Contemplation and Comment Moderation for Lent

(US Navy / Public Domain)

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent -- the season of preparation for Easter.  The whole church fasts from meat on Fridays, during this season, and individual Catholics usually make personal commitments to give something up or take something on as a discipline this season.In Lent and in any other time, I sometimes like to review what suggestion other people make to me that I most frequently ignore, and, thus, this Lent seems like a good time for me to take a look at contemplative … [Read more...]

No Villains, Just Inept Lovers in The Last 5 Years


The Last 5 Years tells the story of Jamie and Cathy's relationship, from the moment they meet, through when they marry, to the moment, five years after they relationship began, their marriage ends.  The musical is a series of sung monologues--Jamie and Cathy each telling the story of their relationship in alternating songs, that cover the relationship's arc from opposite directions: Jamie from beginning to end, Cathy from end to beginning.  Thus, Cathy's first song is set the morning that she f … [Read more...]

Promises No One Asks the Church to Keep [Saints bookclub]

(Sailko / Wikimedia Commons)

In 2015, I’m reading and blogging through Ronald Knox’s collection of sermons on Christian exemplars, Captive Flames: On Selected Saints and Christian Heroes.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next portrait in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's chapter, Ronald Knox is describing St. Gregory the Great, and roots his sermon in an anecdote of St. Gregory punning on the name of an English captive, Angles, explaining that his true heritage wa … [Read more...]

Love Applied to Charity and Fighting in New Haven

(Ragesoss / Wikimedia Commons)

I'm making speaking appearances in New Haven today and tomorrow, so here's a heads up for students in the area.  Effective Altruism and Caritas Yale Effective AltruistsMonday, Feb 16, 5pmJE Dining HallWhen looking for high-impact opportunities to give, how should we weight the effect that different ways of giving have on the giver?  If you get the most bang for your charity buck abroad, how will you stay engaged with the needs of the people around you and avoid becoming de … [Read more...]

Independence and Injustice [Radio Readings]

many gavels

You can listen to “Fights in Good Faith,” my weekly radio program, streaming today at 5pm ET and tomorrow (Sun) at 1pm.  The episode is now available to download and stream.This week's program is about the systems we build to administer justice, and the ways that these systems lose our trustEvery week, I put up a “Radio Readings” post, so you can track down the books, articles, and, (this week) documentaries that I cite on the show. So, without further ado, here’s what I’m talking about t … [Read more...]

Looking forward to The Last 5 Years tonight!

I'm a little too busy to do Quick Takes today; among other things, I'm hosting about 20 people at my place tonight to watch The Last 5 Years, and I promised to make dinner for all of them.  (When I offered to cook, only 7 people had RSVP'd so far).The movie is in very limited release, but, luckily, it's available to rent or buy from iTunes, so that's what we're doing.  I hope some of you will join me (though probably don't watch it on Valentine's Day) and we can have some dis … [Read more...]

Why Make People Derive the Rules for Sex Themselves?

( / Flickr)

I'll be sending the monthly update on my book Arriving At Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer next week, and if you get the email, you can enter a lottery to get an early copy.  After I wrote a post on practical questions to ask about consent and coercion (and the way making a habit of these questions can develop your care and compassion), one of my commenters was concerned that telling people how to have sex more ethically is unethical, if I wind up implicitly condoning pr … [Read more...]