Still Alive! (Except the ones who are dead)

So Joseph Susanka listened to The Wishing Wife last week, and liked it; and then paid attention to the lyrics, and still liked it; and then wishing to prove to me that it's just the sort of thing he does like, shared that he'd purchased the theme from the video game Portal. If you've not played Portal, the premise is that an amoral but driven computer named GlaDOS puts you through horribly dangerous "tests" in the name of Science! Eventually you destroy GlaDOS and escape; and as the credits … [Read more...]

Support the Dominican Nuns!

SummitNJ Monastery

Traditionally the priests and brothers in a religious order are termed the "first order", and the nuns and sisters the "second order"; but it's an odd fact about the Order of Preachers that the nuns came first.St. Dominic began his career of itinerant preaching in a part of France much overtaken by the Albigensian heresy. The Albigensians were gnostics who preached that the soul is pure and the body is evil; and they acquired followers in part by running schools for the daughters of noble … [Read more...]

How I Write

So I was wondering what to say about writing today, beyond that it was a busy weekend and Watchman for Daybreak is only 1,000 words longer, when I saw Elizabeth Duffy's post this morning and said, "A writing meme! I can do that!"So, four questions:What are you working on? What makes your work different from others’ work in the same genre? Why do you write what you do? How does your writing process work?1. What are you working on?At the moment, mostly Watchman for D … [Read more...]

App o’ the Morning: Avernum, Escape from the Pit


Usually on Tuesdays I blog about a book I've read recently; but in the last few weeks I've been doing less reading and more tapping, which is to say, I've been playing Spiderweb Software's Avernum: Escape from the Pit. I've been playing it on the iPad, but it's also available for Mac and Windows.Avernum is a classic open world role-playing-game. You have been exiled by the evil Emperor Hawthorne to a dim underworld of caves, giant fungus, and monsters called Avernum. Hawthorne has been … [Read more...]

CT 2: Thomas Takes on Faith


Thomas always likes to start by giving the reader an outline of what he’s about (I think because they didn't really have tables of contents in his day). In the previous chapter, he broke the world of Christian theology down into three headings, faith, hope, and charity; now he divides faith even further.Faith is a certain foretaste of that knowledge which is to make us happy in the life to come. The Apostle says, in Hebrews 11:1, that faith is “the substance of things to be hoped for,” as th … [Read more...]

My Joy is Complete

On Saturday I made my life profession as a Lay Dominican, and that was a good day. But today, Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, was a day of great joy.Some background. I've been a member of our parish's RCIA team this year, and for those who don't know, RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is the name of the usual process by which adults become members of the Catholic Church. For the last six months, I've been meeting and talking with people who are … [Read more...]

German Food Project

Normally on Sundays I've been posting reflections on Lumen Fidei; but this has been a busy weekend, what with my life profession and all, and so I've elected to post the following video instead.See, my son David and his friend Grant had to do a project for their German class, and they elected to translate some recipes from German into English and prepare them for the class. They made a kind of chocolate cake, german potato salad, and soft pretzels, and a video documenting their work. The … [Read more...]

Potency And Act, Distinguished


As I noted on Thursday, Edward Feser's new book Scholastic Metaphysics came in the mail. Feser writes clearly about difficult topics, but in this book he's going into a little more detail than in the past, and I'm finding that I need to work a little harder to dig into it.In Section 1.1.3, he discusses the concepts of Potency and Act, and breaks them down categorically, identifying all of the usual terms that relate to them and how they relate to each other. But you can't tell the players … [Read more...]

Becoming a Lay Dominican

This morning, I promised before God and everybody to live according to the Rule of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic for the rest of my life. As of this morning, I am now a fully professed lay member of the Dominican order, also known as the Order of Preachers. It seems like a good time to reflect on how I got here.Many years ago, when I was an Episcopalian, a man I knew became a tertiary of a Benedictine monastery a couple of hours from where we live. (Mind you, it was an Episcopalian … [Read more...]