November 1, 2016

Last week, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia gave a, by-now infamous, speech, read by some as an uncharitable—even un-Christian—call for a smaller Church and by others as a faithful reaffirmation of God’s plan for His people: He will spit the lukewarm out of His mouth, so to speak. The archbishop’s talk, however, is much more complex than all that; in fact, it is critical of both major sides of the American Church, that is, not just the “liberals,” who are often… Read more

October 28, 2016

“Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.” – Friedrich Nietzsche Who is Donald Trump: savior, pragmatic choice, satanic force? The answer you get much depends on who you ask. In my news feed anyway, he is most often an evil beast lurching toward Washington D.C. to be born—a misogynist, a racist, an enemy of good manners, and the decency we’ve worked so hard to instantiate and uphold. But in that lies an irony—Donald Trump is himself a product of a well-mannered bourgeois… Read more

September 29, 2016

I’m sorry to say that the new semester has overwhelmed me. Thousands of pages of reading, moving, and my recent catfishing debacle have made it nearly impossible to write over the past few weeks. For this (and for anyone who actually misses my blogging presence), I can only openly and contritely confess: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I hope to be back soon—I miss whispering musings into the cyber-void. But, I saw something yesterday that called out for… Read more

September 12, 2016

The Internet is a notoriously deceitful place—people con others out of money, adopt any number of fake personas, even live vicariously for nothing more than the thrill of it. We all know this; them’s the ropes of living in the Digital Age. But do we really understand? How many of us has it personally touched? The ubiquity of deceit does not make it any less tragic when it invades our communities, for, as Hannah Arendt taught us, sometimes the most… Read more

August 28, 2016

Today is August 28th, most notably the feast of St. Augustine, bishop, theologian, Doctor of the Church, bearded Mensch, etc. Augustine holds special significance for me as a medievalist—before Aquinas his was undoubtedly the most influential theological work in all the West. Plus, his emphases on desire and conversion continue to strike at the heart of my faith in God. But today holds additional significance—greater significance. It is the feast of a lesser-known saint: a hermit, a martyr, an awkward… Read more

August 25, 2016

Dear _______, We go to the same churches; we fill the same pews. We pray the same Creed; we find ourselves unworthy before the same Sacrament. Yet, there’s anger and mistrust. An outsider looking in could be forgiven for looking at recent feuds and thinking he sees rivals trading jabs, rather than brothers in Christ. I am a writer at Patheos Catholic home of Mark Shea and pieces like “Voting Bernie Sanders,” “YES, You Can Be Catholic and Vote Democrat”… Read more

August 23, 2016

I have a surprise for readers: I am 22. In other words, I’m young enough that some of the significance of the firings of Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher by the National Catholic Register has gone over my head. I don’t know anything about Shea’s books from back in his “sane days,” nor have I ever known him as anything more than a blogger. In all honesty, my head feels pretty clear about the whole subject—it’s all a shame. Yet, the… Read more

August 21, 2016

Some French Riviera resorts (along with a few other places, including a ban on full-face coverings in Germany) have begun to prohibit full-body swimwear, aimed at the Muslim “burkini,” but potentially farther reaching. As the New York Times indicates: [T]he more important and dangerous point, Mr. Muhammad said, is that there is no legal definition of the burkini. Typically many Muslim women, who do not want to spend 40 to 125 euros for a burkini, wear a T-shirt and long… Read more

August 20, 2016

Waiting weighs us down and patience demands so much. Whether it’s excitedly counting the days until a loved one visits, dreading the time until a stressful meeting (or exam or paper), or simply biding time during an unbearable social obligation, waiting remains—interminable. Yet, waiting is not always so mundane. Sometimes its requirements are writ large on our lives. I think of my teenage self, lying in bed, trying to sleep, but shaken with pain. A throbbing discomfort welling up in… Read more

August 19, 2016

And where we live are quite often connected—two sides of a single cultural coin, aspects of our lives with subtle consequences. It’s trite, but culture has a heck of a lot to do with place. For example, I grew up in: New Jersey. I grew up in (and still live in—it’s pretty great, sorry) New Jersey. Suburban New Jersey to be precise, but New Jersey nonetheless—never far from New York City, Philadelphia, the beach, mountains (or what we call “mountains”),… Read more

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