Archive for April, 2005

Funny, sad, or really really frightening?

April 30th, 2005 No comments

An email exchange regarding the above (4/29/05) Day by Day strip:

Z: Funny, sad, or really really frightening?

M: They like to know where at least *one* of the other guy’s hands is.


April 28th, 2005 No comments

Not something one hears much about as an Episcopalian these days … I think the highest ethic that can be eeked out is

  • Be “respectful” (be nice about using one another for pleasure)
  • Be “responsible” (condoms and contraceptives)
  • And above all, DON’T BE “JUDGEMENTAL”!!!! (meaning, thinking that there are moral standards for sex beyond the previous two)

[Apolgies to the brave exceptions fighting the good fight for sexual sanity within the ECUSA these days …]

Dawn Eden has a very nice meditation on the meaning of chastity,
The Innocence Mission.


Appetite for Destruction
Reform School, Why I Oughta, Meals on Heels

[This was going to be part of a longer post, where I quoted Dawn more extensively to show how excellently witty and insightful she is, and tried to put some insight of my own into it. Sadly, it has languished in my ‘Drafts’ folder for far too long. So, this is just going to be a plug for Dawn’s blog with some older links. Go, read — she does good work.]

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:


April 22nd, 2005 No comments

God bless you and keep you, Benedict XVI. “Be not afraid!”

Categories: Catholic Tags:

Unitarian Jihad!

April 15th, 2005 No comments

“No one expects the Unitarian Inquisition!”

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Jackhammer of Quiet Reflection.

Get yours.

Of course, there’s already a faction, the Popular People’s Front First Reformed Unitarian Jihad Name generator, according to which:

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother/Sister Quarterstaff of Contemplation.

What’s yours?

I really like “Brother Jackhammer of Quiet Reflection” …

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Tax Day Thought

April 15th, 2005 No comments

Wouldn’t it just be simpler and cheaper to give a tenth of my crops to the Church and a third to the Lord of the manor?

(OK, so the taxes and obligations on medieval serfs weren’t quite that simple …)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

"Is Apologetics Pointless?"

April 12th, 2005 No comments

asks Fr. Sibley.

My response:

Don’t discount the value of apologetics. It will never be sufficient apart from a lived life of love in Christ, but it can be a powerful tool.

Take it from someone who is coming from the “other side” — as a “fundamentalist” Protestant, I was raised (a) with a profound ignorance of Church history, and (b) impressed with the meme that “Catholicism is un-Biblical”.

So, the viewpoint is that where Protestants differ from each other, it is because we interpret the Bible differently. Where Protestants differ from Catholics, it is because we follow the Bible and they do not. :-/

It can be a worldview-shaking thing, then, when one finally encounters the (too-rare) Catholic who knows, not just the content of the Church’s teaching, but why the Church teaches what she does, and can match with “chapter and verse” (Matthew 16:18! Isaiah 22:15-24! 2 Thess. 3:6!). It’s like meeting a unicorn or gryphon or faerie — such creatures are not supposed to exist!

Writers like Mark Shea, Steve Ray, and Scott Hahn do a tremendous service here — by knowing the “chapter and verse” and being able to translate Catholic teaching into “evangelical-ese” so that it is comprehensible.

And yes, you will find that it is more often than not water off a duck’s back. And even with those who have “ears to hear”, it is likely to be a slow process — I’ve been “apologized” to for lo, these ten to fifteen years now, and I still, though I’ve moved much closer theologically and philosophically to Rome, have not swum the Tiber.


Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Farewell to John Paul

April 5th, 2005 No comments

I am sure I don’t have anything profound to offer on the death of His Holiness John Paul II, other than my profound sorrow and sense of loss. I have known intellectually that he too, is but mortal flesh, and wouldn’t be with us forever, it still hurts to see him go.

Like so many others, John Paul II is the only Pope I’ve really “known.” I don’t remember if I even knew there was such a thing as a “Pope” until the media coverage of the death of Paul VI and the election of John Paul I.

Things John Paul II has done for me:

  • That whole “downfall of communism” business is pretty big — I am forgetting what it was like to live under the threat of The Bombâ„¢ and total annihilation at the hands of the Soviets. My children will never know, in their bones, what that feels like, praise God.
  • He made me rethink the ordination of women (along with many other things) with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. What struck me most was the humility of this letter; the gentle insistance that “Jesus did it this way, He surely had His reasons and the Church and I don’t really have the authority to go changing around things that He and the Apostles set up.” A far cry from the “Popes just get to make up whatever doctrines they want” caricature of Papal Infallibility that I had been fed. Also, a refreshing change from the ECUSA false prophets of “God is doing a new thing.”
  • In his entire life as Pontiff — his travels, his preaching, his actions — he made Catholicism … thinkable. Something which would have been, well, unthinkable in my teens (and still is, to most of my family).

God bless you and keep you, Holy Father. Rest well after your labors. And keep praying for us.

Categories: Catholic Tags:

The Sullen Labor That Perfects Hell

April 1st, 2005 No comments

Last fall, I found that some words from Wendell Berry expressed how I felt about the murder of children at Beslan.

Today, The Morning’s News is the completion of the murder of Terri Schiavo, and the words are fresh again:


And I am sickened by complicity in my race.

To kill in hot savagery like a beast

is understandable. It is forgivable and curable.

But to kill by design, deliberately, without wrath,

that is the sullen labor that perfects Hell.


The morning's news drives sleep out of the head

at night. Uselessness and horror hold the eyes

open to the dark. Weary, we lie awake

in the agony of the old giving birth to the new

without assurance that the new will be better.

I look at my son, whose eyes are like a young god's,

they are so open to the world.

I look at my sloping fields now turning

green with the young grass of April. What must I do

to go free? I think I must put on

a deathlier knowledge, and prepare to die

rather than enter into the design of man's hate...

— Wendell Berry, The Morning’s News, from Farming: A Handbook

God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
God have mercy.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: