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Death

Dying…with Style

Dying…with Style

Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear I wrap my fear around me like a blanket I sailed my ship of safety ’til I sank it I’m crawling on your shores — Indigo Girls I like the pillows on my couch and bed to be arranged […]

Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

“You brought us out of nothing into being, and when we had fallen away, You raised us up again.” My dad’s family gathered in his parents’ kitchen, all 27 of us, for the Thanksgiving thanksgiving. Before my dad’s dad prayed, as he always does at these meals, my grandma spoke up. Papa would be having […]

A Son Is Born

A Son Is Born

WARNING: Spoilers for the film A Star Is Born ahead. Read at your own risk, while remembering this movie has been made four times so if you don’t already know the ending then that’s really on you. In the beginning of the film A Star Is Born, just after Jackson’s raucous opening number, he sits […]

A Fictional Non-Eulogy on What Faith Really Means, by Robert Farrar Capon

A Fictional Non-Eulogy on What Faith Really Means, by Robert Farrar Capon

The following snippet comes from Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle, by Robert Farrar Capon. Detailing a tumultuous month in the life of a parish priest, this mystical novel disentangles the most crucial of themes: death, romance, mystery, and redemption. Here, our narrator Father William Jansson reflects on ‘faith’, following the passing of his dear friend, […]

The Straight Road Out of a Buried World

The Straight Road Out of a Buried World

November 11 came and went as unexceptionally as any Sunday ever does, a day living under the permanent shadow of Monday, almost exclusively spent hoping against hope to recuperate before the work week resumes. Most Sundays, however, don’t mark one hundred years since the armistice that halted the First World War and gave the day […]

The Difference Between Despair and Dependence

The Difference Between Despair and Dependence

Regular readers know the high esteem in which we hold Orthodox priest Fr. Stephen Freeman, and how much inspiration we’ve drawn from his writing, especially over the past couple of years. If it’s true that God often speaks to us through unexpected vessels and out of our blindspots, then he represents something of that for […]

You (and Kirk Cousins) Are Going to Die

You (and Kirk Cousins) Are Going to Die

Kirk Cousins, the quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, has a sculpture outside his house with an odd purpose: it’s intended to remind him that he’s going to die. Well, sort of. Planning to live to 90, the quarterback has a jar of 720 stones (one for each month he intends to live) at his home. […]

<i>Therefore I Have Hope:</i> The Blessed Assurance of an Objective Gospel

Therefore I Have Hope: The Blessed Assurance of an Objective Gospel

I remember the exact place where I was standing on campus at Ole Miss when my mom called with the news that Cameron Cole’s three-year-old son, Cam, had died. I don’t think I believed her at first. Surely, I had misheard what she said. There was just no way that this was happening. Why, God? […]

Chewing Tinfoil, Wanting God: Christian Wiman’s <i>He Held Radical Light</i>

Chewing Tinfoil, Wanting God: Christian Wiman’s He Held Radical Light

What is it we want when we can’t stop wanting? Christian Wiman’s new essays resist review. Reviews of art are always a strange effort, anyway. An exhibition of paintings or a play or a concert or a novel or a poem, all are experiences, experiences of difference—when our action is displaced but our hearts and […]

The Great Things We’ll Accomplish in the Grave

The Great Things We’ll Accomplish in the Grave

We’ve all had influential people in our lives who remain unaware of the impact they had on us. An elementary school teacher who inspired us to dedicate our lives to educating others. An older friend of our family whose kindness and generosity we’ve tried to emulate. Maybe it’s a random stranger who, like a guardian […]

I Am Not Better Than John McCain: I Am Worse (and You Might Be Too)

I Am Not Better Than John McCain: I Am Worse (and You Might Be Too)

Inevitably, when a figure who is much beloved by some–but not by all–dies, we are reminded of our opinion of that person. In our current cultural moment, this also means that by God we are going to share that opinion. In its most recent iteration, the death of Senator John McCain sparked an Opinion Fest […]

The Jeffersonian Ideal and the Unexpected Solution to Racism

The Jeffersonian Ideal and the Unexpected Solution to Racism

As you may know, Mockingbird HQ is situated here in happy, wealthy, intellectual, pastoral Charlottesville, Virginia. When I moved to Charlottesville for college almost 15 years ago, it was considered “America’s Happiest City” and one of the best places in America to raise a family. It still is. For this reason, and others, there is a […]