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


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...]

CT 18: The Infinity of God According to Essence

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In the previous chapter, Thomas showed that God does not exist bodily according to His essence (the Incarnation is a separate concern).  And then he says, perhaps surprisingly,This leads to the question of God’s infinity.We think of a body as the physical part of a human being or animal.  In Aristotelian terms, though, a body is any material thing that t … [Read more...]

Third-Cousins Twice Removed?

Are you sure? You can check this handy chart if not. … [Read more...]

Music for Black Friday: I’ll Fly Away

The Coen brothers attracted some remarkable talent for the soundtrack for their movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?; and one of my favorite tracks is this one, performed by Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch. Typically for bluegrass, it's about going to heaven.The song has been recorded by virtually everyone; I first encountered it in bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley's version:One verse contains this lyric,Just a few more weary days and then I'll fly away To a land where joys will … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Day

I am thankful for Turkey. It keeps Syria and Iraq from bumping into Europe. … [Read more...]