Archives for December 2006

Christology on Tap (from Alive and Young)


I gather up a few poems to submit
to Zzzz Magazine, put them in an envelope,
affix a stamp with first-class postage,

step out to the front porch just as
the mailman, coming from the neighbors,
cuts across the frozen tundra of my lawn,

fumbling for my mail in his bag,
rounding the corner. I meet him at
the top of the stairs, hold out

the envelope with my poems, when
it dawns on me he is the editor himself.
He takes the envelope, sniffs it,

hands it back and says, “Nope,”
and is on his way, walking down
my driveway, slipping a little on the ice.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda

Talked to this fellow a little bit ago. He asked me why I made such a public confession of my life with the little book. I gave an answer. But it wasn’t the whole answer. Why confess publicly? Because if the Christian story is to have any traction, it has to start with the fact of sinful man in need of redemption. If my story was to be any kind of witness or carry any kind of weight, it had to dig into the dirt (if only a little) and it had to have my name on it.

I got nothin’

And when you got nothin’, you go to the lists.

Heard “Urgent” on the radio yesterday. Started compiling a list of long-lived (and secretly much-loved) power ballads. “Faithfully” is perhaps the granddaddy of them all. But I’m curious as to what y’all have got.

Today in Porn, Spam Edition

Just received this piece of spam, which somehow got through my provider’s generally excellent filter:

[Subtly misspelled graphic sex act redacted]

Making the world safe for hypocrisy. Blood alone moves the wheels of history.

[Web address redacted]

Is there some principal of nature which states that we never know the quality of what we have until it is gone?
True, a little learning is a dangerous thing, but it still beats total ignorance.The educator must above all understand how to wait to reckon all effects in the light of the future, not of the present.The worst education which teaches self-denial, is better than the best which teaches everything else, and not that.


Fascinating to get a lesson on the importance of self-denial in a piece of pornspam.


A classic example of the way we prefer the penances we choose to those we must accept:

I say three Hail Marys under cold water at the end of my shower as a mortification, a tiny death-to-self. But as hard as it is to swtich from hot water to cold, how much harder to endure the gradual cooling as the hot water slowly drains away because you’ve run the tub and a bunch of laundry?


I have never been an especial fan of Dr. Laura, but I absolutely admire her for sitting down for an interview with Radar. It’s more interesting when the opposite sides discuss. Come to think of it, they did the same thing with Dawn Eden last week.


Another bit from Book Two…

It is one thing to have confidence in the intellectual tradition of the Church – that even if I cannot answer a particular question, the question has more than likely been answered by someone, somewhere – someone far wiser than myself. It is another to treat confidence in this tradition as an intellectual anesthetic, suitable for numbing a troubling doubt. Too often, I am guilty of the latter.

On the blog Plato’s Stepchild, I found this bit from Cardinal Newman: “I want a laity who know their religion and who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold, and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity. I wish you to enlarge your knowledge, to cultivate your reason, to get an insight into the relation of truth, to learn to view things as they are, to understand how faith and reason stand to each other, what are the base and principles of Catholicism.” In short, Newman wants people who are Catholic because of their learning, rather than in spite of it. It reminded me of why I envy those who have read their way into the Church, and it recalled in me that immortal line from Homer, patriarch of The Simpsons: “Lord help me, I’m just not that bright.”

Dimness isn’t the whole problem. Part of it is a perverse willingness to live with apparent contradiction…And at the very worst, I sink into what my friend Michael calls Christian Self-Hypnosis. “We can make for ourselves our own version of Plato’s cave,” he once said. “It has the trump card of eternal life, but it’s a cave, nonetheless.” We can refuse to see things as they really are; we can insist that what we see must somehow be otherwise. We can simply ignore things that don’t fit. And when perseverance in the face of doubt is held up as a virtue, it can be hard to engage the things that might weaken perseverance.

sherbet, sherbert, sorbet

The Anecdote of the Hamster Wheel

A parable for our times.

Billy Collins Animated: Forgetfulness and The Dead

Former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins reads his poems "Forgetfulness" and "The Dead" with animation by Julian Grey of Headgear and Juan Delcan of Spontaneous.

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Comic Relief

I was First-Team All-League in soccer my senior year of high school, MVP of my team. In college, I slowed down – chronic sitting will do that to a person – but I still had a little of the old mojo. I mention this to highlight the delicious humor of last night’s indoor soccer game, during which I juked a defender, broke right, started thinking about my shot, and was taken down – I mean, really taken down – by…the wall. A crafty devil, the wall. Waits for you to make a mistake, and then, POW.

It was rich. I was laughing even as I went down. It wasn’t until later, at home, my knees skinned and bleeding from the artificial turf, my jaw aching from stopping a shot with my face, that I found myself saying, “18 was a good age to be.”

Not that anybody asked…

…but if I were going to make a back-in-the-day religious movie, I’d make it about John the Baptist. Plenty of source material in Scripture, lots of conflict and drama, the issue of his rather special cousin present from the very beginning, and a great ending – finding fulfillment but losing his head (or perhaps that should be rendered, “losing his head but finding fulfillment.”) So many great scenes come to mind…

But as I say, nobody asked me. Instead, let me pass along this little morsel from Cubeland Mystic (who got it from Pauli over at Contra Crunchy):

Barbara Nicolosi penned a script about the founder of Opus Dei, and it’s in pre-production. Writes blogger (!) Deal Hudson:

“The film is being produced by my friend Heriberto Schoeffer who has signed on big-time director Roland Joffe, best known for directing ‘The Mission.’ The title of the film, thus far, is ‘The Work’ and the first draft of the screenplay was written by another friend of mine, Barbara Nicolosi. The film will dramatize the years of Escriva’s life during the Spanish Civil War.”

Or maybe y’all knew that already.

Kierkegaard and Radical Discipleship

“The central and omnipresent orientation of Søren Kierkegaard’s life-work was religious existence; he was not essentially a philosopher, a psychologist, a theologian, a social critic, or a literatus, but a teacher of Christianity (actually, a pastor, or shepherd of souls).” –Vernard Eller

The Dangers of Homeschooling

First Daughter, jumping on my back during a group wrestle:

“Time to have some fun with Uncle Dad!”

So – I guess we need to get out more.

bring, take

Your Daily Dose of Bach

Segovia, via Terry.