Death in Kristin Lavransdatter

Those who have read Kristin Lavransdatter, the epic trilogy by Catholic convert and Norwegian Nobel Prize winner Sigrid Undset, have read it at least twice. This formidable tale of farming and holy pilgrimages and family in the shadow of white-peaked mountains hurtles the reader into all the pain and love and last rites of death—death, and the ...

Kristin Lavransdatter and Your Nordic Medieval Catholic Heart

I will not sleep, I will not even sit down, until every man goes to bed with a paperback copy of Sigrid Undset’sKristin Lavransdatter. In these high fourteenth-century mountains, priests still visit the sick shouting, “God help those in this house!” as they raise a cross to all four corners of the room and splash holy ...

The Biblical Boots of the Papacy

Do you remember that one scene in Toy Story when Sheriff Woody, unsure of his vocation, doubts his authority over the rest of the gang? Woody’s been insulted and abandoned, his motives have been questioned, threats to domestic security are only getting scarier, and he’s feeling very, well, very human. It’s been a long story, ...

How to Pray like a Child at Play

Let’s be honest, most of us don’t pray nearly as much as we could. It’s not that we don’t believe in prayer; it’s that prayer can seem so…boring. If you’re like me, you’ve probably gone through seasons where you’ve spent more time reading aboutprayer than actually praying. It’s embarrassing: the eternal God condescends to be known ...

Social Media and the Sacrament of the Present Moment

Why are people who quit social media so amusing? After years of embroiled use, a bad break up, a nasty spat, a vague feeling of listlessness, another Luddite throws up his hands and renounces social media with—of all things—a tweet or a Facebook status: “Friends, I’m deactivating my account in a week. I can’t take it ...

The Catholic Dad: the Call, the Craft, the Cross

Forget the dads you see on Television: selfish, workaholic, lazy, absent, bullying, pushover dads. They do not deserve the name. Real dadness is bigger than that. It’s as big as Our Father who art in Heaven. [Note: this essay was first published by Catholic Exchange and Catholic Gentleman and is reprinted with permission.] The call to be a Catholic dad is ...

YOUR WIFE IS WEARING WHAT? MEN, VEILS, AND THE MYSTERY OF FEMININITY

The strangest thing happened a few months ago. My wife covered her head during Mass. I’ll never forget the moment when I first glanced up to see her noble cranium veiled in a strange and beautiful cut of lace. Whoa. [Note: this essay was first published by Catholic Gentleman and is reprinted here and at Aleteia with permission.] Years earlier, my good ...

Did the Synod Endorse “Lifestyle Ecumenism”?

I would like to suggest to you that so-called “lifestyle ecumenism” helps us see ecumenism for what it really is. You see, in my Anglican days, I used to think I was more catholic than the Catholics. I believed that “spiritual unity,” and maybe also a loose agreement on central doctrines, sufficed. As a Catholic, I ...