Spirituality

'Utopia, Limited'

Anahid Nersessian argues that Romanticism dramatizes the “desirability of constraint.” Her book on how British Romantics imagined "utopia" powerfully does the same.

Last Word: The 4 p.m. Blues

If today the world and the self are devalued, as Walker Percy has suggested, art—particularly the novel— can awaken the reader to their recovery from '4 p.m. blues.'

Hell, Population Zero

The church historically has not been kind to the idea of universal salvation. But there have always been theologians who dared to hope that hell would remain empty.

Three Poems

“the quality of mercy” / is a fierce and terrible beauty.../ it hungers in its waiting / then consumes our darkest brokenness / even as it invites us to its table...

Mum's the Word

Life teaches us that true gratitude is invoked spontaneously, by utterance, not by canned speech. Perhaps this is why I can’t easily summon memories of Thanksgiving.

Catching Up & Passing On

Current students are taught by lay people. Our teachers were Benedictine monks, and teaching only begins to describe the role those virtuous men played in our lives.

Last Word: Kids in the Kingdom

My liturgical tastes used to tend toward the simple, but they’ve recently turned toward the chaotic.

Poem | When I Am a Middle-Aged Woman

I will wear sweatshirts with bright appliqués / Of owls, and work for Head Start. Saturdays // Will be the food bank; Sundays, church at ten. / Evenings I'll...

Poem | The Old Wall

Arch after arch set in the brick, / Rosettes along them, pebble-thick; // Draped, helmed, armed figures, scribes with scrolls, / And eagles in their leafy holes:...

Poem | Untitled

If, all of a sudden, something gets lost something I absolutely need right now— a pencil, a paper, the eraser— I survey the chaos with hapless eyes...

The Beginning of the End

Judas takes hold of Christ, pressing himself on him: arm, beard, lips. A soldier in gleaming armor goes for Christ’s neck. A young man flees: John the Evangelist.

Setting the Table

Parish hospitality must begin long before people are parked in their seats. It entails a lot more than ripping open a bag of Oreos and serving coffee.
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