To praise God, to love Him, and to beseech Him on behalf of others. For the Dominican nuns of the Dominican Monastery of the Perpetual Rosary in Syracuse, New York, this is an apt description. In a sense, they have become receptacles of prayer.
It’s become common, in recent months, for politicians to justify a shift towards supporting the redefinition of marriage by saying that their position on marriage has “evolved.” The problem, though, is that marriage hasn’t evolved—rather, our understanding has devolved.
Anyone who’s spent long enough in a hospital knows that homecoming is a bittersweet proposition. Not that life in the hospital is all that great: the constant interruptions, the bizarre beeps and dings, the lack of privacy, and the sundry indignities of the hospital gown do little to endear the patient to his time of convalescence. Yet when the longed-for discharge day finally comes, a sudden trepidation sets in. Suddenly home seems like a war zone full of hidden mines, where any normal action might unexpectedly result in grievous bodily harm, and the hospital seems like a safe haven, where all potential dangers have been carefully removed and (relative) comfort is guaranteed by company policy. After all this illness, home no longer feels like home.
Memory—philosophically speaking—is one of man’s interior senses. It is the power to store past images, ideas, and experiences. Memory is vitally important because whatever is stored by it becomes, in a way, a part of us. It has tremendous influence in shaping one’s identity and, as Professor D. Q. McInerny writes, is crucial in maintaining a “coherent sense of self.” That is, memory helps to develop unity and continuity in our lives as opposed to the fragmentation that often plagues us. Yet, despite its importance, memory is often neglected today.
The other day, I was strolling along an oceanside bluff. It was a bright and clear day, warm but breezy. Far below, I could hear the surf striking against the cliff. It seemed that things could not get much better. But then I ran into a wedding reception.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!
Whether you knew it or not, today is Christmas in July. During my high school summers, on this day our head lifeguard Jerry Fulltime came to the pool dressed as Santa Claus, to operate the water slide and hand out presents at the close of day. Why, you ask, do people observe this blessed day for a second time each summer?
O Sacred Banquet in which Christ becomes our food,
the memory of His passion is celebrated,
the soul is filled with grace,
and the pledge of future glory is given to us.
You gave them Bread from heaven:
Containing every blessing.
In recent months, I have had occasion while driving to listen to tunes en route. The bluegrass station is something of a mainstay but, unfortunately, doesn’t come through with the strongest signal. Thus, while straying beyond the Beltway, I go in search of substitutes.
“Video Killed the Radio Star”—at least according to the British pop group The Buggles. And they were right. With the exception of a handful of NPR devotees perhaps, few still listen every evening to radio programs. A minority may claim the superiority of The Lone Ranger radio program when compared to anything showing on the “Idiot Box,” but most people are inclined to write off these voices of dissent as mere antiquarians.
Does this televised victory have an analogy in the artistic realm? Is there some billboard success to be had with a song titled “Digital Photography Killed the Realistic Painting”?
Before entering the Order, I had the opportunity to assist in organizing and overseeing the various celebrations that mark the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Many Americans (especially Italian Americans), when reminded of this feast, associate it quite strongly with Italian Catholicism. After all, what other tribe or nation names her sons “Carmine”, in honor of the Blessed Mother?