Benedict XVI vs. Francis: The Great Papal Football Finale

A day after the Germans blitzed their Brazilian hosts 7-1, the Argentines have outlasted the Dutch in penalty kicks. This sets the stage for Sunday, where Germany will face Argentina, in the World Cup final, a clash that surely will be of interest to the Vatican, for obvious reasons. I'll be rooting for the Americans to hoist the cup.Not only do we live in the a time of two living popes: We now also witness, for first time in world history, two popes who will surely be rooting for their … [Read more...]

Shopping Amongst the Episcopate

Sam and Bishop

On Saturday I met the new Bishop of the Diocese of Fargo, Bishop John Thomas Folda, while shopping at Costco with my wife. She spotted him first and talked to him in the cooler section. My attitude toward Bishops --- and authority figures in general --- oscillates from cautious to skeptical, but I'd heard he was a nice guy from a buddy of mine who knew him. I decided to meet him too, and see if I could get a picture to share with all of you. For a while I was thinking about taking a pic of him … [Read more...]

Martha and Mary on Anxiety

I've always considered the story of Martha and Mary as being about the two paths of spiritual life: the via activa and the via comtemplativa. Depending on my mood and spiritual fancy, the story either comforted or bothered me. Oftentimes both. Today was different: Father's homily was about anxiety. Martha's problem was not her activity; it was anxiety that Jesus was correcting. "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things." This interpretation rings true to me. Anxiety. I'm th … [Read more...]

The Politics of Language on Columbus Day

The two Spanish words that summarize the predominant reading and counter-reading of Columbus Day are descubrimiento and conquista.Descubrimiento refers to that the word 'discovery' points to in English. It emphasizes the subjective experience of Columbus, Spain, and, by extension, Western Europe. Colonialism. When this subjective experience is glorified and placed into a colonial mythology, it becomes Columbus Day as we know it.Conquista refers to what the English word 'conquest' gets … [Read more...]

Hola! Waves, Oceans, Tragedy

The huffing "h" sound  in the Spanish word 'hola' is silent, as a general rule. Except when it follows and combines with the letter c, creating the fourth letter of the Spanish alphabet: ch. Ch makes the sound of chocolate, nachos, and chocolate nachos. RoCHa. Cha. Not ca. The h isn't silent in my last name.Back to 'hola': the silent h makes it sound exactly like the word 'ola' --- wave.In English, a "wave" can be a sign, a gesture. A greeting or goodbye.  An hola. The physical gesture c … [Read more...]

Header

I am very happy and honored to announce the “change” I’ve been hinting about: I will soon be joining the Catholic Portal at Patheos. This photo will be the page header, custom designed by Mike Blaha, my longtime friend and an exceptional, multitalented artist. Check out his work at Blahagraphy. … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin patch. (Taken with Instagram) … [Read more...]

White Sedan

White sedan. (Taken with Instagram) … [Read more...]

En el Principio Moraba

San Juan de la Cruz, “En el principio moraba” (Taken with Instagram) … [Read more...]

Artwork for my Primer

A draft of some of the artwork — drawn by my prodigy of a little sister — for my forthcoming book, A Primer for Philosophy and Education. … [Read more...]


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