What should I do at churches offering open communion?

 Over the summer, while I was working in DC, I decided to visit every church within walking distance of the place I was living, so I saw a wider variety of services that the Catholic Mass I attend every week with my boyfriend.  This led to a whole new range of stresses for me.Whenever I enter a new religious ceremony, especially if unescorted by an initiate, I immediately become convinced that there is a giant blinking sign above my head that says ATHEIST, and that I will somehow … [Read more...]

The Summons (another approach to humility)

This post is one in a series about Diane Duane's Young Wizards series.  I am using the books as a frame for talking about what kind of religion I might feel comfortable in.  Check out all posts on this topic at the series index.Yesterday, I wrote about one of the major reasons my pride makes me feel uncomfortable with the Christian idea of submission to God.  Several commenters pointed out that Lewis's allegory is not the only way to approach humility, so I thought I would use today to hi … [Read more...]

Is My Ignorance Invincible?

Thanks for all the responses to my post this weekend asking for advice on RCIA and the tone of the blog .  Tomorrow, I'll be returning to the ongoing series about Diane Duane's Young Wizards books and what they've taught me about religion, but I wanted to take a break today to deal with some questions Saturday's post brought up.Kevin brought up a problem that goes to the heart of the blog and one that I've heard before. This kind of argumentation just isn't what makes people religious. … [Read more...]

Harry Potter and the Unnecessary Assumption

Last week, I went to Mass with my boyfriend on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The officiating priest had lucked out, as the parents whose child was being baptized at the Mass had named their child Mary, providing him with ample material for a homily. Happily, he still returned to the matter at hand, telling the story of the Assumption, talking about the reasons it wasn’t in the readings or the Bible and explaining how the act of taking the event on faith could be t … [Read more...]

“You can’t go around building a better world for people”

For an explanation of what Weatherwax Wednesdays are all about, read the introduction post. This week’s Discworld quote comes from Witches Abroad, which is, among many other thing, a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. In the story, Granny Weatherwax and her companions are pitted against a more conventional fairy godmother, who is intent on scripting a happy ending for the characters. ‘We’re the other kind [of godmother],’ said Granny. ‘We’re the kind that gives people what they kn … [Read more...]

A Parable of Talents

 In a very schmaltzy YA book I read in middle school, a whole school bus load of middle schoolers died in a car accident and went straight to Heaven. I’m pretty sure the protagonist and his eventual girlfriend got to come back to life by the end because they had Unfinished Business back on Earth, but before they do, they get a preview look at Heaven as all their friends settle down for the rest of their afterlives.The Heaven of this book most closely resembles a glitzy theme park. … [Read more...]

Back from the Rectory

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, and, of course, my greatest thanks are reserved for Deacon Michael who generously spent two hours chatting with me yesterday.  I really appreciated both his candor and his enthusiasm.  It's always so encouraging to see people who are energized by disagreement and conversation, rather than frightened of it.I'm not going to do a beat by beat recap of our discussion for a variety of reasons.  The primary one is that I have a policy of only attributing … [Read more...]