March 29, 2019

I’m no fan of Donald Trump. I wouldn’t say I’m in the #Resistance. My favorite candidates in the current primary are probably Sanders and Warren. I’ve got some love for AOC and mostly find the way the Democrats have chosen to do things over the last couple of years ineffectual, though they’ve achieved some modest successes—like their small victory in the midterms. Trump, however, tells us something about the actual nature of politics, something that the Dems have generally struggled… Read more

March 20, 2019

A debate has been unfolding in the (digital) pages of Church Life Journal: Troutner v. Waldstein, Post-Liberal theology v. Integralism, old v. new. Define it how you will, this back-and-forth reflects larger questions in our culture. These questions are fundamentally about our future—what and who we will become, what sort of world our children will see. As post-war prosperity followed the political instability of the Depression, so we ineluctably speculate about what follows after Trump, Orban, Brexit, and all the… Read more

March 19, 2019

First and foremost, we must pray for the victims, their families, and the assailants themselves. This is inarguably the Christian response: to hold up the innocent and the malicious in hope before a merciful and just God. But prayer, as Pope Francis has reminded us, is also a question of action, of uniting ourselves to the will of God such that we carry it out in this broken world. I am a graduate student; technically, I’m a literary critic. More… Read more

December 26, 2018

The “Left” in my title is indeed political, though one could also take in the sense of the Left Behind series; it would mean much the same thing. In the American context especially (and I’ve written about this before), to be Christian and on the Left is often to feel left out, or left behind, or, at least, generally alienated. Some would not dare speak their thoughts in a parish-related context or, if they do, they’re carefully guarded. I’m not,… Read more

December 23, 2018

This semester I taught “The Bible as Literature” (or, I should really say, I had two discussion sections as a TA—or as we so WASP-ily say “a preceptor”). Never before had I had the opportunity to explore the Scriptures in such an ecumenical way. I had Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish students, which led to a lot of wonderful discussion, both theological and—yes—literary. This was also, however, an opportunity to discover (or rediscover) things in the Bible, most especially those things… Read more

August 7, 2018

This is a tough piece to write. Not because I am ashamed of being Byzantine Catholic, but because I know the topic—even simply the name—cannot help but inspire strong passions. Some Orthodox will rail against Uniatism, against the political machinations of the Latins, forcing good Byzantines into robber unity with the West. Some Latin Catholics will look askance at some Melkites calling Vatican I a local council; their ears perk up at our subtraction of the Filioque from the Creed…. Read more

August 3, 2018

“Suppose you were to see a man who had been justly condemned being led to execution through the marketplace. Suppose it were in your power to save him from the hands of the public executioner. Would you not do all you could to keep him from being dragged off?”- St. John Chrysostom Everyone (okay, mostly Catholics online) is talking about the recent change to the Catechism. If you aren’t aware of what’s going on, Hannah Brockhaus at Catholic News Agency… Read more

July 25, 2018

“No human being escapes the necessity of conceiving some good outside himself towards which his thought turns in a movement of desire, supplication, and hope. consequently, the only choice is between worshipping the true God or an idol. Every atheist is an idolater — unless he is worshipping the true God in his impersonal aspect. The majority of the pious are idolaters.” – Simone Weil Harsh words, but important ones, at least for myself, if not for others. The fact is that while I consider myself… Read more

July 24, 2018

Paul J. Griffiths has a recent piece on work, worship, and leisure. The first two are, he says, the only two things under the sun. When Qoheleth speaks of our vanity, of the fact of ever-enduring tedium, he is directly addressing our perverse desire for otium, our feeble grasping after release from the Benedictine tagline: ora et labora. We are fallen, cursed to work to meet basic necessities and then fail to do so anyway—that is, we end up cold,… Read more

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