Archive for Didymus

No More Melting Pot!

When I was a lad, we were taught in school that the United States was a great melting pot of immigrants who settled here to embrace the American dream.  Although frequently settling in ethnic communities, they loved this country and strove to become a part of it.  Often by the second generation they had shed their native language and integrated fully into the fabric of the country.  Is that still the norm?  Perhaps with some groups it is, but I seriously question whether everyone still shares that dream.  Particularly, can large groups of Muslim immigrants embrace the cultural uniqueness of

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Oh, For Mercy’s Sake!

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, recently unveiled the logo for the Year of Mercy at the Vatican.  The New Evangelization is in big trouble. The Vatican has more magnificent, inspiring art than any place on earth.  We can now add sad, insipid, embarrassing and troubling.  My first reaction to the Year of Mercy logo was to make sure that I was not reading an article from The Onion about Woodstock Jesus.  It appears that Jesus is a stereotypical extraterrestrial with big black eyes and a chin too narrow for the rest of his

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A Joyful Pessimist

Juxtaposing the last two posts from Smokey and Timshel begs a question.  In a narcissistic country, do people actually want the government to spy on them?  That way, even the NSA will learn how absolutely fabulous they are. Memorial Day should cause us to reflect on some of the ideals of our nation.  It’s not that I don’t care deeply for this country; I love what it could have been, what it should have been, and what it was once closer to being.  I just have no realistic hope for it’s redemption.  Everyone knows the litany – murdering babies by

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The Other Shoe Is On Your Throat

“It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito.”  Solicitor General Donald Verrilli The cat peeked out of the bag at the Supreme Court hearing on whether States can set their own marriage policy.  The Administration’s Solicitor General as much as said that if the Supreme Court finds for a constitutional right to so-called homosexual marriage, religious schools that do not accept it would probably lose their tax-exempt status.  Our nominally Christian president and his administration did not start this aggressive civil war against orthodox Christianity (there have been firefights for decades),

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Prepping for the Apocalypse

The past few days I have been in Colorado to attend a relative’s receipt of a Masters Degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver.  While there, I made a stop in Colorado Springs to visit a friend.  It was a rather apocalyptic trip – I drove through a foot (seriously) of hail to reach my friend’s house.  I was trapped in the car in his driveway for 15 minutes as the hail entombed my rental car in a white and green slushy of ice mixed with leaves beaten off the adjoining tree.  We had to shovel the hail

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To Die Is Gain

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 18:3 The purpose of a blog is to get your own thoughts in front of people, whether they are particularly interesting or not.  However, some things are best left simple and unspoiled.  My comments would only detract from the eloquence here.  Read this for an example of what childlike trust in God looks like.

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Death and Laughter

This past weekend I saw a play put on by the St. Paul Seminary called Death of a Liturgist.  It was a comedy-mystery with a lot of laughs, many of which would only be funny to Catholics.  Admittedly, it was not “great art.”  But for the two hours of the performance, everyone had a terrific time watching a light-hearted production with no swearing and nothing off-color (which for many critics would probably disqualify it as art altogether).  The gathering felt like a mini-communion of small “s” Catholic saints, whose enjoyment was rooted in their affection for the Church.  Because that

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Famous Art, Bigger Myth

He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him, “Master, who is it?” (Jn 13:25) Art has a way of seeping in to our memory in such a way that we interpret other things from it’s remembered images, even when those images are false.  One example of this is Leonardo DaVinci’s approximately 520 year old Last Supper painting on the wall of the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan.  I was fortunate enough to see this some years ago, although it has been restored so many times over the centuries that I’m not sure how much,

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Rock-a-bye A.I., In The Treetop

Some folks (like these) are quite enamored of the idea of elevating things non-human to human status.  Most people make great efforts to feel “special” (often by reflexively imitating other people).  What is the attraction to declaring their own species not special?  Has atheism so darkened their reason that they think the intellectual septic tank they are drinking from is really living water? If so-called artificial intelligence were ever to be recognized by an insane world as deserving the same rights as humans, I guess that means a few things for the machines, drawing on the current legal state of affairs for

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The Paraclete says “Man Up!”

We write a lot about the difficulties facing Catholics in an increasingly evil culture, and rightly so.  Yet on this day after Easter, looking forward to Pentecost, we remember the promise of a Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, who will remain with us forever, teach us all things, and judge the world.  Where is the “power of the Paraclete” now to help me in this increasingly hostile world in which we live? Paraclete is one of those words in Scripture transliterated from the Greek without a direct English equivalent.  The verb form of the word (parakaleo) is used over 100

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