A burger, shutdown realities and a prayer life plan

Did you hear the one about the gourmet burger, the communion wafer and the “red wine reduction sauce?” In case you missed it, which you might have as the outcry was tepid at best, a burger joint in Chicago has created a themed burger of the month with complete with “the body and blood of Christ.”

Responding to more news coverage than they were expecting, and to show that it was all in good fun, the restaurant said it was going to make a $1,500 donation to the archdiocese’s Catholic Charities. They were adamant that the burger, though, will remain on their menu through the end of October. Catholic Charities, God love them, refused to accept the money.

They know that because the Eucharist is Jesus himself, we can’t treat it casually. Not because we don’t have a sense of humor, but because it’s too important. We must witness to our faith — just like the man who, the day after Catholic Charities turned down the restaurant’s offer, donated $1,500 himself.

Speaking of witnessing, the U.S. bishops offered some valuable advice to our gridlocked government, which we highlight in our editorial (Page 19). We also cover the impact the government shutdown is having on social services and ministries (Page 4). As a sidebar to that story, we included a few comments from affected readers. Their input offers us a great reminder that personal lives are being affected and that we need to continue to pray for a quick and commonsense resolution.

Also in this issue is an in-depth look at Pope Francis’ recent trip to Assisi (Page 5) and a story on World Mission Sunday (Page 6). My favorite thing this week, though, is our “Prayer Action Plan” In Focus (Pages 9-12). Written by Mike Aquilina, it’s a detailed, yet comprehensive, look at how to engage in a deeper relationship with the Lord through prayer. It’s filled with ideas, models and examples of how to get started. We hope you save it and reference it often.

For lovers of daily Catholic news, I’ve recently started compiling an Editor’s Notebook (on our blog at osvdailytake.com), which will give you relevant headlines each morning. Stories so far have ranged from the latest on Pope Francis (there’s always something!) to updates on the religious liberty fight. I hope it will be useful.

Finally, OSV Newsweekly is hiring a full-time associate editor to replace Sarah Hayes — or, I should say, Sarah Warner, who recently married and is in search of other opportunities in order to live in the same city as her husband. As a friend and a strong supporter of happy marriages, I wish Sarah a rapid and smooth transition. As an editor, I hate to see her go.

The job description for the position is available at osvjobs.com. If you have a love of the Catholic faith, a background in journalism and maybe even an eye for design, we’d love to hear from you.

As always, you can email me with any thoughts at feedback@osv.com.