May 04, 2010

Spanning the Globe to Bring You
the Constant Variety of Posts

Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search thereof when he is grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul. And to say that the season for studying philosophy has not yet come, or that it is past and gone, is like saying that the season for happiness is not yet or that it is now no more. - Epicurus from "The Letter to Menoeceus" via Steven Riddle

What Epicurus seems to point to is not allowing the good things of the world own us. When we allow them to get their claws in and was luxury becomes necessity, we've lost a little bit of ourselves to it. Think about it--how many of us now "need" e-book readers, computers, iPods, iPads, laptops, cell phones, and all of the paraphenalia that seems to accompany contemporary life...I'm not trying to say that all such items are worthless, 'but rather that we have so completely sold ourselves to them, we're no longer in a place that allows for objective analysis of actual utility. And I sit squarely in the center of that "we" and "us." I am not exempt, as exhibited by the fact that I type here on my laptop with my cellphone at my side and my iPod playing Debussy piano preludes as I wait for the three-second water boiler to stream water through the nearly instant ginger tea basket. All luxury that leads to slavery. Now I have to find some way of toting all of these "necessities" from place to place, rather than just going myself. Now I must care for them and must guard the bag that contains them rather than treating them like my suitcase (isn't it Iago who says "Who steals my purse steals trash?"--so too with my suitcase). - Steven of Momentary

We continually close our doors; we continually want to feel secure and do not want to be disturbed by others and by God. And so, we can continually implore the Lord just for this, that he come to us, overcoming our closure. -From “Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict” via BD

While discussing Absalom, Absalom! last night, Darwin and I were wondering if there were any great Southern writers from before the Civil War....Did it take the War to produce a specifically Southern style? Perhaps that has something to do with what Quentin Compson ponders at the beginning of Absalom, Absalom: that although he was born after the War and had no personal connection to it, just by the fact of living in the defeated South his psyche is populated with the ghosts of those who died to defend a doomed culture. - Mrs. Darwin at "Reading for Believers"

It took me so long to realise why so many writers are alcoholics: because they are scared. - author Alain de Botton

You should remove your hair shirt,
The plank in your eye, you choose
to look for pain
So you are less
saddened by the good
When good isn’t certain. - Excerpt of Betty Duffy poem

...thus the attraction of suburbia, which grants its residents a stand-alone house and enough yard to give privacy and some sense of touching nature, while at the same time leaving them able to commute to their jobs, belong to a church which only claims membership by a minority of the population, enjoy bookstores and ethnic foods and all the bustling variety which an urban center provides. Suburbia represents a compromise between our natural desire for land and local rootedness, and our cultural and economic desire to take part in city life. - Darwin Catholic

I will be cramming 14 weeks worth of stuff into 6 weeks, twice. I accomplish this by doubling the speed at which I speak. It's like attending an auction. - Professor Luse of Apologia

Only prayer is a cure. It is a cure each day, when each day the demons attack with fresh ferocity. It is a cure when my will is not enough to overcome fatigue, when nothing is good: “Let us sing to the Lord all our life, alleluia!” What the hell language is that? The language of the Church supplants my own. I need new words, those of my fellow believers. “The waters swirled about me, threatening my life; the abyss enveloped me.” (Jon 2:6) and yet, “From on high he reached down and seized me; he drew me forth from the mighty waters.” (Ps 18:17) I had forgotten. Even since yesterday, I had forgotten that the wind and sea obey my God. Sometimes I need the Church to speak for me, to pray for me, to save me. Sometimes I don’t want to pray; death is preferable. But the words read from the liturgy of the hours, other people’s words, the prayer of the Church throughout the centuries, literally saves my life. And then the magnitude of that universal prayer lifts me up. I am in awe of it: the idea that if I pray for the whole Church, everyone is the beneficiary of my prayer, including myself. And if others pray for the whole Church, I am the beneficiary of others’ prayers, even those in another part of the world, in other times of history; the Church eternal, the Kingdom of God, prays with me and for me. It saves my life. And it blows my mind. - Betty Duffy

It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control. Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable. - Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who banned PowerPoint presentations when he led the successful effort to secure the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar in 2005.

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