Old Grace and New Beauty

Julie McGurn

At the end of the block on Main Street sits a small dry cleaners owned by the Choi family. It is a model of tidiness and precision. Every day the hum and whoosh of electric dryers and steam cleaners sound forth like the beating heart of a great giant. Mrs. Choi runs the register with an efficiency bordering on the brusque, but mitigated by her ability to greet each customer by name. The pronunciation may sometimes be wanting, but she’s got the raw data down cold.

No one could doubt her willingness to extend herself for her customers either. Like one February morning when a regular, Mr. Sam Gilette, came in with a black smudge on his forehead. After her usual boisterous hello, Mrs. Choi leaned over the counter, pointed to her own forehead, and whispered, “Your head,” [Read more...]

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Candlemas

Gabriel Olearnik

These cells of light, glowing with
the fat of flowers,
the entrails of summer:
it rises to a rhyme, the hum of fire
the laughing buds of radiant heat.

Oh, attend those burning prayers of bees
the censered sound of poured honey
a guttering, dribbled benediction, and in the temple all the
insects cry:

Glory.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Flannery O’Connor and “The Enduring Chill”

Paul O’Reilly

Flannery O’Connor describes herself as a Catholic novelist. But what is it about “The Enduring Chill” that makes it a Catholic story? Initially it does not seem to be. After all, there are two Catholic characters in the story, Fr. Vogle and Fr. Finn. However, neither of these priests seem to have a Catholic effect on the central figure of the story, the obnoxious son, Asbury. These priests do not administer sacraments in the story, or even talk about the sacraments; they do not teach any particular Catholic doctrine, although Fr. Finn does speak about general Christian teaching, and, by the way, I maintain he is the Catholic hero of the story. [Read more...]

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Naming Sin: Flannery O’Connor’s Mark on Bruce Springsteen

Damian J. Ference

Not so long ago Bruce Springsteen made a surprise visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland to take in an exhibit dedicated to his life’s work.1 The exhibit, which took up two entire floors of the museum, was filled with artifacts from Springsteen’s life, including guitars, clothing, hand-written lyrics, and walls of photographs. One of the photographs was of an eight year-old Springsteen, standing with hands folded in front of the high altar at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Freehold, New Jersey—Springsteen’s first communion picture. [Read more...]

Republished by Blog Post Promoter