Dark Devotional: No Shoes, No Service

"'Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?'" -Matt. 6:28-30This verse ran through my head as I pawed through the pile of clean clothes on the floor, trying to figure out which to throw … [Read more...]

Why Are We So Afraid of Mercy and Our Own Heretical Little Hearts?

As I sort through the events of the past few months, I've tried to figure out what bothers me the most about the Trump presidency and what it's revealed about Catholics and Christians in America. Every time I think I've pinpointed the problem, it vanishes into the air. Sure, I'm bothered by the misogyny, the myopic views of pro-birthers, and the barely disguised hatred of Muslims. But, every time I pick up my computer to write about these things, something stops me, prompting me to go … [Read more...]

Things Keeping Us Alive – Feb. ’17

We recently and randomly declared it "Treat Yo Self Day" in the Sick Pilgrim community*. We were encouraged to do a little something extra ("lagniappe," if you speak Cajun) for ourselves and share a picture of how we went out of our way to treat ourselves. And since Sick Pilgrim isn't Rich Pilgrim, our treats were less about costs and more about little joys.Treat Yo Self Day was a not-so-subtle reminder that SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT. It's easy to get caught up in the stressors and … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional- The Stepford Jesus?

The word “perfect” makes me cringe. It conjures images of syrupy-sweet holy card saints, and thin, smiling women with nary a stray (or gray) hair in sight. Perfect is a seed that carries with it the fruits of foreboding and failure, shame and lack. Can anyone ever be perfect enough? Thin enough? Rich enough? Holy enough? Perfect takes my small, sick attempts at finding God and grinds them in the dirt.Perfect is my enemy. At least, it was – until I stumbled onto the truth that is setting m … [Read more...]

Beyonce and the Black Madonna

 A few thoughts on Beyonce's pregnant body:It is breathtakingly beautiful.It is unashamedly sensual.And it is holy.Full stop.No qualifiers.Watching Beyonce's Grammy performance, I nearly wept. We've seen stylized photos of pregnant celebrities before--they're hardly controversial at this point. But I can't remember seeing a pregnant woman on stage at a mainstream cultural event, doing her thing--being an artist, interpreting, performing, working--instead of … [Read more...]

To Bill Nye, Fellow Ataxian

...while Nye dreams of outer space, it's his own DNA that worries him."My family has an affliction called ataxia," he said. "My sister has it real bad. You walk like you're drunk. And my sister has a walker. That's how she goes everywhere. And apparently it's not a strength thing. It has to do with your balance, which comes from your cerebellum.""But you don't have symptoms of this?""Yeah, I do. Two years ago I noticed it.""For someone who sees this from a scientific viewpoint is … [Read more...]

Are You a Child of Thunder? Or a Vigilante of Love?

  On the first Sunday of the year, my priest printed out slips of paper with saints' names on them. He told us to choose one out of a basket after mass. Whomever we got, he assured us, would pray for us and be our patron for that year.It seemed like a good idea. But knowing the way God usually deals with me, some obscure saint I never heard of would probably pick me and I would have to really dig to understand the reasons why.So, after I mass, I pulled out the … [Read more...]

The Grand Canyon by Wheelchair

Maybe I missed out on a fundamental aspect of being a Cajun. Maybe my ancestors roll over in their graves when I admit this.I’m not a big fan of Mardi Gras.I can pretend it’s because of a noble reason - that the modern celebration of Mardi Gras has little to do with the authentic celebration of feasting before the long Lenten fast preceding Easter.The truth though is that Mardi Gras brings out two of my worst enemies as an awkward introvert - large crowds and loud inebriation - all fo … [Read more...]

Tim Powers: Trying to Say God

*This is the second post in our series of features on the writers, musicians and artists who will be speaking and performing at the Trying to Say God Conference, June 22-24 at the University of Notre Dame. One of the reasons that Catholic literary culture has become,  in the words of Kaya Oakes, a "funeral for multiple corpses," is that genre fiction, specifically science fiction, fantasy, and weird fiction, are often left out in the cold when these sorts of discussions take place. This gl … [Read more...]