Leah Libresco’s Superpower Is Provoking Decent Comments Boxers

I mean the interview itself is really neat, but check out the comments! The big question I was worried atheism wasn’t going to handle was how I had access to moral law. If eyes respond to light, ears to sound, etc, what is it that conscience responds to? I didn’t think the answer was “nothing in particular” or “cultural norms, which are themselves arbitrary” or something like that. I’d been a moral realist for a long time, thinking of it as being something like math: transcendent, true, beautifu … [Read more...]

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Pascale Monnin, An Artist of Haitian Resurrection

Over the weekend I discovered a new artist: the Swiss-Haitian painter and sculptor Pascale Monnin. Monnin's sculptures were what struck me most. She uses raku, a technique in which glazed clay is taken from the kiln and immediately plunged into water, creating cracks across the sculpture's surface which are then filled with smoke and soot. So her faces have turquoise veins across their delicate pale skins, and the soft curves of nose and cheek are contrasted to the forking raku lines. The faces … [Read more...]

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Job-Seeking in Community, Not Alone: A BenOp Mitzvah

This strikes me as a great idea:...Next up on my end: I’ve been using the two questions “What do I do alone that I could do with others?” and “What do I do privately that I could do in public?” as prompts for BenOp-ish ideas, and, thus, I’m opening my living room sometime soon for a little salon for people between jobs to work on applications, get feedback on resumes, practice interviews, etc. Job applications always make me miserable, especially because the slew of rejections (or rather “So … [Read more...]

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A Geek Guide to God

Ave Maria Press came up with a terrific logo for Leah Libresco's new book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer. Against a starswept blue background, there's a diagram of an atom with circling molecules--and the molecules form the beads of a rosary. I love the science-fiction flavor of this image; and I love the way it captures one of the greatest strengths of Leah's book, her ability to craft memorable and poetic analogies for the experience of learning to pray as a … [Read more...]

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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...]

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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...]

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“Accidental Stylites”: Libresco on Making Joyful Piety Easier

more on the discussion she describes later, but I really liked her description of her project: Living a Christian life on your own is something people had to discern and prepare for.  Often, monks needed the permission of a superior if they wanted to go off into the desert alone. Unfortunately, it’s easy for Christian laypeople to wind up as accidental stylites — living their faith alone, without the guidance, affection, rhythms, or shared enthusiasm that would result from living in community.   … [Read more...]

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