Get a Compliment, Give a Compliment

Get a Compliment, Give a Compliment January 14, 2014

The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) put together a list of 30 Catholics Under 30 who, in their judgement, are helping make a difference in the Church and the world.  I’m very honored to have been included in their list, which is subdivided into Activists, Artists and Athletes, Apostolates, and Intellectuals.  (Guess which category I definitely didn’t fall into).

I was particularly glad to see fellow Patheos blogger Marc Barnes and my friend Brandon Vogt on the list.  I’d like to be able to return the favor somehow, so, since I kinda doubt there’s going to be a 30 Under 30 spotlight on Orthodox believers, I’ll just remind you of the existence of one of my favorites from that demographic.

Tristyn Bloom is a college friend of mine and a junior editor at First Things.  Most recently, she’s been writing up and photographing cocktail drinks.  I’m terribly boring, and don’t enjoy imbibing very much, but her descriptions draw me in in much the same way that A Girl with a Pearl Earring made me more excited about painting by showing me the process, or The Goldfinch lit me up with joy about furniture repair (not so much the main character).

But what I really hope to nag her into doing is finishing her series of posts on iurodstvo — holy fools in Russian orthodoxy.  Her series included this fascinating post on Blessed Xenia Peterburgskaya: The Mad Widow and the following promise:

WILDFLOWERS OF GOD: Rebellion and the Iurodivaya
Potentially but not definitely including some or all of the following (and probably some things not even listed)…
  • Hell’s Angels? the inherently transgressive nature of iurodstvo
  • All the world’s a stage: transvestitism among the saints
  • That ain’t a tiara: marriage and martyrdom in Orthodoxy
  • Neither Jew nor Greek, neither Cuban cigar nor light cigarette: why aren’t there more female saints?


And finally, a little closer to everyday life, she spoke at the Vita and Veritas Pro-Life Conference.  You can listen to her talk here or read the transcript here.  But, in either case, here’s a teaser:

We often hear that a problem with young people today is that we are irresponsible. We don’t have a sense of duty. We don’t have a sense of order. We’re immature. I think that the problem is actually the opposite.

We are pathologically terrified of risk and enslaved to our own ideas of respectability

I think that we are pathologically terrified of risk and I think that we have this enslavement to our own ideas of respectability, our own ideas of our life plan, our commitments, our existing duties such that something as radically changing as a new life doesn’t fit in with those existing duties. To accept that life would be the irresponsible choice, and that’s the framework from which a lot of people are operating. They see themselves as accepting consequences, as responsible. They have a semblance of a moral framework and we can’t ignore that just because it’s completely the opposite of our own…

If you look at even the language used — “unplanned pregnancy” because that is the strange case. The normal case is the planned pregnancy.

Read more


And consider the comments open for linking to anyone you’d like read more or whom you would like to write more.

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