The Ball & the Cross & the Bread

[In Chesterton's novel The Ball and the Cross, old Turnbull, the atheist] starts falling in love with a young Catholic woman named Madeleine. . . she finally talks to him not only about his duel, but about the sacraments:He advanced upon Madeleine with flaming eyes, and almost took her by the two shoulders. "I do not love God," he cried, . . . "I do not want to find Him; I do not think he is there to be found. I must burst up the show; I must and will say everything. You are the happiest … [Read more...]

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Common Sense 101

Jesus teaches us, "I tell you truly, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, will never enter it." There is a challenge with Chesterton. The challenge is this: we have to adjust our whole way of thinking when we read him. We are not used to thinking in the language he uses. But if we can learn to think his thoughts with him, he can reawaken in us that sense of wonder that will enable us to become like little children. And we can step closer to the Kingdom of … [Read more...]

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Unexpected? Again?

They keep using this word, "unexpectedly".The number of newly-laid off workers seeking jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week, as the economy recovers at a slow and uneven pace.Unexpectedly!Everything is "unexpected" with these people, unless the President has an R after his name, at which point, no good economic news will go unpunished, and no bad economic news will be "unexpected."Layoffs have slowed and the economy began to grow in last year's third quarter, but companies are … [Read more...]

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A word from Chesterton

Lumping the wrong things together as evil blurs the lines between right and wrong and leads to chaos. -- G. K. ChestertonAs I mentioned here, I am against a hard deadline, and my obsession, since Tuesday, with Haiti (there is no word, today, from Ed) has really put me up against a wall. Blogging will be light, with an occasional chance of Chesterton quotes. … [Read more...]

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Dec 21 The Challenge and The Light

"The issue is now clear. It is between light and darkness, and everyone must choose his side." -- reported last words of G. K. ChestertonWrite our Dominican friends:Today, on the shortest day of the year, the liturgy calls Christ the Dayspring, the Radiant Dawn. He truly is the Light which comes bursting into our darkness and shows us the way of holiness and peace. And while He calls Himself the light of the world, He also tells us that in him we are the light of the world. We receive this … [Read more...]

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Christmas Climate: Lie down and die

SourceThe Christmas season is domestic; and for that reason most people now prepare for it by struggling in tramcars, standing in queues, rushing away in trains, crowding despairingly into teashops, and wondering when or whether they will ever get home. I do not know whether some of them disappear forever in the toy department or simply lie down and die in the tea-rooms; but by the look of them, it is quite likely. Just before the great festival of the home [Christmas], the whole population … [Read more...]

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Advent: Bailey, Roarke and Us

One of the best things about this season is that, invariably, someone writes about It's A Wonderful Life, and muses on the complex, sometimes dark character of George Bailey.Portrayed so perfectly by the perpetually likable James Stewart, it is easy to miss the fact that George Bailey is not a simple and good-natured cornpone from upstate New York; he is a man whose heart and faith are essential to him, because they balance out a real bitterness that shows itself in little ways. A man … [Read more...]

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"I Love My Life"

I don't know why it is but my nightstand drawers routinely get filled and then overfilled with the weirdest, most random stuff, until finally I cannot close them anymore. This morning became "clean up" day, and aside from finding scores of broken pencils and no sharpeners, a paper I'd written for an Anthropology class 15 years ago, a worrisome number old invoices, some snarled up threads and a small tube of toothpaste, I also found a little card Buster had made for me when he was about 5 or 6 … [Read more...]

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Catholic talkin' sex

There, thought that header would get your attention.Christopher West is on ABC's "Nightline" tonight at 11:35. Do check him out; he has a gift for explaining Catholic/Christian understanding of human sexuality (ala Pope John Paul II's excellent "Theology of the Body". It's all "surprising" and "unexpected" if you haven't been paying attention but...yeah, that's most of the world.Christianity, and Christian understanding, has gotten a bad rap. Some of that is our own fault; when we are … [Read more...]

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A Recovery Party? Random Chills, Thrills & Myths

Comrades, it's difficult to keep up, but the mandatory service requirement requires that you try. The oxymoronic thing passed in the Senate. It passed by a healthy margin.Yesterday a thoughtful young 24 year old whom I have known since he was about 10 or 11 sent along this piece about California regulating car colors, and I wrote back - feeling a little bit like King Arthur in the last scene of Camelot, "someday you will tell your children about the mythical land of America, where people … [Read more...]

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