Friday, December 31, 2010

Here and There ...

  • "Rationing Bono & Other Gaia-Saving Ideas" - a modest proposal by Elizabeth Scalia to reduce humanity's "carbon footprint":
    Curiously, no one at these conferences ever suggests that less-draconian measures, affecting a relative minority of human beings, might be worth exploring. Beyond canceling their annual exotically-located meet-up in favor of efficient teleconferences, for instance, these people might want to take a good, hard look at the entertainment industry in general, and rock bands in particular.

    Let them start with U2 ...

  • "How to write a Hit" - Jake Tawney (Roma Locuta Est) compares and contrasts the composition of ancient and contemporary composition of liturgical music, advocating Pope Benedict's call for "the Primacy of the Word" (Verbum Domini).

  • J.C. Sanders () posts a brief review of St. Augustine's Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Love ("not as well-known as City of God or his Confessions, but nevertheless serves as a good introduction to his theology") and its discussion of free will and predestination.

  • John Hittinger (Reflections on the Philosopher Pope) surveys the thought of John Paul II on Islam, both critical and positive, in 1995's Crossing the Threshold of Hope.

  • Neo-Neocon on the life of Hitler assassination plotter Henning von Tresckow, co-conspirator in the July 1944 Hitler assassination plot that failed, led by Claus von Stauffenberg and code-named Operation Valkyrie:
    ... It is of interest that most of the Wehrmacht plotters were religious men as well as aristocrats and patriots. I believe that was of consequence; note the religious reference in Tresckow’s final words. He fought Hitler the best way he knew, and if he was a failure, he was aware that at least his gesture proved that there were some righteous people in Germany.

  • "Catherine, Merton, and Me" - Fr. Bob Wild introduces readers to his book, Compassionate Fire: The Letters of Thomas Merton & Catherine De Hueck Doherty:
    What I want to emphasize here is that it was Merton’s story, his life—not so much his spiritual insights—that started me on the monastic pilgrimage that radically changed my life. This is what attracted me about Catherine Doherty as well—her life. And she changed my life even more radically than Merton did.

    Like so many others of my generation, I first heard about Catherine in that same autobiography of Merton, but at that time in my journey she was only of passing interest. Then, after a long journey through monastic life, parish life as a priest, and movements such as Cursillo and the Charismatic Renewal, I came across her once again. ...

  • Brothers from the Bronx take on a tough Irish town - Laura Lynch covers the establishment of a monastic community in the Irish town of Limerick by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement:
    Burnt out and boarded up houses are easy to find and so is poverty. It is just the kind of place the Franciscan friars of the Renewal were looking for.

    “And we were shown this area Moyross and it seemed like a perfect place: there were burnt out houses there was graffiti on walls there dogs and horses wandering around aimlessly sometimes kids wandering around,” said Brother Shawn O’Connor. “So I said this is a good place for us to be.”

    O’Connor and four other monks opened their friary here in 2007 by converting three abandoned houses into a simple residence and chapel. Shortly before they moved in, they got a reminder of how tough the neighbourhood was.

    Two children were nearly burned to death when three teenagers firebombed the car they were sitting in. But O’Connor and the others saw a need and over the last three years they have worked hard to get to know the community. ... [more]

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer—Six Questions for Eric Metaxas - Scott Horton (Harpers) interviews the author of the new 2010 biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy:
    [B]ecause Bonhoeffer has been so consistently portrayed as a theological liberal–which he was not–it’s important for us to see the other side, and I hope I’ve shown that in my book. He is clearly horrified at the way so many at Union Theological Seminary had cavalierly dispensed with the fundamentals of the Christian faith and had created an ersatz religion in their own progressive image. He was impressed with and moved by their earnest desire to help the poor, for example, but he wondered on what basis they called any of this “Christianity.” He found their theology shallow to the point of being almost evaporated entirely. But he was equally alive to the dangers on the other side, the dangers of fundamentalism and pietism. He’s complicated, but in the best sense. He’s an equal opportunity theological critic. ...
  • Finally, I'd like to recommend an excellent video introduction to mariology, produced by the Catholic ministry, which may be of particular help to any inquiring Protestants who have found such to be a stumbling block to the Catholic faith. (HT: The Anchoress).

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