Full Circle

Full Circle

7 month ago with 15 comments in Uncategorized
Dear Amy,1 Thanks for asking about this. The idea of “offering things up” is actually pretty central to my understanding of Christianity, and I’m happy for an opportunity to talk about it. I don’t remember where I first heard of the idea, but I think it has its basis in one of St. Paul’s letters — let me look it up — it’s Colossians 1:24. I ...

Interview: Homosexuality, Suffering, and Coming Out

1 year ago with 5 comments in Uncategorized
John Paul Shimek of Catholic World Report interviewed me after the recent Courage conference. An excerpt: CWR: Some people seem to want the issue of homosexuality to go away. A good gay Catholic is a closeted gay Catholic, according to them. How can we welcome and accompany those people? What have you learned about how to deal with those people? Prever: With questions like this, I always try ...

Beyond the Misconceptions About Depression

2 years ago with 12 comments in Uncategorized
Reader E.V. sends along an interview with Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, author of The Catholic Guide to Depression. I haven’t read the book yet, but this is the second time it’s been recommended to me, and the interview is full of gems of good sense. On overspiritualizing the problem: I think most therapists have had the experience of Christian patients who prematurely ‘spiritualized’ what ...

Teacher

3 years ago with 7 comments in Uncategorized
Note: Occasionally, as below, I lift a post from an email to a reader. I never do this without the reader’s explicit permission. Thank you for writing, B., and for being willing to share this. ★ Dear B., I know what you mean about depression. I think we always expect suffering to be different from the way it actually is, whether that suffering is interior (like depression) or exterior ...

Victim Souls?

4 years ago with 14 comments in Uncategorized
I’m reading Eve Tushnet’s bit in the October First Things — a response to Douglas Farrow’s “Thirteen Theses On Marriage.” (You can find the theses, and the whole set of responses, here.) Eve’s stuff is always worth reading. The theses themselves are pretty dry, albeit maybe only in the sense that Aquinas is dry: they succinctly distill a whole ...

The “Harrowingly Wonderful” Award…

5 years ago with 2 comments in Uncategorized
…goes to Simcha Fisher’s post this morning on choice and suffering. Excerpt: She has had her face pushed against the wall of horror which is mortality. She does not like the choices presented to her: either suffer this way, or suffer that way. What is her answer? “There ought to be another choice.” Choice after choice after choice. The modern person confronts pain and slices it ...

The Knife

5 years ago with 7 comments in Uncategorized
Some people think Christians are in love with suffering. Not true: it’s just that we don’t see it as something to be categorically avoided. My heart hurts right now. It just does, and none of your business why, dear readers, although you’d understand it well enough. I know myself well enough to know that it’ll pass, and probably soon. There’s a kind of hurt that ...

The Heart of the World

5 years ago with 6 comments in Uncategorized
“But my dear Sebastian, you can’t seriously believe it all.” “Can’t I?” “I mean about Christmas and the star and the three kings and the ox and the ass.” “Oh yes. I believe that. It’s a lovely idea.” “But you can’t believe things because they’re a lovely idea.” “But I do. That’s how I believe.”1 One of my favorite ...