Lenten Linkfest: Includes One Actual Lent Link.

Lenten Linkfest: Includes One Actual Lent Link. March 15, 2014

Mudblood Catholic a) echoes the novel I’m working on and b) frightens me, via CS Lewis:

Of course, we’re all insufferable sometimes and to someone. I think it was C. S. Lewis who speculated that one of the disciplinary aspects of Purgatory might well be perceiving ourselves as others perceived us while on earth. Trying to see ourselves from the perspective of someone who dislikes us intensely — and perhaps not altogether unfairly — can be a salutary experience. Though it is admittedly an acquired taste.

more–and scroll down for a lovely 12th/13th-century psalm setting.

BD McClay at AmCon on “Guns, Media, And Mental Illness After Newtown”:

In the days after Newtown, a friend told me recently, she felt unsafe: “That week made me really terrified.” That was true for many Americans, of course, and by itself the sentiment might not mean much. But she had cause to feel personally threatened: as a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder, my friend was aware that the association of Newtown with mental illness could dramatically affect her life. …

As far as facts go, the [New York Times] article relies heavily on Dr. Jeffrey W. Swanson’s work in this area, and on his recommendations on gun control as part of the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy. But that list of recommendations doesn’t support the article as much as it might seem at first glance. For instance, the Consortium recommends that people who are involuntarily committed to a hospital be prohibited from possessing a gun for five years—but it also recommends the same penalty for drunk drivers. That’s because mental illness by itself doesn’t predict violent behavior (whereas alcohol abuse by itself does). The consortium’s recommendations are focused on particular patterns of behavior that seem to be good predictors of violence, only one of which (involuntary commitment) is really specific to mental illness. But that shouldn’t be surprising, because they themselves stress that “most people with serious mental illness … are never violent toward others, and are in fact more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence.”

more; she brings up but doesn’t hammer like I would on the points that a) life and tragedy are unpredictable and uncontrollable, and b) we often replace tragedies of chaos with tragedies of abuse of power.

Ross Douthat‘s final answer in this q&a with readers is right on:

In the working life of a columnist, then, probably the best way to exercise humility is in one’s choice of topics.

more (and here’s a more extreme and therefore [even] more spiritually-fruitful note from Susan Sontag.)

If you need a pick-me-up after all that, here’s a blog run by a friend of mine with recipes for Orthodox Great Lent. I’ve eaten some of her Lenten cooking and can vouch for its deliciousness. (Uh, is that bad? It’s penitentially delicious.)

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