22 Sep 2015

She and the Man

Christ in the House of Simon Dieric Bouts the Elder 1440s Oil on wood, 40,5 x 61 cm Staatliche Museen, Berlin She didn’t know she had faith. She didn’t wonder how much she believed. She didn’t come looking for forgiveness. She didn’t think about her sin. She knew there was a man at Simon’s house. She knew this man really, truly loved, was love. She knew what she got and gave with men was not.

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
15 Sep 2015

On Zombies and Scripture

Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with a couple fellow Conciliar Posters for an all-too-brief book club meeting over Google Hangouts. I was a little surprised—and more than a little nervous—about the book the choice; it was a book I wrote. Well, it’s the book I wrote, as currently there is only one. It’s called Genesis of the Dead, and in it I reimagine the early histories told in the Bible as a

Chris Casberg 8
11 Sep 2015

Wanderlust

All those golden autumn days the sky was full of wings. . . The wings and the golden weather and the tang of frost in the mornings made Laura want to go somewhere. She did not know where. She wanted only to go. “Let’s go West,” she said one night after supper. “Pa, can’t we go West when Uncle Henry does?” . . . “I know, little Half-pint,” said Pa, and his voice was very

Johanna Byrkett 6
08 Sep 2015

Praise God from Whom All Curses Flow

Praise God from whom all curses flow Praise him who made the thorns to grow Praise him below infernal host Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost The sword that guards the Garden’s gate The sweat and death that are our fate The pain through which all life goes on For these we thank the Lord in song The night so short, the day all gone Serve to make us cry out, “How long?” Until the

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
25 Aug 2015

A Heart Is a Terrible Thing to Mind

The Ladder of Divine Ascent 3.4 In hastening to solitude and exile, do not wait for world-loving souls, because the thief comes unexpectedly. In trying to save the careless and indolent along with themselves, many perish with them, because in course of time the fire goes out. As soon as the flame is burning within you, run; for you do not know when it will go out and leave you in darkness. Not all of

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
11 Aug 2015

Jesus Prayer

Lord Lord I say – I can’t say it without your help But it isn’t enough to enter into the kingdom I say it to my own Petrine cock-crowing shame But I have, Lord, Lord, prophesied in your name Jesus They say you were―that you are―a man like I am But the only sin you had you weren’t tempted to Instead you had all the sins for which I long And you had them on

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 3
29 Jul 2015

Patience: Natural Heart’s-Ivy

Perhaps this is merely my experience, but I grew up hearing that some prayers were dangerous. The prayers for things such as greater boldness in witnessing, further opportunities to give, or greater love for the person who’s a thorn in your side. These prayers have a way of being answered, or rather, of creating opportunities to outwork the desires apparently behind our prayers. Naturally, these opportunities feel uncomfortable and, at times, even hurt a little.

Jeff Reid 0
28 Jul 2015

Two Thieves

Everything is contained in the crux Alpha and omega, beginning and end Foundation and destruction Shame and glorification Sin and redemption Wrath and love As infinity figure-eights around We get two sides to the story Right and left, down and up Scorn and supplication Sheep and goats Heaven and hell Let’s steal a look at the two thieves Also lifted up on the cross drawing us One on the left hand, on on the right

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
14 Jul 2015

Making a Proverb of Myself

I think I’d like to be a stylite sitting high above the town All the people looking up at me while I refuse to look down Yes I think that’s how I’d like to win my ascetic crown To be put on a pedestal high up above them all And shout down to the scoffers “Pride cometh before a fall!” I think I’d like to be a hermit alone in the wilderness In a cave

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 2
13 Jul 2015

Must Read Catholic Novels

Summer is almost synonymous with reading. Warm temperatures, long hours of daylight, and weekends on the beach or by a campfire invite the us to put down our phones and pick up a good book. A few weeks ago I wrote about Christian poets worth reading this summer; in this post, I wish to offer a list of must-read Catholic novels. Whether you are a tried-and-true Protestant, a cradle Catholic, or a non-denominational, you will

Laura Norris 0
03 Jul 2015

I Went to the Woods Angry…

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep

Johanna Byrkett 2
30 Jun 2015

Blessed are the Lion-Tamers

It used to be the Colosseum That public zoo lion enclosure Where at feeding time people Would watch other people Brought into the lion’s den Brought into the lions And cheer themselves on As they vicariously partook Of the body and the blood Today the lions roam about Seeking someone to devour Whomever will kindly stop To check the lion’s paw But the problem actually Is a flagpole in their petard And their flag-bandaged heart

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
19 Jun 2015

Creativity Begets: How Story Inspires

As the cerulean sky bleeds into water-coloured grey storm clouds, my thoughts are somewhere between Middle Earth and Pluto. Ringing in my head is a stunning symphonic melody about Saturn—its strength in Beauty has captured my memory. Reverberating in my ears is the sound of Tolkien’s prose—read aloud to hear the simultaneously earthy and heraldic tones played in his words. Treading the paths of my thoughts are an interesting pair, hand-in-hand. The first is a

Johanna Byrkett 0
17 Jun 2015

Holding Fast

“ ‘The star-glass?’ muttered Frodo, as one answering out of sleep, hardly comprehending. ‘Why yes! Why had I forgotten it? A light when all other lights go out! And now indeed light alone can help us.’ ”1 The interplay between light and dark is an ongoing part of our lives. In the literal sense, we live in a world where the regular appearance of both provides a measure of regulation to our activities. Figuratively though,

Jeff Reid 0
16 Jun 2015

Where Can I Put My Stuff?

Where can I put my stuff? I need a place for my hopes and fears, My television shows and craft beers, My books and games and lusts and pain, My car and wife and kids, all vain Compared to the value of having Nothing twixt me and God Except a sheet of homelessspun. I hate hate hate them all – That’s right, isn’t it, if I love God enough to make up for it? He

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 2
05 Jun 2015

Life is Deeper than Fiction

What shapes our ideals about what life ought to be like? Frighteningly, I think many individuals are shaped by various forms of banal media more than by their families and mentors, or by historical figures and enriching arts. The up-and-coming generation’s expectations and ideals of high school and college are too often formed by teen fiction a la Twilight and a host of other semi-pornographic novels marketed towards pre-teens and high schoolers. Ideas of what

Johanna Byrkett 3
03 Jun 2015

Evading Life

O weariness of men who turn from GOD To the grandeur of your mind and the glory of your action, To arts and inventions and daring enterprises, To schemes of human greatness thoroughly discredited, Binding the earth and the water to your service, Exploiting the seas and developing the mountains, Dividing the stars into common and preferred, Engaged in devising the perfect refrigerator, Engaged in working out a rational morality, Engaged in printing as many

Jeff Reid 4
02 Jun 2015

Slip Away

The only flight path to Heaven is under the radar Leaving all behind but your entourage of angels Unseen and silent slip away, slip away All you can carry with you is a wing full of wind And to everything else you must be a stranger Slip away, slip away Unseen and silent, slip away Be oppressed and afflicted and for goodness’ sake silent Spend your words like treasure and your treasure like words Unseen

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 2
01 Jun 2015

The Spiritual Value of Christian Poetry and Christian Poets You Should Read

Summer is a season that invites you to pick up a book. The longer daylight provides more hours for reading, the break from school opens up schedules and frees from the demands of syllabi, and vacations to the mountains or the beach beckon us to leisure away our time while nestled in a good book. While many people reach for the latest bestsellers, classic works of literature, or (as is likely for many of our

Laura Norris 2
20 May 2015

Growing Young (Or, Becoming Like Children)

“ ‘I’ll be darned!’ said Douglas. ‘I never thought of that. That’s brilliant! It’s true. Old people never were children!’ ‘And it’s kind of sad,’ said Tom sitting still. ‘There’s nothing we can do to help them.’ ”1 If you’ve read Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine before, then you probably recognize this poignant surmise on aging. Ten year-old Tom’s insight is based on his interactions with the seventy-two year old Mrs. Bentley, a widow who moved

Jeff Reid 3