The Toast Presents: “The Desert Fathers”

pretty great: ANTHONY THE GREAT: spiritually I don’t even want to talk about any food that isn’t bread the greatest prayer of all is shutting up more … [Read more...]

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“Five Thoughts on Loving the Church”: John Cavadini

some lovely stuff here: 1) The closer you get to the Catholic Church, the closer you get to the Wounds of Christ.The Church is a communion in the blood of Christ. Contemplating the mystery of the Church is contemplating the blood of Christ, for “the Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the Cross” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 766). “The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by t … [Read more...]

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“What Could Possibly Be Wrong With Christian Masturbation?”: I’m at Christianity Today

with exegesis of Black Swan and The Babadook, and some stuff about shame and confession:This post is part of a weekly Her.meneutics series called The Sex We Don’t Talk About, designed to feature female perspectives on aspects of sex and sexuality that can go overlooked in the church. Masturbation doesn't fit within typical modern ethical concerns. It's not unsafe or cruel; in moderation it does not interfere with academic or economic performance, and it doesn't make your children more l … [Read more...]

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“What Conservative Gay Christians Want”: I’m in the Spectator

spectating: The LGBT rights movement — so the story goes — has split the Christian churches in two. On one side are the progressives, who believe that Christianity should accept gay people and recognise gay marriage. Lined up against them are the conservatives, who hold fast to the belief that being gay is sinful. It’s not entirely false, that story. There are just a vast number of Christians who don’t fit into it. more--I love the ending of this … [Read more...]

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Amy Welborn on Church Art, Devotions, And Sacramentals as Works of Mercy

with a powerful story of grief and the Stations of the Cross: ...So, yes, mercy. How does it happen? How does God communicate his mercy and love to this hurting world? Through us, and in many ways, first and most importantly through one person’s outreach to another.But also, this:To construct churches that tell the story of Jesus through their design, art and even just their very presence among us, standing firm in the midst of the city or as a quiet faithful herald on a country road; t … [Read more...]

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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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