We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. It’s been a month since the last entry in the series, so it’s time to recap. Thomas began by showing that there is a first, ultimate cause of all caused things; he calls this ultimate cause “God” for convenience, though he’s still in the process of showing why it’s reasonable to equate this first cause with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He’s determined… Read more

Things seem to be quieting down now after last week’s bombshell of a relatio document, and though I’ve argued for calm I can understand why folks are getting nervous. We’ve had bishops saying and doing nutty things, and politicking to move the synod this way and that, and it sure looks like some of the synod fathers are willing to give away the doctrinal store. But I have to say, it would have to look a lot worse before I’d… Read more

When you want to manufacture a new piece of hardware—an engine, say, or a stand mixer, or a washing machine—the first thing you do is design it. Some people equate “design” with the visual appearance of a product, as in the iconic look of an Apple iMac. I’m using design in a more technical sense: before you manufacture a product, you need to work out a whole bunch of things: What it’s supposed to do How it’s supposed to do… Read more

Pandora never ceases to amaze. Here’s a blues number (I guess you’d call it blues) by the Darrin James Band that sounds like what Bob Dylan might have sounded like if he were a blues singer on a day when his voice wasn’t TOO weird. This is a live version; I like the studio version much better. Still, if you ignore the overlong guitar solo it’s interesting. Read more

I have to get my CatholicMom posts in a week ahead of time; and then I forget about them. This one went live about two weeks ago, and I just remembered to link to it. The Wedding at Cana is the Mystery of the Body: with all its faults, the Body is very, very good. There’s a whole lot one can say about Jesus’ miracle at the wedding at Cana. There’s a link with the water of baptism and the… Read more

I was praying Evening Prayer yesterday evening (the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila) and found this in the intercessions: Christ, you presented the Church to yourself as a chaste virgin to her spouse: keep her holy and inviolate. And it struck me that in the face of confusion and concern over bishops saying ludicrous things (which things those are depends on the person listening), this prayer is exactly right. It’s Christ’s job to keep the Church holy, not mine…. Read more

You’ll want to spend some time with these illustrations of The Lord of the Rings by Ukrainian artist Sergei Iukhimov. I found them beautiful and unexpectedly moving. There are quite a few at the link; and if you click through there are even more at the artist’s own site. Read more

The Synod on the Family is currently going on in Rome; many things are being discussed, and these things are causing many people’s heads to explode. I’m not going to talk about those things, but I’ve got a few observations about troubleshooting. Troubleshooting is the process of looking at a problem, figuring out what’s really causing it, and how to make it work. And make no mistake, that’s what the pope and the bishops are doing at this synod. The… Read more

One of my FaceBook friends commented the other day that she had trouble liking St. Thomas Aquinas; she couldn’t warm up to him. All of the books she saw focussed on his theology and philosophy, and made him seem like a thinking machine rather than a person. In part, this is Thomas’ fault. He wasn’t concerned with himself, so he didn’t write about himself; and while others did, they often were concerned with his writings. As a result, we don’t… Read more

As I noted yesterday, I’ll be presenting a paper on Quill at the upcoming Tcl/Tk conference. This was a sudden decision, and so I’m scrambling a bit. I spent most of yesterday and all of this morning* working on the paper (which is now finished, at 19 pages of dense technical prose). Thing is, I often spend that time working on blog posts for the coming week. It’s now noon on Sunday, and I’ve got nuttin’. On top of this,… Read more

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