Why #AskPontifex Anything At All?


“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated arrival in the Twitterverse this morning caused quite a commotion.  And there is doubtless a great deal more to be said in the coming [Read More...]

Recovering from the Weekend

Antelope Canyon II

One of the many unanticipated consequences of having a large, young family is being forced to recognize that weekends are not for resting. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that it was unanticipated by me, which means we now know exactly where I fall on the “man who desires to get married should know [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the Second Sunday of Advent


Inspired by yesterday’s celebration in honor of our country’s patroness — Mary, Immaculata — today’s musical selection is “Alma Redemptoris Mater:” Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti, surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti, natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem, Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore,sumens illud Ave, [Read More...]

Mapping the Blitz


As a long-time World War II buff …Actually, that a strange phrase; makes me feel a bit too much like Phil Hartman’s character in Small Soldiers. Let’s start again… As a long-time student of WWII, I expect to spend the next few years of my life at Bombsight.org, which describes itself thusly: The Bomb Sight [Read More...]

Earworm O’the Day


My heart will ne’er be free to push aside the longings I still feel. My eyes will ne’er forget the fields of patchwork green, soft rain so real. In my dreams I keep searching for those paths I never find. By those streams as they ebb and flow, my heart longs to find peace, to [Read More...]

Animated Conversations


The Pre-Oscars – Hollywood’s  own special brand of election in(s)anity — have begun in earnest. The big day (February 24th) feels interminably distant, and the next few months will doubtless prove as relentlessness in their demands “for your consideration” as ever. On the other hand, the Cinematic Silly Season — read that out loud; it sounds funnier than it [Read More...]

A Lifelong Engagement


Below, a series of quotes that have been rattling around in my head all weekend: “…the Kingdom which the Gospel proclaims is lived by men and women who are profoundly linked to a culture, and the building up of the Kingdom cannot avoid borrowing the elements of human culture or cultures. ‘A faith that places [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the First Sunday of Advent


As fellow Catholic Portalite Katrina recently cataloged, there is an extraordinary amount of Christmas music (both heavenly and horrendous.) Yet despite the seemingly-endless proliferation/commercialization of melodic good cheer for the Big Event itself, there is shockingly little Adventine music. My favorite exception to this depressingly-accurate rule? BWV 62 – “”Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (“Come [Read More...]

Real-Life La Luna


When I first saw this image adorning the top of a This is Colossal post on some of National Geographic’s finest photo contest entries, I immediately thought of “La Luna.” OK, that’s not quite fair. The thing I did first was gawk, because that picture is unbelievable. Next, I scanned through the rest of the pictures, which are nearly as [Read More...]

Navigating the Tricky Waters of Childhood Memories


Childhood nostalgia can be a harsh taskmistress — powerful emotional responses triggered by memories that are not entirely clear, and sometimes completely unremembered until the very moment the trigger event takes place. I just had one of those moments. Two of Sundance 2012′s breakout stars are preparing for another adventure, as the “Safety Not Guaranteed” [Read More...]