“We need more rocks in the river” – Jonah Goldberg, 2010

Six Thanksgivings ago, I bookmarked a post by Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online. “This pope plays it right” is a meditation by a secular writer on his father, on Pope Benedict, Catholicism, and broadly-defined conservatism. Whether I agree or not with his interpretation of Church teaching, I respect his willingness to consider it. In doing so, he struck notes that resonate with me to this day.

In the spring of 2005, Pope John Paul II died. My father, who passed away that summer, watched the funeral and the inauguration of the current pope, Benedict XVI, from his hospital bed. My dad, a Jew, loved the spectacle of it all. (The Vatican, he said, was the last institution that “really knows how to dress.”)

From what he could tell, he liked this new pope too. “We need more rocks in the river,” my dad explained. What he meant was that change comes so fast, in such a relentless torrent, that we need people and things that stand up to it and offer respite from the current.

…I appreciate the role the Church plays in savoring the right notes.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/253833/pope-plays-it-right-jonah-goldberg

I offer you the link to the full post as a little Thanksgiving token. May you read it in peace.

Getting ready for “Giving Tuesday”

I don’t know who came up with the notion of #GivingTuesday as a way to follow Cyber Monday and Black Friday and (remember this one?) Thanksgiving, but it’s a fine idea. For 2016, Giving Tuesday will fall on November 29.

Over at Leaven for the Loaf last year, I offered some ideas for ways to give. I’ve edited that post to update the links to likely projects and organizations. I hope you’ll share your own ideas with me.

I’m told that #GivingTuesday is a kickoff to the charitable season. Thanks for the clear border, guys, but where I live – amid people of modest means whose time is the greatest gift they have to offer – giving isn’t a seasonal thing. Still, this recently-minted hashtagged holiday sparks a few ideas. Some involve money, others involve time, and each has special meaning for me. While many of these suggestions are New Hampshire-based, similar opportunities exist wherever you live.

Read the rest of the post.