Is “Vocational Discernment” Just a Fancy Term for Navel-Gazing?

A Gay and Catholic extra post!For a lot of people I think the language of vocation, and specifically the language of discerning one's vocation, offers hope. It makes the future, which for gay Christians especially can easily seem like a giant scary blank, seem more like an adventure through a realm full of possibilities.But for others this language seems to add pressure rather than relieving it. "In my day we didn't *~*discern our vocation*~*. We just took care of people!" Or, "I'm okay … [Read more...]

A Mundane Masquerade: Peter de Vries, “The Tents of Wickedness”

This is a little 1949 satire--dedicated "To James and Helen Thurber," if you want to place it in its social world--about a respectable family man in Decency, Conn., trying to figure out which genre of novel he lives in. He plunges strenuously from Faulkner to Greene all the way to Joyce, and the authorial voice shifts with him. At the same time Charles Swallow, our protagonist, is also trying to figure out whether he's a newspaperman, an advice columnist, or a psychiatrist. And he's trying to … [Read more...]

“Three Models for Intentional Communities of Friends”: Leah Libresco

blogs: To close out this week’s series on friendship, I’d like to recommend three articles on people building intentional communities that make it easier to bring friends to the center of our lives — a space conventionally reserved for family and lovers. more … [Read more...]

“The Boy Is the Father of Whatever”: I Review Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood”

at AmCon: About an hour and a half into Richard Linklater’s memorable new film, my notes say, “This is RIVETING.” Exactly one hour later, as the movie finally ceased (“ended” is too strong, too decisive), I breathed a sigh of relief. What went wrong to turn the movie from startling, luminous journey into boring, platitudinous slog?Linklater’s movie has gained a lot of press for one of those gimmicks which hide deep meaning under their showy surface, like the delays in Hamlet. Linklater shot … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #14–Assumption

The two things I focus on with this mystery are the union of body and soul--Mary enters Heaven all at once, continuing her lifelong task of showing us what true human integrity looks like--and the rest and peace offered to those who "have fallen asleep in the Lord." I often pray this mystery for people whose lives were unpeaceful and for whom death may have appeared to be a relief or a release, in the hopes that death will bring them to purgatory and to a much deeper and sweeter rest than they … [Read more...]

I Used to Live Here: Old Interview w/John Darnielle About “The Life of the World to Come”

w/various things about his religion, but this was the part which struck me the most: Pitchfork: "Genesis 3:23" is about breaking into a house where you used to live. Is that something you've ever done?JD: Sort of. Not breaking in. I don't do B&Es anymore. I actually never did B&Es, I just did Bs. [laughs] But the inspiration for this is twofold, and is going to be a bit of a long story. I have that feeling that this is something that other survivors of abuse do. When I go back to … [Read more...]

And All at Once I Had to Face the Big Light: Some movie reviews

Rachel Getting Married: The story of a woman coming out of rehab just in time for her sister's wedding. I think even people who don't share my particular issues would find this a gripping, intensely painful story, showing our attempts at self-justification (and how even our attempts to do the right thing, be good, and/or make amends become self-centered and self-justifying) and how hard it is for well-meaning people to love one another. The set-piece scenes, like the toasting, are uniformly … [Read more...]


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