If you happen to visit our house sometime and find yourself invited down to our basement, you will notice two things: 1. board games, and 2. this large figure made out of a cardboard box. He used to have ears, but they fell off. These things happen. For those of you not in the know, this is a cardboard sculpture of Totoro. Totoro (or, more properly, My Neighbor Totoro) is a film by the Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli. If… Read more

In these descriptive essays, guest contributor, Susan L. Miller, captures the incarnational dimension that lies at the heart of both Catholicism and art. It is sometimes difficult for us to see fashion as art. In a sense, fashion is too physical, too concrete. It clothes bodies after all. What’s more, there is an aspect to fashion that is extremely particular. Clothing does not cover some kind of universal and abstract idea of “body.” It covers this *particular* body – the… Read more

  In the romance languages the word sin means lacking or without. As a catholic, this word has always meant something different to me: to commit a crime against the will of God. If we look at the word through the lens of what it means in a different language, we can see the connection between sinning and being without God. I didn’t realize this connection until I saw the movie “Pope Francis: A Man of his Word.” This interview… Read more

Reading Scripture is rarely a balm to me. Since I was a small child I experienced crushing scrupulosity, a result of perpetual spiritual abuse. So tonight I sat down to read this Sunday’s readings with a heavy heart. I’m not a good candidate to write a reflection on anything Godly today. Honestly, I skipped four out of the last five Sunday Masses. And if I didn’t love Matt Lafleur as I so deeply do, I’d probably have begged off attempting… Read more

Like many, I’ve been deeply grieved by the policy of family separation at the border. For weeks I’ve cast about looking for a handhold, for an idea of what to do, for who I am to be during a desperate time like this. Like many of us, I’ve come up short. Somehow the drumbeat of “keep calling, keep writing, hold steady” has weakened under the constant stream of heartbreak being perpetrated at my border – in my name, no less…. Read more

In these descriptive essays, guest contributor, Susan L. Miller, captures the incarnational dimension that lies at the heart of both Catholicism and art. It is sometimes difficult for us to see fashion as art. In a sense, fashion is too physical, too concrete. It clothes bodies after all. What’s more, there is an aspect to fashion that is extremely particular. Clothing does not cover some kind of universal and abstract idea of “body.” It covers this *particular* body – the… Read more

As I sit down to write this Dark Devotional, a warning flashes to the left of my screen: “Something’s not right. We’re having trouble connecting, but we’ll keep trying.” Story of my life, and certainly resonant with the prophetic mission we hold as a baptized people. All around us there are signs that something is deeply wrong, and yet what choice do we have but to try over and over again to connect? Right after the election of Donald Trump… Read more

I would like to tell you a story about that farm. I lived in Nigeria for six months in 2012, working for my friend Brian and his NGO which facilitated micro-enterprise ventures. The rest of our crew was made up of Nigerian nationals. One of our major projects was a dry-season farm. We built an irrigation system, which pumped water out of a nearby gully, storing it in three 8,000-liter tanks. We had a tractor, but it broke. Things break… Read more

I begin with two facts: In 1983, when I was 12, I was named Miss Fourth of July in a parade in my grandmother’s neighborhood in a small, historic town in North Carolina. After the Civil War, virulent racists in government invoked the image of the purity and innocence of white womanhood as reason for stripping African Americans of their rights as citizens, fomenting sexualized racial anxiety and calling for control of “savage” blackness in the name of “our women.”… Read more

In these descriptive essays, guest contributor, Susan L. Miller, captures the incarnational dimension that lies at the heart of both Catholicism and art. It is sometimes difficult for us to see fashion as art. In a sense, fashion is too physical, too concrete. It clothes bodies after all. What’s more, there is an aspect to fashion that is extremely particular. Clothing does not cover some kind of universal and abstract idea of “body.” It covers this *particular* body – the… Read more

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