From “The Orthodox Way”

Man is not just a logical and eucharistic animal, but he is also a creative animal: the fact that man is in God's image means that man is a creator after the image of God the Creator. ...It is likewise significant that, when at the Eucharist we offer back to God the firstfruits of the earth, we offer them not in their original form but reshaped by the hand of man: we bring to the altar not sheaves of wheat but loaves of bread, not grapes but wine. … [Read more...]

“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...]

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 the n … [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 SingerAlan 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 a … [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 asked … [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...]


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