On the Rise of ‘Casino Capitalism’

I found this one at the National Catholic Reporter website. I think it needs to be spread far and wide: The cultural embrace of illusion, and the celebrity culture that has risen up around it, have accompanied the awful hollowing out of the state. We have shifted from a culture of production to a culture of consumption. We have been sold a system of casino capitalism, with its complicated and unregulated deals of turning debt into magical assets, to create fictional wealth for us and vast wealth … [Read more...]

Adventures in Shameless Self-Promotion

How I envy Julian of Norwich.Not only did she have an awesome experience of sixteen revelations of Divine Love, but she also took twenty years to reflect on her experience and then wrote a book that remains one of the finest testimonies of mystical experience in the Christian tradition.Okay, there is the fact that she was deathly ill during her visions, and that she lived in the middle ages, and spent most of her adult life in a solitary cell. There's a downside to everything.But one more … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The closer we grow to God, the more intensely we experience the love of God and the desire for God that awakens in us, the more painful become all those defects of character to which we still cling because they are part of our self-definition; this includes even our definition of ourselves in relation to God as we have experienced that to this point. We are now called not merely to detachment of worldly things from our egoism but the very giving up of those structures of self that we believe … [Read more...]

E. Lynn Harris, R.I.P.

I've never read any books by E. Lynn Harris. Nevertheless, I was saddened to learn of his passing, apparently from a heart attack, at the young age of 54. This is because I can attribute the best piece of writing advice I ever received to Harris — even though I was merely overhearing his conversation with someone else, and he was talking about advice he in turn received from Alice Walker.It was sometime in the mid-1990s, when I was an employee of the bookstore at Georgia State University (and w … [Read more...]

Wikipedia & Me

Tonight I discovered that there's a picture of me on Wikipedia. It's on the page for the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, in the "Book store and religious gifts" section. No caption with my name, so unless you knew it was me, you'd miss it.Here's the picture, which I'm saving to my Facebook profile and to this blog, knowing the something can disappear from Wikipedia at any time...To see this snapshot in its native habitat, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monastery_of_the_Holy_Spirit.And … [Read more...]

First Communion on the Moon

In honor of the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first human beings to set foot on the moon, my friend and fellow blogger Bosco Peters has posted a wonderful article about a little known fact: that the first food consumed on the surface of the moon was the Body and Blo0d of Christ. Click here to read the article. … [Read more...]

The Epistemology of Post-Fundamentalism

A friend of mine, formerly a devout Christian who is now an atheist (and, unfortunately, a rather bitter and cynical one at that), wrote this to me recently: I got into religion as a literal believer, and I became disappointed when I discovered that I was repeatedly lied to (the earth is not 6000 years old, for instance, and now I suspect that Jesus is not God in the flesh, any more than anyone else is anyway). Sigh.I understand his feeling of being lied to. But I am reminded of Meister … [Read more...]