Vegetable Literacy by Deborah MadisonMy review is at Meanwhile, Back in the Kitchen.
"When the Game Stands Tall" is Not About the GamePia de Solenni agrees with me that When the Game Stands Tall is an unusual football movie and one that you need to see in the theater. Unlike me, she isn't a football fan so now you know it's got something special going on.
All the Mass Readings for 2015 in One BookJennifer Fitz at Sticking the Corners has a great group of resources ranging from free to pricey, and takes you through them so you know what you're getting.
We Are Living in Historical TimesI've been reading Catholic history books lately. We're going to discuss one at A Good Story is Hard to Find in November as our book selection. I wanted a one-volume history so we're reading The Catholic Church Through The Ages: A History by John Vidmar, OP. I've just begun but thus far it is an excellent overview.
As I go, I've been dipping into other Catholic histories I happen to have at hand. Reading through the tempestuous time of the Church Fathers, the Council of Nicea, the attack of the barbarians on civilization, and the many heresies reminds me that the Church was born into a world of chaos from which She has never escaped. She has always needed defending, explaining, and God's grace given to those who take Her into the world.
There never really were any of those "good old days" in the way our memory likes to paint with a golden glow, blue sky, and sweet background music. It was always like it is now: chaotic, confusing, tempestuous, and unsure. Some were luckier and more secure than others, to be sure. Just as we are now as we watch with agonized impotence while the innocent are herded and slaughtered like sheep because they are different. Because they are Christian.
I've already talked about what we can do in these terrible times. Here are some good pieces by others who are pondering the same question:
- What are we willing to die for? Pope Francis asked that question at the beatification of Paul Yun Ji--Chung and 123 martyr companions in Korea. It's a question I've been asking myself, to be honest. His homily is here and it's a good one to ponder.
- The use of force can be justified to stop "unjust aggressors" such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq. Pope Francis again on his way back from Seoul as he answered reporters' questions. Again, as I read that St. Augustine developed his just war theory when the barbarians were literally at the gates, leaving no one living in their wake, I understood it better than ever as I saw photos of people slaughtered by ISIS for being the wrong religion. By the way some publication jumped on the chance for a catchy headline about the Pope calling for a new Crusade. Aaargh. Just go read the story and see what he actually said.
- "Prayer is the glue that enabled my freedom, my inner freedom first ..." These are the words of James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded by barbarians. He'd been captured in the line of duty before and his testimony to the power of prayer is one that The Anchoress has been pondering. Like me, she is being turned back to the essentials. I like her comment about praying The Apostle's Creed line by line. I have written about praying St. Patrick's Breastplate and St. John XXIII's Daily Decalogue daily. It is the same effect that she describes. I am taken into the prayer and come out the other side changed somehow.
- Who will stand up for Christians? The head of the World Jewish Congress asked this in an op-ed piece at The New York Times. And I appreciate it. It didn't escape our household that Christians were being slaughtered with very few comments from our government or media but when Yazidis came under attack then the bombs started falling. There's a subtle attitude toward Christians from a lot of public quarters that this exemplifies. So it comes as a welcome relief to have someone from the "outside" pointing it out. I picked this story up via The Deacon's Bench.