December 18, 2007


A major step in my conversion was because secular radio stations stopped playing traditional Christmas carols and I was chased into the realm of Protestant radio to find the songs I loved since I was an atheist child. - Jeff Miller, who grew up atheist but liked Christmas songs and then searched for the songs but stayed for the message

Sam [our son] had done something, what exactly slips my mind. I said to him, "Child, have you no restraint." His response: "Of course I do, I just don't choose to exercise it." Linda and I were practically rolling on the floor.
- Steven of "Flos Carmeli"

[During Advent] I used to think there shouldn’t be any bustle or parties, and the gross displays of consumerism disgusted me. . . .But it later dawned on me: There can be no Christmas celebration without preparation...You can’t honor the entire 12 days of Christmas — visiting distant relatives, spending time with friends, ringing in the New Year — unless you’ve prepared. And the preparation requires activity, which in turn spills excited joy into the soul. And where there’s joy, there’s an urge to share it. The bustle of preparation spills over into parties and celebrations, people jumping the gun before the 25th. It’s unfortunate, but understandable...Christmas celebrates great paradoxes — the God made man, the Almighty baby, the coming of great joy to undertake the greatest sadness. Fittingly, it’s marked by contradictory traits: hustle and contemplation, bustle and prayer . . .- Eric Scheske, who just might be overestimating the joy in preparation, at least the shopping part of it

Nudity is not bad so long as the individual is wearing enough clothing.
- helpful commenter on forum concerning the morality of nudist colonies

what ever happened to the abc project? ok, c is for chance. childbearing changes my relationship to chance. what once was a wondrous and fascinating element that leads me to metaphysical questions is no longer an idea but a force that at every turn may reckon with the body of my tenderest love, my child. life, predicated on chance, is also threatened by it.,,,so forms and writing processes that celebrate the accident, the mistake, the flaw, the multiple, are less enchanting, more threatening, scary. whimsy bears a sickle.
- professional poet and new mother Heidi Lynn Staples

what are the odds???
- Robert of "Tribal Pundit" remark concerning Mark Shea's declaration that George W. Bush was the "Worst President Ever" and Dick Cheney the "Worst Vice President Ever"

Verily, while I have never found a historian who has run with it, I have noticed that every major reform of the Protestant Reformation moved Christianity in the direction of Islam, including scriptural literalism, legalism and the deconsecration of clergy. - David Warren, scribe at "Western Standard" newspaper, via Bill White; Ham, if you're reading this: we still have far more in common than not

Contraception Is So Gay - title of Zippy Catholic post

So what have I gained from my study? The index of the CCC only lists two references [to Purgatory] and both take place in the context of the section about Liturgy. We contribute most to the Economy by going to mass... The abundant blessings that flow from Eucharistic Adoration attest to this. We do more to serve the common good by adoring God than we do by works of social justice. This turns everything I learned growing up on its head. The above statement would be roundly disputed by my religion teachers, parish life coordinators, and parents. In fact, I used to dispute this point vigorously just a few years ago...I say this more in response to what I was taught growing up- namely...that kneeling to wash the feet of the poor is of far greater value than incensing a gold monstrance. Yet, every saint who has ever served the poor has spent time before the Blessed Sacrament and accorded it its rightful honor. The one HAS to flow from the other. But I was brought up to believe that social justice is our mission and purpose and all those trappings from olden days are passe. My family honors Romero and hopes for his canonization. But even Romero prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. So did Mother Theresa and St. Francis- they were not merely about social justice. They were impelled by their devotion. So we have JPII and Papa Benny to thank. They have brought about a re-conversion of Catholics to the Eucharist. It's not what we do that matters most. It's how much we adore and worship and revere God, and any doing that flows from that is praiseworthy. Any doing that ignores adoration will bear its own fruit, which may or may not be God's. - "Catholic Land", after no less than thirteen posts examining the subject of Purgatory, via Frederick of Deep Furrows

This I Believe
- title of Terrence Berres post concerning a dotCommonweal commenter who said, "I’m guessing that a fair number of Commonwealers have enjoyed the NPR series...". The series was also titled "This I believe"

How can something be sad and glad at the same time? ... "All unhappiness," says Mrs. Quin, "as you live with it, becomes shot through with happiness; it cannot help it; and all happiness, I suppose, is shot through with unhappiness." - from a Rumer Godden novel via via Julie of, appropriately, "Happy Catholic"

Mary’s heart is so loving toward us that the hearts of all other mothers taken together are but a piece of ice in comparison. - St. John Vianney

'I'm in debt to many of your readers for comments they've left on your site and for their own blog writing as well, and I'd be glad of an opportunity to extend my regards to them. And to solicit their prayers, almost always our most beneficial gift to each other..' I said a long time ago he was the most self-effacing blogger I knew, and when reading his stuff I always felt touched by that 'grace and peace' he never failed to extend to others. I think we can spare a prayer for his brother. - Bill Luse quoting and then commenting on Francis Mooney, whose brother is fighting leukemia

I pray for you - because I have a feeling (more a near certainty) that God, for some ineffable reason which to us may seem almost like humour, is so curiously ready to answer the prayers of the LEAST worthy of his suppliants - if they pray for others. I do not of course mean to say that he only answers the prayers of the unworthy (who ought not to expect to be heard at all), or I should not now be benefitting by the prayers of others. - from J.R. Tolkien letter

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