Saturday, June 25, 2005
Time for lemonade, iced tea, ice cream, hot dogs (certainly nothing more substantial).
Case in point:
Boston City Councilwoman Maura Hennigan wants to unseat Mayor Mumbles Menino this year. Now Maura is a liberal Democrat, so one is not exactly expecting exacting logic, commonsense, or wisdom from her. And with all the ladders in the city, we could not even begin to plumb the depths of Mumbles' ignorance.
I don't have a dog in this fight, so let the chips fall where they may.
But a not insignificant portion of the Boston electorate is of Vietnamese origin. There is another smaller segment of the population of the city that are veterans of the Vietnam War.
So, when Maura heard that the President of Vietnam was in town, she demanded face time with him. A good photo-op to please the Vietnamese voters, right? Like being photographed shaking hands with the President of the Republic of Ireland, right?
There are two glaring problems with that. First of all, that would be offensive to many of the veterans of the Vietnam War, which we fought against the communist regime in Hanoi that is still in power, and which that visiting president heads, which is still torturing, murdering, and commiting various acts of mayhem in the names of Marx and Lenin (though mostly these days just to stay in power).
Second, and more importantly, almost all the Vietnamese in the US are refugees, exiled here because of the communist government in Vietnam. These are the guys who lost the war along with us, and had to flee or be murdered. They lost all their property there. Their kinsmen who stayed are the ones being tortured, murdered, and variously repressed. They hate the Vietnamese government.
Getting a photo-op with the President of Vietnam is like trying to impress the Cuban community in Miami by shaking hands with Fidel Castro.
So for imbecility beyond even the low standards one sets for liberal Democrats, Maura Hennigan wins the first official Recta Ratio Dope Slap.
What's wrong with you, Maura? WHACK!
Friday, June 24, 2005
I have a feeling that the rest of the bishops (with the usual exceptions: Burke, Chaput, George, Bruskewitz, and maybe a few others) would like to spin this in a way that they can have "celibate" gays in the seminary, and then just claim that they can't be watchdogs over every single seminarian when the inevitable happens.
Bishop D'Arcy, who saw what was going on here in Boston first-hand, understood that homosexuality, not pedophilia, was the cause of the problem. Men going after pubescent and post-pubescent boys is not pedophilia. It is "chicken-hawking", and every study has shown that that is 85% of the sex abuse problem among priests. Eighty-five percent of the billion dollars the Church has spent since 1950 on priest sex abuse was spent to compensate victims ofhomosexual priests who went after teenage boys.
I've forgotten who, but someone opened a thread like this on their blog recently, and I know I wanted to do a full-length examination of the gaping lacunae of my own 19 years in Catholic schools. But the reform of my links sort of pushed that topic to the side.
Well, it is under discussion again, and I might get around to that essay this weekend.
And they are now ordaining priestesses.
Of what church, Lord only knows, since they are all excommunicated. But what is a little thng like excommunication? We all know it makes no logical sense, but we also know that feminists use logic the same way fish use bicycles.
If the mother is not Catholic, what will ever supply for them those early impressions of Catholic piety which it is the mother's place to give? How can the father, engaged all day in his out-door business, teach his children their prayers, give them their first lessons in Catholic faith, and train them from infancy in Catholic practices, to invoke the sweet names of Jesus and Mary, to make the Sign of the Cross, to love and fear their Guardian Angels, to cherish their medal, to recite the first lessons of the Catechism, to love and imitate the Infant Jesus at Bethlehem and Nazareth? And without these things, the innocent years of childhood are a blank in the Christian life which after-piety may atone for, but it can never supply, but which more probably will make it impossible for any structure of piety to be built where the foundations have been so neglected.
Quoted in, Ann Taves, The Household of Faith, University of Notre Dame Press, 1986, p. 83.
The old bishop was right. Given social norms at the time, with the mother almost always at home, and the father almost always working outside the home, if a Catholic man married a protestant (or Jewish) woman, he could kiss the idea of his children being raised properly in the Faith good-bye.
For familes structured like that, the same holds true now.
And the reverse is true, too. If a Catholic woman marries a non-Catholic man, she will not very likely see her children grow to be pious adult Catholics. Because no matter how good a job she tries to do, there will always be the example right there in the household, of the non-Catholic parent. She is not likely to get the support she needs in raising Catholic children from a non-Catholic. At best, the children will grow up to be spiritual dilettantes, sampling a little of this and a little of that. And that cannot be the goal of a Catholic parent.
There are so many reasons why marrying only within the Faith is essential. This basic understanding has broken down due to societal pressures over the last century (and because of the polyglot nature of American demographics).
The Church, too, has not been as steadfast as it ought to be in insisting that Catholics marry only Catholics. It used to be regarded as part of one of the Six Precepts of the Church that a Catholic would only marry a Catholic. That has been watered down to this:
"To observe the marriage laws of the Church: to give religious training (by example and word) to one's children; to use parish schools and religious education programs."
That basically now means get married by a priest, and not to a near relative.
That is not enough. Part of the reason Catholics of the last 50 years have not been as steadfast in the Faith is that at the very basic level of the family in childhood, too many are too much exposed to non-Catholic influences.
It is possible to live even in the same neighborhood as non-Catholics, to be nice to them, and to be tolerant of their religious practices, without dating or marrying them. All it takes is self-control. And that is a very counter-cultural prescription.
Jan van Eyck, painted about 1422 as a miniature for a Book of Hours (the Tres Belles Heures de Notre Dame)
Notice the similarities in Rogier Van der Weyden"s 1455 altarpiece depicting Saint John the Baptist's birth (especially the use of red)
Thursday, June 23, 2005
| You scored as Roman Catholic. You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.|
What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
I caught it via Annunciations.
The 26th would be the feast of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei, whose The Way is a modern classic for the proper guidance of the soul (and is being excerpted here on a periodic basis). St. Josemaria's feast falls on a Sunday this year, and so therefore has no liturgical recognition.
St. John the Baptist before Herod
from the Petite Heures du Jean, Duc de Berry
The Church typically celebrates saints on the anniversary of their entering into eternal life. Only three persons' nativities are celebrated.
The Nativity of our Lord, of course is the second most important feast of the year(Christmas). We celebrate His Nativity, of course, be cause He is God the Son, and the Redeemer of all mankind.
The nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8th, though it does not generate a great deal of devotional attention. We celebrate her nativity because she was the ark of the new covenant, and the only woman conceived without the stain of original sin.
And St. John the Baptist's nativity on June 24th has always been more popular, because it is one of those natural coincidences between the celebration of the natural year, and the Christian calendar. We celebrate St. John the Baptist's nativity because he was sanctified in his mother's womb, when Our Lady visited her and St. John leapt in joy inside her.
It is close to the longest day of the year (the summer solstice), as Christmas is close to the shortest. It was typically celebrated in medieval times with Mass, bonfires, rolling flaming cart wheels downhill, public feasting, flower garlands, gathering of herbs (especially St. John's Wort), and religious processions.
And most of the jollification took place on the Eve of St. John's Nativity, which would be tonight. Most holydays were celebrated as wakes, with the merrymaking beginning the evening before, just as we today consider Christmas celebrations to have begun after the first Mass for Christmas (4pm on Christmas Eve).
Also, like Christmas, it is a "quarter day," when quarterly rents and other obligations were due. The Quarter Days are March 25th (Lady Day) June 24th (Midsummer Day) September 29th (Michaelmas), and December 25th (Christmas).
Andrew at The Shrine of the Holy Whapping has more on St. John's Eve customs.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Thank heavens it is not from a Catholic church (Trinity Episcopal, in NYC is the culprit). This happened a month ago.
Musings Of An Ex-Pagan is the original source, and has video.
I don't see much reason to bash the Anglican Communion here, as they are doing a fine job of that themselves, with their gay bishops getting married to their catamites, their priestesses, and their clown liturgies. But also note "Jesus: The Green Man of the Bible," which I found over at Catholic Church Conservation.
If Henry VIII could have seen what his marriage troubles would lead to, I wonder if he still would have done it.
Update: The church literally established over the dead bodies of today's saints is trying to justify its clergy performing or blessing gay "marriages."
What an improvement he is over his predecessor, Bishop Dented Fender!
Found via Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
For Saint Thomas More, who most know through the magnificent portrayal by Paul Scofield in the 1960s film adaptation of Robert Bolt's play A Man For All Seasons, I offer my very slight adaptation of a prayer More wrote while a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1534, some months before he was martyred.
Give me the good grace, Lord,
To set the world at naught.
To set my mind fast upon Thee
To not hang upon the blast of mens' mouths.
To be content to be solitary.
To not long for worldly company.
To be concerned with the world less and less.
To rid my mind of all the world's busy-ness.
To not long for any worldly things.
To deem unpleasant even hearing the fantasies of the world.
To be gladly thinking of God alone.
To call piteously for His help.
To lean upon God for comfort.
To labor busily to love Him.
To know my own vileness and wretchedness.
To make myself meek and humble under the mighty hand of God.
To bewail my past sins.
To suffer adversity patiently for the purging of them.
To bear gladly my Purgatory here.
To be joyful of tribulations.
To walk the narrow way that leadeth to life.
To bear the Cross with Christ.
To have the last things always in remembrance.
To have my ever-possible death always before my eyes.
To make death no stranger to me.
To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.
To pray for pardon before the Judge comes.
To have continually in mind the Passion that Christ suffered for me.
To give Him thanks continually for His benefits.
To redeem the lost time that I have wasted.
To abstain from vain discussion.
To eschew light and foolish mirth and merriment.
To cut off unnecessary recreations.
To set the loss of worldly substance, friends, liberties, and life, at naught,
If their loss means the gaining of Christ.
To think my worst enemies my best friends,
For the brothers of Joseph could never have done him so much good
With their love and favor as they did with their malice and hatred.
These attitudes are more to be desired by every man than all the
Treasure of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen,
Were it all gathered and laid together upon one heap.
For Saint John Fisher, who had been chaplain to the Queen Mother before becoming a bishop (he was the only English Catholic bishop who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy) I can only advert your attention to his wonderful Exposition Of the Seven Penitential Psalms, which belongs on the shelf of every Catholic with a desire to repent for his sins through the Penitential Psalms. The Ignatius Press editon, which I read a year and a half ago, and plan to read again soon, is both faithful to the letter of the original and wonderfully graspable for the modern reader.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
by Hilaire Belloc
The nicest child I ever knew
Was Charles Augustus Fortescue.
He never lost his cap, or tore
His stockings or his pinafore:
In eating Bread he made no Crumbs,
He was extremely fond of sums,
To which, however, he preferred
The Parsing of a Latin Word--
He sought, when it was within his power,
For information twice an hour,
And as for finding Mutton-Fat
Unappatising, far from that!
He often, at his Father's Board,
Would beg them, of his own accord,
To give him, if they did not mind,
The Greasiest Morsels they could find--
His Later Years did not belie
The Promise of his Infancy.
In Public Life he always tried
To take a judgement Broad and Wide;
In Private, none was more than he
Renowned for quiet courtesy.
He rose at once in his Career,
And long before his Fortieth Year
Had wedded Fifi, Only Child
Of Bunyan, First Lord Aberfylde.
He thus became immensely Rich,
And built the Splendid Mansion which
Is called The Cedars, Muswell Hill,
Where he resides in affluence still,
To show what everybody might
Become by SIMPLY DOING RIGHT.
Would that all such promising beginnings worked out so well in reality!
It is being released in Europe (not in the US, or in English translation) tomorrow.
It is said to be sharply critical of liberalizing abortion laws and the secularism inherent in the proposed EU Constitution.
Parts were written more then 10 years ago, but were updated earlier this year, shortly before Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI.
It is nice to see that there is some impulse to honor this saintly Pope. It is good to see that the series will be produced with some input from the Vatican. But, you know there will be nothing like Vatican "control."
Can television do something like this without diminishing the man, without de-emphasizing his holiness, without downplaying his orthodoxy, or making it look stodgy?
On the one hand, there is what TV did with the excellent Jesus of Nazareth miniseries. But that was another era. Things have been dumbed down and trivialized far more since 1977. The lowest common denominator is now a lot lower than 30 years ago.
There was what Hollywood did with The Passion of the Christ. But that was Mel Gibson's personal act of faith. And he is not involved in this project.
I don't watch TV, so I probably will never see this. But I still pray that it will portray John Paul as more than a great man, that it will demonstrate that he was a saint, and a role model for Catholic youth.
Meanwhile, here is a completely different circumstance where the husband is doing all he can. The wife is brain dead, but pregnant. The baby continues to grow, but is not viable yet. Pray for the Torres family.
I found this via Young and Catholic.
The Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI has a new bishop, Bishop Walter Hurley, formerly an auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Detroit, is now Bishop of Grand Rapids.
Monsignor John Gerard Noonan, who had been rector of St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami has been named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Miami.
Bishop Phillip Straling of Reno, NV has resigned for reasons other than age.
Monday, June 20, 2005
And the summer solstice is at 2:46am tomorrow.
What effect would it have beyond them, say here in Boston? Hard to say. The Archbishop says he wants to have the Indult Mass served by his own diocesan priests (to keep control over things: how well he understands the FSSP is open to debate). But a widening of the Indult could change very much. If the FSSP or even a rehabilitated SSPX were allowed to say the traditional Mass wherever they want, whenever they want, would that not create a pressure to just turn Holy Trinity over to them, letting whatever money needs to change hands for the real estate be worked out between the order and the Archdiocese?
Maybe the delay in the closing of Holy Trinity until December could play a part in this dynamic. At the very least, the delay gives more time to try to persuade the Archbishop to let the FSSP (or Christ the King, or the Canons Regular) take over the parish, and assume full financial responsibilty for it. The Archbishop would still have control, of course. And Holy Trinity is only a few blocks from the Cathedral, where the Archbishop lives. What better place for him to keep tabs on what is going on there? Certainly better than in the SSPX chapel outside the city.
Raping a three year-old, a thirteen year-old, and a dog!
If there is a confirmation battle, I expect to cover it closely.
Politics has not been much of a big thing for me since the elections. We won the war in Iraq, and are now just mopping up. Bodies come home in coffins, but that is the price of freedom. The sad price, but one we as a society must be willing to pay to keep the bastards busy over there, rather than here. I still advocate taking the war to its next battlefronts, Iran and Syria. And that might happen, once things in Iraq settle down. Our base has to be secure before we move on. In the meantime, we are killing plenty of al Qaeda allies and wannabes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that is as it should be.
There is not much going on over economic policy. The tax cuts will not be reversed. There are no new exciting proposals for further cuts (which I would endorse).
But a judicial nomination, especially one to the Supreme Court, has the potential to really make the summer a hot one. It is an issue that gets my blood boiling, and something that, like war and tax policy, I know something about. I'm a veteran of the Bork battle of the Reagan administration, and a long-time Federalist Society member. Defending a good conservative nominee is something I can sink my teeth into.
So you can't say "bad" or upsetting things about satanists and other assorted vermin (see, I'm in the US and we have free speech here, so I can say with total impunity that satanists are either misguided louts or scum-sucking vermin, which both happen to be true characterizations).
By keeping heinousness from being publically ridiculed, that is the surest way to preserve it in the marketplace of ideas.
There is such a thing as "right-thinking" common sense normative decency. And when adherents of the normative ridicule, disparage, and condemn the opposite, namely the evil, the socially degenerate, the disgusting, the immoral, the just-plain-wrong, or stupid, they make it less likely that others will identify with whatever group is under discussion.
For instance, right now in society it is hip to be queer. Manliness is out. Faggotism is in. There have been TV shows for 20 years and more that have been shoving homosexuality down society's throat and in our face. People get the idea that such things are acceptable when they see them favorably portrayed in the movies and TV. And few in society have the stones to speak the truth about homosexuality. The first to cave in to the political pressure was the psychiatrists, who for no good medical reasons, and purely in response to political pressure both from within and without their society, decided that they would stop calling homsexuality a mental illness some 30 years ago.
Without the counterbalance of both free public discourse and healthy popular prejudice, bad ideas take root, are accepted, and grow. If some 19th century Edmund Burke (or even Rush Limbaugh) had taken on Karl Marx in 1840s, held each and every one of his nostrums up to the public ridicule they so richly deserved in public and private, then there probably never would have been a Soviet Union.
Some ideas, ways of life, "religions" ought to be held up to public and private ridicule. That is how we weed out from society, over time, bad ideas, ways of life, and "religions" without government control.
Here are some examples of evil, vicious, socially degenerate, or just plain stupid ideas, ways of life, and "religions":
sex with minors or those below the age of consent
They are all things that ought to be discouraged. Right-thinking people shun, deprecate, and generally have nothing to do with any of this. And they make jokes, often fairly off-color ones, about them.
And they ought to have the liberty to speak their minds about these socially corrosive trends without fear of lawsuit or, even worse, criminal sanctions by government.
That is what liberty is all about. That is part of why we have freedom of speech, to serve as a social corrective. Take that away, and the shackles of a government that hoovers the freedom out of society will soon be put on all of us.
But I know that many people who use the computer regularly are comfortable with reading long texts on line. And if I can aid anyone's growth in the Faith by doing so, it would only be good.
So therefore, I have added some 20 additional links to e-texts of Catholic spiritual classics, including works by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John of the Cross, St. Pope Gregory the Great, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Bl. Anna Catherine Emmerich, St. Theresa of Lisieux, St. Francis de Sales, Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman, as well as G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.
And if you are looking for the links to either the Douai-Rhiems Bible, or the Baltimore Catechism, don't panic. They are there. I just moved them up from Lectio Divina links to Basic Catholic Resources links.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
VATICAN CITY | June 19, 2005 5:11:27 AM IST
Pope Benedict XVI wants to restore the traditional ceremonial Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, with Latin instead of the vernacular and Gregorian chants.
Vatican expert Sandro Magister reported in his weekly newsletter Saturday that the pope is expected to replace Archbishop Pietro Marini, his predecessor Pope John Paul II's master of liturgical ceremonies.
Whoever follows Marini will have orders to restore the traditional style and choreography of papal ceremonies in St. Peter's.
Out will go the international Masses so dear to Pope John Paul II's heart, with such innovations as Latin American and African rhythms and even dancing, multi-lingual readings and children in national costumes bringing gifts to the altar.
Pope Benedict wants to return to the Sistine Chapel choirs singing Gregorian chant and the church music of such composers as Claudio Monteverdi from the 17th century. He also wants to revive the Latin Mass.
Archbishop Marini always planned the ceremonies with television in mind, Magister said, and that emphasis will remain. A decade ago the Vatican set up a system for transmitting papal ceremonies world wide via multiple satellites.
I found this UPI report over at Catholic Light.
Since we can do no more for them now, in Thy mercy, grant them eternal rest. May perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. From the gates of Hell, deliver them. May St. Joseph, foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ, usher all worthy fathers into eternal light, happiness, and peace.
That is a task I don't plan to devote myself to the way I did upgrading the links here.
But going through the links over there, I found that I had omitted including Julia Davis' Happy Catholic here.
If the death penalty was ever just, deserved, and necessary to prevent harm to others, it is here.
But the idea is to have a living person at the end of the exorcism, not a dead one.
The Orthodox call that a successful exorcism. Most other people would consider it homicide.
Found this item via Annunciations.
|Your IQ Is 140|
Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Genius
From Chapter 1, On Character:
16 You a drifter? You... one of the crowd? You, who were born to be a leader!
There is no room among us for the lukewarm. Humble yourself and Christ will set you aflame again with the fire of Love.
17 Don't succumb to that disease of character whose symptoms are inconstancy in everything, thoughtlessness in action and speech scatter-brained ideas: superficiality, in short.
Mark this well: unless you react in time — not tomorrow: now! — that superficiality which each day leads you to form those empty plans (plans 'so full of emptiness') will make of your life a dead and useless puppet.
18 You persist in being worldly, superficial, scatter-brained, because you are a coward. What is it but cowardice not to want to face yourself?
19 Will-power. A very important quality. Don't despise little things, for by the continual practice of denying yourself again and again in such things — which are never futile or trivial — with God's grace you will add strength and resilience to your character. In that way you will first become master of yourself, and then a guide, a chief, a leader: to compel and to urge and to inspire others, with your word, with your example, with your knowledge and with your power.
20 It is inevitable that you should feel the rub of other people's characters against your own. After all, you are not a gold coin that everyone likes.
Besides, without that friction produced by contact with others, how would you ever lose those corners, those edges and projections — the imperfections and defects — of your character, and acquire the smooth and regular finish, the firm flexibility of charity, of perfection?
If your character and the characters of those who live with you were soft and sweet like sponge-cake you would never become a saint.
21 Excuses. You will always find plenty if you want to avoid your obligations. What a profusion of well-thought-out nonsense!
Don't stop to consider it. Dismiss it and do your duty.
22 Be firm. Be virile. Be a man. And then... be a saint.
23 You say that you can't do more? Could it not be that... you can't do less?
24 You are ambitious: for knowledge, for leadership, for great ventures.
Good. Very good. But let it be for Christ, for Love.
25 Don't argue. Arguing seldom brings light, for the light is quenched by passion.
26 Matrimony is a holy sacrament. When the time comes for you to receive it, ask your spiritual adviser or your confessor to suggest a suitable book. And you will be better prepared to bear worthily the burdens of the home.
27 You laugh because I tell you that you have a 'vocation for marriage'? Well, you have just that: a vocation.
Commend yourself to the Archangel Raphael that he may keep you pure, as he did Tobias, until the end of the way.