Words I Wish I’d Written: Suspenders with Tails

That’s one of the fine features of tailing; wherever the subject leads you, you will follow. I once spent four hours tagging a guy up and down Fifth and Madison Avenues, using all the tricks and dodges I knew, and learned later that he had been trying to find a pair of gray suspenders with a yellow stripe.— Rex Stout, The Final Deduction … [Read more...]

Lent Begins with Ice, not Fire

Yeah, but they are used to it.

First of all, for those who came here expecting a writing post: the scenes, they are beginning to get written. I had to work through some issues with the characters—I knew more or less what had to happen, but I had to cast it so that it made sense in terms of the characters and what they are going through. I've now figured out enough to be going on with, and I am.Second, today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. That is, you're reading this on Ash Wednesday. But as I write this, … [Read more...]

Review: Gaudy Night, by Dorothy Sayers

In Gaudy Night, the penultimate Peter Wimsey novel, Sayers returns her attention to Lord Peter's beloved Harriet Vane—almost to the exclusion of Peter himself. As with Have His Carcase, I first read this under the influence of SRDS (Sleuthly Romance Derangement Syndrome); which is to say, I first read it in order to find out what happens to Lord Peter and Harriet, rather than to enjoy the mystery. On that first reading I found it long, confusing, and full of all manner of extraneous hoohaw t … [Read more...]

Animated Shorts of Irish Folk Songs

Joseph Susanka has the scoop on a series of animated shorts, made in Ireland, to illustrate Irish folk songs. Fun! … [Read more...]

God, Invisible and Inaudible


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about discipleship and catechesis; and a commenter suggested (albeit in a rude and dismissive fashion) that the problem with making disciples is that God is silent and invisible, and since no one can see or hear Him naturally it's hard to get excited about Him. I suggested that perhaps others saw something he didn't, and the commenter responded with obvious scorn, and said that he was shocked that I didn't regard God's silence as a problem.I rather got … [Read more...]

Dominicans and Jesuits Together, in Charitable Disputation

Melanie Bettinelli has put together two posts about maintaining a charitable disposition while arguing with others, one by Dominican Fr. Philip Powell OP, and one by one of Patheos' own Jesuits, Fr. Sam Sawyer, SJ. Both are worth your time, as are Melanie's own comments. … [Read more...]

On Wuthering Heights

Over the years I’ve had friends who believed in the healing power of crystals, a friend who thought she was an incarnated alien, friends who believe aliens live among us, and at least one friend who thought that Wuthering Heights is great literature and not, self-evidently, a humorous book.Sarah Hoyt, talking about something else entirely. … [Read more...]

Lumen Fidei: The Light of Faith


I've finished my series on "Bootstrapping the Interior Life" for the time being; and as I want to keep my Sunday posts for matters involving the life of faith, I've decided to spend the next series of Sundays reading through Pope Francis' encyclical Lumen Fidei, "The Light of Faith". I'm not planning any kind of definitive commentary (as if I were qualified to write one); rather, I'll be reflecting on the text in the context of the daily life of faith.Today I want to point out something … [Read more...]

The Compassion of Telling the Truth


This post first appeared in slightly different form in April of 2004. Since then, the blog post I was commenting on has disappeared, and I'm now Catholic rather than being a rather evangelical Episcopalian. The main point, however, remains.Lynn Sislo (the link has decayed) comments on an article about a young preacher who has been charged with heresy by his denomination. It seems that the preacher has been teaching that non-Christians might still be able to go to heaven; the … [Read more...]