Friday, December 02, 2022
Thursday, December 01, 2022
O’Connell could be sharp-tongued. He could also be wrong. Several times in the volume he hinted at his own skepticism about the Church’s teaching on contraception. But he also had a bit of the prophet in him. His 1990 address to the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, “An Historical Perspective on Evangelization in the United States: Shifting Concentration of Interest,” looks remarkably prescient three decades later. At a time when Catholics in the United States had achieved a remarkable degree of power and prestige, O’Connell noted the already cratering numbers of priests, baptisms, and weddings. He thought that the American Church had returned to the state of its earliest days—a quest for “survival.”
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
This sort of either/or thinking is absurd, but they appear to believe this. Such is the only explanation I can conceive for why it is better to close down healthy parishes if the only way they can be salvaged is to fill them with Latin Mass Catholics, or to let seminaries and religious orders die if the only way to perpetuate them is to restore traditional theological or liturgical practices to them. Better to let the Church die off, apparently, than have it fall into the hands of people you think are fundamentally evil.
I am at a loss as to why Jesus doesn’t call the Pontiff home and have s chat. Happily, I remember that Jesus remains the head of the Church. Francis is only a stand-in.
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Politics, for Stoppard, can only go so far in extricating us from the scourge of politics. A playwright preeminently of ideas, in such works as (1982), (1993), and (1997), Stoppard in shows his audience the vanity of ideas, especially political ones, when confronted by the monstrous evil of race hatred.
Monday, November 28, 2022
Are their own voices so compelling that the rest of us are expected to listen, heeding advice which overturns two-thousand years of Catholic Christianity? Are the witness of countless saints and scholars, popes and martyrs, to count for nothing? The authority, no less, of Christ Himself, who made provision for none of the changes being proposed today?
Sunday, November 27, 2022
For our purposes here, it’s more important to focus on the two very different ways our competing hemispheres have of changing the world. For the left hemisphere, we change the world by manipulating and controlling it. For the right hemisphere, we go out into the larger environment and transform both ourselves and our world in a way that feels more like merging or transcending. That is precisely the hero’s journey described in this book, and songs are better tools for that transformation than a hammer or a gun.
Saturday, November 26, 2022
… A. E. Stallings: Two Poems: Crows in the Wind & The Younger Memnon. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Porter’s unconventional harmonic shift from the first to the second theme surprises the listener. His second delivers a gift: instead of the standard 32 bars, we get 48, heightening the lyric’s expression of passion.
Friday, November 25, 2022
Therese takes away every excuse, dismissing every good reason we can give for not being holy, for not at least striving after sanctity. She’s proof that great holiness is possible for every soul, and so our lack of sanctity is a matter of our own will, rather than our luck or our circumstances. In other words, Therese’s message is this: If we’re not holy it’s because we don’t want to be.
Neurosurgery entails what for most of us would be would be an intolerable burden of risk and responsibility; of no type of surgery is it more true that the surgeon should have the eye of a hawk, the heart of a lion and the hand of a lady.
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men?— Abigail Adams. Born on this date in 1644
Monday, November 21, 2022
Sunday, November 20, 2022
I just ordered a copy of Rieu’s translation. I have made my way through a chunk of the Gospels in Greek. They are very impressive.but I want to see what Rieu has to ffer. You can never stop learning.
And yes the people are ovine and servile and will cower to power. That has been amply demonstrated of late by the masses' mindless donning of useless masks. Don we now our fey apparel! Let us signal our specious virtue and adherence to the party line of Lord Fauci and his minions. And when the party line shifts, we shift with it!
Saturday, November 19, 2022
If you think sounding musical and/or stringing turns of phrase together is enough, AI can write poetry. But since for me poetry is so much more than surface effects, I’d argue that it can’t. And that, furthermore, it won’t be able to for a long time, if ever. And why not? Because we don’t know how to code emotion, intuition, and understanding of context. And they’re essential. The first is what makes the reader feel something. The second enables the leaps that when you read them leave you breathless for days. And without the combination of those two and the third, poetic wit and humor would be impossible.
At the Care Net conference, Ford shared a testimony about the reconciliation that eventually happened with the pastor who refused to marry the young couple when she was first pregnant.
“He asked my husband for forgiveness and said it was the worst mistake he has made as a pastor,” recalled Ford.
A couple of years later, Amy Ford was asked to speak at that pastor’s church for a Mother’s Day service. After she spoke, the pastor asked Ford and her son Jess, who was 16 at the time, for forgiveness in front of his congregation.
“He was very open about what he had done years before. He said that he had a religious spirit, a pharisee heart,” Amy Ford said.
In an apology to Jess Ford, the pastor said, “While you were in your mother’s womb, I rejected you. Will you forgive me?”
“It was such a powerful moment,” Amy Ford said. “You could feel church wounds being lifted in the room. The fact that the pastor would humble himself in that way was so amazing. And he has his own [testimony] about grace and mercy and what God did in his heart.”
In the 1954 strips, Schultz establishes the basic rules of Pig-Pen’s dirtiness. Pig-Pen doesn’t dislike baths; he just prefers getting dirty. He doesn’tto get dirty; he just doesn’t go out of his way to stay clean. Dirtiness, if not precisely an elected state, is one Pig-Pen can initially control — sometimes by seeming to have washed his face; when she walks away, we see that the other half of his face is dirty.
Your preschool child will chatter endlessly to you. If you half-listen and half-reply the whole conversation will seem, and become, tediously meaningless for both of you. but if you really listen and really answer, he will talk more and what he says will make more sense— Penelope Leach, born on this date in 1937