Monotonous Autonomy

Feast of the Beheading of the Holy and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

heroes-2-IN.jpgIN THE LATE 70s I heard that, on Easter morning, a Catholic priest in Dallas had himself taken up the main aisle of his church, elevated on a fully extended palette loader. Apparently he wanted to teach his flock something about the meaning of the Resurrection. And clearly the priest was a literalistic boob who lacked... Continue Reading

Who I Am

Feast of the Holy Martyrs Adrian & Natalie

Elijah_Square.jpegMY NAME IS Nyleen.

I have had to explain who I am to everyone I’ve ever met. For my entire life.

I spell myself, I alliterate and rhyme myself, I assure people that I really DO have a namesake; I’m not just stitched up from old alphabet parts like Frankenstein.

Because my name is Nyleen.

Lately, I changed my Lacy last name... Continue Reading

Reflections of a Theological Book Editor: The Top Five Books I Edited in 2014

Feast of the Holy Apostle Thaddaeus

Edit_Square.jpegI EDIT theological books for a living. I’m a freelancer, so I work for several different publishers. On average, I edit about fifty books per year. I like to read theology anyway (one would hope, given my line of work), but it’s interesting to read books I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen (though admittedly it’s more interesting—and exciting—to read books I would have chosen anyway).... Continue Reading

Finding the Hidden Treasure: The Discipline of Pursuing Heaven

Feast of the Holy Prophet Micah

Treasure_square.jpegThe kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  ~Matthew 13:44

Our minds rush to the treasure. Who wouldn’t like to discover treasure buried in a field, in a wall, in a sunken galley carrying Spanish gold?... Continue Reading

The Eighth Year: Time to Clarify the Eighth Day

Afterfeast of the Transfiguration and Feast of the Holy Righteous Martyr Dometius

Resurrection_Square.jpgWITH PLEASANT surprise, I recently realized that Eighth Day Institute is in its eighth year of operations. On April 18, 2008, we were incorporated as St. John of Damascus Institute. Two years later, on September 10, 2010, Fr. Paul O’Callaghan (my parish priest and an original EDI board member) suggested we think about changing our name to Eighth Day Institute. With... Continue Reading

This Is a Great Mystery: A Wedding Homily

Feast of the Holy Apostles Archippus, Philemon & Onesimus

Wedding_Cana_Square_2.jpgIN THE NAME of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and His Church.” These words were written by the Apostle Paul in the first century concerning marriage to the church community of Ephesus. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. What, pray... Continue Reading

The Bravery Marriage Requires

Feast of the Righteous Fathers Sergius & Herman, Founders of Valaam Monstery

Cana_Weddigin_square.jpgLAST FALL, I attended a wedding for a work friend of my fiancé. It was an unofficiated union for two women who had fallen in love and were deeply committed to each other. In my heart, I wished them well.

But I didn't tell anyone at the time. I didn't want to seem either approving or disapproving; I... Continue Reading

Faith, Hope & Perseverance: The Man at the Pool of Bethesda

Feast of St Agrippina the Martyr of Rome

Healing_Pool_Paralytic_Square.jpgNow there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, which has five porticos. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for 38 years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to... Continue Reading

Why We Read What We Read: Utility or Tradition?

Feast of St Moses of Optina

Books_Square.jpgOF LATE I have often found myself reflecting on why I choose to read the particular books I read, and also why others choose the books they do. And (as is my wont) I have also found myself reflecting on the larger cultural and intellectual trends connected to our individual reading habits.

I tend to read a book based on its author more than... Continue Reading

The Spirit of Economy: Reacting to the Contemporary Bourgeois

Feast of St Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria

Dawson_Square.jpgIN HIS ESSAY “Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind”, Christopher Dawson argued that, contrary to the prediction and hope of Marx, the Proletariat never truly revolted against the bourgeois, despite its increasing misery and growing hostility. Instead it was the bourgeois, said Dawson, representing not so much a body of men but rather a mindset, culture, and lifestyle, which rose up over time and... Continue Reading