August 15, 2006


When you get to be my age you start worrying about Heaven, and you hope like Hell you get there. - George H.W. Bush, to Jon Meacham

[Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict] once observed that "in a certain way the priest has become too important. Those attending Mass must always be looking at him. In reality, he is not nearly that important." He then went on to link this over-importance to the feminist conviction that women need to be priests. When our parish priest ended the practice of First Communicants standing around the altar during the consecration, he told the assembled parents, "They are not on display." He might have added, "And neither am I." - Rich Leonardi of "Ten Reasons"

This is a blog, so I feel oblogated to write something.- Bill of Apologia

I'm not a man who constantly thinks up jokes. But I think it's very important to be able to see the funny side of life and its joyful dimension and not to take everything too tragically...I'd also say it's necessary for my ministry. - Pope Benedict XVI

One book that changed your life: The Screwtape Letters (C. S. Lewis). I had read it once when I was a boy, without apparent effect. As I grew older, I became a sort of outward Catholic - never missed Mass, always received Communion, but never prayed or went to Confession, or let my belief (what was left of it - thanks be to God, there was always at least a trace there) affect my actions. When I was 18 and home from college for Christmas break, I idly picked up a copy at the library. By the time I finished it, I knew where I was, where I was headed, and what I had to do about it. I had been given back my faith....One book that made you cry: I don't cry easily, but what does set me off is what J. R. R. Tolkien called the "eucatastrophe", the sudden breaking of the clouds or lifting of oppression. The moment in The Return of the King, as Faramir and Eowyn are together in the Houses of Healing, when the Shadow rises up enormously, and then dissolves, and the Eagle comes proclaiming the final defeat of Sauron, is one such. - Bob of "Trousered Ape"

Three lights flashing, an airplane lumbers across the field of pinpoint white stars. The warmth of the summer night fills my lungs with each breath. If only I smoked or drank or took interest in women other than my wife I could be standing here in my boxers in my screened porch cradling a world weary scotch, or stirring my Sangria with a finger, or puffing away on my little black filterless Belgians, or lightly rolling my Ybor City mock Cuban between thumb and forefinger, or stroking the taut but silky smooth stomach and lower breasts of this week's love while waiting for my dog to do his business. But I'm not. - Steven Riddle

Memes that penalize the prolix. - Peony of "Pansy & Peony" on the word-limiting "You're On Notice" Colbert meme

Christianity, considered as a moral system, is made up of two elements, beauty and severity; whenever either is indulged to the loss or disparagement of the other, evil ensues. - commenter on Disputations

The truth is that songs where you sing the blues are in some ways subverting your true sorrow, simply by setting it apart from you and putting it into some kind of order. - Suburban Banshee

Bl. Jordan of Saxony records the death of St. Dominic..."Behold," [St. Dominic] said, "up to this hour the grace of God has kept my flesh unsullied; yet I confess to not escaping the fault that talks with young women affected my heart more than conversations with those who were older." (A Spaniard to the end. And a true Christian, appreciative of the physical order yet striving for perfect charity toward all.) - Tom of Disputations

In terms of auguring the future, both referents are ominous: A pope unable to halt mass slaughter, and a saint who found a route for the church to survive the fall of the Roman Empire. - commenter on article mentioning how Benedict XVI chose his name based on both St. Benedict and Benedict XV

Peace prevails at the Our Lady Of Consolation shrine In Carey, Ohio even as the Street Preachers Fellowship again shows up to protest the Assumption Eve procession...I attended the English Mass but it must have been more than a bit ironic to hear the din of the street preacher’s comments during the Chaldean Mass. The Chaledans say their Mass in Aramaic, the ancient language of Jesus. Can you imagine a group of fundamentalists, whose primary doctrine concerning such topics as the rapture and salvation that comes from the 19th or 20th century, lecturing a group whose traditions and language go back to the Apostolic era? The Assumption of Mary was one of the earliest traditions of the Middle Eastern Church. - David Hartline of "Catholic Report"

"During the election cycle in 2004, our Catholic values were whittled down to four or five issues that were nonnegotiable," said Eric McFadden, Ohio field director for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. "We want to bring other issues into the discussion." I 'ain't buying it...Success isn't likely to be as simple as adding a handful of "other issues" to the four or five nonnegotiables -- much less replacing them, which is probably the real aim. The appeal to the nonnegotiables worked because, well, they are nonnegotiable relatively speaking. Most educated Catholics know there's a profound difference between a law that permits a child to be butchered in his mother's womb and one that permits an employer to pay someone $5.85 an hour versus $7.15. There are also the related issues of identity and authenticity...They've lectured conservatives about a mile-high wall of separation between Church and State and spoken of politically-minded Christians in conspiratorial terms. Learning that they now take religion seriously, on its own terms, is a bit like learning that Britney Spears next record is "The Greatest Hits of Chant and Polyphony." - Rich Leonardi of "Ten Reasons"

There was something strange about the movie [World Trade Center], and I couldn't put my finger on it.  Then I realized:  As far as I can remember, it never mentions the cause of the 9/11 attacks: Islam. Specifically, those forms of Islam most closely aligned to the teachings of Mohammed.  It's like a Holocaust movie without the Nazis.  It's not just this movie.  With notable exceptions, the silence about the true nature of Mohammed and Islam is deafening...Bad solutions will be proposed -- "the spread of democracy" will continue to replace "the spread of the Gospel" as our evangelical mandate.  And we'll continue to be surprised when this democratic movement strengthens the fists of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iranian Shiites at the expense of Maronite and Chaldean Christians and other good people. Jesus Christ is the answer.  In the coming years, the task of Christians will be to talk more often and intimately with Him, so the world can hear His voice in ours more clearly. - Kevin Knight of "New Advent" blog

McGowan asks: "Why do we regret losing what we don't really want? Why do we long for a way of life we wouldn't return to: an austerity that was sustained by penury, not by anyone's wish for it to be so?" Perhaps, he suggests, "we miss the intimacy of a society where neighbors depended upon one another, needed one another." - Rick Grant review of book by Joe McGowan

The Fathers made me a Catholic, and I am not going to kick down the ladder by which I ascended into the Church. It is a ladder quite as serviceable for that purpose now, as it was twenty years ago. Though I hold, as you know, a process of development in Apostolic truth as time goes on, such development does not supersede the Fathers, but explains and completes them. And, in particular, as regards our teaching concerning the Blessed Virgin, with the Fathers I am content; --- and to the subject of that teaching I mean to address myself at once. I do so, because you say, as I myself have said in former years, that "That vast system as to the Blessed Virgin ... to all of us has been the special crux of the Roman system." - Venerable Cardinal Newman, via Bill White

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