The ecstatic joy of knowing you have a soul (and why I loved The Fault in Our Stars)

thefault

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail A fun and surprisingly intense debate has broken out among my friends over the past few months, and it revolves around this question: The Fault in Our Stars: depressing or uplifting? One of my friends summarized her impression the book by saying, “It’s a sad story where everything is bad and then more bad… [Continue Reading]

The secret to not being overwhelmed

Shaun the Sheep overdose.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail One of the turning points in my life was an email I received from Fr. Joseph Langford, MC back in 2009. He was close friends with Mother Teresa, and she worked with him to found her order of priests. I had the privilege of getting to know Fr. Langford because I was working with… [Continue Reading]

The Facebook-free life

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail Lately I’ve had a flood of emails from friends and acquaintances who are thinking of getting off of Facebook, and want to hear my perspective as someone who has never had an account. Joe and I set up a page for Conversion Diary through his account for the convenience of readers who prefer to… [Continue Reading]

How to think about the afterlife (hint: you can’t, because you live in Flatland)

flatland

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I don’t spend much time trying to imagine heaven. To be honest, it always stresses me out. Every time I get a mental image that I like, I realize that something about it would get old if I had to deal with it for, you know, eternity. The other day, Joe brought home some… [Continue Reading]

Desert spirituality at two o’clock in the morning

Stars over the desert

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail Look at pretty much any culture that existed before the use of electricity, and you’ll see that they had deep superstitions about night. Throughout the ages, it’s been a nearly universal human belief that evil forces gained potency after the sun went down. Age-old evening prayers reflect fears of death: Now I lay me… [Continue Reading]

Six questions for conquering crazy-think and making good decisions

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I don’t do suffering well. Some generous people said that they thought I handled the pulmonary embolism thing¬†gracefully, but a) they would have retracted all of that and slowly backed away in fear if they could have heard my inner dialogue, and b) sitting in a quiet hospital room and listening to my iPod… [Continue Reading]

A few other things I learned from my month o’ doom

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I‘m now entering week 10,000 of this pregnancy, with only 40,000 more days to go until the April due date! (I don’t have a calendar handy, so that’s just a guesstimate.) Also, I just found out that I’m seriously anemic, which will help me fill out my “Blood-Related Issues that Make You Feel Like… [Continue Reading]

A few thoughts on my birthday

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail Today is my birthday. I turn 36. Not only have I now passed the halfway point of my thirties, but it’s a brand new year, I just had a brush with a medical condition that is often fatal, and my whole life has been turned upside down by my recovery. So, as you can… [Continue Reading]

“Joy is not a flag Jesus plants in us; it is a fruit he grows in us”

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I received a copy of a new book while I was at the monastery this week. I planned to read it when I got home, but as soon as I glanced at the first page, I knew I’d been given something special. I ended up spending hours poring over its pages, soaking up its… [Continue Reading]

Johnny Cash’s empire of dirt and the truths that make us human

Hurt

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail The other day I was in great need of some inspiration, and I found it in the most unlikely of places: the video for Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nails song Hurt. I know. When someone says “Johnny Cash” and “Nine Inch Nails” in the same sentence, combined with references to songs… [Continue Reading]