Saturday, May 08, 2004

The Thirty-Three Heads of Voltaire
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one:
'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
     -François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire
As a student of philosophy and a lover of French history, I appreciate much of Voltaire's work, though he certainly isn't my buddy. While he apparently believed in a God, he had an easy habit of mocking religious faith, or rather what he perceived as distracting superstition. But his satire was witty, and his points, though sometimes misguided, were usually well delivered. If you've ever read any of his work, including Candide, you should also be aware of The Thirty-Three Heads, which are caricatures of Voltaire in his declining years:

The heads derive from caricatures produced by Jean Huber (1721 - 1786). For a time Huber lived within Voltaire's household, giving him the opportunity to portray Voltaire in very informal situations: without his wig, in a night cap and without his teeth.
Some believe that it was at this time that Voltaire was at his best.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Belgian Catholic Travelogue

At, my friend Jessica writes from Brussels, A Grad Student's Spiritual Adventure in Brussels:
... my Catholic adventure in Brussels has been both a challenge and a blessing. It has allowed me to grow and to explore the different facets of Catholicism in this city. I am able to witness the interaction of cultures and socio-economic groups -- from professionals to recent immigrants from all over the world -- and experience how the fusing of these practices is creating a new experience of Roman Catholicism in the world.
Grace and Peace to you, Jessica.


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