Archive for February 24th, 2010

A Beginner’s Guide to Lent

Note: I know Lent started a week ago. But this is a Beginner’s Guide to Lent, not a Guide to the Beginning of Lent. Timeliness isn’t always a concern at NPI.

I grew up in a Roman Catholic neighborhood, going to Roman Catholic schools, and attending Roman Catholic Mass every Sunday. So the idea of Lent is fairly simple and straightforward to me.

But every once in a while, someone like Josh—who you may have been able to infer did not grow up in a Roman Catholic neighborhood, go to Roman Catholic school, and attend Roman Catholic Mass every Sunday—reminds me that certain things we Catholics do—like “put that cross on our heads” (his words, not mine)—strike others as awfully strange.

Lent, of course, starts on Ash Wednesday, which is not, contrary to popular belief, a holy day of obligation. Still, any good Catholic will attend a short prayer service, which typically entails a reading, a Gospel, a brief sermon, and the distribution of ashes. The ashes are meant to remind us that we were made from dust and to dust we shall return. As a result, my high school’s prayer service always concluded by playing the sacred recording, “Dust in the Wind,” by Kansas.

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Getting Lost: Lighthouse

Ah....good times

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

So, do you think Jack “has what it takes”? Well, I’ve never been one of the many Lost fans who hates Jack. For the first two or three seasons, he was my favorite character on the show, since he often struck me as the only person on the Island who was rational, prudent, and not totally self-involved. Granted, he’s given to frustrating fits of stubbornness, like when he shattered Jacob’s mirror in last night’s episode, as opposed to waiting patiently to see what exactly the mission he and Hurley had been sent on was all about. But more often, Jack has done what it takes to keep survivors alive. It was Jack, after all, who coined “Live Together, Die Alone,” and it was Jack who found the drinking water, and it was Jack who saved Charlie, and it was Jack who helped spring Sawyer and Kate from the Others, etc. He fails just as often as he succeeds, and his failings are more memorable—like in his unyielding but doomed efforts to save Boone in Season One—but he always goes down swinging. This is what makes Jack both tragic and noble. Continue reading