June 23, 2022

Introduction in Defense of Everything Else Because people keep running their mouths and bugging me on Twitter, I am at last following through on my long-standing threat to write a whole post about Gnosticism. You (yes, you personally, dear reader) are at fault for this, and if the problem persists, I may wind up writing a whole series on historic heresies and their relevance (or lack thereof) to modernity. What Is Gnosticism? Gnosticism is a loose, collective term for a... Read more

June 14, 2022

By day she woos me, soft, exceeding fair:   But all night as the moon so changeth she;   Loathsome and foul with hideous leprosy And subtle serpents gliding in her hair. —Christina Rossetti, “The World” ll. 1-4 Politicus Like many people, I’ve spent a gigantic slice of the last six years thinking about politics. Like many Catholics, a lot of that slice has been tangled up with my faith. (Can a slice be tangled? Never mind.) This is a... Read more

June 4, 2022

Love Thy Neighbor Full disclosure: this post is not an in-depth look at the sorrows of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Those are a subject I don’t know a lot about, except in very general terms—and “bad things make Jesus sad,” while true, isn’t something I can write a worthwhile essay about. I don’t think. But, June is Pride Month. Which means Catholic Twitter is swarming with people talking about how un-Christian pride celebrations are, pride is a sin, etc.,... Read more

May 18, 2022

It’s been a while since I wrote something here that was just fun. In the name of fun, I’m going to indulge some of my worst trad tendencies for a moment here and tell everybody how I think liturgies ought to be celebrated. This isn’t an exhaustive list—just some of my personal pet causes, peeves, etc.—but y’all listen up. The Liturgical Year As regular readers may know, I’m a member of the Ordinariate, and our liturgical calendar is slightly better... Read more

May 11, 2022

Content Warning: Given the topic, this post uses words such as abortion many times, and discusses some aspects of fetal death, both by abortion and by miscarriage. Reader discretion is advised. As all of my readers doubtless know already, it looks as if the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade that, in effect, made abortion legal at the national level. I don’t know all the details here—like the fairly big detail of whether... Read more

April 26, 2022

I. Photograph of Taoyateduta, also known as Little Crow, a leader in the Dakota War of 1862. I recently bought a copy of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a history of the wars of the American Frontier. It’s a rough read. Though written by a white author, it’s told principally from the perspective of the Native American nations that were displaced or massacred by the advancing tide of United States control; theft after theft, broken treaty after broken treaty,... Read more

April 23, 2022

Go here for a short intro to the rosary and for meditations on the Joyful, Luminous, and Sorrowful Mysteries. The Mysteries The Glorious Mysteries cover the events of Easter and its aftermath. They are as follows: 1. The Resurrection of Christ from the Dead This covers the Resurrection itself and the forty days he then spent making further appearances to his disciples. 2. The Ascension of Christ into Heaven This includes the Great Commission and the Ascension itself. 3. The... Read more

April 13, 2022

Go here for a general introduction to the rosary, and here for meditations on the Joyful and Luminous Mysteries. The Mysteries These mysteries are taken from the Passion narrative, which is of course broadly familiar to Christians, and indeed to many non-Christians. The selection of events emphasizes his physical sufferings, as distinct from “social” aspects of the Passion (like the unjust trial before the Sanhedrin or St. Peter’s treachery). 1. The Agony of Christ in Gethsemane This covers Christ’s prayer... Read more

April 8, 2022

Note: the passage I chose for Good Friday this year is from Flannery O’Connor’s novel The Violent Bear It Away, and spoils one of its vital plot points. I can hardly recommend the novel in question highly enough, so if you (1) haven’t read it yet, (2) are at all likely to, and (3) don’t like spoilers, definitely skip the Good Friday passage! Palm Sunday O Thomas, return, Archbishop; return, return to France. Return. Quickly. Quietly. Leave us to perish... Read more

April 2, 2022

Go here for an introduction to the rosary, and here for meditations on the Joyful Mysteries. The Mysteries The Luminous Mysteries are kind of the odd ones out. They’re a newly-instituted set, promulgated by St. John Paul II as recently as 2002; indeed, some Catholics prefer not to use them. They also focus on the “middle” of the Gospels, so to speak, drawing from the events of Christ’s ministry rather than from those commemorated around Christmas or the Easter season.... Read more

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