July 18, 2006


Of course, Uncle Gilbert [Chesterton], for his rousing defence of penny dreadfuls and the "low" literary tradition from which Alex Rider springs, is also a great advocate for good literature. It is reading literature which saves a man from being merely modern (just as it is the Catholic Church which saves a man from the even more degrading slavery of being just a child of his times)...Books which have been read over hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years are what save us from being trapped in the glass case of our age. Perhaps there is no practical reason to read something that does not seem to directly concern one's generation. Yet even in this sphere the heart will have reasons beyond the understanding of reason. -- Sancta Sanctis

At this point, I'd say the data is inconclusive about future trends, but it doesn't leave me feeling altogether sanguine about things a decade or two out. Not that I see widescale martrydom in the offing, but I wouldn't be astonished at legal prosecution of various now-legal, faith-based actions. - Tom of Disputations on the future of Christianity in America

Go to Holy Communion even when you feel luke-warm, leaving everything in God's hands. The more my sickness debilitates me, the more urgently do I need a doctor. - St. Bonaventure

I began to say, “Lord, show me your Will…I will do it”. It led me to enter the seminary at 23. Now, the seminary was a good time, and I enjoyed my years there. But, it was also a great struggle for me. The whole celibacy thing was huge! It was all so new, after the life I had led. For about 10 years, I ran from it, leaving the seminary twice. It wasn’t until two years ago that I finally realized that celibacy is a gift that God is offering me, and I embraced it. Now, the joy of living this gift as a priest is indescribable! ....[F]or so many years I was begging God to show me His Will. If God doesn’t make His Will very clear to us, trying to discern It can be the hardest thing in life! I prayed, “Lord, show me my bride. Whether it’s a woman and family in marriage or a parish family as a priest, just show me the one to whom I’m supposed to give my life”. - Fr. Greg of "St Andrew Q&A"

I love everything about the Highland Games, but what I love most -- and forget when I'm not there -- is how much they make me understand who I am.  There really is something to DNA.  Or blood, in more romantic terms.  As I wrote in an episode of Judging Amy, you can take a Boston Terrier to France, but it will still be a Boston Terrier.  Or as my mother used to say, "You can put your shoes in the overn, but that don't make them biscuits." - Karen of "Some Have Hats"

Dialogues of the Carmelites is based on an actual series of events from the last days of the French Revolution. Like another increasingly popular twentieth century opera, it is a compelling drama in which each scene is another turn of the screw. But here, as the terror mounts, a theological argument is argued ever more clearly and cogently. Bernanos [the librettist] took a diary by Mother Marie, the only survivor among the sisters, and a German novella by Gertrud von le Fort (who projected herself on the events as Blanche de la Force), and turned them into a statement about the centuries-old Christian doctrine of the Communion of Saints: all believers, living and dead, are bound together in a community, in which one member can win grace for another. Bernanos heightened this to say in effect that one believer could die another's death for him (or her). So in the opera the old Prioress dies Blanche's fearful death for her, while Blanche receives the calm death the old Prioress might have had. Similarly the new prioress, who did not take the vow of martyrdom, dies the death of Mother Marie, who imposed the vow but was not called to fulfill it. The young novice Constance all but predicts this will happen: "We die not for ourselves alone, but for one another. Sometimes even in the place of another." These exchanges of grace are the real "dialogues" of the Carmelites. - from Fr. M. Owen Lee's Operagoer's Guide via "Ten Reasons"

California is about to introduce an animal tethering law, making it illegal to chain or tether a dog for more than three hours - a law that that would instantly criminalize 2/3 of the population of Orland. What is it about this need to regulate everything and everybody? Why can't the park just hire a patrol force to evict troublemakers and leave the rest of us alone? If we must have park regulations (and I concede that we must), let's start at the basic level of "no bikinis" and work up from there. Catholic societies, being inherently patriarchal, rely more on authority invested in persons: popes, bishops, kings, princes, and magistrates. Protestant societies, being in a state of perpetual rebellion against the very idea of authority invested in persons, rely instead upon laws, policies, procedures, rules and regulations...Laws will inevitably multiply absent any personal authority capable of discerning troublemakers from ordinary people just living normal lives. - Jeff of Hallowed Ground

How can you believe that your President killed 2,000 people and in between bitching about this, just carry on buying your vente latte and so forth? I would have to be literally locked up, as a danger to myself and others. That's why I think a lot of this is just adolescent style posturing on the part of conspirazoids. They want to bitch about their dad but still want to use the pool and borrow the car. - Kathy Shaidle of "Relapsed Catholic" on those who think Bush was behind 9/11

WWJAMMD: What would Jesus and Mary Magdalene Do? - Korretiv

We awoke in the up-sprung morning-
Outside air of after-rain filled our heads
Flooded under the oaks and pines
Slow paced nodding breathing in
The smell: memory condensed
Of mornings beyond count past
Under new rain-washed skies
Soil singing in its fresh-found embrace-
And all the things only the smelling of can contain
(How much deeper than words some things work
Unlocked inside of us unspoiled yet)
Rain-loosened lauds this, seeping from the soil
Gathering to God and speaking clear, distinct
Memory of Him, too, soft sudden immediacy.

And I wonder: are my roots well-set
Unrattled by storm and displacement?
Is there some strong cup yet for me to drink
Sorrow and joy mingled, equal measure?

- Jonathan Allen of "Manalive!"

Like glasses that magnify objects, the Holy Spirit shows us good and evil on a large scale. With the Holy Spirit we see everything in its true proportions; we see the greatness of the least actions done for God, and the greatness of the least faults. As a watchmaker with his glasses distinguishes the most minute wheels of a watch, so we, with the light of the Holy Ghost, distinguish all the details of our poor life. Then the smallest imperfections appear very great, the least sins inspire us with horror. - St. John Vianney

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