Faith is the basis of life, and charity is its crown; but hope is its greatest need. Most of the difficulties of life come because man is so prone to lose heart. His distractions in prayer suggest to him that he was not meant for such high acts. His weekly tale of sins at confession seems to imply by its almost identical repetition that it is useless for him to continue his efforts at “a firm purpose of amendment.” ...Failure counts for nothing; defeat, disappointment — these matter nothing at all, so long as only hope sits patiently, stirring the embers, watching and tending the fire, coaxing the flame, never despairing and never leaving the wind to work its will. That the clouds should come up over the sky, or that darkness should encircle the earth, brings no real terrors, for we are sure that the dawn will come out again and that the sun will break through with its golden glory. - Bede Jarrett, OP from Dylan's "Reluctant Draggard"
I agree that [Ms. Sherrod] has great cause to be spiteful...But real transcendence stories are inspiring because it is so hard to overcome hatred when one is justified in hating. From what I can see, she hasn't transcended the hatred. She has redirected it at a different, narrower target. - Andy McCarthy on "The Corner"
Please forgive my misspellings. I am drunk.
- commenter on "What's Wrong With the World" found on Bill Luse's blog under the title "Favorite Comment of the Week"
Baseball. No other name for a sport can inspire so much emotion and memories as the great game of baseball. Football is named after the grossest body part. Basketball is named after something you put fruit in. Hockey is named after bored Irish shepherds who'd hit around a ball with their staves while watching their sheep. Soccer sounds like domestic abuse, and golf sounds like an environmental disaster. But baseball invokes feelings of safety and security, the foundation of nostalgia. - Cathie Glover
Just like parents who "equally" love all their children, as a traveler I don't like to admit that I have a favorite, but I do. Out of the eight countries visited in the Asia series, Cambodia was my favorite. I knew from the beginning that this was a different place. Landing anywhere in Asia makes a recess of an elementary school look like naptime. It's just that chaotic...But as we left the airport terminal in Cambodia in Phnom Penh the glass door slid apart to reveal a scene of utter calm -- just as many people who are always congregated outside an airport but they all stood there with soft eyes and slight smiles. That's when I knew I was going to love it here. I had some advice to brace myself for Cambodia, a country just coming out a vicious and cruel civil war still showed a lot of scars physically and mentally...I thought I was walking into a country depressed and floundering and that the only reason to go would be to see the great city of Angkor with its now famous temple Angkor Wat. I was wrong..There's no reason to pity Cambodia, the people have an amazing sense of themselves and that they are finally going places. I found the Cambodians to be the easiest people to talk to. I call them the Irish of Southeast Asia. On the whole they speak a lot of English, which I wasn't expecting and an overwhelming curiosity about Westerners since it's only been recently that we've been allowed to come. - Samantha Brown blog
Homophobia is real. Let me explain. Fear is not, in itself, irrational. It may be a-rational, but it isn't irrational. Fear is a natural, human, emotional response to a threat; and the world is filled with threats...A phobia is a radically disproportionate, overwhelming fear of something...I have no doubt that somewhere in the world there is a homophobe: a person who sees homosexual acts as a unique transcendent threat to such an extent that it causes an emotional reaction leading to psychological debilitation. I don't know any such person, but I am sure he exists. I expect that should we encounter such a person, we ought to be able to agree that he suffers from homophobia; that he has... issues. The reason leftist/libertine polemicists use the term homophobia is, of course, to paint adherents to traditional sexual morality as, not merely wrong, but as having... issues. Often as not this seems to be, shall we say, a projection on the part of folks who themselves seem to have... issues. - Zippy of Zippy Catholic
Maureen of "Aliens in this World" Lightning Round:
Apparently I used a man’s last name too many times in a single blog post, because apparently my obscure little true crime post on my obscure little blog got found by one or more fairly upset people. I have corrected this, because it’s a bit stupid to have random punditry get a high search
Jane. Austen’s. Fight Club.
Greene County, 1803-1908 says that there were Owenites in Yellow Springs. Owenism was a utopian movement founded by Robert Owen. These particular Owenites were religious, however. I am starting to wonder what there hasn’t been, in Yellow Springs.
I’ve been looking all around at the standard online lists of known Gothic names, particularly of females. Do they include the euphonious and mysterious woman’s name “Sabigotho”? They do not. Theudigotho shows up, though.
Obviously, it’s not right to treat Christianity as if it were some kind of business school, as the prosperity gospel and other sorts of business Christianity groups sometimes do. But among the standard kinds of imagery used by Jesus, business and trade imagery is very very common. (Which isn’t surprising — He worked for a living before He went out preaching!) And since the same is true of big chunks of the Bible, both OT and NT, it’s silly to treat the Bible as if it were completely free of any good word for filthy filthy lucre. But… there’s a pretty big business metaphor at the very heart of Catholicism, and I didn’t know it...Let’s cut to Luke 5:7...Both “metousia” and “koinonia” mean partnership, communion, sharing. Koinonia, however, had a very well-known business sense. A koinonia was a partnership like a law firm, or a fellowship like a group of merchant adventurers. Simon was running a fishing company, and his buddies were all shareholders, joint owners, and partners in it. They had a specific legal relationship to each other and to the company... Everyone who is in communion with the Church is a koinonos, a shareholder, partner, and employee of Jesus’ fishing company, with certain obligations and responsibilities. On the bright side, this means no Catholic is ever totally unemployed. This doesn’t mean that the other connotations of fellowship and community aren’t there, of course. In the ancient world, most people didn’t really believe in “strictly business”. Your business partners were your neighbors, your friends, your relatives, your in-laws — and if they weren’t, they soon would become those things.