Saturday, February 28, 2009

Diseases of the left and of the right

Many years ago, George Will wrote of a film, "It was made by the type of people who think they are virtuous because they are not Richard Nixon," diagnosing with particular acuity a syndrome of the Left. But I wonder if there isn't a similar malady on the Right, people who think they are virtuous because they are not -- who? Ted Kennedy? one of the Clintons? Nancy Pelosi? the current President?

Don't get me wrong. I do not mean to heap praise on any of those figures mentioned, just as Will did not mean to praise President Nixon. But it occurs to me, and to Will, that virtue, be it civic virtue or moral virtue, consists in something entirely different from hating the right people, or merely voting for the right candidates. Anyone can do that.

Inchoate thoughts, these.

Ecclesiastes 5:3

... the voice of the fool comes with much chatter.

(Revised English Bible)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Caryll Houselander on notorious sinners

Caryll Houselander, the British Catholic author (1901-54) who wrote The Reed of God, a marvelous if somewhat slender book about Our Lady, deeply poetic, had a memorable and beautiful quotation about how the Christian should approach notorious sinners. I believe the quotation comes from the book mentioned above, and since that book is, alas, no longer in my library, I must rely on memory. So what follows is a paraphrase.

Houselander writes that if the sinner in question is not a baptized Christian then one should lament the fact that he has not yet received the gift of faith. If the sinner in question is a baptized Christian then one should approach him with all the reverence due to the Holy Sepulchre because in him the dead Christ lies entombed.


Nevertheless to condone frailty by comparison with yet greater frailty is not profitable.

Marianne Moore, from The Complete Prose, p. 207

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mickey Rourke, Catholic

This I found fascinating. Fascinating and hopeful. And not quite what I expected!

And has anyone seen the twenty-year-old film in which he portrayed St Francis of Assisi? (If so, was it any good?)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Inferno, ii, 55

Lucevan li occhi suoi più che la stella

Memorization as meditation

The blogger at Summa Minutiae has begun to memorize the Psalms. He has the first two psalms committed to memory!

I'm trying to memorize Psalm 51 in the Coverdale version. My modest goal is the first seven verses by the day after tomorrow.

If I succeed with this psalm, I may try a few of the shorter psalms.

I used to memorize things with great facility -- the poetry of Dylan Thomas and E E Cummings, most notably -- but now the mind's powers grow feeble, I fear.

Highlight of the 81st Academy Awards

Accepting his award for best animated short, La Maison en Petits Cubes, the Japanese filmmaker Kunio Kato offered halting thanks and then, apparently running out of English, quoted the old Styx hit and quipped, "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto."
As described here.

The next Archbishop of New York

From what I know, this is very good news.

A libertarian's opinion

Yes. I agree. I think that what you say is so. (On Attorney General Holder's "cowards" crack.)

(HT: Conservative Blog for Peace.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quotation of note

Those who realize they have this interior leprosy come together in a leper colony, called the Church. The Church is filled with spiritual lepers who welcome one another, care for one another, and turn to Jesus, the Divine Physician, for cleansing, through prayer, worship, and the sacraments. The Church is then a hospital for the sick, not a country club for the spiritually sleek. We belong to the Church, not because we're saints, but because we're sinners, not because we're proud, but because we're humble, not because we want to do God a big favor, but because we need a big favor from God. ... See you at Mass.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee

(Posted at Communio. HT: Clairity Daily.)

I can't believe ...

... it's not butter!

(I shouldn't be watching this show, but this bit is harmless.)