Why I Stay

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Elizabeth Scalia has challenged every Catholic with some sort of internet access to write a brief piece explaining why he or she stays Catholic, instead of leaving, in the wake of a recent Pew report that suggests Catholics continue to leave the Church in steady droves. So sure, I’ll bite and freewrite from the gut, no revisions, as I’m under the gun on … Read More

A long weekend at Assumption Abbey

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One of the treasures of western North Dakota is Assumption Abbey in Richardton. It’s about an hour west of Bismarck (the way I drive, at least), making it easily accessible. I find myself spending a decent amount of time there, at least recently. Kari and I took our kids there for their open house some weeks back; I teach Bible … Read More

The Four Watches of This Night

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“But about that day or the hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Keep awake, watch; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to … Read More

Joyeux Noël

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A holiday film not for the whole family: Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) (2005/2006, French & German & English with subtitles), a great film about the WWI Christmas truce. German film really picked it up over the past 15 years, I think; still artistic but also (how else to put it?) watchable, and indeed entertaining, whether we’re talking about The Edukators or Sophie … Read More

On Measure 1

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Measure 1  would amend North Dakota’s constitution to include the following: “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.” North Dakotans will vote on this measure this coming Tuesday in the general election. The lay of the land looks like this: Pro-lifers will vote for it, while those who … Read More

C.S. Lewis, Learning in War-Time

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A sermon preached in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford, Autumn, 1939 A University is a society for the pursuit of learning. As students, you will be expected to make yourselves, or to start making yourselves, in to what the Middle Ages called clerks: into philosophers, scientists, scholars, critics, or historians. And at first sight this seems to … Read More

St. Irenaeus of Lyons

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Today is the feast of St. Irenaeus of Lyons, whom I chose as my confirmation saint when I was reconciled with the Church and confirmed Easter 2011. The father of Roman Catholic theology and a dedicated opponent of Gnostic hatred of the material order, I found him to be a saint for our times. I can do no better than … Read More

The Road to Emmaus

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My reflections on today’s Gospel, the story of the two disciples encountering the Risen Jesus on the Road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13ff, taken from my piece on allegory in Letter & Spirit 8: The most important passage for biblical allegory, however, is Luke 24:13–35, the story of the two disciples who encounter the risen Jesus on the road to … Read More

Reworking the website

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As you’ve noticed, things are once again under construction here. I’m moving hosting and changing themes, now using Vantage, which has an inexpensive (as in donate what you want) premium version. Most stuff on the menu bar should be up and running. I had thought about letting the site expire and doing away with it, being ambivalent about social media and … Read More

RIP, Dad

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His birthday was today, November 17. He died of cancer 28 July 2008. This photo is circa 1952. He was with the 3d Armored, stationed in Heilbronn, Germany, for a while.