Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Dad on Militant Atheism

How can one be both an atheist and "anti-God" at the same time? How can one be "anti-" something that purportedly doesn't exist? That's like saying you're against four-sided triangles.

Here's the thing

Have all 6 of you, dear readers, heard of The Golden Compass?

Better question: Have any of you not heard of The Golden Compass?

One thing that just makes me laugh at the guy who wrote this book: he thinks he's being so clever and scandalous because he kills God.

The Romans beat you to it, honey. And guess what happened?

To paraphrase Lloyd Douglas in his book The Robe: "It is difficult to exterminate a people who refuse to stay dead when they are killed."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


As I set out to read my selections of Aristotle this morning, I expected my brain to short out. I mean, I read Douglas Adams and speculate as to whether Klingons should be baptized. Aristotle is one of the greatest minds in the Western world. There's a certain incompatibility there, don't you think?

Instead, I dive into his Poetics and find what is essentially a "How to Write a Book" manual. I never would have expected Aristotle to say something like, "For even if the person being imitated is inconsistent and that is the sort of character he displays, still he must be consistently inconsistent."

Pardon me while I run about in circles squealing with delight. Aristotle is SO COOL!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Children of God

Today in Honors class, this guy I'll call J. made an interesting point. Now, J. is a Latin major and has forgotten more about the classics than I'm likely ever to know. He quotes Plato like I quote Douglas Adams. Although both are ancient history, for some inexplicable reason quoting Plato makes one sound more learned. J.'s going to kill the rest of us when we do Plato next week.

But I digress. We were discussing "Alcestis" and J. pointed out the passage where the Boy (son of Alcestis) bewails his mother's death as a cruel stroke of fate, whereas in truth there were a complex series of choices leading up to her death that were beyond the little boy's ken. J. compared this scene to the final passage where Admetus, with his wife brought back from the dead, exclaims over his good luck. The Chorus follows this with:

Many are the forms of what is unknown.
Much that the gods achieve is surprise.
What we look for does not come to pass;
God finds a way for what none foresaw.

God finds a way for what none foresaw. How is it that something written in 438 BC can smack a modern Catholic right between the eyes with its profundity?

The point J. made is that Admetus is like a child compared to the gods. He looks at a circumstance and calls it only luck or blind chance, when in truth there is a purpose behind it all that he cannot see. For all the centuries separating us I don't think we're too unlike Admetus. We do not foresee the way that God will work. At least I know I don't.

You'd think that after 2,500 years we'd start to have a little more faith.

I don't have time to post

So, to get your daily dose of Catholic-meets-Trekkie, go read this post at one of the coolest priest-blogs on the internet.

UPDATE: The link should work now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

An Answer

A while back I posted a riddle which nobody bothered to guess. However, my mother has expressed a desire to know the answer. So...

Q: How is an Ohioan like an onion?
A: Layers.

Happy winter, everyone.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

¡Viva Christo Rey!

I would like to wish everyone a very happy Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.

In particular, happy feast to all members of Regnum Christi, including my mother, who was inducted (or whatever they call it) a year ago today.

Too Funny Not to Post

Sister: Why couldn't they just put the movies on DVD in the first place?

Me: DVDs weren't invented yet. If they'd waited to invent DVDs before they made movies, our childhoods would have been very boring.

Sister: Yeah, but still.

Me: What can I say? We were born into a benighted era.

Sister: We would have had to spend all our time playing with cornhusk dolls.

A Typical Exchange

Me: I don't think there's any saints named Geoffrey.

Mom: I'm pretty sure there's at least one.

Me: I think you're making it up.

Mom: I think I'm right.

Me: Computer?

Dad: Accessing...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Daily Mass Haiku

This morning at Mass
There were about two dozen
People there with me.

Then something happened
Something extraordinary:
The King of Kings came.

Because a gray-haired
Priest said, “This is my body”
For that the King came.

He came in glory
To two dozen people in
Rural Ohio.

It Stuck!

There is snow on the ground.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


My mother is carving the turkey.

I am "forgetting" the potatoes so that they boil long enough.

The rolls are sitting on tray tables by the fireplace (in which a fire is burning) so that they rise.

It's Thanksgiving, and life is good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Mom: Are you telling everybody how I'm overworking you during your vacation?

Me: No. I thought about it, but I'm too tired to type.

What happens

When I spend several hours in the car:

[Around Columbus]

Me: All the trucks! The trucks need to be smitten! God, smite all the trucks off the face of the earth!

Mom: Then how will we get fruit and stuff?

Me: I don't know. God will figure it out.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I have this friend who
Dislikes free verse. He prefers
Verses with meter.

I told him that I
Do not understand these things
Called stressed syllables.

So he said to me
"Just count the syllables, then."
Counting I can do.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Glimpse Into My Conversations

Durnhelm and I were just IMing each other, and although I really should get off the internet I can't help but share a small sampling of the topics we covered:

-being overachievers
-being unable to take one's own advice
-embarassing moments
-ille v. hoc
-my birthday
-the abortion clinic
-holiday plans
-The Great American Novel
-store-bought versus homemade
-how we call things "gods" without really meaning it
-the f word
-[the expressions 'ye gods' and 'fie' cropped up regularly throughout the rest of the conversation]
-Carthagenian (the language)
-the subjuctive in Spanish
-semi-deponent verbs (in Latin)
-my Spanish class
-political correctness
-the American and British pronunciations of the word "schedule"
-how I have a tendency to go off on tangents
-how your perspective changes over the years--a character in a book who seemed so old and mature 10 years ago is a baby now
-sagacious baboons
-we are crazy
-we are psychic
-we are writing stories and talk to the characters in our heads
-we are crazy
-some stuff about real-life people that I won't blog
-how there's a Pirates quote for every occasion

Are we not awesome?

A Glimpse Into My Brain

At Spanish class today:

No matter how hard I try to pull up my grade, I'm still scraping by with a 93 or 94 average. *Sigh*

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Celebrating 18

Today an interesting conjuction of numbers occured. I turned 18 yesterday. Rebekah is turning 19 tomorrow. We are the same age for about a day and a half, and this year it happens that we are both 18 on the 18th.

Being college students, we use any excuse to celebrate, and an 18 Party seemed just the thing to break the monotony of studying. So we made plans to catch a bus down to Bob Evans after Mass.

It took us a good 20 minutes of standing at the bus stop in the cold before we realized that the busses do not run on Sundays.

So we began the walk from the top of the hill to downtown Steubenville. Rebekah led the way. Although I have been to the Steubenville Bob Evans several times and Rebekah, poor deprived thing, has never set foot in any Bob Evans, I was far less sure of the way than she. I am using the excuse that I have always gone by car and things really do look different as you are trudging along the sidewalk with frozen fingers because the San Diegan remembered to bring gloves and you did not.

But I digress...we arrived at the restaurant around 1:00, thereby avoiding the lunch rush (silver lining, folks) and were seated almost immediately. The food was absolutely delicious, and the conversation was also pleasant, although now Rebekah knows that I'm a Trekkie. Apparently I don't look like a Trekkie. What do Trekkies look like?

The walk back seemed far shorter than the walk there, in part because I now knew where I was going and in part because it was in fact shorter--someone happened to be going up the hill just as we were starting that long journey and offered us a ride.

Such was my birthday celebration. I spent the remainder of the afternoon studying for a test tomorrow.

Given the subject of this post, I think I would be quite remiss if I didn't end by wishing a very happy birthday to Dr. Coyle. This is the week for birthdays, it seems (Rebekah's theory is that it's nine months after Valentine's Day).

Handy Spanish Phrase #1

Quedarse con la boca abierta.

The dictionary translates it as "To be thunderstruck."

It literally translates as "To be left with one's mouth open."

A Riddle

How is an Ohioan like an onion?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Little Ones

Yes, I'm posting on kids again. They're fascinating creatures, these short people who notice stuff big people don't.

Like this morning, I went to Pittsburgh and prayed outside an abortion clinic for two hours. I think I expected it to be a little more remarkable, but really there aren't any overall impressions I have of it, except of course that it was rather wretchedly cold.

I realized this evening that the reason I felt like nothing happened was because no one really noticed us. There were a couple dozen people who walked past us standing there in the middle of the sidewalk but nobody stopped. Hardly anybody even looked.

The only person who took any real notice was about 4 years old. I'll say "he", though I don't know boy or girl because little kids really sound the same and he and his mother were walking along behind me. this little kid is walking past he says, "What are they doing?" in this astonished little voice and his mother says quickly, "They're praying to end abortion." and then they walk on past. I imagine there was a long question-and-answer session on the way home.

Why is it that everybody else just went right past? Did any of those people, walking along downtown Pittsburgh on a Saturday morning, allow themselves to ask, "What are they doing?"

Are they afraid of the answer?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday night

I am a college student. This is Friday night.

It is 6:41, and I am falling asleep over my keyboard.

Wild partyer I am not.



I love days like this. Am I the only person who likes the smell of winter? I don't mean woodsmoke or anything like that. I mean that crisp smell that only comes on days like this, when it is just cold enough for there to be little snowflakes but not quite cold enough for them to stick.

I love days when it is not quite cold enough to need gloves or a hat, but cold enough that hot cocoa is like drinking heaven.

There is no deep conclusion to this. I'm just happy. I like November. This month and I were made for each other.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jesus Rejoiced

There is this passage in the Gospels which I cannot find now but it goes something like, "Then Jesus rejoiced and said, 'Blessed are you, Father, for you have hidden these things from the wise but have revealed to little ones the mysteries of your kingdom.' "

What is this secret, that little ones know and we don't? Along with Chesterton, I think that perhaps the greatest mystery of God is His mirth. It is perhaps a little strange to think of a God who laughs, but why not?

The mystery that little ones have....A couple of weeks ago I was watching 2 toddlers. One stole a toy from her brother and he tried to get it back. They began chasing each other around the room, and a few moments later they were laughing. It had become a game.

Children cry more than adults do, and their sorrows are often very little. But they also laugh more than adults do, and over smaller things. There was another time I was watching the same little girl and we spent a solid ten minutes playing a spontaneous game: she would stand behind me. I would turn and look at her. She would laugh and then run around behind me, and the game would start over. It was great fun and by the end of it we were both laughing.

Perhaps that is the mystery of the kingdom, the thing that we are too wise to understand. We do not understand that it is a Godly thing to know how to laugh.

Keeping it real

Some days are like yesterday. God speaks to me clearly and I know why I am here and I get a bazillion things done but still find time for prayer and friends and go to bed tired but happy.

Some days I want to go back to bed and start over.

Some days I want to go back to bed and stay there.

I've got this idea that I oughtn't to have bad days. I mean, I have an awesome God who loves me. I have a thousand other things to be thankful for (yes I am ending a sentence with a preposition). When I think of how hard I prayed so that God would make a way for me to come here (and He did!) it seems like I should never have those days when I just want to go home.

But I do. I have days when I cry for no reason at all. I am a teenage girl, do I need a reason?

Even on those days, though, I don't despair. I might be sad, I might in fact be pretty miserable, but I go where I need to go and I do what I need to do even when I really don't want to (look, another dangling preposition).

I can't see how I'm doing God's work. I don't know. He does. I am walking in the dark because Someone whom I love has taken my hand and asked me to follow Him. So I do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm a bad influence

The Greek Geek is blogging.

Updates as events warrant.

UPDATE: Beyond Domremy is now online! Now I shall have to call her the Greek Geek/Durnhelm, and my other 3 readers can be mightily confused.

I'm getting all tingly. A blog by the Greek Geek? This is going to be good.

He Came in the Fullness of Time

With some sort of cunning, inventive
beyond all expectation
he reaches sometimes evil,
and sometimes good.

If he honors the laws of earth
and the justice of the gods...
Sophocles, "Antigone"

Me: This is what I was saying earlier, about how you need an authority above reason. That's so Christian. I'm sorry, I don't mean to bring Christianity into the discussion*, but it amazes me how when Christ came they were so ready.

Dr. S: It's true. And why the Greeks? Why right there and right then? How do you explain that except by the Providence of God working in human history?

*We have been told previously to confine our discussions to what the author could have meant--and in 400 BC there was no Christianity.

God Listens

I am going to do a longer post about last night's Praise and Worship as I get time, but for now let it suffice that the main thing I got out of it was, "No encounter with God is ever normal."

I go to Mass pretty much daily. It can get routine after a while. Get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, go to Mass, eat breakfast, check your email.

I must admit that I more often think, "Hmm, I wonder what's going to be for breakfast this morning." than "Hmm, I wonder what the Lord wants to say to me this morning."

This morning as I was praying before Mass started I said, "Okay, God, I'm here and I'm listening." Then I made a special effort not to let my mind wander off during Mass. I have particular trouble with the homily--most days that's my nice little 10-minute nap.

Today, I was actually paying attention so I heard it when Father said, "We must identify ourselves with the Word in order to proclaim the little word that we've been given."

Maybe because I'm a writer, I've always had a particular devotion to Jesus as the Word. For the past year or so I've been calling myself "the little word".

Father didn't know that. God did. So, just a bit of friendly advice: if you ask God to touch you, make sure you mean it because He probably will.

Time Stamp Fixed

Thanks go to Scott for telling me how to get my blog on Eastern Time. So, it is actually about a quarter to eight as I am writing this.

I must thank Scott also for giving me the link to the Earth Destruction Advisory Board. It's very reassuring to be able to look at my sidebar and know that the Earth is still here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


The Captain is transferring to Franciscan!

Pray that everything works out with her credits and stuff, 'kay? It would be so awesome to have her on the same campus.

Breakfast on Tuesday

Tuesday is Household Mass Day, and by extension Household Breakfast Day.

This means that those of us who are not in households get a meal and a show. Such as this morning, when diners were entertained by the AMDG intents singing "Father Abraham" while forming a human pyramid.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I've Become a Conformist

This morning I bought a December Magnificat. Yes, I know it is 18 days until December. Around here, Magnificats sell out 2 weeks in advance.

This evening I went to Confession. I arrived at 7:20. There were already 20 or 30 people in line. By the time confessions started at 7:30, the line was out the door.

Tomorrow morning I will go to the 6:30 Mass. It will be standing room only. One Tuesday back in September they actually ran out of the Eucharist because there were so many people.

It's hard to be weird here.

Time Stamp?

I think Blogger must be on California time. So, to anyone who wonders why I was not in Spanish at 1:00 PM--I was. Just wanted to clear that up...

Thank Heaven for Auto-fill

Note to self:

a. Remember your own url

b. Add your own blog to your favorites

c. Both a and b

Otherwise the world will be deprived of your brilliance because you wouldn't be able to find your own blog.

Talking to the Crickets

Hello, nonexistent readers!

I know there will be no one reading this for a while, but I think it's fun to make the pretty posts appear (good grief, I sound silly...) so I'll post anyway.

My name is Megan, and I will be 18 on Saturday. I'm a freshman at Franciscan University of Steubenville, studying Communication Arts and Theology.

I call this blog "But I Digress" because that is the most common phrase in my emails. I am always getting off topic and having to wrench myself back to the main point. Alas, it is like that in my spiritual life as well. I will be all set to make progress in holiness, and then something will distract me and off I go. After a while God heaves a sigh, goes chasing after me, and plops me back down at the foot of the Cross.

My family consists of Mom, Dad, and Sister. They have names, of course, but this is the internet, people. We live in a smallish town in the middle of nowhere. For the purposes of this blog I will call it "the Polis". I have been studying Greek literature this semester and the polis is more than just a town. It is the whole world for its inhabitants. Since I love my hometown that much, I think the name appropriate. VERY IMPORTANT: If you should happen to know my last name and/or any part of my "permanent mailing address" (as the college applications put it), please keep these off the web. I would like to maintain a certain level of anonymity.

My two best friends are the Greek Geek and the Captain. They call themselves these things. The Greek Geek is a sophomore at a college far, far away. She likes Greeks. (All gasp in shock at this revelation.) She actually likes Romans better, but "Roman" doesn't rhyme with "geek". The Captain is a sophomore at another college even farther away (as in, on the other side of the country...wah!). She likes boats and martial arts and being an Eastern Catholic. I had no idea there were any such things as Eastern Catholics until I met her.

Such is the landscape of my life. Posts on this blog will be whatever pops into my head. Perhaps it will be profound. Perhaps it will be silly. Perhaps it will be so boring that your eyeballs bleed. I don't promise to post every day (or even every week) because I have a life and it's not blogging. This is just a way for me to organize my thoughts and have an outlet for the random things I think of. Then the poor Greek Geek will not get 5 emails a day from me, and she can focus on studying old dead guys.


One, two, three...

Is this thing on?