July 25, 2006


[The Angels] lost to Kansas City, fercryinoutloud. Twice in a row. Kansas City. Kansas City, who usually couldn't get a number in the win column if it came free in a box of corn flakes. How do people with no faith and no hope of an after-life get the courage to follow baseball, anyway? [Lector: "They move to Detroit and follow the Tigers, who're playing .677 ball at the end of July."] Oh. Right. - John at "The Inn at the End of the World"

Strait is the gate and narrow is the way.... makes no sense whatsoever viewed in the context of the Saints of God. How many ways, how many paths, how many different means of being did they find all within this supposedly straight gate and narrow way. But the gate IS strait and the way IS narrow for each person. For the gate is knowing and loving Jesus Christ and the way is the particular path designed by God for the individual. There is no deviation from this path which is the Way of Jesus Christ. There are an infinite number of decisions to make as one walks it. However, these decisions are guided by the strict laws of the Decalogue and the words of Jesus Himself. Because the entry is tight and the way is narrow, it is hard to get lost on it...We are not cramped by this narrow way because compared to the way of the world, the avenues along which the trees of life grow are as broad as the sea itself. - Steven of "Flos Carmeli"

It is to recognize our nothingness, to expect everything from God as a little child expects everything from its father; it is to be disquieted about nothing, having no other occupation but to gather the flowers of love and sacrifice, and of offering them to God in order to please Him. To be little is not attributing to oneself the virtues that one practices, believing oneself capable of anything, but to recognize that God places his treasure in the hands of His little child to be used when necessary; but it remains always God’s treasure. Finally, it is not to become discouraged over one’s faults, for children fall often, but they are too little to hurt themselves very much. - St. Therese Lisieux’s deathbed explanation of remaining a little child before God, via The Daily Eudemon

Think about All in the Family. Did they go to church? If they were a real family in Queens, N.Y., they would have, and they would have probably been Catholic. - Julie Ingersoll, a professor who wonders why television has remained decidedly secular for so long (via Relapsed Catholic)

I have not yet read it, but The Wind Done Gone might be an amusing or interesting play on Gone with the Wind. And in younger days, I remember howling over Bored of the Rings--I don't know if I would do so now, one is eventually released from the follies of youth because one enters the follies of middle age--but at least they differ in kind if not in number. - Steven Riddle

Project Rachel being the exception, Catholic talk about abortion is tinged with an air of distance, of a sense that this is a "social problem" that lies outside of us sitting in the pews, except for how we vote. It's not. It's about saving lives, and the fatal (literally) flaw in institutional Catholic pro-life rhetoric is the discomfort with admitting that dark reality. - Amy Welborn

Culture-tyrants will take away parents' line-item veto when they pull it from our cold, dead hands. The public square isn't big enough for the both of us, and the public square you want is one that isn't suitable for children. That means that in the long run, you lose. Do yourself a favor and get used to the idea now. The artistic and cultural elite seems to have made the assumption that Christians will (or should be) be willing to accept existence in a ghetto. As Samuel L. Jackson said in The Long Kiss Goodnight, everyone knows what happens when you make an assumption: you make an ass out of you and umption. - Zippy Catholic

It seems like the New York Times is revealing all our national security secrets, but relax: they have their limits. If the Times learned that US troops were force-feeding Gitmo detainees with Coca-cola, they wouldn’t publish Coke’s secret formula. They might get sued. If there’s a CIA program that uses offensive cartoons of Mohammed to communicate with agents, they’ll keep mum, lest they have to publish the images. They might get stabbed. But secret law-enforcement-type programs as classified as the access code to the Times top-floor elevator? Fair game. You’ve the right to know. - James Lileks

The irony is that Linker is right about one thing: the "Catholic neoconservative" project can be a dangerous one, if taken too far. But it's potentially dangerous to Catholicism, not to America - because in attempting to smooth away contradictions between the American order and the Church, it risks losing too much that is distinctively Christian. The Catholic neocons aren't anywhere near as compromised with the wider culture as their "abortions-for-everyone!" brethren in the religious left, but some of Michael Novak's writings about the free market, or George Weigel's arguments about American foreign policy, partake a little too much, for my taste at least, of our country's quasi-Christian civil religion. - Ross Douthat of "The American Scene"

If we think in general terms of what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is all about, what do we think of? Forgiveness ...confessing sins...reconciling with God...changing our lives. These are all true and good. But, I need something concrete that I can point to that will motivate me each time to swallow my pride, get over my embarrassment, and go before the priest to confess my sins. Is there one thing that will do that for me? The Cross....Whenever we go to Confession (once a month is recommended), we say, 'thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice'. We humble ourselves in front of Him because "he humbled himself for our humanity". He hung on the Cross for at least three hours so that, among other things, we would go to Confession. - Fr. Greg of "St. Andrew Q & A"

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