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A Food Lover’s Thoughts on Fasting and Feasting

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte The Lord truly invited us to enter fully into the desert this Lent. And perhaps it has been a consoling blessing that this crisis happened when it did, right as we entered into this penitential season. Hopefully it has been an opportunity to deepen our prayer lives, reflecting more fully on the Lenten fasts we had already chosen to adopt. In modern rhetoric, fasting can refer to…

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Isolation Update: Art During Crisis

The last few weeks I have been making some serious headway on my novel-in-progress, and it’s felt pretty good. But in those last few weeks I have also had a few emotional mini-crises while reading the news and thinking about the state of the world and what the future might look like, and I have had to stop and ask myself, “What’s the point? Should I really be spending my time working on a silly novel right now? Should I…

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Shakespeare: A dip into the Histories

It’s my tradition to spend the month of April focused on the works of William Shakespeare, though this usually means just watching various movie adaptations of the plays. Why April? Mostly because this was the month that the Bard was born and later died. I find it helpful to have specific times during the year to focus on little traditions like this. Otherwise, it can be easy to put things off, saying that you will get to them some time…

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Isolation Update: I Might be a Disney Princess

So, the highlight of my week definitely came yesterday, when I was able to save this sweet chickadee from being toyed with by one of my cats. Now, to be fair, my cats are not exceptionally fierce, being well-fed house cats, and don’t exactly have killer instincts. But they do like to play. When I saw one of the cats out in the yard, clearly engrossed with something, I went over to investigate and found this stunned little chickadee on…

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Reset

It’s hard to know what to write about right now. Everything feels uncertain and we are all struggling to find new routines, a new normal for our lives. I’ve been managing to avoid the majority of the main stream news and the hysteria contained therein, but I’ve stayed informed enough to know that these are serious times that we are living in and life will most likely look very different even once we are past the worst. For me, the…

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The Flight Into Egypt

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. I recently visited Washington, D.C., and was able to attend Holy Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. With more than 80 chapels and oratories honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, there is a great deal to see at the basilica. Behind every pillar, around every corner, and every time you look to the ceiling, there is some of the most…

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Of Cabbages and Kings

Hello, dear readers. I must first apologize that it has been so long since I’ve given you any serious, dedicated content. I’ve been so caught up in life and other writing projects, that this poor blog has been rather neglected. But I am now hoping to get things back on track with some re-prioritizing. With a mind to better time-management, I’m going to be suspending my monthly posts on What I Read. The truth is that I am reading so…

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What I Read in a Year: 2019

Well, I beat my previous record, and in 2019 I managed to go through close to 80 books. I credit this mostly to the fact that I got off all social media, except for this blog, and also unsubscribed from Netflix. Amazon Prime was the only streaming video service I had, but I rarely used it, and I’ve now taken a hiatus even from my Prime account. It’s kind of amazing what you can accomplish when you cut out so…

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Middle Earth and St. John Henry Newman

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. “In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.” These opening words to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” have been inscribed in my mind from my earliest memories. My father used to read the book aloud, long before I could read it myself, and the ideas of hobbits and elves, dragons and dwarves, adventures and heroism, were embedded in my imagination as firmly as my…

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What I Read: December 2019

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…

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