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Thursday, November 23, 2023

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We are having our first Thanksgiving supper at our country pub this evening.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ozzie

Happy Thanksgiving Bill!

Ozzie,

That's cultural appropriation! (But I am all for it.)

A little late in the day, but Happy Thanksgiving, Bill. Let's hope that next November brings us something substantial to celebrate. Vito

Thanks, Hector.

You mentioned Sister Wendy Beckett. In early July I hung out for a few days at a Benedictine monastery in the high desert of New Mexico (the most remote monastery in N. America). In the bookstore there I bought a book by Beckett and Robert Ellsberg entitled Dearest Sister Wendy . . . A Surprising Story of Faith and Friendship. https://www.amazon.ca/Dearest-Sister-Wendy-Suprising-Friendship/dp/1626984751

I had to have it because of my fascination with Tom Merton, a fascination that Beckett shares. But like her, and unlike Ellsberg, I think he is overrated. You may find it interesting.

Same to you, Vito. We must hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. These are dark times.

Mark Levin interviews Alan Dershowitz. About six and a half minutes. https://www.foxnews.com/video/6341459441112

As I said, dark times. Next year may bring hot civil war. https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meetthepressblog/poll-gun-ownership-reaches-record-high-american-electorate-rcna126037

Bill,

Thanks for the recommendation. I enjoyed reading the excerpt about Merton you posted in Nov ‘22 so I might get the book. It’s strange how the second-rate and the near-miss can sometimes be more fascinating than the truly great.

I wonder what the most remote working monastery in Britain is. Most of ours were destroyed by a certain uxoricidal king, alas, leaving only melancholy ruins.

Hector,

Better uxorious than uxoricidal. But best to be neither.

'Protestant monastery' smacks of an oxymoron. Or are there any Protestant monasteries?

If I were born in the Middle Ages, I'd have been a monk for sure. I like to imagine myself as Aquinas' amanuensis and sparring partner.

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all! Thanks to Bill for running a splendid philosophical blog. The dialogue here is unmatched. And thanks to all the commenters who contribute to the high quality of the discussion.

Bill, what if you had walked the streets of Athens around 420 BC? Might you have participated in Socrates' circle of philosophers? Sparred with Socrates? Hung with Plato? (I find myself thinking about such questions sometimes.)

Bill,

There are some Anglican monasteries. Most of them were established in the nineteenth century I think. We were talking about Iris Murdoch - her novel 'The Bell', considered by many critics to be her best, features an Anglican convent. I believe there are also some Lutheran monasteries in Europe.

I'd have been a monk too. I'd have enjoyed illuminating manuscripts and writing elaborately allegorical bestiaries.

I might've asked you this before, but have you seen 'Into Great Silence'? It's a beautiful documentary film depicting the lives of the Carthusians at Grand Chartreuse.

Elliot,

Thanks for the kind words. At the moment I am attracting some excellent commenters, and you're one of them.

If I had been in Athens in those days, I would have been drawn like a moth to the flame.

A speculation I entertain is that after death we continue our education advancing level after level until we lesser lights are finally admitted into the luminosity of the super seminar of the great philosophers where we are allowed to listen and pose a question or two and follow them to the end of the dialectic where it is absorbed into the beatific vision.

Hector,

I've seen a trailer of the movie but not the movie itself. Here is the New Mexico monastery I mentioned: https://christdesert.org/

And here is a presentation by the current guestmaster: https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2022/1/26/visiting-the-monks-at-christ-in-the-desert-monastery-during-a-pandemic-that-closed-its-gates

Late but no matter. I am thankful for you and your published musings and writing. Peace and blessings on you and yours.

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