Richard Rodriguez on God of the Desert

Some crankiness, but lots of challenging stuff here: ...Well, I think obviously we would have a different experience of nature. And maybe a different notion of what God expects from us; this is said as a believer, I should stress. It seems to me that a God who would reveal himself to Abraham in a place of such desolation is at least reminding us that our place on this Earth is temporary, and this is a place – a landscape – that reminds us of just how empty it is. The word desert comes from … [Read more...]

The Catholic Writer and the Skating Boom, Or Every Day Is Self-Parody Day

"[Kathleen] Hanna wanted to become a writer. But Kathy Acker, a counterculture writer Hanna admired, told her that no one listens to spoken word, and instead she should be in a band." --as recounted in The Punk Singer Alan Jacobs weighs in vs. me vs. Dana Gioia, on the past, future, and subjunctive tense of "the Catholic writer." A few scattered thoughts follow. * Jacobs' second point is really important: "Why should we not simply think of the generation of Percy, O’Connor, Lowell et … [Read more...]

More About Those Amazing Bejeweled Skeletons

Let's give a warm welcome to... those amazing bejeweled skeletons! Paul Koudounaris is not a man who shies away from the macabre. Though the Los Angeles-based art historian, author and photographerclaims that his fascination with death is no greater than anyone else’s, he devotes his career to investigating and documenting phenomena such as church ossuaries, charnel houses and bone-adorned shrines. Which is why, when a man in a German village approached him during a 2008 research trip and … [Read more...]

“A Catholic Dog,” 1877!

Via Pat McNamara. I know we're supposed to be all unsentimental and stuff, but I eat this kind of thing up--just not on Fridays! … [Read more...]

The Diversity of the Saints Is a Diversity of Pain

Speaking of the wild diversity of the saints--over the weekend I read this powerful & bluntly painful piece from Mudblood Catholic: "God is doing something in the dark." But what? And, really, "Why remain here in the dark?" And that post collided with a very intense night at the pregnancy center, and the readings from this past Sunday: For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing … [Read more...]

Evelyn Waugh’s Celebrity Ascesis

What on earth is going on in this "interview"? It is 20% actual interview, 50% psychoanalysis, and 30% inquisition. Never before have I thought, Evelyn Waugh is so patient! Fascinating, in a kind of sick way. … [Read more...]

Francis’s Conservatism (Uh, Sort Of)

I finally had the chance to read that really fascinating interview with the Pope. And the first thing that really struck me was a passage I'd been expecting to basically skim: Francis's description of what it means to be a Jesuit. I ended up thinking that, at least from one perspective, this and the discussions of art were the most important elements of the interview. I mean, first of all I do love that he cops to loving the Jesuits' discipline despite/because "I am a really, really … [Read more...]


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