Last Word: A Smiling Skeptic

Does Montaigne resemble the contemporary essayist who writes about faith? The short answer is that he does not—at least not in easily recognizable ways.

'We All Think the Law Will Save Us'

The best-selling author and founding pastor of the House for All Sinners and Saints Lutheran congregation talks about unsaintly saints, purity codes, and more.

Embracing Our Limits

Francis's encyclical contains a fundamental lesson: We are not the source of meaning or value; if we believe we are, we exchange the real world for a virtual one.

Letter from Rome: Who Will (& Will Not) Attend the Synod on the Family

Vatican announces who will and will not be attending round two of the Synod; Hungarian cardinal silent on refugee crisis; Heated debates over paving stones in Rome.

Letters of James Agee to Father Flye

Spanning almost James Agee's entire lifetime, these letters between author and his priest cover alcohol, God, poetry, childhood, and a “mouthful of sweet potato.”

Poem | Which

At the Fifth Station of the Cross / I am asked to “accept in particular / the death that is destined for me” / Which I must keep myself from guessing...

Poem | He Came Like a Baby

To take on flesh, / hunger and thirst. / To learn pain. // Born without words / the Word, where angels sang / his cry rose in the midnight air...

Unmarked Territory

Dying is an adult activity. This has been one of its bigger surprises for me. I find I need to leave behind the child side of myself to go where I now need to go.

The Myth, the Monk, the Man

One of Merton’s gifts as a writer was the ability to insinuate himself into the lives of those he'd never met and remain a personal presence decades after his death.

Poem | Gunflint Lake: Sunset

A fiery sun / made a path toward us / on the rippled water / and scattered pink shavings / over the rest...

Last Word: Bring A Guest

When the priest said “The Mass is ended, alleluia,” she burst out laughing. As a guest at Mass, she sensed the beauty of Catholic worship, and also its strangeness.

Poem | Aunt Grace Wears Beautiful Clothes

Asleep, she has no idea she is old. // She’s running uphill, no lightfoot, but quite fast / past the houses and driveways of family friends / toward the higher...
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