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Equality

Most years, the last week of Advent finds my family scrambling to finish the Christmas preparations. This year, it looks like everything will be in order an hour or two after Christmas Midnight Mass, which is to say, more or less on time. My scramble this year is doubly hectic. For the past few years, I have given a few family members knitted presents. I usually start Christmas knitting in early November, but since November was pretty ... (Continue reading)

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Religious Environmentalism and Population Control

Seems like those who give their hearts and souls to environmentalism are the only canonized saints these days: those who fight the good fight for mother earth by religiously performing the rituals of recycling, reducing, reusing, composting, eating only local organic food, having urban gardens, organizing CSAs, etc. Seems to me they've misplaced their faith—living solely by human standards instead of God’s. I’m definitely not saying that all manner of "saving the earth" is intrinsically evil or against the teachings of the ... (Continue reading)

Waiting and Knitting and Hoping

About twelve years ago, I learned how to knit. I learned the basics and then set it aside for a few years. Eventually, I took it up again and became a pretty good knitter. Knitting is a remarkably useful skill. Keeping your hands busy is good for focusing, whether on schoolwork or prayers, and it means that even watching TV is not a totally useless activity. If civilization crashed and burned, I could still have a nice pair of warm socks ... (Continue reading)

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Catholic marriage: you’re worth it.

A few days ago, one of my fellow bloggers posted an article entitled, “Marry that virtuous Atheist!” I respect Mary’s opinion—but I think she is dead wrong. And my reasons are based on Church teaching and logic. The belief that you can marry an atheist and be happy is based on hope—hope that your atheist spouse will eventually convert and espouse your faith. This is true and it can happen; anything is possible with God and with prayer. St. Monica ... (Continue reading)

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Always rejoice

There is something about whining and complaining that’s utterly depressing, isn't there? Not only does it bring you down, it drags down everyone else around you and then keeps your mind firmly planted in the fields of annoyance, jealousy, envy, and disdain. Even if you wanted to see the goodness and loveliness in life, you won't—or can't—because complaining fills your world with drear. It’s the perfect buzz-kill. Any joy within a 20-mile radius is slaughtered and left for dead. A confessor once told ... (Continue reading)

Ideas incarnate

A few weeks ago I began the gargantuan task of liberating my family’s books. They were jailed several years ago when we began traveling full time. Books have to be looked after and, with the house empty ten months out of the year, they just wouldn’t be safe on their own. So we tearfully locked them up in boxes, selecting only two hundred or so of them to come exploring with us. This year, we expect more frequent visits to the ... (Continue reading)

Argo: Hollywood gets the hostage treatment

R for some language and violent images Warner Bros. Pictures Directed by Ben Affleck Cast: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber, John Goodman Screenplay: Chris Terrio Ben Affleck’s Argo—his third directorial outing—is a timely tale with all the edge and suspense one would expect of a political thriller, but with the added bonus of having been inspired by real events. It is by no means a documentary, however. It’s a story filled with taught suspense derived not so much from car chases, but from ... (Continue reading)

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Moments of Silence Amidst Feral Dogs

Greece

Last autumn I was in Greece. I spent three months living on the Peloponnese, retreating from the world as I knew it, wandering through olive groves inhabited by feral dogs and bearded, disturbingly terrifying goats. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was one of the best decisions of my life and one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I had intended to make my little cottage a home base for all sorts of Grecian travels. ... (Continue reading)

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Whom do you serve?

At the back of our parish there is a poster with two pictures on it. The first picture is of a computer/TV screen and the second is of a monstrance, with the words “Whom do you worship?” in bold script underneath. We’re standing on the threshold of Advent 2012—one liturgical year coming to a close and another beginning—and I think it so fitting that the Church wraps up the liturgical year with a celebration of Jesus Christ the King. There ... (Continue reading)

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True love

Each year between January and March, my family moves out into the wide world. Some of us go to college, others go to work, and the rest of us fall into the travel plans wherever we might be useful. Then, usually sometime in November, my family returns from our travels across the country and hops back into life as one big happy family in Alabama. My dad and my brother-in-law both work jobs that require a lot of travel in ... (Continue reading)

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