Atheism and Anger

I had a conversation with a friend last night — the same friend I've written about before — who is undergoing a crisis of faith. He told me last night that reading the "new atheists" — folks like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens — makes him so angry. "I came to see that I have been duped by the church, and that the church is in the business of duping people."My friend is a good and honest man, sincere in his zeal to find truth. Perhaps a bit too zealous, for I fear that he … [Read more...]

Family Portrait

Here's a snapshot of me and my family, taken by my brother-in-law Jerry last month.Carl, Fran and Rhiannon; December 2007. … [Read more...]

Mystery of the Missing Camera

Here is a fun story about a couple in NYC who found a lost digital camera and located its owner — an Irishman living in Australia — merely by deciphering clues from the photos in the camera's memory.Think twice before you start deleting photographs from your camera. … [Read more...]

Protecting the Babes

But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. — Luke 18:16 Yesterday's post (We're looking for a few good contemplatives) inspired some interesting commentary, including further exploration of the question regarding whether beginners in the spiritual life ought to be exposed to contemplative prayer. Here is one opinion that was expressed yesterday: The danger, I believe, is act … [Read more...]

Whey Out Chocolate

My friend and business associate Joy Reid has just launched a new online store called Whey Out Chocolate. She is selling home-made "confections that are safe for people with food allergies and sensitivities." Her website goes on to say: If you have food allergies, then you know what it’s like to be excluded at parties because you can’t eat the cake or ice cream; or to walk down aisles of seasonal treats in the stores that look so delicious but are totally forbidden; or to look longingly at dis … [Read more...]

Books are costly, blogs are cheap…

After making a wonderful allusion to Ireland, the Epiphany Girl notes, in response to The Prosperity Mongers: This post is an interesting companion to the piece you wrote about those we leave behind specifically in terms of accepting the fact that mysticism is not for everyone while at the same time wanting to bring it to a broader audience ... the path of the mystic appeals to so few (based on personality and inclination as you say), it seems an inherently difficult entity to effectively bring … [Read more...]

The Prosperity Mongers

I spoke with an editor of a large faith-oriented website yesterday; I had pitched a couple of ideas to this site and hadn't had any luck getting a contract. We talked about how most of their readers were looking for breezy, self-help articles. He mentioned Joel Osteen more than once.When I think about folks like Joel Osteen or Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret), I have deeply ambivalent feelings. On the one hand, no one can argue with the worldly success of such things as the Law of … [Read more...]