Oh, the Farmer and the Blogger Should Be Friends

isidore

Last month, I did a pretty terrible job trying to pick a saint for the month and try to expand my understanding of the Communion of Saints.  I really do rely on getting to know Saints (and anyone, honestly) through text, so it was hard for me to build up any rapport with St Andrew Corsini or to think of him at all without something to read.But, as Advent begins again, I'm trying again, and this time Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator assigned me St. Isidore. The Farmer.  In the middle of the wint … [Read more...]

Seeing through the Cloud of Saints

comm_of_saints1

Writing about Douglas Hofstadter's Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking reminded me of one of the reasons I so like the Communion of Saints in the Catholic Church.  We are all called to be Christ-like, but that exhortation is a little, well, enormous for me to wrap my head around on any given day.  The scale of Christ's goodness is hard for me to think about without drifting into abstraction.But the Saints are holy men and women who seem a little closer to my day to … [Read more...]

A Saint for this Season

corsini

Yesterday, I had a lot of trouble making it to church for the Feast of All Saints.  All Saint's Day is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics, and it's the feast of all those in the Church Triumphant -- all the saints, recognized on earth through canonization and those unknown to us, but sharing in the beatific vision.Unfortunately, as I'm in a more rural area teaching at a work event, we had to deal with poorly-marked, poorly-lit signs, and spotty GPS to get there.  Around the third time we … [Read more...]

When Coming of Age Feels Like Farewell…

frasier bar mitzvah

Since I grew up on Long Island, there were Bar and Bat Mitzvahs pretty much every weekend in seventh grade.  (No, although I'm descended from Jews on the correct side, I did not have one).  So I was interested in an article in The New York Times about the way the Union for Reform Judaism is experimenting with the ritual and the study that leads up to it.A cursory primer for the goyim: Bar/Bat Mitzvahs mark the transition to adulthood and take place at age 13.  For example, after a bar mit … [Read more...]

Palms Transfigured Into Ashes

PALM CROSSES

Today's the day that everyone lists what they gave up for Lent (I'm taking on time for lectio divina and giving up going to bed after 1am), but , for me, the more moving sacrifice happened this weekend, on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time.I changed my mind about Christianity the night before Palm Sunday last year, so I've never experienced Ash Wednesday as a believer before.  The first Mass I went to as a Christian was the jubilant Palm Sunday, the welcoming of Christ into Jerusalem and the b … [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...]


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