Month: December 2012

The Hobbit: Like butter
scraped over too much bread

“Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.” So said Bilbo to Gandalf in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, when he was relating the ennui which accompanies a life lived too long. The same might be said of Peter Jackson’s first instalment of The Hobbit, which at 2 hours 45 minutes, is a film that goes too long. I will reserve judgement on the wisdom of dividing a short children’s novel into a three part movie epic, but I can say with...

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O Night Divine

My favourite carol is the Cantique de Noël, sung here very beautifully by Josh Groban. A friend in fact alerted me this, with an apology for the “cheesiness” of the video. I’ve never seen The Nativity Story, from which the footage is taken, but it doesn’t strike me as cheesy at all. I love it. I’m afraid when it comes to Christmas, at least, I become something of an aesthete, after the example of Sebastian Flyte: “I suppose they try and make you believe an awful lot of nonsense?” “Is it nonsense? I wish it were. It sometimes sounds terribly sensible to me.” “But, my dear Sebastian, you can’t seriously believe it all.” “Can’t I?” “I mean about Christmas and the star and the three kings and the ox and the ass.” “Oh yes, I believe that. It’s a lovely idea.” “But you can’t believe things because they’re a lovely idea.” “But I do. That’s how I believe.” Whatever of that, enjoy the clip. Merry Christmas! H/T...

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Where’s the charity?

Melbourne’s Age, in typically mischievous fashion, has headlined an inflammatory article, Pearson snubbed as newspaper names horse as Sportswoman of the Year. Lest the headline leaves you in any doubt, here are the opening lines: Sally Pearson – London Olympic gold medallist and golden girl of Australian sport – has been pipped at the post for Sportswoman of the Year by a racehorse by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. Sportswriters Phil Rothfield and Darren Hadland named Black Caviar as the best female athlete this year as part of their annual top 50 moments of the year column. In fairness to The Age, the controversy began on...

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Youth ministry: the basics

Last Friday night was a night of contrast and comparison. On the one hand, in the old school adjacent to the church, the Hamilton Catholic Youth Group held its Christmas breakup, which included a dance party: Meanwhile, in the church hall, the Southern Grampians Old Time Dancers held their own Christmas breakup: The juxtaposition of these events reminded me of an excellent article I came across last month. It contrasts the good ole days — “back when Wally Cleaver was wearing a jacket and tie to join other boys and girls at a party, for playing records and eating ice cream and dancing” — with the present day: “the epileptic jerks of disconnected ‘partners’ on a strobe-lit stage, all conversation made impossible by noise from hell.” But the article is not as pessimistic as you might think. In fact, it’s a constructive analysis of the deficiencies of contemporary culture and what we can do about it. Where are all the Catholic Youth Organizations?  They used to sponsor basketball games, for both the players and the people who’d be in the stands cheering them.  Where are the socials?  Where are the bowling nights, the picnics?  Where can our young people go to have innocent fun, not just alongside the other sex, but specifically for mingling with them, meeting them, flirting with them, searching for one of them to love?  Where are...

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Life, Knowledge and Love

Not long now until The Hobbit premieres on Australian screens. I’ve already got my ticket. Have you? I did concede, in a recent conversation with another Tolkien fan, that The Hobbit is light weight fare compared to The Lord of the Rings. In the latter, Frodo saves the world. In the former, Bilbo steals some gold from a dragon. Chalk and cheese. Still, I imagine Peter Jackson has indulged in artistic license, and somehow upped the ante of Bilbo’s quest. Here’s the latest trailer. Meanwhile, the rest of the world has had access to the spectacle for five days already. I know several people living in Europe who have already seen it, and judging from their Facebook reviews, it’s better than the critics suggest. One such friend is Alice Mount, who is maintaining a blog while she’s working and living in France. She blogged about The Hobbit — sort of, if you appreciate that J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were friends and fellow Inklings. Life, Knowledge and Love is a blog about everything and nothing, written by an intelligent and thoughtful young Catholic woman. I recommend...

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December 2012
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Recent Comments

  • Fr John on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “In further research, I learned that Höss did endure cruelty in one Krakow prison which "almost had me at the…Apr 10, 18:38
  • Peter on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “This is where as a mere mortal I cannot begin to understand the depth of God’s forgiveness. I…Apr 10, 18:06
  • Peter on 12 Rules For Life: “I have the book, it is terrific.Apr 5, 06:10
  • Fr John on The Easter story: “Thanks Peter! It's a new resolution of mine to blog at least three times a week. Hence the "renovations," to…Apr 2, 22:28
  • Peter on The Easter story: “Dear Father it is a long time between posts. I always look forward to your posts. I pop in every…Apr 2, 12:46
  • Terry Maher on Living the sabbath: “Thank you Father John for celebrating the Mass for Life on January 27.Jan 5, 14:17
  • Maryse on Living the sabbath: “Sundays is the heaviest workday for priests – but what a great schedule for their usual day off, Monday, Father!…Jan 4, 09:09
  • Caroline on Living the sabbath: “I need the opposite – more work and less rest! There are too many sabbath days in my week! My…Jan 2, 12:40
  • Peter on Choosing an Advent motto: “Thank you Father, for your writings, I find them very inspiringDec 18, 18:24
  • Cisca on The loneliness of the priest: “Thank you for sharing such a beautiful insight to priesthood life.Dec 14, 13:29