October 31, 2019

  In the town where I grew up, the first day of doe hunting season was a school holiday. My grandfather wasn’t a hunter, but sure enough, every winter as the deer were shot, slaughtered, and processed, packages of venison would arrive from friends with too much meat for their freezers. The first time I ate deer, I loved it without knowing what it was. Of course, I didn’t know the loveable creature that we left stale bread in the… Read more

October 22, 2019

  Yesterday, as the Amazonian Synod in Rome comes to an end, it was reported that a statue that symbolized the Synod (Our Lady of the Amazon) was stolen and thrown into the Tiber River. Some celebrated (which was gross). Some were dismayed and cried “racism” and “iconoclasm” (which was correct). Henry Karlson had a particularly nice discussion of iconoclasm over at his blog this morning.  The Amazonian Synod was controversial before it even began. It was known that the… Read more

October 1, 2019

Cool evening air whispered through the windows of my studio apartment where I lay one late Spring evening, hinting to me that life was still being lived outside. My arms and legs were cement. I hadn’t moved on the bed since beginning to play Sharon Van Etten’s album “Because I was in Love,” thirty minutes before.    My phone buzzed beside me. My friend was calling to check in.    “How’re ya doin’?” she said.    “My body just feels… Read more

September 27, 2019

I began my summer.    I started running in the mornings with a good friend. I sprinted out the pain. I tried out different meet-up groups, I needed new friends. I would not let the betrayal destroy me.    Then one sunny day I went to a picnic on the lake near my apartment. Sitting in a group of people I’d never met before, I mentioned a city abroad where I had lived. The ears of a tall handsome man… Read more

September 27, 2019

  In March, we took a few weeks off from being in communication. He said he needed time to sort things out. The plan was to be together in June. He would begin his leave of absence then.    I gave up alcohol for lent that year. My emotions were so raw I knew I needed every possible brain cell to get through it. That Spring I began to understand what all of those crazed love songs were about. All… Read more

September 12, 2019

First Things has published an attempted takedown of the late Toni Morrison’s faith and writing, and it’s a breathtaking example of white people missing the point. Senior editor Julia Yost, apparently weary of seeing tributes to and eulogies for the black woman who was arguably America’s greatest living writer–and a Catholic convert–accuses Toni Morrison, who died August 5, of having merely “distilled the spirituality of the suburbs” with her Nobel Prize-winning literature. Imagine the willful ignorance required to misread or misrepresent a… Read more

July 2, 2019

We don’t like to admit it, but the demands of love are changeable. Different situations and different people call for different responses. This is obvious, but it’s also challenging. Love requires us to live with uncertainty and ambiguity. We don’t always know the right things to do or the right ways to love. It is so much easier to think of our lives in terms of rules to follow and obligations to fulfill. This Sunday’s readings are about obligations, but they tell us something… Read more

June 25, 2019

  As Catholics, we take it for granted that the One, the Be All, End All, Beginning and End of every breath, the Alpha and Omega, is the bit of food we grind between our teeth. Willing, He allows us to salivate over him; to swallow Him; to be digested and become one with us.   In the turning of that last phrase, we come to the realization that Communion – consuming the Almighty as the food in our hands… Read more

June 7, 2019

  I do not feel filled with the Holy Spirit right now, I’ll admit. I’m 40 weeks pregnant (due date was yesterday), and all of a sudden, half the family is sick, including my husband and birth partner. It’s a holiday weekend as I write this (on the computer my sick husband just used); my two older children are home, screaming at each other in tones I don’t think I’ve witnessed their whole lives, and every person in this family… Read more

June 5, 2019

  “The great wisdom teachers and mystics say in various ways that you cannot truly see or understand anything if you begin with a no.” Richard Rohr, The Sacred Now My husband, a lapsed Catholic who began attending church again once we had small children, describes his entrance into ministry as beginning with “yes.” One morning, someone asked if he could teach Youth Sunday School. As often happens in churches, that morning slipped into weeks, then months, then years, until… Read more

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