Radically Catholic in the Age of Trump

For several years now, I’ve attended daily Mass at St. Clare Church, where the average parishioner could be described as white, old, and well-off. For the first couple of years, I routinely joined other communicants for the Wednesday “Coffee and …” in the parish center. Eventually, though, I had to stop attending. When someone asked me why I wasn’t coming around anymore, my response was “Because I want to think the best of you all.” You see, I heard things on Wednesday… Read more

An Election Day Lamentation: Mourning a Missed Opportunity

  In politics, as in war, there is often only one favorable moment- an opportunity when tantalizing possibilities open up and the very course of history can be diverted in new directions. But these moments, which depend on the convergence of circumstances largely due to mere chance, are fleeting, and must be seized immediately and exploited because they may never occur again. As a result, in the political arena, radical reform is always a project for the bold and the enterprising. Perhaps… Read more

What I Saw on the Porch

In temporary relief from the ongoing telenovella of our impending national election, we habitues of the Front Porch Republic met up last weekend at the architecture building on the campus of the University of Notre Dame for a daylong celebration of “place, limits, liberty.” These annual shmoozefests are always a delight, given the wonderful mix of temperaments and the high degree of literacy displayed everywhere. Amidst a certain Spenglerian gloom, hilarity is always breaking out, I dunno quite how. Anyway, here’s my Yelp-like… Read more

Passing the Test (for Cynthia)

[An old friend in pain recently emailed me to share some anguish and doubt. (S)he wrote that despite years of intense but unanswered prayer, (s)he had finally failed the test of faithfulness. Most disturbing of all, (s)he commended me on having passed that test, no doubt truly believing that in fact I have. This was my reply. I offer it today for my new friend Cynthia.] Thank you, my friend, for reaching out to share these thoughts with me, for trusting me… Read more

Novena for Peace: August 29 – September 6, For an End to the Injustice of Exploitation

Join us at Novena For Peace! General Intentions: For an end to the injustice of exploitation. For the redemption of structures that enable the powerful to abuse the Earth, bind women and children in sexual slavery, promote pornography, and deprive workers of just wages. For the spread of an integral ecology that protects nature, promotes the dignity of the human person, and seeks the common good. Particular Intentions: For those people known to us who suffer from exploitation, and in reparation for our sinful… Read more

Forget Shea. This Guy Has Anger and Tone Issues

The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore, whatever they tell you observe and do, but do not do their works. For they speak, but do nothing. They fasten heavy loads that are hard to carry and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their works to be seen by men. They make their Scripture boxes broad and lengthen the tassels on their prayer shawls. They love… Read more

The Novena for Peace Begins Today

Eighty-one days of prayer for justice, peace, and racial reconciliation in the United States. We begin today and end on November 8, Election Day, which also happens to be the birthday of our patron, the Servant of God Dorothy Day. Read more

The Real Threat to Religious Liberty

Perhaps the greatest threat Trump presents to religious liberty is his abiding promise to form a vast federal agency to hunt down, arrest, detain, and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. What he doesn’t realize is that millions of Christians like me will consider it our religious obligation to protect our brothers and sisters, even at the cost of our lives. Read more

Praying for Miracles

Every summer for the past 19 years, the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City has prayed a “novena of novenas” for justice, peace, and the care of creation. I recently stumbled upon their novena while looking for prayer resources online. This discovery got me thinking: if we all agree that the United States is on the wrong track; that injustice, racism, and violence still permeate our society; that today we are as far from the Beloved Community as… Read more

Rediscovering the Golden String

Dear reader, be advised this will not be a standard book review. I have before me a review copy of Michael Martin’s new anthology, The Heavenly Country, An Anthology of Primary Sources, Poetry, and Critical Essays on Sophiology. I want to respond not in a scholarly fashion–I am not that much of a scholar–but in an amatory mode, i.e., that of the amateur of these ideas. And as to the relevance of this review to our mission here, I think… Read more

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