Benedict Option, Part Three: It Takes a Hyattsvillage

One of the neat things about Libresco's "Benedict Option" gathering (for what this actually was, see here and here) was that we had a few people from the growing Catholic neighborhood in Hyattsville, MD. This is a little place on the Green Line (yay), an attempt to build a community where Catholic life is visible, normal, and beautiful. You can get a taste of it from a profile at Fare Forward which included this description: The community’s power for such corporal works of mercy became t … [Read more...]

The Benedict Option, Part Two: This Time It’s Personal

Part one aka What the heck is this thing? is here.At Leah's, we discussed all three points on my more-individual-to-more-immersive spectrum. From the first point we noted that DC has flourishing communities not only around the Dominicans but also the Franciscans; hit me up eve_tushnet@yahoo.com if you want more on the latter. Libresco's your go-to person for the former. We wrote down which people lived/worked where, and planned to meet up for Eucharistic adoration or daily Mass, followed by … [Read more...]

The Benedict Option, Part One: Build a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

On Friday night I went over to Libresco's to talk about "the Benedict Option" with a group of mostly-Christians. ("Mostly Christian is partly pagan!" --Miracle Max describes all of us, sometimes.) It was a wide-ranging discussion so I'm not giving you just one summary post but a short series on how deracinated, distracted, economically and vocationally and psychologically unstable cosmopolites (God bless us, every one) can create spaces where Christ is easier to see.First, what is the thing? … [Read more...]

Time Considered As a Helix of Grimy Fingernail Clippings: Samuel R. Delany’s Weirdly Prescient “Driftglass”

I just finished reading a collection of Samuel R. Delany's short stories and novellas from the mid- to late-'60s, Driftglass (link is to the copy I bought at BookMarx, with the ultra-cheesy fishman cover), and man, I always forget just how good his best work is. Here's a rundown of what's in this collection."The Star-Pit": The first story is by far the best--worth the price of admission for this alone. It's startlingly contemporary. It's a story about working-class men and their longing for … [Read more...]

“Friendship with a Future Tense”: I review Wesley Hill’s great new book

for AmCon: Most of the art and literature of friendship is elegiac. From Montaigne to Marsden Hartley, from St. Aelred to Andrew Sullivan, from elegant tribute to anguished lament, our art of friendship is haunted by the death of friends. ...Part of what makes my friend Wesley Hill’s slender new book so intriguing is that it is an attempt to give an account of friendship that is grounded in history, theology, and literature—yet forward-looking. Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Chu … [Read more...]

Two Links About Wesley Hill’s Fabulous New Book “Spiritual Friendship”

Oh so much more on this book from me coming soon!First, Wes is interviewed by Jonathan Merritt for RNS: RNS: Let’s start with the foundation. How do you define friendship in a sentence or two?WH: According to Christian writers of the past, spiritual or Christ-centered friendship—the kind of friendship I’m writing about—is a bond between two (or more) people who feel affection for each other. But it’s also a bond that has a trajectory. It’s a relationship that’s about helping one another … [Read more...]

“Choose to Stay” (Or, Virtute the Cat Contemplates Her City)

One reason I love the Weakerthans is that their songs are set in their hometown. The louder you yell “I Hate Winnipeg” the more I know which city holds your heart. So let's listen to "Reunion Tour" and get emotional. Welcome to Washington, DC! The local time is 1987. Like every other week I meet somebody who says, “Oh, wow, I've never met anybody from DC before.” Guess these people's race! I meet people from DC all the time; you can probably guess their race, too. (I think I've been a gentrif … [Read more...]


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