To bring him back with a twitch upon the thread

DSC03467

  Today, I was recieved into the Catholic Church and was given the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy communion.I had expected, earlier this year, to choose Catherine of Alexandria for my confirmation saint.  After she was converted by a tutor, she king sent various scholars and theologian to argue her out of her belief, and, when she met them in debate, she made converts of them all.  She is the patron saint of apologists, lawyers, philosophers, preachers, students, theologians, … [Read more...]

“No one can be what he wants me to be”

picasso quixote

The last two song and sentiment posts have touched on problems of uncertainty. How does Floyd derive comfort from his series of questions about heaven? Why does being unblinded leave Nurse Fay Apple more uncertain that she was in ignorance? The last song I want to discuss is from Man of La Mancha. In “What Does He Want of Me” Aldonza’s song follows the same structure as Floyd’s--a litany of questions--but instead of finding comfort, she seems to be as discomfited as Nurse Fay Apple. You can liste … [Read more...]

“In a world of wondering, suddenly you know”

inside-the-cave-pinoltepec

About two years ago, long before I converted, a student was working on his performance of "How Glory Goes" in a musical theatre masterclass that I was sitting in.  The song is from the musical Floyd Collins, based on the life of Floyd Collins, a cave explorer from Kentucky who was trapped in a cave and starved to death alone.  (An obvious topic for a musical).  Before the rocks shifted and cut Floyd off from the surface completely, there was a narrow shaft open.  A very slight reporter could shim … [Read more...]

“Reach out your hand, and see what it gets you”

bartimaeus

Traditionally, as catechumens prepare for baptism in the Catholic Church, we hear three specific Gospel readings at the three Scrutiny Masses before reception of the Sacraments (John 4:1-42, John 9:1-41, and John 11:1-44).  Because my parish does two cycles of RCIA per year, I ended up hearing the story of Bartimaeus, the blind man as told in a different gospel.  On October 28th, the reading was from Mark 10:46-52 as follows: As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, B … [Read more...]

Steelmanning one of Dennett’s arguments

eucharist

This post is part of a series discussing Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell.Back in the cultural history of religion sections of the book, Dennett touches on a very powerful argument against religion.  He writes: "And here is an interesting fact: the transition between folk religion to organized religion is marked by a shift in beliefs from those with very clear, concrete consequences to those with systematically elusive consequences--paying lip service is just about the only way you can ac … [Read more...]

Help me make a hymnal for the Liturgical Party Train

God willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be received into the Catholic Church four weeks from today.  However, it just so happens that the baptism falls on the same weekend as The Game.  That means I'll be taking a night train from Boston to DC with a group of my college friends to make it back in time.Since we'll be traveling together, I thought it might be nice to say Evening Office when we board in Boston and Morning Office when we arrive in DC.  (Those are parts of the Liturgy of the Ho … [Read more...]

You Shall Know Them By Their Fruits

nerf gun

Bob Seidensticker of Cross Examined (the one who sparked the discussion of the Atheist Prayer Experiment), put up a post earlier this week titled “I Used to be an Atheist, Just Like You” where he talks about three groups of atheists. Let me quote the relevant part: Group 3. These are the well-informed atheists. They understand both sides of the ontological, teleological, cosmological, transcendental, fine-tuning, and moral arguments and more. They are at least well-educated amateurs on evo … [Read more...]


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