Embracing Reality. Tackling Culture.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


They played this song by Chopin at the CL retreat this past weekend and I really enjoyed it. We also watched portions of the film The Art of Chopin. He was intriguing character and it's worth reading about him. His life was one of longing and I identified with his disillusionment with the bourgeois lifestyle.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Madonna House

Met someone who lives in the Madonna House in Roanoke, VA, when I attended the CL retreat this past weekend. I'm going to try to visit their house in Raleigh next week when I'm in the area. I also ordered a book on their founder, Catherine Doherty, as she sounds like a fascinating person.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fragments From My Retreat

Here is a sampling of the notes which I took at the Communion and Liberation retreat this past weekend:

"To be a cog in the wheel of the powers that be requires our complicity." -Fr. Julian Carron

"The powers that be can atrophy the heart." -Fr. Stefano Colombo

"We learn from experience." -Hannah Arendt

"It's more interesting to be companions on a journey than accomplices in a temporary pleasure." -Fr. Julian Carron

"I discovered myself to be a need without an end." -Fr. Julian Carron

"I no longer want to live as if I had a flat EKG." -Fr. Julian Carron

"That longing and sadness is better than a cheap satisfaction." -Fr. Julian Carron

"That eternal happiness and justice exists is more important than my own happiness." -Fr. Julian Carron

"Sin is not something; it is the lack of something." -Fr. Stefano Colombo

Friday, June 3, 2011

Communion and Liberation

I have become very involved in the Catholic Movement, Communion and Liberation. I will be attending one of their retreats this weekend (also referred to as the CL Excercises). I have never grown in my faith like I have since encountering CL. If you have never attended a CL meeting, I encourage you to do so. Or, at least, read The Religious Sense by Fr. Luigi Giussani. One of my favorites and I'm currently re-reading it for the third time.


I was in Orlando this past week and was able to spend some time at one of my favorite churches (and bookstores). If you are ever in the area, the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe is worth the visit.

While I was in Orlando, the entire town was enraptured with the Casey Anthony murder. Sad. Well, the story is sad, but so is the fact that people get so caught-up in following these provocative stories. It brought back a scene in Jack Kerouac's book, The Dharma Bums, when he was walking down a street and noticed that every family was watching the same thing on TV. It's a sad commentary on our culture that we spend so much passive time in front of the TV and enraptured in events which really have no bearing on our own lives.

I'm currently reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's book, In The First Circle. In it, he mentions that spectator sports will make imbiciles of his society. Now, I love watching sports and attend most Georgia Tech football and basketball games, not to mention games at my alma mater, Furman University. But Solzhenitsyn has a point. It's possible to entertain yourself to death, as Neil Postman addresses in his book.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What created cities?

I believe we all have a religious sense. This article from National Geographic was posted to both the Marginal Revolution and First Thoughts (on First Things) blogs recently and it speaks to that fact. Fascinating.