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Betty Ballantine, who helped popularize modern paperback, dies at 99 – The Washington Post

Who -hasn’t- read a Ballantine or Penguin paperback? I never knew the whole story behind the publisher who brought us “Fahrenheit 451.”

An immigrant from Britain, Betty Ballantine and her husband expanded the market for science fiction and other genres through such blockbusters as “The Hobbit” and “Fahrenheit 451.”
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/betty-ballantine-who-helped-popularize-modern-paperback-dies-at-99/2019/02/14/8ef456cc-2fdf-11e9-8ad3-9a5b113ecd3c_story.html

Me and Lindsey Vonn on a Mountaintop

I learned to ski in Are, Sweden where Lindsey Vonn won the bronze medal in the world championship downhill, the final race of her skiing career this weekend. She’s tenacious, and I admire her determination and all out performance.

There were no crowds cheering me on as I tumbled down that mountain for the first time. My Swedish guides knew I’d been cross country skiing but seemed unaware that there are no mountains in Illinois. They chose a nice, high, wide mountain with a scenic view to help me remember what they considered the basics. Alas! I’d forgotten how to snowplow. Teaching me how not to fall took the entire afternoon (which is rather short during February that close to the North Pole). But like Lindsay, I kept getting up and was back out on the slopes the next day. After a couple of days on safer trails, I was able to keep up with my friends. Persistence wins, every time!

— Read more about Lindsay here: www.espn.com/olympics/skiing/story/_/id/25964844/lindsey-vonn-wins-bronze-medal-final-race-skiing-career

Read and reflect on “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes

m.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/let-america-be-america-again

A strident reminder of our country’s long argument with itself, this poem hits home after a day that began with Cory Booker’s presidential announcement and ended with Ralph Northam’s apology. His surely upcoming resignation may gratify our anger and disbelief, but we must not pretend it solves anything. Structural racism still plagues our country, a birth wound that never heals because we pretend all that blood, the scraped flesh and unrelenting pain is normal, inevitable, acceptable.

I was shocked when I moved to Virginia and learned that the rebel flag flew over a local city hall until the mid-1990s. Learning how segregation affected every part of life here from the schools to the churches during my own lifetime made me realize that it’s horrid legacy still lives. It compelled me to dedicate time to introspection, education and action.

I’ve always admired Langston Highly and his work inspired me to write poetry. His poems sing with clarity through their imagery, but they are not enough. Words can point us toward our shared dreams, but only hard work will lead us through the darkness to that great, shining land of liberty and justice for all.

‘I Really Hope a Lot of Men Read It’: Sohaila Abdulali on How We Talk About Rape

An important contribution to our national #MeToo conversation

Longreads

Laura Barcella | Longreads | November 2018 | 12 minutes (3,191 words)

In a 2015 documentary called “India’s Daughter,” one of Jyoti Singh Pandey’s rapists, Mukesh Singh, gave a disturbing jail-cell interview in which he placed the blame for his crime squarely on his dead victim. “A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy,” he said.

Singh’s quote is despicable, but it neatly summarizes many of the internalized myths that women all over the world walk around with each day: that women have a say in whether we end up brutalized. That we can twist our own fate by making simple choices like staying home at night, or not wearing skirts, or abstaining from drinking. It helps rapists rationalize their actions, and it makes women feel like we retain a semblance of control over what happens…

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In the Hands of the Potter~ November 9, 2018 — In the Hands of the Potter

Catholic circles are talking a lot these days about evangelization and the new evangelization. Much of this is because of the writings of Pope Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XV and now Pope Francis. Our Church leaders have called us to be aware of how we “preach” […]

via In the Hands of the Potter~ November 9, 2018 — In the Hands of the Potter

Soundtrack of my life (24/100).

Navigating our faith is requires recognizing that the vibe has many branches…

Leaven in the World

If I were to make a soundtrack featuring all the songs that were significant to me throughout my life, they’d probably notice that there was a gap of time, around 1993-95, where the music I listened to was…interesting.

I’ve mentioned it here on the blog before, but it bears repeating again for anyone who’s just recently started reading along. Even though I’m a cradle Catholic, it wasn’t until I was around 12 or 13 years old that I recognized how deeply loved I was by God, and as a result, embraced my identity as a child of God.

For me, this realization happened in the context of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the early 1990s, when I first experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit (not to be confused with the sacrament of Baptism that typically occurs at infancy in the Catholic Church).

While I became part of…

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HOMILY: Courage to Touch the Wounds of Christ

Leaven in the World

BY FR. BRIAN ZUMBRUM, OSFS

3rd Sunday of Easter | April 15, 2018

See today’s readings here. This homily focuses on the Gospel reading.

Over Spring Break, I had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador with a group of high school students for an immersive experience in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Ecuador.

As part of our experience, we visited this organization known as Damian’s House, a hospital and home for women and men diagnosed with Hansen’s disease, more commonly known as leprosy.

Now, I know we hear about leprosy in Scripture, but the reality of the disease is pretty brutal to witness up close.

The disease attacks the nerves in the extremities of the body . . . fingers, toes, arms and legs.  As the disease progresses, many individuals lose these body parts.

It is the first thing you notice when you first meet the residents of Damian’s…

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HOMILY: Dangerous Work

We can not have Easter without Palm Sunday… and the chaltof buiding God’s kingdom here on earth becomes as real as the Ressurrection. Some thoughts from Fr. Brian:

Leaven in the World

Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted regularly at Leaven in the World. To see the archive of all his posts, just click hereSalesian Sermons

PROTIP: You can take a look at the readings here. This homily focuses on the Gospel reading.

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion | March 25, 2018

Was it that much of a crime?

King of the Jews

Was it really worth executing a man?

It seems a fair question, right?  I mean we just take for granted so much of what we hear today because we have been listening to it for so long that we know every twist and turn.

But what if we stopped for a moment and really thought about Jesus’ crime.

What exactly was it about Jesus’ kingdom that was so threatening to so many.

And I believe the answer to that question is woven throughout the…

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When there is a school shooting…make sure you know your facts…

Well-written commentary from the front lines

The Thought Bubble of a Multi-Tasking Mom

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I have debated on writing about this topic, because it is one of so much controversy. However, as I sit back and see all the rhetoric and memes, I can’t help but wonder if people truly understand the issue at hand.  As a mental health professional, law school student, former social worker, former juvenile probation officer and public school employee, I feel the need to share insight into things the average person may not consider…

1.  Stop the gun banter until you really understand the issue. And stop the partisan politics. I have a gun. My husband has lots of guns.  I appreciate that right.  Saying that, not everyone should be entitled to the same.  Felons don’t deserve gun rights.  Those with serious mental illness should not have guns. Children should not have guns (unsupervised). And no one, other than military and law enforcement, should have assault rifles or any other…

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GUEST POST: Mary’s Intimate Magnificat | Simbang Gabi, Day 8

I was honored that my friend Jessica Dennise invited me to participate in this reflection series…

Leaven in the World

BY LISA HELENE DONOVAN BACALSKI

DAY 8: Mary’s Intimate Magnificat | Friday of the 3rd Week of Advent| 12.22.17

Take a look at the readings for today here.  Today’s reflection is based on the Gospel reading. For an overview and introduction of the reflections for all nine nights, go here.

  1. 1 Samuel 1:24-28. Hannah Presents Samuel to the Lord
  2. 1 Samuel 2:1-8. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
  3. Luke 1:46-56.The Canticle of Mary

The verses of Luke 1:46-56 may well be the most famous words of a woman in the Bible. The church prays those words of Mary daily in the Liturgy of the Hours, and throughout the centuries musicians, poets and artists have creatively portrayed the bold words of this young girl from Palestine. It is impossible to count the multitudes who have found sustenance from these verses, and yet it is easy to forget…

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