June 3, 2021

I want to speak briefly to the problem of the horrible people you go to church with (or don’t, because they are horrible).  A lot of times when we talk about “mercy” what we really mean is “things aren’t that bad” or even “actually that’s just fine.” It’s super easy for a modern, affluent, suburban, pretty-cleaning-livin’ Catholic to get to the part where Jesus dines with prostitutes and be like, “Oh yeah. I’m broad-minded and loving and welcoming like Jesus… Read more

May 24, 2021

Just saw OSV’s book video for The How-to Book of Evangelization for the first time today (I know!). Not gonna lie, I watched it a couple times.  Verdict: They aren’t wrong. It’s a really good book, y’all.  You can thank Rebecca Willen, my editor at OSV, for that, because it was going to be okay-with-some-fatal-flaws until she shook me hard and made me fix all the things. Anyway, as a person who is extraordinarily biased, the video definitely made me smile. Read more

May 23, 2021

If you have been faithfully married for a long time, you are likely out of touch with just how different the world of sex and dating is now than when you were young and single. (By “long” here, I mean “decades” not “it feels like forever”.  Not in any way minimizing the challenges and victories of the earlier years, but if you are still in the early years, you probably know more about the contemporary single-world than those who’ve been… Read more

May 20, 2021

Interesting thing I learned this morning, reading this article at STAT about the rise in congenital syphilis in the US: There’s a plan. Not sure who within the HHS developed the plan and I haven’t had time to read through it and develop an opinion.  I did a quick concept-search and found this consoling passage on scientists doing science: CDC advises that the most reliable way to avoid STIs is to not have sex (i.e., anal, vaginal, or oral). Also, for… Read more

May 19, 2021

Late January I wrapped up the public side of one heckuva fantastic conference, took a deep breath . . . and completely fell off the edge of the world. Looking back, that freefall was a long time coming — and yet it took me by such surprise I didn’t even realize it was happening, at the time. Four months in, I haven’t got any good answers, other than my profound thanks for the many people who care about me and… Read more

January 19, 2021

Yesterday at the Conspiracy, I wrote on MLK’s legacy of peace. Today I want to look at one of his oft-quoted statements on riots: “I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.” Here’s a Time article from 2015 discussing that year’s riots in Baltimore in light of Martin Luther King Jr.’s reflections on rioting and racial injustice. Here’s the Grosse Point Historical Society’s complete text of a speech MLK gave that puts the… Read more

January 16, 2021

Two different conversations on-topic with this coming weekend’s conference* converged on this morning’s readings.  The questions posed, both within the context of our nation’s fractured political discourse, are: How do I love this group of people I find so utterly repulsive? How do I dialogue with people who have no common basis for deciding what is real and what matters? There is an answer for this, which is illustrated in today’s Gospel.  However, caveat, Jesus-level intensities of love and forgiveness… Read more

January 14, 2021

Topic change, but hardly a breather.  After a long hiatus from online reading, I was scrolling the news in my feed reader, and came across this terrible story out of Wisconsin about infanticide. Because the parents murdered their child, they’re being charged accordingly. Allow me to be very clear: Infanticide is gravely evil.  No way around that.  I won’t excuse it under any circumstance. And yet.  And yet . . . what these two young parents are guilty of is… Read more

January 8, 2021

This morning after half a cup of coffee, what I wanted to write was a political commentary about the Banned Teenagers of Instagram.  Maybe another day, because, dagnabbit, I sat down at the PC and felt guilty about breaking the only spiritual rule I even kinda-sorta* have right now, which is: No internet until I’ve prayed the day’s readings. Result of my reluctant correspondence to grace+, we’re getting an exegesis of today’s Gospel, through the lens of cantankerous internet discourse. … Read more

January 6, 2021

Later this month, I am co-hosting a small, pro-bono conference-retreat for Catholic communicators — professional and amateur writers, speakers, media personalities, and social-media conversationalists of every level. You can learn more about the conference, and request an invitation, here. The only firm requirement for attending is that you be someone who truly wants to eliminate bitterness and vitriol from your work as a Catholic evangelist. This is an area that is difficult for me to get my head around. Like… Read more

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