Archive for March, 2013

Despite My Faults and Despite My Growing Fears

March 20th, 2013 No comments
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Habemus Papam

March 13th, 2013 No comments

Well, that didn’t take very long.

The new Pope Francis has some very big shoes to fill.  For the sake of my Catholic brothers and sisters, and really, for the sake of all of who bear the name of Christ, I hope and will pray that the Holy Spirit’s strength and guidance will be strong with him.  In that spiritual and political hot-seat, he’s going to need it.

I am amused that the Conclave found a way to finesse the question “Should it be a Latin American? Or is it time for an Italian again?”

Also: First Dominican joke about the new Pope (via Mark Shea):

“Conclave locates Jesuit faithful to the Pope.”

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Movie Night

March 12th, 2013 No comments

Between the Rand Paul filibuster and the conviction of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for corruption and racketeering, it seemed a good night to (finally!) watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  It did not disappoint.

“Read Little”?

March 8th, 2013 No comments

Oh my.  It seems I’ve been doing it wrong:

We want to develop breadth of mind, to practice comparative study, to keep the horizon before us; these things cannot be done without much reading. But much and little are opposites only in the same domain. . . [M]uch is necessary in the absolute sense, because the work to be done is vast; but little, relatively to the deluge of writing that…floods our libraries and our minds nowadays. . . . What we are proscribing is the passion for reading, the uncontrolled habit, the poisoning of the mind by excess of mental food, the laziness in disguise which prefers easy familiarity with others’ thought to personal effort. . . . The passion for reading which many pride themselves on as a precious intellectual quality is in reality a defect; it differs in no wise from other passions that monopolize the soul , keep it in a state of disturbance, set it in uncertain currents and cross-currents, and exhaust its powers. . . . The mind is dulled, not fed, by inordinate reading, it is made gradually incapable of reflection and concentration, and therefore of production; it grows inwardly extroverted, if one can so express oneself, becomes the slave of its mental images, of the ebb and flow of ideas on which it has eagerly fastened its attention. This uncontrolled delight is an escape from self; it ousts the intelligence from its function and allows it merely to follow point for point the thoughts of others, to be carried along in the stream of words, developments, chapters, volumes. . . . [N]ever read when you can reflect; read only, except in moments of recreation, what concerns the purpose you are pursuing; and read little, so as not to eat up your interior silence.

— A. G. Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods

Different Economies

March 2nd, 2013 No comments

I don’t know how they balance  checkbooks in Washington, but every time I increase spending and borrowing around our place the household economy goes straight to hell. Mind you, banks need our loan interest to thrive and grow, just as corporate manufacturers need us to buy their latest products, but a certain comfort and sense of independence comes with saving, not borrowing, for one’s needs. If these needs are simple and fail to bolster the national economy, then all we can do is hope the government will muddle through without our help a while longer.

— Peter V. Fossel, Organic Farming: Everything You Need to Know
(p. 18)