Just What Is a Sin, Anyway?

We Christians interested in evangelization are in the business of explaining to people how they can gain salvation from sin. And this is a problem, because it seems that few people in our culture have a robust sense of sin, or a robust notion of what sin is. It's like trying to sell Propainex 21, the miracle cure for galldanders. It might effect a cure in a matter of seconds, leaving the sufferer free of the heartbreak of galldanders forever, but if no one in your sales region has ever had or … [Read more...]

How to Grow Up

You never really learn something on first exposure. You have to see it twice...and the easiest way to learn it all the way down to the bone is to teach it to someone else. As the Anchoress points out, this applies to growing up just as much as it does to math and science: if you want to grow up, raise some children.It's this more than anything else that makes it clear to me that clerical and religious celibacy is a true calling. A celibate priest has no biological children (at least, not … [Read more...]

Why I Like St. Dominic

St. Dominic

My latest post at CatholicMom.com, which I keep forgetting to link to: Why I like St. Dominic. … [Read more...]

As Catholic as the Pope

Some while back I told one of my sisters in the Dominican Laity that I wanted to be "as Catholic as the Pope: no more and no less." And she, getting entirely the wrong idea, lauded me for having such a worthy goal. She thought I meant to be as devoted, as loving, and as holy as the Pope. And that is a worthy goal (assuming that the pope is indeed devoted, loving, and holy, which has not always been the case), and in line with the Church's universal call to holiness, but that's not what I … [Read more...]

Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Hunger

I do not often resemble the following scriptures:Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. — Matt 5:6O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is. — Ps 63:1And this is a problem for the interior life, because the interior life is a life of learning to love God more than anything else, to put God before all else. And since we cannot really ach … [Read more...]

How Tom Prays the Rosary

As a Lay Dominican, I'm supposed to pray five decades of the Rosary every day of the year. I'm, um, working on that. I like the Rosary, and I like the way it leads me through the mysteries of Jesus' life, but I find that my meditations on the mysteries tend to be more or less the same from week to week.Enter Tom from Disputations, who has just re-run a post on how he prays the Rosary. It's really quite complicated, and if I had to try to do everything the way he does all at once, I think … [Read more...]

It’s (Mostly) All Good

So, you may ask: this blog is a Catholic blog, on the Catholic Channel at Patheos. There's some Catholic content, but there's also a bunch about fiction, writing, popular music, and general foolishness. What's up with that? How come this blog isn't all Catholic all of the time?And I answer that, on the contrary, it is.Thomas Aquinas teaches us that love is naturally expressive of itself, and so with God: the universe around us, and everything in it, is an expression of God's love. … [Read more...]

Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Respond

Reprinted from my old blog.The first thing to do in pursuing the interior life might also be the easiest, and that is simply to respond. If you find yourself thinking about God, for any reason, that's a sign that God's calling you to attend to Him. So do that.I'm not suggesting that every time you think about God, you drop everything and rush off to some private place to pray. St. Paul tells us to pray constantly (1 Thess 5:17), but one has to eat and work and so forth. If we are to … [Read more...]

Love First

I'm linking to Calah's post because I need to hear it myself, not because I'm good at it:Your love shouldn’t come with a litmus test. If you can’t imagine ever being friends with a gay person because you feel you would first have to explain in detail what you think about their lifestyle, you’re doing love wrong. If you are friends with a married couple who only have one kid and you think it’s your job to talk with them about contraception, you’re doing love wrong. If you scream “murderer!” at … [Read more...]