January 4, 2021

Dear friends, this post is a little different, because today I am delighted to announce that I have launched a podcast! The Pilgrim Soul is a Catholic podcast about the journey of faith in the modern world. I am co-hosting it with a dear friend of mine, Adrianna, and my sister, Giuliana. Inspired by the example of Father Luigi Giussani, we want to share conversations that help us and our listeners “face reality wide open, loyally, and with the bright eyes of... Read more

November 8, 2020

The month of November begins with the celebration of All Saints. Indeed, before the liturgical reforms of Pope Pius XII in 1955, the Feast of All Saints would have been an Octave, stretching over eight days like the celebrations of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. The feast dates back to the first centuries of the early Church, when Christian communities gathered to celebrate their martyrs who died for the faith. As did the cult of the saints in general, the feast... Read more

October 23, 2020

“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you odd.” This quip – which is often attributed to Flannery O’Connor but not actually found in any of her works – captures an essential element of being a Christian: absurdity. The encounter with Christ, who is Truth, will make you absurd. I don’t mean that Christians are irrational. On the contrary, the reason of a Christian is more expansive, for she engages every facet of reality rather than only... Read more

September 25, 2020

Is a college education worth it? Between rising costs of tuition and dubious outcomes of university instruction, an unhesitating “yes” appears naive at best. Now, many institutions of higher education have moved their classes online, further intensifying the debate. If the question is to be resolved, we need a clear definition of education. This would be a challenge in any pluralistic society, but is especially difficult in our divided and contentious American context. But it is possible, for the heart... Read more

August 15, 2020

“Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin?” You may never have considered this question; intuitively, the answer seems obvious, and few day-to-day experiences may blur the boundary. But what if the mind and environment aren’t quite as separate as we tend to think? What if features of our external world play an active part in our mental processes? Would that mean they are a part of our minds? The extended mind For philosophers Andy Clark... Read more

July 6, 2020

Do you ever burn with a sense of disproportion? A feeling that your desires are inexhaustible, that your experience cannot possibly be proportionate to your heart? No matter how far you might advance toward your fulfilment, it slips out of your grasp. When you do reach the cusp of joy, it is marked by the bitterness of fragility and transience. And each time you attend to your heart, you unearth a greater longing. I’m not quite sure what to call... Read more

June 19, 2020

Today’s feast is simultaneously the most tender and the most metal of Catholicism: The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We celebrate the mystery of the love of God, who stooped down to take on our human flesh, and endured His Passion while remaining an inexhaustible source of compassion. His human Heart — pierced, wounded, and bleeding — is our refuge and our source of strength. The Sacred Heart is a personal devotion of mine, because “Jesus, make my... Read more

June 15, 2020

Today, for the first time in three months, I paid a visit to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I have been longing for this moment since March, when every church and chapel in England shut its doors. The time of separation from the Eucharist has been an intense trial. Don’t get me wrong; these months have also been immensely fruitful. As soon as I began to accept that I could no longer pray my Holy Hour before a tabernacle,... Read more

June 7, 2020

Racism is evil, a particularly deep-rooted and damaging form of evil that haunts our nation’s past and present. As Catholics, we have the duty to condemn and uproot racism from our hearts and from our society. Discrimination is a sin against justice; fearful complacency in the face of racism is a sin against courage; hatred and callousness are sins against love. Ultimately, all racist acts are a rejection of God, in whose image each and every human being is made.... Read more

May 14, 2020

The Pope has asked us to devote this day to begging God that the pandemic might end. In particular, the Pope asked us to pray, fast, and perform works of charity, along with believers of all religions. It is a truly beautiful proposal; the Pope is not trying to bargain with God, but rather to show his people the path to a truly human life in the midst of the crisis. For the human person cannot experience fulfillment without sacrifice, and... Read more

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