April 25, 2018

Subsidiarity is the organizing principle that a matter should be handled by the lowest level of authority competent to handle it.  This is why, for example, we have potty-training: It’s important for parents to change diapers up to a certain point, but then one day your child becomes capable of handling matters for himself, and needs to be taught to do so. The same is true of family life: Inasmuch as your family is able to choose its own meals, employment,… Read more

April 11, 2018

A couple days ago a friend of mine, and then a second one, announced on Facebook that they’d started up an account on MeWe.  Within another twenty-four hours, more friends were doing the same, and two of the groups I’m most active in had counterpart-groups started up at the new (to us) platform.  Today I see that my Patheos colleague Father Longenecker is making the move. It was the first announcement though that got my attention, because it was Tom… Read more

March 29, 2018

Here in a few hours begins our customary three days of unplugged living.  Which looks about like the picture, only maybe with more complaining from the children, and also the odd bit of excuse-making about how this or that internet thing really must be done. Have a lovely Triduum! Artwork from the public domain.   Read more

March 26, 2018

Melinda Selmys asks, “Is Contraception the New Usury?” and poses a variation on an old argument.   In her view, the Church’s teaching on usury has faded out of memory or practice because it’s just too difficult to obey; she forsees the Church’s teaching on contraception going the same way. She isn’t original in this line of thought, and Catholic Answers treated the question back in 2006 in “Did the Church Change Its Stance on Usury?” For a summary of the… Read more

March 24, 2018

Several friends shared this sad but inspiring story of a heroic French police officer who freely gave his own life for another hostage.  NPR has details on the story here.  Updated to add: He was Catholic. 2nd Update: More details on Beltrame’s faith.  What can every Catholic take away from this incident?  I think only that heroism is valiant, and we should all strive to live a life of self-sacrifice. *** What doesn’t work is trying to use this story,… Read more

March 23, 2018

Over the past five or six years I’ve gone from barely using Facebook at all to using it as a major communications portal.  I use it professionally, to share my work, keep abreast of what others are doing, to chat with colleagues.  Forming a Facebook group is my current go-to when I have a group of people I need to all get in a room to chat with each other, but they never get in the same room in regular… Read more

March 14, 2018

One more to file under “This is not a gun blog, but . . .” a public school teacher in California pulled the trigger on his firearm and was surprised to discover a bullet came out. Guys, this is how guns are designed to work: Pull trigger => Series of deadly events ensues. What happened in this classroom was not an “accident.”  What happened is that the weapon did exactly what it was supposed to do. For those of you… Read more

March 1, 2018

A seventeen year old girl in Texas gave birth at home alone, stabbed the baby, and stowed it the neighbor’s shed.  She faces possible charges of capital murder.  But really?  Just practicing medicine without a license. If, say, Congress passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivor’s Protection Act, things might be different.  Then we’d have a law saying that you absolutely must finish stabbing your baby before it comes out of the womb.  But for the moment? What this girl did is… Read more

February 22, 2018

So this was my online experience of the most recent school shooting:  One of my Facebook friends was providing live updates from the site, relayed from her daughter who was getting the news from friends at the school. Meanwhile, three other of my Facebook friends, from three different parts of the US,  were providing updates from their on-going efforts to get their children’s schools to finally do something about their kids being bullied. It was surreal and depressing and has… Read more

February 13, 2018

Up at the Times is an article on how to fall in love.  The author used the technique developed in a laboratory study on whether it was possible to create emotional closeness between two people intentionally.  Anecdotally, some people who have used the method have in fact fallen in love with each other. You don’t need science to know this, but it’s good that science is confirming what your grandmother could have told you: Spending time getting to know another… Read more

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