Archive for April 19th, 2011

Over a hundred years ago, Chesterton wrote, “The mere strain of modern life is unbearable; and in it even the things that men do desire may break down; marriage and fair ownership and worship and the mysterious worth of man.” These normal things that Chesterton prophetically defended are the same things defended by the Catholic Church. It is no secret, of course, that the Church has defended the freedom to worship, the right to life, and traditional marriage. But there is a fourth thing on Chesterton’s list: fair ownership. This fourth thing is found in Catholic Social Teaching. In fact, that’s where Chesterton found it.

From The Distributist Review:


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I am  not a libertarian, nor even a conservative, but this man makes more sense than anyone from the  mainstream:

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Karol Wojtyla himself was an extraordinary witness who, through his devotion, heroic efforts, long suffering and death, communicated the powerful message of the Gospel to the men and women of our day. A great part of the success of his message is due to the fact that he has been surrounded by a tremendous cloud of witnesses who stood by him and strengthened him throughout his life. For John Paul II, the call to holiness excludes no one; it is not the privilege of a spiritual elite.


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Icon, Delayed

I mentioned at the beginning of Lent that I was starting an icon of the Mother of God of the Sign. At first glance this would seem an odd choice for Lenten iconography, but when one reflects that the task at hand is to more fully recover the image of Christ within such an incarnational theme made sense.

There are times when I am painting/writing an icon that every brushstroke flows, when the image emerges from the darkness like light dawning at daybreak.

This was not one of those icons. At just about every step I encountered problems, made mistakes. I did the faces three times; at one of the very final steps I bogged down. And then I messed up the halo line for the Christ Child and had to redo that as well. While I have said that nothing one can do in iconography is irreparable, this icon challenged that assertion. Interestingly, I have never completed the Mother of God of the Sign icon. I have tried to paint it three times, and every time I ended up setting it aside. Once I ended up floating it down the river, one of the three acceptable ways to dispose of an icon one has given up on (the others are burying it or burning it).

I was discouraged by this, and then this morning the icon took a dramatic turn for the worse. My two year old, for a moment unsupervised, repainted the whole thing, with huge amounts of red paint smeared all over the icon.

I ran water over it, and wiped it off. It is probably repairable, but I think I am simply going to start over.

It is almost a relief at this point, though the person who commissioned the icon will be disappointed.

And I am disappointed; Lent is over and I have no finished icon to show for it, like I had planned.

Other than that, I have had a good Lent….

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The bishop has said repeatedly that the campaign carried out by U.S., French and British bombers to establish a “no-fly zone” meant to stop government aircraft from attacking rebels is not useful in resolving Libyan hostilities. The result, he said, has been casualties and devastation among the civil population.


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