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The Eudemon is the “Medium arm” of The Daily Eudemon, a blog that has been in continuous operation since 2004. It provides a Catholic perspective on the higher things in life, from religion and philosophy to history and biography to gardening and drinking.
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I went to Las Vegas last week, spending four nights at the iconic Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. I spent Tuesday evening walking from the Nugget to the Strat, where I surveyed Vegas from 100 stories high for two hours.
The next morning, I covered five miles of downtown Las Vegas on foot, covering huge swaths of area.
On Thursday, I walked the length of the Strip, clocking in over 32,000 steps.
I took a two-hour bus tour and talked with the guide. I talked with Uber drivers. I chatted with all sorts of workers, from a farmers market…
Religion is good for you. Religious participation, sociologists tell us, correlates with lower levels of criminality, better health, greater marital stability, and greater well-being.
According to an article awhile back in the Atlantic Monthly, sociologists and economists are studying this phenomenon further and, in the process, have discovered other things. For instance, they’ve discovered that Catholics are likelier to attend Mass if they live in a heavily Catholic neighborhood.
This doesn’t surprise me. When I attended the University of Michigan, I never heard any Catholics discuss Mass, confession, fasting on Fridays during Lent, etc. When I went to the University…
An allegory of sorts
I once read the following (the source escapes me):
Our surroundings call forth certain behavior. We tend to act like students when we step in a classroom, and we tend to act like shoppers at the mall. This is . . . the logic of ‘ecological psychology’: I am not a wholly separate entity from my surroundings, but rather, my [surroundings] and I form an interdependent behavior setting.
I loved it. “Ecological psychology.” Whatta concept. It told me why I’ve always insisted on having a study/library in my house, where the kids’ clutter doesn’t roam and…
I greatly enjoyed PBS documentary, American Masters: Flannery O’Connor, on PBS last night.
I thought the producers respected her intense Catholicism. I’m sure they could’ve found critics to say sacrilegious things like, “Her dark humor emanates from a religion based on a Jew who had a bad afternoon,” but they didn’t. Her Catholicism came up frequently but always as a fact, never as a jab.
There were two forays into her correspondence with a bisexual and a lesbian (couldn’t leave those things out), but I didn’t interpret either as an attempt to portray Flannery as a repressed lesbian, and I’m…
My three-year-old son Jack received a menagerie of thirty-some plastic animals at Christmas to go with the dozen or so he already owned. He played with his “anmuls” constantly, carrying them around in different containers (wagon, bag, box, hat) and setting them up in odd places, like the piano.
One night he came running to me, terribly excited, saying I had to see a surprise in his room. It turns out that he and his big sister, Abbie (5), had put the animals on the dresser. But not in a haphazard fashion. In Jack’s awe-filled words: (the “r” is soft…
Sunday marks the Feast Day of Thomas Aquinas. Well, not really. It was his Feast Day until 1969, when “they” moved it to January 28th (apparently, so it wouldn’t fall during Lent).
In his Summa Theologica, he wrote that “if a man were knowingly to abstain from wine to the extent of molesting nature grievously, he would not be free from sin.”
Many years ago, when I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, this passage prompted an email-chain discussion about whether Aquinas thought teetotalling is a sin. At least one of the participants said that wasn’t Aquinas’ position. Aquinas’ position…
Shortly before he was martyred with others in 203, St. Saturus related a vision he had of heaven. He said he and the other martyrs were carried eastward to a garden, where a handful of angels started exclaiming, “Here they are! Here they are!” The martyrs were taken to a group of elders and an aged man with a youthful face. The martyrs kissed the aged man, and he touched their faces with his hand. Then the elders told them, “Go and play.”
Fr. James Schall understood why the martyrs were told to go and play.
On the Unseriousness of…
A few years ago, I stumbled across a video by some guy with an Australian accent. I listened for a while and thought, “Man, this guy has a thorough grasp of what he’s talking about.” That guy, I learned later, was Matthew Kelly.
Whenever I pick up one of those flimsy Matthew Kelly paperback books that seem to proliferate and litter the back of churches, and read a few pages, I’m normally edified.
But I’ve never been a Matthew Kelly fan.
I guess I’ve never been able to get past the self-promotion, the pop “Dynamic Catholic!” trademark, those exclamation points…
I frequently experience a soft yet unequivocal intuition that tells me gardening is a monastic-like pursuit.
Indeed, it’s even a bit stronger than that: the intuition tells me that gardening is a holiness-like pursuit.
I don’t know where the intuition comes from. I’m not convinced the intuition is right, but the intuition strikes me for two reasons: it’s undeniably there, and the reasons it’s there are undeniably murky, at best.
That intuition first became conscious for me nine years ago over the same weekend when I watched the documentary Searching for Sugar Man and started reading Mother Teresa: A Simple…
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