In Which I’m Inspired by Direct Mail. Really.

I just finished The New Evangelization: 2003 – 2013 Missionary Letters, which is basically a collection of fundraising letters from A Simple House, an intentional Catholic community which practices “friendship evangelization” among the poor in DC and Kansas City, MO. It’s a genuinely moving book with solid reflections on the theory and practice of charity. [Read More...]

Too Much Harmony: “Water by the Spoonful,” A Play About Friendship, Dissonance, and Humiliating Identity

Last night I saw Quiara Alegria Hudes’s Pulitzer-winning Water by the Spoonful at Studio Theatre. It uses dissonant jazz as a metaphor for the disjunctions and collisions in our own lives, asking whether these discordant notes will ever resolve into harmony. The show tells two parallel stories: A young vet with PTSD fights with his [Read More...]

“Making God’s House Into a Home: An Interview w/Spiritual Friendship’s Wesley Hill”

woot! …I wrote that book when I was in my mid-twenties. Like a lot of people that age, I was wrestling with strong emotions and grappling with deep hopes and fears about the future. My greatest fear was waking up one day in my 60s or 70s, in an apartment by myself, having lived a [Read More...]

Out of the Closets and Into the Pews!

My piece for AmCon on gay Christians coming out is online! Coming out of the closet is the simplest tool of the gay movement, yet it’s proven to be the most powerful and even the most spiritually profound. On the political side, Pew Research data this year found that knowing someone who is gay was [Read More...]

Nice mention in The Irish Catholic!

…Even aside from the sad fact that Catholics have often used the Church’s teaching as an excuse for cruelty and prejudice, there are many problems. Why is it that we only ever hear homilies about two lifelong vocations, marriage and the priesthood? Why are gay men and women so often spoken about as political opponents [Read More...]

“Identity Theft”: I review (and LOVE) “The Goldfinch”

in the Weekly Standard: When we speak of “the permanent things,” we should mean the enduring, inescapable, and unfulfilled longings of the contradictory human heart: the helpless yearnings found across radically different times and cultures. And among these permanent desires, the need for home and the need for ecstasy stand preeminent. Donna Tartt made her [Read More...]

Underrated Horror Flick on Netflix Streaming!

I infest the fine blog Kindertrauma, with a recommendation for a 2012 indie horror movie which really struck me. More in comments. [Read more...]

Carrying Her: Ann Patchett’s “Truth and Beauty”

Kafka has this great line, “A belief is like a guillotine: just as heavy, just as light.” I could easily have titled a post about Ann Patchett’s memoir of her friendship with poet and memoirist Lucy Grealy, “A Friend Is Like a Guillotine….” Lucy was light, literally–she had jaw cancer as a child, and the [Read More...]

Wesley Hill Speaking on Spiritual Friendship at Biola University

friendship, gay Christian life, & the challenges for churches. The comments to this post are also well worth your time. [Read more...]

“The Specificities of Friendship”: Wesley Hill

asks for your help: …There’s a certain irony, of course, about pursuing friendship, since, as C. S. Lewis notes, “The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends.” Sadly, and this is borne out in my experience, the times when someone is most desperate for friendship may be the [Read More...]