“Morality as Worship”: Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

Why should Christians act morally?Because if they do they will go to Heaven and if they don’t they will go to Hell? Surely that can’t be the answer. For as the New Atheists rightly point out, a morality based on self-interest is no morality at all.It seems to me that the Biblical answer is that God demands worship and that acting morally is a form of worship. lots of good stuff here! … [Read more...]

Sister and Stranger: “Ida,” A Jewish Nun in a Haunted Poland

Ida, a contemporary black-and-white movie now playing at the E St Cinema & Bethesda Row Cinema, begins as the title character (Agata Trzebuchowska) is about to meet her only known relative. Ida doesn't want to meet Aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), about whom she knows nothing except that Wanda refused to take her in when she was orphaned, so she was raised in a convent. She's about to take her own vows, though, and so she musters up all her obedience and submits to spending some indefinite time … [Read more...]

People of Portland (OR)! Watch a Great Catholic Movie

and meet my friend Matt! This Saturday at 7 pm, Level Ground is screening Desire of the Everlasting Hills, which I gave a glowing review here. They're also showing Fried Green Tomatoes tonight if you're feeling nostalgic, and on Sunday, Kidnapped for Christ, which I missed at the main Level Ground festival because it was sold out. Don't make my mistake! Seriously, check this stuff out, you won't regret it. Matthew Franklin Jones will be on a panel after Desire. … [Read more...]

First Things on Rhetoric of Sin and Control in Orthodox Christianity and in Eating Disorder Recovery

Really fascinating piece which I hope sparks (see what I did there?) a much-needed conversation: One cannot encounter Orthodoxy without also encountering food aplenty. People customarily do not eat their first meal until after receiving the Eucharist, so eating together comes to define the community. Along with the times of feasting, four fasting seasons collectively span sixteen to twenty-two weeks each calendar year, giving rise to popular Orthodox cookbooks featuring extensive “Lenten” sec … [Read more...]

“Green Leaves, Red Flames, And Glimpses of Vocation”: Some Lovely Stuff

from A Queer Calling: ...One summer while on retreat, I sat at the dinner table nearly every evening with a priest who seemed to understand my uncertainty intuitively. Frequently, I asked him questions about how he understood the role of celibacy in his vocation to the priesthood, if he experienced loneliness, and if he had any regrets about forgoing marriage. This priest could tell that I wasn’t casually exploring monastic life with no real intention of committing to a celibate vocation of s … [Read more...]

“Every Day Is Like Sunday: Rediscovering Wilfrid Sheed’s ‘The Hack’”

Me at AmCon: Don’t call Wilfrid Sheed’s 1963 The Hack a forgotten Catholic classic. I don’t want it to be dismissed so easily.Sheed was the scion of Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward, the Catholic publishers and apologists; he knew that pre-Vatican II world of professional religion from the inside. The Hack is a satirical tragedy about Bert Flax, a man who supports his wife and five children by writing pabulum for the lower levels of the Catholic press: angels with cotton-candy wings, Irish … [Read more...]

A Backwards Catechism

This excellent post from A Queer Calling has been getting a lot of attention: ...First, a bit of context: there were twenty students in the class, mainly from Christian backgrounds. Thirteen identified as Catholic, five identified as Protestant, and two identified as atheist/agnostic. Of the thirteen Catholic students, ten had attended a Catholic high school. Eight of those had been through twelve years of Catholic education. Three Protestant students and one atheist/agnostic student had … [Read more...]


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