Dream a Little Dream: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

I was going to post something substantive for today, but I had a lousy day and I need a pick me up. Consequently, here's Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong singing "Dream a Little Dream of Me", which is exquisitely soothing. Really. Give it a try. … [Read more...]

The Dogmat saw Outrage, Lies, Persons, and Art


The Dogmat saw many things this week, and all too few of them were goofy. A number of them made the Dogmat's ears itch, though, so there's that.Faux outrage, or sounding the alarm: Jane the Actuary talks about the merchants of outrage and the relationship between outrage, clicks, and ad revenues. The Dogmat has been known to bark at nothing in particular from time to time, but agrees it's no way to live.There are only persons: The Dogmat once drove his then girlfriend to angry … [Read more...]

How the Mind Ascends to God


Recently I've been talking about the rationality of Christian (and specifically Catholic) belief in God, and how one's mind can begin to ascend to the reality of God.  It's an imperfect ascent; God is infinite, and human reason, even at its best, is both weak and finite; but with God's help it is possible.Thomas begins, as Aristotle does, by reflection on the world around us.  He takes for granted the existence of objective reality, and our ability to perceive and grasp it directly, or in o … [Read more...]

Book Review: Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, The Gospel of John

CCSS Gospel of John

I recently received a review copy of The Gospel of John, by Francis Martin and William M. Wright IV, from the series Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, and I've been perusing it.  I'm not accepting review copies very often these days, because I found most of the ones I've received tend to languish unread, which isn't fair to the publisher; but I'd heard good things about this series, and I love the Gospel of John, so I said, "OK, why not."And so far, I'm impressed; it looks like … [Read more...]

Memorial Day

Ft. Leavenworth Military Cemetery

photo credit: William H. Duquette, 2006, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas … [Read more...]

The Dogmat’s Dictionary: Mystical Body Dysphoria

The Dogmat

Mystical Body Dysphoria (MBD): A condition that occurs when a member of the Mystical Body of Christ feels strongly that another member of the Mystical Body of Christ is an alien being forming no part of the body and who must therefore be cast into the outer darkness. MBD generally occurs because the second member is insufficiently similar to the first in terms of apostolate, liturgical or devotional preference, evangelical priorities, political affiliation, or other areas of interest. MBD is … [Read more...]

The Dogmat saw Cosplayers, Millennials, and Tyrian, O My!


The Dogmat saw strange and amazing things this week, from Daleks in dresses to Tyrian Lannister à la Walt Disney. To wit:Good news for cosplayers: McCalls and Simplicity now have sewing patterns for you: So now you can make your Dalek and Tardis dresses using patterns from the bigs instead of the smalls. Of course, real Dr. Who cosplayers make their costumes using only a sonic screwdriver and a spool of thread.Microsoft to Teachers: Using Pens and Paper Not Fair to Students: The … [Read more...]

Steven Pressfield: The Lion’s Gate

The Lion's Gate: Paperback

Last year I read and reviewed Steven Pressfield's excellent book The Lion's Gate, which tells the story of many of the men and women involved in the Six Day War in their own words:I was surprised by this book in a number of ways. My notions of Israel are unavoidably colored by my impressions of the biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the days of David, Solomon, and their successors; though I knew better, from other reading I’ve done, I still rather expected the Israelis to be zealous f … [Read more...]

My Road to Catholic Belief

Mountain Highway

Last week I explained why there is no magic bullet for belief, no simple, straightforward argument that will compel belief in the Christian God.  This raises some questions: how do believers come to believe in Christianity?  And how can Christian belief be rational absent such proofs?First, most Christians come to belief experientially.  Some are taught as children, and later reach out to accept what God has for them: they "taste and see that the Lord is good," as scripture has it.  Others co … [Read more...]