Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

26 November 2010

United Condoms of Benedetton

When this so-called Pope announced that using a condom in certain, very limited situations might be the moral thing to do, I knew that something was amiss. Obviously, the enemies of the Church have kidnapped the real Benedict XVI and have replaced him with a cleverly-disguised impostor. WHERE ARE YOU KEEPING HIM, YOU FIENDS!

In light of this development, I have raised the BroLo faith-terror alert level to "Double layer aluminum hat" (or, for people with funny accents, "Double layer aluminium hat").

Remember, you heard it here first.

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25 November 2010

Giving thanks

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., which would be great if not for the fact that I am in Italy. Still, I was able to have a celebration of sorts with roast turkey, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, there was no pumpkin pie.

I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, precisely because it is the least commercialized—not for lack of trying, mind you. Thankfully (there's that word again), Americans, the epidomy of consumerism, have resisted attempts to commercialize Thanksgiving. Today is about family and being thankful for the little things we usually take for granted.

Someone sent me a link to an article in the New York Times about Thanksgiving. It wasn't up to the paper's usual editorial standards, probably because it was dealing with something positive, which is quite uncommon for the NYT. To save you the trouble of reading the whole thing, let me paraphrase the best take-away line from the article: "Recent scientific studies have shown that optimists live longer than pessimists; which proves that the pessimists are correct."

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17 November 2010

The problem with euphemisms

The scene: It is 1961. An Irish brother is giving a retreat to a group of nuns. Having heard on the radio about the attack on Irish UN troops in the Congo, he thought he should share this information with the retreatants.

Brother: Some of our soldiers in the Congo were caught by the Balubas last night.

Sister: Oh my. That must really hurt!

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