Sunday, May 31, 2009

Feast of the Visitation

14th century wall-painting in the Timios Stavros Church in Pelendri.
The unborn John the Baptist bows before the unborn Jesus. Such depiction appears only in three more churches in Cyprus.

Except for the fact that Pentecost falls today, May 31, it is the day celebrated as the Feast of the Visitation. Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages.

Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Here Mary herself (like the Church) traces all her greatness to God.

- American Catholic

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Don Bosco's Dream

Today is the anniversary of St Don Bosco's recounting his dream to the boys of the Oratory, May 30, 1862. This video by Bob and Penny Lord relates Don Bosco's dream very well. It is indeed relevant to our current age of sin, death, and scandal and its hatred of the Church. [ht: New Advent]

Dumb and dumber still


hmm, after Gay marriage then

next maybe we'll have services for folks to be baptized Atheist

and don't our beloved kitties deserve last rites?

and our saintly doggies the chance at holy orders?

hey, and we can have confession
where we instead mention everyone elses' sins.

ugh, ya gotta wonder if our twitter brains
can get any dumber in these mega-churches of tolerance?

Librophilia



Perhaps these would inspire a trace element of human dignity in the hardened, jaded hearts of today. Perhaps not.

Friday, May 29, 2009

OMG - Cain and Abel Again

Apparently the creative fraters at Creative Minority Report, Matthew and Patrick Archbold, are playing out a regrettable scenario reminiscient to that of our ancient ancestors, Cain and Abel. Sad. Very sad.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Proximity Alerts, Decisions, & Chivalry

I am convinced of a great many things, thanks to the overwhelming initiative of the grace of God. But two things stand in stark relief most specially. First, I am convinced that whereas we may be gifted with a fabulous gift of intelligence and reasoning, it will or will not be of any lasting use or benefit to the common good in direct correlation to its starting proximity to Christian faith and morals as taught and vouchsafed by the Catholic Church.

This means that if I happen to be born, raised, and given my first shove out of the "nest", so to speak, outside the sphere of influence of Christian faith and morality, that will nearly and most surely mean that these will not be of great import in my decision-making or actions. Therefore, this is likely to happen. If, on the other hand, I have been blessed to be born, raised, and catechized in or near the teachings of Catholic revealed truth, this is much more likely to happen.

The second thing I am convinced of is that a reversal, a "coming to oneself," can and may occur equally by God's grace (but not without our remorse and repentance). We Four Mass'keteers are living proof that men can be taken up, shaken by the scruff of our necks, and set on the right path by God's grace and the Sacrament of Reconciliation (is there a difference?).

But the former matter is borne out in today's contemporary western society in innumerable and tragic scenes, high and low, common and prestigious, pathetic and pathological.

Ours is the work of Marian chivalry; or, as T. S. Eliot observed, "prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action." God bless us all, and pray for the (on-going) conversion of sinners (that's all of us).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

God provides the opportunities...

video
If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?
From the movie Evan Almighty.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Eucharistic celebration demands a self-examination

Raymund Schwager writes on the drama of the Christian Life in his book, Jesus in the Drama of Salvation (pp 228-229)

Whoever eats of the bread and drinks of the cup unworthily will be guilty of the Lord's body and blood. Let everyone examine himself, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For whoever eats and drinks without discerning the body of the Lord, that person eats and drinks judgment upon himself. Because of this some among you are weak and ill, and not a few have passed away. But if we judged ourselves, then we would not be judged. (1 Cor. 11:27-31)

The eucharistic celebration demands a self-examination. If this is not carried out in sufficient depth, then there necessarily results an involuntary process of self-judgment, which according to Paul reaches even into a person's bodily existence. The liturgy is, then, not only the performance of a drama; as effective representation it releases a process of judgment and provokes decisions which reach into the inmost depths of the participants.

The Human Person comes to be deprivatized & socialized

Raymund Schwager writes on the drama of the Christian Life in his book, Jesus in the Drama of Salvation (pp 218-221)

If an actor plays his part well, he steps with his whole existence into the service of the character he is to represent. This does not make him a puppet, but his own experience with its hopes and sufferings, its dreams and disappointments is expressed in a transformed way in the person who appears on the stage. The actor puts something of his own life into the service of the figure whom he has to play. Certainly, in his performance he always remains in the role, out of which he must regularly step, in order to live his own life with his own responsibilities. But his service in the role has a great symbolic power.

Christian life can be understood from the viewpoint of this parable...

Even if a good actor puts everything into his part, his own life remains more important. It was different with the fate of Jesus. His human life had no aim of its own beside his mission. It was a matter of being the living flesh and dramatic instrumentality for that threefold life which had gripped him. A similar task stands before those who are ready to follow him. Given the spontaneous urge to live, all of us start with our own wishes, aims, and plans, and these, while preserving the person's own imperious will to life, can often be built into collective projects within history without any very great difficulty. Self-will thus appears as service. Christian faith demands, however, a different service and therefore includes a fundamental conversion. The decisive thing is the question of the whole understanding of life and the readiness ultimately not to live one's own life any longer, but Christ's, and to allow oneself to be led by the Spirit. One's own life becomes then a living instrument on which the melody of a higher life can be played. Such a conversion can naturally not be the fruit of one individual decision, but involves a lifelong process.

From the insight that the innermost dimension of human life is the divine life bestowed on humankind, H. U. von Balthasar distinguishes between spirit-subject and person. He ascribes the spiritual individual to the creation, while he defines personal existence by means of the supernatural mission and participation in the trinitarian life of God. In the case of Christ, from whom Balthasar draws the theological concept of person, this distinction can be established fairly easily, even by means of church doctrine (anhypostasis of human nature). However Balthasar tries to understand all human persons from the viewpoint of the supernatural mission, according to the archetype of Christ: "But in Christ there is hope to be no mere individual self, but to become a person of God, with a task likewise defined through Christ." Since the Christian task is always aimed at the others, together with supernatural personal existence, according to Balthasar, there is at the same time implied a community among humans: "The human self, becoming a person theologically through an individual calling and mission, comes to be simultaneously deprivatized and socialized; it is made into a space and bearer of community."

...

In all this, the human person should not be understood as a fixed quantity, closed in on itself, which can be changed only from outside. It is in its whole being oriented toward God and has as a creature something indeterminate in itself. It is of itself not finally self-determining or autonomous, but - despite its subsistence - must at the same time in its innermost being be thought of on the model of "material" which is in need of further determination. By receiving divine life it is, therefore, not alienated from itself. Existence in faith does not mean playing a role which is strange, but being addressed by the role received (mission) in the indeterminacy at the center of one's person and challenged to a new self-determination and freedom made possible by the Holy Spirit.

Value of Work

Work (1852-65) - Ford Madox Brown
When Matthew Crawford finished his doctorate in political philosophy at the University of Chicago, he took a job at a Washington think tank. "I was always tired," he writes, "and honestly could not see the rationale for my being paid at all." He quit after five months and started doing motorcycle repair in a decaying factory in Richmond, Va. This journey from philosopher manqué to philosopher-mechanic is the arc of his new book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work. It's appropriate that it arrives in May, the month when college seniors commence real life. Skip Dr. Seuss, or a tie from Vineyard Vines, and give them a copy for graduation.

The graduates won't even skim Shop Class, of course. But maybe, five years from now, when they can't understand why their high-paying jobs at Micron Consulting seem pointless and enervating, Crawford's writing will show them a way forward. It's not an insult to say that Shop Class is the best self-help book that I've ever read. Almost all works in the genre skip the "self" part and jump straight to the "help." Crawford rightly asks whether today's cubicle dweller even has a respectable self. Many of us work in jobs with no discernible products or measurable results. We manage brands and implement initiatives, all the while basing our self-esteem on the opinions of others.

Compare that with the motorcycle mechanic. Instead of the vague threat of a performance review, the mechanic faces the tactile problem of a bike that won't start. He tests various theories and deploys actual tools. The sign of success is a roaring engine ...
Read all of Heidegger and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Saruman Ring-maker @ ND

A must read.
Athos comes through again.


"…about the body of Saruman a grey mist gathered, and rising slowly to a great height like smoke from a fire, as a pale shrouded figure it loomed over the Hill. For a moment it wavered, looking to the West; but out of the West came a cold wind, and it bent away, and with a cold sigh dissolved into nothing. …long years of death were suddenly revealed in [the body], and it shrank, and the shrivelled face became rags of skin upon a hideous skull."

Saruman's death: Shippey suggests that Saruman represents a character 'eaten up inside' by his desires. —The Return of the King, p.363

Don't miss this link to Athos' link HERE

Whether this scenario is one that I Wun will face directly or not I don't know but we who are following in his shadow will certainly witness to the many deaths.

We must remember that responsibility is ours as we voted him into office and even after his 100-days we continue to swoon over him as if he truly were Saruman. The problem seems to me to be that we hold truths to be self-evident only in terms that are governmental and not religious. The Church claims truths and yet we (and that includes many clergy and bishops) seem to think that they are optional. How does a Church pray for unity and yet strives not to help its members come to unity in the most basic of truths?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Power comes from being a saint

My Patron Saint - St Bernardine of Siena

In Bologna, Bernardine put a halt to games of chance. One worker's exclusive occupation was painting playing cards. He had found this work sufficient to provide for his family needs, but now he was threatened with falling into need as a result of the reforms introduced by the Saint in his city. He came to speak of his worries to the very one who was causing them. Bernardine welcomed him with kindness and asked him if he really did not know any other trade.

"None, Father," answered the worker.

"Well then, will you try one that I will suggest to you? You will make enough for yourself and your family, I promise you."

"Gladly," said he, "I will do it at once."

Taking a compass, the Saint drew a circle on a board, then sketched the adorable Name of Jesus in the middle of it, drawing bright rays of light all around it. He showed the sketch to the worker and said to him:

"There, my friend, make similar paintings based on this model, and you will make an income great enough to meet your needs." The painter followed his advice, and soon people were thronging to his workshop; within a few short days, he had been largely compensated for abandoning his former industry.

St. Bernardine of Siena

(1380-1444)

Especially known for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, Bernardine devised a symbol—IHS, the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek, in Gothic letters on a blazing sun. This was to displace the superstitious symbols of the day, as well as the insignia of factions (for example, Guelphs and Ghibellines). The devotion spread, and the symbol began to appear in churches, homes and public buildings. Opposition arose from those who thought it a dangerous innovation. Three attempts were made to have the pope take action against him, but Bernardine’s holiness, orthodoxy and intelligence were evidence of his faithfulness.

General of a branch of the Franciscan Order, the Friars of the Strict Observance, he strongly emphasized scholarship and further study of theology and canon law. When he started there were 300 friars in the community; when he died there were 4,000. He returned to preaching the last two years of his life, dying while traveling.

Patronage

advertisers
advertising
against hoarseness
Aquila, Italy
Castelspina, Alessandria, Italy
chest problems
communications personnel
compulsive gambling
San Bernardino, California, diocese of
gambling addicts
Italy
lung problems
lungs
public relations personnel
public relations work
respiratory problems
Trevignano Romano, Italy
uncontrolled gambling

Read more on this great saint HERE

O Name of Jesus

“0 glorious Name! Gracious Name! Name full of love and virtue!Through You, sins are forgiven, enemies overcome, the sick healed, and sufferers strengthened in adversity! You are the honor of believers, the Master of preachers, the comfort of those who toil, the support of the weak. Holy desires are nourished by the ardor of Your fire; and by it, necessary suffrages are obtained, contemplative souls are inebriated, and the triumphant are glorified in heavenly glory! By Your most Holy Name, 0 sweet Jesus, You make us reign with the Blessed, You, their glory, You who triumph gloriously with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in perfect Unity and Trinity, forever and ever.
O Name of Jesus, exalted above every other Name! O triumphant Name! 0 joy of Angels! 0 terror of hell! All hope of pardon, of grace and of glory is found in You! O sweetest Name, You pardon the guilty, You reform evil habits, You fill the timid with divine sweetness and drive away terrifying visions! 0 glorious Name! By You, the mysteries of eternal life are revealed, souls are inflamed with divine love, strengthened in time of struggle, and freed from all dangers. 0 desirable Name! Delightful Name! Admirable Name! Venerable Name! Little by little You raise the souls of the faithful by Your gifts and graces to the heights of heaven. All to whom You communicate Your ineffable grandeur, by Your power attain to salvation and glory!”

(St. Bernardine of Siena - Feast day May 20).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Have you prayed for the message?



tip to Amy Welborn

Get the message straight Mr President



Tip to Athos. At least this house seems not divided.

It's a magnificent thing: The only newly-originating life in the universe that comes in the image of God is Man. The only newly-originating life in the universe that lasts forever is Man.

This is an awesome thing.

And, as everyone knows, that reverence is not shared by our new President, over whom we have rejoiced.

He is trapped and blind in a culture of deceit. On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, he released this statement,

We are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters.

To which I say:

No, Mr. President, you are not protecting women; you are authorizing the destruction of 500,000 little women every year.
No, Mr. President, you are not protecting reproductive freedom; you are authorizing the destruction of freedom for one million little human beings every year.
No, Mr. President, killing our children is killing our children no matter how many times you call it a private family matter. You may say it is a private family matter over and over and over, and still they are dead. And we killed them. And you, would have it remain legal.
Mr. President, some of us wept for joy at your inauguration. And we pledge that we will pray for you.

We have hope in our sovereign God.

(From the sermon: "The Baby in My Womb Leaped for Joy.")

Monday, May 18, 2009

Keeping the Flame Alive

There is a certain symmetry to this and this and this.

UPDATE: Fr Ralph McInerny comments in A House Divided.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Prayers for Uneventful Visit - ND

Today, remember to pray for the president especially while he is at Notre Dame. The only thing worse than having him there would be for something untoward to happen during his visit.

The last thing the Catholic Church in America needs is another Gunpowder Plot, although it would please I Won sooo much, I fear.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

There is a growing multitude of attacks on the Holy Father and Catholic truth. As such, they attempt to draw us away from faith and hope and charity. Note them; but do not let them tempt you either to despair or frenetic distraction.

Damien Thompson notes the full frontal attack by such progressivist (read: let's continue the social meltdown) news organs as Time. Why not? Today is Let's Celebrate I Won's Trip to Notre Dame Sunday.

Meanwhile, the WaPo mounts the scaffolds to shout that Gay-Marriage Issue Awaits Court Pick Same-Sex Unions Supplant Abortion As Social Priority for Conservatives ... just as a poll is released that more Americans are pro-life than pro-choice for the first time.

Ah, what a glorious day to go to Mass and celebrate Our Lord's victory over the world and it satanic prince.

An Articulate Protest

Dr. Alan Keyes - Trespassing Warning @ ND, Pt. 1 [ht: Mary Victrix]


And, Pt. 2

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pantheon - Solemn High Mass

Recently a Solemn High Mass was celebrated in the Pantheon of Rome recently to celebrate the 1400th anniversary of its consecration as a Catholic Church. That consecration happened in 609, when the Byzantine emperor Phocas gave the building to Pope Boniface IV, who converted it into a Christian church and consecrated it to Santa Maria ad Martyres.

This was 13 years before Muhammad's hijra to Medina. In other words, the Christian faith was already a half a millenium and change old before the Scimitar was swung for the first time... [ht: American Papist]

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fr Barron reviews Angels and Demons

Go see “Angels and Demons” if you like a thriller or you enjoy computer-generated images of the Vatican; but please don’t be taken in by its underlying philosophy.

Man in Black

I am one that owns but one suit and it is black. My 2 best dress shirts are black. So my usual color at such gatherings is, you guessed it, black. So you can figure that I frequently get referred to as the 'man in black'. I like it for one could imagine 'man in black' like THIS or THIS or THIS or THIS.

Lady Aramis and myself joined a large group last night to celebrate the 10 year anniversary for our Community Cancer Center. The Center is a true blessing for the 200 patients that are seen each day and the many, many more in this community who gain understanding, support and care for those who have or will experience cancer.

A dear friend cornered me last night and asked if I had read the words to Johnny Cash's song, Man in Black. I hadn't so he sent them to me and I must admit they resonate with me. Enjoy.


Man In Black lyrics

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

Lev - The Real Angels and Demons

One of the most eloquent and even-toned writers, Elizabeth Lev, weighs in on the notorious Dan Brown/Ron Howard film, Angels and Demons:
I spent almost two years with the production crew of "Angels and Demons," getting to know Ron Howard and the heads of the production staff fairly well. They were fascinated by the Vatican to the point where moments of respect for the Church shine forth in the movie, despite the unsympathetic agenda of the story. Having visited the scavi and seen the tomb of St. Peter, Ron Howard abandoned his earlier idea of having the anti-matter bomb, the pivotal plot device, resting among the bones of St. Peter, to avoid having Robert Langdon's hands disturb the resting place of the first Pope.

So how does one deal with the demons among the angels? For one, avoid feeding controversy about the film.

Howard is narrating Church history on its own turf. His characters are but temporal tourists in the Eternal City; they say one thing, the city itself says something completely different ...
Read more here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Only the composed person is really someone

Quote from Romano Guardini:
"Silence overcomes noise and talk. Composure is the victory over distractions and unrest. Only the composed person is really someone."
Because of our restlessness, confusion, and disorder,
"we do not yet really exist as persons -- at least not persons God can address expecting a fitting response."

As the Kingdom breaks in and shatters the old mythic structures, with their passing we lose the structures that made it possible for us to experience certain cultural and psychological stability.

We're coming unglued. The gospel is the source for us as it shows us the way to another kind of selfhood, a selfhood that doesn't include an entity called the self in our modern day understanding, but a discipleship self - a self that cannot be distinguished entirely from the God who is the ground of its being.

If these old structures pass without some compensating shifts on our part, then the world will suffer from the very violence that these sacred systems existed to ward off. - "The Poetry of Truth: Reflections on the Gospel of Luke" by Gil Bailie: Tape 9 end of side B

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bailie, Emmaus Road Initiative, BXVI

Gil Bailie, friend and mentor, continues his invaluable work in speaking engagements across the United States this month. Catch his May Emmaus Road Initiative talk at a venue near you.

Gil posts this powerful talk given by Pope Benedict at the Holocaust Museum - a most worthwhile 7 minute investment of your time.

It's one of life's simple joys to be able to support a friend, educator, and brother in Christ like Gil Bailie.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Life in Christ - what it looks like & what it demands


Archbishop Charles J. Chaput tells about the New Life in Christ - what it looks like and what it demands.

Only the truth can set people free. That truth is Jesus Christ. So if we truly love our neighbors we will want them to know the truth. The whole truth. Not just the parts of it that make them feel good and don’t challenge them to change.

It’s not possible for real Christians to lead a double life; our whole way of thinking and acting needs to be transformed by our faith, or we make ourselves into hypocrites. Like our friend Franz once said, being a halfway Christian is like being a vegetable. It’s not really a life. It’s barely an existence.


Read the rest of the article and Franz's story HERE.


Check out the Archbishop on his Facebook site HERE.

A twist on a classic movie

tip to Jimmy Akin.



PS Double-click on the video to go to the link and read a little about this clip.

And check out the music video HERE.

The portrait of the young American male in 2007 - James Howard Kunstler

And you wonder, Aramis, why is it so important to pass on the faith? Really now, wouldn't it be best to just let our kids enjoy their youth time, growing up free to make their choices as they go?

YEAH RIGHT!

This guy has a bit of a clue you should pick up on when reading the article - mimesis. Your kid is going to imitate someone(s) or something(s) so who do you want that to be?

tip to Mark over at Suicide of the West

Catholic identity at issue NOT President's agenda

Another GREAT video. I hope this scandal will help awaken our - the Catholics in the US - need to address what it means to be Catholic in the US. Currently a strong majority of US Catholics, including ND students as well as US bishops have not opposed the invitation afforded to I Won by officials of ND.



It is obvious that the evil addressed in this and other videos are NOT apparent to the majority of Catholics in the US or they simply are CHOOSING which Catholic teaching to follow and which to ignore. How long is the American Catholic - the cafeteria Catholic?

Conflicted and Divided Catholics need a strong voice or does the majority soon it all go away?

Everyplace I read I do not see where the majority of Catholics agree with this position, however I think that Fr. Corapi delivers a very strong and powerful message.



It is always so easy to point fingers at "I Won" or others for who we disagree yet the body of Christ continues to be fragmented. It seems to me that this scandal at ND points to our huge problem, that of not passing on the faith. Clearly we in the US are divided, conflicted and prefer choice and therefore struggle to understand what it means to be Catholic, even on such a critical issue as life - no wonder that we are doing such a minimum or modest job of passing on the faith.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Adoption

New ad may - MAY - play at during prime time (American Idol). [ht: CRM]

God and Obama at ND

Jody Bottum via Amy Welborn's Via Media (more to come at First Things):
... (T)here's not much use in pretending that Catholic legal analysis isn't opposed to abortion. Do all the casuistry you want. Bring in the sharpest canon lawyers from Marquette, and the cleverest Catholic ward-heelers from Chicago, and the slipperiest Jesuits from Georgetown. Sit them all down and show them again the tape of Mario Cuomo's 1984 speech about abortion at Notre Dame--you remember, the famous "personally opposed, but publicly supportive" speech that has provided Catholic politicians with talking points for 25 years--and let them spin the president's May 17 visit to campus as hard as they can. Still, there's something peculiar about the honoring of Barack Obama with a Catholic law degree. Couldn't they have made it a degree in sociology or something? Ah, well, an honorary doctorate of law it is, and now the Catholic faithful are up in arms across the nation.


snip

(lots more - he walks through the various stages in the controversy and then -)

As it happens, they're wrong. Politics has very little to do with the mess. This isn't a fight about who won the last presidential election and how he's going to deal with abortion. It's a fight about culture--the culture of American Catholicism, and how Notre Dame, still living in a 1970s Catholic world, has suddenly awakened to find itself out of date.

The role of culture is what Fr. Jenkins at Notre Dame and many other presidents of Catholic colleges don't quite get, and their lack of culture is what makes them sometimes seem so un-Catholic--though the charge befuddles them whenever it is made. As perhaps it ought. They know very well that they are Catholics: They go to Mass, and they pray, and their faith is real, and their theology is sophisticated, and what right has a bunch of other Catholics to run around accusing them of failing to be Catholic?

But, in fact, they live in a different world from most American Catholics. Opposition to abortion doesn't stand at the center of Catholic theology. It doesn't even stand at the center of Catholic faith. It does stand, however, at the center of Catholic culture in this country. Opposition to abortion is the signpost at the intersection of Catholicism and American public life. And those who--by inclination or politics--fail to grasp this fact will all eventually find themselves in the situation that Fr. Jenkins has now created for himself. Culturally out of touch, they rail that the antagonism must derive from politics. But it doesn't. It derives from the sense of the faithful that abortion is important. It derives from the feeling of many ordinary Catholics that the Church ought to stand for something in public life--and that something is opposition to abortion ...

Read all of Amy Welborn's God and Obama at Notre Dame.

Friday, May 08, 2009

3 classic videos produced in 1948 & 1949



Second one in the series is HERE

And check out this one entitled, Fun and Facts of American Business

Each one of these can lead into a can of worms but they are interesting to reflect about where and what we had been and as we are a most rebellious creature where we are today.

Happy Prayer Day, Heathens

Steven Crowder on Prayer Day, Jefferson, and the ACLU - one day late, but still a hoot. [ht: CMR]

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Reno - Questioning Approach to Education

A very good critique of education.

Teaching in the Twenty-First Century
By R.R. Reno

I find myself questioning our approach—my approach—to education. I wonder not so much about what we teach as how. I worry about the spiritual outlook presently encouraged by higher education. Do we (often unwittingly, and sometimes contrary to our conscious intentions) promise truth without love?
...

Yet endless theoretical elaborations of suspicion remain a growth industry all the same. “Truths are fictions whose fictionality has been forgotten”—it continues to be said in a thousand different ways. The reason, I think, is simple. Critical theory plays a significant and important role in contemporary society: it de-mystifies and de-legitimates inherited beliefs. It is not, as some critics would like to think, simply Leftist ideology. Nor is it nonsense dressed up in fancy French words. These days critical theory is an intellectual project, the main goal of which is to show that conventional ways of thinking are hopelessly naïve, if not malign and corrupt. It is a deck-clearing operation—not to prepare students for truth, but to prepare them for life without truths.

Pope Benedict has called this mode of pedagogy a dictatorship of relativism. It is, of course, a soft tyranny. Nobody is imprisoning college students for having convictions. The dominant intellectual regime is satisfied with two basic strategies: continuous assault and a starvation diet. We take apart the belief-systems of adolescents with our multi-faceted and powerful modes of critical analysis—and we give them next to nothing substantive to believe.

Read the article HERE.

My question is how does one "teach" truth if not from love? If one stands aloof, indifferent and separate from The Source of Love than how does one teach Truth?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

BVM 'n me

Do you know Dom Deluise’s favorite saint? You're about to... [ht: Spirit Daily]

Answering the Skeptics Part 2

Part 2 of Father Barron answering theological questions many skeptics of Catholicism may have, with special guest Mike Leonard asking the questions.


Interesting material to ponder: "at its best the Church..." Well, "at its best..." would be an interesting prefix to see how any or all major institutions would stack up.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Stand up for what is Life

"I am supportive of all efforts by NDResponse or any other prayerful and dignified demonstrations by Notre Dame students."
- Bishop J. M. D'Arcy



Go HERE to get more information on ND Response
Tip to Athos @ Chronicles of Atlantis who is always a step ahead.

How to avoid the dreaded ODS

Do all this, and you’ll avoid Obama Derangement Syndrome. Practice this every day and in every relationship, and you’ll be a better Christian.

Tip to Mark @ Suicide of the West

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Good Shepherd Sunday

Inscription dedicated by parents of deceased 7 year old girl, Apuleia Crysopolis; Good Shepherd and bush (Catacomb of St. Callisto, Rome).

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His,
And He is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And, where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home rejoicing brought me.

In death's dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy Cross before to guide me.

Thou spread'st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And oh, what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Not all who wander are lost

Hat tip to Sean Dailey at the Blue Boar. Behold, The Hunt for Gollum! Billed as "A film by fans for fans" and completely legal, the premiere is this Sunday, May 3rd. Here is the most recent trailer.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Choosing Life

Lacy Dodd at First Things tells her story, Notre Dame, My Mother.

Moynihan - the first 100

Carolyn Moynihan at Mercatornet review the first 100 of the Last Self-help Administration:
At a press conference this week President Barack Obama spoke epigrammatically about what had surprised, troubled, enchanted and humbled him during his first 100 days in office. Troubled was not quite the word, he said, but he had been "sobered by the fact that change in Washington comes slow".
For a leader who gave "change" a nationalistic and even mystical value in his campaign, the financial and political obstacles to his grand schemes for health, education and other social reforms must be agonising. At the liberal online journal Slate, they have had a Change-o-Meter ticking since day one and he has only averaged 27.7 points out of 100.

For others, however, what Obama has changed has come much too fast. "Never" would have been a good timescale for overturning the Mexico City policy, freeing up taxpayer money for groups that promote abortion internationally, but he managed that after only three days. And, in retrospect, that was not just change for the sake of change, but the beginning of a policy theme at variance with the dignity of certain human beings.

Abortion, stem cell research, conscience, and torture have been the big ethical issues of the first 100 days -- issues that go to the core of human dignity. The right of every person to life, to freedom of conscience and bodily integrity is the very bedrock of civilisation and nothing that is built on their denial is worthy to stand, be it ever so just and equitable in appearance ...
Read more of 100 Days: Human dignity still above his pay grade.