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The Tree That Gave Too Much

From First Thoughts

Happy Arbor Day! In honor of Arbor day Time has a list of the top ten coolest “trees” of all time. How the Keebler elves’ tree ranked higher than Tolkien’s Treebeard is beyond me. Also among the top ten was Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, a tree that was the topic . . . . Continue Reading »

Indignity at the Bottom of the Lake

From First Thoughts

“To live with dignity, to die with dignity” is the motto of the Zurich-based assistant suicide clinic, Dignitas. But apparently not to rest with dignity. Divers have found, according to the British Daily Mail , “scores of urns containing human ashes” at the bottom of Lake Zurich . . . . Continue Reading »

New Dicastery on Re-Evangelization

From First Thoughts

CNA New s reports that Pope Benedict is expected to announce the creation of a new dicastery in the Curia. The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization will be dedicated to the re-evangelization of Western countries that have lost their Christian identity. Andrea Tornielli, the Vatican . . . . Continue Reading »

God Spare Us SuperNanny

From Web Exclusives

At the last judgment, when all the nations are gathered together, the book of life is opened, and the hidden counsels of each man’s heart are brought to light, I believe that it will be both to the glory of God and to the saints who have overcome their failings… . Continue Reading »

Missing the Forest for the Trees

From First Thoughts

In 2007, the Vatican set out to become the first carbon neutral sovereign state in the world by reducing its CO2 emissions and planting a forest in Hungary to offset whatever CO2 it did emit over the course of a year. But to date, Catholic News Service reports the trees have not been planted and . . . . Continue Reading »

Abandoned But Not Aborted

From First Thoughts

The Catholic News Agency reports that an Argentinian man, who was abandoned by his mother at birth, recently reunited with his mother through Facebook: Mauricio, 23, was abandoned by his mother at birth. In an effort to find her, he created a Facebook group called “I’m searching for my . . . . Continue Reading »

A Call to Recollection

From First Thoughts

The National Gallery of Art is, until the end of May, home to more than twenty Spanish devotional pieces of art—many exhibited for the first time outside their permanent homes in churches and monasteries—as part of the exhibit The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, . . . . Continue Reading »

Decter on America’s Heavy Burdens

From First Thoughts

In the Washington Times today, Midge Decter recollects the responsibility the United States shouldered during the Cold War and reflects on what our role in the world should be today: So what is now to be our role in the world? To begin with, it must be said that to no other nation can such words be . . . . Continue Reading »

Tiny Poems, Straight and Strong

From First Thoughts

On Saturday, poet Samuel Menashe—who has a new poem in the April issue —gave a poetry reading at the 96th Street Library here in New York. Sean Curnyn recorded the event and offered his own reflection: It’s funny: Although one’s enjoyment of Menashe’s poems certainly can . . . . Continue Reading »

Major Superiors Set the Record Straight

From First Thoughts

As the battle over the health-care reform bill intensified this week, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious sent a letter yesterday to every member of congress assuring them that “the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions” and that they, the LCWR, . . . . Continue Reading »