Dark Devotional: January 15, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: I am a Jealous Person

Click here for the complete Mass readings for Sunday, January 17, 2016 A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. Brothers and sisters, There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;  there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the… Read more

When a Doubter Writes a Devotional Book

“We have foolishly conceived you to be a tyrant over human life.” –St Augustine I’ve had a lot of trouble finding a priest who believes in the devil. They usually dismiss my fears of the man with the pitchfork and speak instead of an amorphous evil or darkness at work in the world, if they’ll acknowledge evil at all. Evil is out of style. We’re the Church of Mercy. But a Catholicism that’s obsessed with hell had a stranglehold on… Read more

It Takes All Kinds

With this post, Sick Pilgrim is joining the conversation on My Badass Book of Saints for the Patheos Book Club.   I just finished writing a story about “Green Nuns” and every sister I interviewed made me want to go out and get a composting toilet. These women were inspiring. They were brilliant. They were strong. They saw the writing on the wall years ago about the looming ecological crisis—and the Church’s vocational crisis—and instead of slipping quietly into obscurity they… Read more

Coming Friday to Sick Pilgrim: The Dark Devotional

  THE DARK DEVOTIONAL is Sick Pilgrim’s weekly feature on the Sunday Mass readings, published every Friday. These meditations may provoke, depress, or inspire, depending on where your heart is. But we hope they’ll help us to see a little better in the dark. “I once received a letter from an old lady in California who informed me that when the tired reader comes home at night, he wishes to read something that will lift up his heart, and it seems… Read more

Sick Pilgrim: The Catholic Church is a Hot Mess…and I love Her

Two years ago, I was confirmed in the Catholic Church with a group of eighth graders. Having been in Canada on a book project, and unwilling to wait for Easter, I took my vows with a group of awkward kids who barely understood the words they recited. Me, a pastor of twelve years with a Masters of Divinity degree, no better than the kid in front of me who probably spent the morning playing Halo. A few days later, a… Read more

The Revenant: Meditations on Redemptive Suffering

*Spoilers ahead* To be honest, I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. From what I’d read, it seemed as if The Revenant was just another Western revenge movie, of which there are Legion, including The Hateful Eight, the newest film by Quentin Tarantino. But if it’s a Western, it’s a Western as meditation on redemptive suffering. How those reviews and articles missed that most basic part of the story is beyond me, but The Revenant is one of the most… Read more

Welcome, Sick Pilgrims

  “…people often seemed perplexed by Frank and Maisie’s enthusiasms, and published them with little hope of success. But the enthusiasms were right for America, and Sheed and Ward helped at least to shade in the outlines of a counter-Catholicism to which a civilized person could repair.” –Wilfrid Sheed, Frank and Maisie: A Memoir With Parents I’m obsessed with Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward. Wilfrid (their son) says their marriage and their publishing house (once considered the “Tiffany” of Catholic publishing in America) served… Read more

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