Sick Pilgrims! Come hang with us at the Festival of Faith and Writing next week. Jess and Jonathan will both be speaking on panels (schedule below). And if you’re interested in hanging out Friday night after we all listen to Tobias Wolf, let us know on our Facebook page. We’ll be posting details there. During the week, we’ll be posting quick thoughts, reflections and other things. Maybe even a few quick interviews. Plus, Jonathan will be at the Ave Maria booth occasionally, so come… Read more

My husband and I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland for three years in graduate school. We felt at home amongst dead theologians, drizzly sideways rain, and a dram of whisky that would warm you up when it got dark at 3:30. We ate cheaply, walked miles a day, and spent too-many hours in small, chilly offices and libraries, pouring over old words. Weekends we’d invite friends over to drink cocktails and, after hours of political and religious debate, they’d leave their… Read more

An article in The Atlantic grabbed our attention last week–about young Jews embracing the more traditional practices their parents had rejected. We completely identified. The return to traditional faith practices–what the Catholic Church refers to as “popular piety”– played a significant role in both of our returns to Catholicism, the religion our parents had abandoned. Our families had been Catholic for generations. Jess’s parents were old school cultural Catholics from New Orleans–they went to Mass and prayed the rosary but they also threw salt over… Read more

  1. We’re Catholic. 2. We share a publisher. We’re writing a book for Loyola Press, the fine folks who brought you this and this and this. The book will draw on our most challenging personal experiences–grief, death, divorce, mental illness, natural disasters, infidelity, humiliation, addiction—while walking with you through the liturgical year, seeking God even in the darkest places. And when it’s released in Fall 2017, we’ll be doing a book tour, so let us know if you want the Sick Pilgrim… Read more

“They appear more often now, both of them, and on every visit they seem more impatient with me and with the world,” begins Colm Toibin’s novella, The Testament of Mary. “There is something hungry and rough in them, a brutality boiling in their blood, which I have seen before and can smell as an animal that is being hunted can smell.” A friend gave me a copy of Toibin’s book a few years ago, and I read it through my… Read more

Our regular Sick Pilgrims might be shocked to read a meditation on sports gracing the pixelated pages of our broken spirituality blog. Sometimes, I encounter a sniffy disdain among my artier friends when we talk about sports. Whenever I gush about my love for baseball, I get the usual lectures about how obsession with sports has ruined America and taken public dollars away from worthier community projects. I get it, especially when I look at the National Football League, the… Read more

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”  Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and… Read more

Every week after Mass I light a candle. I love the smell of hot wax and matches, the action of my own hand kindling one small flame that will burn for hours, a visible sign of my unseen petition flickering beside the anonymous hopes and burdens of others. I’ve always clung to this little ritual. In those moments of life when I’ve felt most powerless, when I’ve felt there’s no comfort at all for myself or a suffering friend beyond… Read more

  (We are taking a week off here at Sick Pilgrim. So, Jess and I will be posting some pieces we wrote for other forums. I wrote this piece for my now defunct blog, The Rogue. It didn’t really fit there, but it works here very well. I wrote it when I turned 40 and I think it still holds up. Enjoy) A few days ago, I turned forty. I felt pretty good about the first half of my life,… Read more

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the grave. (Matthew 27:59b-61) The two Marys, sitting opposite the grave. In some translations it says that this was a garden, so when I picture this, I imagine two women on… Read more

Follow Us!

Browse Our Archives