The Baptism of the Lord: The Mystery of Submission

And here's my latest for, on the First Luminous Mystery: The Baptism of the Lord.John recoils, as he would have recoiled if someone had suggested that he profane the Ark of the Covenant or spit on the Torah. He has lived his whole life proclaiming the holiness of the coming Holy One; and now that Holy One says, “Profane me. Lay your hands on me, and baptize me, and declare me unholy.”____ photo credit: Lawrence OP via photopin cc … [Read more...]

Hedy Lamarr is a Beautiful Gal

I panned Jack McDevitt's Ancient Shores a couple of days ago (I won't add injury to insult by linking to my review); but I'm indebted to him for including a bit of World War II-era songwriting on the subject of that epic warplane, the P-38 Lighting. Here's a ditty called "Lightnings in the Sky" (author unknown):Oh, Hedy Lamarr is a beautiful gal,   And Madeleine Carroll is too. But you’ll find, if you query,   A different theory   Amongst any bomber c … [Read more...]

The Ants Go Marching, Dammit!

Of all God's creatures, the ones I find to be the most inconvenient are the common "little black ants", which a website at Texas A&M tells me are almost certainly Monomorium minimum. They are common all over the Los Angeles area, and they are the only kind I've actually seen invade my house. Sometimes they'll come in for food, but more usually they seem to be seeking water.In our previous house, we learned that we needed to disconnect the garden hose from the faucet by the back door when … [Read more...]

Review: Ancient Shores, by Jack McDevitt


Recently I sang the praises of Jack McDevitt's "Alex Benedict" series, and a reader suggested that I try his earlier novel Ancient Shores. And I did; but I didn't like it.I don't usually write negative reviews; if I dislike it I ignore it. In this case I feel I have to, since it came up in the context of a largely positive review of some of McDevitt's other book.Ancient Shores takes place "present day", when a farmer in North Dakota finds a fully rigged, perfectly preserved sailboat … [Read more...]

CT 10.3: Essence is no Accident

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.(In the previous two posts we looked at what it means for a thing to have an essence (what it is) as distinct from its accidents (the things by which it differs from other members of its species, starting with location); and also at what Thomas means by genus and species. You might want to go back and refresh your memory.) In any being, therefore, in which there … [Read more...]

Quill v0.2.0 Release

Quill v0.2.0 has been released. Those interested can find it at GitHub. … [Read more...]

When Prayer becomes Mortification

I first started praying the Liturgy of the Hours in the mid-winter of 2008, a few months after my reversion to Catholicism. At that time it was all exciting and new, and I looked forward to my prayer times every day; but that's not why I adopted the Liturgy of the Hours as a personal devotion. And then, when I became a Lay Dominican, I necessarily embarked on a life of diligent prayer. Per the rule, I am to pray a significant fraction of the Liturgy of the Hours, a daily rosary, daily mass … [Read more...]

Quill v0.2.0 is Imminent!

I'm hoping to release version 0.2.0 of Quill sometime before the end of the three-day weekend. (N.B. My family might have other ideas.) A great deal has happened since I released version 0.1.0 of Quill one month ago.First, to recap. Quill is a project build system for the TCL/TK programming language. Quill will set up a project directory for you with all of the needful things (a code skeleton, a test suite skeleton, stub documents, and so forth). It will run your tests, format your … [Read more...]

The Comprehensibility of the Incomprehensible God

I'm so confused!

Kyle Cupp, one of our newer bloggers at the Catholic Channel, just gave us this post on the incomprehensibility of god: God is Not an Explanation.Now, he's got a point. Pope Benedict in his Introduction to Christianity refers to God as the "Wholly Other". We can't really know God as He is in the fullness of divinity; the best we can do is rule out things that are obviously wrong. Consequently, when we seem to be saying something concrete about God, we're really talking about something … [Read more...]