Priests and Artists

“There should be priests to remind us that we will one day die. And artists to remind us that we are not dead yet.”  ~G.K. Chesterton

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It Was Only A Kiss

In this excerpt from Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein ©1961, Jubal Harshaw asks why the girls so enjoy kissing Michael Valentine, “the man from mars”:

“Anne, tell me something. What’s so special about the way that lad kisses?”

Anne looked dreamy and dimpled. “You should have tried it when he invited you to.”

“I’m too old to change my ways. But I’m interested in everything about the boy. Is this actually something different, too?”

Anne pondered it. “Yes.”

“How?”

“Mike gives a kiss his whole attention.”

“Oh, rats! I do myself. Or did.”

Anne shook her head. “No. Some men try to. I’ve been kissed by men who did a very good job of it indeed. But they don’t really give kissing a woman their whole attention. They can’t. No matter how hard they try, some parts of their minds are on something else. Missing the last bus, maybe– or how their chances are for making the gal– or their own techniques in kissing– or maybe worry about their jobs, or money, or will husband or papa or the neighbors catch on. Or something. Now Mike doesn’t have any technique… but when Mike kisses you he isn’t doing anything else. Not anything. You’re his whole universe for that moment… and the moment is eternal because he doesn’t have any plans and he isn’t going anywhere. Just kissing you.” She shivered. “A woman notices. It’s overwhelming.”

Practical Atheism

Excerpted from Thank God Ahead of Time: The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey by Michael H. Crosby O.E.M. Cap., © 2009:

Solanus Casey interpreted the conflicts of his time as grounded in theoretical or practical atheism. Theoretical atheism involved one’s denial of God’s existence; practical atheism stood for the lack of faith-in-action in people who embraced their culture’s patterns to the detriment of their professed beliefs.

I like the term “practical atheism.”

America abounds in obvious examples.

There Can Be But One

“If religion can be defined us a science, and I claim it is unquestionably the greatest science of all times– in fact it is nothing less than the science of our happy relationship with God and our neighbors, then, there can be but one religion, though there may be a thousand different systems of religion.” ~Solanus Casey, quoted in Thank God Ahead of Time: The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey by Michael H. Crosby O.E.M. Cap., © 2009