Lent A – Z

I urged you all to read Melinda Selmys's series on "making Lent hardcore," but I hinted that I had various caveats or places where I wanted to stick my own oar in. You guys know that my whole shtik is that there's no one best way, no Esperanto of the spiritual life. I lack self-restraint and temperance (if only there were a Christian practice that could train me in these virtues!) so I decided to give you all this Lenten feuilleton, an alphabet of ways you could think about Lent. You're welcome … [Read more...]

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“Stephen King’s Doubt”: I review “Revival”

for AmCon: There’s a cheap rhetorical move you see a lot in religious debate, where the God-pusher retorts, “But don’t you ever doubt your doubt?” The hero of Revival, Stephen King’s 2014 novel of loss and obsession, could reply in tones of trembling horror: “All the time. God help me, I doubt my doubt all the time.”King has always loved to wring horror from Americana: the bad hot dog, the classic car, the prom. In Revival he takes on the Methodist Youth Fellowship, where, back in the mid-’6 … [Read more...]

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“Whatever It Takes to Make Lent Hardcore”: Melinda Selmys

has a series, some of the premises of which I dispute (and I may write a bit more about that later), but which includes some fascinating thoughts and stories. Take what you need and leave the rest, as they say.Several years back a friend of mine decided to give up furniture for Lent. The problem that she was facing was that for several years before that she had used Lent as a time to add observances like the Divine Office to her daily schedule. When Easter rolled around, she would just … [Read more...]

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The Only “A” You Need Is the “A” in JESUS

Just a quick post about the readings for today.The first reading s really personally meaningful t me. I looked at it every day when I was quittng drinking: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live[.] And that's what has happened for me in sobriety: I have more life now. More time. I work more; I pray more. I have more friends and more responsibilities. I have a life that is better spiritually--but also bet … [Read more...]

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“Being Single Shouldn’t Mean Being Alone”: I’m in the Washington Post

doin' my thing: If you saw Pixar’s “Inside Out,” you may remember the charming short cartoon that played before the film. “Lava” features a shaggy old volcano in the middle of the ocean. He’s surrounded by happy couples: Two gulls arc overhead, two fish leap in the water. But he sings miserably all day about how he longs for “someone to lava.”In despair he sinks to the ocean floor — but lo! A lady volcano (a much younger and more attractive peak than he is, I’m just saying) bursts forth and … [Read more...]

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“Farewell, Christmas fair and free!”: A Candlemas Carol

beautiful: February 2 is Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification, so here's a medieval Candlemas carol.Revertere, revertere, The queen of bliss and of beauty.Behold what life that we run in, Frail to fall and ever like to sin Through our enemy's enticing; Therefore we sing and cry to thee: Revertere, revertere, The queen of bliss and of beauty. more! and why not follow Eleanor Parker on Twitter? … [Read more...]

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“Meet the Gay Christians Who Are Swearing Off Sex”: Two Dudes You May Already Know And One You Might Not

Mic.com quotes Ron Belgau and Wesley Hill, who may already be familiar to my readers; but to me the most poignant and powerful lines were from Seth Crocker, whom I've read now and then but tbh haven't followed as closely:Seth Crocker, 28, is also a celibate gay Christian. A blogger for Building Bridges in War Zones, Crocker referred to his decision to abstain from sex as a "personal thing," which stems from his belief that being in a relationship with God means making difficult … [Read more...]

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