Ignatius After Dark: And Other Bright Ideas from the Sick Pilgrim Conference

Last week I headed to sunny South Bend, IN for "Trying to Say 'God': Re-enchanting Catholic literature." Its official sponsor was "the University of Notre Dame's Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts" but a bunch of the organizers were people from the Sick Pilgrim blog/community and that sounds cooler. Anyway, my notes:# Notre Dame in summer is ridiculously lush. I swear whoever planted this rambling campus made it a project to get every kind of tree and just jam them right up next … [Read more...]

A Coptic Priest’s Message to Those Who Kill Christians: “Thank You!”

incredibly powerful:The first thing we will say is “Thank you very, very much,” and you won’t believe us when we say it.You know why we thank you? I’ll tell you. You won’t get it, but please believe us.You gave us to die the same death as Christ–and this is the biggest honor we could have. Christ was crucified–and this is our faith. He died and was slaughtered–and this is our faith. You gave us, and you gave them to die. more (via Ivan Plis) … [Read more...]

Mourning and Weeping in this Valley of Brunch

Last week I did a speaking engagement in New York, on the topic, "Christianity Is the Most Materialistic of Religions." I did not choose this topic (BOOK ME, I WILL ROLL WITH WHATEVER WEIRD-ASS THING) and one theme that emerged from my unusually rambling performance was that Christianity cherishes and celebrates the body, but not in the way you might like. You can watch the videos here (in three parts, so check the order)--seriously, I always ramble and get tangled but this was an astonishing … [Read more...]

Assisted Suffering

So, I voted.Remember how I said my ballot would be a fractal of civic helplessness? That's especially true because of the current DC political issue that isn't being put to referendum: Assisted suicide will almost certainly become law here early next year, due to support in the city council and likely from the mayor. Only two councilmembers (Yvette Alexander and Brianne Nadeau, both Democrats) voted against legalizing assisted suicide here.The arguments on our side that I've heard here … [Read more...]

Book Announcement: Staying Catholic When You’ve Been Hurt in the Church

Hello all. I'm very happy to announce that an anthology I'm editing, with the working title Staying Catholic When You've Been Hurt in the Church, is on its winding way from Wipf & Stock's Cascade Press imprint. The anthology includes theology, poetry, hagiography, and personal essays, and touches on a wide range of harms people can encounter in Catholic institutions, from abuse to theft to gossip to racism. I don't know of any other collection like it. I hope it will help people find common … [Read more...]

By the Light of the Cross: Christian Wiman’s “My Bright Abyss”

What makes Jesus credible--at least for those of us who are Christians? The answers are as diverse as the wild array of weird Christian spiritualities. What stood out to me when I converted was the violence and public humiliation of the Crucifixion. The lurid, tabloid violence of Jesus' death seemed to me to meet, in some way, the reality of a brutal world. If there could be reconciliation it would need to be a horrific reconciliation; and so that's what we got.I didn't notice this at the … [Read more...]

From Christian Wiman, “My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer”

Abundance and destitution are two facets of the one face of God, and to be spiritually alive in the fullest sense is to recall one when we are standing squarely in the midst of the other. … [Read more...]