Review: A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century

A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth CenturyA Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century by Robert Royal

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book could be the single (or primary) textbook for a course on modern Catholic intellectuals. It covers theology, scriptural studies, philosophy, poetry, prose, and historiography of the great Catholic minds of the 20th Century.

It’s a very large book, both in page number and content. It took a long time to read but it is worth it. It provided me with at least a dozen more “Want to Read” books on GoodReads.

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New Exhibition in HMML’s Reading Room: Fragmented Beauty

A new exhibition at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John’s University, examines manuscript fragments. Fragmented Beauty features manuscripts that span a time period of over 1,500 years and are of European and non-European origin.

Source: News from HMML – HMML

Finding My Tribe

After two years of being separated and going through the divorce and annulment of an eight-year marriage, I find myself really enjoying all of my free time, uninterrupted thoughts, and ease of living, but I also find myself wanting to be part of some sort of tribe or faith-based community.

As a 40-something single Catholic man, I appreciated this post by the Boston Globe:

The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.

After two years of being separated (somewhat amicably) and going through the divorce and annulment of an eight-year marriage, I find myself really enjoying all of my free time, uninterrupted thoughts, and ease of living, but I also find myself wanting to be part of some sort of tribe or faith-based community.

During this time, when the thought of committing myself to someone else entered my mind and heart, I only had one real desire and that was to meet an educated and sweet Catholic woman with whom to share and grow in my faith.

I tried online dating, and though I did meet a few compatible and attractive women who lived far away, the search for someone I could see more than once a month proved to be unfruitful. There’s something really lacking in that whole process too that I can’t exactly explain.

There are very few Church-sponsored activities for single people past the age of 40.  I guess they figure that everyone by that age should be able to manage on his or her own.  Since divorce and annulment are considered a rare exception, perhaps parishes don’t want to draw attention to the reality that the pre-canaan guidance before marriages is often weak and some marriages are not valid from the start.

I went to some events that were geared for young adults.  I met some very lovely 20 and 30-something Catholic women, but many of them were way too young and I probably seemed like some really old guy (even though I still get carded sometimes).  It’s possible that a decade or two between couples could work, but it is harder to find two people who are evenly yoked with that much of an age difference.

Once you start dating 40 and 50 year-olds, you are getting into the grandmother territory, which I suppose is the natural course of things, but it takes some time getting used to, especially for someone like me who never has had children of his own.  I do appreciate the maturity and the common cultural references we share.  Of course, both men and women are a little set in their ways by this time, and there are many more concessions that have to be made regarding personal and financial habits and the definition of a “good life.”

All Catholic single men, regardless of age, are looking for that balance in a woman of serious faith and lightheartedness.  Often you meet someone who loves the Lord, but is way too over-scrupulous.  On the flip side, you meet happy-go-lucky Catholic women who might be fun to spend time with but have very little concern about what the Church actually teaches.  I’ve been out with non-Catholics, but I my faith is such a big part of my life that I don’t think it would ever get past the friend zone.

I have approached some men’s religious communities, and I think that might be where God is calling me to use my talents and to deepen my relationship with Him.  The reason I wrote this is because I think Catholic singles and Catholic dating for people past the age of “young” adults is a topic that needs to be addressed.

Review: Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

About 10 years ago I saw the 80’s mini-series of Brideshead Revisited, starring Jeremy Irons, and really fell in love with the story. Since then I have read other Evelyn Waugh novels, but finally got around to reading this one. At first it was hard not to picture what I had seen on the television, but as I read I got wrapped up in the beautiful prose, the choices of the characters, and the elegance of the formality and manners of the time period (1920’s and 30’s England).

This is a religious novel, not because it delineates theology, but because it tells the story of a Catholic family, their weaknesses, and their adherence to the beauty of their faith, even though they may not understand it fully or be particularly good at it. Life is so filled with mystery, and this is a story about imperfect people embracing the beauty of that mystery. As St. Augustine wrote, “If you do understand, then it is not God.”

A lot of times when reading a bad novel, I hear the gears of the author’s mind in the background. Waugh, especially in this novel, is invisible and is completely out of the way of the story and the characters.

I recommend this novel to anyone wanting to read a master of the English language and those who enjoy the spiritual journey.

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Do you think that the iTunes store should move Gregorian chant from the Classical genre to the Christian & Gospel genre?

What do you think?

Benedict XVI is Pretty Much the Theological Equivalent of Batman – EpicPew

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose baptismal name is Joseph Ratzinger, will turn ninety years old on Sunday, April 26, 2017 (Easter Sunday this year)! Pope Emeritus Benedict recently released his mu…

Source: Benedict XVI is Pretty Much the Theological Equivalent of Batman – EpicPew

Pope John Paul II: That They May Be One

Jesus himself, at the hour of his Passion, prayed that they may all be one (Jn 17:21). This unity, which the Lord has bestowed on his Church and in which he wishes to embrace all people, is not something added on, but stands at the very heart of Christ’s mission. Nor is it some secondary attribute of the community of his disciples. Rather, it belongs to the very essence of this community. God wills the Church, because he wills unity, and unity is an expression of the whole depth of his agape.

Read Full Document: Pope John Paul II 25 May 1995 That They May Be One

Review: The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints

The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints
The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints by Ralph Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was given to me as a gift by a friend. It is a large book of about 420 pages, and it took quite a long time to read, mostly because it is a book on prayer, and each small section requires time on which to meditate.

I can’t imagine any better book to read during Lent. Taking the wisdom of several of the spiritual giants of the Western tradition – Augustine, Bernard, Teresa, John of the Cross, and Thérèse of Lisieux – Ralph Martin groups together common threads of all of these authors’ writings.

If you are interested in growing deeper in your Christian faith or just understanding how it all works, then this might be a good book to commit some time to.

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What is the future of CatholicDH?

This is a great index of all of the Catholic Digital Humanities resources online.

The Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project

The following comments were offered by Kyle Roberts, Director of the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project, and faculty member at Loyola University Chicago on the Presidential Roundtable, “The Future of Catholic History: What Do Graduate Students Want to Know?” at the American Catholic Historical Association Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 7th, at 10:30 am in Denver.  

The Future of Catholic Digital Humanities

I’ve been asked to speak today for a few minutes about the future of Catholic Digital Humanities (#CatholicDH), a topic that I’ve had the chance to watch develop over the last few years from my position as a digital humanist and historian of religion at Loyola University Chicago. As the Director of Loyola’s Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities (CTSDH) for the past six months, I’ve become even more acutely aware of the opportunities – and challenges – that come with doing CatholicDH.

What do I mean…

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