Today’s Aquinas: Does God Think The Way We Do?


We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Thomas has shown that God is intelligent, that is, He has an intellect.  Is that intellect like our own, or does it differ in particular ways?  Unsurprisingly, it differs: God understands everything perfectly, so He doesn't reason as we do:Since in God nothing is in potency but all is in act, as has been shown. God cannot be intelligent either potentially or h … [Read more...]

Stan Rogers: The Flowers of Bermuda

Just because it was going through my head last night, here's a sprightly upbeat tune about heroic sacrifice and death at sea.He was the captain of the Nightingale Twenty-one days from Clyde in coal He could smell the flowers of Bermuda in the gale As he died in the North Rock ShoalBut on the other hand, the other eighteen members of the crew survived due to his heroic actions, so there's that.It's sprightly and upbeat. (Really! I'm not being sarcastic.) … [Read more...]

Leslie Charteris on What the Well Dressed Man is Wearing

Typewriter mechanism

Golter’s head snapped round as though it had been jerked by an invisible wire. He had heard nothing of the arrival of the man who now stood over him, whose gentle, drawling voice had broken into his meditations far more shatteringly than any explosion could have done. He saw a tall, trim, lean figure in a grey fresco suit of incredible perfection, with a soft grey felt hat whose wide brim shaded pleasant blue eyes. This man might have posed for any illustration of the latest and smartest effort o … [Read more...]

Conversion, or Rearranging Your Inner Furniture

This is what we're trying to avoid

Everybody's familiar with what I'll call "Big-C" Conversion, as in, Mr. So-and-so just converted to Catholicism, or Miss Such-and-Such converted to Christianity. Tonight, though, I need to speak to our RCIA group about "Conversion"; and for Catholics there's a lot more to it than simply "I converted to Catholicism". Big-C Conversion is a real and important thing; but then comes little-c "conversion of life", an on-going process that ideally lasts the rest of one's life.The problem with … [Read more...]

A Tour of Tim Powers: The Anubis Gates

This is the edition I have.

This week I continue my tour of Tim Powers with his first big hit, The Anubis Gates.I first read The Anubis Gates either in college or shortly after. A friend of mine kept telling me about this awesome novel he'd read, and telling me to read it; but his descriptions of it were rather unclear, and the cover didn't help: two Anubis statues on plinths, with a glowing entry way between them, and the blurb, "Backward in time to solve an ancient mystery...and create some new ones." Oh, and I … [Read more...]

Today’s Aquinas: Intelligence is Immaterial


We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.So far, Thomas has shown that God, the First Mover, must be One, infinite in power and goodness, and the source of all that is good in creation.  The next step is to show that God is Person (or, ultimately, Persons); and for Thomas, a person is that which possesses intellect and will: someone, you might say, with whom you could have a conversation.Thomas divid … [Read more...]

Harry Belafonte: A Hole in the Bucket

I grew up listening to my parent's music, as I suppose many people do; and among the things that stuck were Harry Belafonte's Carnegie Hall albums. I could go on and on about Belafonte's voice, and his sense of humor, and his energy, but long familiarity has made it more or less impossible for me to be objective.In any event, here's a track from Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall, one of my favorites as a child. It's a duet with folk-singer Odetta Holmes, and concerns the problem of the … [Read more...]

Archie Goodwin on Eye Strain

Maria went, back inside, and shut the door. It was just as well, since it’s a strain to keep your eyes where they ought to be when they want to be somewhere else.— Rex Stout, Too Many Clients … [Read more...]

Lent, Weight Watchers, and Aristotle

Chocolate Bundt Cake

I associate dieting with Lent.  Not because I equate fasting with dieting, but because of a double coincidence.  Ten years ago I was extremely overweight, and my doctor put me on a strict diet.  It was a couple of days before Ash Wednesday, and I came home and told Jane, “I’m giving up food for Lent.”  It was one of the those jokes of the “funny/painful” variety.That diet was success; I lost lots of weight, and kept it off for quite a while; but a couple of weeks ago I went to do the doctor a … [Read more...]