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 ...

We Are Not Garden Snails

“In the image of God he created them, male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). For years I had been trying to get to the bottom of this troubling passage, and it all started with a conversation about garden snails. “Do you know where Plato thinks human sexuality comes from?” my friend Jack asked. I had not. “He ...

The Curse is Real (And So is the Cross)

Not many people are offended by the message that God loves them. They might find it old-fashioned or naïve, but usually not offensive. Almost everyone, however, is offended by the message of Christ crucified. It implies we are all sinners. Regardless of how good we are, what kind of salary we make, what kind of education ...

What is the Goal of the Catholic Church?

Why did Christ establish one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church? Why did the eternal Son of God become incarnate of the Virgin Mary, call the Twelve, establish them on the rock that is Peter, give them the power to proclaim his Kingdom and even to absolve sins, and empower them with the Holy Spirit to lead ...

God’s Masculine Names: Misogyny, or Mystagogy?

Why is God a he, not a she or an it? Could Jesus have been a woman? What if the Lord’s Prayer began not with “Our Father,” but with “Our Mother”? Reading modern commentaries, you’d think a female goddess invited Sarah out under the stars and promised she would be the mother of a great nation … but then Abraham ...

Get Your Beard On: A Call to Untrimmed Spirituality in a Clean-Shaven World

From bearded indie rockers to hipster barkeeps, facial hair is in. And with it come rumors of a holy renaissance. Men and women everywhere are rediscovering the hairy lore of church history, the long curly whiskers of the saints, the bearded patriarchs of the Bible, and how our own spiritual lives can be gnarly and ...