“Our Hearts Are Restless”: Powerful Piece on Vocation

from Catholicism for Cutters: ...Within a day of relative silence and solitude, I found not peace but an inner restlessness. It’s always been there—and perhaps always will be—it’s driven me in my academic pursuits and in my drug abuse, at my best and at my worst. And it was certainly what drove me to the Church. But I always found the famous quote from St. Augustine—”O Lord, our hearts are restless until the rest in You”—to be more of a torment than a comfort, a prickly accusation that I was not … [Read more...]

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“Holy Agony”: I’m at Commonweal

reviewing the Met's recent Dialogues of the Carmelites:The Metropolitan Opera’s recent production of Dialogues of the Carmelites opens with a group of habited women prostrating themselves on the floor with their arms spread. Their bodies are individual crosses that make up one big cross. This opening for Francis Poulenc’s 1956 opera, adapted from a play by Georges Bernanos and based on a real incident during the French Revolution, seems to subsume the women into a collective identity: the … [Read more...]

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“The Prayer of Honest Desire”: This is super-great

And it is here within his conception of moral practice as desire-discovery—or as he calls it, “practical wisdom”—that for Thomas a principal means of tracing the way back to what we really want, is prayer, oratio. And our only available starting point for that practice of self-discovery is our wants and desires as we actually experience them. Therefore, Thomas says, we ought to pray for what we think we want regardless. For prayer is “in a certain manner a hermeneutic of the human will,” so that … [Read more...]

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Exodus’s Closure and Apology: Some Links

A huge deal in the evangelical world, and probably a big deal for American Christians in general. But I know very little about Exodus, so here's some stuff by other people who know much more about this kind of thing than I do. Wesley Hill's thing seems most acute to me--asking the right questions (and do check out his links as well, especially this one). Aaron Taylor sheds light on some of the distorted thinking involved in Exodus's origins. Gregg at Eleison reflects on his experiences with an … [Read more...]

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“Called to Celibacy Unchosen”: Aaron Taylor

in First Things: Addressing women who knew they would never be able to marry because the lives of too many of their country’s men had been claimed by the Second World War, Pope Pius XII had the following to say in 1945:When one thinks of the women who voluntarily renounce matrimony in order to consecrate themselves to a life of contemplation, sacrifice, and charity, immediately there comes to one’s lips a luminous word: vocation! [But] this vocation, this call of love, makes itself felt in … [Read more...]

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So Many Steps to Death: Revisiting “Brideshead Revisited”

Hey, so I read Brideshead Revisited again. I was in college the first time. Probably read the entire book drunk. Can't think of a better introduction to it! Anyway, here are some scattered thoughts on re-reading it, all of which are ridiculously spoilerous. Seriously, if you haven't read it, SKIP THIS POST and just go read it. It's short! It's phenomenal. I loved it even more the second time. You'll like it more if you don't know what's coming.* The contrast between the "heavy," plodding … [Read more...]

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And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly…

In the continuing saga of my criticism of critical thinking.... An astute reader pointed out that some people give their hearts and trust too easily. That's definitely true, and in fact I suspect one reason I'm so quick to wave the pom-poms for trust and the leap of faith is precisely that I'm a trust-and-leap kind of person. I realize that when I criticize the hypercautious, "every doubt is a reason to say no, every answer is just another more troubling question" approach I'm also offering a … [Read more...]

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