Archives for April 2014

“Et Post Dies Octo…”


After eight days, the room begins to stink,
Our sweat and fetid flesh a single stench
That gives no quarter to speak or even think
Beyond this tomb. Our teeth and fingers clench
Around contending bones of fact. One link
Remains. She rests upon a mantled bench
In silence. Thomas murmurs, “Dead! No more
Alive than fish that rot upon the shore!”

The seven sins were baying at the door
And through them hissed a slinking doubt;
There’s naught – not even fishing anymore –
To occupy our hearts and heads. We can’t go out;
We loath to show a soul our faces, flout
The laws, the priests. To flee Jerusalem,
We pay with fear to rent this upper room.

“The six days of creation” – Thomas fumes
Suspicion – “has that time now taken place?
But two more days than that have passed!” Presumed
To be upon an errand, no trace
Or word all week, now returned, exhumes
His doubt and doubles down with furrowed face

And five fingers knit within his hair, held
Dissembling without purpose. “Jesus! What
Would he have us do?” The tears shimmered – welled
Within his eyes. In sudden heat he spat,
“No – let doubt make wounds again of each cut.”

These four wounds – bled out – gaped with candle flame
The following dawn – and Thomas too awoke
To take as truth what blessed the heart he broke
And, crumb by crumb, he gave away in shame.

“For three days, the corpse of Lazarus spoke
In silence all that death could not attest.
My Lord, my God, what fire your ashes stoke!

“In twinned apocalypse of east and west,
Once dark broke my fast, thy light became my feast!”



The State of Washington giveth, the State of Washington taketh away


I Sing the [Theology of the] Body Electric [Extended]

Attention, Korrektiv Summer Reading Klub! Friend of Korrektiv IC done went and wrote a book!

124037-0a5dd56f0c52428590835609fe4d030aSigned copies here. Unsigned copies (plus excerpt) here. Amazonian copies here. Rally, Korrektiv, rally!

Pope John Paul II expected theologians to expand their insights of the 129 lectures given during his Wednesday audiences in St. Peter’s Square and Paul VI Audience Hall between September 1979 and November 1984. However, his integrated vision of the human person — body, soul, and spirit — has rarely gone beyond the popular topics of moral theology associated with sexuality and marriage.

Now, Susan Windley-Daoust, a passionate enthusiast of the theology of John Paul II, devoted spiritual director, and popular Assistant Professor of Theology at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, extends the Theology of the Body to what it means to be human during the experiences of childbirth, impairment, and dying. Are there spiritual signs in these bodily events that are central to the human experience? Oh yes! And the signs mysteriously and wonderfully point to God.

Easter (Sort of) Funnies


Death Spam

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 1.33.03 PMDear Internet, please do not send me any more virtual headstone design links. Thank you. That is all.

Monkey marginalia.

Happy Earth Day from Wal-Mart


Note from yesterday’s homily.

IMG_20140420_105716“Faith is being face to face in the dark.”

More variations on a(n Angelic(o)) theme

IMG_20140420_114814From the Laudamus Triduum Missal, illustrations by Daniel Mitsui.

Variations on a(n Angelic(o)) Theme

discesa-al-limbo_EI saw many wonderful things on my 2008 Roman Holiday. But this, on the wall of the 4th-century church sandwiched between a pagan temple to Minvera below and the more recent Basilica of St. Clement above, has stayed with me more than most.

Illiberal Catholics revisited


Back a bit ago, Quin exchanged his transit authority for another sort of moving target.

After some digging around, I found that Zmirak’s original piece was followed up by another more recent.

Then I found that there were a number of responses, hither and yon.

Then, if you start following the links flourishing from Zmirak’s follow-up, that there are plenty of responses to the responses.

BONUS: We were mentioned as part of the conversation here (although the author misses the fact that Kiercegaard is spelled with two K’s…)

Technology is driving us apart…

…and it isn’t just Facebook!

IMG_20140415_143644Better technology means that you can handle heavy hogs without assistance. Who needs neighbors when you can have gadgets? Gone are the pesky days of community gatherings! Hello, private time! Taken from Rolfe Cobleigh’s Handy Farm Devices, published 1909 by Orange Judd Company.

There be dragons…


…but they’re really, really small, so it’s okay. Second Son made this one.

Your do be on a while in or on par


Does this apply to all restrooms everywhere?


of Reruns of Reruns of Reruns of Reruns of Reruns of Reruns of Reruns of Reruns of Reruns of Reruns of


‘What else is there?’

Frames from Mad Men Episode 5.8, 'Lady Lazarus'

Frames from Mad Men Season 5, Episode 8, ‘Lady Lazarus’

Last season […] I was showing that the culture [of the United States in 1968] was like Don. It was carnal, it was anxious, it was having a huge self-confidence problem… And now [in Season Seven] I want to look at the material and immaterial world. Things that are of this world — ambition, success, money, and time to some degree — and the contrast of what we can’t see, the spiritual, the internal life… When your needs are met, when you have a roof over your head[…] and at a certain point those needs are met, what else is there?

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner on the show’s seventh (and final) season, which premieres this Sunday night; interview with dated April 7, 2014; emphasis added.



You’re born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts. But I never forget. I’m living like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one.

–Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, Season 1, Episode 1 (‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’)



Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.

–Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, Season 1, Episode 1 (‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’)



You’re happy because you’re successful… for now.  But what is happiness?  It’s a moment before you need more happiness.

–Andre Jacquemetton & Maria Jacquemetton, Mad Men, Season 5, Episode 12 (‘Commissions and Fees’)



What are the events in life? It’s like, you see a door. The first time you come to it, you say, ‘Oh, what’s on the other side of the door?’ Then you open a few doors and then you say, ‘I think I want to go over a bridge this time. I’m tired of doors.’ Finally you go through one of these things, and you come out the other side, and you realize that’s all there are: doors! And windows and bridges and gates. And they all open the same way. And they all close behind you. Look, life is supposed to be a path, and you go along, and these things happen to you, and they’re supposed to change your direction, but it turns out that’s not true.  Turns out the experiences are nothing. They’re just some pennies you pick up off the floor, stick in your pocket, and you’re just going in a straight line to you-know-where.

–Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, Season 6, Episode 1 (‘The Doorway, Part 1’)



I remember the first time I was a pallbearer. […] I remember thinking, ‘They’re letting me carry the box, they’re letting me be this close to it, they re not hiding anything from me now.’ And then I looked over and I saw all the old people waiting together by the grave and I remember thinking I… I just moved up a notch.


Jesus, Rachel, this is it. This is all there is, and I feel like it’s slipping through my fingers like a handful of sand. This is it. This is all there is.

–Bridget Bedard and Andre Jacquemetton & Maria Jacquemetton and Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, Season 1, Episode 10 (‘Long Weekend’)


What, after all, is the use of not having cancer, cirrhosis, and such, if a man comes home from work every day at five-thirty to the exurbs of Montclair or Memphis and there is the grass growing and the little family looking not quite at him but just past the side of his head, and there’s Cronkite on the tube and the smell of pot roast in the living room, and inside the house and outside in the pretty exurb has settled the noxious particles and the sadness of the old dying Western World, and him thinking: Jesus, is this it? Listening to Cronkite and the grass growing?

–Walker Percy, ‘Bourbon’, Esquire 84 (December 1975): pp. 148-149; collected in Signposts in a Strange Land