Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Like this Auschwitz barbed-wire rosary”
clipped with teeth and finger twisted,
black-blood-stained, rain-encrusted,
thorny, skin-pricking, motherly-misery-
pregnant, passed from hand to bone-ripped
ashen hand, brand of traitors
to the empire, fire in chokehold chambers
sparking visions of seraphic coal-tipped
tongs, rag-hidden prayer
ridden pearl
pruned from Israel’s bondage, now a
sign of our ingrafted bough, the
mangled laughingstock of the world”

Like this, dear son, is the whole of the blessed
and jubilant faith that we confess.

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on

Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.

Will you give today?

Make My Gift