YIMC Book Club, “Orthodoxy,” Chapter 3

Posted by Webster The honor roll of the YIMC Book Club reads as follows: Mary, Kneeling Catholic, EPG, Goodalice19, Mujerlatina, Mike, Regina, Frank & Webster (Who am I missing?) It’s been a long day, YIMC Book Clubbers! So I’m going to keep this short and turn it over to you.Chapter 3, “The Suicide of Thought”Frankly, between you and me, this overeducated Exeter boy finds Chesterton intimidating. He is so damn smart, he piles on the analogies, the metaphors, like baked… Read more

Because GK and Joan Were Both Catholics

Posted by Webster While preparing for tonight’s meeting of the YIM Catholic Book Club, I was struck by G. K. Chesterton’s appreciation for Joan of Arc in Orthodoxy, chapter 3. That Chesterton, whom I am growing to admire, could have written this about Joan, whom I have long revered, is all the proof I need that the Catholic Church is on to something.Though I have to admit it gives me pause—in a week when I’ve extolled pacifist Dorothy Day—that Joan… Read more

Thoughts on the LOTH for Today

  Replace Zion with the Church in Psalm 48 from today’s morning prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours (on-line version) and what do you get? You get down on your knees, I bet, and sing His praises. Go round Zion, see it all, count every tower. Feel its strength, visit its palaces, So that you you can tell the next generation: Here is God, our God here he remains for ever; and forever he will lead us and guide… Read more

“The Road” Revisited

Posted by Webster I don’t really want to walk another mile on this road, but I have been thinking about Jason Patterson’s thoughtful comment on my review of the new movie “The Road,” based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. I want to expand on my earlier thoughts about the film and about such films in general. This is not so much a rebuttal of what Jason wrote as my own meditation on it.Jason wrote (and you can find other comments… Read more

Because This “Road” Leads Nowhere

Posted by Webster I’ll wager that only an atheist or a child will shed a tear over “The Road,” the new film based on the Cormac McCarthy novel. Like the book, the movie describes a post-apocalyptic world so godforsaken that not only is there no Second Coming, there was never even a First. In “The Road,” God isn’t dead; He was never born. The story is grim and uniformly gray. A father (Viggo Mortensen) and preteen son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander… Read more

To Be Frank, Part 2, “A Change of Course Thanks to Blaise Pascal”

Posted by Frank I left off last time with the prospect of broadening my mind with the great works of Western thought in the Harvard Classic Five-Foot Shelf of Books (HCFFSB). I was ready to wade into the deep valleys and high pinnacles of the works that molded Western civilization as we know it today. But where to start? I looked over the choices by scanning the titles embossed in gold lettering on the spines of the volumes. I wasn’t… Read more

So That a Bunch of Nine-Year-Olds Can Be Reconciled With God

Posted by WebsterWhen I told my father that I was converting to Catholicism, he said, “My Methodist mother would roll over in her grave.” Five minutes later, he said, “There are some things in my life that I am deeply ashamed of, and I haven’t even told your mother about them.” My mother was sitting at the table with us as he spoke.I’m not giving away any family secrets here. Everyone in the world has things they’re ashamed of. If… Read more

Because of the Church’s Position on War III

Posted by WebsterI’ve outlined the teaching of the Catechism on “just war”; I’ve presented the pacifist case, represented by Dorothy Day and effectively endorsed by CCC 2304–2306. I’d like to return to a homily by St. John Chrysostom that I quoted on Thanksgiving Day, while throwing a bouquet to a man who combined aggression and pacifism in a historic way, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (pictured here).The homily, on Matthew, makes an odd proposal: Be a sheep, not a wolf, it… Read more

Because of Half-Baked Thoughts Like These

I like to learn new words. It is a strange thing for a guy to admit maybe, but it’s true. My Mom turned me on to Anu Garg’s A.Word.A.Day web service when we moved back to my hometown in the summer of 2005. Mom knows I love to read, and she loves to play the board game SCRABBLE. Heck, all of her kids love to play that game! We used to have tournaments in an attempt to beat her at… Read more

Because This May Be My Last Mass

Gulp . . . My eyes water, and I get a lump in my throat just looking at this photograph. That is Our Lord on Iwo Jima, and a priest providing comfort and solace to the sheep of His flock. Young Marines in a crazy, mixed-up, madhouse of a world with death staring them right in the face. Death from a thousand angles, at any second, in diverse manners and forms, all of which are horrible. How do they do… Read more