Saturday, April 24, 2010

on fr. john a. hardon, s.j.

For the longest time I found immense consolation--intellectual and emotional--from the Modern Catholic Dictionary by Fr. Hardon. I'd always assumed it was just the facts and not the mind arranging them that was so gracious. Upon beginning the same Fr. Hardon's Catholic Catechism--and being able to distinguish it from other catechisms in my mind--I can say now that Hardon's mind is largely the conduit for this spiritual satisfaction. True, he presents the most orthodox of doctrines and the most erudite of opinions, but his particular way of writing, reasoning, and being I find very stimulating and compatible to my own temperament, much as I find with my few favorite authors.

But this is all derived from Fr. Hardon's true humility and sanctity, his respect and devotion to Truth. As old Jacksie said, try to be "Original" and you will never be original; but tell the truth without giving a damn about originality, and, nine out of ten times, everyone will perceive you as "original" or "daring" anyway. The ever-ancient is the ever-new.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Canon for Right Thinking

The Science of Correct Thinking: Logic by Celestine Bittle

The Christian Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Etienne Gilson

Mere Christianity;
The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis

The Human Wisdom of St. Thomas;
Leisure: The Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper

Saturday, April 10, 2010


It just occurred to me, upon beginning my umpteenth re-reading of Red Harvest, that the fictional Willssons may be loosely based on the real-life Hearsts. The mining magnate father (George/Elihu) gives his son (William Randolph/Donald) a newspaper, bent on reform campaigns. Wow.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I wonder why I'm considered depraved because I have no ambition. Isn't ambition a sin? I'm blamed for having a vice that is in fact, not a virtue, but the absence of a vice. I've been ambitious, but for me ambition is like math. The harder I try the worse it gets. The only way I could live ambitiously is in a lawless society; e.g., I could have been ambitious in an old mining town because I could have simply resorted to cutting throats to get what I want.

I would be a criminal or a monk before being an employer or an employee. And I would be homeless before being a bureaucrat.