Purgatory and Praying for the Dead

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. This past year, I’ve been working my way through a reading of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy,” in which the poet narrator travels first through the circles of hell, then climbs the mountain of purgatory, and ultimately reaches the paradise of heaven. As we enter into the month of November, a time the Church has designated especially for praying for the souls of the dead,…

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A Love Story: C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman

For years I have been fascinated and enthralled by the love story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. It is not a typical one, not one that would set most young hearts a flutter, but I’ve always found it beautiful. When they met for the first time in person in 1952, Lewis was already in his mid-fifties, a confirmed bachelor with no intention to marry, an established professor at Oxford, and a world-famous Christian author. Joy Davidman Gresham was a…

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What I Read: 2021 Mid-Point Check-In

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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C.S. Lewis and the Value of Revisiting Stories

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. I have always been an avid re-reader of books, just as I also delight in re-watching favorite movies and television series. In some ways, this is due to finding comfort in the familiar and predictable, knowing that my imagination is not going to be assailed by inappropriate or untimely thoughts and images. But I have also learned that the pieces I enjoy returning to can be treasure…

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Good Friday Reflections on Love

There is a quote from C.S. Lewis that has haunted me for years. It’s one of those quotes that gets inside you, that can change your whole perspective on the world and how you approach your life. There was a time when I was, if not exactly content, at least resigned to idea of remaining single and unattached. It seemed easier, less messy, than seeking to give my heart to someone who could then potentially cause so much grief and…

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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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What I Read: November 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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What I Read: October 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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What I Read: September 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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G.K. Chesterton, A Man for Our Times

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. In a world of Twitter and Internet memes that prize brevity, short yet poignant quotes are often passed around on social media without much thought as to where they came from. Some of my personal favorites: “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.”; “To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same…

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