Google is investing in letting us live for 500 years

Google is putting some of its gazillions of dollars into a venture capital fund.  Its goal is to fund research that will let us live for 500 years. [Read more...]

The fastest-growing new religious movement

Several years ago,  I blogged about the adoration of Santa Muerte,  St. Death (as in a feminine saint), the hooded skeleton being venerated by Mexican drug lords.  But now prayers to this saint and the sale of her images and icons have come into the mainstream, and not just in Hispanic enclaves but throughout the world.  You can now find her images in Wal-Mart.

Although the Santa Muerte cult takes the form of the veneration of saints in Roman Catholicism, the Church strongly opposes the practice.   Taping dollar bills to her statue and leaving cigarettes and liquor as offerings are thought to cause Santa Muerte to provide good luck and protection.  One expert says that worship of “Holy Death” is “the fastest-growing new religious movement.”  I suppose it is fitting that a culture of death has a religion of death.

Read about the phenomenon after the jump.

[Read more...]

Six things not to say at a funeral

Chad Bird lists six things that he does NOT want said at his funeral. [Read more...]

The Visitation

How I dreaded the “visitation.”  Having to see my father’s dead body.  Having to meet and greet well-wishers while being in a highly emotional state.   What a horrible ordeal this is going to be, I thought.  And yet, the visitation on Thursday night was strangely healing.  I’m not sure why, but it was.  I do have some ideas, though. [Read more...]

Making the arrangements

My heart isn’t in blogging today.  I’m certainly not in the mood to complain about the culture, worry about politics, or pick theological arguments.  Death gives a different kind of perspective, an eternal perspective, that, for all its hurt, is  healthy for me to consider. With my mother, my brother, and my sister, we have been “making arrangements” for my father’s funeral Friday.  [Read more...]

Memorials

Have a happy, but thoughtful Memorial Day.  I know it’s mainly become just the beginning of the summer holidays, the first bratwurst of summer (in the words of Those Darned Accordians).  Enjoy that part of it, but the holiday was started as a commemoration of the war dead.  It’s been extended for many people as a day to remember all of the dead, to decorate graves and to reflect on the memory of family members and other loved ones who have died.  It so happens that for the first time in a long, long time, we are close by the cemetery where generations of my family members have been buried.  We loaded up with flowers and are going to participate in that custom of adorning the graves.  I’m really looking forward to that.  We too may end up in that cemetery some day.  I guess I’ve gotten to the age where that thought really doesn’t bother me anymore.  It’s going to be very meaningful.

At any rate, as we have done before on this blog, use this space to write a memorial to someone you would like to remember on this day.

 


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X