THE GLOBAL GARAGE SALE

“Before the 1960s, Japanese had a feeling of mottainai, a difficult-to-translate Japanese word that expresses a sense of regret over waste, as well as a desire to conserve,” reports Rina Hamada, editor of Japan’s Reuse Business Journal. But that was before the living standard in Japan shot sky-high. Now people are way more acquisitive, though they’ll buy second-hand if it’s of high quality.

EVOLUTION AND FAITH

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: “Evolution and Faith: What Is the Problem?”, an essay by Georgetown University Distinguished Professor of theology John F. Haught, was published earlier this year by the Portsmouth [RI] Institute for Faith and Culture.  Having asked the same question myself many times, I read the article with […]

RESURRECTION, REPARATION, AND RECOVERY

“Mea culpa” without Christ becomes a kind of travesty. Snitching, shaming, the imposition of groupthink, the hatred and fear of truth, especially from the safe preserve of online anonymity, simply gouge the original wound deeper.

In fact, the credo behind woke culture’s judge-jury-and-executioner modus operandi isn’t “My fault” at all, but rather “YOUR fault.”

FEMALE VISIONARIES WHO SAVED THE WORLD

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall and Alice Waters Changed Our World (2018), by journalist Andrea Barnet, is a fascinating read. Rachel Carson (1907-1964) parlayed her curiosity and love for the outdoor, in particular the ocean into an important and lasting contribution to […]

NEXT DOOR

As I pack up more and more stuff, it’s also interesting to see what’s left; what’s essential as I more or less camp out for a few days. Six 12-ounce packages of Starbucks French roast (I buy them expired on ebay). A giant container of pure cane sugar. A glass of roses from the garden. My portable prayer box (breviary, Magnificat, candle, incense, matches). A small old wooden crucifix. Three rosaries.

CRUNCH TIME

Crunch time means devoting an inordinate amount of mental space and physical exertion to “stuff” for a while. One function of the Incarnation, I’ve been thinking, is that we are constantly constantly carrying stuff from one place to another. Take a look around next time you’re out. Guys with plastic bags dangling from their handlebars, kids with backpacks, mothers with strollers, pickup trucks laded with rakes, shovels, trash barrels, all of us hauling bags of groceries into the kitchen after a Trader Joe’s run.