A Militant Habit

C.M. Schott

If pressed to choose between the two, Brother Eudo would probably say he preferred the sword to the mace. Not because swordplay required more skill than bashing one’s opponent with a heavy object—though it certainly did—but because he liked the way a sword felt in his hands: balanced, reliable, perfectly simple but no less beautiful. At least, he reflected, sorting through the used habits in the storeroom looking for ones to fit the abbey’s two new novices, that is how he remembered the feel of a sword. It had been quite some time since he had last held one. [Read more…]


Gabriel Olearnik

Because I was ugly
Because I had clubfoot
(No, a twisted face)
Because the sound of my toys annoyed him
(No, he was drunk)
There was no thought in it
Because there was nothing else to do
And every other possibility in every possible world
Was spent
My father threw me [Read more…]

Be Not Afraid

Mike Mangione

It’s a dirt road I come from
A storm from the past
Dust twirls in cyclone curls and lays me on the grass
As steady as a heart beat
As fleeting as a wave
I break crest on newborn shores of everlasting graves
I walk the seems of night and day amidst tears of all unknown
Please turn and face night fall because in the darkness light is shown [Read more…]

Breathing with Both Lungs

Tonita M. Helton

How can we be fully credible if we stand divided before the Eucharist, if we cannot live our sharing in the same Lord whom we are called to proclaim to the world?
Orientale Lumen, John Paul II

John Paul II stood on an elevated platform before the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa and celebrated the Holy Mass before a crowd more than one million strong. The date was August 15, 1991—a day of triumph and joy. This was the first time ever that large numbers of young Eastern Europeans were able to participate in World Youth Day. In addressing the Eastern pilgrims, the Holy Father thanked them for the “precious treasure” of their Christian witness, a witness for which they often suffered persecution, death, and imprisonment behind a geopolitical wall that created “nearly impassable borders.” The collapse of communism in the East, however, had ushered in a new era and he rejoiced that “the Church in Europe [could] now breathe freely with both of her lungs.” [Read more…]


Amanda Glass

No sound falls on my ears, no vision
soothes my eyes. My tongue is without speech,
my vocal cords are cut. I am deaf,
blind, mute, wretched, beyond the reach
of myself. I am six feet deep
in cold mud, sealed into my grave. [Read more…]

Paula, sed ferox

Gabriel Olearnik

Your eyes are the heels of horses on stone:
They spark.
Red crescents on your cheeks,
A ploughed place between the brows,
And your face like a storm, dancing.

Gabriel Olearnik studied medieval history at University College London. He is currently an attorney and practices corporate law.