suffering

suffering

When I was in my twenties and living in NYC, I volunteered at a Catholic Worker house on the Lower East Side. The Workers at Mary House lived with the poorest of the poor, providing food, shelter, health care and other forms of direct aid, while also working for economic justice.

One of those Workers was Kassie Temple. A brilliant writer with a Ph.D., she could have had a comfortable academic career. Instead, she devoted her life to doing what she could to keep hungry and homeless people from starving or dying of exposure to the elements.

I don't know anyone who'd recommend living "a divided life" — a life in which our words and actions conceal or even contradict truths we hold dear inwardly. And yet our culture counsels us to do exactly that:

Each week I write a weekly column that captures a tiny bit of what's beautiful and intriguing in this world. If you'd like to receive it in your email inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

Bedridden with an incurable illness, writer Paul Martin on navigating paths of pain and difficulty, and the depth and mystery of joy.

The film Life of Pi is not just a "parable of the postmodern quest for 'spiritual fulfillment'" but a meditation on beauty and our own finitude.

An illustration of Xavier Le Pichon’s analogies between the “rigidity” and what he calls “ductility” of the earth, and human communities he's witnessed from India to France.

Thailand - Ayuthaya 5 - Buddha headAn image of the Buddha is carved into a banyan tree at Wat Mahathat in Thailand. (photo: McKay Savage/Flickr, cc by 2.0)

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