A STORY OF A MOTHER AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

LIT CROSS

Tuesday I received an email with the subject line “The God of Dysfunction.” I opened it eagerly and found the following Advent reflection from Fr. Robert Barron: “The opening lines of Matthew’s Gospel-and hence the first words that one reads in the New Testament-are a listing of the genealogy of Jesus, the 42 generations that […]

ST. THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX’S CHRISTMAS EVE CONVERSION

Thérèse of Lisieux, as you may know, is one of only three women to have been made a Doctor of the Church. Her mother died when Thérèse was 4. One by one, her four older sisters left for the cloister. She became emotionally clingy. A key moment in her spiritual development occurred on Christmas eve […]

WATCHING

“Along with love and work, [watching] is the great salvation. For whenever someone is seriously watching, a form of lost innocence is restored. It will not last, but during those minutes his self-consciousness is relieved.” –Robert Phelps, biographer of Colette, quoted in Molly Peacock’s The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delaney Begins Her Life’s Work at 72. In […]

ACTOR/COMIC TOM WILSON ON PERFORMING, WAITING AND ENDURING

TOM WILSON

“Stage acting is life ‘on the wire’—the rest is just waiting.” -Al Pacino. Tom Wilson has made his way in Hollywood as an actor, stand-up comic, and voice-over artist for over thirty-five years. A cradle Catholic, he was raised in Philadelphia and taught by the Sisters of Mercy. “As a thoughtful oddball kid I accepted […]

LAND OF SILENCE AND DARKNESS: FILM-MAKER WERNER HERZOG AND THE DEAF-BLIND

HERZOG'S LAND OF SILENCE AND DARKNESS

Werner Herzog is the German film-maker whose notion of “ecstatic truth” has brought him, among other places, to the Peruvian rainforest (Aguirre, The Wrath of God), Death Row (Into the Abyss), Antarctica (Encounters at the End of the World), and the Alaskan wilderness (Grizzly Man). But to me his finest film is Land of Silence […]

AN INTERVIEW WITH SENIOR LEAD OFFICER SKID ROW COP DEON JOSEPH

SKID ROW

When you drive into downtown L.A.’s Skid Row, you feel suddenly and violently cut adrift from all the markers that signal civilization. I learned of Senior Lead Office Deon Joseph through an article he wrote last August for Downtown News. He sounded human. He responded quickly to my request to talk. I’d come down to […]

THE SOUND OF A WILD SNAIL EATING

How ingenious an animal is a snail….When it falls in with a bad neighbor it takes up its house, and moves off.” –Philemon, 3rd or 4th century B.C. Athenian poet Elisabeth Tova Bailey lives on the mid-coast of Maine. That’s about all we know of her background. Then, we learn, “At the age of thirty-four, on a brief trip […]