Trying to Say God: An Address to the Artists

A Catholic writer lives and works at this edge of meaning, between light and the dark. Read more

Dark Devotional: The Mystery of Persecution

In a world dominated by selfishness and the pursuit of their own interests, those who preach love, poverty and forgiveness will inevitably be persecuted. Read more

Things Keeping Us Alive, June ’17

When I was young, summertime meant joy. And it mostly still does – the long days, the eagerness to be outside, even the suffocating heat of South Louisiana recalls days of summer break for school, freedom unlike anything else in my school-aged mind. But getting older means that freedom isn’t as carefree as it once was. Maybe it’s empathy that lessens the unbridled happiness. I know people are struggling right now. So summer’s not as insular, not as huge a… Read more

Séance with the Freudenabteilung (or, Communing with Dead Nazi Sex Slaves): Listening to Joy Division as Religious Experience

  “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” – Neitszche   When you struggle with depression, it’s tempting to juxtapose your own horror stories with the real horror stories of history in an attempt to gain a more sober perspective. But these efforts usually backfire and cause even more despair. Pilgrims must be on… Read more

Trapped in the Nightmare: A Bloomsday Dark Devotional

June 16 is Bloomsday — a special day for Irish literary geeks, on which fans of James Joyce’s Ulysses gather in Dublin to retrace the steps–and drink the drinks–of the novel’s hero, Leopold Bloom, who both starts and finishes his surreal Odyssean journey in his wife’s bed.   Ulysses, with its ring-like structure and themes of transformation, is a story for moderns trapped within the cyclical “nightmare” of history, from which the only escape is a kind of mythic re-imagining… Read more

Pest’s Letters: To My Friend Who Died of an Overdose

They found your body on the floor of your house last week. I don’t know any details, but the cause was an overdose…surprising few if any. Read more

Dark Devotional: Frankenstein and the Most Holy Trinity

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. –St. Paul   “I am alone, and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species, and have the same defects. This being you must create.” –Frankenstein’s monster   It was Christmas in Guatemala. My fiancé… Read more

Dark Devotional: Speak My Language

I don’t sound very Christian. That’s what I was told after I proudly mentioned to my neighbor, a white haired and thoroughly religious grandmother-type, to check out the blog I sometimes wrote for, Sick Pilgrim. A couple of days later, she got back to me with that assessment. And she didn’t mean it as an insult, just a blunt and honest statement from a very kind lady who respects and looks up to me very much. So when she said… Read more

Dark Devotional: Go and Make a Mess of Things

Could it be that our weakness is exactly what the power of the Gospel needs to reach the poor and persecuted? Read more

Dark Devotional: Don’t Lay Your Hands on Me

I was delivered! I was free! After all, hands were laid on me and demons had left me by the legions. All I had to do was believe it. Read more

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