I’m not so sure that the problem with Twitter is that people are feeling the need to hold back from posting on Twitter…

Also, there is a name for what “holds people back” from posting: Temperance.

The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) is essential background reading for the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13). The parallels and inversions between the two are uncanny.

From mocking him, to being intrigued as I learned more about his personal life (including his visit to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, where I spent some time before my ordination), to a borderline fascination with the man, I am now listening to Matthew McConaughey narrate his autobiography. A real treat so far.

Three quick thoughts as I approach two months without a smart phone.

  1. I don’t need a smartphone.
  2. Very few day-to-day companies on the planet believe #1 is true.
  3. I sometimes don’t believe #1 is true.

From confused phone carriers to pick-up orders to Amazon needing to verify that I am actually me when I login on my computer, the modern world is built around the notion that every customer owns a smart-phone with email and browser access, alongside the instant ability to download an app. This was likely true before the pandemic, but is increasingly noticeable now.

The basic temptation in the Garden of Eden boils down to this:

Take, eat. This food is your path towards independence from your Creator. Towards reliance on yourself alone. In this bite lies the ability to define your own world. To reorder the universe around your own desires.

Whereas refusing to read these authors and learn about their worlds — or to do so merely in order to melt them down in the moral acids of our own unexamined certainties — is to close ourselves off both from our own past and from the possibility of living a fully self-aware life in the present.

That there are people in our time who see little value in the study of the classics is hardly surprising. There have always been those who care little for learning, or who value it only for its usefulness in advancing practical projects. But that such a crude form of philistinism has begun to gain a foothold in the very institutions tasked with preserving and passing on our classical inheritance is troubling. It’s a sign that present-day political concerns and obsessions have begun to intrude on and badly distort the work of the university.

Damon Linker, Cancel the Classics?

Catholicism is a very tangible business—it’s about seeing and hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling as much as it’s about texts and arguments and ideas.

George Weigel, Letters to a Young Catholic

Christians have apparently been praying for AD 2020 for quite some time…

From The Great Litany, which will open our Advent services tomorrow.

introducing [istherepublicstillintact.com](http://istherepublicstillintact.com)

(This was an oddly theraputic way to spend thirty minutes.)

Someone needs to purchase [istherepublicstillintact.com](http://istherepublicstillintact.com) and update with a simple “Yes” or “No” so that we can all get on with our lives this week.