The Stunning Beauty of Iceland


I have long wanted to visit Iceland. It seems like my version of paradise. Not only is it said to have the unrivaled renewable energy, unprecedented safety, and exemplary health. It ALSO has the best hot dog in the world. This week my long list of reasons I wish I was in Iceland grew. I had known of Iceland's beauty, but this video which was just released opened up new doors to how incredible this small nation really is. I thought I would share it with you.They recorded most of it with a GoP … [Read more...]

Saturday Night Live: Church


Did you catch Saturday Night Live yesterday? They had a spot-on sketch about going to Mass. It is very rare that the media gets Church right. This is one of the few examples where they nail it and it's hilarious. I have included the video below. Check it out! … [Read more...]

Five Things You Don’t Know About Christmas (and probably should)

5 things

Christmas is almost here and Patheos  is hosting a special conversation about it called “Modern Magi on the Meaning of Christmas” featuring me, Scot McKnight,  Nadia Bolz-Weber, and Kyle Roberts. As an introductory post I thought I would share a few little known facts about Christmas that I think can make a big difference in how we experience the season today. 1. Advent is an older Christian practice Than Christmas Is As many are certainly aware, we are now deep into Advent. Advent is a time o … [Read more...]

The Call to be Immaculate: Why Holiness Matters


Holiness is a theological concept that under-girds the entire life of the Christian community. It is fundamental to the life and experience of the Church as well as the life of God as revealed to us.  Although holiness is an adjective that is used to describe every member of the Trinity, the Creed connects it to the life of the community of faith in the third article as one of the four marks of the Church as an outworking of the life of the Holy Spirit – who is the object of the Creed’s third art … [Read more...]

Getting Fired up, After Burning Out

Mother Theresa dark night

Spiritual life is not a cake walk. I have to confess I feel like most of my days begin and end with a face-plant into the flotsam of failure. I want to love God. I want to love my neighbor as myself. I want to grow in holiness. Heck sometimes I just want to be able to put my shoes on without falling over.Most days I flounder from my higher ambitions. All days I fall short of the goal.This long defeat, as Tolkien called it, can leave us wondering where to find God in the midst of the … [Read more...]

6 Lessons from John of the Cross to Advent Pilgrims

John of the Cross

Advent is a season that the christian church has historically used as a time to examine itself, to undergo fasts, and to take time to seek greater union with God. It is rooted in the belief in a radical hope, in spite of a life fulled with trials. There are few guides that I have found more wise and valuable in understanding these values of Advent then Saint John of the Cross. His work is profoundly powerful and also sheds a great deal of light on the profitability of those times that we today o … [Read more...]

A Theological Survey of Holiness


I recently posted an article talking about what the word holiness means.  Today I want to explore some of the major theological perspective on how to understand holiness theologically. There are six major traditions that have contributed to understandings on holiness in the contemporary milieu. The following sections will review the lens of the tradition, and present how the contemporary theologians in that tradition  articulate holiness . The six major traditions to be examined are: 1) Jewish, 2 … [Read more...]

Colbert Teaches John McCain a Quick Bible Lesson


I don't know if you caught it, but there was a great moment on the Colbert Report last night where Colbert is challenged by John McCain to defend his use of "saving the best for last" as a scriptural reference. Colbert, correctly, references the story of the wedding at Cana found in John 2.  John McCain, then, thanks Colbert for refreshing his memory. As a Catholic, I'm always thrilled to see a fellow Catholic like Colbert proving the stereotype that Catholics don't know their bibles wrong. Take … [Read more...]

Christ Appearing to The Virgin – and to Us

Christ Appearing to The Virgin

One fascinating image I have been attracted to is that of Christ Appearing to The Virgin (c. 1475) by Rogier van der Weyden. It tells the story of Jesus’ appearing to his mother after the resurrection. This encounter is nowhere spoke of in the scriptures, but there is a tradition that emerged later in Christian spirituality about it. One particular account, in Pseudo-Bonaventure’s Meditations On the Life of Christ (LXXXVI), has Jesus appear after Mary has prayed asking God that Jesus would hurry … [Read more...]