To become an Eagle Scout, you need to do a significant service project demonstrating leadership and management skills. You also need to be a Life Scout with sufficient time in rank, earn thirteen specific merit badges plus eight more of your choice, and be a troop officer. And you need to do all of this by no later than the day before your 18th birthday. My son David’s 18th birthday is tomorrow. This past Sunday, by dint of heroic effort,… Read more

I had a lot of time on my hands recently, being home with the ‘flu for a solid week; and when I’m home sick I usually start chain-reading. “Chain-reading” is a neologism of my own design, but I assume the meaning is obvious: I read a book, and when I turn the last page I open another book, and so on. The primary difficulty associated with chain-reading is deciding what the next book will be, so I often wind up… Read more

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. So God is remains one and metaphysically simple, although multiple names can be applied to Him; and yet, though those names all refer to Him they don’t all mean the same thing.  Thomas explains, In this connection three observations are in order. The first is that the various names applied to God are not synonymous, even though they signify what is in reality the same… Read more

Spiritually Able, subtitled “A Parent’s Guide to Teaching the Faith to Children to Special Needs”, is a new book about teaching the faith to children with special needs. (Go figure.) If you’re in that category, give it a look! Read more

Because I’m tired and feeling goofy, here’s a favorite of mine from back when I used to watch VeggieTales with my little ones, back when I had little ones: Mr. Lunt, singing, “His Cheeseburger”. (The VeggieTales guys really were quite funny.) Read more

Back in the day, McDonalds’ shakes used to contain real wooden shakes. The SuperBowl is filmed in the same soundstage as the Moon landings. So are the Olympics. PhotoShop is really a tool for taking pictures of alternate worlds disguised as image manipulation software. Barack Obama was born in Abilene, Texas, and he doesn’t want anyone to know. The airspace above Area 51 in Nevada appears on air traffic control systems as Volume 51. Benjamin Franklin invented the fax machine,… Read more

This month’s post at CatholicMom, on the fifth Luminous Mystery: the Institution of the Eucharist: But what is the Church? It is the mystical body of Christ, as St. Paul tells us, the body of which the Holy Spirit is the soul, and we are drawn into it by that same Eucharist. When you eat normal food, it becomes part of you; but when you eat the Body of Christ you become part of His body. Read more

A FaceBook friend shared this meme on FaceBook a couple of days ago, coupled with shouts of great confusion. He spent some time trying to track it down to its source, evidently successfully, but was still no wiser as to what the author was after. Me, I don’t care where it came from; it’s a meme, and needs to be taken as it is. So we’ve got a picture of Eve making bedroom eyes with Adam after having just taken… Read more

The delightful Outwitting History is the story of Aaron Lansky’s seemingly quixotic but ultimately successful attempt to rescue an entire body of literature: the vast body of works written in Yiddish that were in danger of being simply thrown away in last part of the 20th century. The Jews have always been people of the Book, have always been literate; and starting in the mid-19th century the language in which European Jews wrote books (and especially secular books) was Yiddish…. Read more

Last week, Pascal-Emanuel Gobry posted a delightful discussion of Thomas Aquinas and his works; and in it he puts his finger on the exact reason why I write about Thomas and his theology on Mondays. He says, Nowhere is this clearer than in the much-maligned Quinque Viae. These are not “proofs”, they are ways. (Or rather, not only proofs–they are also proofs, and they work as proofs. But they are not merely proofs.) Thomas is much maligned for putting philosophical… Read more

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