Lent A – Z

I urged you all to read Melinda Selmys's series on "making Lent hardcore," but I hinted that I had various caveats or places where I wanted to stick my own oar in. You guys know that my whole shtik is that there's no one best way, no Esperanto of the spiritual life. I lack self-restraint and temperance (if only there were a Christian practice that could train me in these virtues!) so I decided to give you all this Lenten feuilleton, an alphabet of ways you could think about Lent. You're welcome … [Read more...]

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“Whatever It Takes to Make Lent Hardcore”: Melinda Selmys

has a series, some of the premises of which I dispute (and I may write a bit more about that later), but which includes some fascinating thoughts and stories. Take what you need and leave the rest, as they say.Several years back a friend of mine decided to give up furniture for Lent. The problem that she was facing was that for several years before that she had used Lent as a time to add observances like the Divine Office to her daily schedule. When Easter rolled around, she would just … [Read more...]

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First Things on Rhetoric of Sin and Control in Orthodox Christianity and in Eating Disorder Recovery

Really fascinating piece which I hope sparks (see what I did there?) a much-needed conversation: One cannot encounter Orthodoxy without also encountering food aplenty. People customarily do not eat their first meal until after receiving the Eucharist, so eating together comes to define the community. Along with the times of feasting, four fasting seasons collectively span sixteen to twenty-two weeks each calendar year, giving rise to popular Orthodox cookbooks featuring extensive “Lenten” sec … [Read more...]

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Good Friday: Anglican Abp Justin Welby on “Getting the Answer You Didn’t Want”

Powerful stuff. … [Read more...]

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Lenten Linkfest: Includes One Actual Lent Link.

Mudblood Catholic a) echoes the novel I'm working on and b) frightens me, via CS Lewis: Of course, we're all insufferable sometimes and to someone. I think it was C. S. Lewis who speculated that one of the disciplinary aspects of Purgatory might well be perceiving ourselves as others perceived us while on earth. Trying to see ourselves from the perspective of someone who dislikes us intensely -- and perhaps not altogether unfairly -- can be a salutary experience. Though it is admittedly an … [Read more...]

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“A Long, Cold Lent”: I read David Adams Richards’s “Friends of Meager Fortune”

it's CanCon for AmCon!: I saved The Friends of Meager Fortune, the second novel I’ve read by Canadian Catholic author David Adams Richards, for the polar vortex. If anything can make Boston in January seem warm, it’s this relentlessly grim tale of the last days of man-and-horse lumbering, with horses crashing through the ice and bloodied hands freezing on the reins.I’m conflicted about recommending the book. What is good in it is immensely powerful. The story of the doomed love of local fail … [Read more...]

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Read This Great Sharp Poem While I Work on My Best-Of Post.

Thank you! … [Read more...]

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