October 15, 2019

Pope Benedict XVI offers an interesting commentary on the path of motion of charity, or ​agape​, as metabasis​—“departure” from oneself. “Love is the very process of passing over, of transformation, of stepping outside the limitations of fallen humanity—in which we are all separated from one another and ultimately impenetrable to one another—into an infinite otherness. ‘Love to the end’ is what brings about the seemingly impossible ​metabasis​: stepping outside the limits of one’s closed individuality, which is what ​agape​ is—breaking… Read more

October 1, 2019

Entering into young adulthood is a process fraught with confusion, frustration, and constant reminders of one’s own inadequacy. This process is intensified for us millennials who grew up with a sense of entitlement, and especially so for only-children. The rude awakening of having to take responsibility for my own career path and  life decisions stripped me naked. The illusion that mommy and daddy would figure it all out for me wore off when I got my first full-time job, in… Read more

September 21, 2019

I met Danielle (DL) Mayfield last year when she spoke on a panel about serving others without taking on a “savior complex.” She shared her experience of aspiring to become an evangelical missionary as a teen, and how her encounters with her immigrant neighbors challenged her understanding of what it means to share the Gospel with others. I was particularly moved by how she spoke about the need for neighborliness in an increasingly individualistic culture. I asked Danielle to answer… Read more

September 9, 2019

I’ve been serving food weekly outside a homeless shelter in midtown Manhattan for the last three months. During my most recent visit, Wanda, one of the regulars, asked me for one of the rosaries lying on the table next to the food and drinks.  “You’re going to use that pray for me, right?” “Why do you think I’m taking it? Of course! I gotta pray for you.” Over the last few weeks, Wanda and I have been sharing more and… Read more

September 4, 2019

So since people are up in arms over this Harry Potter debacle…and seeing as I’m an ex-Potterhead, I thought I’d weigh in. I’ll start by saying that I got involved in witchcraft and occult practices after reading Harry Potter when I was about 10 years old. That being said, I’m not the kind of Catholic that thinks that readings stories about witches and spells is intrinsically evil, and that Harry Potter should be forbidden. But I definitely don’t think that… Read more

August 29, 2019

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”  Why do we often feel so lonely…even when surrounded by groups of people, whether physically or digitally? I find that even when I’m hanging out with people who care about me, when we’re having a good time enjoying each other’s company, that loneliness creeps in. Even when I receive those little dopamine inducing digital indications of approval… Read more

August 23, 2019

In the previous post, I pointed out that moralistic alternatives to consumerism (self-acceptance, selflessness) can only temporarily mask our drive to consume. We will never be able to get rid of our attraction to material objects or to beauty. What is needed is not to diminish these attractions, but instead to channel them toward a truer object or end.  As much as I ate up the moralistic messages fed to me as a child (“accept yourself as you are,” “the… Read more

August 17, 2019

I grew up with conflicting messages regarding the meaning of my life, my body, and human relationships. According to my teachers and other champions of moral uprightness, life was a constant battle between the ways of “society” and the ways of being a good person who is true to him or herself and who cares about others. The elusive boogeyman known as “society” wants us to think that in order to be happy, we need a successful job, nice clothes,… Read more

August 5, 2019

I finished the last post in this series with an open question. The existential conundrum that Bad Bunny conveys in his music–between an attitude of complacency/distraction and openness/seeking truth–represents the experience of many who are on the cusp of Gens Y and Z (millennials and the iGen). This teetering between poles can prove exhausting…Where can they find respite? What are the options available to them?  One is that of the Nueva Religion: optimistic nihilism. Accept that meaning is not created… Read more

August 2, 2019

In the previous article in this series, I pointed out the tension between Bad Bunny’s “New Religion” of optimistic nihilism and his desire for objective meaning. I proposed that this tension represents the great existential conundrum faced by those on the cusp of Gens Y and Z. In this article, we’ll look at how this tension is expressed in his lyrics (note that the translations of these songs from Spanish to English are either my own or from Genius). Estamos… Read more

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