April 26, 2016

To return to our original topic: can we say that the contemporary practice of veiling is fraught with a complicated past full of demeaning implications? Is there possibility today for the practice to be otherwise? Maybe. Could men find some meaningful gesture that does not depend on practices of women in order to be meaningful? Perhaps this is also possible. Is it clear that, even thousands of years after these words and cultures thrived, that the kyriarchical meanings and associations of ancient veiling still exist to an extent in the modern form? Read more

April 25, 2016

I still have no desire to veil myself, though I may occasionally sport a fedora, but I do intend in the future to be more respectful to women who find veiling enhances their religious experience, and to be wary about making assumptions about their beliefs or motives. Our religious experience is enriched and deepened when we learn from, instead of judging, one another. Read more

April 24, 2016

It is not possible to function in a whole and healthy manner if one is doing so with a fractured self, in denial of one’s past, and so my prayer for Michael Voris is that he consider retiring, for a time, from the public life. Maybe consider the whole true meaning of “ecclesia militans,” which is better translated as the “church struggling.” We are all sinners struggling against temptation, despair, and darkness – and this is a far more appropriate way to imagine the Christian life, than to be posing with a sword. Read more

April 21, 2016

There are artists that accompany us from the dark places to the bright, who give us the music we need for our hours of weeping and rejoicing, also for our laughing, and our anger, and our confusion. They give us the music we need to keep on dancing, dancing back from the outer rings of chaos. To these madmen and poets, these flamboyant graces, these complex and fluid multi-faceted souls, we owe perpetual gratitude. Read more

April 21, 2016

The term “feminist” was not invented yet, in Charlotte Brontë’s day, but I will permit myself this anachronism, and say that in both her life and her work she was a pioneer of Christian feminism. She was able to stand staunch in defense of her own vocation and integrity, against the human conventions of society and its religion, because she put her faith in God, who loves and sustains creation – the God she found in what I dare to call the sacramentality of nature, out in the free open spaces where the soul could soar. A room of one’s own is good, but a moor of one’s own is even better. Read more

April 20, 2016

For this Jewish Catholic, this challenge to believe takes one down a very strange path, a path into a Dark Wood where one confronts, not the allegorical beasts of sins, but real historical men and women whom we call monsters. How shall we confront them? Is it a legitimate act of piety, after all, to place anyone who ever has lived in hell, even in a mythic epic? I am not sure I want to be on this strange path; I want to be some place comfortable surrounded by the people I like. That’s how I want to imagine heaven, and I am content to accept that I won’t get there except for through purgatory, which is where all the cool kids hang out, anyway (all the best poets are there). Read more

April 18, 2016

Because eros is not the same as sex. Sex can be an aspect of the erotic, but there are aspects of the erotic that differ from sex. As Plato points out in Symposium, eros drives our longing for beauty, for truth, for justice. Sex outside the framework of the erotic might be, at best, a “zesty enterprise,” to quote Maude Lebowski. Read more

April 14, 2016

With all the complaints that are made – justifiably- about the hyper-sexualization of the female body by secular media, we need to consider the harmful way in which the elevation of this false idea of modesty hyper-sexualizes women, and teaches children to regard bodies as objects instead of persons. Read more

April 12, 2016

I am not a theologian, nor do I play one on the internet. I am a person who enjoys words, however, and when you spend time enough with words in a religious space, you can not avoid confrontations. In this case, I have in mind the confrontations between those of us who love Pope Francis, and the “rad trads” who can’t stand him. But before I get to that, let’s look at another inevitable confrontation: between desire for understanding, and… Read more

April 11, 2016

Because, as soon as I draw on the language that beautifies, I am pretending that wounds aren’t real, that suffering is all in the past, or, worse, that suffering is actually a blessing, because without suffering this or that rich happy person wouldn’t be rich and happy today. Read more

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