On Confirmation

It turns out there is always hope.

The country seems to be in quite a mess. It appears to be headed for impossible, socialist-style spending with a leader who thinks that’s his birthright and a people who know and just don’t care. The executive branch is attacking the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments and if people’s paychecks weren’t being cut most folks would be just fine. The culture is not just leaving Christ behind, but seems to have him fading away in the rear-view mirror as it travels quickly who knows where. Ego rules, humility is forgotten, and as a direct result everyone is unhappy and they don’t even know why.

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On Picking Your New Year’s Heresy

With the New Year upon us, it’s decision time. What should you do with your New Year? What traits should you work on? What do you want to accomplish? What have you missed out on? In this time of reflection, perhaps you should dust off your heresies and see if they need any care or maintenance. It is, after all, a practice much older than you might think.

Growing up in ancient Greece an aspiring student was expected to look at all of the world’s philosophies and carefully choose one of their own. It was a process of examination and a rite of passage. It was a time of reflection and deliberation ending in the choosing of a worldview and then claiming it as yours—in their words, it was a process of hairesis.

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Conversion On The Road To Damascus

Conversion on the Road to Damascus
The Conversion on the Road to Damascus

The Conversion on the Road To Damascus was created in 1601 by Caravaggio. It depicts the conversion of Saul (later St. Paul) on his trip to Damascus to persecute the Christians there. See Acts Chapter 9.

It’s an amazing work, capturing the emotion of the event as told, but certainly containing many of Caravaggio’s own impressions. The horse, unsurprised, looks on casually. Meanwhile Paul looks stunned, blinded and as if the world just came out from under him. And it did. All of the action of the picture is on the ground with Paul, with most of the emotion and power of it lying behind his eyelids.

For more about the work see its entry on Wikipedia. For more about Caravaggio, there is Wikipedia or this history. This was an interesting writeup on the depictions of this event.

On the Top 5

Father Robert Barron and his Word On Fire website, found here, have been meeting the popular culture where it lives, on podcoasts, youtube and the internet in general, for quite some time. He does so in an engaging way, weaving the contemporary with the timeless. Those who haven’t heard of him owe it to themselves to take a look. Here Traditium links to its Top 5 Father Barron videos for those who are open to a different perspective on popular culture and life in general.

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