How To Live

For all the absolutely millions of acres of millions of things a man can do - from being joyful, to dancing, to learning to play the sitar, from reading the dictionary to blowing up his car - there are only ten forbidden. This is no strictness, these forbidden ten, but a generosity and an easiness so immense it may only be described as divine. God  is the dad who takes his kids to the playground: "don't hurt yourself, and don't pee on the slide, but besides that do what you want." … [Read more...]

Conversations With a Calvinist

So there I was, washing dishes, getting chicken grease off of industrial sized pans, when a friend mentioned that her father was writing a book.Me: Yeah, what's it called?Her: Calvinism and the Doctrine of Grace.Me: You're one of those lucky, pre-destined few?Her: Yeah, I'm one of the elect.Me. Cool. Well I guess that's cooler than being an Evangelical.Her: I am an evangelical!Me. Ah. I meant Baptist, it's better than being a Baptist.Her: I am a Baptist! I'm a Reformed Baptist.Me: Ohhhh, well by … [Read more...]

Our End Times

To think of the end of the world as an event frightening and distant is to think a boring thought, one that will make a man weary of existence, akin to viewing Christmas with a hostile suspicion, or a birthday with twinges of fear. For the truth - if we are happy enough to admit it - is that every man reaches the end of his world within his own lifetime, not a moment too soon and not a moment later - and I write with all literalness. Death is mighty close to the living. And thus every sky must … [Read more...]

For a Friend

To say what you're going through is but the dark before the dawn would make some sense, but would have you as a mere placid sky-watcher, an observer of celestial events over which you have no control. And besides, I think I better understand now -- the desire to build your faith and your life elsewhere is not so much a darkness as a competing light, one I cannot help but think of as a flickering, phosphorescent bulb that lines public school hallways, but which I am sure looks prettier in your … [Read more...]

Concerning Hobbits

As a more avid reader/watcher of Lord of the Rings than you (yes you with the orc mask) - by which I refer to the 17 times I've watched all three of the extended DVDs, which means - let's see now, 210 minutes per movie, times 3 = 630, times 17, carry the two - 5040 minutes or 84 hours I have spent having my brain soaked in an alternative reality of epic proportions - I have come to the conclusion that I love Hobbits. For Tolkien, they represented the farmers of his country, the … [Read more...]

How Not To Reach Kids

As a teenager often evangelized to, I would like to point out some mistakes people make in regards to 'selling' Catholicism. The first is that it needs to be sold.The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cPope's Baseball Cap & CatholicTVwww.colbertnation.comColbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video ArchiveIt doesn't work. And anyways, it's a stupid thought that drives a lot of youth ministry; that "we … [Read more...]

Rebelling Against Entropy

...would also be a good name for an album.It's tough to be bored and truly Catholic. Sometimes I wish it were otherwise, that my religion would gently tell me, "sit back, relax, God is an infinite, unreachable energy that pervades the universe as the whole of our collective consciousnesses." That would be easy. I could turn up some Jack Johnson, smoke a morally subjective joint and take a nap with that world view. But my religion - may it live long and prosper - demands that I listen to … [Read more...]

The Insanity of Matrimony

Happy St. Valentine's Day people! Hope you've got a incredibly good-looking babe for a girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or wife!!!!!Ahem. Moving on...Perhaps the most potent fuel thrown on our ever-increasing and nationally-embarrassing divorce rate is the over-thinking of marriage. We think of it as such a commitment that we forget it is only a commitment because it is an adventure, and there is nothing more difficult to walk away from than an adventure. We hold it to be such a sacrament … [Read more...]

All Praise To God the Forgetful

There's a great story about St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who, when she first started recieving visions of our Lord Jesus, did the very sensible Catholic thing and consulted her confessor about them. The confessor - a private-revelation-is-stupid kind of man - assumed that the visions were from the devil. He gave her a series of questions to ask Him, in order to prove He was who He said He was. The vision answered all the questions truthfully, but the confessor was not convinced. He told St. … [Read more...]

Selling the Vatican

I had a conversation with someone who could only be fairly described as a prodigy of Michael Moore, and it went as follows.Him: "America needs strong leadership because capitalism is so disorganized."I: (not taking his oh-so-clever talking points seriously) "We should sell America to The Vatican then, they're good at organizing."Him: (angrily) "The Vatican should sell all it's gold to feed starving people in Africa."I: (noting with interest how the mere mention of the Catholic Church in … [Read more...]