Art by the spirit-filled and fiery-tongued Brian Jocks. The charismatic movement’s impact in both Catholic and Protestant circles is a force to be reckoned with. At its best, it is a source of genuine conversion of heart with strong ecumenical implications. At its worst, you might find manipulated and sensational attempts of conjuring something super-spiritual and spooky, reminiscent of Saul’s need for direction from the witch of Endor. Discernment of spirits is an overlooked gift in some of these circles,… Read more

Republished with Permission from the blog Crone Cafe     That awkwardly-framed 80s photo is a picture of three generations, plus the BVM statue in the corner (for non-Catholics, that’s the Blessed Virgin Mary). I believe it’s Mother’s Day of my senior year in high school, so I was 17, my mom was 57, and my grandma was in her late 80s. The BVM is of course timelessly young, pure, and perfect. My niece presented me with this and many… Read more

  The incarnation is cosmic in its significance. God the Word, the Logos, became man. He who is the first and the last, the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, entered into time. The eschaton was immanentized. Heaven joined with earth. All of creation found itself included in the work and ministry of Jesus Christ as the one who is Lord over entered into the world to become the servant of all. The waters were made pure and… Read more

I raised my head, looked up at our reserved seats, and felt a stomach-punching flood of emotions: extreme embarrassment, palpable nervousness, unspeakable shame. This emotional combo was a familiar one to me, and it hit me hard as I faced the long and steep staircase that led to my school’s reserved seating area in the auditorium. Along with my awkward and squeaky-voiced pubescence, Friedreich’s ataxia was beginning to show itself – probably at the most inconvenient stage of my maturation…. Read more

A deep spiritual friend and mentor is the founder of an Orthodox monastery on the Isle of Mull, which among other things seeks to recover Egyptian iconographic style within a Celtic context. When he sent me the image of a Theotokos icon that he had commissioned, I could not look away from her eyes. Thus began a relationship with the icon that has led to its original now having pride of place in my home. I am a Protestant captivated… Read more

  I’ve been reluctant to write an essay like this. I wanted to let the essays we published on NFP speak for themselves. I don’t want to speak for any of our contributors, or attempt to somehow interpret their experience. At the same time, this is precisely why I feel compelled to write an essay like this. Recently, I saw someone say that our series had offered a clumsy and emotionalistic argument against Church teaching. If our argument has seemed… Read more

Art by the colorful and wovenly Brian Jocks. In last Sunday’s gospel reading, Jesus commands his disciples to love one another as He loves them. It mostly makes sense to me. Even the corollary makes sense – that if I don’t cherish all those for whom Christ died, then I am no friend of His. The difficult part of this reading, for me, is when Jesus contrasts those whom He calls slaves with those whom He calls friends. This is… Read more

You know you’re from Southern Louisiana when you’re shocked that people are shocked by the “appropriation” of Catholic symbols and traditions. We call our professional football team Saints and sing “Bless You Boys” at games. St. Joan of Arc, affectionately known as Joanie on a pony, guards the entrance to the French Market. The Met Gala has nothing on Mardi Gras. In New Orleans, we all live according to the liturgical calendar and the Catholic symbol system. Our imaginations are… Read more

I was an evangelical Christian first, a convert to Catholicism later in life. Mary was a point of contention, for years, in my soul. But if I am honest, I will admit that I had both an odd fascination with her, as well as fear. I feared the Mary of admonition: “be more Mary-like. Check the length of your skirt hem.” I feared the Mary of clanging cymbals, screeching about yoga pants and leggings. I feared the Mary who is… Read more

  Think of the Catholic Church and you might think of pedophile clerics, financial malfeasance. Even before such scandals erupted–even if they had never occurred–some have found plenty to criticize about official Church policies in the last couple of decades: its intolerance of other religions; its hostility to women’s ordination; its long-term campaign to undermine liberation theology. Outside observers might ask why Catholics who oppose such policies don’t simply leave. I put this question to a Sister of Charity some… Read more

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