April 6, 2019

    Yesterday, there were concrete bags in place of my hands and feet and shoulders  Giving me the illusion that, with the shifting movement, I could stand upright Until I fell  Today, they are giant boulders, unforgiving and unmercifully heavy  Making each movement (or attempt at one) painful and aching and cruel Taking steps to get out of bed is climbing an incline  And raising my arms to dry off my hands is hoisting myself up a rope  I feel guilty… Read more

April 3, 2019

Crocus budding in snow. Source: pxhere   Editor’s note: My good friend Maiasson sent me this reflection last week, and I am so grateful she shared these words with me and has allowed me to share them with all of you. They are very relevant and necessary in any discussion of Lenten practice. -Marie Kopp     It is Spring. You really can’t tell that yet where I live. We still have the marshy mess of downed tree branches, melting… Read more

March 31, 2019

I was a college student when I first learned that St. Francis of Assisi had a meeting with a sultan. Some friends introduced me to “The Little Flowers of St. Francis,” a series of devotional legends about St. Francis and his followers. Despite not having much basis in actual history, these sentimental stories opened my eyes to a different flavor of Catholicism than what I’d been taught as a child. Catholicism wasn’t just dark and grey, musty and worn. St…. Read more

March 29, 2019

I’ve always been a Catholic. A classic “cradle” Catholic. My parents were even the archetype of cultural Catholicism, with my Mom being our rock, our family’s “Peter,” while my Dad was nominal at best. Everything else about my early years of faith was more or less textbook. I attended faith formation as a child up until I was confirmed when I was 17. I had some strong “reversions,” which I can’t call conversions since I did not even dared to… Read more

March 24, 2019

This post is in response to an article published through Verily on March 13, 2019 titled, “The Value of Innocence” by Margaret Handel. You can read it here. “I want advice from women who have been down in the dirt and passed through the valley of the shadow.” –Rebecca at Suspended in Her Jar   Dear Margaret, It may send you into embarrassed blushes and stomach knots to know that I’ve cussed the word “fuck” at least fifty times since I… Read more

March 23, 2019

  Yesterday I wrote about speaking up as a survivor of domestic violence in a Catholic family. Well, this is an important note I wanted to add, but that post was already too long. So. Consider this a really important post script. “You Should Be Another St. Monica.” Growing up, I remember my mom being told over and over that she should just be another St. Monica. If she would just love my father better, pray more, embrace her suffering,… Read more

March 23, 2019

I’ve been thinking recently about trauma. And about writing. And about writing publicly about trauma and abuse and healing. Most of my friends at this point in my life have trauma of some sort (or have been trained, as social workers or psychologists, in trauma theory). Most of them have suffered abuse: parental abuse, spousal abuse, abuse from a boyfriend or girlfriend, rape, stalking, sexual assault, spousal rape, emotional abuse, religious abuse, gaslighting, psychological abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence. The… Read more

March 19, 2019

When I think of Joseph, I think of his Son. I think of Him standing surrounded by people, stones in their hands. I think of his Son bending His knee in front of the Temple Elders to take the hand of a prostitute and an adulterer–forgiving her sins with no other intent than to show her He loved her, no matter how others condemned her. I think of the man who raised that Man–the man who would rather divorce his… Read more

March 13, 2019

The title may sound self-congratulatory, but it’s truly not meant to be. It’s just that this morning I finished a work of fiction I have been working on since I was 18, and needless to say I have all the feels. When I started this novel, I was in between high school and college, struggling with my identity in every possible way, and found this beguiling plot-line (much more of which remained the same even to its final version than… Read more

March 10, 2019

  Content Warning: language, stereotypical hateful opinion of Thoreau   I saw an ad today that said “Get yourself a tampon stash that sparks joy,” which I thought was a fitting example of the Marie Kondo fever that’s been gripping the nation.  First came the adulation of her as the hero America needs, then the backlash cries of BURN HER AT THE STAKE SHE’S NOT GETTING OUR BOOKS (based on a misquoted meme), and then at last, the capitalistic opportunism… Read more

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