March 24, 2009

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

References in the Psalms to "enemies" may be understood as references to the designers of Microsoft Windows: smite them on the cheek bone, break their teeth… - Bill of Summa Minutiae

Dear Saint Blog, I can't quite find you in the calendar. I know this has been mentioned before, and not much of a satisfactory answer was found, although several approximations were: something to do with Bologna, and perhaps even a principality known as Blognia, somewhere. I suppose this isn't evidence against the existence of a saint named "Blog". - "some guy on the street" at Null Epistolary

I almost wept as I finished reading Brad Gooch’s Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor. I knew the rough outlines of her life and have loved her fiction since a high-school teacher in 1968 loaned me a college anthology of stories, including “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” That reading, late on a school night in my bedroom, is among the most memorable of my life. I know it was a school night because I couldn’t get to sleep afterwards and was groggier than usual the next morning. O’Connor lived with lupus for the final third of her life, until it killed her at age 39. The horror of premature death looms throughout Gooch’s book. Since finishing the biography I’ve been rereading O’Connor’s stories which seem the best written by an American. Children, I’ve noticed, show up often in her stories, as innocents and monsters (more often the latter), especially in light of my own recent return to the classroom. Gooch quotes a letter O’Connor wrote her friend Betty Hester in 1960, reacting to a suggestion she write about a Georgia girl with a cancerous tumor on her face, who died at age 12: “What interests me in it is simply the mystery, the agony that is given in strange ways to children.” - blogger at "Evidence Anecdotal"

I don’t mean to run down modernism toute court. Its appeal was and remains understandable. There is a kind of excitement in the nakedness of modern buildings. They are unashamed of their structural elements and basic materials...Unfortunately, however, modernism was an unsustainable, ideologically driven project that brutalized far more than it beautified. Most of the time most people don’t look very good with their clothes off, which is why a nude beach can be so depressing. We need the decent drapery of life. The traditional decorative impulse humanizes life, because it covers our nakedness. The modernist fantasy of life taken raw and unadorned is just that—a fantasy. It toggles back and forth between two sides of the some self-invented, post-traditional ego: meglomania and banality. - R. Reno on "First Things"

Back then, people spent half their lives with a toothache. - overheard concerning the omnipresence of pain in generations past

It turns out that at my parish one is a Pharisee if one believes that the rubrics of the liturgy are more important than the rubrics of after-Mass donuts, see The call to holeyness. If, as Bishop Richard Sklba has written, there is a ‘heresy’ of rubricism, then, alas, St. Al's is in the grip of the Donutist Heresy. - Terrence of "The Provincial Emails"

[Evelyn] Waugh implicitly represents the Catholic faith as the "pearl of great price" for the acquisition or preservation of which every necessary earthly sacrifice should be made. While this uncompromising outlook, even more provocative today than it was for Waugh's contemporaries, does guide some of the film characters' later actions, for most of the movie, the family's religious heritage looms as an oppressive, destructive force. This shift in values -- which renders the faith's enduring fascination for the initially skeptical Charles largely inexplicable -- is reinforced by the film's final scene where his spiritual fate, subtly but definitely conveyed in the novel, is left unresolved. - USCCB review of recent film "Brideshead Revisited"

If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste each other’s time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow ‘balanced out’ or excused by three other good social policies. - Archbishop Chaput via Kevin Jones

I think it would be easier on everyone, frankly, if Catholic universities cut the cord with politicians completely. I don’t care how prestigious you aim to be, how much you want your graduates to contribute to the fabric of American civic life, even a sitting president cannot help but associate you with a political ideology. I’m not arguing for the ghetto, at all, but we’re not talking noble statesmen here. We’re talking politicians who are divisive figures and who, Obama’s case, are pursuing policies that directly threaten Catholic institutions. - Amy Welborn on word that Pres. Obama is going to speak at Notre Dame

By inviting Barack Obama to be the 2009 commencement speaker, Notre Dame has forfeited its right to call itself a Catholic university. It invites an official rebuke. - longtime ND professor Ralph McInerny at "The Catholic Thing"

prayer is not, as some think, a way to escape reality. It is the place to encounter reality in its fullest sense, in which you consciously place yourself in Reality, which is God, and Alternative Histories lose their power. And maybe even their appeal. - Amy Welborn of "Via Media"

Ignore the acedia and work through one's daily routine -- the quotidian mysteries -- hoping and trusting that it'll go away. - Dylan's summary of the lesson of Kathleen Norris's book on the subject


Maureen said...

Poor St. Blath/Blaithnait/Blathnad. All that hard work I went through to try and drive traffic to her, and nobody pays any attention to her, even though St. Brigid stays linked to her all the time. Still, nobody wants to admit that she's the most likely candidate to be St. Blog.

Is it because she's not a martyr? Is it because she was the community cook, and thus gives off the unromantic St. Martha vibe, except without the dragon thing?

Sigh. St. Blath, Blath, Blath, pray for us.

TS said...

Can't say you didn't try! For readers wanting more, see this.

Ellyn said...

I felt the same way about the Brad Gooch book. I couldn't put it down, but I found myself slowing down as I came to the end because I didn't want to 'let go.' And I felt something of a funk afterward, akin to having a friend leave after a sweet and too short visit.