Annunciation: The Mystery of Vocation

I think of the Annunciation as the Mystery of Vocation, the Mystery of Calling. The Lord called Mary to be the theotokos, the God-Bearer. Jesus calls each of us to follow him, each in our own way. Jesus called me to be a husband and father, and much later to be a lay member of the Order of Preachers. It is our part to answer that call as Mary did, with “Fiat voluntas tua.”My April piece for CatholicMom is on the First Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the Annunciation. … [Read more...]

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Words I Wish I’d Written: On Facial Hair

The baron sat down. He was a large, red-faced man, insofar as a face could be seen under the beard, hair, mustache and eyebrows which were engaged in a bitter four-way war over the remaining areas of bare skin.— Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant. In his defense, the baron is a werewolf; it comes with the territory. … [Read more...]

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Watchman for Daybreak Watch

Writing continued on Watchman for Daybreak in a somewhat desultory fashion; I had the flu most of last week, and blogging takes precedence. But I've now got over 5,000 words written, and the last thousand of that is for a scene that's going to need a fair amount more work. In short, I'm moving onward with (modified) vigor. The earlier scenes probably need some more description as well, to give a better sense of place. Also, I wrote rough drafts of several posts on Aristotle, who is More … [Read more...]

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Review: The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows is an acknowledged classic; and I'm somewhat ashamed to say that I only got around to reading it a couple of weeks ago. It's all Walt Disney's fault, his fault and the fault of the other cartoon popularizers of the book, as I explain below. I finally picked it up on the Kindle some while back, as one of their periodic specials; and I finally "picked it up" to read it just recently.I first tried reading The Wind in the Willows when I was in … [Read more...]

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Why Catholicism?

Two weeks ago I wrote briefly about how I came to be the Catholic I am now; and last week I wrote about objective reasons why I believe Christianity to be plausibly true. Some didn't find them convincing, which doesn't surprise me at all. Outside of mathematics, there's no argument so flawlessly reasoned that it will inevitably and necessarily convince everyone—not that I lay claim to explaining these things flawlessly. Emile Zola famously examined all of the evidence for one the miraculous h … [Read more...]

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Lumen Fidei: God is Here, Now

Heart

In paragraphs 15, 16, and 17 of Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis explains how faith is not merely assent to a set of beliefs, but trust in a person; and specifically in the person of Jesus Christ; and specifically in the love of Christ and his Father for us; and specifically because the Father shows his love for us by raising Jesus from the dead and promising to do the same for us. Jesus not only tells us that he loves us, but he is willing to die for us; and his Father in Heaven raises him. He loves … [Read more...]

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What Is Christian Fantasy?

Lion

This post was first written in May of 2004. I think it holds up pretty well. I made some minor edits, and fixed a couple of typos. Kudos to Phil Wade, of Brandywine Books; the link below hasn't decayed, even though it's to the old version of the blog.Phil at Brandywine Books has written several posts (most recently here) on the subject of "What is Christian Fiction?" My answer is that there are several things which can go by that name. The first is simply, "Fiction written to be … [Read more...]

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On Wodehouse, Wooster, and Jeeves!

The New Yorker has an article on Bertie Wooster, his valet Jeeves, and their creator, P.G. Wodehouse. Give it a look! … [Read more...]

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The Beauty of Gaelic

One of the things I love about Irish music are the songs sung in Gaelic. The language has a flowing, lyrical quality that I find quite beautiful, even though I've no idea what's being said. Today I want to present a sampling of pieces by different artists that I think are particularly fine.First, here's the Bothy Band with "Fionnghuala", which gives me chills. Do listen to this one; it's short, and utterly amazing.In a lighter vein, here's Orla Fallon with "Ni Na La", which I … [Read more...]

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