William Doino Jr. on Therese and the death penalty:
Therese was convinced her prayers had helped save the forsaken Pranzini from damnation. He became for her “mon premier enfant”—“my first child”—and the experience strengthened her conviction to become a Carmelite nun, and intercede for others in desperate need of God’s love. The story of the Little Flower (as St. Therese became known) and the penitent has since become famous, and still moves people’s imaginations, albeit in unpredictable ways. Even though the story is utterly transcendent—and far removed from partisan politics—it’s somehow become injected into today’s death penalty wars.
Also today, Roberto Rivera on reticence in the age of the Internet:
Looking back, our reticence was probably more vestigial than virtuous. Not only could it not be sustained, but when it gave way, the line between the private and the public would be obliterated, not blurred. In her novel What the Dead Know, Laura Lippman describes two characters as “best friends who told each other nothing of significance.” Not coincidentally, both characters came of age in the 1950s. Today, something akin to the obverse characterizes social media such as Facebook: People who are, in many ways, strangers to one another tell each other a great deal about themselves.