The cover of the Standard Ebooks edition of Plays by Roswitha of Gandersheim

Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim

Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim was a tenth-century German canoness, dramatist, and poet. (A canoness is basically like a nun, but with less strict vows.) Hrotsvitha is remarkable: she has been called the first Western playwright since antiquity as well as the first known woman playwright. In her six plays, Hrotsvitha takes comic tropes used by Roman playwrights and reworks them into plays that not only glorify God but also deeply honor faith, celibacy, and women.

A car parked along a river in Yellowstone National Park indicating a road trip.

But What About Right Now

After hearing about a peer’s commitment to the present moment, I have realized that I too default to sharing about experiences with a clear distinction of “then” versus “now.” I am taking her words as an invitation to practice honesty and truth-telling in the present instead of waiting three months to write you a post about insights on my current experience.

Open doorway of an old church

Ode to Joy

My senior year of college, I stopped attending Mass regularly. I have not yet replaced the rituals which were such a crucial aspect in determining the essence of who I am, but I am beginning to redefine the sense of joy which was so foundational to my Mass ritual growing up. This joy was not simply elation at this thing or that, but a spiritual wellspring at the possibilities inherent in being alive.

A person contemplatively standing next to a waterfall

Cal Newport & Religion, Solitude & Productivity

I was excited to see Cal Newport’s recent blog post titled “Digital Minimalism and God (Or, is Social Media Undermining Religion?)” In the post, Newport remarks that he was somewhat surprised by how well received his new book Digital Minimalism has been within religious circles.

People riding the subway

Commuting with My Community Post-JVC

Most of the things I do on a daily basis now, I do alone: commuting, working, exercising, and eating, just to name a few. I find myself in these moments wanting to invite God to join me in the accompanying bus seat or at the dinner table. In these moments, I find God in the comfort of remembering my JV community. Their presence pervaded the minute details of my routine in Houston, and I can’t help but think of them every day.

A rainbow flag

Queer Sexuality and its Challenges to Christianity and Catholicism

Released in 2018, Boy Erased and The Miseducation of Cameron Post bring major attention to Christian conversion therapy and the general repression of queerness by conservative Christian communities. In this post I discuss the ripple effects this kind of mass media representation has on people who identity as both queer and Christian, and what that might mean for FJVs working towards a better understanding of allyship within the church.

A smiley face balloon

Now: A Good Time to Laugh

Have you ever tried to laugh without having a reason? I’d recommend it. Laughter has become an odd spiritual tool of sorts for me the past few years, not a defense mechanism as is often cited but, rather, a form of deep surrender to whatever situation is at hand.

Stars over a lake at night

Sleepless for Spirituality

While I try to maintain a sense of the past year through conversations and this blog, nothing captures it as poignantly as my dreams. They beg me to question how my life after JVC serves people besides myself.

A person holding a purple flower

Exploring Tradition: Praying with Mary Oliver

I woke up to the sad news that Mary Oliver, poet of the natural world, had passed away. That day I took a few moments of silence to read a few of her poems and it suddenly dawned on me that her text, in many ways, could be considered sacred and spiritual. Reverting to the Catholic practices I am familiar with, I decided to apply the tools of Lectio Divina to a few different Mary Oliver poems, treating them as texts open to spiritual contemplation and personal reflection.

drone view of downtown Houston

Searching for Spirituality

There were many factors that flew me down to Houston, Texas, for my year as a Jesuit Volunteer. However, as I suspect may have been the case for others too, a sense of doubt accompanied my answers to curious and slightly disapproving questions from family, friends, and even my own internal inquisitions.