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

August 17, 2016

Enemies broadly speaking anyway. This topic has stuck with me. Growing up American (read: secular), attending a Jesuit college, interacting with conservative evangelicals, I’ve met a plethora of Christians. It’s not totally uncommon for me to encounter one, then another, and then hear them bad mouth (or, perhaps, as some say: “charitably—but not to their faces—rebuke”) their theological, social, or simply general, opposite. And although we rarely call these people our enemies, we often treat them as such. My example… Read more

August 13, 2016

Pastoral. From pastor, as in, a shepherd. In the Catholic circles in which I run (broadly orthodox in liturgy and theology—though I will be the first to admit that that doesn’t always mean the same thing as traditional does to some. I don’t wear a suit on Sundays. Anyway), pastoral can be a bad word. Whatever it might mean, its connotations are clear enough: uncertain, untrustworthy, basically snake-like. To the most convinced mind, it means something like “wiggle room for… Read more

August 12, 2016

For my Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox brethren, I’m preaching to the choir; the title of this post may as well be “go to liturgy!” or “Jesus Christ: God-Man!” But, after a somewhat shaky reaction from some Orthodox to my recent request for prayers for the Bulgarian Church, I’d like to show my love (both as a Byzantine Catholic and just as a Christian) for the traditions of the East. More than that, however, I have personally benefitted from prayer with… Read more

August 10, 2016

A little while ago I took a little bit (not quite boiling, more like low-simmer) heat for my “anti-Orthodox sentiments” (not a quote, but you get the idea). I wrote: There was a time when I considered becoming Eastern Orthodox. The richness of the theology, its emphasis on mystery, the centrality of theosis—and a passion for Westerners like Eckhart and Eriugena—made “conversion” appealing, though only ever in my heart. Factors stopped me—nationalism, ethnocentrism, quibbling—hardly the antidotes to the hyper-rationalism, Americanism, and pretension I found… Read more

August 9, 2016

No. I’m not that sort of Cynic (though sometimes I wish I were). I don’t live in a barrel, defecate and masturbate in public, or ask the emperor to stand out of my sun. Alas, I’m no Diogenes. No. I’m the much worse sort—incredulous, sarcastic, broody. It’s been with me all my life. Internally, anyway. A good idea? I have a better one. A well-written piece? I’ll have identified every problem in minutes. Your dog is cute? I’ve not only… Read more

August 7, 2016

Yes. I ought to come clean from the beginning: I am a member of the American Solidarity Party, a self-styled Christian Democratic group, dedicated to the pro-life cause, non-binary economic principles, and other positions generally not controversial among orthodox Christians. And, as a long-time member (a year or two), it’s been weird (but exciting) to see so much coverage of the party spawn so quickly. From First Things to Aleteia, to Mark Shea’s blog, among others, arguments for our little… Read more

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