A Different Kind of New Year’s Day

The Church considers September 1st to be the beginning of the new year, called the Feast of Indiction. But the first sign of fall for suburbanites can be summarized in three letters: PSL. This acronym shows up in late August, signaling the appearance of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks as well as pumpkin spice everything else—candles, muffins, potpourri, desserts.

The Sign of the Cross: A Neglected Weapon of Prayer (1st version)

I saw it happen on television and in movies, but never in real life. The characters, male and female, young and old, and often in period costumes, hurriedly tapped themselves—forehead, sternum, left shoulder, right shoulder—during moments or fear or confusion. The presence of a dead body was often involved. These people who crossed themselves were often portrayed as ignorant, possibly uneducated, and definitely superstitious. They were secondary characters—not the heroes, and certainly…