November 21, 2006


Often what drives the search for theological excuses to stay away from the Catholic Church is the fear that, should the Church's claims turn out to be sound, one will be exiled back to that loveless parish one left. Now the stupidest thing Catholics can do (and some of them do it constantly) is to *mock* this reason for leaving the Church. As though the fundamental requirement of the human soul for love, work, and meaning is a sign of weakness and stupidity. I don't know how often I've run across Catholics for whom *any* mention of love in connection with the faith is sneered at as "Kumbaya Catholicism". This peculiar notion that orthodoxy and love are enemies has to be ruthlessly killed. - Mark of "Catholic & Enjoying It"

I think this is a general problem with matters liturgical: whatever happens, someone who shouldn't see it as validating their erroneous point of view will in fact see it as validating their erroneous point of view. - Zippy of ZippyCatholic

The whole debate (and similar ones) really irritates and even offends me. It seems like such an inappropriate distraction from what is really important, namely Christ on the altar. So the exultation that someone like Jimmy Akin shows over the possible change in the translation seems highly excessive...Also quite frankly, I wish laypeople would stop playing armchair pope or parish priest and just be happy with what the Church decides. I find the idea of campaigning for liturgical change very - no extremely - troubling. It seems to be the same type of mindset that lies behind rebellion against the Magisterium on a whole host of other issues. Honestly, if people spent as much time evangelizing and performing acts of charity as they do worrying over every minutiae of the liturgy, the Body of Christ would be a lot better off, and perhaps we wouldn't have the divisions we have today. - Commenter Ryan on Zippy's blog concerning "pro multis"

Bad liturgy numbs the soul. Stewing over bad liturgy kills the soul. - Tom of Disputations

I don't think I have ever seen a construction site in the United States where illegal alien workers have been loitering around, even for a second. Instead they are flurries of activity. But in Mexico it seems there are far too many workers per site, and they are about as busy as Greek or Italian construction workers. There is clearly something about American business organization, or the necessities of a free market, or perhaps the fact the more eager and desperate leave and the content stay that explains such a paradox visible even to the naked eye...Can it be, then, that illegal immigration that empties Mexico of its bread-winners and male heads of families results in more, not less, destabilizing social and cultural chaos? - Victor Hanson on NRO

I realized today, waiting to see yet another doctor for yet another test, that I have organized my life to eliminate waiting, insofar as anyone who is not wealthy can. It wasn’t conscious, but I’ve always worked in fast spurts rather than steady flows, and when I start something or arrive somewhere, I want it to zip and zing and get done. And the body—that vile slosh and sway of meat around our bones—ah, yes, that’s the thing that breaks us, in the end, to the yoke of mere enduring....And it is, of course, the doctor’s office that brings it home. Somewhere in one of his great essays on Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton describes the novelist as having a “generous impatience.” It sounds almost admirable, until he explains that Dickens was the kind of man who would put his fist through a window if it wouldn’t open fast enough and he wanted air. Much in my life I have arranged to escape temptations to furious impatience, but avoiding the occasions of vice doesn’t actually teach one the practice of the corresponding virtue, and I have found in myself these past few weeks a slow but constant irritability. For the medievals, patience was the virtue opposed to the vice of anger, while for moderns it seems rather to be the virtue by which boredom should be confronted. I hadn’t realized the connection until recently, for the idea of boredom always suggested to me the dangers of ennui and acedia. Sitting in the doctor’s office, like patience on a monument, however, I start to get it. - Jody Bottum of "First Things"

We've found that the Newbery & Caldecott awards provide reliable lists of children's books to avoid. Sometimes we'll consider a book then,"Oh, wait - it won a Newbery. Next." - Bill of Summa Minutiae, via email

I've long argued that one of the reasons Washington-based reporters are liberal, or statist, is that if the subject they cover is considered hugely important, then they in turn will be considered hugely important. A sure sign of this is how fascinated the big media is with stories about big media. If nuclear engineers took over the MSM tomorrow, stories about nuclear power plants would get a lot more front page coverage. - Jonah Goldberg of "The Corner"

This is the most striking sentence I've read in a while: "God alone is man's true good, and since man abandoned him it is a strange fact that nothing in nature has been found to take his place: stars, sky, earth, elements, plants, cabbages, leeks, animals, insects, calves, serpents, fever, plague, war, famine, vice, adultery, incest. (Pascal, Pensees)." God to stars to leeks to incest is quick work. - Richard Brookhiser on "The Corner"

If you listened to the bishops' know that every time a bishop or someone else refers to same-sex attraction as anything close to a problem - analogizing it with a sin (I think Bishop Serratelli was questioned about analogizing it to greed and a couple of other capital sins) or, as the Paulist priest does to alcoholism, you find those same people called on the carpet, asked to explain themselves and apologize...consider what the Catechism says about homosexuality. Does it say that homosexuals, with enough work, can become heterosexuals? No - the general idea is that homosexuals, with enough "work," can become holy. Just like the rest of "us," and in exactly the same way as the rest of "us." By letting Christ live in us, so it is no longer I, but Christ. Catholic thinking, teaching and practice, it seems to me, has been fairly consistent, when you look at the broad stream of it. There is an implicit recognition that human beings, suffering from the effects of original sin, living in a world of sin, are afflicted with desires that take them from God...The desires that push us toward these acts are treated as temptation - and the same general remedies are offered, no matter what that temptation is.- Amy Welborn

Should the phone or beeper go off more than one time during the course of the semester, you will be counted absent, thereby allowing you to experience the metaphysical marvel of being here, and yet not being here, at the same time. It's sort of a companion experience to bilocation, which allows you to be in two places at once, except in this case you're not anywhere at all. - from professor Bill Luse's syllabus

Well, folks in Columbus, Ohio can take down the makeshift nooses and put away their pistols - the Big Game is over, and OSU won. That sound you hear is the collective sigh of relief on the part of all those Suicide Hotline volunteers who realize they don't have to pull a double shift. Truly, this town is crazed. All the same, it was a great game. Now, let's move on, shall we? Peace out. - Thomas of "Endlessly Rocking"

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