Pope Francis’s Judith Leaves Me A Little Lost


In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.This week's chapter is only three and a half pages long, and I feel like it sorely needed to be expanded.  As Pope Francis discusses Judith's beheading of Holofernes, he emphasizes the way that her faith is guided by her "memory-soak … [Read more...]

Torn Between Two Saint Catherines


My friend Catherine Addington (who followed me as an editorial assistant at AmCon and wrote this nice piece on using Native American authors in English class there) has committed to blogging every day in November, and this essay on her difficult relationship with her name-saint is particularly excellent.  I'm excerpting a piece of it here, to persuade you to pop over and read the whole thing. The priest took my question [about why the parish banned female altar servers] seriously and answered i … [Read more...]

When Should “Effective Altruism Day” Occur?


Ozy recently asked a fun question -- how can people interested in effective altruism bring up the topic in a natural and inviting way.  Other ethical choices (like vegetarianism) call attention to themselves in the course of an ordinary day, but deliberations over donations happen privately and calling attention to them publicly is usually regarded as gauche at best, jerky at worst.Ozy suggests trying to popularize some kind of holiday that would make it easy to bring up the topic, in the … [Read more...]

7QT: Artful Illusion and Clever Construction


--- 1 --- I totally understand if you read the first take here and then don't get around to reading takes 2-7 for an hour, or even until tomorrow, because I've got good news: Monument Valley has released new levels!  In case you're not familiar with the game, its tagline is "An illusory adventure of impossible architecture and forgiveness" and here's the little trailer for the original game:You play by exploring the MC Escher like landscapes and can often bridge an impossible gap by … [Read more...]

Give Us Bread, Roses, and Benedict Options


Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has posted a question on his blog for people who like "the Benedict Option" and I'd like to take a crack at answering it.  PEG asks: You have two extremes on the spectrum. On the one side, you have what you might call (humorously! don’t freak out!) the “David Koresh Option”: complete sectarian withdrawal, the Barbarians are flooding the Empire, and all we can do is huddle in the ark (mixing up my metaphors over here) and wait for the flood to end. And I think everyone invol … [Read more...]

Interviewing Eve Tushnet on Vocations of Love

eve interview

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing a Q&A with Eve Tushnet, author of Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith as part of her ongoing Patheos book club. I'll be writing my own review of the book soon, but, in the meantime, enjoy the video above, place an order for the book, and check out Eve's blog (especially the posts with "Book Extra" in the title).  … [Read more...]

Falling in Love with the World through the Eyes of the Beloved

under poarch

There's an interesting piece of research going around on what makes relationships grow and deepen (versus fracture and wound).  John Gottman and Robert Levenson (the "Love Lab" researchers) were looking for the smallest kind of observational data that let them (fairly) reliably distinguish good relationships from bad.  Here's what they found had the most power to predict the success of a marriage over its first six years: Throughout the day, artners would make requests for connection, what G … [Read more...]