Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life

By Heidi Schlumpf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews

By Kathleen Norris (Riverhead, 2008)

Did you know there used to be eight deadly sins? In the era of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, monks called them "bad thoughts" and included acedia (ah-SEE-dia), later subsumed into "sloth," which eventually emphasized physical, rather than spiritual laziness. Acedia has been defined as absence of care, soul weariness, melancholy, ennui, or despair.

The Dean's list

By William B. Neenan, S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
 Have you read a good book lately? A quarter century ago a dean at Boston College started serving up 27 ways to say yes to that question.

Welcome to the church wide web

By Matt Bigelow| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Young Adults
Thou shalt not stop ordinary Catholics from using the Internet to speak their minds.

When Genevieve Kineke and a group of laywomen decided this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mulieris Dignitatem, Pope John Paul II’s document on the dignity of women, she needed to get the word out. A mailing list, however, never even occurred to her.

An all-you-can-read buffet

U.S. Catholic| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews

On the feast of the Corpus Christi last year Pope John Paul II called for a special year dedicated to the Eucharist, and Christians looking to nourish their eucharistic spirituality this year with a good read have been blessed with a bounty of literary manna. Even better, these books on the church's central sacrament of unity come from Catholics and Protestants alike, reminding us of the full communion to which this sacrament summons the whole body of Christ.

Bad news on the rise

By Heidi Schlumpf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews

A long line has formed at the information desk at Borders, so I wait my turn behind a student studying her syllabus and a tourist-type, probably looking for a beach-read recommendation. When the young man behind the desk gets to me, I ask, "Do you have any books on the sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church?" thinking he probably doesn't get that question too often. Immediately his eyes light up with recognition. "Oh, yes, there are a bunch of books coming out on that. One is called Goodbye something . .

Family secrets

By Dolores Curran| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Politics

When the news about our recently named Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Jewish roots exploded in early February, I scurried to my book of quotes to find one I clipped a few years ago. Written by the Rev. James A.Simpson, it asks, "Why pay money to have your family tree traced? Go into politics and your opponents will do it for you."

Father, son, and an unholy war

By Peter Gilmour| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Spirituality

Imagine being a supporter of the Vietnam antiwar movement and the son of a lieutenant general who is the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Imagine your mental and spiritual development placing you in total opposition with the person you admire most. Imagine a faith that helps you through all of this. James Carroll, a best-selling author, does not have to imagine these things: he has lived them.

Get your faith off the shelf

By Lawrence Cunningham| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews

What have been the most influential books published in the Catholic world in the past generation? I expanded the scope of that question to include the three decades which have passed since the closing of the Second Vatican Council. I narrowed the question by thinking only of books available in English. As a second step, I proposed the same question to a number of my colleagues who gather for lunch each day in the faculty building here at the University of Notre Dame. I was a bit taken aback by the paucity of their suggestions.

Washington Square Serenade

By Danny Duncan Collum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews

Steve Earle (New West, 2007)

Steve Earle is, without question, the most overtly political artist in American popular culture. For a long time his activism (and songwriting) focused on his opposition to the death penalty. But shortly after the invasion of Afghanistan, he wrote a sympathetic ballad about John Walker Lindh (the American Taliban), and he only got more pointed and confrontational from there.

Faith at the Edge

By Megan Sweas| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews

Edited by Angelo Matera (Ave Maria Press, 2008)

If the essayists in a new book are living Faith at the Edge, as the book is named, the majority of young adult Catholics I know are falling off the cliff.