St. Augustine Reading

On Reading God Between the Lines

In a series called By Heart, The Atlantic features authors' reflections on their favorite passages of literature. Iranian-born Dina Nayeri,who wrote the recently released A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, choose from Marilyn Robinson's quiet but strong book, Housekeeping: There is so little to remember of anyone—an anecdote, a conversation at a table. But every memory is turned over and over again, every word, however chance, written in the heart in the hope that memory will fulfill itself, and b … [Read More...]

T_T_cover_12(1) copy

Yes, I Have a New Book!

It's time to Talk Taboo!I can not emphasize enough how excited I am about my new book coming out in October 2013, Taking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith.It's been a long time coming - an anthology of young American Christian women finally getting to speak their minds about the issues the church seems to want to stay hushed up about.I and my co-editor, Erin Lane, and all the contributing writers we invited want to start a movement of women talking taboo, … [Read More...]

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On Being “Punk’d” by God

It’s hard to describe to someone else what it feels like to get “punk'd” by God.  Well, God doesn’t actually punk people I am well aware. But truly, once in a while it can definitely feel that way. Thankfully thus far I’ve only really experienced it twice in my short life. And the last time I really didn’t know how we were going to hug this one out. It felt like a joke that had gone too far. In fact I felt betrayed, used and taken for a major fool. Basically lured into the lair with honey and the … [Read More...]

The Pilgrims of Emmaus on the Road (Tissot)

On Jesus Sightings Beyond the Jello

The morning of Easter Sunday I read Luke 24, the chapter that tells what happened on Resurrection Sunday.  I’ve been sitting with the text for a couple of days and I can’t help wondering if we should be expecting post-Resurrection appearances of Christ over the next few weeks? I want to imagine that the Risen Christ celebrates Easter with the rest of us, thrilled as we are over the miraculous love that out pours from the communion of the Trinity, the love that took on flesh, suffered, died and co … [Read More...]

Photo taken by Enuma Okoro (Abuja, Nigeria)

On Mouthing Off in Faith

I wonder how many of us believe in the power of our words, that what we speak aloud can have a profound effect on what occurs in our lives. I have heard variations of that all my life. My mom used to tell my siblings and I that what we say in life is what happens. She was always encouraging us to speak our dreams out loud, to say both playfully and firmly what we wanted out of life, no matter how ridiculous or far-fetched it may have seemed. In the same token she warned us about negative … [Read More...]

god and homer

On Being a Silly Naive Christian

Last week I wrote a piece for The Washington Post about having faith enough to believe that God can act against logic and what seems possible. (I unfortunately did not get to choose the final title of my piece) In this particular instance I was referring to older women having healthy children despite scientific probability weighing against such hope. My article was in response to another piece, “How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society: The scary consequences of the grayest generation,” w … [Read More...]

The Three Wise Men (Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1925)

On Men Who Follow Directions

I have always loved the Epiphany story of the Three Wise Men found in the 2nd chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. And not just because it’s about men who follow directions and end up realizing that it was a really good idea. I love the story because it’s about people who have already “arrived” in life and are comfortable by all cultural standards, but who remain open to risk-taking, adventure, humility and being transformed by mystery they may not fully understand. The Wise Men were astrologers, Ea … [Read More...]

les-miserables

On Crazy Love

The last movie I saw in 2012 was the film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. I didn’t plan it that way, for it to be the last movie of the year but it turned out to be fitting. It is a story about the triumph of love, not romantic love but crazy love, the love we receive when we haven’t earned it, when we least deserve it, when we hardly expect it. This is the kind of love that makes a life pivot on its axis and transforms ordinary moments into glimpses of God and ordinary people into or … [Read More...]

"For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)

On the Size of Holy Imaginations

Though journeying together is rich and powerful in its ability to sustain us in faith, belief and hope. there is something to be said about discerning whom we invite to walk alongside us.In this season of Advent, Mary and Elizabeth are fitting for each other because they truly believe in God's ability to move beyond their understanding. They share a similar faith imagination that can hold mystery and divine possibility in the face of what the world will call impossible.Some other person … [Read More...]

The Search for the Kingdom of God…A Work in Progress

I have the discombobulating experience of having been raised in 4 different countries on 3 different continents in both “1st” and “3rd” world countries. Though baptized in the Roman Catholic Church in the USA I grew up attending Mass and Protestant services in international communities around the world. There was also the added complexity of my early exposure to other faith traditions. In my early childhood years I grew up directly across the street from a synagogue in New York City. At various t … [Read More...]


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