Highlights from the week online

An inspirational presence at Mass

At the Catholic Thing, Michael Pakaluk said he likes to attend an early morning Mass – partly because his faith is helped by the mothers with small children. Their mere presence at Mass – given all the trouble of getting children ready and out of the house – is a witness in itself. “Morning Mass is a deeply ordered act, which the mom manages to set up at the start of the day, at a time of life that inherently resists order. Her presence at that service has all of the character of a beachhead on Iwo Jima; the consecration and her Communion, a raising of the flag.”

Her experience of Mass is of constant distractions from children – “far from the romantic ideal of peaceful communion with God” – but this reminds us that faith is about the will, not the emotions, and that perseverance will bear fruit.

Pakaluk added that he didn’t mean to criticise “in the slightest” the “many moms who want to get to weekday Mass but can’t manage it, or who started and couldn’t continue”.

The football manager who prayed for hours

At the Scottish Catholic Observer, Peter Diamond previewed a BBC Alba documentary of the great footballer and Celtic manager Tommy Burns. As the documentary shows, Burns’s Catholicism was central to his lie. Burns’s son Michael tells the documentary: “His Faith was so important to him. To this day I’ve never seen anybody pray like my dad – he would sit for hours and I always thought, I wonder what he’s saying, what is he doing for that length of time in his own world.”

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