Objects in the World Are Words Spoken By God

Poet Scott Cairns talks about something adjacent to an element of my own conversion--and, like me, he found this truth in Judaism as well as Christianity. The title of this post comes from Christianity in Jewish Terms, a fascinating little pomo book which helped me quite a bit in sorting through what I believed and how my Christian spirituality was shaped. ...Raised a Baptist, Cairns’ faith journey involved a deep study of Jewish texts and Christian theology as well as a period as a P … [Read more...]

“Crawl of Faith”: Me at Acculturated

on Balanchine's "Prodigal Son" ballet: I’m glad nobody told me anything about George Balanchine’s choreography for The Prodigal Son before I watched it. The librettist, Boris Kochno, made a lot of changes to the Biblical story, and all of these changes sound like terrible ideas. more--from my series on portrayals of penitence. I really like how this turned out. … [Read more...]

The Pope and the Pregnancy Center

Last night I put in my two hours at the pro-life pregnancy center where I volunteer, and it was a real mixed bag. I know I did some good work, but I can't stop thinking about my first client, who needed something very different from what I initially tried to give her.Obviously I can't use any identifying details, but she was in her teens (and in fact explicitly called herself "a teen parent," as a shorthand for saying, "so you know that my life is kind of chaotic right now") and she was … [Read more...]

Evelyn Waugh’s Celebrity Ascesis

What on earth is going on in this "interview"? It is 20% actual interview, 50% psychoanalysis, and 30% inquisition. Never before have I thought, Evelyn Waugh is so patient! Fascinating, in a kind of sick way. … [Read more...]

“Odd-Numbered Hospitality”: Wesley Hill

writes: ...What strikes me, in retrospect, is how easy it would have been for her to have invited mainly other single people to her after-church meals. With other single guests, there would have been more opportunity to talk about common interests and habits, and she certainly could have avoided some of the messes that young children create. But I’m grateful she didn’t, because I now have at least one strong, happy memory of it seeming like the most normal thing in the world for a single person … [Read more...]

“Hans Urs von Balthasar on Christian Defenselessness”

at Mockingbird: Of all things, defenselessness and, from the natural human perspective, weakness (and, last but not least, anxiety) now become the essential prerequisites for Christian fortitude. Right where I become serious about baring my heart and my life, the real power (which is not mine but God’s) radiates most purely. ‘But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show us that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.’ We are oppressed on every side but are not made anxio … [Read more...]

“All the Single Laity”: My Terrible Pun at CNA

Writers often don't write their own headlines, but this one is all my fault: “It is not good that the man should be alone.”Being alone is the first thing God pronounces “not good,” after so many proclamations of the goodness of His creation. And yet being alone is an increasingly common condition in American life. The latest Census data found that over a quarter of Americans lived alone, up from 17 percent in 1970. Marriages happen later and less frequently than they used to. Catholic parish … [Read more...]


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