Santo! Subito! Per Tutti?

During my zeal-filled neophyte year, I sometimes daydreamed about going off to some faraway land and being killed in odium fidei. Impressed with my bravery, the infidel leader would cry, “Shabash, Max Bahadur! Thou wearest the cross of a Frankish dog, but thou hast the heart of a ghazi!” before taking a Khyber knife to [Read More...]

Haiku to the Saints

For a writer, self-promotion is a mug’s game. Last year, I made a hobby of haunting Fr. Jim Martin’s Facebook page, posting clever things in the hope that the great man would feel moved to take me up as a literary protege. “America Magazine is teeming with wonks, Max,” I imagined him PM-ing me. “What [Read More...]

The Loopy Fun of Popular Piety

In today’s Patheos column, I write about popular piety, how the forms of devotion that go viral, so to speak, among the people run to the melodramatic, the sensational and the sentimental. It’s easy to wince at this kind of thing, but easier still, sometimes, to wince at the people who are wincing. In his [Read More...]