Blog

Praying Before Meals

“Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.” When I first joined the Catholic Church almost seven years ago, one of the biggest things that I had to get used to was formalized prayer. After all, I was coming from twenty-five years of not practicing organized religion in my life at all, and many of the forms and rituals of the Church were very foreign concepts…

Continue Reading

What I Read in a Year: 2018

I read a lot of books last year. Like, a lot. 60+, with some short stories and essays thrown in as well. I read books that fundamentally changed how I view the world and how I live my life, such as 12 Rules for Life, Food Freedom Forever, Mother Teresa, The Gulag Archipelago, and The Everlasting Man. I read classics, such as Dostoevsky’s The Karamazov Brothers, for the first time. I re-read some of my all-time favorites, such as Ender’s…

Continue Reading

What I read: December 2018

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

Continue Reading

Breaking up with Social Media: Part Two

Lately I have found myself in many conversations with different friends from different areas of my life, all on the topic of social media and smartphone addiction. I wrote about this topic earlier in the year after I permanently deleted my Facebook account (which I have not regretted once in the ensuing eight months), but I’m definitely learning that old habits die hard. I may have broken the chains of Facebook, but apps like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat were still…

Continue Reading

What I read: October & November 2018

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

Continue Reading

Post-Pilgrimage: Being Present to the Rest of Life

it’s been just over a month since my trip to Europe, and already it feels not quite real. I feel like I have already lost so many of the emotions and experiences that were so vibrant and potent in the moment; all those lingering memories getting swallowed up as the return to routine life continues to plod forever forward, moving further and further away from what (at the time) seemed like it would never end. The problem after any big,…

Continue Reading

Hobbit-fest 2018

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are nice and all, but my favorite day of the year is my annual Lord of the Rings marathon. Traditionally taking place on the day after Thanksgiving, this is the day that I indulge in watching all three Extended Editions of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, which takes about twelve hours in total. It’s glorious. I also like to plan a hobbit-worthy menu for the day, which includes all seven hobbit meals spaced…

Continue Reading

On Pilgrimage: Germany, Austria, & Hungary

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Every time I travel far from home, it awakens a strange dichotomy in my nature: a love of adventure, of exploration, of seeing new sights and having new experiences, but at the same time an awareness of how much I love…

Continue Reading

What I read: September 2018

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

Continue Reading

What a Piece of Work is Man

I’ve been watching Shakespeare in some form or another for as long as I can remember. One of the joys of being home schooled is that I wasn’t forced to study Shakespeare until I was in college and was already in love with the stories for themselves. Instead, I was introduced to these stories by my mother, with various movie and theater productions, accompanied by the enthusiasm of my older sister. I can still remember the first time that we…

Continue Reading