Alright, real talk: last week might have been a bit of a slow one for the ol’ TJP staff. In our defense, the Pope resigned the week before and we were tuckered out. All we were left with was to trust in your continued generosity Oh Readers of Ours… oh, and in an infinite God who’s love is stronger than death. That too.
But! Much still has gone on in the world over the last couple of weeks, here’s how we’ve tried to break it down:
The Papal Resignation – Yeah, kind of a big deal. We dedicated three separate pieces to it in a week’s time.
- Il papa’s decision burst upon the world on Monday morning, the 11th of February. Our Editor-in-Chief Paddy Gilger was typing this breakdown of the resignation before he’d even rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
- The next day our man Tim O’Brien broke down the news as it had been received around the world in his “(Non) Habemus Papam: Papal News Roundup“. He even managed to find room for this:
- A week – and much “what does it mean” digestion time – later, Matt Spotts channelled his inner Nate Silver to write an unassailably cool piece on why we’re probably not going to be able to predict who will become the next Pope in his “Predicting the Pope, or Vatican Paging Nate Silver“.
Lent – Even though we’ve managed to avoid all of the “Benedict gave up what for Lent?!” jokes it still actually is Lent and we’ve pulled together what we think are some deeply prayerful, and highly practical, Lenten pieces:
- We’re pretty excited about the great Saint Louis University students who served as the first group for our inaugural “Do Something Worth Talking About” Lenten challenge. After going completely (or, well, non-work related completely) screen-free for a day, they made a meal and sat down with one another to talk about what it was like to get away from the screens that so often surround us. Luckily (and ironically?) for us they videotaped the conversation, and you can watch them – and get inspired to attempt your own screen-free challenge – here:
- For all those who are more of a photo than a video person, we’ve seen new life breathed into our old @Iggygram project by all the people who’ve responded so generously to our call for pictures that capture the Lenten theme of being Blessed and Broken. Check out what’s been sent in so far on the site, on our twitter (@thejesuitpost), or at @Iggygram.
- But those weren’t the only ways we kicked off Lent. Noticing that we were beginning Lent right alongside the new lunar year, Quang Tran wrote about the seeming conflict that Asian Catholics face of celebrating the new year as Lent begins: “A humble recognition of one’s nothingness without one’s elders,” he writes, “…and above all without one’s God is the foundational and relational grace necessary for a new beginning.” A great way to begin a both/and Lent indeed.
- Brendan Busse, on the other hand, took up the theme of giving up for Lent. No, not giving up Lent, but beginning our Lenten practices by remembering how freeing it can be to accept our own failures and imperfections. As usual, what Brendan offered was unusually lovely.
- And Sam Sawyer collected a handful of the best Lenten resources from around the web and pulled them together in his “ ‘Now is a very acceptable time’: Resources for Lent”.
Quinoa, Immigration & Kingly Burials – No, those don’t really have much to do with one another, but they are the topics of some really good (if evidently eclectic) recent pieces here at TJP.
- Quention Dupont writes about quinoa and the backfiring of good intentions (and the foodie movement and the economics of globalization and the controversies that are swirling around the little Andean grain).
- Immigration was also found to be worth reading about by Nate Romano these weeks. Using a delicious pie analogy, Nate noted that when we increase the number of immigrants allowed into the country the size of our economic pie can actually increase, leaving more for all rather than less. Also, mmmm… pie.
- And Jason Welle contemplated what we ought to do with the recently recovered remains of the last Plantagenet King of England, Richard III, who was found buried under a parking lot. Ignominious much? we ask.
#TBT (ThrowBack Thursdays) and #YCTIWYF (You Can’t Take it with You Fridays) – both of these regular TJP features were steady-as-she-goes these past couple weeks. Our resident obitua-tarian Perry Petrich remembered inventors and memorialized those who lived trying to leave their (trade)marks on the world. #TBT on the other hand took us back to Valentine’s Day memories past and asked us to remember (and reflect upon) the anniversary of the tragedies at the World Trade Center.
Man, after running through all of that I’m thinking that I might need to revise my definition of “a bit slow.” Either way, though, we’re getting ramped up for the big things that are on their way in the coming weeks (a new Pope! March Madness! Easter!).