“I condemn equally those who choose to praise men, those who choose to condemn him, and those who choose to divert themselves. And I can approve only those who seek with groans.” –Blaise Pascal, “Pensées” Welp, I have been privately praising certain men, condemning certain men, and choosing on many occasions to divert myself. Then […]


LA Superior Court Judge Craig J. Mitchell on the Skid Row Running Club he started in 2012:

“As Catholics, we all have to figure out how we are going to live the Gospel. How are we going to take it out of the church and into the world?”

“My witness for lack of a better word as a practicing Catholic is what I do on Skid Row. I don’t have to wear a rosary around my neck.”


The mailperson, almost inevitably a man in my experience, is right up there in my mind with the local librarian and the priest as a consoler, a bringer of sustenance, a conduit between my cloistered little world and the world at large. I have come close to tears in my occasional outbursts of gratitude and wonder that the guy reallly does show up, mostly, rain, shine and here in Tucson, almost dangerous heat.


“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.


“A particularly severe form of asceticism within Christianity is that of anchorites, who typically allowed themselves to be immured, and subsisting on minimal food. For example, in the 4th century AD, one nun named Alexandra immured herself in a tomb for ten years with a tiny aperture enabling her to receive meager provisions. Saint Jerome (c. 340–420) spoke of one follower who spent his entire life in a cistern, consuming no more than five figs a day.”