Why So Santo Subito?

santo subito-04

I am the child of two history teachers, so I grew up knowing that it was not done to study the recent past.  We need some time and distance to be able to make sense of the present and near past.  The full implications of a movement may take time to emerge, or some perspectives may take time to be heard.  In the short run, a historian focuses on preserving information (through oral histories, saving primary sources, etc) and waits to start analysis.I liked to picture a line of division swe … [Read more...]

Emotional Weapons for a More Indifferent Age


Over at the Dominicana blog, Br. Humbert pulls an interesting lesson out of a schoolboy's startled question to the Dominican friars, "Are you guys Jedis?" After running down a few of the more obvious distinctions (rosaries vs lightsabers), he gets to one of the starkest philosophical differences between the two orders: [T]here is another way in which both Stoics and Jedi find themselves at odds with Christianity—in their idea that bodily emotions, or passions, are disturbances of the soul, and t … [Read more...]

Doing the Math on ‘Our’

credo image

Melanie Bettinelli has been running a series of guest posts on the Credo for the Year of Faith.  Each week, a Catholic writer writes an essay on one phrase in the Nicene Creed.  Today, I'm up discussing "For Our Sake."  I've excepted the first few paragraphs below, but you can read the whole thing at Melanie's blog: The our in the Creed is a terrible temptation to me.When people talk about the sacrificial love of Christ, I have a tendency to start doing math. Well, if it was for all of our s … [Read more...]

“For he is like a refiner’s fire!”


Friend of the blog Scott Hebert has written an article for Patheos titled "Metaphysical Annealing: Empirical Science, Suffering, and God." Let this be the first of many theological essays that talk about local vs global optima as a way to talk about theodicy. I've skipped some of Scott's background/analogy building in my choice of blockquote, because I think the terms may already be recognizable to readers of the blog, but do pop over to see the whole thing. What is our search mechanism? Our liv … [Read more...]

Why I Am Catholic…

church interior

Patheos asked bloggers to give 200 word apologiai for their faith, so, here's my very brief attempt at why, given theism, I went with Catholicism:From Paul's original cry that "If he be not raised... your faith is in vain" to Flannery O'Connor's "Well, if [the Eucharist]'s a symbol, to hell with it!" Catholicism has resisted Invisible Dragon in the Garage Syndrome fairly well.  It’s not a religion that doesn't mind what people think, as long as they all get along  -- it's truth … [Read more...]

Does Anyone Else Pray for Fictional Characters?

Battlestar Galactica

In a Catholic Mass, the whole ritual is subdivided into two basic parts: the Liturgy of the Word (where we read parts of the Old and New Testaments) and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, where Christ offers us his Body and Blood.  During the hinge point, where we move from one part to the other, is a section called named the General Intercessions or Prayers of the Faithful where someone will read out a list of prayer intentions for the congregation.I don't quite zone out during this section, but … [Read more...]

But Aren’t Saints Dreadfully Dull?

colm valjean

Tonight I'm seeing Les Miserables for the third time (there have been various outings as people have straggled back into DC after the holidays) and, a day or so after my second viewing, I ran across David Denby's pan of the movie for The New Yorker.  Some of the criticisms are fair (the camerawork draws attention to itself in a bad way, Jackman's voice isn't as well suited to Valjean as it was to Curly, etc), but there was one plot-related criticism that I disagreed with big time.  Denby wri … [Read more...]