“Inside the Cloister”: Casey N. Cep on Joy Within the “Jesus Cage”

in the New Yorker: ...The community at Rockford, one of around fifty or so in the United States, was organized in 1916. It was first housed in a Victorian home, then in a former sanitarium. In 1962, it moved onto its current fourteen-acre campus. The Poor Clares at Rockford observe extreme poverty, by fasting and going barefoot. Theirs is a contemplative order, meaning that, unlike active orders, they separate themselves from the world, embracing solitude and silence, devoting themselves to … [Read more...]

“How Universities Fail Their Students in Crisis”: Leah Libresco

at AmCon: A student is raped by a classmate, goes to the campus center for help, and is grilled about whether she provoked the rape, told she has to confront her accuser personally in order to be taken seriously, and, ultimately, hounded off of campus, since her post-traumatic stress makes her “unstable.”You might recognize all the details from The New Republic‘s story about Patrick Henry College’s alleged mishandling of rape cases, but the above incident is drawn from Angie Epifano’s experi … [Read more...]

Lots of Really Great Stuff at Spiritual Friendship Now

including: Melinda Selmys on the Cross as gift. This post manages to take a discourse I usually find kind of impenetrable--the argument about whether and how "homosexuality" (STILL NOT A THEOLOGICAL CATEGORY) is a gift--and make it into something truly sublime. I still resist looking at "homosexuality" (is this a thing?) as a "cross" full-stop, but that's really not the point of her post, which you all should read.Jeremy Erickson has some powerful reflections on what he experienced as a … [Read more...]

Out of the Closets and Into the Pews!

My piece for AmCon on gay Christians coming out is online! Coming out of the closet is the simplest tool of the gay movement, yet it’s proven to be the most powerful and even the most spiritually profound. On the political side, Pew Research data this year found that knowing someone who is gay was the most common reason people switched to supporting gay marriage, and the percentage of people who know someone openly gay has risen over 25 points since 1993.But on a more personal level, coming … [Read more...]

“A Long, Cold Lent”: I read David Adams Richards’s “Friends of Meager Fortune”

it's CanCon for AmCon!: I saved The Friends of Meager Fortune, the second novel I’ve read by Canadian Catholic author David Adams Richards, for the polar vortex. If anything can make Boston in January seem warm, it’s this relentlessly grim tale of the last days of man-and-horse lumbering, with horses crashing through the ice and bloodied hands freezing on the reins.I’m conflicted about recommending the book. What is good in it is immensely powerful. The story of the doomed love of local fail … [Read more...]

“Defiled”

very, very powerful post over at Mudblood Catholic: Though I've mentioned it briefly before, this was a really hard post to write. Warning: it contains language and subject matter that may be triggering for people who've experienced traumas. To make myself feel better, and probably alienate my readers in the process, I will be interspersing inappropriately amusing photographs. ...When I was an adolescent, I was raped four times.Talking about it doesn't make you feel better, but not … [Read more...]

The Diversity of the Saints Is a Diversity of Pain

Speaking of the wild diversity of the saints--over the weekend I read this powerful & bluntly painful piece from Mudblood Catholic: "God is doing something in the dark." But what? And, really, "Why remain here in the dark?"And that post collided with a very intense night at the pregnancy center, and the readings from this past Sunday:For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing … [Read more...]


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