Paarfi of Roundwood: On Brevity

200px-Phoenix_Guards

Paarfi of Roundwood is the supposed author of Steven Brust's "Khaavren" romances, which begin with that most excellent tale The Phoenix Guards. Paarfi, a Hawklord of the Dragaeran Empire, is a scholar and historian who has learned (evidently through first-hand experience) that the rewards of scholarship are great but unsustaining, while the rewards of writing popular trash for the consumption and amusement of the masses put dinner on the table. The Phoenix Guards is one such amusement, a tale … [Read more...]

You Shall Surely Die. Also, Beer.

...though probably not on a trip to the Holy Land, as Frank Weathers makes clear in his report...from the Holy Land.And somehow, in that one post, he sums up the problems with being tied to the news cycle, the incentives for the news media to ratchet up every bit of outrage, the freedom that comes from letting go of it for a while, the need to die to self, and the spiritual benefits of kissing it all up to God and going on pilgrimage. As the Marines say, "Hooah, Frank."And, and beer. … [Read more...]

Review: Honor Harrington and the Honorverse

OnBasiliskStation

I'm a longtime fan of David Weber, and especially of his Honor Harrington series, which I've been reading since it was a much shorter series than it is now; but I'd let my interest lapse for a few years, and I'm now several books behind the most recent. And so a few weeks ago I embarked on a project: to re-read all of the "Honorverse" series to date. I'm now into Storm from the Shadows, the 18th book (according to one count), and so I'm ready for a recap.The series concerns the career of … [Read more...]

CT 19: Infinite Power of God

Bread: more act, less potency!

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Having now established that God is infinite, and having distinguished between this and a purely mathematical notion of infinity, Thomas now goes on to say what it means for God to be infinite.The further inference is drawn that God is infinite in power. For power is consequent upon a thing’s essence; anything whatever possesses a power of activity consonant wi … [Read more...]

Quill v0.4.0

For those who are interested, I released v0.4.0 of Quill this morning. You can find the release notes at the link. … [Read more...]

Jack Aubrey on Valued Servants

Every captain in the Royal Navy had his personal steward, a manservant responsible for attending to his clothing and anything else he needed. Jack's steward is an old seadog named Preserved Killick, a man of rude habits, a grumpy disposition, and a tendency to raid the Captain's stores for dainties, but also a man of great and undoubted loyalty. This passages follows after a particularly positive evidence of Killick's devotion to his Captain's needs:Killick was in many ways a wretched … [Read more...]

Great Big Sea: Sea Shanties with Attitude

The more time you spend with folk music of the British Isles, the more you're exposed to songs of the sea; and when you like those, Pandora eventually introduces you to Great Big Sea,* a folk band from Canada that specializes in folk songs and sea shanties from Newfoundland. Mind you, some of their songs are a little too, um, ribald for my taste, or at least for my image; but here are some of the ones I like.First, here's a tale from the late 1800's about a memorable sort of funeral—"The N … [Read more...]

Reverence, Within or Without

Sometimes I read blog posts that use the word "reverence" what seems to be a purely external way. It connotes silence, and careful movements, and kneeling for communion, and certainly has nothing to do with having a noisy or curious child in the pew with you. Other times I read blog posts that speak of reverence as a purely internal disposition, as remembering that we are in God's house and consciously choosing to behave appropriately and to focus on God and the prayers at hand.To be fair … [Read more...]

The Sacraments: What Christ is Still Doing

Sacraments

At RCIA a couple of weeks ago, our pastor made the comment that the Sacraments are how Christ continues to do today what He did while He was here on earth. Fr. Ed then went over the seven sacraments, what they are, what distinguishes them, and so forth; and then he left me to continue the discussion at the RCIA session last week.Consequently, I put together some ideas about how Christ is doing today what He did then, with these major headings:What was Jesus doing then? How is He … [Read more...]


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