“Discipline and Rupture at Christmas”: I read Foucault

for AmCon:There are authors whose work so permeates our intellectual atmosphere that by the time we get around to reading them (instead of just gesturing at them), they’re simultaneously familiar and revelatory. This Advent I’m finally reading Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, and Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence. They’re unexpectedly in harmony; and their harmony, it turns out, is a carol.more … [Read more...]

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“You Are Bigger Than Even Your Biggest Mistake”: My friend Steven Christoforou

on St Dionysios of Zakynthos and the freedom of forgiveness:as you can tell, Steve has a million of these. Follow him on Twitter for more. … [Read more...]

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“The Sinner Teodora” Takes Viewers Inside a Romanian Women’s Monastery

Last night I watched "Pacatoasa Teodora" (The Sinner Teodora), an elliptical documentary by director Anca Hirte. It follows a young woman named Teodora as she prepares to make her final vows (? this was not a documentary big on explaining situations or helping the viewer) at a women's monastery.This is a haiku-like, compressed film, with lots of overlapping conversations about nothing in particular and lots of very tight close-ups on Teodora's lips or eyes. It's a sidelong glance at monastic … [Read more...]

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“Pope Opens Holy Door at Homeless Shelter”: Vatican Radio

woot: Pope Francis on Friday visited a new homeless shelter in Rome’s Termini – John Paul II train station, where he opened a Holy Door for the Jubilee of Mercy. ...The decision to open a special Holy Door of Charity at a homeless shelter is a unique feature of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, designed to emphasize the centrality of concrete works of charity in the life of the Church. more … [Read more...]

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From Jean-Pierre de Caussade, “Abandonment to Divine Providence”

For example, let's take a piece of stone destined to be carved into a crucifix or a statue. We might ask it: "What do you think is happening to you?" And it might answer: "Don't ask me. All I know is that I must stay immovable in the hands of the sculptor, and I must love him and endure all he inflicts on me to produce the figure he has in mind. He knows how to do it. As for me, I have no idea what he is doing, nor do I know what he will make of me. But what I do know is that his work is the … [Read more...]

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Medieval English Songs for St Nicholas

St Nicholas was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages, and with all the colourful stories about him, it's not difficult to see why. There are several vernacular carols and poems in his honour from medieval England, and in fact one of the very earliest surviving English songs is a prayer to St Nicholas (one of the songs of Godric of Finchale, who died in 1170)... more (via Amy Welborn)--and you can listen to that song on YouTube: … [Read more...]

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How Can I Change the Conversation at My College Around Gay People in the Church?

The second post about questions I was asked at recent speaking events. I've written about one important aspect of this already: You have to be out there doing the work of protecting actual gay people from actual violence, cruelty, and rejection. This is part of what our faith calls us to do.But okay, you're doing that; what about changing the immensely important conversation on sexual ethics and vocation?The most glaring problem I see right now is that American culture has a vocabulary … [Read more...]

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