Embracing God’s Cross

We have no stingy God. Instead, our God always offers us grace after grace and then grace within grace. I wrote in an earlier post about being graced with a sense of being embraced and consoled in the merciful arms of our crucified God, a God who is always reaching out in self-forgetting love to embrace our...

J.F. Powers: Revisiting His Forever Faultless Prose

One of my early intellectual heroes was an intimidatingly well-read Jesuit who taught me English in 1966 when I was a freshman in college. He urged me to read stories by J.F. Powers. (“F” stood for “Farl,” and Powers got regularly irked when well-meaning fans, certain it was a mistake, figured it had...

The Eucharist as God’s Gesture

I was interviewed recently about how Pope Francis keeps circling back to the decisive significance of the Eucharist in Christian life when he speaks and writes. Preparing for the interview—trying hard to come up with something to say—helped me clarify my understanding and deepen my experience of the...

Wallowing as Spiritual Practice

If you’ve read any of my past blog posts, you may remember that I tend see a lot of God on the Animal Planet. First I wrote about a leopard, and then a zebra, and now it’s time to write about an orphaned white rhino calf called Shongi. Shongi’s was killed by poachers, and its calf—all 300 pounds...

Earning Minnesota Merit Badges

It’s -24 degrees here today with a -54 degree wind chill and an expected high of -14 degrees. The reasonable person would just forget about going outside, but hearty Minnesotans see today as a chance to earn yet another weather merit badge and bragging rights for years to come. Believe it or not, I can’t...

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