Lent has arrived

Part of the wisdom of Catholicism is the opportunity the Church extends to the People of God to deepen their faith through the mechanism of the liturgical year.  Lent has returned, and at Ash Wednesday, we are challenged to resist Lent’s derogation into the merely routine, and to grow in faith and in wisdom despite the repetition of years. 

Lent, properly understood, is hard.  It requires humility — a genuine conversion of heart and a movement away from self-centeredness.  It requires fortitude — a willingness to complete the journey despite the fear and the guilt that accuse us along the path.  It requires courage — a stoutness of spirit that forces us to look past the demons standing jealous guard over our desires.  It requries joy — a sense of grateful wonder that we who are imperfect may nevertheless obtain the gift of redemption.

Lent is a season of penance, when people reflect on their sinfulness and how sin separates man from man and man from God.  Lent is a season of hope, in that through the suffering of the One, the many might have eternal life.  Above all, Lent is a season of preparation, that we might be ready for that day when we are called to account for our lives.

May your own Lenten observance find you humble, steadfast, and joyful as you prepare for the mysteries of the Triduum and Easter.

Simulated lessons

Off and on over the last four years, I have participated in online political simulations — either based on some sort of Web forum, or through Yahoo! Groups.  I was originally attracted to the idea because I thought the sims would provide an interesting counterpoint to the conventional wisdom of political scientists, about the structure […]

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Buyer, beware

I admit it: I do a lot of Internet-related transactions.  I purchase and sell things on eBay; I buy products from Web-based merchants; I purchase subscriptions for online services.  And I usually don’t have too much trouble. But last week was different.  In the space of two days, I was hit with three unexpected transactions […]

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Oh where, o where, are the Olympics held?

Ahh, the Olympics. A symbol of human solidarity in a world rent by bloody factionalism. A chance to see athleticism at its most pure and noble and inspiring. A forum for non-violent and friendly competition among nation-states. An opportunity for the talking-head glitterati to inadvertently demonstrate that the emperor of cultural correctness wears no clothes. […]

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Customer service … ?

This afternoon, I stopped at the local outlet of a major national retailer.  My purpose: To return a book I had purchased a few days ago, that I forgot that I already owned. I assumed that this would be a relatively painless operation.  The book was unopened and in perfect condition, I had a receipt […]

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Site reset

Today I switched my Web/e-mail host from ValueWeb to Site5.  I have no problems with ValueWeb — I was hosted by them since 1999 — but I wanted more e-mail flexibility, and Site5 provides it at a cheaper cost.  So here I am.  Consequently, there is a complete reset of all data at gillikin.org, although […]

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