July 28, 2012 5:15pm

Possessive individualism has thoroughly routed civic republicanism; hucksterism has vanquished virtue; a mindless commitment to economic growth has rendered the ideals of simplicity, balance, and voluntary renunciation all but unintelligible as guides to public policy rather than merely to individual salvation. It is too late for a happy ending. George Scialabba, “Plutocratic Vistas,” in the Los Angeles Review of Books. … [Read more...]

July 26, 2012 1:06am

My son, Gabriel Luis Rocha, performing some of his improvisational compositions; inspired, so he tells me, by a computer game. … [Read more...]

Review of “The Longest Daycare”

My latest post at Formative Justice is a review of the Simpsons short film — The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare — that precedes Ice Age 4. I took the boys to see it today and found it provocative — and reminiscent of a sad, beautiful memory.                                    … [Read more...]

July 25, 2012 9:04am

Here is the lecture I gave yesterday at the Catholic Church of St. Paul in Ham Lake, Minnesota entitled “Liturgy as Mystagogy: Why We Must Dance to a Catholic Beat.” It follows the notes below:I. Preface My previous lecture’s principle argument—that the heart is fundamentally superior to the head, that Love is sufficient to being and becoming a human person—should primarily say something about beauty. I want to introduce today’s lecture by proposing the following relationship and order between … [Read more...]

July 24, 2012 7:50pm

For me, the fantastic was perfectly natural; I had no doubts at all. That’s the way things were. When I gave those kinds of books to my friends, they’d say, “But no, we prefer to read cowboy stories.” Cowboys were especially popular at the time. I didn’t understand that. I preferred the world of the supernatural, of the fantastic. Julio Cortázar, interviewed in the Paris Review. … [Read more...]

July 24, 2012 8:19am

The Art of Farewell; a powerful and beautiful short film about memory, love, life, and death. … [Read more...]

Respect for the Sanctity of Life Requires a Holistic, Catholic Approach

I am sometimes accused of holding positions that are so highly idiosyncratic, no one else could possibly share my view. This is, of course, a backhanded way of saying that I am simply ridiculous, without engaging my position. It is also untrue and dishonest disengagement posing as dialogue. Sadly, this often comes from those who have the most direct access to the only descriptive label I am willing to attach to my worldview: Catholic. Among Catholics, especially during election cycles, the q … [Read more...]

Guest Lecture Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will deliver my second guest lecture at the Catholic Church of St. Paul in Ham Lake, Minnesota, at 7 pm. This lecture—“Liturgy as Mystagogy: Why We Must Dance to a Catholic Beat—anticipates my forthcoming book (Liturgy as Mystagogy) and builds on my previous lecture on Augustine’s Confessions. Here is a draft of the outline for the talk.I. Introduction My previous lecture’s principle argument—that the heart is fundamentally superior to the head, that Lov … [Read more...]

July 23, 2012 12:11am

I opted against doing the live recording, mostly because I won’t have time to edit it into tracks, so here’s a video recording instead. Several of the new songs are performed here, especially towards the end of the performance. … [Read more...]

July 21, 2012 11:43pm

For the love of gold is different than the love of money, which is loved for the use we make of it. Gold deserves to be loved for itself, as pearls and precious stones are loved for their beauty. Etienne Gilson, The Arts of the Beautiful … [Read more...]