Those Immune to Violence Arm and Disarm

My late Tio "Manino" (short for Marcelino) had an bottle of Mexican brandy beside his recliner. Presidente. He was well into his eighties, past his drinking prime, so I asked what it was for. He replied that, with all the break-ins and robberies and murders that were commonplace in his neighborhood, especially ones targeting the elderly, he had come up with a strategy: if a thug entered his small trailer-house he'd tell him there's nothing to be stolen, nothing of value, but he'd invite the … [Read more...]

A Quiet Joy, I Suppose

The easy excuse is "I've been grading." But it's not true. I write most when I'm busy. My productivity thrives on pressure. I've run up on a shore of some kind, somewhere. I don't know what to call it yet. A disposition just shy of melancholy. Paralyzing, in a satisfying way. When sleep finally conquers and washes over you and knocks you out and brings you the rest you need. That sort of paralysis. A surrender of sorts. It's kept me from writing and arguing. It's made me feel a few things, but … [Read more...]

The Politics of Guadalupe

In loving memory of Fr. Sam Homsey C.PP.S. (1910 - 2004) As a teenager, I played basketball on a small cement slab behind the parish rectory where we lived. My Dad was the pastoral coordinator at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (in Brady, Texas) at the time. I was told that the place I played at was once the entryway for a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. In that small chapel, there would be Spanish-language Masses offered for the Mexican faithful who attended Mass in Spanish. I d … [Read more...]

Dear (New) Atheists, Meet Zizek and Paglia

I am writing beneath about 200 pages of final papers I have to read and grade, so this week will be mostly videos and a special something I have planned for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.I plan on going into some depth on this subject later, so consider this a primer of sorts. Many atheists on Twitter (and some at the Patheos atheist channel) seem to rely on rather narrow governing assumptions about what atheism is. Most of them replicate lots of the insults, and some of the substance, of … [Read more...]

A Video for the Weekend

Here is the performative talk I gave at the University of Manitoba last weekend. It does not explicitly mention liturgy, but my interest in that and other things can all be readily found in it. The title is "Being and Meaning, Showing and Saying, Phenomenology and Folklore." The songs are all original compositions that will be on my next album. Enjoy!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnDyL8ns_YY … [Read more...]

Advent

Not Good Friday or Holy Saturday Dark, yes, but no suspense Pregnant, not sad No mourning or crying Just waiting Tapping my foot to Feasts and other holy days Nicholas, Ambrose, Guadalupe The air is ripe and flushed As her cheeks must have been Full of hope and promise Foretold.Meanwhile christmas rages and wars Singing, eating, never fasting Bumper stickers and atheist apologetics Electric lights, neon carols New movies shopping for a token Hanukah Concerts play cards I need to mail Gifts and … [Read more...]

A Shepherd Must Be

The man who writes longhand, Pope Benedict XVI, has a Twitter account. Eight of them, to be exact. Maybe more? @Pontifex, in every tongue. What will he say? What will he Tweet? Will he type? What? Questions create hashtags: irreverent, obscene, loathing, adoring, pious, honest, curious, silly, cute and clever. Asking, ridiculing, wondering, defending. Why would he come here, to this wild place? Why dwell in virtual reality, this projection, this wastebasket for time and thought? What brings such … [Read more...]

Haw Wins: Pagan Christianity and the New Apologetics

In my recent reflection on James Wellman's book on Rob Bell, I tried to steer away from dismissing Bell altogether. I tried to be generous without being dishonest. I'm not sure if I did that, but I was left with an aloof sense that I didn't really have my say. "Oh well, no need to always be so critical." I moved on to my next book assignment: From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart. In it, I found nothing less than a complete take-down of the religious fads that Rob Bell and others have come to … [Read more...]

Dos Amores: Primordial e Universal

San Agustín nos enseña: “nemo est qui non amet” --- “nada es lo que no ama.” Este dicho tan profundo nos revela un amor mas que amoroso. En realidad se trata de dos amores y su orden: el amor primordial y el amor universal.El amor primordial es la primera y ultima condición para la posibilidad del mundo, del universo, de todo; el amor que contiene y mantiene al toda existencia. El amor universal es el amor que, como semilla bajo tierra, se puede encontrar en todo lo que es. Es decir, el amor un … [Read more...]

Two Notre Dame Rebuttals

My post yesterday defending Notre Dame produced a mostly interesting comment box --- including some classic Petrine wit. I also received several e-mails, all of them very thoughtful and honest, regardless of their opinion on the matter. As a result, I realize that I ended up casting too wide a net, trapping fish I never intended to catch, and also weaving a net with too wide a mesh, conveniently letting certain fish pass through that perhaps do not deserve it.And then there is this: Sycamore … [Read more...]


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