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Identity


Signals Lead to Earplugs

In the office we recently ordered Kate Murphy’s You’re Not Listening. Murphy, a journalist based in Houston, is good at her job because she is good at listening, and has basically written a book about the lessons she’s learned in the field—what makes for a good listener, why pretend listening is so easy to sniff […]

The Long Bag We Drag Behind Us

Someone once said, “The greatest possible thing that could happen to you would be to have your worst sins broadcast on the 5 o’clock news.” In theory, maybe. But in practice? I don’t know about you, but I tend to read Jesus’ promise that “all darkness will be brought to light” as, well, ominous. Who […]

Against Identity, or By the Grace of God I Am What I Am

“You are my eternal Father, but I am scattered in times whose order I do not understand. The storms of incoherent events tear to pieces my thoughts, the inmost entrails of my soul, until that day when, purified and molten by the fire of your love, I flow together to merge into you.” – Augustine, […]

Where Is the Gospel in Adoption?

Grateful for this anonymous piece: I became an orphan 37 years ago, somewhere in South Korea. I can’t be more specific — I don’t know when I was left, who left me, or even where. My orphanage paperwork only says that sometime that summer, “By request of [the police], we intook the child to be […]

Reconciling Sorrow with Grace in Noname’s ‘Telefone’

When I remember memories don’t last forever When I deny my empty with an open letter Who gon remember me? My satellite, my empathy The wheels be chrome, chrome spiffy, the Lord with me My halo said goodbye and the floor hit me Fill the lining in the pine box, my granny fill the time […]

The Death of Curiosity: On Information Cocoons and the Frights of Surprise

On September 11, 2001, I became a cable news junkie and would be crippled by the addiction for the next decade and a half. I remember sitting in the breakroom at my dental school with the other students, watching footage played and replayed of the planes hitting the towers, of the devastation at the Pentagon […]

Curing the Post-Halloween Blues

Every November 1, without fail, I’m down in the dumps. The moment I wake, I am viscerally aware in the cilia and flagella of my cells that Halloween is gone, having slipped away with the other faithful departed we commemorate on All Saints’ Day. Anymore, even as I’m trick-or-treating with my family, the sadness is […]

You Can’t Be Serious

I am forever struggling to be taken seriously. Perhaps it comes from being the youngest child or perhaps it is connected to my ordination at an early age. Whatever the cause, I am desperate to be seen as a serious person doing serious things.  This desire carries over into my faith life as well. I […]

Successful People Don’t Sleep

Steve Harvey is one of those pop-culture personalities so associated with his later-in-life career that his rise to fame is all but forgotten. If you asked the average millennial who Steve Harvey is and what does he do, the vast majority would tell you about his run as host of the daytime gameshow Family Feud. […]

On the Seculosity of Fandom, or How I Almost Got Beaten Up at a Guns N Roses Show

If you don’t move, I’ll f&%*-ing make you move, he said. I was standing in a stadium, watching the reunited Guns N Roses perform. A dream I’d harbored for actual decades, finally realized. Our seats were decent but a few rows up a large-ish party hadn’t shown, so me and my friend did what serious […]

A Superior Identity

This one comes to us from Blake Nail. Well, Spider-Man has done it again. The recent news of Marvel losing the rights to the character has left many faithful fans distraught. Even when Marvel announced its new shows (She Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight) last weekend at the D23 Expo, the comments on Instagram […]

Walter Ciszek Did Not Mind Talking About Himself

“The man who is truly humble and very close to God does not mind talking about himself. And so I’m going to talk about myself.” – Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.[1] The speaker of the above words survived twenty-three years in the Soviet Gulag. He was tortured, sentenced to fifteen years of heavy labor, and all […]