#BreviaryViews: Divine Office 101

Over the past year, some Catholics on Twitter have been using the hashtag #BreviaryViews to encourage one another in praying the Divine Office, or the Liturgy of the Hours, which is the prayer of the Church marking the hours of each day. While it is generally an obligation for priests and religious, the invitation toContinue reading “#BreviaryViews: Divine Office 101”

some Lenten considerations

As someone who has tended toward scrupulosity in the past, I’ve found it helpful to distinguish what the Church actually asks of us during Lent (fasting-if-you-can, prayer, and almsgiving) from popular tradition (“giving up X for Lent”). For the sake of not getting lost in my own thoughts, I wanted to put together a littleContinue reading “some Lenten considerations”

Querida Amazonia

It is well known that, ever since the final decades of the last century, the Amazon region has been presented as an enormous empty space to be filled, a source of raw resources to be developed, a wild expanse to be domesticated. None of this recognizes the rights of the original peoples; it simply ignoresContinue reading “Querida Amazonia”

“God wants to speak to the world by your life”

My friend Peter asked Twitter today about our favorite encyclicals (and graciously let apostolic exhortations count too). This led me to reread my favorite, Gaudete et exsultate, which Pope Francis shared last year. As I’ve continued to immerse myself in the writings of St. Rafael Arnáiz, I’ve continued to struggle with his words and actionsContinue reading ““God wants to speak to the world by your life””

St. Rafael Arnáiz Barón on prayer

I imagine all humanity in a great valley…immense and filled with sunlight. All people are in it, coming and going, moving and shouting… God is atop a mountain, from which he reigns over the valley, which is more immense than the sea… The men and women who are in it see the summit of theContinue reading “St. Rafael Arnáiz Barón on prayer”

«si mirásemos un poco hacia ese Dios abandonado…»

I have been immersing myself in the life and writings of St. Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911–1938), the first Trappist saint, and perhaps the only non-martyred saint who died during the Spanish Civil War. I will confess that when I learned about Rafael from a friend at a nearby monastery—a Trappist, you guessed it—those dates madeContinue reading “«si mirásemos un poco hacia ese Dios abandonado…»”

it’s not just work

Last year I wrote a piece called “It’s just work” about how I manage grad school and its tendency to expand to fill all my time. I was reminded of that piece recently after a conversation I had with a Dominican priest, who remarked that one of the ways religious life works is that itContinue reading “it’s not just work”

Cartas de América #19: we have got to write better hagiographies

It is necessary to tell stories about powerful men getting erotic satisfaction out of domination and violence being on the wrong side of God. It is good to shout that their victims are the holy ones. It is essential for the moral credibility of the Church to grasp these dynamics in the past if weContinue reading “Cartas de América #19: we have got to write better hagiographies”

The Fashion of This World Passeth Away

The marketing for Heavenly Bodies, the blockbuster show now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, would have you believe it centers on a certain male opulence. The aesthetic relationship between Catholic clerics and secular fashion designers certainly dominated the splashy Met Gala that celebrated the exhibition’s opening in May; you may recall various A-list celebritiesContinue reading “The Fashion of This World Passeth Away”

Cartas de América #17: the first indigenous nuns tell their own stories

The first painting I saw when I walked into Painted in Mexico/Pinxit Mexici, currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, belongs to a favorite subgenre of mine: art that depicts art. Specifically, it depicts the altarpiece by Juan Rodríguez Juárez in the chapel at the Convent of Corpus ChristiContinue reading “Cartas de América #17: the first indigenous nuns tell their own stories”