Quick Hits: A sensational story from Rome; help for insomniacs; the Americans left behind; and a special treat

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 02, 2017

Quite a variety today: enjoy!

  • You’ll probably soon see references (if you haven’t already) to a report in the London Times with a sensational title: Anti-reform cardinals ‘want the Pope to quit’. Proceed with caution. Based entirely on a story by Vatican journalist Antonio Socci, the Times report offers nothing but hearsay evidence, and does not even name a single cardinal involved in the alleged move to prompt the Pope’s resignation. The story is, to put it mildly, speculative.

  • If you have bouts of insomnia (as I do), you might take a recommendation from Kevin Di Camillo, in a National Catholic Register article, “If You Cant Sleep, Pray the Gradual Psalms”. Monks get up during the night to pray Matins, he points out. If you’re awake anyway, why not join them? (Actually he recommends the Gradual Psalms, but the point is the same.) Will you then go right to sleep? Maybe. Maybe not; but you will have used the time well.

  • Are you still wondering how Donald Trump ended up in the White House—and/or how so many political “experts” failed to see it coming? Nick Eberstadt, who has an unusual gift for noticing and interpreting key statistics, explains in a Commentary piece, “Our Miserable 21st Century.” Despite some superficial evidence of economic prosperity, he finds, life has been getting tougher for a lot of Americans. And their suffering is aggravated by their realization that the comfortable folks don’t take enough notice them. The data are daunting; chronic unemployment tracks alongside family breakdown, drug use, divorce, and suicide—all chronic problems in the same large segment of society. Millions of Americans feel they’ve been left behind, and sad to say, with reason.

  • Finally, do yourself a favor, take a few minutes, and read the Washington Examiner story: An awful loss, a beautiful life, a daunting task. Better still, take another few minutes and watch the accompanying podcast in which Tim Carney, the reporter who wrote this story four years ago, explains why it suddenly went viral a couple of weeks ago.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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