When People Offer Me Their Weaknesses As Strengths

leo hole

I still haven't mentioned my favorite thing that happened during the discussion I hosted on the Benedict Option.  In the final half hour of the conversation, we restricted the topic a little.  First, people were going to name resources that they had, which might be useful to the group.  Then people would basically make wishes ("I wish I had people to pray the Liturgy of the Hours with during the work day" "I wish I had people to volunteer with" etc.).  People were encouraged to name wishes that t … [Read more...]

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Tackling the Small Benedict Option Problems First

(Peter J Bury / flickr)

A few weeks ago, I hosted a discussion of "the Benedict Option" (ways for Christians to build institutions/habits to do better at providing community to each other / making living the faith feel less like a lonely pursuit) and Peter Blair of Fare Forward (the magazine sponsoring the event) has written up his thoughts.The gathering’s discussion focused largely on concrete pressures on their faith that the participants face in their everyday life in D.C. Not much was said about an abstract di … [Read more...]

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A Dominican Invitation to Witness [Saints Bookclub]

(The Dominican Blessed / Fra Angelico)

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 (kinda), I’ll be writing about the next portrait in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.Maybe I wouldn't have been slow to get back into blogging through Knox's sermons on the saints if I had noticed that the next chapter was on St. Dominic -- after all, I owe a lot to the Dominicans in DC. … [Read more...]

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Accidental Stylites and the Benedict Option

Luke the Stylite / Wikimedia Commons

This weekend, I'm hosting an in-person discussion of "the Benedict Option" -- ways for modern Christians to root their faith so that they can wind up living it more fully and more joyfully.  Rod Dreher is the biggest promoter of the idea, which takes its name from the Benedictine monasteries that acted as centers of Christian faith, both for the monks that lived within them and (more relevantly for me!) the lay communities that sprang up in the shadow of the monasteries.  These ordinary people h … [Read more...]

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Desiring Abundance of Life, Not Just Absence of Sin

(Horla Varlan / Flickr)

Ben Kuhn has a great post up on strategies for inviting (and retaining) new kinds of people to a group that you run.  Ben is writing specifically about effective altruism, an interest of mine, too, but I think his thoughts generalize pretty well.Hands down, this was my favorite thing that he said: Get interested in other people’s experiences. Don’t try to convince them to “become an EAer;” try to get them to convince you of something. Figure out how their perspective can add to effective alt … [Read more...]

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The Word Gap Needs More Than Individual Effort

(mob mob / Flickr)

I'm posting at Fare Forward today, talking about the word gap, and why solutions should include structural reform of work schedules, wages, and zoning -- not just increased effort from individual parents: Poorer children start falling behind the richer children in their age cohort long before they toddle off to their first day of school or sit down for their first standardized test. Before formal instruction begins, children learn from their parents. Poorer children fall into a “word gap”—they h … [Read more...]

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Effective Altruism and Caritas [Radio Readings]

MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svg

You can listen to “Fights in Good Faith,” my weekly radio program, streaming today at 5pm ET and tomorrow (Sun) at 1pm.  The audio is now available to stream and download. This week’s program is about the Effective Altruism movement ways to resolve tensions between its recommendations and the Christian aim of charity.  I gave a talk on this topic earlier this week as a guest of the Yale Effective Altruists.Every week, I put up a “Radio Readings” post, so you can track down the books, article … [Read more...]

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