In the marketing world, the phrase “passion brand” refers to a product that has a passionate following among its customers. In addition to being loyal to the product, the customers also personally identify with it. If necessary, they will expend the time and energy to defend the product when someone criticizes it. The ownership of the product becomes a statement in and of itself — a statement that the customer has achieved a special status because of their affiliation with the product.
You may have heard of Ben Shapiro. He’s an American conservative political commentator, lawyer, and author. Shapiro has a podcast that I sometimes listen to. A podcast is a digital audio recording that can be listened to after it has been downloaded from the internet onto a computer, iPad, iPhone, or other digital device.
Last week, I wrote about the importance of practicing healthy paranoia. The definition of “paranoia” is “a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others.” My definition of “healthy paranoia” is “the intentional practice on the part of a person to be reasonably and rationally suspicious and distrustful of people who the person is not intimately familiar with, so the person can guard against unanticipated surprises and dangers.”
I’m writing this article while I’m in the presence of our Lord in the adoration chapel at the Church of the Risen Christ in Denver, Colorado. Georgette and I arrived in Denver yesterday (April 18) to visit our newest grandchild. Her name is Magdalene, and she was born three weeks ago. Magdalene is our 15th grandchild and the first child of our daughter, Laura, and her husband, Tyler.
I’ve written before about how I was involved in music during my high school and college years. When I was a senior in high school, I formed a barbershop quartet with three of my friends. I did the same thing in college. While my high school quartet had a limited number of performances, my college quartet performed at several community functions and events.
One of the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary was “continual mental prayer.” During her life, the Blessed Mother was constantly in tune with God’s will. Every morning she woke up thinking about God, she thought about Him continually throughout the day, and she went to bed thinking about Him. She was “the new Eve,” who possessed the same preternatural gifts that Adam and Eve possessed before they sinned.
The year was 1970. I was in the eighth grade at St. Mark’s school in Peoria. I remember the day like it was yesterday. One of my classmates — I’ll call him Paul — brought a Polaroid picture to school to show to his friends. Paul and I were the same age — 13 years old. The person in the picture was the girlfriend of Paul’s older brother. She and Paul’s brother were in high school. She was a student at Academy of Our Lady and Paul’s brother was a student at Spalding Institute.