Let the Children Come to Me: On “Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Questions from Children Around the World”

(This post is part of the Patheos Book Club on Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Questions from Children Around the World.) One of my favorite scriptures is Mark 10:13-16: Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, [Read More…]

Still Operating On Faith: A Painfully True Love Story

Matt Weber’s Operating on Faith: A Painfully True Love Story brings both depth and humor to the challenges of mortality, especially when they affect young adults and come when you least expect it. Martin Luther is noted for saying, “In the midst of life, we are surrounded by death.” Life holds no guarantees and nothing [Read More…]

Can a Saint be a Badass?

Can a saint be a “badass”? Can a saint be tough, sometimes abrasive, embodied, highly imperfect, and sensual? Can a saint be married, possibly divorced, but still God-centered? Author Maria Morera Johnson’s clear response in her new book is “Yes.” Or as Oscar Wilde asserted, “every saint has a past and every sinner has a [Read More…]

Staying Put: Stability and Novelty in the Spiritual Journey

Carl McColman’s Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality presents a mystical spirituality for everyday people. You don’t have to be in a monastery to experience God. You can be an everyday mystic, while you’re fixing breakfast for your children, driving to work, caring for an elderly parent, or giving your spouse a massage. [Read More…]

Finding Spirituality in Suffering: Heather King’s “Stripped”

Stripped, Heather King’s new memoir on faith in the midst of a cancer diagnosis, brought to mind words from Viktor Frankl: “There is one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.” Pain and illness, loss and persecution, are moral and spiritual issues. They may drive us away from God. We may seek revenge on [Read More…]

Wherever There is Truth, God is its Source: On ‘The Gospel of Happiness’

Book Reflection: The Gospel of Happiness by Christopher Kaczor Can science and faith work together for the common good? Are the aims of psychology and theology similar in nature? Can psychology illuminate theology and theology support human flourishing as envisioned by psychology? Christopher Kaczor once saw faith and psychology as inhabiting two different and parallel [Read More…]

Mary as One of Us: A Conversation with Denise Bossert’s Gifts of the Visitation: Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and Elizabeth.

In her new book, Gifts of the Visitation, Denise Bossert chronicles her adventures in discovering the role of Mary as a spiritual guide and model for her own spiritual formation. Her journey takes her from evangelical Protestantism to an orthodox understanding of Roman Catholicism. Along the way, she encounters Mary as a unique spiritual figure, divinely [Read More…]