The Sinner-Saint

One of the most difficult components of writing is learning how to write literature about faith. Specifically, personal essays that sing about the sinner-saint identity which lies at the crux of compelling identity-faith-politics writing.

When I identity as a Catholic and as a writer, some people assume I’m this surreptitious evangelical, trying to make others believe what I believe. When, really, I’m not one to try to teach others something I’m not entirely sure of myself.  I’m not certain.  I’m just haunted.

I have an obsession with God, or the idea of God, the phenomenon of people who worship and participate in ritual, engaging in folktale, story, and mantra. I find it all fascinating: the creeds, hymns, stories, hypocritical behaviors, hierarchy, history, fallacies and the unexplainable.

I’m not here to tell you what you should believe. I write to consider what all the mess might mean. And in that inchoate understanding, I try on sentences that express what I find. It’s hard.

Don’t be scared off when I say I’m Catholic.  Believe me, I’m skeptical enough for the both of us.  But every once in a while, a tweet comes along that I can get on board with.


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