Cinema Paradiso? Some Things to Consider Before You Throw that Movie Reference into Your Homily

Steven Greydanus is the movie critic for Crux and the National Catholic Register, and he's also a newly-ordained deacon. (Woohoo! PARTY AT STEVE'S HOUSE) But he noted, "FWIW, I have now preached two homilies and have not used any movie references or analogies. No one believes I will keep this up.""It's actually kind of important to me that I *not* use movie references in my homilies, or at least try to avoid them as much as possible," he continued. He noted that this was a limited … [Read more...]

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Sad Bible Songs: I review Harrison Lemke’s “Fertile Crescent Blues”

at First Things: "Christian pop is unrelentingly cheerful.” That was Leah Libresco's conclusion when she analyzed the frequency of positive and negative terms (“grace” vs. “sin,” for example, or “love” vs. “fear”) in Billboard's Christian pop top-50. Grace and love and life and light are all great things. But if your soul needs a smoke break from the endless Christian pep rally, a lay-me-down instead of yet another pick-me-up, Harrison Lemke's beautiful new album Fertile Crescent Blues is what y … [Read more...]

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“Gay and Christian: Exploring Vocation, Friendship, And Celibacy”: I’m in this

three talks at the St Benedict Forum of Hope College. Me on "The Radical Challenge of Gay Celibacy," then Joshua Gonnerman on "A Different Conversation: Changing How We Think About Gay Politics," and then Ron Belgau on "Understanding the Bible's Teaching on Homosexuality." … [Read more...]

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The Only “A” You Need Is the “A” in JESUS

Just a quick post about the readings for today.The first reading s really personally meaningful t me. I looked at it every day when I was quittng drinking: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live[.] And that's what has happened for me in sobriety: I have more life now. More time. I work more; I pray more. I have more friends and more responsibilities. I have a life that is better spiritually--but also bet … [Read more...]

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“Bible Study”: Tony Hoagland

this is really me saying how glad I am that the First Things blog has started linking to poetry all the time: ...Who knows, this might be the last good night of summer. My broken nose is forming an idea of what’s for supper. Hard to believe that death is just around the corner. What kind of idiot would think he even had a destiny? more … [Read more...]

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“Marilynne Robinson Returns to Gilead”: I review “Lila”

at AmCon--I think this piece turned out well: Ten years ago Marilynne Robinson began telling us the story of Gilead, Iowa, a tiny town surrounded by fields and farms. A droplet of water in which the whole world is reflected.She began with Gilead, a novel in the form of a long letter written from the dying John Ames to his young son. Ames situates the town in its historical context, showing how this apparently all-white enclave nonetheless falls under the shadow of racism, from the Civil War … [Read more...]

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“A Lonely Hearts Church”: I review a new Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catechesis on Family Life

for AmCon: Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive is a slim volume, more of an overgrown pamphlet, prepared for the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. It’s meant to lay out Catholic beliefs about vocation, sex, and family life in a way that acknowledges and responds creatively to contemporary challenges. It contains discussion questions to make it easy to use in ministries, book clubs etc. This is what outspoken Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and his team think is most important … [Read more...]

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