Friday, October 12

I'm not sure, but I think this would qualify as "despicable.": CBS Considers WTC Comedy. Read it and weep.
The hardest part about writing the Prove It books is finding good quotes. Here's an excellent one from C.S. Lewis on petitionary and intercessory prayer:

We have long since agreed that if our prayers are granted at all they are granted from the foundation of the world. God and His acts are not in time. Intercourse between God and man occurs at particular moments for the man, but not for God. If there is—as the very concept of prayer presupposes—an adaptation between the free actions of men in prayer and the course of events, this adaptation is from the beginning inherent in the great single creative act. Our prayers are heard –don’t say “have been heard” or you are putting god into time—not only before we make them but before we are made ourselves.

Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer.

Watching Sister Wendy Beckett convince us that a wacked-up surviving lower half of an Egyptian sculpture was positively the most beautiful thing we'd ever seen on an episode of Sister Wendy's American Collection, Michael and I couldn't help but wonder why the British get nuns like Sister Wendy, and we get nuns like...Joan Chittister. Just asking.
I'm working on a variety of things these days: It's good, because it's work, but the problem lies in my apparent present inability to keep all of these writing obligations straight in my head from day to day. I think I'll blame it on the baby. I've got several OSV pieces to write: A regular book column on Tolkein, and then features on: a) heroes, b) Oprah, and c) The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen. Plus, the regular columns.

In terms of books, I have Prove It: Prayer to finish in the next few weeks, sidebars for a coffee-table book on Catholicism, then the beginnings of projects on: a) the Parables of Jesus, b) a sequel to the Loyola Kids' Book of Saints, and an Advent family devotional for Creative Communications for the Parish.

As a result, most of my reading these days is work-oriented. Reading about prayer and parables, reading about heroes.

Read about Mary for an OSV piece: Scott Hahn's latest,(which was okay in using a typological approach to demonstrating the logic and truth of Catholic Marian doctrines, but in the process leaves the human Mary behind, the Mary whom we look to because she is the first disciple, a most powerful model of faith. The strange thing about the book is that it uses the exact same cover art and almost the identical design as Meditations on Mary by Kathleen Norris, published two years ago ) plus a couple of coffee-table books, one awfully pretty, but achingly PC, full of earth mother/goddess commentary along with the Botticellis,) the other a very nice book on Marian shrines in Europe.. I did check out a novel called Quakertown from the library. I've read the first page.

The UN and its Secretary-General win the Nobel Peace Prize. A joke and a disappointment. After all, isn't it about time John Paul II gets his due, while he's alive?

Actually, the juxtaposition of the Nobel Literature winner, V.S. Naipul, and this award, are rather interesting, considering that the UN has become a center of West-hating states and movements, and Naipul made many nasty waves recently by stating, among other things, that Islam had a "calamitous effect on converted peoples".

As always, for thorough coverage of literary news, go to Moby Lives

Many observations about culpability these days. The seemingly rather simple question of "who was responsible" has, in many quarters been mucked up by the cumulative effect of a century or more of victim-making (no, it didn't just start in the Sixties. Personally, I blame Freud.) that tends to ignore real victims. A couple of observations cribbed from various places:

Ann Coulterasks:

If Islam is not responsible for terrorism, why is [an average, modern day white guy named] Vinnie responsible for slavery? I'm just trying to get the rules straight on collective guilt.

One could add - then why is Catholicism in general condemned for the Crusades or the Inquisition?

Jay Nordling tells this joke in today's National Review:

Two liberals are walking down the road, when they come upon a man in a ditch, who has been severely beaten, who is bleeding, broken, moaning, left for dead. The one liberal turns to the other and says, “We must find the people who did this. They need help.”

The Pledge returns: My son David, who's a junior at a public high school, reported that this morning, he recited the Pledge of Allegiance in school for the first time since 8th grade. Up to that point, he'd been in Catholic schools, where the Pledge is a normal part of the day - when I taught in Catholic high schools, we always recited the Pledge first thing, and all my children have had the same experience in all of the Catholic schools they've attended. David's the first to attend a public schoool, and in neither one - here in Indiana or the one down in Florida - was the Pledge recited. That just seems very strange - the Catholic schools, rejected by the government, recite the Pledge. The public schools, (at least those with which we've been involved) supported by that same government, don't.


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