That viral video of the interrupted professor? I don’t think it’s funny.

It crowded my newsfeed on Friday, accompanied by many “LOLs” and my favorite “laughing to the point of tears” emoji.Robert E. Kelly, a political science professor based in South Korea, was being interviewed live on BBC from his home office when his toddler opened the door and bounded in, followed by a baby sibling in a walker.The professor reaches back with one arm and attempts to push the toddler away, while continuing to look into the camera and attempts to answer the questio … [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...]

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...]

Screwtape Does America

 (At four o'clock this morning, I (Jonathan) woke up and thought about the events about the past few days. They've been weighing heavily on my head and my heart. For some reason, I thought about my favorite book of spirituality, The Screwtape Letters by. C.S. Lewis.For those not familiar with the book, Lewis uses the character of a senior devil writing advice to his "nephew." So, I tried to process everything I've been thinking the past few days by writing my own "Screwtape … [Read more...]

What it Means to be a Catholic Woman in Trump’s America

2016 was the year of my disillusionment.The election of Donald Trump seemed like a very laughable bad dream, like being in middle school when we used to devise masked ways to cuss (“Twat, did you say? I cunt hear you!”), only in Trump’s case, he really did say it, he most likely did it, and, my gosh, the Middle School just elected him president.And this was the candidate that I, as a Catholic woman who supports the protection of life from conception to natural death, was expected to line … [Read more...]

Praying with Depression (and Children)

"I want us to recite the Lord’s Prayer together in the mornings as a family before we leave for school or work,” Sergei tells me.I roll my eyes. Our mornings are hurried. There is barely time for breakfast, clothes, teeth and hair. Do we need to add another thing? And mornings are still hard for me. Some days, although I try to be more present in my life and work the program, I don’t come downstairs to help at all. But we start learning the Lord’s Prayer anyway. Sergei prints it out from his … [Read more...]

Feast of St. Nicholas: Slap a Heretic Day. Or Why Are We Hitting Ourselves?

Tuesday is the feast day of St. Nicholas and as usual, the story of him slapping Arius in the face during the Council of Nicea is making the rounds on social media. To be honest, I used to think the story was funny and I applauded the spirit. That is, get so passionate about truth that you end up punching someone in the mouth over it.In my Mark Driscoll Presbyterian Minister Days, I engaged in many passionate and useless theological debates with people who disagreed with me. As a staunch … [Read more...]

Advent: Kicking your Darkness

Since I first heard the song in college, I've meditated on a lyric by Canadian folk musician Bruce Cockburn. It's a phrase that I've considered tattooing over my heart.  In the song "Lovers in a Dangerous Time," he sings that you've got to "kick the darkness until it bleeds daylight."Advent is a time where we talk about the light shining in the darkness and the darkness not understanding it. But there have been times in my life when I've felt nothing but darkness. And I've understood it much … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: Monsters Inside Me

I’ve never been much for being scared out of my mind by horror flicks or haunted houses. I don’t need trumped up Halloween lure to find myself terrified. And I am hardly fond of demon talk and exorcisms and such. Yes, I know it’s all true and real and all that. But my mind does of a heck of a good job of scaring me on its own.Want to scare me to death? Put me in front of that show “Monsters Inside Me." I'll succumb fairly early on to the assumption that I too am being eaten alive from the ins … [Read more...]

Why Are Your Kids Leaving the Church? They’re Materialist Magicians

As someone who watches Catholic media for a living, it's hard to ignore the mass panic among various outlets about young people leaving the church. A recent article in OSV illustrates the point. In response to those surveys, people try to come up with different answers for how to address the problem.  A variety of solutions have been proposed. Many people think making the church more "relevant" is the answer. In an article for U.S. Catholic, Jess vehemently disagreed. I'm not against that ide … [Read more...]