What Whiskey Goes With Cheese?: I read “The Spectacular Now”

This is just a quick note to say that I read Tim Tharp's Spectacular Now, the YA novel on which the movie was based, and I really enjoyed it. It's the tale of a high-school cutup and ladies' man who's also a barely-functional alcoholic. He's a generous, sweet-natured guy, fairly open about his self-deceptions, and a total cheeseball. The book is sometimes preachy in an authorial way, which I didn't care for, but most of its occasional swerves into preachiness are much more organic--high-school … [Read more...]

Art as a Vocation: Gay and Catholic Book Extra!

What do we want? Eve's book! When do we want it? ...Soon! (Preorder now; it releases 10/20.)I drafted a chapter on art as a vocation but cut it because I couldn't figure out a structure, which is always a sign that my thinking is disjointed and either muddled or in some important respect incomplete. Fortunately, in a blog post I can just post a listicle and call it a day. YOU'RE WELCOME. So, you know, here are some points about art as a vocation, especially a vocation for gay/queer/same-sex … [Read more...]

God Is Working His Purpose Out

Can we tell what God is trying to tell us with events in our lives? Does God use events in our lives that way?I used to be more confident than I am now that this was a spiritually-fruitful way of thinking. That was basically because I'd asked myself what purpose various things in my own life had served--my birth defects, that was the main thing--and I felt like I had a good sense of some plausible answers. E.g. by problematizing my body, my birth defects helped me honor the body not for its … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #4–Presentation

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.... A couple years ago I was having some kind of argument with a freshman Hegelian. I'll mangle his argument--I don't remember it well enough and haven't read Hegel--but what I took away from it was that everything in life served to advance ideas. Better and better ideas over time. So there's a progressive view of history, but one which focuses solely on … [Read more...]

The Prison of My Person, The Shackles of My Skin

Wesley Hill quotes some powerful words from CS Lewis on masturbation and lustful fantasy: For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever … [Read more...]

From “The Orthodox Way”

To contemplate nature, then, is in Blake's phrase to cleanse the "doors of our perception," both on the physical and on the spiritual level, and thereby to discern the energies or logoi of God in everything that he has made. It is to discover, not so much through our discursive reason as through our spiritual intellect, that the whole universe is a cosmic Burning Bush, filled with the divine Fire yet not consumed. … [Read more...]

Objects in the World Are Words Spoken By God

Poet Scott Cairns talks about something adjacent to an element of my own conversion--and, like me, he found this truth in Judaism as well as Christianity. The title of this post comes from Christianity in Jewish Terms, a fascinating little pomo book which helped me quite a bit in sorting through what I believed and how my Christian spirituality was shaped. ...Raised a Baptist, Cairns’ faith journey involved a deep study of Jewish texts and Christian theology as well as a period as a P … [Read more...]


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