The Idiot Experience of Righteous Anger

One toad was harmed most certainly in the making of this photograph.

Last night, I came home from the store after dark to find that someone had left the garage door hanging open again. This is a raw topic for me, because the garage door is left hanging open with uncanny frequency, no matter that I've reasonably requested closing the door many times after the children have extracted their bicycles and toys.So, in my righteous indignation, I stomped out to the garage, and slammed the door shut, then slammed it again when it didn't stay shut, and finally, I … [Read more...]

“Reality includes religion; realism should, too.”–Christopher Beha

Christopher Beha, novelist and Deputy Editor of Harper's Magazine, discusses the problematic absence of religion in American Literature in an interview with Jesse Barron in Haper's Magazine:  "On a more practical level: the majority of people in this country (and on this earth) have sincerely held religious beliefs that they’ve integrated into their thoroughly modern lives. A quarter of the U.S. population — and 40 percent of the population of New York, where my novel is set — self-iden … [Read more...]

The Mission of Families in Reconciling “The Family”

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Is it possible, or even desirable, to shelter our children while also acting as witnesses to a wounded culture? I want to live in a world in which adults consider children and their innocence first, and strive to make their passage into adulthood as gentle as possible. In such a world, worship spaces, public places and popular culture would be, if not tailored to our nations youngest citizens, then at least mindful of their presence, respecting the role of parents to introduce … [Read more...]

What Are Women For?

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* After our dune climb the other day, the sun came out just as we made it down to the lake. Within minutes, it pushed the clouds out altogether and my husband I were able to swim with the kids. I sat on a sand bar, letting the waves come up over my lap. It was so cold, but felt like an ice bath on my knees and ankles which were stiff from the climb.My husband and I played frisbee in the waves, which felt liberating because the sun was out on my dimpled thighs, every shadow and flaw in the … [Read more...]

Dune Climb, Northern Michigan, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

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The first rule of dune climbing is never do it on a sunny day.Every now and then, we've tried climbing Sleeping Bear dunes, and they are miserable. You think it's only a few miles to the shore of Lake Michigan, and that you can make it in no time, but you cannot. You cannot make it in an hour, or two or three. You will spend your whole life trying to get to Lake Michigan, and when you get there, you will have to turn around and spend another lifetime getting back.We've wised up, and now … [Read more...]

Slain in the Spirit

I've been on vacation with my family for the past week, and haven't quite gathered my thoughts about anything, but I'm still sort of meditating on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thought it might be interesting to repost this piece from one of my earliest encounters with the Catholic Charismatic movement in 2009, when I absolutely refused to be slain in the Spirit. At the time I was very skeptical of it, but one part of the following rings true in hindsight: “Preparation,” said Father Crotty. “T … [Read more...]

Speaking in Tongues and Other Terrifying Gifts of the Spirit

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I don't know if the sky is really more interesting lately, or if I'm just noticing it more as I spend more and more time looking up, but it pains me sometimes how this particular sky over this horizon will never happen again. This hour is unique. The sun is on my right hand, the full moon on my left, staring eye to eye over the corn fields, and curiously, two flocks of geese approach each other directly overhead moving in opposite directions. From the southbound flock, two geese break off, make … [Read more...]


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