Redeem the Time

TAC Grads Doing Stuff

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A few items I’ve been saving:

Tutor David Quackenbush, “the father of 10 fully developed embryos,” penned an op-ed about stem cells. He asks:

Are we doing enough justice to the moral value of first principles as machetes?

Norris Archer Harrington (see has an excellent op-ed explaining liberal education in the Dallas Morning News:

If you buy into the lie that the only kind of education that matters is that which helps you make money, you will be a slave to ignorance and to the brilliant but amoral sorts who would manipulate your pretensions to practicality.

Dr. Michael M. Waldstein is set to publish the definitive version of The Theology of the Body: A New Translation Based on the John Paul II Archives, with a foreword by Cardinal Schonborn and a preface by Christopher West. Read this Catholic Online article to discover why this new version of JPII’s magnum opus will be “definitive.”

Written by kodiakisland

August 23, 2006 at 10:18 am

Posted in Grads

Go Elswhere

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Go read this blog now.

And listen to the Pope’s Latinist, here (scroll down here for a recent recording). The recordings sound as if Triumph the comic dog entered a Monty Python skit, if Triumph lived a saint-like existence and was a brilliant expositor of Latin, and if Monty Python skits were performed on Vatican Radio. Go listen; I promise Father Reginald Foster will amuse and enlighten!

Read more about the Pope’s Latinist here. The existence of such men gladdens the heart and brightens the soul.

Written by kodiakisland

July 17, 2006 at 8:41 pm

Slow Morning: Nicole Kidman, Annulments, Scientology

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Preparation for actress Nicole Kidman and country singer Keith Urban’s anticipated June 25 wedding has helped guide her back to the Catholic Church, said a priest who knows her.
In recent months, it has been reported that she has studied theology at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., as “a return to her Catholic roots.”

“Catholicism guides me. I certainly have a strong belief. I try to go to church regularly, and I try to go to confession,” she told the Philippine Daily Enquirer.

Read the whole article.

See more by googling the priest’s name. At first, I thought for sure this was just some wacky Jesuit doing tricks for rich people, but apparently she did have her previous marriage to the Tomcult taken care of (see especially this article). I would venture to guess that there are lots of “Catholic” politicians who are on their second, third, or fourth wife who haven’t taken the pains she has to obey the church.

I suppose that even if you had to get an annulment, you might have a good shot if your partner was…well, him. Thankfully, the Church doesn’t recognize “weddings” performed by “churches” with the (atrocious) word “scientology” in their title. I mean, just think about the absurdity of that redundant word being used as a name for the particular form of crockery it represents.

Written by kodiakisland

June 26, 2006 at 11:32 am

What do we learn from?

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If we take “learning” in a general sense, it is true to say that we learn more from other people than we do from books.

Yet it is easy to forget this fact, most likely because it is so much a part of our daily lives. We cannot forget this, lest we fall into needless despair and hatred of our own kind.

Books are essential to the intellectual life because they allow for people to transmit their thoughts to others over great periods of time. Great books are like noble statutes, forever pointing to what truly is, forever spurring us onward and upward. They are written, explained, and pondered by people.

The rational, political animal, possessed of an eternal soul, is alive. Books are his lifeless product. Most of what one needs to know to understand books comes from what we learned from others.

Wisdom means loving people more than books, because truth is actually and properly in people—and only potentially and accidentally in books.

Consider that in the sense that the Son of God is a person, and the truth itself, this not only pertains to the second great commandment, but the first.

See also here, here, and here.

Read Xenophon’s description of Socrates and Euthydemus—a youth who “had formed a large collection of the works of celebrated poets and professors, and therefore supposed himself to be a prodigy of wisdom for his age, and was confident of surpassing all competitors in power of speech and action.”

Read also the second half of the Phaedrus:

…you who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.


I cannot help feeling, Phaedrus, that writing is unfortunately like painting; for the creations of the painter have the attitude of life, and yet if you ask them a question they preserve a solemn silence. And the same may be said of speeches. You would imagine that they had intelligence, but if you want to know anything and put a question to one of them, the speaker always gives one unvarying answer. And when they have been once written down they are tumbled about anywhere among those who may or may not understand them, and know not to whom they should reply, to whom not: and, if they are maltreated or abused, they have no parent to protect them; and they cannot protect or defend themselves.


Soc. Is there not another kind of word or speech far better than this, and having far greater power-a son of the same family, but lawfully begotten?

Phaedr. Whom do you mean, and what is his origin?

Soc. I mean an intelligent word graven in the soul of the learner, which can defend itself, and knows when to speak and when to be silent.

Phaedr. You mean the living word of knowledge which has a soul, and of which written word is properly no more than an image?


even the best of writings are but a reminiscence of what we know, and that only in principles of justice and goodness and nobility taught and communicated orally for the sake of instruction and graven in the soul, which is the true way of writing, is there clearness and perfection and seriousness, and that such principles are a man’s own and his legitimate offspring;-being, in the first place, the word which he finds in his own bosom; secondly, the brethren and descendants and relations of his others;-and who cares for them and no others-this is the right sort of man; and you and I, Phaedrus, would pray that we may become like him.

Written by kodiakisland

June 24, 2006 at 1:51 am

Posted in Wisdom

Traditional Catholic Political Philosophy v. Libertarianism

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Had to type this up fast, but let’s play a quick game of “draw your own conclusions”:


Traditional Catholic political philosophy holds that government exists for the sake of the common good.

Libertarians hold that government does not and/or cannot exist for the sake of the common good.

Traditional Catholic political philosophy holds that men are naturally social, and thus government is natural and good.

Libertarians hold that government is, at best, a necessary evil.

Traditional Catholic political philosophy holds that the end of the political community are goods that can only be attained in common by the members of said society—goods that, ultimately, all the members of society ought to desire.

Libertarians hold that the end of the political community is to bestow freedom on individuals so that they can attain what is good in their own eyes—goods that are primarily material and/or vary from individual to individual.

You get the point.

Written by kodiakisland

June 22, 2006 at 10:00 am

The Real Problem

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The Catholic Church in America is asleep.

The real question is whether or not its sons and daughters can rouse it from its slumber.

Written by kodiakisland

June 14, 2006 at 11:16 am

Posted in 'Merica, Catholicism

A Sermon I Don’t Have Time to Write

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I can provide you with some of my primary texts, however.


I would talk about the usual lukewarm droning of liberal Catholics—as well as the nay saying grumbling of conservative Catholics—all in the context of today’s so-called “social issues.”

Abraham Lincoln, American President, who was assassinated:

In any case that arises, as for instance, the promulgation of abolitionism, one of two positions is necessarily true; that is, the thing is right within itself, and therefore deserves the protection of all law and all good citizens; or, it is wrong, and therefore proper to be prohibited by legal enactments.
If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it, are themselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationality – its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension – its enlargement. All they ask, we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask, they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy.

Elijah, the prophet, who was taken up into heaven:

Elijah appealed to all the people and said, “How long will you straddle the issue? If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.” The people, however, did not answer him.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified:

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Notice a pattern? These are words signifying wisdom.


But we are not great men—our voices are dry and cracked and we are hollow. What can be expected from us? What shall each and every one of us say about ourselves? Why should we bear blame for the sins of others? What duty do we have to the city of man?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified:

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Well, OK, but we don’t want to be persecuted needlessly, do we? Shouldn’t we remain “prudent” according to the ways of the world, perhaps working in comfortable obscurity and avoiding giving serious offense to others—the better to keep our saltiness; the better to ensure our light remains aflame? Don’t we need to keep ourselves safe? And what about “throwing pearls before swine”?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified:

A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!

So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.


Any fear or hesitation we have in present times is pathetic in comparison with what those who have gone before us have faced. We are soft and weak with freedom and resources that we waste even as we blame our faults on this same liberty and prosperity. Yet we are still called by the rousing words of the Apostle to be more than any Ceasar was or ever could be—to be unified with God; to fully possess and reflect His image; and to lead others to the same—no matter what is going on around us. Many act as if hope isn’t a virtue “in such evil times,” counseling irresponsible retreat or the solace of the lukewarm.

St. Paul, the Apostle, who was martyred:

…in all these things [tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword; being killed all the day long, being regarded as sheep to be slaughtered] we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

On that basis, we are always called to salt and to shine. The title of this blog is taken from the words of St. Paul the Apostle as they are translated in the King James version of the scriptures. St. Paul repeats the phrase in two passages that could give the sermon a fitting end. The times are always evil—and we are always called to redeem them. We can only do this to the extent we become wise.

St. Paul, the Apostle, who was martyred:

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Written by kodiakisland

June 14, 2006 at 10:58 am

Posted in Catholicism