Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blogging Around: Many Lent-y Things ... and A Few Not So Lent-y

What Will You Murder in Order to Pray?
The major obstacle in most of our lives to just saying yes to prayer, the most popular and powerful excuse we give for not praying, or not praying more, or not praying regularly, is that we have no time.

The only effective answer to that excuse, I find, is a kind of murder. You have to kill something, you have to say no to something else, in order to make time to pray. Of course, you will never find time to pray, you have to make time to pray. And that means unmaking something else. The only way to install the tenant of prayer in the apartment building of your life is to evict some other tenant from those premises that prayer will occupy. Few of us have any empty rooms available.
Peter Kreeft has a good and practical article at Integrated Catholic Life. Via New Advent.

Lent in Hawaii
I hate the idea of wasting time. I spend every moment of the day in a whirlwind of tasks, which gives me a dangerous energy, unanchored, frenetic. ...
The church calendar, unlike my way of inhabiting time, is more merciful, patient, and consistent. It reacquaints us with redemption through the steadiness of liturgy, practice, memory, sacrament.

The church calendar recasts time like a net, pulling us into a rhythm that returns us, season after season, to God.
Read it all at Good Letters.

Stuttering and the King's Speech
The connection between handedness and speech runs deep. Speech is controlled by the left side of the brain and so is motor control of the usually dominant right hand. It is possible that this connection says something about the evolutionary origin of language, if language was first expressed through gestures rather than speech.

Curiously, stuttering is not really a speech disorder. Some deaf people stutter in sign language, too. This is just one of the ways that sign language shares all the characteristics of spoken language.
Matt Ridley's Saturday science column at the Wall Street Journal is consistently a favorite of mine. This one looks at the idea that sound may have come second in language development.

Is Happiness Overrated?
Happiness research, a field known as "positive psychology," is exploding. Some of the newest evidence suggests that people who focus on living with a sense of purpose as they age are more likely to remain cognitively intact, have better mental health and even live longer than people who focus on achieving feelings of happiness.
I'd like to say, "well, DUH!" but a Lenten quality of charity leads me to simply say that they wrote a whole lot more in support of this thesis if you would like to read statistics and suchlike. From the Wall Street Journal.

We know what we like, and it's not modern art! How gallery visitors only viewed work by Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin for less than 5 seconds
I think that pretty much says it. As an uneducated art viewer who only knows what she likes, this is another "Well, DUH" moment for me. But the article was very interesting. Read it here. Thanks to Margaret from ten thousand places for pointing this out to me.

Of Gods and Men ... the Perfect Lenten Movie?
It looks to me as if it might be. Read Father James Martin's review at Patheos and Steven D. Greydanus's review at National Catholic Register and you'll see why I think so.

Where to Get Good Information about Nuclear Reactors in Japan
Hint: not from the mainstream media.
While the events at the Fukushima plant reactors are serious, they also underline how many layers of redundancy and safety measures are built into modern nuclear power plants.
DarwinCatholic has the links we need to the real experts. As we would expect.

God is in Her Hand
I use the terms “God” and “love” interchangeably. But these concepts I merely ponder. As for belief, I believe in acts of love. I believe that God asks me to fill the empty hand of the beggar. I believe that God poses the question every time I see the hand my student raises. I believe that I find God as I type the poem, the one I begin without knowing where I will end.
An essay from the This I Believe series. It is brief but excellent and something we need to ponder during Lent. Or perhaps something that I need to ponder. Listen to the podcast or read the essay at the link.

Don't forget that I link many interesting articles in my Google reader also. It's in the sidebar.


  1. ah! too many awesome things to read.

  2. I've had Of Gods and Men saved to my Netflix queue for a while. "Limited release" usually means it won't come within 200 miles of me.

    Now I see it's opening only 100 miles away on 4/15. Might be worth a road trip.