Member Post

 

Yes. Yes. I forgot to unclick auto renew on my credit card so I’m stuck preparing a final post for all you YouTube junkies who can’t stop googling my routines and leave me in peace. I don’t know what someone has to do to get some peace and quiet in this frenetically online, 24 hour […]

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” guest co-host Jason Bedrick and co-host Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Leon Kass, MD, the Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago. Dr. Kass describes the important pieces of wisdom and humanity people today can still learn from reading the Book of Genesis, the topic of his 2003 work, The Beginning of Wisdom. They next discuss his newest book, Founding God’s Nation: Reading Exodus, and general lessons about the Israelites that leaders, teachers, and students could use in addressing the challenges of modern life. They explore the influence of the Book of Exodus and the themes of liberation from captivity on the Civil Rights Movement, and several of its major leaders, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and what teachers and students today should learn from Exodus about deliverance from life’s hardships. Dr. Kass shares why he became interested in the Great Books, and their crucial role in helping 21st-century students receive a complete liberal arts education and lead fulfilling lives. They discuss Western education’s increasing focus on vocationally oriented and often technocratic skills at the expense of humanistic education, and why we should be concerned about it, especially in our hyper-technological era. The interview concludes with a reading from Dr. Kass’s newest book on Exodus.

Stories of the Week: Co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson discuss New York Times story on the plight of America’s nine million students in rural school districts that are underfunded, disconnected, and face myriad challenges. Pioneer Institute and other organizations submitted an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Carson v. Makin, to expand access to private and religious schools for families in Maine.

Discerning the Lord’s Voice

 

St Ignatius of Loyola, Father General of the Jesuit order, prepared a guide to help Christians distinguish the voice of God in their hearts and minds from other voices during prayer. Those others are one’s own voice (reason and imagination), the voice of the world (learned expectations and concerns), and the demonic voices which seek to confuse, isolate, embitter, and discourage. St Ignatius insightfully recognized that evil spirits attack a person differently in moments of weakness than in moments of strength. A summary of his rules can be found here

To that timeless advice, allow me to add a few further thoughts. 

Member Post

 

In the Bible, Luke 10: 25-29 says: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart […]

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Fracture and Power

 

Bishop Barron argues that totalitarian governments of the past century resulted from lack of unity in truth. To the extent that people lose interest in objective truth and prefer isolated fantasies for their own pleasures or ease, government replaces truth as the unifying authority. Control of government becomes a contest of self-interested wills rather than a contest of arguments.  

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As we approach the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States we have been subjected to the sowing of seeds of discord from our elected representative’s, and educator’s in an effort to create the new citizen. The new citizen, or if you like the new socialist man is nothing new. It has […]

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‘They Show Us How to Live’

 

On the eve of the 111th birthday of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, five Missionaries of Charity arrived in Rome from Kabul with 14 disabled Afghan children. The sisters, members of the religious community Mother Teresa founded in 1950 and lived with until her death in 1997, have run an orphanage for children since 2006 in Afghanistan. It was Italy that got them out of the country as the Taliban has taken over. – from avemariaradio.net

As Mother Teresa said; If you cannot feed many, then just feed one.

Monsieur Vincent Reviewed in a Time of Covid

 

Monsieur Vincent and the girl

Monsieur Vincent and the girl

Monsieur Vincent is set in a time of spiritual blight and was produced in a time of spiritual blight. A French film from a “text” by Jean Anouilh, the playwright of Antigone, Becket ou l’Honneur de Dieu, and many, many more that are out of print. I found audiobooks of Antigone and Becket from LA Theater Works and snapped them up instantly, but it is bizarre that Anouilh has fallen out of print. There was a controversy at the time stemming from the production of Antigone under the Vichy government combined with the sympathetic treatment of Creon the pragmatic tyrant vis a vis Antigone the idealist that in the trauma and carnage of the just defeated Nazi occupation led no less a figure than President Charles de Gaulle to publicly express concern about Anouilh’s politics. But that is not why I asked you here. Leave it at, Anouilh was a much too fascinating to ignore like this and is expert in the juxtaposition of philosophies in conflict. Even as he tries to avoid the pointy end of the passions of the day.

Let me start over. Monsieur Vincent is set in a time of spiritual blight. He was ordained in 1600 and, according to the movie, at least, the Church was at a low ebb. It is 1617 and M. Vincent is bound for Chatillon, a town where no one is on the street, but there are rocks thrown at our hero from various doors and windows. He comes to a ruined church with squatters. It has been many years since a priest has held mass in the town. Vincent continues to the house of M. Benier, who is holding a grand orgy but will not grant Vincent entrance because “these idiots could let the plague into my house.” M. Benier has arranged for the Church to send a priest, Vincent as it happens to turn out, to improve the spiritual climate in Chatillon. Or something. The servants cover their faces and cower while allowing Vincent in at Benier’s command.  

It is Not Beyond My Reach

 

Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not in the heavens, that you should say, ‘Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?’  No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it. (Deut. 30:11)  –Moses

Ever since @iwe pointed out this paragraph to me (which I had only glanced over in the past), I have been in love with it. It speaks so much to my own experience, my own realization about my faith, and the accessibility that I feel toward Judaism and G-d, that it resonates in my heart.

Quote of the Day: When Can Christians Disobey the Government?

 

Awhile back I posted my own intro to “An unjust law is no law at all” from Aquinas and Augustine. In the relevant passage of the Summa Theologiae, Aquinas gives some guidelines on resisting unjust governmental decrees. There’s probably a lot more somewhere else in Aquinas, but do I look like I have that kind of time?

Fortunately, a blog called Protestant Post had the time to put together a solid analysis of the question “When Can Christians Disobey the Government?”  The methodology of reasoning inductively from the Bible looks good to me, and I didn’t notice anything in the conclusions that seemed off.  (Well, maybe one thing, but it seems relatively minor.)

Member Post

 

Click here to listen to the podcast On this episode of the Resistance Library Podcast, Sam and Dave discuss the subtle differences between “freedom” vs. “liberty.” The terms “freedom” and “liberty” have become clichés in modern political parlance. Because these words are invoked so much by politicians and their ilk, their meanings are almost synonymous […]

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Finding a Scapegoat

 

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 12:24)

I read an article in the LA Times op-ed section written by an emergency room doctor. The headline was “I am running out of compassion for the unvaccinated. Get the shot.” I am not going to discuss the pros and cons of getting the COVID-19 shot. I am going to comment on our reactions toward each other regarding this shot and this virus in general.

Intro to Thomas Kuhn: What Actually Is a Scientific Theory?

 

Karl Popper.jpgProbably the most standard answer these days is “A falsifiable one!”

That’s standard Karl Popper.  Specifically, it’s Popper’s answer correcting for the bad philosophy of Logical Positivism.

And what’s wrong with Logical Positivism?  I talk about that a lot in some videos on this playlist, but it’s not especially important for this post.  Also, Logical Positivism did do one thing well:  It actually had a pretty good theory on science.

Jesus, Betrayed By All

 

Many Catholics recall particular sets of “mysteries” for each day of the week while praying with the rosary. On Tuesdays and Fridays, we remember the Sorrowful Mysteries: Christ’s agonized prayers in the garden of Gethsemane, the scourging, the crown of thorns, carrying of the cross to His place of death, and finally His lonely crucifixion.

We recall the pains Jesus accepted to pay the price of justice for our sins. Per Isaiah:

Marriage and Roles

 

When I played football, I wanted to be a running back. I wanted to be the bull that charges over and through opposition, pitting my strength against theirs.

Instead, the coach assigned me to tight end. My role was the less glorious — but no less important — job of blocking. At least in hindsight, I trust that the coach’s choice for me was the right one. But the dream of playing running back stayed with me.

Take a Canopy Break

 

Forget the news, forget your work, forget your aches and pains, forget your revved-up mind chewing over every little thing. Take a canopy break. Find a relaxing place to sit, look at each canopy below, take a few minutes each and imagine slowly walking through or sitting under each canopy. Let the joy of creation wash out all the anxiety and restore harmony.