Narcissism, Exorcism, and the True Nature of Evil

Sixty years ago, C.S. Lewis began his book, Mere Christianity by giving us an example of two people disagreeing and trying to put each other in “the wrong.” His argument, of course, is that we all have a sense that right and wrong are realities, even if we aren’t always very good at defining them. Lately, that argument has escalated into “He is evil. She is evil. They are evil. Everyone is evil but me.” This toxicity has made me… Read more

Dark Devotional: A Wild Messiah

“     I still remember the first time I read The Chronicles of Narnia, about 10 years ago, and encountered the following passage: “He’ll be coming and going” he had said. “One day you’ll see him and another you won’t. He doesn’t like being tied down–and of course he has other countries to attend to. It’s quite all right. He’ll often drop in. Only you mustn’t press him. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”    One might say… Read more

Dark Devotional: Even the Dogs

    … a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. Jesus’ disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying,… Read more

The Cajun Saint and The Cajun Doubter: Charlene Richard and Me

The sun shone starkly and the humidity hugged us unwelcomingly as my mom and I entered the graveyard. The August midday sun made the colors pop–the freshly mown grass was brightly green, the tombs, even the ancient and barren old ones, were dramatically white, and the newer graves were decorated with recently placed multi-colored flower bouquets. A recent tawny-hued stuffed rabbit toy was placed on a child-sized tomb, causing a fresh pang within me in this already sober place. Richard, Louisiana,… Read more

St. Maximilian Kolbe, Pray for Me, a Sinner, and a White Man.

I’m a white male, age 35-45. According to all statistics and research, I have power in America. It’s not something I asked for or wanted.  At first glance, nothing about my life screams prestige or influence. I come from a teenage union, my parents picking soybeans in an Indiana field just so I could eat. Not exactly a life of ease and leisure with summers at Martha’s Vineyard and an Ivy League education. No, I have power because I was… Read more

Dark Devotional: Who Will You Call When You’re Drowning?

  I want to tell you a story.   I want to tell you a story of a powerful, personal experience of the Holy Spirit.   I want to tell you a story of a time when the presence of God with me was tangible, undeniable, enveloping like warm water, as real as the chair you are sitting in. I want to tell you of how I trembled and was transformed.   I want to tell you a story like… Read more

Approaching Mystery: Late Night Deck Sentence in the Rain

Once I loved the world, or thought I did, I prayed every night, read parts of the Bible, took my mind to school every day, but lived for summer and boats, fished all day by myself, sat cross-legged in huts of pine and leaves, breathed fire and smoke back in the tall trees behind the cottage, watched the stars in the sky and their reflections on the lake, made a promise to myself never to give up my 8 year… Read more

Drinking Blood and Feeling Guilty: Jennifer the Damned is a Catholic Vampire

  If you’re a Catholic, you take your guilt to confession. Here’s a confession for you: I shamelessly read the Twilight series—and I’m sure I liked it too much.   Karen Ullo’s new novel, Jennifer the Damned (Wiseblood Books, 2017) successfully navigates the teen vampire genre towards Catholicism: Jennifer is a teenaged vampire who kills against her will, who wants to love, but can’t, and hopes, regardless, that God can love her, somehow. Reading her story, I couldn’t help but think of the Biblical… Read more

Dark Devotional: Hold Fast and Light Your Lamps

    My Friends, I’m tired of living. I don’t mean this is a suicidal way. This is not a cry for help. I’m just truly tired of living in this world, in this country, that is right now so full of hate. I know I’m not alone and I know this isn’t unique to me. I know that so many of my brothers and sisters are feeling this way as well. We long for a day in which God’s… Read more

Dark Devotional: Creating From the Wound

I live in Los Angeles, the epicenter of self-defining artists. And, like most people in this city, I consider myself an artist. However, unlike most people living in Los Angeles — I believe we’re all artists in some form or another. I’m in constant awe of the way people create, perform, produce, and refine their skills. I see this in the visual arts, parenting, writing, cooking, teaching, care-taking, and most avenues of life. In LA, I’m constantly bombarded with things… Read more

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