“This is the night”: A Holy Saturday reflection

Holy Saturday is particularly meaningful for me because it was on Holy Saturday in 2006 that I received the Sacrament of Confirmation, after being received into the Catholic Church on Holy Thursday. In the following excerpt from My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, I write about how, in the liturgy of Holy Saturday, the meaning of Passover is revealed in Christ: A Catholic friend recently asked me to pray for a Muslim woman in one of the Persian Gulf states … [Read More...]

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“Learning that Catholics themselves were grieving over abuse…helped me become more open to entering the Church”

Catholic World Report today features an interview with me by John Burger in which I talk about why the Catholic Church, and all society, needs to reach out to victims of childhood sexual abuse, a need that is particularly visible in this week's news stories on Dylan Farrow and Ryan Loskarn. I also speak about the healing witness of saints who suffered childhood sexual abuse, which is the topic of my book My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, and I share how, as … [Read More...]

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Reflecting on the still, small voice that sustains us

There is a scene in C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia novel The Magician's Nephew in which Aslan, the lion who represents Christ, sings Narnia and all the universe around it into existence. His voice seems to thunder from every direction, shaking the very air. Perhaps that is an apt allegory for the creation of the universe. Yet the universe is also re-created at every moment, in that its continued existence depends upon God's continuing to sustain it. What impresses me is that the voice … [Read More...]

“Perhaps God’s greatest miracle is not creation, but re-creation”: My talk at the Courage conference

I wrote to you earlier about the beautiful experience I had last month at the annual Courage Apostolate conference, and am now delighted to share with you a video of the talk I gave there. An audio podcast is also available, courtesy of AirMaria.com. The video is long. If you are pressed for time, I am told that the last two minutes are the best part. Courage is a Catholic apostolate that assists men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth, and love. … [Read More...]

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St. Dominic Savio, the boy who insisted on growing up

I wrote to you last week to tell you about my "press agent" St. Dominic Savio. Today I am writing, as I promised, to tell you about why the saint, who died a few weeks short of his fifteenth birthday (making him the youngest canonized saint whose death was not by martyrdom), is also a dear friend, patron, and model of life for me. The best source we have on Dominic Savio is the story of his life written by another saint, Don Bosco, who admitted Dominic to his Oratory school and there became … [Read More...]

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St. Dominic Savio: patron saint of falsely accused people, boys, and…flacks?

Meet my press agent, St. Dominic Savio. He is in a glass by himself--a great glass urn, that is, where his relics are housed. His office is in a high-rise, so to speak (so high you can't get over it), but he is easily reachable via knee-mail. This is the honest truth: in April 2012, I was wondering how victims of childhood sexual abuse were ever going to find out that I had written a book on healing sexual wounds with the help of the saints. Although the publicists at my publisher were … [Read More...]

Welcome, New York Times Magazine readers! Here are some quick links about me & My Peace I Give You

UPDATE, 8/9/13: The story is online and it is wonderful! Deo gratias! Will write more later. Original post follows [cross-posted on my personal-life blog, The Dawn Patrol:] I've been told that the online edition of the New York Times Magazine is set to publish an article in its Riff column that looks at my past life writing about obscure rock musicians as well as my present life writing about obscure saints. (The print version will appear in this Sunday's issue.) Here are some quick links … [Read More...]

Happy feast of The Saint Formerly Known as Edith Stein!

On this day the day the Church honors St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, better known as Edith Stein, check out the post I wrote last year about her spirituality of wounds, "Everywhere the need exists for maternal sympathy and help, and thus we are able to recapitulate in the one word motherliness that which we have developed as the characteristic value of woman. Only, the motherliness must be that which does not remain within the narrow circle of blood relations or of personal friends; but … [Read More...]

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Healing with Courage

Since returning last Sunday from the four-day Courage/EnCourage conference, where I spoke about healing sexual wounds with the help of the saints, I have wanted to write about what it was like for me to witness the vital work done by the Catholic apostolate that ministers to same-sex-attracted men and women as well as their relatives, spouses, and friends. But I didn't know what to say. There was something numinous about the experience. The deep devotion of the members of Courage (the branch … [Read More...]

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Catholic News Agency reports on my talk to graduates of the Project Dawn Court: “Women with prostitution charges find compassion, new start”

[Cross-posted at The Dawn Patrol:] Ever since writing My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, I have sought to give talks to those most in need of healing from childhood abuse or trauma. Last week, I had a unique and beautiful outreach opportunity when Philadelphia's Project Dawn Court, which helps convicted prostitutes rebuild their lives, invited me to address its graduates. Catholic News Agency reporter Elise Harris interviewed me afterwards and wrote a … [Read More...]