Meet Me at Our Spot

Humans all have a deeper longing to engage with music in a kind of dance where there is intention, anticipation and response, and a sort of push and pull motion. Recorded music can certainly help facilitate this, but unfortunately it can also dampen that longing. There is a certain language that we learn, whether subconsciously or through a more active process, that helps shape the … Continue reading Meet Me at Our Spot

The Problem of Christian Philosophy

God is not an answer to the enigma of being; He, veiled and hidden, tenuous to the human eye, is wrapped in its center In a 1935 series of lectures, Martin Heidegger asserts that Christian philosophy is a contradiction in terms. If philosophy—especially metaphysics—is the exploration of the fundamental question “Why is there being rather than nothing?”, then religion, and dogmatic religion in particular, cannot … Continue reading The Problem of Christian Philosophy

Suffering Redeemed: Work as an Act of Love

While it is true that manual labor has an inherent value, to focus primarily on the meaning of the activity and ignore the way that activity is experienced largely misses the point I have heard many different philosophical explanations for the value of hard work and the dignity of America’s working class. They offer a response to those among the upper and upper- middle classes … Continue reading Suffering Redeemed: Work as an Act of Love

Waiting to Remember

To remember is to restore. To return to one’s memories, particularly the painful ones, is to revisit a place of holy ground. It is to return to the breaking ground and the winnowing field. In drear nighted December John Keats, 1817   In drear nighted December,      Too happy, happy tree,  Thy branches ne’er remember      Their green felicity— The north cannot undo them  With a sleety whistle … Continue reading Waiting to Remember

Revisiting Daredevil

“Our lived reality often conflicts with theological principles in ways that cannot be resolved easily, or even at all.” In the first season of Marvel’s Netflix show Daredevil, Matthew Murdock has a frank discussion with his priest about personal vocation. A lawyer by day and masked vigilante by night, Matthew walks a fine line of hypocrisy. He regularly steps outside the bounds of the justice … Continue reading Revisiting Daredevil

Escaping Escapism

“The problem with escapism, then, does not lie in escapist stories. It lies in readers who try to build a home inside them.” Reeling from a particularly vicious head cold this midterm season, I set myself up in bed with Tylenol, Kleenex, popcorn, and a movie my roommate had recommended. As the opening credits began to play and the cold medication began to kick in, … Continue reading Escaping Escapism

Gregory Alan Isakov and Rainer Maria Rilke on the Quiet Things of Life

“ Oh blessed rage for order…The maker’s rage to order words of the sea…”   ~ Wallace Stevens One of Augustine of Hippo’s ways of understanding the human heart sounds paradoxical at first: a man can walk around the earth, but he cannot ever circumscribe his own heart. Rather than debate whether or not this is the case, I am going to take this as … Continue reading Gregory Alan Isakov and Rainer Maria Rilke on the Quiet Things of Life

The Writer as Artist: On Transience and the Joy of Words

Throughout my academic career, I have viewed writing as a means by which I can paraphrase, convey, and analyze other people’s ideas. I never attempted poetry or creative prose, or anything outside of academic essays for that matter, because the thought that those styles of writing were something I could do or something worthwhile had never even crossed my mind. As a writer, I was … Continue reading The Writer as Artist: On Transience and the Joy of Words

All Goodbyes Are Temporary

One of my favorite places in the world is a little donut shop in Coldwater named Dutch Uncle. By any ordinary standards it isn’t a very nice establishment: The bathroom door only sort-of closes, they serve water in sketchy styrofoam cups (which they have to go back into the kitchen to get because the soda fountain is broken), they only take cash, and the benches … Continue reading All Goodbyes Are Temporary

The Missing Dictionary Entry

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrasal verb “to miss out (on)” is an American colloquialism that arose in the early twentieth century. This meaning of “being deprived of an experience or opportunity” is a relatively new meaning for “miss” in our language; a word that actually dates back to Old English. Originally, “miss” meant “to go wrong, to make a mistake,” which has … Continue reading The Missing Dictionary Entry