December 26, 2007


It is not a matter of revving ourselves up to experience again the wonder of the Christ Mass. There is no point in trying to recapitulate Christmas as you knew it when you were, say, seven years old. That way lies sentimentalities unbounded. The alternative is the way of contemplation, of demanding of oneself the disciplined quiet to explore, and be explored by, the astonishment of God become one of us that we may become one with God. He embraced the whole of our experience, beginning as an embryo, as we began as an embryo. In his abject helplessness is our only help. - Fr. Neuhaus of "First Things"

Grace is perhaps the most confusing thing ever. Prevenient grace, sanctifying grace, actual grace, habitual grace, justifying grace. It has spawned heresies from Pelagianism to Quietism. No one knows exactly how it works and why. It's elusive, frustrating, at times despair-invoking. I don't pretend to know much about grace, but over the years I've grown to understand that it works well when it works with another. Indeed, the Church has always taught that one major effect of Confession is that it reconciles us to each other and revitalizes our relationships, making them right. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1469) When one grace-filled person meets another, goodness sparks from the contact. - Eric Scheske of "The Daily Eudemon"

I won't vote for a Democrat unless the Republican candidate is Ron Paul (for a multitude of reasons, not just his foreign policy ignorance). - Bill of Summa Minutiae

I stated earlier that I will be voting for Ron Paul. - Jeff of SCD; that's what makes a horse race

Watching Fox News, I heard an authoritative anchor-type fellow announce that, with the Iowa carcasses a mere two weeks out... - Bill of Apologia

Like Mr. Bush, [Huckabee's] approach to politics seems, at bottom, highly emotional, marked by great spurts of feeling and mighty declarations as to what the Lord wants. The problem with this, and with Bushian compassionate conservatism, which seems to have an echo in Mr. Huckabee's Christianism, is that to the extent it is a philosophy, it is not a philosophy that allows debate. Because it comes down to "This is what God wants." This is not an opener of discussion but a squelcher of it. It doesn't expand the process, it frustrates it. - Peggy Noonan

[Alan] Keyes is the invisible man, too white for black people and too black for whites. A tragedy. - Bill Luse

In the absence of missalettes we are totally at the mercy of the lector and her dropping of the masculine nouns, pronouns and adjectives. Complain to the bishop and you ended up in Monty Python's Argument Sketch, with the lector denying she ever said what you accuse her of saying. - commenter on "Ten Reasons"

Zip, I'd know your opinion better if I could read Latin. - Bill Luse after a cryptic Zippy Catholic comment

I remember saying to some LDS honcho not long after that, "I'd like to apply for whatever dispensation Marie Osmond has." - then-Mormon Karen Hall of "Some Have Hats" regarding Mormon childbearing policies

One of the things that I think I've learned most about life-- particularly from my experience of having been a pastor, is that the people that you think are the best people on earth? Well, they've got some secrets sitting in there, about some pretty dark spots. And the people you think are the dregs of the earth-- there's some qualities there. May not be on the surface, but they're there. - Gov. Mike Huckabee

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