Vatican City (given its small
population) actually holds the record for the highest crime rate in the
world.Now, not everyone gets exiled.But enough folks have gotten banished, that
it is abundantly evident that a Handy Dandy Hiney guide is sorely needed.
1. Let us begin with the most recent faux
pas. If you are visiting Vatican City
and you want to see the official Vatican City Nativity Scene, please remember
to keep your shirt on and try not to take the baby Jesus as a souvenir. This is considered very bad form and you will
be exiled. Having said that, let us take
a exiled look through history:
2.Don’t be an idiot Visigoth. Idiot Visigoths may ransack Rome but Saint
Jerome or someone of his grandeur will take time out of their day to excoriate
you with their words. Jerome defended
his dear friend, 85 year old Saint Marcella who was murdered by the idiot
Visigoths. Who won?
Well, all parties are dead . . . But there are no more idiot Visigoths,
1.2 Billion Christians (and not a few idiots in their own right) and 2000 years
later we still have both the Latin Vulgate of Doctor Saint Jerome and know of
the heroic virtue of Saint Marcella. Idiot
Saints beat Idiot Pagans every day of the week and twice on Sundays. If you want to remain in Vatican City, don’t
ransack Rome and tick off our doctor-saints.
3.Don’t be possessed by a demon. Pope Francis exorcises the Vatican
frequently. The Saint Michael prayer is
said daily. Don’t want an exile? Reject Satan.
And all his works. And all his
empty promises. If a legion sneaks in,
chances are, the exorcists will find you and they will expel you. Don’t mess with the diabolical. Seriously.
Even if you don’t plan on going to Italy. Throw away the Ouija board.
4.Don’t be Pope during the reign of a
jerky anti-pope. An antipope is a person
claiming to be Pope who was not duly elected or proclaimed while a duly elected
Pope was still in office. Now there have
been quite a few antipopes in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church. Currently,
there is a dude named Michael, living in Kansas with his mom, who claims to be the
legitimate pope. Pope Michael of Kansas
is not the legitimate Pope. Pope
Michael might be legitimately crazy. But he is mostly harmless, albeit
schismatic. Now, here is the very
salient point, neither Pope Michael, nor his mom can exile Pope Francis. This is NOT to say however, that there have
been times when powerful crazy schismatics (and their moms) have not been so
harmless. If you don’t want to get
banished from the Vatican, you want to avoid being pope when power crazy schismatics
(and their moms) try to seize the chair.
Saint Silverius and Pope Vigilius (and Emperor Theodora) learned this
the hard way. So did Sultan Boabdil of
Granada and his mother Aixa of the Nasrid Dynasty.
5.If you ever find yourself writing the
greatest piece of Italian poetry of all time, don’t place the reigning pope in
the “Inferno” portion of your “Divine Comedy.”
Placing the reigning pope head first in a flaming baptismal font whilst
his feet are being licked with scorching flames of burning embers is also
considered bad form. Folks have written
things they regret. Be it the politics
of the Black and White Guelfs of Dante’s day or racial issues of modern
America, don’t get sucked in. And once a
person gets defriended or exiled, they can’t take it back. Dante wrote the greatest poem of Western Civilization. He died banished and he may very well still
be in his own Purgatorio.
6.Don’t start your own church.
If you got a beef with the bishop of
Rome and you would STILL like to visit the Vatican Museum, think before you
post your 95 thesis on the cathedral door.And then, even if you post on the cathedral door and you “accidentally”
get excommunicated over the small misunderstanding, should the pope summon you
to appear at the Diet of Worms, show up.They say that showing up is 80% of life.But I say, showing up and communicating is always key to ending a
Vatican Exile.What you DON’T want to
do, is call the letter of Saint James in Holy Writ an epistle of straw, call
the Pope the antichrist, get involved in a peasants war, hide out in Wartburg
Castle and marry a former nun.Name
calling, canoodling, and hiding rarely ingratiates yourself with the curia and
it won’t get you an invite to the papal apartments come Christmas.
If you may have had a legitimate
annulment claim according to Levitical law, but it was nullified by
“interfering” Holy Sees, Spanish in-laws, and the lack of discretion by German
princes, but you really should like to see that new statue everyone is
yammering about over there at the Sistine Chapel, then sometimes, you have to
suck stuff up, buttercup.Festering leg
wounds may never heal, but a fickle heart clearly will indeed.
7.Incidentally, the Baby Jesus stealing
friendly feminist was actually NOT the first woman interred in the Vatican jail
and then banished from Vatican City.
Interestingly, when the little Vatican jail (whose one cell overlooks
the Vatican gardens) opened in 1929, the first inmate was a Swedish woman who
assaulted a member of the clergy. She
was given psychiatric tests and sent back to Sweden. The best way to enjoy the Vatican gardens is
by WALKING through them via a guided tour, or from the top of Saint
Peters. But if you have an axe to grind
and are on a limited budget, the jail does offer a nice few, for a low price,
for a limited time. But chances are, it
will be a once in a life time opportunity.
8.Don’t steal alms from the poor. After WWII, an Italian man broke into a alms
box in Saint Peter’s. He was held in the
Vatican jail. He was not allowed to
return to Vatican City.
9.Avoid assassinating popes. Sure, this may SEEM obvious. But not for the reasons you may think.
If the Pope dies, chances are, you just
made him a martyr. He goes straight to
heaven and Catholics all over the world have a powerful intercessory saint at
their disposal. And he’s going to be
praying an Assassin’s Creed (HA!) for your sorry soul.
If the Pope does NOT die. He will look for you. He will find you. And he will forgive you. Then you will have an awkward conversation in
your jail cell. Avoid an awkward
conversation in your jail cell; don’t try to assassinate the pope. Plus, the Swiss Guard won’t give you a “bye”
on your banishment from Vatican City if you ever get out of jail.
if you get hired as a butler for the Pope, don’t steal his personal
papers. And if you “accidentally” pick
up his personal papers because you “accidentally” put your Sudoku game book on
top of the Pope’s first draft of Deus Caritas Est. Don’t “accidentally” give them to an Italian
journalist. You will find yourself
banned from Vatican City. Especially if
the original title of the encyclical was tentatively; “What’s love got to do
It's true: you probably heard about Stephen Colbert closing down shop at the Colbert Report to host Late Night. The end of an era, people. Busted Halo put up a few remembrances here (sniff--grab a hanky--and oh yeah, language alert);
And then--AND THEN--the tumbler blog "Mary Is My Homegirl," a blog dedicated to "Coping with the terrible life choice of studying Catholic theology in graduate school," said I'm done. Blogging, that is. I think she is still in grad school. Daggonit, she made me almost like Tumblr and animated gifs. Or at least, I loved the way she used them.
I'll warn you this is insider theology school humor, but man. Good stuff.