Archive for January, 2007

“Oration 40” concludes with more stirring words on Baptism (and some great stuff about the Holy Trinity) by this great bishop and patriarch of Constantinople, also known as “St. Gregory the Theologian”. In a time of dissension and trouble, he stood up to everyone including the Emperor, continuing to tell the truth about God despite everything. So he’s not just saying pretty words here.

“If your heart is written upon in some other way than as my teaching demands, come and have the writing changed; I am no unskilled calligrapher of these truths. I write that which is written upon my own heart; and I teach that which I have been taught, and have kept from the beginning, up to these white hairs.”

Part 3


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Pastoral Care continues, with helpful hints on how to admonish both gluttonous people and people who are always abstaining and fasting. Interesting stuff on the spiritual and moral problems commonly associated with each kind of behavior.

Book 3, Chapter 19


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Against Heresies continues, as St. Irenaeus emphasizes the connectedness of the Old and New Testaments.

Chapters 10-12


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“The Devolutionist” continues, as we learn that something is rotten in the solar system of Capella.

Chapter 5: Capella’s Daughter and Chapter 6: The World’s Bosses


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The Lani People continues, as our young veterinarian of the future starts his rather unique new job.

Chapter 3


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Cabbages and Kings continues, as President Losada makes an ill-omened return to Coralio.

Chapter 16: Rouge et Noir


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From the March 1921 issue of The Bookman, here’s a fun little article on trying to interview G.K. Chesterton. How the writers of the 1920’s would have enjoyed blogs!

“Murray Hill Sees Mr. Chesterton”


Next week, the sequel article!

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The Ascent of Mount Carmel continues, with reasons why you shouldn’t put all your joy into supernatural good (that’s not God). This is a very cogent chapter for anyone who has charismatic gifts, and very interesting for the rest of us. Again, the saint’s not saying this stuff’s bad; he had some of these gifts himself. He’s just saying that the gifts are given by God to be used for others, and only at such times and in such ways as God pleases. They’re not given to folks so they can play with them, get attention, or spend their time thinking, “Wow, I’m so cool and holy. Yay me.”

*Maureen thinks about writing, “Fortunately, I’m not likely to ever have to deal with this sort of problem”, but decides that’s a Bad Idea. The Holy Spirit has a sense of humor.*

Book 3, Chapters 30-32


Btw, WordPress has introduced a new mp3 player we can put in our blog posts. Let’s see if this works:

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Blog Announcement

Lent is coming up. The Ascent of Mount Carmel will come to an end right before Lent. I think I’ll be taking a break before I go on with The Dark Night of the Soul, though. No one writer speaks to everyone, even a great Doctor of the Church, and I want to have things of interest to everyone.

I’m also going to start The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton this week. It’s not obscure or anything, but the book certainly is good spiritual reading. The idea is that I’ll try to finish the first half, on the state of humanity, before Lent. Then I can do the six chapters about Christ during the six weeks of Lent. (Subject to reassessment due to time, chance, throat problems, etc.) Later on this year, I’d like to hit up his books on St. Francis of Assisi and St. Thomas Aquinas. (Heck, St. Francis would probably be a good one for Eastertide. But we’ll see how that goes.)

I would like to read: some St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Thomas More’s thing about comfort in time of tribulation, Newman’s Development of Doctrine, and some other stuff as well. I feel that I’ve only scratched the surface of the public domain stuff out there which deserves wider circulation. I would really like to read more Catholic fiction and other forms of literature, too.

Gerusalemme Liberata and Belloc keep reminding me that I haven’t finished with them, either. Belloc I haven’t decided about. But I will probably move Gerusalemme into the Monday slot as soon as Cabbages and Kings is done (which should be soon), since I have only six books left and there are six weeks of Lent.  Allowing for extra large chapters, the whole thing should fit there just fine.

After Lent, I hope to start “Musical Mondays”, doing literature which has inspired operas and musicals. (Which Gerusalemme did, so that counts.) Yes, I am insane. But I also have been meaning to read The Girl of the Golden West since this podcast began. Belasco and Puccini wills it! (And honestly, if you know the backstory (which didn’t need to be in the opera, because the contemporary audience had seen Belasco’s popular play and read his novel), the opera makes much more sense. Also, David Belasco made his money as a great American theater producer, but he grew up in a California mining camp and wrote the novel from his memories of that world. In many ways, it’s a slap at the dime novel picture of the West.

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Fatherless Fanny continues, as Fanny learns about Colonel Ross’ plans, and Amelia prepares to counter them.

Chapter 17: A Tete a Tete


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The Craig Kennedy detective stories continue with “Terror in the Air”. This story melds pre-WWI science fiction (with technology which didn’t quite work out how the author thought it would) and a pretty clever mystery.

“Terror in the Air”


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The Nebuly Coat continues, as the bells ring out over the town of Cullerne for the first time since the interrupted peal.

Chapter 19


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Oration 40 continues talking about Baptism, and gets down to the real reasons people back then used to put off Baptism, and why it’s such a great deal. He also talks some more about the why of baptizing babies (though usually done then only in danger of death), comparing it to the bris, and recommends baptism for all young children. (He thinks toddlers have pretty much reached the beginning of the age of reason, so he’s for it.) Then he talks about the obligations as well as the blessings of baptism.

“O easiness of the Covenant! This blessing may be bought by you merely for willing it. He accepts the very desire as a great price. He thirsts to be thirsted for; He gives to drink to all who desire to drink; He takes it as a kindness to be asked for the kindness.”

Part 2


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Pastoral Care continues, with more secrets of Pope Gregory’s success! This week, he discusses how to deal with the humble and the haughty, and the obstinate and the fickle — and how to get them to listen to what you say.

Chs. 17-18


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Against Heresies continues with a discussion of why Marcion was dead wrong in claiming Abraham and his descendants were excluded from the Covenant. (Did we mention that Marcion really hated the Jewish part of Christianity? Yeah, he’s the guy who tried to abolish the Old Testament and get rid of all the Jewish parts of the New. His Bible kinda looked like a doily….) Irenaeus goes on to declare that both the old and the mew Covenants had the same author — the Father, who is the Creator.

Book 4, Chapters 8-9


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