Happy happy feast of the Sacred Heart and Blessed Juniperro Serra. This image of the Sacred Heart is from a 18th century mural at Mission Dolores, which is the oldest original intact mission in California. It was founded by Serra in 1776, and to my recollection, I HAVE NEVER VISITED IT. Isn't that monstrous? Well, I am going next week--perhaps even on the 4th of July, which seems so strangely fitting. Anyway, happy feast, lovelies. And happy
+ My friend Dagny has an awesome cooking blog, and that awesome cooking blog is having an awesome cookbook giveaway. So, pop over, enter in the contest, and maybe you'll win!
+ If you only read one thing this week, make it Jeremy Beer's beautiful little journey of remembrance of his mother:
Today will be a day of remembrance, whether I want it to be or not, so it’s best to get out. Let the memories come, as I know they will, and be done with it. I suppose I could enact this ritual on the day my mother died, instead of her birthday. But she happened to die on my birthday, and people tend to want me around on that day. (I guess they have their reasons.) Today I can have solitude. And a landscape to match my mood.
Stop in Wickenburg for gas and some bottled water. The bucket at the cash register asks me to help save the library, and I am happy to oblige with my twenty-seven cents in change. My munificence is apt—the public library was my mother’s cause, after all. One of the few that didn’t involve church or music. When I was four we lived in a rented house in town, and she would pull me to the library in my little red wagon to load up on books. We’d go through a pile a day, she would later tell me. I don’t remember it.
+ If you read only two things this week, make the second Ross Douthat's chilling a powerful editorial on sex-selective gender: 160 Million and Counting
+ This was the leed from Arts & Letters Daily: "Forget Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Much of America's female power elite was groomed at a small, austere, obscure Catholic college ..."The article is a fascinating look at Trinity College, a small "liberal arts" and "Catholic" college here in Washington (actually, just steps from my office). The article has a lot to trouble. But it also offers, perhaps unintentionally, a look at the reason people like Nancy Pelosi and Katherine Sebelius still think of themselves as Catholic. From Washington Monthly.
+ Fascinating account of a professor's conversion from Mormonism to Catholicism. I know Dr. Sherlock, though perhaps he doesn't remember me, and when I met him I was astounded that a man who understood and assented to the philosophical underpinnings of Catholicism was not actually Catholic--or even truly Christian. He said to me (over my first plate of paté, incidentally) that had he not been born Mormon he would certainly be Catholic. Well, now he is. Read his story on Why I Am A Catholic. (Incidentally, I think this article will prove interesting for any protestant readers--his conversion is obviously to the Catholic faith, but it is an ascension to the truth of Christianity over a complete myth, and his critiques of Mormonism are insightful and compelling.)
+ High on my list of things to explore when I have a minute: BBC's The Beauty of Maps. Also really awesome from the BBC: Your Paintings--a look at the great masterpieces of England which are not on public display.