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A Rocky, Rooty Uphill Climb

Posted by Eric (April 29, 2006 at 1:24 pm)

Rocky climb in PANo, this isn’t a post on cycling. But further reflection on the Torode Affair and the real difficulties of practicing NFP put me in mind of a particularly challenging climb I managed this week on my mountainbike despite feeling weak and wobbly that day.

Not only is this particular hill steep and long, but it’s rooty and rocky. The only way to manage it—and I’ve failed to reach the top as often as I’ve made it—is to focus on the trail right under the front wheel. This helps you navigate around the ruts and rocks and keeps you from being discouraged at the sight of how very, very far you have left to go.


Posted in Catholicism, Family, Theol. of the Body | 9 Comments »

Open Embarrassment

Posted by Eric (April 28, 2006 at 4:49 pm)

Book cover detail, invertedToday I was told that Sam and Bethany Torode have issed an “Open Letter about Open Embrace,” more or less recanting the opposition to contraception that they articulated in their influential 2002 book, Open Embrace: A Protestant Couple Rethinks Contraception. My first reaction on hearing this report was incredulity; I didn’t believe it until I had verified it. Turns out it’s true.

This is disappointing news on many levels. The Torodes write:

[O]ur personal experience in the past five years has shown that we had a lot to learn about NFP, and that there is a dark side we weren’t aware of. . . . [S]trict NFP reaches a point where it is more harmful for a marriage than good.


Posted in Catholicism, Family, Theol. of the Body | 15 Comments »

Bright Monday, Dimmed

Posted by Eric (April 17, 2006 at 2:24 pm)

CrozierI tuned into Scrappleface this morning, right after Bright Monday Matins and Divine Liturgy, to discover a lamentable (and somewhat ambiguous) satire of Pope Benedict XVI. Scrappleface author Scott Ott described a scene in which Benedict XVI took off his golden vestments and, in the style of a Protestant pastor, offered a sort of “heart felt” sermon in which he called himself a sinner and “regular Joe,” while the crowds in St. Peter’s Square rapidly dispersed, apparently interested only in “pomp and circumstance,” not the person of Christ.


Posted in Catholicism, Culture & Society | 4 Comments »

Insert Da Vinci Pun Here

Posted by Eric (April 3, 2006 at 1:40 pm)

Mona Lisa (detail, posterized)Looks like all the clever Da Vinci Code puns are taken—”Decoding Da Vinci,” “The Da Vinci Con,” “The Duh Vinci Code,” etc.

No, I haven’t read it. Life’s too short. I tend to agree with Barbara Nicolosi that “we should all just agree to ignore it, and put our efforts into praying for the people who hate Jesus and us, His disciples, so much that they would make this film.”

My entire commentary on the Da Vinci phenomenon is this: that having failed to “prove” that Jesus never existed, that the Gospels are a fraud, that Christianity is a plague upon mankind, and all the rest, the enemies of the Church have resorted not just to making stuff up out of thin air, but to declaring that, really, this whole “truth” business, this slavish submission to “facts” and “historical data” is just so narrow and, let’s face it, intolerant of “alternate views” and “new ways of understanding.”


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A Bit Slow on Fasting

Posted by Eric (March 10, 2006 at 4:45 pm)

“There is no Lent without fasting.” —Alexander Schmemann

HogsheadLately I’ve heard some interesting discussion on Catholic radio about fasting and abstinence. It’s encouraging to hear people talking about fasting and even proposing to restore the tradition of abstinence from meat on Fridays throughout the year. But some of the discussion seems to miss the mark.


Posted in Byzantine, Catholicism, Faith | 5 Comments »