On the eve of Christmas Eve, here’s what TJP did this Advent, in this edition of Weeks* in Review.
(By the way: be sure to check out the site on Christmas — we’ve got a surprise for you, a present for our readers.)
TJP’s Top Two
If you’re only going to click on two things, here they are:
- Brendan Busse on why he “writes now” — because he’s listened first, because evangelization (like love) begins with attention
- You may have heard that the Pope joined Twitter — and got some feedback. Quang Tran took some time to pray with it, even with the #bittertweets.
A TJP take on some of the issues of the moment:
for they shall be consoled.
- We don’t know how to pray with what happened at Newtown, either: so Matt Spotts started exactly where he found himself.
- Does the Newtown tragedy have a moral? Does it need one? Sam Sawyer asks us to wait with the suffering for a while, for the hope that does not delay.
- Perry Petrich offers a prayer for the families who mourn their little ones.
TJP Advent Edition
- Our editor-in-chief, Paddy Gilger, emerged from behind the curtain to offer his “Advent List”: seven great online resources for keeping the season — and it’s not too late! December 23rd and 24th count as part of Advent!
- Rearranging his furniture, Joe Simmons learned something about hope
- OK, it’s not quite Advent-related, but it does involve the beginning of December (and the end of Movember) — Jeff Sullivan reports in on the month-long mustache event.
- And all through Advent, we’ve been taking submissions for our Sacred or Secular Christmas playlist and posting a new song each day. Go take a look, and tell us which one’s your favorite.
From the sidelines — TJP on sports
- Marquette didn’t get to play the Carrier Classic this year — and Joe Hoover wonders if this was love in camouflage
- What is it about Catholic universities and basketball? And what will they look like in the future? Vinny Marchionni and Perry Petrich square off about the options, in the First Ecumenical Conference of the East.
- Vinny would also like to put some coaches on notice: Dress up, already!
What we’re watching … and reading … and linking
Not all pop culture has deeper meaning or spiritual significance — but we don’t let that stop us:
- Is there a war on Christmas? Or a war on the war on Christmas? Or a war … never mind, you get the idea. Either way, by the point that Bill O’Reilly has been pushed to declare that “Christianity is not a religion,” Tim O’Brien’s pretty sure the collateral damage has already been done.
- TJP’s own Matt Stewart reviewed The Hobbit — worth watching, he says — for America
- What can you learn from a zombie apocalypse? Brian Konzman’s got you covered.
- Quang Tran saw Angus T. Jones’s denunciation of Two and Half Men after his conversion and joining the Seventh-Day Adventist church and wonders: how you tell the difference between a prophet and freak?
- Worth reading, according to Joe Hoover: Daniel Day-Lewis on playing Lincoln.
- The ubiquity of Jonah Hill moves Jeff Sullivan to musing …
- Brendan Busse finds NPR’s This American Life fascinating, because it pays enough attention to reality to reveal it — and so he hopes for the resurrection of radio, especially if it means more stories like “Soul Sister.”
* Yes, weeks — plural — in review, and not just because we were busy with finals at the end of the semester. We’re going to experiment with running Weeks in Review every two or three weeks so that we can give you a more thoroughly thought-through, better-bundled picture of what we’ve published. It’ll still come out on a Sunday whenever we run it. If you feel strongly, either for or against, let us know at email@example.com. (Also, if you have any ideas for a better name than “Weeks in Review,” we’re all ears.)