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Commentary on an extended piece by an outsider.

Why pray?

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I learned a new word, today: "impetrate." It occurs in Aquinas' Summa. (Question 83, Article 2, in the part on virtues.) It means "to obtain by asking" or perhaps more accurately "by entreating, as in prayer" ... "For we pray not that we may change the Divine disposition, but that we may impetrate that which God has disposed to be fulfilled by our prayers [sic] in other words 'that by asking, men may deserve to receive what Almighty God from eternity has disposed to give, as Gregory [that is, Pope St. Gregory the Great] says (Dial.

Who are the real gatekeepers?

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"A woman last week described on Salon the experience of her photo going viral and how she clawed back control, first by reining in her privacy settings and then by sending copyright violation notices to sites that had shared her picture. It was "tedious, like pulling weeds out of the planet's largest garden," she says, but ultimately fulfilling. And a reminder that, however omnipotent the internet can feel, we can control much of the life we live in it. It's not hopeless, or scary, or ignorable, or fixed. It's just… real life." From "Is technology bad for us?" by Eva Wiseman.

Is the canon of scripture closed?

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The question is raised by John Turner at First Things on the Square in " How Does God Still Speak?". I comment as follows:.

It seems to me the question posed here is not as difficult to address as it may seem at first blush.

Mary Eberstadt - "How the West Really Lost God"

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The Catholic Encyclopedia cites St. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologiae II-II, Q 81) in defining the virtue of religion as "a virtue whose purpose is to render God the worship due to Him as the source of all being and the principle of all government of things." When Mary Eberstadt writes about How the West Really Lost God (ISBN-10: 1599473798), she's referring to the decline of the virtue of religion in the general population.  This is common knowledge among people who pay attention to these things.  What is not common knowledge, however, is the root cause of the problem, a root cause that Eberstadt's book brilliantly uncovers.  Immediately, on page 5, she declares:

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