I’m hoping this site will provide an honest forum for clear engagement with scripture, prayer, and liturgy. Like any encounter with God, it’s deeply personal, but I’m hoping that writing out my thoughts will be of use to others as well.

Ascendit fumus is Latin for rising smoke. In the Catholic tradition, incense is burned during rituals to engage our senses of sight and smell. It can be traced back to the tradition of burning offerings in ancient Jewish temples. Thus, it is associated with offering something up to God. The rising of the smoke reminds us to lift our eyes to the heavens.

This blog is both an offering and a personal reminder to lift my eyes to the heavens. Welcome!

Who am I?

The eternal question, no?

For many reasons, who I am is less important for the purposes of this blog. It is less about me than it is about a journey, and about a relationship I have with God and with you. I live in the United States and am what is colloquially known as a “cradle Catholic” – a Catholic from birth. In my life, I have grown close and veered far from the Church at various times in my life – the latter being a necessary part of anyone’s serious faith formation, including my own. I am a scholar by profession with a strong interest in theology, a devotion to Benedictine simplicity and structure, and a love of liturgy. I’m currently discerning my vocation as a possible Benedictine monk.