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Dark Devotional: I Don’t Believe in the Fatherhood of God, do you?

    When it comes to the story of the Prodigal Son, it’s hard to come up with a new angle. It’s been done. The story has been dissected over and over again. Is there anything new that we can learn from it? The popular picture of Jesus’ parable is about the wayward son who sins like a Catholic at Mardi Gras and then gets forgiven by the father. That’s a great story, but it’s not really the point of… Read more

“For the [Not Quite] Dead”

When I was a junior in high school, I was having a rough time. Learning the extent of my diagnosis–paired with all the readymade awkwardness of a withdrawn teenager–created the perfect storm for despair. Friedreich’s ataxia + puberty = melodramatic existentialism and emo music. “…I don’t feel like I am strong enough.” For some reason my American lit anthology for English class kept opening to a certain page. Maybe the page was located in the exact middle seam of the… Read more

A Back to School Prayer for the Weirdos (and their weirdo parents)

I wrote this essay six years ago, before my daughter was diagnosed with autism and my google searches for “toddler anxiety” and “what am I doing wrong as a mother” came to an end (mostly). But as I prepare to launch my ten-year-old into a new school for fifth grade, I dug it out of the archives because it still gets to the heart of my contortions of fear and worry and guilt and pride for my children. I was also inspired by… Read more

3 Things That Every Convert/Revert Wants Cradles to Know (No, This Ain’t a Cosmo Article)

Since I work in the Disneyland for Catholics (Notre Dame), I see all kinds of different Catholics around campus or attending school. I see people who’ve grown up knowing they would go to Notre Dame. I’ve noticed people who just come to Notre Dame to bask in the light of the dome. The diversity is mind-blowing and I truly love it. I’ve been a “revert” for two and half years. Never once have I regretted leaving behind a sixteen year… Read more

Things Keeping Us Alive, August ’16

August 2016. This month had much fodder for brooding. And here at Sick Pilgrim, brooding is kind of our thing. Contrary to what is easy for us, Saint Paul reminds us, “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil 4:8 Fine, St. Paul, here you go:… Read more

Set the table and open the door: How to get youth (and other troubled souls) in the church

“When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous”. –Luke 14:7-14 Last week I did an interview… Read more

Lament for the Louisiana Flood

I was born and raised in southern Louisiana, and flooding was a fact of life in our low-slung neighborhood. A summer cloudburst could put us on the five o’clock news in New Orleans, and we’d see our neighbors swimming in the drainage ditches and floating in pirogues down the street. Because I was a kid, this was more exciting than dangerous. School would be cancelled, and my parents would make daiquiris. I used to dream of waking up underwater, the house… Read more

The Mystery is Right Next to Us. Learn How to Find It.

  In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda pokes Luke Skywalker with his walking stick and says, “I’ve been watching this one. All his life….he has looked away to the future, the horizon…never his mind on where he was…..what he was doing…” I must confess, this is a summary of my life. I’ve always believed there is something better, just beyond the horizon and that belief has led me to neglect the people, places and the Mystery around me. The dark… Read more

Being Catholic, Being Cajun: Catholic Identity and its Discontents

The calamity in my neck of the woods, Southern Louisiana, is pervasive. My entire community has been affected, and so have I. The heart-breaking destruction, alongside the strength of character drawn out by the recent floods, has left me reeling. In times like this, I find myself questioning the fundamentals of my identity. If I call myself a Catholic, what do I mean? And why does being Cajun matter? The truth is, I’ve never felt like an insider, even within these two… Read more

Dark Devotional: The Kingdom of God is for Losers, Weirdos, and Strange People

  A few years ago, Stephen Colbert did a hilarious video about the need to make Catholicism cool again. He made it as a response to a Mormon video that shows Mormons doing cool, amazing things in their lives. Colbert’s video featured a surfer Catholic dude on a skateboard, playing the electronic guitar and high-fiving a tiger. Check it out Here. Colbert is poking gentle fun to lampoon the worldview of these church promotional campaigns. And, in case anyone thinks… Read more

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