Review: Hawk, by Steven Brust

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There are three authors whose latest books I have regularly bought in hardcover on initial release...and then immediately read them aloud to Jane. The first is Terry Pratchett (although I've been avoiding Raising Steam); the second is Lois McMaster Bujold; and the third is Steven Brust.Hawk, the latest novel in Brust's long-running "Vlad Taltos" series, arrived in the mail last week, and I finished reading it to Jane rather late yesterday evening. It was a treat, and the two of us … [Read more...]

CT 14: God Not A Species Predicated Of Individuals

Individuals of which a species is predicated.  Or, perhaps, two species.

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.It's been a month since the last entry in the series, so it's time to recap. Thomas began by showing that there is a first, ultimate cause of all caused things; he calls this ultimate cause "God" for convenience, though he's still in the process of showing why it's reasonable to equate this first cause with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He's determined a … [Read more...]

Why the Synod Doesn’t Worry Me #synod14

St. Peter's

Things seem to be quieting down now after last week's bombshell of a relatio document, and though I've argued for calm I can understand why folks are getting nervous. We've had bishops saying and doing nutty things, and politicking to move the synod this way and that, and it sure looks like some of the synod fathers are willing to give away the doctrinal store.But I have to say, it would have to look a lot worse before I'd get worried; and here's why.First of all, it was ever thus. In … [Read more...]

With Software, the Code IS the Design

Don't try to build one of these without a good set of blueprints.

When you want to manufacture a new piece of hardware—an engine, say, or a stand mixer, or a washing machine—the first thing you do is design it. Some people equate "design" with the visual appearance of a product, as in the iconic look of an Apple iMac. I'm using design in a more technical sense: before you manufacture a product, you need to work out a whole bunch of things:What it's supposed to do How it's supposed to do it What it looks like How it's assembled out of parts Wha … [Read more...]

She’s Had Enough of Me

Pandora never ceases to amaze. Here's a blues number (I guess you'd call it blues) by the Darrin James Band that sounds like what Bob Dylan might have sounded like if he were a blues singer on a day when his voice wasn't TOO weird.This is a live version; I like the studio version much better. Still, if you ignore the overlong guitar solo it's interesting. … [Read more...]

Wedding at Cana: The Mystery of the Body

I have to get my CatholicMom posts in a week ahead of time; and then I forget about them. This one went live about two weeks ago, and I just remembered to link to it.The Wedding at Cana is the Mystery of the Body: with all its faults, the Body is very, very good.There’s a whole lot one can say about Jesus’ miracle at the wedding at Cana. There’s a link with the water of baptism and the wine-become-blood of the Holy Eucharist; there’s a link with the third day of creation and Christ’s th … [Read more...]

On Protecting the Church from Sinners

This is not me.

I was praying Evening Prayer yesterday evening (the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila) and found this in the intercessions:Christ, you presented the Church to yourself as a chaste virgin to her spouse: keep her holy and inviolate.And it struck me that in the face of confusion and concern over bishops saying ludicrous things (which things those are depends on the person listening), this prayer is exactly right. It's Christ's job to keep the Church holy, not mine.There's an attitude I've … [Read more...]

Tolkien Illustrations in the Medieval Style

Arwen and Merry at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields

You'll want to spend some time with these illustrations of The Lord of the Rings by Ukrainian artist Sergei Iukhimov. I found them beautiful and unexpectedly moving.There are quite a few at the link; and if you click through there are even more at the artist's own site. … [Read more...]

Troubleshooting and the Synod on the Family

Troubleshooting

The Synod on the Family is currently going on in Rome; many things are being discussed, and these things are causing many people's heads to explode.I'm not going to talk about those things, but I've got a few observations about troubleshooting.Troubleshooting is the process of looking at a problem, figuring out what's really causing it, and how to make it work. And make no mistake, that's what the pope and the bishops are doing at this synod. The family, that basic unit of society, is … [Read more...]


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