Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents of Jesus

Santa Maria in Trastevere

It’s been one of the great blessings of my life to have gotten to know all four of my grandparents and to have them with me well into adulthood. Particularly in times that change so quickly and so dramatically, grandparents give us access not just to another generation but, really, to other worlds.

On this memorial of St. Joachim and St. Anne, I came across this quotation from one of the 20th century’s literary giants:

I feel that all my writing has been about the experiences of the time I spent with my grandparents.

Gabriel García Márquez

Boundaries of Eden

My recent pleasure reading has included Glenn Arbery’s Boundaries of Eden from Wiseblood Books. Always nice to discover another Catholic writer. Here’s a part I liked…

Why should there be providence with respect to Braxton Forrest, anyway? Hardest of all to imagine was that God Almighty, with the whole universe to look after, cared anything about the peccadilloes of a middle-aged literature professor. The apparent absurdity of it had to be balanced against the overwhelmingly convincing sense of an inner witness, an exacting (if often ignored) conscience, a kind of co-knowing whose ground lay deeper than his own conscious mind. So yes. Acceptance of providence brought him to see himself differently. It even brought him, if only occasionally, to the Gospels, where he did not encounter the sweet, naïve, androgynous new version of the fierce Old Testament God that he expected, but the Old Testament God incarnate, the fierce, severe, enigmatic otherness of a man whose absolute authority overflowed any apparent warrant for it….

Glenn Arbery, Boundaries of Eden

Innsbruck revisited

I was thrilled to get the news this week that my essay “Angels in Innsbruck” was selected by Dappled Things as the winner of their 2021 Jacques Maritain Prize for Nonfiction. Dappled Things is a wonderful literary journal, the only one I know of with the explicit mission of publishing Catholic literature. They’re both online and in print; the print journal features some really beautiful artwork and is well worth the subscription.

To celebrate the occasion, I thought I’d post a few pictures from my summer in Innsbruck to go along along with the essay. First the angels in the Jesuit church…

And then a few pictures of beautiful Innsbruck.