Archive for August, 2011


“To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.”
— Flannery O’Connor
I sure wish I had heeded that when I first read it many years ago; it would have saved me a lot of heartache. Miss O’Connor also said this:
“I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing.”
I have been squinting, with this cataract, and I think she may be on to something.
I know the Church isn’t ready for it, but I sure hope Flannery O’Connor is canonized someday. She certainly bore her long debilitating illness with rare grace and courage (and wit)  and she certainly was wise.
 And hey, she could be proclaimed the patron saint of smart asses… 

Read Full Post »

One World Less

“’til that moment I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness of cutting a life short while it is in full tide. He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would gone—one mind less, one world less.”

Reflections on George Orwell’s A Hanging, from The American Conservative:


Read Full Post »

“Former Vice President Dick Cheney was given a multi-million-dollar contract to write a book about his political career. According to Cheney’s media hype, the book, called In My Time, will have “heads exploding all over Washington.” The Darth Vader of the Bush administration offers no apologies and feels no remorse. But peace activists around the country are stealthily gearing up to visit bookstores, grab a stack of books, and deposit them where they belong — the crime section.”

10 reasons why: http://original.antiwar.com/mbenjamin/2011/08/29/10-reasons-to-move-cheneys-book-to-the-crime-section/

Read Full Post »

(Thanks to Fr Gregory)

Read Full Post »

Some Week

My friends Dave and Jeannie live on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a few miles from the coast. When I called yesterday and talked to Jeannie she told me that last week had begun with an earthquake. Then, a few days later, a tornado touched down near their house. And the week ended with a hurricane blowing through!

Read Full Post »

Good Night, Irene

I talked with a friend who lives near the coast of Maryland yesterday. She and her children had left for the hurricane, while her husband stuck it out at home. There was no damage, and it turned out to be anticlimactic. They did not even lose power.

I realize that for those who are dealing with floods and power outages that this is no fun, and for those who lost loved ones this is tragic,  but compared to predictions of “the storm of the century” and images of a Katrina-like disaster in New York and DC we were spared. Deaths are apparently in the tens, not the thousands. Thanks be to God that the east coast got off so lightly, and prayers for those who have been affected by the  storm

Read Full Post »

I wrote the other day about early Fleetwood Mac, which had little in common besides the name with later incarnations of the band. This is a lovely tune by Peter Green, from his solo career:

Read Full Post »

A Remnant of Beauty

Every one of us is in the image of God, and every one of us is like a damaged icon. But if we were given an icon damaged by time, damaged by circumstances, or desecrated by human hatred, we would treat it with reverence, with tenderness, with broken-heartedness. We would not pay attention primarily to the fact that it is damaged, but to the tragedy of its being damaged. We would concentrate on what is left of its beauty, and not on what is lost of its beauty. And this is what we must learn to do with regard to each person as an individual, but also – and this is not always as easy – with regard to groups of people, whether it be a parish or a denomination, or a nation. We must learn to look, and look until we have seen the underlying beauty of this group of people. Only then can we even begin to do something to call out all the beauty that is there. Listen to other people, and whenever you discern something which sounds true, which is a revelation of harmony and beauty, emphasize it and help it to flower. Strengthen it and encourage it to live.

Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

Read Full Post »

America’s God: RIP

“More Americans may go to church than their counterparts in Europe, but the churches to which they go do little to challenge the secular presumptions that form their lives or the lives of the churches to which they go. For the church is assumed to exist to reinforce the presumption that those that go to church have done so freely.”

More, from Stanley Hauerwas (and thanks to Serge at Conservative Blog for Peace):


Read Full Post »

I wrote last week about the rooted radicals of Britain, and said it would be hard to imagine them persecuting the Church, as they loved Beauty so much. Ralph Vaughan Williams was one of these, and instrumental in the rediscovery of British folk music. A socialist and an agnostic, he nonetheless composed beautiful church music. Here is one of his hymns:

(Icon by Mother Anastasia)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »