“How Should Secular People Approach Sacred Art?”: The Best Essay of Its Kind

I've read a ton of these and Pelagia Horgan's appreciation of Fra Angelico is the best by far. Give it time to build: The loveliest image I know is Fra Angelico’s ‘Entry of the Blessed into Paradise’, a scene from his painting The Last Judgment of 1431. In it, the blessed, just risen from their graves, gather together in a flowering garden to join hands with angels and dance into the light of heaven. There’s a scene in D H Lawrence’s novel The Rainbow (1915) when Anna Brangwen sees a copy of the … [Read more...]

From the Letters of St Gregory of Nazianzus to St Basil

What I wrote before about our stay in Pontus was in joke, not in earnest; what I write now is very much in earnest. O that one would place me as in the month of those former days, Job 29:2 in which I luxuriated with you in hard living; since voluntary pain is more valuable than involuntary delight. O that one would give me back those psalmodies and vigils and those sojournings with God in prayer, and that immaterial, so to speak, and unbodied life. O for the intimacy and one-souledness of the … [Read more...]

Celibate Partnership and/vs Devoted Friendship: A “Gay and Catholic” Book Extra

I noted a while ago that there's nothing about celibate partnerships in my book because when I wrote it I didn't know anyone living that vocation. I've been trying to learn more, and one question I gnawed on for a while was the question of what made a celibate partnership different from a devoted and/or vowed friendship. On the one hand I did have the knee-jerk reaction of, "Isn't this the same thing as friendship?", but on the other hand, the celibate partnerships I'd seen did actually look … [Read more...]

Self-Abboting: Sin or Vice? A Very Small “Gay and Catholic” Book Extra

Chris Roberts has this thing I like, where he points out that our modern concept of being "single" is not really supported by Christian theology or historical practice. Even when we try to delineate ways that "single people" can love and serve, such as friendship, we start with the unmarried individual as an autonomous unit and seek to Lego this unit onto other units. (...Uh, I'm not liking this image. Retreat.) The celibate "single" or layperson is weird--the norm for celibate people is … [Read more...]

“Gay and Catholic” Book Extras: A Tiny Post About Marriage and Priesthood

These are topics I left out of the book partly because I wanted to focus on all the less-visible vocations available to lgbt/same-sex attracted Christians--and partly because I just don't have very much to say here. Never let it be said that I let that stop me! And ETA wow, this got longer than it should have. So, not so tiny after all....Gay/queer/ssa people do get married, to members of the opposite sex, in ways which don't fit the stereotype of the terrified closet case or self-deceived … [Read more...]

Celibacy in Partnership: Notes for a Chapter I Wish I’d Included

in my great big gay Catholic book. (Preorder it here or here!)First of all, a caveat. I didn't include a chapter on celibate partnerships (i.e. people who conceive of their vocations together in those terms, rather than in terms of devoted or spiritual friendship--I have a bunch of chapters on friendships which go beyond the modern "just friends" model) partly because I didn't think I understood it very well. I still don't! I'd appreciate your thoughts on all of these "dvd extras" posts, but … [Read more...]

“Actively Cultivating a Celibate Vocation”: A Queer Calling

with some excellent points: ...Get to know people who live a celibate vocation Finding active models of a celibate life worth living is hard. I spent time hanging out at monasteries and reading memoirs of people who remained single throughout their entire life. One of the most helpful books for me is My Song is Of Mercy by Fr. Matthew Kelty because Fr. Matthew is living out a celibate vocation as a gay man. Fr. Matthew’s sermons include occasional examples from the gay community that show he i … [Read more...]


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