Rediscovering Awe

12/03/2012 Comments (31)

The other day I was flipping through books in a bookstore, and I came across an essay by an American author who had stumbled across a secluded Buddhist monastery while traveling through Asia. The writer, who was not religious, eloquently expressed the sense of reverence and awe that filled him upon witnessing one of the monks' blessing rituals. The scene he encountered struck him as being so beautiful, the words filled with such wisdom, that the man was filled with the awareness that he was beholding something special.

It reminded me of the way my friends and I used to view some foreign belief systems when I was younger. Even though I was an atheist, I had a kind of respect for certain...READ MORE

Filed under advent, christmas message

How Changing What I Wear Changed My Approach to Mass

11/28/2012 Comments (356)

There's a new link-up that's getting a ton of traction in the Catholic blog world: It's called What I Wore Sunday, and participants link to posts on their own blogs with pictures of what they wear to Mass (so far it's only women, but I know that Mark Shea is thinking about jumping in next week). This online party has grown by almost 500% in a little over a month, and has been getting a lot of buzz in certain corners of the blogosphere. What is it about this idea that people find so appealing? Kathryn Whitaker described it well over at Austin Catholic New Media when she said of her own participation in the virtual festival:

Ever since I started the link up, I've found myself...READ MORE

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The Temptation of Pilate

11/26/2012 Comments (63)

When I read the Bible for the first time when I was in my 20s, I had a hard time getting into it. With little knowledge of Christianity and no knowledge of Judaism, I often felt that an impenetrable gulf separated me from the events depicted on the wispy pages of my brand new book. Even the New Testament seemed foreign; it took a while before I was able to feel a connection even to the figure of Christ himself. But there was one exception. One event described in all four of the Gospels jumped off the page to me in its vividness, because I felt an odd connection to one of the main people involved: Pontius Pilate.

When Pilate came on the scene for the first time in the Gospel of Matthew,...READ MORE

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What's So Sacred About Meals?

11/21/2012 Comments (42)

When I first converted to Christianity, one of the biggest changes in my daily life was saying a prayer before eating. I wasn't used to doing anything other than scooting my chair in and grabbing my napkin before I ate, so it took a while to get into the habit of pausing to address God before I dug into my food. Yet, oddly enough, it felt perfectly natural. Almost all major human celebrations involve food. Even our big secular holidays are associated with celebratory mealtimes (barbecue and pickles on the 4th of July, a feast with blackeyed peas on New Year's Day). It would seem that humans have a natural sense that there's something special about food, and it's no surprise that almost...READ MORE

Filed under food, prayers, thanksgiving

The Big Picture

11/07/2012 Comments (108)

I have managed to remain quite detached about the Presidential election this time around; not because I don't care, but because we made the fortuitous decision to schedule a family trip to Oregon for next week. We'll be spending a week at Mt. Angel Abbey to get away from it all, spend a lot of time in prayer, and to visit my cousin, iconographer Br. Claude Lane. We scheduled this visit months ago, not thinking about its proximity to election day, but it's worked out well since the herculean task of getting myself and a gaggle of young children ready to fly over 2,000 miles and be on the road for a full week has kept me too maxed out to glare at my computer for hours on end while thinking...READ MORE

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A Must-Watch Interview with Dean Koontz

11/05/2012 Comments (29)

Need a break from yelling at your computer screen and trying to impact swing state poll numbers through the power of your mind? I have just the thing! Take a few minutes to watch this excellent interview with author Dean Koontz that aired on The World Over earlier this month (also embedded at the bottom of the post).

The World Over always has good interviews, but this one is really special. When I first watched it, I knew I had the urge to send the link to everyone I know and tell them to check it out, but I couldn't quite articulate why. Then, when I watched it a second time, I realized what it was:

First of all, it's Catholic media at its finest. Raymond Arroyo is arguably one of...READ MORE

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Why I Lost Faith in the Pro-Choice Movement

10/31/2012 Comments (470)

I was sitting on a bean bag in my dorm room when I got the call. It was a friend of mine -- let's call her "Sara" -- and she was sobbing so hard it took me a moment to know who it was.

Finally, she pulled herself together enough to speak. With a voice that sounded as weary as if she had aged 100 years since the last time we talked, she said, "I'm pregnant."

My heart sunk on her behalf. I was completely pro-choice and didn't find the idea of abortion to be troubling, but I knew that she was not comfortable with it. She had always said that she respected other women's rights to choose, but that she could never do that. Yet I also knew that she was not entirely thrilled with this guy she...READ MORE

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What Google Street View Reveals About Why Women Don't Want to Stay Home

10/29/2012 Comments (80)

Yesterday I looked up my house on Google Street View. I was curious to see how many stray tricycles and scooters would be strewn across our front porch in the image, and I had a lot of work to do and therefore wanted to procrastinate.

Not particularly eager to get back to my to-do list, I ended up clicking around to take a tour of my entire neighborhood. I virtually meandered in and out of familiar streets, turning around in cul de sacs, stopping to admire some of the beautifully manicured yards of my neighbors. I kept admonishing myself that this was a waste of time and I needed to go do something else, but something kept pulling me back -- and it wasn't just my desire to...READ MORE

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About Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler
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Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer and speaker who converted to Catholicism after a life of atheism. She's a contributor to the books The Church and New Media and Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion, and is writing a book based on her personal blog, She and her husband live in Austin, TX with their five young children, and were featured in the nationally televised reality show Minor Revisions. You can follow her on Twitter at @conversiondiary.