“Detachment in Friendship”: I’m at Spiritual Friendship

with a small post: A while ago I was talking to my spiritual director about some anxieties I was feeling in one of my friendships. This was a close friendship which had been tested by time (and by my own idiocy) but I was still having a hard time trusting that it would endure, and coping with the changes that were occurring in the friendship.My spiritual director nodded and said, “It sounds like you’re ‘attached’ to this friend, in the sense that you’re relying on the friendship for your wel … [Read more...]

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“We can’t help ourselves,” part 2: “Why a former Catholic and a current Catholic *don’t* like Catholicism”

Alicia de los Reyes and me: Alicia: You said you love the Church, but you don’t necessarily like Catholicism. When I was Catholic, I liked being Catholic, but I didn’t love every aspect of the Church or of going to Mass. What are some aspects you don’t *like* about the Church, but stick with anyway? Eve: Hmm, this is a good question. It’s hard for me to sort out stuff I don’t understand from stuff I dislike (which maybe says not-great things about my intellectual vanity!) but the top two thi … [Read more...]

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The Opposite of Anti-Gay Discrimination: What I Said at Steubenville

Hi y'all. Last week I had the chance to speak at the terrific BookMarx bookstore in Steubenville, OH. ("I'm here to do a job, I won't buy anything. ...I'll just buy like one or two very slender books." Walked out with a stack of sci-fi, Rumer Godden, and Italian epics. Some men, some men....) I'd been asked to speak on "unjust discrimination" against gay people, a term which comes from the Catechism. This is roughly what I said.I started by describing life in a bifurcated culture, where lots … [Read more...]

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“You can’t take my conversion and throw it at your friend and hope it works”: Leah Libresco

interviewed in Australia about her new (and excellent) book. I'm in this at the end, where Libresco says some very kind things: ...I think the other thing is that because I came from outside the faith there are lots of things that look weird or look hard to me so I got to explore them in a way that you wouldn’t maybe if you take them for granted.If confession is a natural part of your life – you grew up, your parents went – you might be good at going but don’t spend very much time reflect … [Read more...]

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“We can’t help ourselves: Why a former Jewish agnostic and current progressive Christian still like Catholicism”: I’m in this!

Part one of an exchange between me and Alicia de los Reyes at Patheos Progressive Christian. "We can't help ourselves" is not a bad summary of one part of the gospel (the First Step part), also.... Many of you may know Eve Tushnet from her blog here on Patheos, where she writes about being gay, celibate, and Catholic (along with World Figure Skating Championship costumes and other events of note). Eve grew up “somewhere between agnostic and Jewish” and converted to Catholicism when she was a sop … [Read more...]

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“Metaphors of Brotherhood and Sisterhood”: I’m at Spiritual Friendship

with a short post: This is just a quick post to note that we don’t use sibling metaphors a lot on this site, and maybe we should. They played an important role in articulating the meaning of vowed friendship in both Eastern and Western Christianity (the terms adelphopoeisis and “wedded brotherhood” both use this metaphor) and they reflect an understanding of friendship as a form of kinship.Wesley Hill quotes me talking about the way that certain friendships, over time, take on the quality of … [Read more...]

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“Dismantling the Cross”: Patricia Snow on Renewing Honor for Celibacy

This is a fantastic, hard-fought essay. I don't know that every aspect of it works (see below) but it's countercultural and deeply worth your time. Plus it includes an angle on Kristin Lavransdatter which I had not even considered: Generally speaking, there are two principal vocations in the life of the Catholic Church: marriage on the one hand, and celibate priesthood and religious life on the other. Both are expressions of conjugal love. In the normal calling of marriage, an individual binds … [Read more...]

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