Monday Links: More Atonement! Plus Interrupting Violence, Texification of the Church in America, and More

Hey! Here's what I've been reading:Leah Libresco asks for stories of atonement and tells a Jewish fable (which I've heard attributed to St Philip Neri!--and more on that in a powerful short piece here).The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange on "The Art of Interrupting Deadly Youth Violence": "'One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the years and years and years of confirmation that nothing can change,' Achisimach 'Chis' Yisrael, a former SOS Outreach Worker, said, seated behind … [Read more...]

“Telling Africa’s Story” and more from John L. Allen Jr

in the Nat Cath Reporter: Any Western journalist who's spent time in Africa knows the usual reaction when a local bumps into one of us: "Why don't you report any good news about Africa? Can't you find something to talk about beyond Africans starving or killing each other?"There's also a Catholic version of the complaint: "Can't you do any story about the church in Africa other than condoms and AIDS?"This came home for me in 2009, when Benedict XVI visited Cameroon. The trip was rich in … [Read more...]

“Against Flameless Candles”

Overwritten, but he's totally right. … [Read more...]

“Unmaker’s Mark”: I review “What Happened to Sophie Wilder”

at AmCon: ...There’s a lot going on here. There’s Sophie’s quest for identity (she has three different surnames throughout the novel), a quest she seems to be trying to escape—she wants to surrender to an identity, sink into it, rather than having to go out and conquer and defend it. She doesn’t want her conversion and subsequent changed life to be about her search for self, but about her encounter with God.There’s a grim consideration of suffering and how it resists narrative. If you demand … [Read more...]

“Holy Agony”: I’m at Commonweal

reviewing the Met's recent Dialogues of the Carmelites:The Metropolitan Opera’s recent production of Dialogues of the Carmelites opens with a group of habited women prostrating themselves on the floor with their arms spread. Their bodies are individual crosses that make up one big cross. This opening for Francis Poulenc’s 1956 opera, adapted from a play by Georges Bernanos and based on a real incident during the French Revolution, seems to subsume the women into a collective identity: the … [Read more...]

This Nun Is So Holy, She…

...farts pastry: While enjoying my Sucre and Orange Donut at Cafe Sardine in Montreal, the pastry chef pointed out a treat I'd not likely find outside the area: the Pet de Soeur. I laughed as he told me that it translates to Nun's Fart (or Sister's Fart), and learned that the pet de soeur has its roots in Acadia. more. How did I not know about this? Sounds delicious, too. … [Read more...]

“The Prayer of Honest Desire”: This is super-great

And it is here within his conception of moral practice as desire-discovery—or as he calls it, “practical wisdom”—that for Thomas a principal means of tracing the way back to what we really want, is prayer, oratio. And our only available starting point for that practice of self-discovery is our wants and desires as we actually experience them. Therefore, Thomas says, we ought to pray for what we think we want regardless. For prayer is “in a certain manner a hermeneutic of the human will,” so that … [Read more...]


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