God Nods

Are You Skepical, Faithful, or a Scoundrel? Take the Disquieting Bible Quiz!

Are You Skepical, Faithful, or a Scoundrel? Take the Disquieting Bible Quiz!.

Categories: God Nods, GODSTUFF | Leave a comment

Where the Heck’ya Been, God Girl?

OCRCollageSo …. yeah.

About, oh, NINE months ago, I started a new gig as the Faith & Values columnist for the Orange County Register in Southern California. No, I never expected to return to writing for newspapers. But not unlike Don Corleone, the Register‘s editor made me an offer I simply couldn’t refuse. My first day on the job was the day before Pope Benedict XVI retired and a week or so later, I found myself standing in St. Peter’s Square staring at the same smoke stack on top of the Sistine Chapel that I had spent many hours surveilling for signs of white smoke eight years earlier when they fella who had just ridden off into the sunset (by helicopter and not figuratively this time) had been elected Pontifex Rex.

A few days later, the world met Papa Frank and, well, as some of you have read or heard me say a million times, he had me at Buona Sera. I LOVE HIM.

And then about a month or so later, I went on assignment to Africa – South Africa, Malawi, and Zambia – with the ONE Campaign and brought Vasco (my son) with me. Epic trip resulting  in a seven-or-eight-part series in the Register and on ONE.org.

I write a couple of columns a week for the Register and my columns usually appear in Monday’s Faith & Values section, although occasionally elsewhere. Then often, though not always, my ol’ pals at Religion News Service pick up my columns and make them accessible to the rest of the free world. Thanks, Kevin. I love you long time.

As some of you also know, the Register has a PAY WALL. Dun-dun-duhhhhhh. I know. I KNOW. Stop kvetching at me, I KNOW!

But here’s the thing: You can pay $2 and get access to the ENTIRE ARCHIVE – i.e., you can see everything I’ve written for Register since I got there. So that’s option A.

Option B is to wait for the (shorter) version of my column to (usually) move at www.religionnews.com and read it there for free (but you may not post it in full or the RNS clandestine forces will knock down your door and seize your laptop, tablet, and your Bible/Quran/Book of Mormon. So don’t do that.) You can quote 250 words and add a link to read the rest. That’s the common fair use these days for blogging, as I understand it.

I’m about to add a page up above at the top of the blog’s home page with all the links to all my columns at the Register and via RNS since the end of February 2013 and will continue to update them as well as post a wee excerpt and link when each new column moves at the Register and RNS.

Thanks for hanging in with me during this transition. I’m planning on getting back to regular blogging (see new feature @PONTIFEXCELLENT!, which will, insh’allah, be a daily thang, and look for other new stuff, too.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: I’ve got a new book coming out next fall called DISQUIET TIME: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels, co-edited by Jennifer Grant (my homesizzle) and yours truly (and Eugene Peterson wrote the foreword – SQUEEE!) Learn more about it HERE.

It’s great to be back in my own space. I’ve missed The Dude. And all y’all.

Categories: falsani, God Nods, GODSTUFF | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dragonflies, Death, and the More

I needed to hear this today. Maybe you do, too.

Categories: God Nods | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting Ready for Christmas Day

My sweet friend talks about his song from his latest album, So Beautiful or So What.

Dunno about you, but after this Thanksgiving, I’m ready for Christmas day.

Lest we wander into maudlin territory, here is a little gem from memory lane:

What Mr. Simon was doing on Thanksgiving, 36 years ago. Still crazy wonderful after all these years…


Categories: God Nods, GODSTUFF | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

That’s Exactly How This Grace Thing Works

Mumford & SonsRoll Away Your Stone

Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine
Together we can see what we will find
Don’t leave me alone at this time,
For I am afraid of what I will discover inside

You told me that I would find a hole,
Within the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal,
And all the while my character it steals

Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek

It seems that all my bridges have been burned,
But, you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home
that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive with the restart

Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek

Stars hide your fires,
And these here are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so, I’ll be found
with my steak stuck in this ground
Marking its territory of this newly impassioned soul
hide your fires,
these are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so, I’ll be found
with my steak stuck in this ground
Marking its territory of this newly impassioned soul

But you, you’ve gone too far this time
You have neither reason nor rhyme
With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine

Categories: God Nods, GODSTUFF | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CH-CH-CH-CH CHANGES: News from God Girl

It’s easier telling everyone this kind of thing at the same time.

This is a good thing. But it’s time for me to be going…

Below is most of the note I sent to my colleagues at Sojourners earlier today:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~ (From Mary Oliver‘s poem, “The Summer Day”)

Dear Sojourners friends and colleagues,

I have some news to share with you that is difficult (for me at least) but wanted you to hear it from the horse’s (or mama bear’s) mouth: In a few weeks, I will be leaving the staff as Web Editor and Director of New Media.

Change is hard. There is always a certain lamenting that comes with it, even when the change is, on many levels, a good thing. This was a difficult decision but one I felt I had to make in order to follow the lead of the Spirit. Our bosses received my news earlier this week with great grace, love and support.

See the thing is, as many of you know, I didn’t become a mother until about four years ago when my husband, Maury, and I welcomed home our boy, Vasco, whom we adopted from Malawi. Vasco, is now 13 and, as any parent of a teenager will tell you, they need you during these transitional boy-to-man/girl-to-woman years perhaps more than ever before, even as they are sprouting their independent wings and pulling away from you.

Being Vasco’s mother is the single most important thing to me in the world. It is my heart’s work. Writing is my calling and vocation, but mothering goes beyond either of those things. Unfortunately, my position at Sojourners has taken me away from Vasco — both physically when I travel to the DC offices and in other ways as well. When I’m home in the SoJoWest offices (i.e. my guest room downstairs) I’m still not really here.

So I must leave you to be with him more fully (and with his father) in the community where we live among our soul friends, where my spirit is filled and fed and inspired to go and do — but from right here by the shores of the Pacific.

I have made some wonderful friends at Sojourners — more than a few I hope to keep for the rest of my life. Thank you for your hard work, your devotion to the uncommon good, your kindness and generosity of spirit. For your faith and stubborn hope that the arc of history may be long but it does, as Dr. King said, in fact bend toward justice, I am ever grateful….

I’ll leave you with the poem by Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese,” which, appropriately enough, is also the name of the festival where I heard God’s still, small voice calling me in a different direction (back home, back to being a full-time mom to my beautiful son, the joy of my life).

May the peace of the Lord be with all of you as you continue to serve the world with grace, love, and a boatload of chutzpah.

Cathleen (aka “Mama Bear”)
“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


Categories: BECOMING FAMILY, BREAKING NEWS!, God Nods, VASCO'S HEART | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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