Lots and lots of linkage!
Appealing to the geek within has always been the Church’s secret strength, her best-kept secret. Holy cards existed long before Star Wars cards, and enthusiasts were collecting — and in many cases, manufacturing — relics long before the first autograph books appeared. To those unmoved by the mundane, the everyday, the merely normal, the Church has offered no end of things loftier, weirder, and exquisite in their intricacy.
Protestants in general, and fundamentalists in particular, would claim to have de-geeked religion. Relics, culti of saints — superstition. Canon Law — Roman tyranny. To them I say, let us know when you find Noah’s Ark, guys.
(One of the best things about the Anchoress’s trip to Rome is Max Lindemann’s landing a permanent gig at Patheos!)
Okay, so perhaps I overuse the em-dash. But abusus non tollit usus, right?
Archbishop Chaput on “The Rite” (skip the movie but do read the book, it’s very good):
Most people don’t need an exorcist. They need a good doctor or counselor, and a better prayer life….
We were delivered from an Adversary who thrives on sorrow, cynicism and hate.
The older I get, the more ashamed I am of snarking. From Mark Shea’s commentary on the X-Cons:
[O]ne of the more tragic aspects of X-Conservatism [is] that irony and sarcasm are forms of humor that are native to the wounded, powerless and those with waning or no hope. (And yes, I am self-aware enough to know that I make use of them.) The tradition (like paganism and Judaism before it) holds out heroes for us to admire and emulate. It does not tell us they were perfect, but it does urge us to emulate, not perpetually deconstruct, their heroism. Looking for clay feet first and making it one’s especial boast, rather than seeing the ways in which clay men and women have overcome their sins and done great things, is a form of cowardice and a refusal of faith, hope and love. A life embracing irony as a good, rather than as a sort of spiritual limp that is compensating for pain, is a life that refuses to take the chance of love and having your heart broken. Flippancy, as Uncle Screwtape warns, is one of the finest forms of armor plating against love that Hell has produced. It’s understandable, of course, since X-Cons bear such deep wounds from Generation Narcissus. But it’s still something this generation will have to face and overcome (and will, by the grace of God).
“Be patient, for everyone you know is fighting a great battle”
(HT: Kathleen Hockey)
Signal graces in unexpected places: “That was the vocation confirmation for me,” he said. “I was hanging upside down and eating M&Ms in zero gravity and knew that there was something else I was being called to do.” (HT: Suburban Banshee)
(but it would have been even cuter with puppies!)
Three Degrading Influences and How to Overcome Them
And finally, for now: every apologist on the blogosphere’s been linking to the Brandenburg, so here’s the Vivaldi for your listening pleasure: