Happy Feast of St. John the Baptist

In the Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican Churches today is the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, when we recall the birth of St. John and his role as a forerunner to Christ. Above we've inserted a clip of Ut Queant Laxis, one traditional chant from this feast day. The words, sung in Latin, translate this way: So that your servants may, with loosened voices, resound the wonders of your deeds, clean the guilt from our stained lips, O Saint John. Below is a text from St. Augustine's se … [Read more...]

Talking About Thomism

Some books and songs and movies and talks stay with you, and the longer they stay with you, the more you feel the need to share them. This past January, I heard a short discussion of St. Thomas Aquinas's thought (called Thomism) that was among the most compelling I'd yet encountered. It's stayed with me, and I wanted to highlight it, especially in light of conversations I've had with some friends lately about putting Christ at the center of our discourse. Fr. Thomas Joseph White, a Dominican … [Read more...]

That Is Very Christian of You

bigbangtheory_logo

My favorite character on The Big Bang Theory is Sheldon. How to summarize seven seasons of him? He’s a theoretical physicist at Cal-Tech who holds four graduate degrees and started college at age eleven. Spock is one of his heroes. He has trouble detecting sarcasm but has made progress in employing it. He drives the other characters crazy with his arrogance, fussiness, and compulsive need for routine, even though they concede that they probably wouldn’t all be such good friends without him … [Read more...]

The Fault in Our Logic

A Fault In Our Stars

 When I was young, I heard many a sermon that was based on math. Pastors would make simple calculations like this: “The time you spend in heaven and hell will be far longer than the time you spend on earth. You should do things that contribute to your ‘eternal bank account’ (i.e. reading Bible, praying) rather than your ‘spiritual bank account’ (i.e. getting good grades, being cool). Live for something greater. For something eternal.” The logic was that whatever is longer is generally mo … [Read more...]

Reflecting on Trinity Sunday with St. Augustine

St. Augustine opens his De Trinitate with a forward in which he recounts his efforts to complete this work which was suddenly interrupted by the theft of his incomplete manuscript. At first, Augustine refused to resume his efforts as an act of protest. But after much encouragement from Aurelius, the Bishop of Carthage, he agreed to complete the work on the condition that it contain a preface expressing his concern that the previously stolen work might, due to its incompleteness, not be … [Read more...]

Sherwood Anderson and the Platonic Touch

A couple of weeks ago, Leah Libresco wrote an excellent article suggesting that our society’s neglect of platonic touch is among one of the many things we need to address if we are to reverse the sexualization of contact that dominates our lives today. In lieu of alternative stories and models of interpersonal relationship, the “friend zone” becomes a dead end, an impasse to be overcome if greater intimacy is to be won. She writes: The friendzone is treated as a wasteland not just because we tre … [Read more...]

Ignorance: A Blessing

There are some things that I know with certainty. The sum of two and three is five. All mothers are women. A triangle has three sides. My back hurts. I am currently writing a blog post and trying to think of another example that doesn’t sound too trite. I think most would agree that the degree of certainty which I have about these things is so high that I cannot not know them.On the other hand, there are many things that I cannot know with certainty. Some of these things are fairly i … [Read more...]


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