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The The Tattoo Monologues

By Claire PearsonSeptember 6, 2017

Getting a tattoo is not only about deciding what to etch onto one’s body forever, but also about deciding what brief monologue will be uttered any time someone points to the ink and asks: “What does it mean?” The expectation is universal: people want something succinct, a response that suspends their judgment, an answer that…

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My Tears Had Names

By Jessica Eddings-RoeserAugust 30, 2017

  The phone rang. My newborn must have been asleep—I have no recollection of her at that moment—but my two preschoolers were with me, and I realized later that I had repeated the horrific news aloud. Thus, for months, my kids sat together at their play table to reenact the conversation. “What do you mean,…

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Susan B. Anthony: Failure is Impossible

By Peggy RosenthalAugust 22, 2017

Just a few miles from my home in Rochester, NY, is the house where Susan B. Anthony lived for most of her adult life. Her house is now a National Historical Landmark, though I remember what a struggle it was for local women to attain that designation for the house some thirty to forty years…

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Nonviolence and the Virtue of Hope

By Peggy RosenthalJuly 3, 2017

It was nonviolence that initially brought me to my spiritual director, Fr. Bill Shannon. I was a new Christian, baptized into the Catholic Church at Easter in 1983. The very next month, the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference issued a pastoral letter called The Challenge of Peace. The context of the letter was the Cold War’s…

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The “Oh, There You Are” Prayer

By Natalie VestinMay 11, 2017

Three egg sacs hang in suspension in the garden near my doorstep. When I look for information online, most resulting websites discuss removal, infestation, means of discarding. The spider has lived between the wall and garden for a little over a month, a strange home in the alley’s wind tunnel. Gusts waver the plants during…

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Endurance Test

By Matt NewcombMay 2, 2017

My father held the wall to work his way from the bed to the couch, avoiding the ship’s bell protruding from the wall. He was sick—the kind of sick that meant out of work too. It was his adrenal system, or his pineal gland, or a hormonal imbalance, depending on the doctor. And it was…

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Poetry Friday: “Love’s Last”

By Christian WimanMarch 24, 2017

The spring equinox was on Monday. I am slowly seeing a flush of new life around me, like plum tree blossoms and nettles, while winter’s dank decay is still lamentably present. Christian Wiman’s haunting and tender poem “Love’s Last” from his collection Once in the West (originally published in Image issue 81) echoes loudly for…

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Our Rumbling Nation 

By Peggy RosenthalFebruary 27, 2017

This is an age of the world when nations are trembling and convulsed. A mighty influence is abroad, surging and heaving the world, as with an earthquake. And is America safe? Every nation that carries in its bosom great and un-redressed injustice has in it the elements of this last convulsion. As I was reading…

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Anne Fontaine’s The Innocents

By A.G. HarmonFebruary 15, 2017

After World War II devastated eastern Europe, the Red Army pushed into the countries allotted to them as spoils, such as Poland. There, they continued the destructive work that the Nazis had begun. Among those hardest hit were the women religious of Warsaw. French Red Cross physician Madeleine Pauliac, sent to find and repatriate the…

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The Song of the Desert

By Christiana N. PetersonFebruary 7, 2017

“The Word of God which is his comfort is also his distress. The liturgy, which is his joy and which reveals to him the glory of God, cannot fill a heart that has not previously been humbled and emptied by dread. Alleluia is the song of the desert.” —Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer When the hospice…

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