From “The New Evangelization”

Jesus does not really make chaos or problems. He stirs up existing problems and makes us aware of the false peace we strike with the world. Jesus ruins this false peace and gives us peace grounded on truth. --get the book here; it uses this image, our attempt to negotiate a false peace with the world, a couple of times, & I really like it. … [Read more...]

In Which I’m Inspired by Direct Mail. Really.

I just finished The New Evangelization: 2003 - 2013 Missionary Letters, which is basically a collection of fundraising letters from A Simple House, an intentional Catholic community which practices "friendship evangelization" among the poor in DC and Kansas City, MO. It's a genuinely moving book with solid reflections on the theory and practice of charity. There are good explanations of why the authors focus on friendship as vs. efficient meeting of material needs, and there are countless … [Read more...]

“Broke and Alone”: I review Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty

at The American Conservative: Because most of the traditional pathways to adulthood—marriage, economic independence, stable job—seem out of reach or prove to be reversible, working-class young adults have developed a new definition of maturity. This new pathway relies heavily on therapeutic culture: You become an adult by overcoming the trauma of your past, whether that involved abusive parents, drug addiction, mental illness, or less flamboyant hardships. Young adults who take on this new … [Read more...]

Dorothy Day as Dostoyevsky character (from her letters)

October 10, 1960: ...One of the things which bothers me mightily is the bitterness and criticism of angry young men. Do pray for them and all such. Sometimes I try to tell myself, finding myself too critical, "they are prophets crying out in this time." But there are too many of them. Around a place like the Catholic Worker there are always too many, too much of the rebellious spirit. From the last year we have had with us a youngish woman, brilliant mentally, but destructive in all her … [Read more...]

Dorothy Day writing to an inquirer, January 1948

Leaders. We have no committees. Whenever in our houses we have had them they do not work. The person in charge of the house, living in the house, working there, is father and mother of the group. The Benedictine ideal, not the idea of majority rule. The leader may make mistakes, but he can repair them. He has to stand a lot of criticism, and keep going; or leave, or step down and let another take his place. People could take turns, but in general it is best to have one leader to take … [Read more...]


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