Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What a lot of driving!

We are back from our trip to lovely Carmel-by-the-sea, where my little sister was married on Sunday afternoon. It was a great family adventure. The wedding meal was incredibly beautiful. No expense was spared. Wine was plentiful, no miracles needed! That made the first half of Monday's journey a little rough for me!

We drove the journey: 860 miles one-way. On the way there we spent the night the Sparks, Nevada. Sparks is just east of Reno. We stayed in a little inn just a few blocks away from where my wife lived with her family for quite a few years, when her Dad taught at the University of Nevada.

On the way back, we stayed in Carlin, Nevada, a little town about 20 miles west of Elko. We had good weather all the way and while we were there. I hope to post a few pictures in the coming days.

We prayed a decade of the rosary every 100 miles, which was nice and mercifully easy to get the children to do with us. We even spent discussing the meaning of the Luminous mysteries. We also talked about a fundamental theological matter. My oldest son asked if identical twins, who start out as the same fertilized egg before splitting in two, and who are always the same gender, as opposed to fraternal twins, also share a soul before the split? The answer, of course, is "No," but it was a surprising question and an interesting discussion.

My four year-old had the quote of the trip. He was in the very back of the van with his older brother, when suddenly I hear him ask, "Why don't you want to see my utters!?" He was also concerned as we went into California and we were being asked about produce we had in the car. Being a sometimes cucumber (like Larry), he thought he might be in for a bit of trouble. He also took to calling everyone "my precious" for the better part of a day after listening to an audio book of The Hobbit.

Veni Sancti Spiritus, veni per Mariam.


  1. Congratulations to your sister and her new husband!

    I've always been under the impression that the timing of ensoulment is still technically an open question (unlike the beginning of life), but have always defaulted to assuming that ensoulment and conception are simultaneous. So in that case, would the soon-to-be-divided embryo have two souls? Considering the distinct personalities of conjoined twins, I'd think as much, though I don't know if there are any theological objections to this answer.

    (I do know that this question of whether conjoined twins are one person or two has preoccupied a lot of people. I've been told that in the early middle ages, the number of hearts was supposed to determine the number of souls, but haven't been able to source this reliably).

  2. I love the stories. Bless you and your wife after taking five kids on a road trip!

  3. You are correct in that exactly when "ensloulment" occurs is an open question. You are also correct in that each child has a distinct soul. When it comes to issues of life, the church opts for the earliest possible time. While I certainly agree with the church, there are a few complications that arise from this, especially when very early term procedures are discussed.


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