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One Is Silver and the Other …

Today the Aquilinas mark twenty-five years of wedded bliss. What did the Fathers have to say about this “silver anniversary” stuff? Here’s Leo the Great:

In a great house, as the Apostle explains, there must needs be various vessels, some of gold and of silver, and some of wood and of earth: but their purpose varies with the quality of their material, and the use of the precious and of the cheap kinds is not the same. For everything will be in disorder if the earthen ware be preferred to the golden, or the wooden to the silver. And as the wooden or earthen vessels are a figure of those men who are hitherto conspicuous for no virtues; so in the golden or silver vessels they no doubt are represented who, having passed through the fire of long experience, and through the furnace of protracted toil have deserved to be tried gold and pure silver.

My wife, Terri, has taken to the refinement rather well — well enough for both of us, I hope. She’s the purest of silver, by Leo’s standard or anybody’s, and should attain golden well in advance of our fiftieth.

I remember my dad (God rest his soul) telling my niece Melissa that he hoped to sneak into heaven by hiding behind his wife. Melissa responded that, unless he lost a lot of weight, he wasn’t gonna be hiding behind anybody.

I’d better get in shape.

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Faith That Dare Not Speak Its Name

I’ve mentioned Ken Howell to you before. He’s gradually bringing out a new edition of the Apostolic Fathers. Apparently the University of Illinois has fired him for actually believing what the Apostolic Fathers believed.

Don’t know about you, but when I was attending a big state university I had all manner of moral and spiritual notions peddled to me as Truth. Not only in the soft spots, like the humanities, but in physics and math as well. For some reason, especially in physics and math. My son and his contemporaries seem to endure the same sort of instruction today. Back in 1985 we rolled our eyes, knowing it’s the price we pay for academic freedom.

But apparently there are limits to academic freedom, and Ken strayed beyond them. Say a prayer for him and his family. Buy his book. And if you’re in a position to do something about the situation, please do.

UPDATE: In the comment box, author and patrologist Carl Sommer suggests something you might do.

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Happy St. Thomas Day

The Apostle Thomas is a figure of fascination for both believers and doubters. For me, he’s an object of obsession. I’m especially fascinated by the traditions of his work in India — preserved in epic poems, family stories, and (of course) the testimonies of the Fathers.

At long last, I’m bringing out a book on the subject: A Doubters Novena: Nine Steps to Trust With the Apostle Thomas, co-authored with my friend Christopher Bailey. It’s due out in a few weeks, but Amazon lets you pre-order now.

While you’re waiting for the book to arrive, you can celebrate the feast of St. Thomas by reading these posts:

Without a Doubt

Hindu Traditions of St. Thomas

Spice and Spirit

Friends, Romans, Christians … in Ancient India?