• Fr. Dan Reilly, of the Franciscan friar community at Mt. Irenaeus, receives a Doctorate of Humane Letters, causa honoris, at the 163rd annual commencement exercise at St. Bonaventure University.

    (That’s a cutout of himself to his left.)

  • Currently reading: Faith beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay by James Alison 📚

  • Newly acquired from Revolver Records

  • Good day for a yard sale & cookout.

  • Currently reading: Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World by Daniel Sherrell 📚

  • Finished reading: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion 📚

  • Currently reading: The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch 📚

  • The DUNE Part Two trailer is great; I’m especially excited at how it seems to set up Paul’s character arc. I really hope we get a Dune Messiah movie … 📽️

  • Finished reading (again): The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis 📚 Lots of good material to discuss in class tomorrow: love & pity, Sarah Smith & the Dwarf-Ghost (& his Tragedian), George MacDonald’s universalism, &c.

  • With Jacqueline out of town for work, I’m going to see Beau Is Afraid (Ari Aster, 2023). I know basically nothing about the movie except the director—but knowing the director, I’m sure it’s going to be equal parts weird and terrifying. 📽️

  • I quoted Day too hastily; this conclusion to her piece, paraphrasing George Bernanos & written in 1949, at the beginnings of the nuclear arms race, holds true even today.

    “Every particle of Christ’s divine charity is today more precious for your security—for your security, I say—than all the atom bombs in all the stockpiles.” It is by the works of mercy that we shall be judged.

  • Dorothy Day on the scandalous character of the works of mercy

    The works of mercy are a wonderful stimulus to our growth in faith as well as in love. Our faith is taxed to the utmost and so grows through this strain put upon it. It is pruned again and again, and springs up bearing much fruit. For anyone starting to live literally the words of the Fathers of the Church, “the bread you retain belongs to the hungry, the dress you lock up is the property of the naked,” “what is superfluous for one’s need is to be regarded as plunder if one retains it for one’s self,” there is always a trial ahead. “Our faith, more precious than gold, must be tried as though by fire.” Here is a letter we received today. “I took a gentleman seemingly in need of spiritual and temporal guidance into my home on a Sunday afternoon. Let him have a nap on my bed, went through the want ads with him, made coffee and sandwiches for him, and when he left, I found my wallet had gone also.”

    Her words call to mind, for me, the words attributed to St. Vincent de Paul (I have not been able to verify whether they are indeed his):

    You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see and the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them.

  • Finally watched The Northman (Robert Eggers, 2022) tonight. A brutal film. Eggers remains one of my favorite living directors; I especially admire how seriously he takes his subjects in their own particular historicity. 📽️

  • Currently reading: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion 📚

  • Kodak Gold 200

  • Finished reading: An Essay on Typography by Eric Gill 📚

  • I don’t have enough time to listen to the full album before class, but I’m loving the first few tracks of First Two Pages of Frankenstein 🎵

  • Freely given & gratefully received

    ‘What do you keep on arguing for? I’m only telling you the sort of chap I am. I only want my rights. I’m not asking for anybody’s bleeding charity.’

    ‘Then do. At once. Ask for the Bleeding Charity. Everything is here for the asking and nothing can be bought.’

    This is one of my favorite exchanges in C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce. Here the “Big Man” (the first speaker) is insisting on his own decency in his earthly life—ironic …

    keep reading
  • I love this move Pope Francis makes in his interpretation of the parable of the good Samaritan:

    Jesus asks us to be present to those in need of help, regardless of whether or not they belong to our social group. In this case, the Samaritan became a neighbour to the wounded Judean. By approaching and making himself present, he crossed all cultural and historical barriers. Jesus concludes the parable by saying: “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10:37). In other words, he challenges us to put aside all differences and, in the face of suffering, to draw near to others with no questions asked. I should no longer say that I have neighbours to help, but that I must myself be a neighbour to others. (Fratelli tutti, §81)

  • We recently received print copies of volume 80 of Franciscan Studies—the first volume I’ve edited the book reviews for. By the time I was invited to the role this volume’s reviews were already lined up, but I’m really excited for the reviews I have slated for next year’s volume.

  • Fence in the morning fog. Shot on Fujicolor C200.

  • Love restores the world to order

    Walter Kasper on kingdom of God:

    But when the ultimate source of all reality, God’s love, re-establishes itself and comes to power, the world is restored to order and salvation. Because each individual can feel himself accepted and approved without reserve, he becomes free to live with others. The coming of the Kingdom of God’s love therefore means the salvation of the world as a whole and the salvation of every individual. Everyone can now know that love is the ultimate, that it is …

    keep reading
  • Interesting series on apophatic & cataphatic theology over at Theopolis. Timothy Troutner suggests a “modern” apophaticism (represented especially in so-called grammatical thomists like McCabe & in post-Heidegerrean philosophers like Marion) endangers the possibility of revelation & christology. I find myself more sympathetic to Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt’s response (not exactly a disagreement with Troutner, though certainly a defense of McCabe’s grammatical thomism), but I’ll have to think more carefully about Troutner’s concerns, especially since I myself am inclined to the sort of apophaticism grammatical thomism represents.

  • Currently reading: An Essay on Typography by Eric Gill 📚

  • Finished reading: The City and the Pillar: A Novel by Gore Vidal 📚