Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Galilean Moons

Galilean Moons, Belinda Del Pesco

While Julie aims the dish at the moon, Scott patrols Sector A. Both are trying to find pretzels.

Scott and I discuss one of my favorite movies ... that he picked! The Dish is our topic  in Episode 207 of A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast. Join Us!

Humans have turned their vocation upside down

The diagnosis of the human plight is then not simply that humans have broken God’s moral law, offending and insulting the Creator, whose image they bear—though that is true as well. This lawbreaking is a symptom of a much more serious disease. Morality is important, but it isn’t the whole story. Called to responsibility and authority within and over the creation, humans have turned their vocation upside down, giving worship and allegiance to forces and powers within creation itself. The name for this is idolatry. The result is slavery and finally death.
N.T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began:
Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion
I'm listening to the audiobook but want to read it in print to let these ideas really sink in. It is early days but I really like it.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, Hieronymus Bosch
The painting is oil on wooden panels and is presented in a series of circular images.

Four small circles, detailing the four last things — Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell — surround a larger circle in which the seven deadly sins are depicted: wrath at the bottom, then (proceeding clockwise) envy, greed, gluttony, sloth, extravagance (later replaced with lust), and pride, using scenes from life rather than allegorical representations of the sins.[4]

At the centre of the large circle, which is said to represent the eye of God, is a "pupil" in which Christ can be seen emerging from his tomb. Below this image is the Latin inscription Cave cave d[omi]n[u]s videt ("Beware, Beware, The Lord Sees").

Above and below the central image are inscription in Latin of Deuteronomy 32:28–29, containing the lines "For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them", above, and "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" below. ...

Each panel in the outer circle depicts a different sin. Clockwise from top (Latin names in brackets):
  • Gluttony (gula): A drunkard swigs from a bottle while a fat man eats greedily, not heeding the plea of his equally obese young son.
  • Sloth (acedia): A lazy man dozes in front of the fireplace while Faith appears to him in a dream, in the guise of a nun, to remind him to say his prayers.
  • Lust (luxuria): Two couples enjoy a picnic in a pink tent, with two clowns (right) to entertain them.
  • Pride (superbia): With her back to the viewer, a woman looks at her reflection in a mirror held up by a demon.
  • Wrath (ira): A woman attempts to break up a fight between two drunken peasants.
  • Envy (invidia): A couple standing in their doorway cast envious looks at a rich man with a hawk on his wrist and a servant to carry his heavy load for him, while their daughter flirts with a man standing outside her window, with her eye on the well-filled purse at his waist. The dogs illustrate the Flemish saying, “Two dogs and only one bone, no agreement”.
  • Greed (avaricia): A crooked judge pretends to listen sympathetically to the case presented by one party to a lawsuit, while slyly accepting a bribe from the other party.
The four small circles also have details. In Death of the Sinner, death is shown at the doorstep along with an angel and a demon while the priest says the sinner's last rites, In Glory, the saved are entering Heaven, with Jesus and the saints, at the gate of Heaven an Angel prevents a demon from ensnaring a woman. Saint Peter is shown as the gatekeeper. In Judgment, Christ is shown in glory while angels awake the dead, while in the Hell demons torment sinners according to their sins.
I really do love Hieronymus Bosch. Maybe because I like intricate things with lots of details. Click the image for full size. Also, the Wikipedia article shows each of the details much larger.

Customized Temptations

Our temptations have been customized. No two are alike. That explains why each one fits perfectly. The Divine Designer, in association with Weights & Measures Supernatural, has seen to that. That explains also why we can shed each and every temptation that's laid upon us. The Designer fully expects us to. Another garment awaits the Elect.

Therefore, we shouldn't despair when we're tempted. We should pray more fervently to God. After all, He thinks us worthy of help in every tribulation. ...

In trials and tribulations, the perfection of Humankind is hammered out. I give you one example—Virtue. The better it's hidden, the more light it gives off, or so the common spiritual wisdom goes. But if the virtuous can't recognize a temptation when it kisses them on the cheek, what good is all the devotion and fervor? For these poor souls, though there's still hope. If they patiently sustain themselves in time of adversity, then they'll continue to inch along the great spiritual path.

The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis
transl. William Griffin

Sunday, May 19, 2019

35 Years of Wedded Bliss

We can tell what doesn't work in marriages. So often today people ask, "Who will make me happy?" But what we should ask is, "Who will I love so much that I will sacrifice myself to make them happy?"
Father Roch Kereszty

It's our wedding anniversary today and although our lives have their fair share of challenge at the moment, it has done nothing to our marriage but draw us closer together.

That makes all the years of working out how to best love and serve each other worth it. I'm sure we'll look back on this time and find it has done nothing but add to our deep love and respect for each other.

Dear, even-tempered Tom is truly my soul mate. I'm so very lucky that he loves me as much as I love him. He has taught me so much over the years about music, about thinking, about humor, about originality, about kindness and consideration. Not because he actively taught me but just by being around him. That in itself tells you a lot about the sort of person Tom is.

It's wonderful having spent 35 years with someone. You know each other's references (jokes become real one-liners), you understand each other's moods, and it is a deep, restful relationship that is not without delightful times of surprise and passion.

Weekend Joke: In Honor of Our 35th Wedding Anniversary

As Tom says, it is the couple that can laugh at this joke who will be able to survive the reality of it! We're not there yet, but we are still laughing together, 35 years into our journey through life together.
An old couple were having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor to get checked out to make sure nothing was wrong with them. After checking the couple out, the doctor tells them that they were physically okay but might want to start writing things down and making notes to help them remember things. The couple thanked the doctor and left.

Later that night while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair and his wife asks, "Where are you going?" He replies, "To the kitchen." She asks him for a bowl of ice cream and he replies, "Sure."

She then asks him "Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?" He says, "No, I can remember that."

"Well," she then says, "I also would like some strawberries on top. You had better write that down cause I know you'll forget that." He says, "I can remember that, you want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries."

"Well," she replies, "I also would like whipped cream on top. I know you will forget that so you better write it down." With irritation in his voice, he says, "I don't need to write that down, I can remember that."

He fumes off into the kitchen. When he returns twenty minutes later he hands her a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment and says, "You forgot my toast."

Friday, May 17, 2019

Fire proves iron and temptation fires the just man

Fire proves iron—that's the kind of point Jesus son of Sirach liked to make (31:26)—and temptation fires the just man.

Often we don't know what we can do until temptation opens us up to what we are.

Stand sentinel in the intellect we must, before temptation strikes. Engage the Enemy at the earliest possible moment. In the chapel. In the dining hall. At the gate. On the road. In the field.

That's how temptation works. A simple thought enters the mind. A vivid imagination goes to work. After that it's a nudge, a wink, and a nod.

Right from the start you should resist strongly. When you don't, the Enemy bearing evils tiptoes in unawares and wins the day. And so it is every day. The slower your response, the quicker the Devil's step.
The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis
Transl. William Griffin

Orange Seller

Orange seller, Joaquín Sorolla

Thursday, May 16, 2019


After his brother is killed and father severly injured by terrorists, a young med student quits his studies to join the Indian Police Service to wipe out the terrorists.
This one's hard to sum up without spoiling it. It managed to combine serious content with true thriller and romance entertainment.

I liked Tom's summary from Facebook:
This 1999 action drama checked all the Bollywood boxes. A hero on a mission, a romance, gun runners from Pakistan. But the story ramped up to be quite gripping with a fabulous confrontation of good and evil. (Good had the best monologue.)

Last Bollywood checkbox, 4 song and dance numbers. 3 choreographed by our favorite Farah Khan. (Yes... we have a favorite Bollywood choreographer.)
Of course we have a favorite Bollywood choreographer. What are we, barbarians?

This is a dance that shows what the romantic couple is thinking after about 30 seconds in. Yes, they're at a birthday party but check out the passion bubbling below the surface!

Rating — for viewers with medium Indian film experience. (It's not rocket science, but without any cultural background at all you might feel kind of lost. Just let the movie flow over you.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Mythology I Believe

If Christianity is only a mythology, then I find the mythology I believe in is not the one I like best. I like Greek mythology much better, Irish better still, Norse best of all.
C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry?


Eva Bonnier, Couturières

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Forgotten Author: Edgar Wallace

Back in the 1920s there was an oft-repeated joke about the British thriller writer Edgar Wallace. A friend was said to have telephoned him one day, only to be told that Wallace was writing a new novel. “That’s okay,” the caller remarked, “I’ll wait.”

One of the most popular writers of the early 20th century, and certainly one of the most prolific, Edgar Wallace turned out an astonishing 130 novels (18 alone in 1926), 40 short story collections, 25 plays, some 15 nonfiction books, plus journalism, criticism, poetry, and columns, in a little over 30 years. During his peak it was claimed that one-quarter of all the books read in England were penned by Wallace, and he remains one of the most filmed authors of all time.
I've got a fondness for old mysteries as y'all know. It is fostered by public domain sites like Project Gutenberg, Librivox, and kind folks who put the Gutenberg files on Amazon for Kindle (free!).

And that's how I found Edgar Wallace. I've read quite a few of them but these are ones I love the most.

This is a riveting tale which sets out with a man being sentenced for murder and a beautiful, innocent woman having had to testify against him.

Except, what everyone thinks is exactly opposite to the truth, according to the condemned man's friend and attorney, Jack Glover. He claims that his friend was framed.

Meanwhile, poverty-stricken Lydia gets pulled into this scenario completely out of the blue and is put in the situation of having to decide who to trust. One person is telling the truth and the other is out to murder her. We are not really ever in the dark about it, but watching Lydia's thinking and also seeing the behind-the-scenes machinations makes this a real page-turner.


Who was the mysterious avenger whose hooded form sent terror into the dark haunts of the underworld? Criminal mastermind Colonel Dan Boundary fights two enemies — Stafford King, a dedicated detective, and Jack O'Judgment, a mysterious figure bent on vigilante justice.

This was an excellent mystery that had me guessing at Jack O'Judgment's identity throughout the book. I love the way he's kind of like The Joker, but fighting for right. It was also interesting to see the interplay of various characters and the skill with which the author emphasized their personalities.

Is there anything worse than getting released from prison only to find that your true love is getting married that day? Maybe just one thing — discovering that her new husband is secretly a sinister criminal wanted by the police. We can't help but like John Gray, even if he is an ex-con. We're rooting for him to expose his true love's husband and make good.

This novel introduced Mr. J.G. Reeder, a wonderful character who was in a whole series of books. Not a policeman, not a detective, we don't know exactly what he is except that when he is around mysteries are solved, wrongs are righted, secrets are uncovered — all in the service of good. And he does it with such a wilted, tired, disinterested manner that it can't help but be amusing to see the effect on the villains. Especially when the talk turns to raising chickens. This was a thoroughly enjoyable, plot twisting mystery.