Amazon.com Widgets

Marie Meaney

Joined: Nov. 22, 2011

Bio:

Currently living in Rome (Italy) with my husband and daughter, I’m working on a project on totalitarian evil from the perspectives of Simone Weil and Hannah Arendt. My book Simone Weil’s Apologetic Use of Literature: Her Christological Interpretations of Classic Greek Texts appeared with OUP in 2008. I’ve also worked on the topic of infertility, and my booklet “Embracing the Cross of Infertility” (HLI, 2010.) has appeared in an expanded version in German, Hungarian, Croatian and Spanish. Before moving to Italy due to my husband’s work, I was an Arthur Ennis Teaching Fellow at Villanova University from 2007 to 2010. My background is in philosophy and comparative literature.


Most recent posts by Marie Meaney:     (See all of them)


The Gift of Joy

Apr. 22 at 1:28pm | Comments: 4 | Most recent comment: Apr. 24 at 1:11pm

How can one experience joy in the midst of great suffering? I mean true and genuine joy, which comes from the heart, not stoically putting on a brave face, hiding one’s inner Golgatha behind a fake smile; or narcissistically gazing at one’s own courage in the face of great adversity while masochistically enjoying one’s suffering. This question came to my mind recently, when writing an article for Crisis-Magazine on Chiara Corbella, a young Italian...

“Boxing” Others

Feb. 17 at 2:35pm | Comments: 11 | Most recent comment: Feb. 28 at 5:25am

I’m not speaking here of a boxing-match or of bullies who like beating up others. What I’m referring to is the widespread human temptation to put others into “boxes”. What makes this so terrible, and yet so tremendously tempting? It can seem an innocent enough pastime. What I tell my spouse or mother, or what I talk about in the inner recesses of the family, won’t hurt anybody, right? I can trust...

The Spirit of Worldliness

Dec. 3 at 4:26am | Comments: 3 | Most recent comment: Dec. 4 at 10:59am

In his homily during his daily mass the other day, Pope Francis warned against the spirit of worldliness. He called it “a fruit of the devil who makes his way forward with the spirit of secular worldliness” (http://www.romereports.com/palio/pope-take-note-adolescent-progressivism-protects-human-sacrifices-english-11629.html#.UouFmsScdya). These are strong words, and we have seen so far that Pope Francis is not afraid of calling the devil by his name nor speaking about the momentous choices each one of us...

When Faith becomes Ideology

Oct. 28 at 3:52am | Comments: 16 | Most recent comment: Nov. 19 at 6:33am

  To speak about faith becoming an ideology seems to be a contradiction in terms, at least to the faithful Catholic. For ideology is a construction, a system covering up and closing one off from reality while giving the false impression of having an explanation for everything; faith, however, is based on truth as revealed by God and is also accessible to reason (in contrast, any kind of belief is called an “ideology” these days, the underlying supposition...

The Temptations of Beauty

Sep. 17 at 3:42am | Comments: 3 | Most recent comment: Sep. 19 at 11:17pm

It seems strange to be talking about beauty as a temptation. Isn’t beauty a ladder to God, a reflection of the good, and a dangerous trap only for those wishing to remain atheists?  The “blue flower” (so termed by the Romantics), which is, among other things, the longing for the re-occurrence of a momentous experience of beauty, became an important step, for example, in C. S. Lewis’ conversion-process. Yet it didn...


Latest comments by Marie Meaney:     (See all of them)


Re: The Gift of Joy

Apr. 24 at 1:11pm | see this comment in context

Thanks, Rhett! Yes, I really liked that book. I can also recommend highly Langford's "Mother Teresa's Secret Fire" as well as as Leo Maasburg's "Mother Teresa of Calcutta". Both knew her very well and their books are very inspiring. Langford managed to show that at the heart of Mother Teresa's spirituality lies Christ's thirst for our inner Cacluttas, i.e. for our inner darkness, our weaknesses and sins. We often shut Him out from those, since we think they are too ugly. But He thirsts for full union, which means opening these dimensions of our soul to him as well.

Re: The Gift of Joy

Apr. 23 at 5:29am | see this comment in context

I have the same tendency, Katie. Willing oneself to be joyful backfires, as you say, yet there is a lot of pressure, I find, within certain Christian circles to be joyful. There is, of course, a way of burdening the rest of the world with one's bad mood, which is wrong. Yet putting on an act and faking it is wrong as well. If the smile is not simply a "grimacing", merely a lifting of one's facial muscles, but a response to another person, an expression of love, even if one isn't feeling joyful, then, it seems to me, it is genuine. My smile then is a loving reaching out to another. St Therese of Lisieux was saying how she would smile to a nun each time she saw her though the latter had a difficult character. She probably wasn't feeling joyful inside, but could still radiate real love by deciding to be welcoming to the other,  and real joy, because of God's presence in her soul.

Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery

Mar. 21 at 2:26pm | see this comment in context

So where I’m coming from here is not to blur the line between abusive behavior and simply wrong behavior, but to see the abusive nature of every sin when one is on the receiving end. I’m simply looking at the experience of being sinned against.  

Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery

Mar. 21 at 2:25pm | see this comment in context

I understand where you are coming from as well now, Katie. But I think there is a difference between using this as a lame excuse to cover up abuse and seeing that every sin is in some respect abusive. There is a strong difference between the systematic violation of another person’s boundaries, as I pointed out (and you too), and that where it just happens occasionally; I also take your point that the one is much more serious than the other. I guess I was intrigued by EE’s story because it rang true with my own experience. I wouldn’t consider myself as having been part of a dysfunctional family in your sense, Katie, or of a cult. Yet there is something which being sinned against does to one’s soul and psyche. I was struck that its message is “you may not be yourself, but should conform to my wishes” be it when one is the object of anger, lust, aesthetization, judgment etc. (I’m not sure this is the case with every sin, but my prima facie impression is that it is fairly general).

Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery

Mar. 21 at 6:07am | see this comment in context

The real flowering of the person can only happen through accepting her in her uniqueness. Through abusive parenting, a child is told that the person she is in her specific individuality, is despicable and needs to change. No wonder Esther exhibited some serious symptoms (sucking her thumb, hurting herself to deal with the inner pain she was experiencing); the sad thing is that they were not taken seriously and not seen as an alarm going off. The miracle is that she got out of this cult without turning against God, and became Catholic (I saw this on her blog; I haven’t yet finished her book).

Stay informed

Reading circles

Lectures

Latest comments

  • Re: The Gift of Joy
  • By: Marie Meaney
  • Re: The Gift of Joy
  • By: Rhett Segall
  • Re: Protagoras and Me
  • By: Sapperdepitjes
  • Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery
  • By: M. C.
  • Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery
  • By: Katie van Schaijik
  • Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery
  • By: M. C.
  • Re: The Gift of Joy
  • By: Marie Meaney
  • Re: The Gift of Joy
  • By: Katie van Schaijik
  • Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery
  • By: Katie van Schaijik
  • Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery
  • By: M. C.

Latest active posts