Starting Conversations During Francis’s Visit

ewtn francis

Last week, I was a guest on EWTN News Nightly to talk about ways to have good conversations with non-Catholics that might be sparked by Pope Francis's visit (plus a bit on the perennially popular topic of comparing the two most recent popes)  As usual, my general rule is to start conversations in the way that you'd want a non-Catholic, who wanted you to leave the faith because they willed your good, to start them with you.  … [Read more...]

Pulling Off Casual Proselytization

chatting nun

In this week's installment of the Pope Francis bookclub, the then-Archbishop talked about "missionary joy" that invites people in to learn the source.  I was reminded of a nun who recently gave a talk in D.C. on Spe Salvi.  In her talk. she mentioned being asked on the street, "What is the reason for your joy?"When people ask a habited nun this question, they've got a reasonable guess as to what kind of answer they're going to get.  I'm less sure what to do when I get a similar qu … [Read more...]

Merry Old Christmas Day + Reflections on Modern Christmases

in the arena screenshot

Merry Christmas to any readers who may belong to Orthodox churches whose liturgy follows the Julian calendar!  My friends and I in DC are taking advantage of the occasion by getting to celebrate a little with each other (since we're all scattered back with our families on the Christmas day that our church follows).And, in the meantime, I figured I'd post the video from a Christmas radio appearance I did on In the Arena with Monsignor Harrington.  We talked about the parallel, secular c … [Read more...]

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s… Evangelism?

kamala khan

Marvel Comics is introducing a new superheroine, Kamala Khan, who is a Muslim, and the New York Times teased out an interesting nuance of how the writers plan to cover her religion. The creative team is braced for all possible reactions. “I do expect some negativity,” Ms. Amanat said, “not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.”But “this is not evangelism,” Ms. Wilson said. “It was really important for me … [Read more...]

Getting a Sense of Sin

punch in face

I've just finished Francis Spufford's Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense.  He's pretty good at solving yesterday's problem of explaining your faith without getting bogged down forever in background information or just staying bland.  In one section I particularly liked, he talked about the difficulty of explaining Christianity in a language that's littered with Christian ideas that have drifted from their technical meanings. Everyone kn … [Read more...]

What All Relationships (religion included) Require


Well, I agreed with the majority of J.T. Eberhard's recent post "Joy for Joy's Sake."  I, too, like visiting RenFaires, and I enjoyed scrolling through the pictures of him and his fiancée frolicking amid the anachronisms.  But then I got up to this conclusion: Meaning is realizing we’re very lucky to have the time we have and not wasting a minute of it by letting others dictate how we spend these precious minutes.  If you’d rather be at home cuddling someone who means the world to you than sitti … [Read more...]

Can We Play Not-Nicely Better, Please?

And speaking of sparing feelings without pulling punches, there's been a donnybrook going between Tom McDonald (Catholic) and Hemant Mehta (atheist) and JT Eberhard waded in yesterday.  I'm not planning to tag in exactly, but I would like to suggest that they have a slightly different fight.Both Tom's original post mocking atheism and Hemant and JT's rejoinder seemed pitched particularly to their own sides, so, even though the posts got pretty heated, it has kind of the effect of a flurry of … [Read more...]