The Talking, Thinking and Wondering Will Continue

There is a saying attributed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, that I used to keep up on my header: "Ideas lead to idols; only wonder leads to knowing."I wonder about that phrase often, and continually draw new understanding as I apply it to different subject matters. It reminds me that I am not only free to ponder, but that as a Catholic, I am (quite contra-CW) required to think. Not to give in to the soft tyranny of sentimentalism until I'm so busy feeling that thinking is dismissed; not to … [Read more...]

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CAN AN AGNOSTIC BE DIVINELY INSPIRED? “Babette’s Feast” Is a Eucharistic Allegory From an Unlikely Author

You probably know at least a little about Danish baroness and plantation owner Karen von Blixen-Finecke. She was the heroine (Meryl Streep) who had a passionate but ultimately doomed love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter (Robert Redford) in the 1985 romantic drama Out of Africa. She was an author who wrote under the pen name “Isak Denisen.”But you may not remember that she was an agnostic.My husband and I recently pulled out our copy of the film Babette’s Feast (Danish: Babet … [Read more...]

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Heresy is Rare and Everywhere

In the comments section of another thread, I wrote in response to a commenter:". . .it is extremely distressing to me that so many Catholics are willing to make a decision about our fellows, stick a label on them and figure they know all about them and can ever-dismiss them as “that sort” of Catholic, or not as good a Catholic or the wrong sort of Catholic than you know…”better” Catholics.”To that another commenter wrote:This is where you completely lose me . . . a broad question in g … [Read more...]

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Did Benedict Stir the Water on Purpose?

Did Pope Benedict know he was sparking a debate with his responses in Light of the World?I suspect he did. Benedict is not stupid, and he's not unsavvy about media; he knows the press is reactionary and slavish to the sensational - that they would grab his answers to Peter Seewald and run with them, and that after their first noise, some of them would actually settle down and seek to understand, while others never would.Meanwhile, the faithful would be jarred from their torpor, and … [Read more...]

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Pope, Condom, TSA & Crucifix – UPDATED

With a title like that, what else could I be talking about but my Tuesday column:I had been driven to the crucifix because I had become overwhelmed with the media/internet cacophony that had followed L’Osservatore Romano’s weekend revelation of Pope Benedict XVI’s thoughts on the use of condoms in certain situations, and by the uproar over newly put-in-place TSA regulations on pre-flight searches and pat-downs.In both cases, reactions were swift, and they varied according to agendas but fe … [Read more...]

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Dolan New USCCB Prez – UPDATED

For American Catholics who pay attention, today's big news is the surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.Dolan counts himself among the surprised (Photo: CNS/Nancy Wiechec)Personally, I think this is a terrific selection. Dolan is a very pastoral, humble and joyful presence. He is faithful, but for the most part he does not come down like a hammer (his parlays with the NY Times notwithstanding).Our bishops are … [Read more...]

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Juan Williams: Fired for Doubting – UPDATED

(Graphic via Ed Driscoll, who has a good roundup)I wonder if it was smart of NPR to--12 days out from an election where leftism is headed for a defeat of rejection--re-inforce the perception that both liberalism and the media are out of control; that they have utterly cast off their former roles as champions of free speech and free thought, in favor of compulsory conformity.On consideration, I (along with Andrew Malcolm) say, no...not smart. Catastrophically not smart.My first thought … [Read more...]

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Arrogant, Self-Absorbed Capitalists

Over at Instapundit: Glenn Reynolds notes the sentiments of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: "Americans are self-absorbed."Reynolds puckishly concurs, and suggests that Americans stop sitting at home watching their Netflix videos and go out to join a tea party. Get some fresh air.Laura Curtis at the Washington Examiner does a good job of putting Hastings quote into context and them hammering him for it in a must-read piece:In a recent interview, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings responded to a question … [Read more...]

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Benedict's UK Triumph Ignored in US

Shamelessly cribbed from Lucianne.comDeacon Greg, who rarely has time to really sit down and write like this, hits one out of the ballpark, today, as he takes a look at the complete non-coverage of Pope Benedict's triumphant visit to the United Kingdom. Really, it's so good that it's difficult to excerpt, but here is a little:One of the biggest surprises of Pope Benedict's historic trip to the United Kingdom may be how few people realize that it was, in fact, historic. Sunday night, I was … [Read more...]

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Triumph Trending

Raphael Rooms of Vatican Museum, Cross Triumphant over PaganismToday is the feastday of the Triumph of the Cross, (a great day) and my husband shot this in the Raphael Rooms of the Vatican Museum, as our wonderful, brilliant guide, Elizabeth Lev gave us such an informative and fascinating background on various pieces of art, and their creators, that I came to really regret my woeful lack of education as regards the fine arts. My husband and I came away from Lev's tour with an increased … [Read more...]

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