Episode 19 Man on the Way: The Need for Pilgrimage in the Present World

Doug and his wife Shawn, a cultural geographer, talk through the essentials and purpose of pilgrimage. Today, ‘pilgrimage’ can mean most anything, from going to Graceland to sanctifying the daily grind. But what is the traditional understanding of pilgrimage (particularly from a Catholic perspective)?

We establish some crucial elements and talk through why a restored, traditional, sense and practice of pilgrimage answers to our age of anxious, directionless ‘freedom.’ We pay particular attention to the Camino, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in Spain.

Our epigraph is, of course, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. We end with our Top Ten Books/Movies about pilgrimage.

Show notes:

Continue reading “Episode 19 Man on the Way: The Need for Pilgrimage in the Present World”

Episode 14 Mary, Mother of the Church; a Memorial Reflection

On this inaugural Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, Doug and Caren reflect on the significance of this day and the importance of Mary’s place as Mother of the Church. A Marian poem from Gerard Manley Hopkins provides our epigraph.

We deal with some of the things that seem strange in the eyes of our non-Catholic brethren. This Lady, first of disciples, whose “Yes” made it possible for all of us to say “Yes” with her. We consider her unique place in salvation history and the life of the early church and the ways our devotion to the Mother always leads us deeper into the life of her Son.

Show notes:

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Episode 9 Walker Percy: Lost in the Cosmos and the Dilemma of the Self

Doug and Caren talk Walker Percy and the vagaries of the self in our age. We focus our discussion on Percy’s immensely entertaining Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book after an epigraph from his novel The Moviegoer. We touch on what brought about our predicament, a few of Percy’s non-selves, and a glimpse of the way forward. Our discussion includes other novels and his essay “The Loss of the Creature” in passing. Lastly, our Top 10 Ways to Fight Malaise.

We’ll come back to Percy more than once. This episode just gets us started.

Show notes:

Continue reading “Episode 9 Walker Percy: Lost in the Cosmos and the Dilemma of the Self”

Episode 6: Entering the Church at Easter

This Holy Week, Doug and Caren reflect back on their own entry into the Catholic Church at Easter and offer some advice to those preparing to be received this week. G.K. Chesterton provides our starting point. We recall the wonderful strangeness of the Catholic world to a convert’s eyes and give our Top 10 recommendations for those entering the Church.

Show notes:

G.K. Chesterton’s classic essay, “Why I Am a Catholic”

Great Catholic voices: listen to Fr. Mike Schmitz here.

Bishop Robert Barron has become a force for evangelization with his Word on Fire videos. Give his podcast a listen.

The Laudate phone app has everything a Catholic-on-the-go needs.

 

Episode 3 Stuff and Clutter: Reordering Our Relationship to Things

Doug and Caren talk about stuff and clutter, how it hinders our daily life and work, and ways to reorder our relationship to things. Our starting point is Thoreau’s Walden, the great experiment in testing the essentials. We touch on some popular methods of decluttering, but go a bit deeper into recovering the presence of things, following Walker Percy, and the sacramental significance of order in our lives.

Episode notes:

A good edition of Thoreau’s Walden with a useful introduction and annotations.

The Mission, directed by Roland Joffé (1986)

Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying

Homer, The Odyssey. Translators are important.  Most on-line versions are from older translations (such as Lattimore’s classic). This is Robert Fitzgerald’s Bollingen Prize winning translation.

Walker Percy (who will probably be in the notes for most episodes), Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

 

Episode 2: Fight the Atrophy; or, Starting Anew at Midlife

Doug and Caren talk about the wonderful, albeit terrifying, position of midlife (49 and holding). We examine what creates the illusion of exhausted possibilities and how one can get going again, recover from atrophy, and live more deeply. Emily Dickinson’s “I Dwell in Possibility” provides our starting point for looking to live poetry rather than prose, and we touch on other writers and saints along the way.

Show notes:

Read Emily Dickinson’s “I Dwell in Possibility” here at the Poetry Foundation.

UVA has a reliable e-text of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden here (more from HDT next episode).

Frances de Sales’ spiritual classic Introduction to the Devout Life can be found here.

Our music is from Mobile’s own master string-player and Catholic high-school teacher Phil Proctor.

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