How To Offer Community Without Communion

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I'm over at First Things today, talking about why people may want to drop barriers to Communion out of fear of excluding the people who most need strength and support, and offering suggestions for other ways to see, know, and love our pewmates:Communion is often the sign of acceptance that people seek—not just because it’s at the heart of the faith, but because it may be the only form of love that people know how to ask for or see offered at their parish. In many parishes, it’s easy to atten … [Read more...]

Extending Family and Keeping an Honorary Aunt in your Basement

(mrsapplegate / flickr)

I love this essay by Mikkee Hall ("Why I moved 1,600 miles to live downstairs from my godchildren") on expanding families and supporting unusual vocations to love in the Washington Post.As I hit my mid-30s, I knew it was time to make a radical change. So when my best friend and her husband moved their family of six to Denver, I packed up what would fit in my car, sold the rest and joined them to live in their basement. [...] I live in my friends’ basement apartment with the sounds of four y … [Read more...]

How Do You Lance A Festering Resentment?

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I'm curious what readers (religious or not) wind up doing when you're frustrated by/or angry at someone.  I've just been reading Letters to a Beginner: On Giving One's Life To God by Abbess Thaisia of Leushino and she writes sharply against idle talk and gossip: It begins under the pretext of conversing, of discussing some business, but then we proceed imperceptibly to an altogether unnecessary, empty, and sinful conversation.  Like a deeply-rooted infection, this sickness does not easily sub … [Read more...]

I’m headed to CA for the Convinced premiere!

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If any readers live out by Orange County, CA, or have friends who do, I'll be there this Friday for the premiere of Convinced, a documentary about converts to Catholicism.Convinced includes interviews with a number of converts to Catholicism, and the one I'm most excited to meet in person is Holly Ordway, the author of Not God's Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms, who is like me insofar as she's a curly-haired, argumentative atheist-turned-Catholic who fought her way into the f … [Read more...]

The Pitiful Princedom of Hannibal

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At First Things, Alexi Sargeant  has an interesting take on the kind of evil on display in the tv show Hannibal.  (Note: I don't watch the show -- too brutal -- so my experience of it is mostly gifsets shared on tumblr; I do love the showrunner's previous show Pushing Daisies). So, I recommend the essay as a whole, but I'm just going to riff on one particular part of it.In Sargeant's view, Hannibal is a Lucifer-like figure, but not the kind that tries to overthrow all rules and pretends to se … [Read more...]

Beginning the Benedict Option Today

(photo by Eisodia Monaxh)

I got to hear Rod Dreher and Ken Myers (of the Mars Hill Audio Journal) discuss the Benedict Option this weekend at the Tocqueville Forum.  At least 200 people turned out, so, when it came time for questions, I wanted to make sure to ask something that would help us all do something in the near term (rather than rely on Rod to make another visit to draw us all together again).I asked both speakers what they would recommend that people in the audience do now (either this week, or, if … [Read more...]

7QT: Breaking Bicycle, Weight, and Genre Rules

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--- 1 --- I know, from personal experience, that the expression "It's like riding a bike, one never forgets" is false, but I still really enjoyed seeing the design for a bike designed to go fast, flouting all the rules for road races.--- 2 --- And speaking of changing standards, Nautilus has a nice piece on the efforts to replace the Platonic Kilogram (it exists! it's in Paris) with a benchmark for weight that doesn't require a physical object. Some basic units have already been … [Read more...]


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