September 11, 2018

There are a lot of feel-good sitcoms that solve every problem in a half hour. There are even more dark, edgy dramas, where humanity IS the problem, and there are no solutions. And then there is This Is Us.   As I watched season three unfold, I was astounded at how the show’s writers were able to expand upon the story, which was already excellent, without resorting to shlocky gimmicks or undoing the character’s previous victories. This is partly because... Read more

August 28, 2018

You say I am repeating Something I have said before. I shall say it again, Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance. In order to possess what you do not possess You... Read more

August 26, 2018

NB: This is not a post about the scandal in the Catholic Church. The news is full of stuff that is beyond my ability to judge or comment on. I can’t untangle curial politics and loyalties any better for being angry or passionate. I’m not ready to draw blanket conclusions about any demographic or group’s capacity for honesty, reliability, sincerity, or motivation, though I’m certainly more or less sceptical of individuals or organisations based on my experiences. It has taken a... Read more

August 16, 2018

From a letter to Pope Paul V by Saint John Leonardi, priest: Those who want to work for moral reform in the world must seek the glory of God before all else. Because he is the source of all good they must wait for his help, and pray for it in this difficult and necessary undertaking. They must then present themselves to those they seek to reform, as mirrors of every virtue and as lamps on a lamp-stand. Their upright... Read more

August 15, 2018

St. Norbert’s ministry didn’t begin until he was literally knocked off his horse during a lightning storm. Norbert took this as a sign. When he regained consciousness, he asked, “Lord, what would you have me do?” And Christ answered him as Christ always does: “Turn away from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.”     Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty knocked down by the storms in the Church this week. I know... Read more

August 9, 2018

I’m working on a project that has me writing very condensed descriptions of various saints, and I was struck today by this detail:   St. Paul Miki and companions are rightly remembered for their bravery during their forced march of 600 miles to crucifixion in Nagasaki. This is exactly the same length St. Josephine Bakhita was forced to travel, barefoot, when kidnapped by slave traders at the age of nine.   Nine years old.   And while many martyrs are remembered... Read more

July 30, 2018

Cardinal McCarrick. Or should I say, ex-Cardinal McCarrick. Lord have mercy. I assume you’ve all heard about this “demotion” and the lurid, sordid tales that spurred it, decades and decades too late to spare his numerous victims harm. This was the story waiting for me on my return from a week away. I stayed with dear friends of mine in their home, a place so dear to my heart and so soothing to my soul that beforehand I unironically referred to... Read more

June 11, 2018

My Four Weeks of Fine Men fizzled out only halfway in. I knew it was an ambitious undertaking when the idea came to me, but I impulsively ran with it anyway. As it turns out, that pace was unsupportable, and I’ve spent the last week recovering and dealing with some of the balls dropped during my two weeks of preoccupation with #tonicmasculinity. I do hope to continue writing about #tonicmasculinity, and I enjoyed the opportunity to use this blog to... Read more

June 1, 2018

Today, I want to share with you some of the small glimpses of good readers and friends have shared with me since I began Four Weeks of Fine Men. These are mere glimpses–not stories, not even enough for a good snapshot view of the people involved. Some of these glimpses are of men following the example set by their communities, faith, or family. Some of them are of men who have led far-from-ideal lives and have to struggle to overcome... Read more

May 31, 2018

Last Fall, the Patheos Catholic channel was rocked by a scandal–the revelation that one of our fellow Patheosi was a serial sexual predator, exploiting his position as a public Catholic to seduce multiple vulnerable women with a combination of lies and misrepresentation. It was an example of a kind of opportunism that preys on the vulnerable, the kind of man who is attracted to brokenness because it gives him an advantage to exploit, and yet there were those who wanted... Read more

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