Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

E-mail me

Friday, June 02, 2006
If the New York Times keeps publishing op-eds like Prof. Paul Fortunato's "Opus Dei's Box Office Hit," published today, I may have to admit that my rule against linking to anything in the NYT has been relaxed. Be that as it may, read Fortunato's piece. Appetizer:

For the record, I do wear a spiked metal band on my leg for a couple of hours a day just like the movie's murderous Opus Dei numerary, Silas (that's always the first question). But I do not wear a robe, except at graduation ceremonies. I'm an English professor at a state university and am finishing a book titled "Modernist Aesthetics and Consumer Culture in the Writings of Oscar Wilde." So much for stereotypes.

I joined Opus Dei as a numerary, a member who has committed to celibacy and lives in an Opus Dei center, when I turned 18. My father is a supernumerary (one of the married members, who account for around 80 percent of us). He never encouraged me to join, though he and my mother taught me to pray and to love the ideas of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the order's founder, on turning work into prayer.

I knew early on that I wanted to pursue a deep communion with God, since that's what allows me to be truly happy. And I wanted to enjoy all the richness of the secular world. (All right, all except sex, which undoubtedly is one of the richest parts of living in the world.) This is where the adventure begins. Can one be totally focused on God, praying meditatively for hours a day, and also be totally focused on the world — making money, competing or collaborating with colleagues, going out with drinking buddies? The answer, for me, is yes.