Notes on Lust

Every moment of erotic love contains the potential to create a new world -- a mother, a father, children, a home, a place, a community, a lifelong project and the definite content of a life.A lustful age is an age frightened of life, of really being someone, really living somewhere, really doing something -- of being inaugurated, through love, into a new kind of life.Lust is love frightened of family.Lust is love frightened of its own creativity, frightened of being swept into the … [Read more...]

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Ayn Rand, Fairy Godmother of Sexual Orientation

When I first purchased Atlas Shrugged with money I begged from a street corner, it was with no other intention than to delight in a world where every problem is the fault of poor people, Communists, and poor Communists. But Ayn Rand gave me so much more than the economic ideology one expects of motorcycle-riding men in Viagra commercials, thinly disguised as John Grisham novel from hell -- though, sweet baby Moses, did she give me that. She also gave me an explanation of human sexuality to rival … [Read more...]

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Eucharistic Eyes

francis

Protestants puzzle over how Catholics can see the person of Christ in a piece of bread. But the greater mystery seems to be how Catholics see the person in the face of the Protestant. Both parties live in a world in which the gaze sees, not people, but tools, objects, social classes, races -- a media world full of media types. The idea of seeing a particular person rather than this or that thing, really seeing her as an unrepeatable life, an unfathomable mystery and an infinite value -- it's ab … [Read more...]

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Sexuality and the Land

razpotja

The following is a selection of an essay written for the recent Winter issue of the Slovenian cultural journal Razpotja, which focused on topics in sustainability. If you want the whole essay, you have to learn Slovenian. The essay owes a sizable debt to the author and environmentalist Wendell Berry and his marvelous pieces Feminism, the Body, and the Machine, and The Body and the Earth.Sexuality and the land both have a life of their own. The land has its soil, weather, insects, and idiosyn … [Read more...]

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Beyond Compare

Religious_syms

I received a message asking, amongst other things:What if Islam is true? What if Buddhism is true? Atheism? How can you be so sure of your Catholicism when there are thousands of religions and world-views you have not even encountered?I am thankful in the extreme that the question seeks the source of my surety and certainty in the Church, and not my factual reasons for being a Catholic. If the latter was emphasized, I would have to give up from the onset, the answer too big for the … [Read more...]

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Why Name-calling is Exactly What It Sounds Like

marmeladov

If I could offer a single corrective to our culture, a solitary word to collar-yank us safe from the semi-truck of The Intolerably Boring that daily bears on me and my generation, it would be -- "describe." (Maybe with a "dammit" thrown in for good measure. (Describe, dammit. (There we go.))) Description gives us insight, allowing us to see in, to move through the exterior life to an encounter with a person's’ interior life. Great works of literature achieve this.He was a man over fifty, b … [Read more...]

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Presence as Absence

30-61330972148448

The absence of people we love isn't absence at all. For absence is just that -- nothingness, a lack, the not-being-there of a particular person. If this is what we felt in the gone-awayness of our loved ones, than the phenomenon of missing them would not exist. Would we experience their absence as just that -- absence, nothing at all, experienced as I currently experience the absence of Costa Rica, as simply not there for me.The absence of the loved one isn't absence at all, but the … [Read more...]

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If God is Real, Why Won’t He Show Himself?

invisible

The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said that "just as important as the truth, and of the two the even more important one, is the mode in which the truth is accepted, and it is of slight help if one gets millions to accept the truth if by the very mode of their acceptance they are transposed into untruth."God hides himself so we will come to him in the right mode. He is not an object. He is not an old man in the sky, available to our observation, nor a slight grease on the surface of … [Read more...]

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Why I Can’t Conceive of De-conversion

icon_ic-xc-sinai

An atheist once told me I was only a Christian because I couldn't conceive of not being a Christian. I answered that I could conceive of not being a Christian, and that most days, in fact, I felt far more the atheist than the believer. The issue, I said, was that each and every one of the Catholic claims struck me as true, and so I believed.He left disappointed, but I imagine if he spoke to me today, he would be far happier, for the answer I gave him no longer makes sense. There is a point o … [Read more...]

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How Not To Know God

url-1

The word "eternity" scares us post-Christians. It was no contradiction for atheists like Nietzsche to disavow the existence of God while simultaneously reveling in the idea of eternity, but now that popular atheism has been irretrievably wed to the idea that truth is only in the material world, and that physical science rightfully usurps all other forms of knowledge, a rejection of God has come to mean a simultaneous rejection of eternity. Why? Because if truth is only known through science, and … [Read more...]

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