Atheism

The ecstatic joy of knowing you have a soul (and why I loved The Fault in Our Stars)

thefault

A fun and surprisingly intense debate has broken out among my friends over the past few months, and it revolves around this question: The Fault in Our Stars: depressing or uplifting? One of my friends summarized her impression the book by saying, “It’s a sad story where everything is bad and then more bad stuff happens. Why did I need to read that?” She is on Team Depressing, and a lot of people I know are with her. A note my babysitter found in her copy of the book, left by her friend. I, however, am on the other team. I loved... Read More

The power of an “I don’t know”

Allison Vesterfelt

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you all had a prayerful and transformative Holy Week, and a wonderful Easter Sunday. He is risen! I want to begin the first week of Easter with a guest story by a new friend of mine who is absolutely delightful. For those of you who haven’t met her yet, her name is Allison Vesterfelt, and she’s the author of Packing Light: Thoughts on Living with Less Baggage. You can also connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. I first met Ally when I went to the IF Gathering, and she exuded light and love and sweetness.... Read More

The saint of the NICU

DSC07199

Today is my youngest child’s first birthday! Those of you who were reading a year ago might recall that that wasn’t the best day. It was a rough pregnancy, involving bilateral pulmonary embolisms, hospitalization, and getting stabbed in the neck by doctors (UNNECESSARILY). The birth was not a ton of fun either — without going into detail, let’s just say that getting 12 blood draws in the same arm in one day was one of the better parts of the experience. Then, only minutes after the baby arrived, he was taken away due to... Read More

Are we all delusional? (and other questions about having a relationship with God)

Explore God

On Monday I met up with pastors John Burke and Eric Bryant of Gateway Church here in Austin to film a Q&A session for the Explore God campaign. Burke, Bryant, and the moderator Bridget Henderson have done an amazing job with this series, so it was an honor to be a part of it. The question for this session was, “Is it possible to have a personal relationship with God?” Here’s the video if you’d like to check it out: A few of the many questions we discussed were: Richard Dawkins says belief in God is delusional. But... Read More

What is the religious climate in your part of the world?

cathedral-italy

Every other year I like to ask readers to talk about religious trends in their parts of the world. These posts always lead to the most fascinating discussion, so I’m excited to do it once again! Take a moment to answer the following questions. I’m especially interested to hear from folks who live outside of the United States: Where do you live? If you’re outside the U.S., PLEASE NOTE YOUR COUNTRY IN CAPITAL LETTERS. What is church attendance like in your area? Are there many churches? Do they seem to have active memberships? How... Read More

On proving God

explore-god-billboard

There’s a huge movement that’s sweeping Austin right now called Explore God. If you live in central Texas, you know what I’m talking about. You pull out of your driveway and you see a sign in the yard across the street. You get on the highway and there’s a billboard. You drive past a church to see a big Explore God banner out front, then, on your way home, more signs dot the houses as you drive through your neighborhood. I was blown away by the saturation level that the people behind this movement managed to achieve, and... Read More

The dangers of spiritual glamor (complete with a creepy Ouija board story)

Right before the New Year during my sophomore year of high school, my best friend and I got out her old Ouija board. As she smoothed away the dust with the palm of her hand and placed the board on the floor in front of us, she recounted to me with great emphasis a series rules I was supposed to follow, like saying “break” before you take your hands off the planchette. There would be something real going on here, she insisted, and so it was important to approach this activity with respect. I prided myself on being a pure atheist materialist... Read More

From atheist to Catholic – new talk

I finally got a chance to upload the audio from my recent talk. You can see the video here, which includes the introduction by Fr. Dean Wilhelm and the Q&A afterwards. It’s similar to my conversion story speech that I posted last year, though I did add some new elements. You can listen to it at the embedded player below, or download the full MP3: If you’d like to download the MP3 it to listen to it later or play on your iPod, here’s the original file. Right-click on that link and choose Save Link As. Hope you enjoy it! ©... Read More

Reason can convince you of stuff that’s stupid and wrong

Oh man, was I in a terrible mood a couple days ago. It was bad. I’d had two nights in a row of getting very little sleep because the baby had been fussy, then had one of those days where even my smallest ambitions were thwarted: I wanted to freeze some leftovers, and out of the ten thousand containers and three thousand lids in my Tupperware drawer, I could not find a single matching set. I wanted to banish the stircrazy kids outside for a while, but it was 107 degrees. I wanted to get the mail, but it was 107 degrees. Did I mention that it... Read More

Video: My conversion story interview

For those of you who missed my EWTN appearance but wanted to check it out, here’s the full episode: To see more episodes featuring other guests, check out the Renewal Ministries website!  Read More →

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