CD available featuring Reds Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman...
An ESPN columnist discovers the metropolis and pronounces it puzzling.
Yet fifty years after the classic period, one cafe is more fashionable than ever and the other is not fashionable at all...The reason that when you place any two things side by side, one becomes chic and the other does not is that it's in the nature of desire to choose, and to choose absolutely. That's the mythological lesson of the great choice among the beauties: They are all beautiful - they are goddesses - and yet a man must choose. And what was the chooser's name? Paris. C'est normal.
For the first time, I also understood Clinton hating, of the violent irrational kind... [that] had always seemed incomprehensible, directed, as it was, at so anodyne a character. Suddenly I saw the psychology of the Clinton hater was exactly that of the Barney basher; the objections were not moral but peevishly aesthetic...
"And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." - Luke 1:38
"O LORD, I am your servant, your servant, the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds." - Psalm 116
"Language is the house of being. In this house man dwells." - HeideggerD. Vincent Twomey quotes Desmond Fennell in tracing the beginning of Irish quasi-Jansenistic tendencies and, he argues, the beginning of the current decline of Irish Catholicism:
The result of the adoption of the English language (and the decline of Irish) by a largely impoverished nation was to make Irishmen and women in effect culturally rootless, exiles in their own country. In a similar vein, Joseph Lee ponders: 'It may be that there is an Irish emotional reality which is silenced in English. It may be too that many Irish no longer experience that emotional reality, that it has been parched out of them, that a particular stream of Irish consciousness has dried up with the decay of the language.' But it meant more than that.
'Our greatest misfortune', Fennell says, 'was not...that we abandoned Irish. That was a tragedy; but far more grievous was the fact that we adopted a provincial version of nineteenth century English and a clerical language [which he later calls Latinoid] in exchange. Irish gave the Christian man, priest or pauper, a unitary world view, at once natural and supernatural, which had not suffered from the reducing influences of Puritanism, rationalism or cultural insularity a langlaise'. This was because 'the language of Victorian England was, in its predominant form and tendency, that of a people whose character John Stuart Mill saw as "chiefly shaped...since the days of the Stuarts" by two influences: "commercial money-getting business and religious Puritanism". That, he [Mill] believed, was the reason why they were incapable of taking art seriously. But how much more than art is man! How much more again is God-in-man.'*...
The English-speaking spirituality which would leave its mark in Irish Catholicism developed an 'anxious severity' that was not strictly speaking Jansenistic but 'must rather be traced to the devotional reading available in English' such as that written by Richard Challoner (1691-1781). The sadder note in his writings reflecting his experiences as a bishop in penal-day London evidentally appealed to Irish Catholics.
This mentality would have been reinforced by a narrow, legalistic (casuistic), approach to moral theology...However, this was ameliorated somewhat by such popular devotions as that to the Sacred Heart, the pre-eminent symbol of divine mercy.
* - Writing in 1892, 'Tim Healy complained that the result of [the courses in the National Schools] in "English philistinism' was that folk around the fireside, who had once held conversations in Irish about knightly chivalry, were now reduced to talking in English about the price of a cow.'
"Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them." (John 6:56)Godincindentally I came across Peter Kreeft writing of 1st Peter in “You Can Understand the Bible”:
Think of it! Jesus lives in us, and we in him. Not only do we belong to Christ; being nourished by his body and blood incorporates us in a mysterious way into his very life. It makes us part of his body here on earth. Whether we receive Jesus in a small country church or an urban cathedral, a nation wealthy and prosperous or suffering and poor, whether the church seems vibrant or struggling, we are all members of his body, and he calls us his own.
Listen to how Jesus addressed Saul: “Why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4). That’s how closely Jesus identifies himself with us, his church. We’re not just his followers but also an extension of his own person. Whoever touches us, touches Jesus. Let’s not forget this truth when we suffer for our faith. Our suffering is not unseen. Jesus will be with us and strengthen us whenever we face persecution for our faith.
First…if the Head suffers, His body must also suffer, for otherwise it is not His body. Christ never promised us a rose garden without thorns…George MacDonald says, “The Son of God suffered not so that we might not suffer but so that our sufferings might become his.” Second, because of this real incorporation into His Body, suffering can become a joy: “But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (4:13). We must not be bitter or resentful to God for allowing us to suffer, but realize that sufferings are God’s blessings, not His punishments. As St. Philip Neri said, “The cross is the gift God gives to His friends.”Suffering often leads to grevious sin because we may, in desperation, attempt to relieve it unlawfully, i.e. self-medicate. But it’s precisely in the taking of the Eucharist that I can have confidence because then it is not me who suffers and not even me who is responsible for me. By that incorporation I don’t have to carry the full burden of responsibility. I can say, when something bad happens to me: “hey Lord, look what is happening to You!” (or at least part of Him) -- something that can be said only by virtue of His audacious, almost scandalous promises. And of course He may be all right with it, just as He was with his own suffering.
4... over/under on number of minutes before gun control would be mentioned after Virginia Tech shooting
3....average number of times I have to re-read a given Disputations post in order to comprehend it
542 ....hits on motu proprio from Catholic blog search
2.....hits on motu proprio from americancatholic.org
.003%.....percentage of people outside St. Blog's worried about motu proprio
12,672....average number of words the tireless Amy Welborn writes each week in columns, books, articles & blog
2...average number of times per year Jeff Culbreath will decide to stop blogging.
51....age of Bob of "Trousered Ape", whose birthday is today
? ...age of Bill Luse, whose birthday was last week
1...rank of lawyers on Australia's "most depressed" list
6...number of hits on "Dancing with the Stars" on Catholic blog search engine
67...number of hits on "American Idol" on Catholic blog search engine
1...number of books that make The DaVinci Code look deep ("The Secret")
1) First, God is seen only in the miraculous. Only the spirit & supernatural matters, material is banal. We look for dramatic answers to prayer, for thrilling "Godincidences". The occult and the extraordinary fascinate us. God is not in the boring things that we can get for ourselves. Food is something we grow; our parents gave birth to us. We focus on this degree of "separation" of God, in his not seeming to be directly responsible for our creation or food on the table - he had others as intermediates. Nevermind that God makes all things and that no man has ever produced matter from nothing or that even our own brains are merely recycled earth!An alternative way of looking at the whole thing is to look at God's drawing us to a deeper and more difficult levels of faith.
2) Second, God is seen in the miraculous and in the good things of this earth. Here a widened gaze takes in all around us and rightly attributes all good things to God --such as health, good food, sex, trees, oceans, mountains. We might look at the galaxy and see this thin slice of life on earth and consider it like a party. Thank God I'm here and not there! Thank God I exist!
3) Third, God is seen in the miraculous, in good things, and in bad things. Suffering is seen as redemptive. This requires trust in Tradition, in the saints and in the Church because Scripture assigns value to persecution for the Kingdom but "normal" suffering is not explicitly mentioned as meritorious. You can see, from this, how the Tradition-less "health and wealth" gospel has taken hold among many Christians. But in the words of St. Therese: "everything is grace". Here is the recognition that God brings good out of evil and that suffering is not wasted and that God is present in a special way. This requires, not surprisingly, the fullest and most fervent faith.
1) The first level is simply believing that there is a God. This is easy because it's impossible to believe it all occurred by accident. But God is a watch-maker God.
2) The second level is believing in the Bible, in the very personal Judeau-Christian God. He cares and is actively concerned about our behavior.
3) The third level is believing in the Eucharist, that God is love and that he gave us the Catholic Church as a guide and mother.
--Each level is an increasing gift. The first is the gift of things. The second is that we've received a very specific message from a caring God. The third is that He is here, physically present.
"The ball just didn't go in the hole today, there are times when the ball has its own consciousness." “A hole in one is amazing when you think of the different universes this white mass of molecules has to pass through on its way to the hole.”
Recently I've become very concerned about blogging on matters spiritual. When I look back at things, it strikes me as the height of arrogance to presume to "explain" or talk at length about matters that really are so much above and beyond the place where I spend most of my life. I was thinking about blogging some thoughts/prayers surrounding "The Imitation of Christ" but when I read them I realized my presumption. Now, I have nothing to say but the occasional book or movie review. You can get those, and far more insightful anywhere on the web. It hardly seems worth keeping the place open for that. Is it hubris for someone in my state to be sharing/commenting on his/her betters? If not, in what ways can it be helpful? How does one avoid the harm that might proceed from one's own incorrect understanding?
Good days spring like stag deer
from April’s meadow;
The air is still of talk,
all are disassociative
after winter’s nap.
Men wear their gratitude
by removing their shirts;
words aren’t necessary
under the rays' influence.
The old water tower
stands like a veteran at parades,
with ‘1853’ scribed on a side
and the rust upticking counter-gravity
like brownish blood stains
the rail segregated into
Xs across each balcony
like little Confederate flags.
Al Sharpton was there to bind your mouth
Since love won't bind your heart.
And it's too late to take a stand
For it was you who chose to start.
I have no wish to see you fired,
Though the show was getting tired,
I'm old enough to face the dawn.
There's no more Imus in the morning...
By Rieff’s analysis, the central and defining purpose of culture is to regulate the always-troublesome relation between the No-imposing voice of commandment and the Yes-seeking desires of the individual. According to Rieff, the traditional approach to the felt difficulties of bringing personality into coordination with authority involves internalizing and intensifying cultural norms. Religious at their core, traditional cultures stamp our inner lives with their creeds and, in so doing, deliver the human animal from its slavery to instinct. Charisma, then, describes the gift of what Rieff calls a “high” and “holy terror,” which installs the power of divine command so deeply in the soul that we can bear the thought “of evil in oneself and in the world.” A charismatic gives this gift with special force. He or she is an exemplar and virtuoso of personality fully governed by creedal authority. St. Francis energized and haunted the medieval world, not because he was an original genius, but instead because his inner life was so completely defined by imitation of Christ that even his body was marked by stigmata. As Rieff writes, “There is no charisma without creed,” and the gift of life gains precisely in proportion to the power of the creeds that grip our souls.
Perfect contrition bestows the grace of justification on the mortal sinner even before the actual reception of the Sacrament of Penance.
Imperfect contrition (attritio) is true contrition, which however springs from less perfect motives than perfect contrition. The motive of perfect contrition is the perfect love of God, i.e. Charity. It consists in this that God is loved for his Own sake above all...The love of desire, in which one loves God for one's own advantage, is primarily self-love, and therefore only secondarily imperfectly love of God. It is not a sufficient motive of perfect contrition. Perfect love however does not demand that one renounce one's own blessedness in God, but only that one's own interest be subordinated to God's interest.
In the Old Covenant perfect sorrow was the only means of the forgiveness of sins for adults. Cf. Ez. 18, 21 et seq. ; 33, II et seq. ; Ps. 31, 5. In the New Testament also, the operation of the forgiveness of sins, the act of sorrow of the penitent and the Church's power of the keys are brought into connection with each other...
As against Luther's assertion that contrition springing from the fear of punishment of hell makes a man a hypocrite and still more a sinner, the Council of Trent declared that this contrition "is a gift of God and a prompting of the Holy Ghost, by Whose help the penitent prepares the way to righteousness", and that it "is a true and profitable sorrow" (D 915). Thus attritio is morally good and supernatural. In many passages Holy Writ warns against sin by pointing to the Divine punishment....The Fathers also very frequently employ the fear motive...St. Augustine recommends fear of the divine punishment as means of preparing the way to the love of righteousness...If perfect contrition were necessary for valid reception the Sacrament of Penance would cease to be a Sacrament of the dead, as justification would always take place before the actual reception of the Sacrament; the power to forgive sins would lose its proper purpose, since grievous sins would never be remitted in the Sacrament of Penance.
--Ludwig Ott's "Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma"
Oh how I recall the burnished summers at Cambridge! Amid the groomed lawns and gothic architecture we went in search of labrynths of flesh and stone, of book and brook.
There great halls had sprung from the fertile earth and we felt at once unworthy and assured: the scaffolding that might suffocate us, supported us. We were here after all, and would not be if not among the chosen. Our lives were given meaning by it, the sanctity of them affirmed paradoxically by our feeling of smallness, of our walking where centuries of ghostly giants had tread.
Sentiment was an ever-present danger; we were terminally and retroactively nostalgic. We wept at small things, like the sound our shoes made while walking down the long, marble floors or the band playing the fight song. We wept over sunlit garden paths and the gloomy, candle-lit corners of our own imagination, over the scholar's domed banker lights (how could we study in such surroundings!), the semper fidelis dining hall and our cast-iron stomaches, the craggy stones and arches - ever we trundled over and under and through arches.
My roommate and I scoured the catalog for exotic courses and familiar activities and ended up taking familiar courses and picking exotic activities. We walked by the archers daily on the way to the parquet floors of the squash courts before the afternoon math classes.
Our voices would lift unbidden at Heorot, singing of alma mater. Filled with mead, we sang of the great quirst, a mingling of quest and thirst, trying to describe our brief time. For the air pulsed with cusps, with only the edges of known words, and was certain with possibilities and probabilities for which we could assign no numbers nor labels.
Consumer Debt Reaches All-Time High!...you can yawn.
The rapid increase in consumer indebtedness in the U.S. has been largely confined to credit cards and has not characterized other types of consumer credit. "This indicates that there is something singular about the design of credit cards that uniquely causes people to accumulate too much debt," Goldstein wrote.One Amazon commenter went so far as to deny free will with respect to credit cards.
Several features of credit cards make them different from traditional forms of lending and encourage high levels of consumer debt by taking advantage of "consumers' cognitive and behavioral vulnerabilities," Adam J. Goldstein wrote.
When issuing loans for cars, home mortgages and other forms of debt, banks conduct a thorough credit screening of applicants. But when the same banks issue loans in the form of credit cards, "people with bad credit histories, as well as those who have declared bankruptcy or who have an income level that is too low to justify the credit lines that they are given, all receive high-interest credit," Goldstein wrote.
With the deregulation of the banking industry...once traditional credit card companies saw the money to be made in the sub-prime market, they started offering "prepaid" credit cards and offering regular credit to people they never would have extended credit to before....That makes a kind of sense. In an ahistorical society we tend to judge everything by our own experience.
Now, how did consumer behavior change? The change in behavior is linked to a change in generations. The generation that remembered the Great Depression had a tendency to save, simply because of the experiences they had with a severe, and prolonged economic downturn. They knew that a rainy day would come sooner or later, and you needed to save for that eventuality.
That generation has been replaced by a generation that remembers the 1970s stagflation where savings evaporated in the double digit inflation. Also, the younger generation has experienced nothing but steady, growth unimpaired by inflation in the 1990s. These two generations don't save for what they want and keep a nest egg for emergencies. Why would they? They believe, from experience, that jobs will always be available if you have skills and there is no such thing as a rainy day.
Saw Barbara Walters interview Prince Charles...He talked about a project he was working on - Operation Raleigh. He said it was a camp where kids "conquer nature" nature and release their aggressive instincts in a natural setting. He said all adolescents should go through the equivalent of war - without its dangers. To get in the camp the adolescent must pass tests such as: putting their hands into a bowl of maggots and weighing a python - all for the building of character. The prince also said that many times you go through a period of great distress and then look back upon it and consider it good for you. Reminds me of G. Gordon Liddy and his book Will. (--journal entry from 1984)
the weather sensitive Indian -
spent the sun day outdoors
riding pale face’s steel horse
into the blue west while
drinking cheap whiskey
and smoking tin’d cigars.
Six o’clock comes
and the yolk is spent,
split by the Western tree.
The elder Wise-Men-Fish-Here speaks,
says to Drunk-With-Sunshine:
“The salmon is the king of fish
because he swims upstream.”
During this time Agnes reached a high degree of contemplative prayer and was favored with many visions. One of the loveliest is the one for which her legend is best known: the occasion of a visit from the Blessed Virgin. Our Lady came with the Holy Infant in her arms, and allowed Agnes to hold Him and caress Him. Unwilling to let Him go, Agnes hung on when Our Lady reached to take Him back. When she awakened from the ecstasy, Our Lady and her Holy Child were gone, but Agnes was still clutching tightly the little gold cross He had worn on a chain about His neck. She kept it as a precious treasure.
Agnes returned to Montepulciano to die in the night. When she knew she was dying after a long and painful illness, Agnes told her grieving nuns that they should rejoice, for, she said, "You will discover that I have not abandoned you. You will possess me for ever." The children of the city wakened and cried out, "Holy Sister Agnes is dead!" She was buried in Montepulciano, where her tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage.
One of the most famous pilgrims to visit her tomb was Saint Catherine of Siena, who went to venerate the saint and also, probably, to visit her niece, Eugenia, who was a nun in the convent there. As she bent over the body of Saint Agnes to kiss the foot, she was amazed to see Agnes raise her foot so that Catherine did not have to stoop so far!
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them. - Acts 5:38-39I happened across a post on the 'net that describes the current earthly situation in desperately dark terms, and with good reason. God is not mocked, and so the apocalyptic tone is reasonable.
If we could read the Bible again as if for the first time I think we would be deeply shocked and scandalized; and the reason has much to do with the point of the book you are now reading. Clearly, mattter matters infinitely more to God than it does to us if that Book is true...
And during His public ministry, He not only used matter to heal and save us ("the flesh is the hinge of redemption," said Tertullian) but also used specific chunks of concretely real matter, not "matter as such" (whatever that might mean). Touch the hem of another's garment and you are not healed, no matter what your state of soul; touch the hem of His garment and you are. No matter how much that may puzzle and even scandalize us, it is a fact. It is data. It is true.
And He left us Himself, most perfectly and completely and really, not in a book, or in ideas or values, or religious experiences, but in the Eucharist.
I still remember vividly how, forty years ago when I became Catholic, I halted, shocked, at the last hurdle, the scandal of sacramentality...When the priest moves that little round consecrated wafer from the left side of the altar to the right, God is moved from the left side of the altar to the right.
When we obey His will regarding material things, when we do the deeds He commands with our bodies as well as our souls (they always work as one; we are not ghosts in machines), then we transform or translate or transmute our spiritual intentions, our care and love and faith, into a material thing, an instrument or medium or means or mediator of our salvation (somewhat as Christ is a mediator).
God invented matter because God is love, and love loves the other, and matter is other. Ultimately, matter matters because love matters.
- Peter Kreeft, from preface to Why Matter Matters by David Lang
GirlTo Beastie Boys' tune "You Gotta Fight..."
I can't understand it why you want to hurt me
After all the things I've done for you.
I buy you champagne and roses and diamonds on your finger -
Diamonds on your finger -
You're still on your laptop
what am I to do?
My girl wants to blog all the time
blog all the time
blog all the time...
My girl wants to blog all the time
blog all the time.
I've seen you in cafes just hanging out and bloggin'.
You give your prose to every man you see.
You never come home at night because you're out there opinin'.
I wish you bring some of that home to me.
You wake up late for mass and you don't wanna go
You ask your papa please but he still says no.
Time to give the kids some meat to chew,
'cuz it all went to hell after '62!
chorus: You gotta fight...
For the rite...
Your uncle caught ya prayin' and he said no way
That hypocrite says three rosaries a day
Novus ordo is such a drag
my mom threw away my Latin Mass mag (busted)
You gotta fight...
For the rite...
Teachin' my kids the Gregorian chant,
'cuz it beats that Haugen Haas watered-down cant,
papa don't preach, give us the old trad rite
so we'll finally see an end to this long sad night.
--(Inspired by this)
To which one might respond that a “sort of” Christian nation is all that might be expected in view of human sinfulness and the limitations of history...Like others, Heclo cites the prevalence of divorce and pornography, the trash of popular entertainment, and other factors as evidence that Americans are not seriously Christian, or not Christian at all. But morality is a dubious measure. In his classic 1970 work, The Unheavenly City, Edward Banfield notes that in early-18th-century Boston there were more brothels per capita than there probably are today, but nobody suggests that 18th-century Boston was not a Christian city. The pertinent fact is that Christianity majors in sin and forgiveness. A persistent problem in discussions of Christian America, both scholarly and popular, is the tendency to use “Christian” as both an honorific and a descriptive term. Except for those who make an idol of the nation and confuse America with the Church — and there are some who are prone to doing that — nobody contends that America deserves to be called a Christian nation.
There is truth in G. K. Chesterton’s observation that America is a nation with the soul of a church, and further truth in the observation that, in the “almost” of almost-chosen peoplehood, Americans are aware of failing the covenant by which the nation is constituted. Conservative critics frequently fail to appreciate that expressions of “anti-Americanism” can sometimes be better understood as Americans’ continuing the long tradition of the mourners’ bench of American revivalism. The late Jeane Kirkpatrick was right about the “blame-America-first crowd.” But it will not disappear; not only because some really do hate America, but because so many more believe America is called to be better. There is much to be said in favor of America’s accepting the fact that it is a normal nation, simply a nation among nations — but that is a very un-American idea.
... but this analysis seems like a bunch of bologna:I took that to mean that since the desire for God is built-in (by God) then if you don't believe in Him you'll believe other entities (like the U.S. government) are controlling every aspect of your life and destiny. Maybe that's why there are so many atheist-leftists conspiracists?"One of them surely relates to the primitiveSo, he's saying Europeans don't like us because of God? What's up with
part of the human psyche that, in order to
cope with our deepest fears, wants to believe
that everything in the world is governed by
a conscious and unitary force."
When I was on the wild coast of Donegal, an old unhappy woman who had starved through the famines and the evictions, was telling a lady the tales of those times; and she mentioned quite naturally one that might have come straight out of times so mystical that we should call them mythical; that some travellers had met a poor wandering woman with a baby in those great gray rocky wastes, and asked her who she was. And she answered, "I am the Mother of God, and this is Himself; and He is the boy you will all be wanting at the last."
There is more in that story than can be put into any book, even on a matter in which its meaning plays so deep a part; and it seems almost profane to analyse it however sympathetically. But if any one wishes to know what I mean by the untranslatable truth which makes a language national, it will be worth while to look at the mere diction of that speech, and note how its whole effect turns on certain phrases and customs which happen to be peculiar to the nation.
It is well known that in Ireland the husband or head of the house is always called "himself"; nor is it peculiar to the peasantry, but adopted, if partly in jest, by the gentry.... Take away, "This is Himself" and simply substitute "This is He"; and it is a piece of pedantry ten thousand miles from the original.
Their historical experience, alas, has made it seem to them not unnatural that the Holy Family should be a homeless family. They also have found that there was no room for them at the inn, or anywhere but in the jail; they also have dragged their new-born babes out of their cradles, and trailed in despair along the road to Egypt, or at least along the road to exile. They also have heard in the dark and the distance behind them, the noise of the horsemen of Herod.
The plain fact is that the structure of thought known as anti-Americanism was forged long ago and has sunk its roots deeply into both popular and elite European opinion. This ideology has become vital to the functioning of European politics, and involves the passions, interests, and reputations of many people. To paraphrase the late Jean-François Revel, if you remove anti-Americanism, nothing remains of European thought today on either the left or the right...
The greatest source of anti-Americanism, however, arose at the turn of the 20th century, when the terms “Americanism” and “Americanization” were coined to designate industrialization, modernization, and the assault of modernity on all traditional social arrangements and values...The success of anti-Americanism in identifying the United States with modernity is not surprising. America blazed the trail for many modern developments, and the size of its economy has allowed it to have an enormous impact on much of the world. And who would deny that many aspects of modernity are, just as Heidegger said, monstrous? Yet modernization was originally spawned in Europe, and would have occurred even without America. Linking all of its negative aspects to a single nation is uninformed, and has had the consequence of dividing the West against itself and rendering it less able to cope with common challenges.
Besides, Europe is hardly innocent of efforts to commodify and universalize, even in our own age. European firms launched the first attempt to establish a common idea of fashion for women and fragrances for men. Is it more destructive to the cultural diversity of mankind to influence what people eat than to dictate how they look and smell? And there can be no doubt that by far the most successful effort at homogenization belongs to Europe: In developing and exporting anti-Americanism, European intellectuals have created the world’s first universal ideology. Next to this achievement, the efforts of McDonald’s and Google look like the crude work of amateurs.
Another factor that has contributed to anti-Americanism is the enormous transformation of military and political power over the last century. On the eve of the First World War, the major European nations were the world’s greatest military powers. But the effect of the two great wars was not only to exhaust these nations but also to show that the greatest military power now lay in America and the Soviet Union. Yet an accident of history worked to put Europe at the center of the world’s interest as it became the strategic battleground between East and West. This kept American soldiers in Western Europe throughout the Cold War and allowed diplomats and journalists to make cities such as Paris and Vienna their delightful bases of operations. With the collapse of the Soviet empire and the emergence of Europe as a zone of peace, all of this has changed. Europe retains its charm but has lost some of its strategic importance...
No one likes the kind of loss of power and status that Europeans have had to endure. It is a hard reckoning for peoples that commanded the summits of world influence for some 500 years. Even European intellectuals, who like to think of themselves as cosmopolitan, have chafed at their reduced status. Like the Greek philosophers after the Roman conquests, they look with disdain at the new power from the west. Americans, for their part, feel a bit abused. Thinking that they saved Europe at least three times in the last century, they ask: Where is the gratitude? They should be more realistic and understand that, where gratitude is felt, resentment can never be very far behind.
* - For example: "outward journey under the sign of misfortune" is the journey under the sign of the cross. "Rained what wanted" hints of the wanted waters of baptism. Chema is the goodness which God gives us the desire for even though in the past we've lived without it. Néstor's owner is stupid, i.e. "knows not what he does" in allowing confrontation with Chema. The "bocata of jamón prepared by my mother" is the Eucharist from the table of mother Church, the "made snow-white" is God's gift of justification and forgiveness of sins, and the Obareness Mounts is where the father walks, i.e. Heaven.In Rome, Holy Thursday is the night for church-hopping. Every church, it seems, from Trastevere to Termini, is open until midnight for watching and adoration. The Romans like to see as many as they can in one night, although the traditional number is seven. One of my friends thought this sounded hurried, maybe even a little irreverent. But I leapt to their defense. How could I not? When I was little, one of the best days of the year was Holy Thursday, when the churches in our little corner of Silicon Valley stood open and shining in the dark, and we played truant on a school night visiting them all. Some churches made paths of lumenarias to guide you to their little Gethsemanes. - Meredith of "Hesperia"
Every morning I rise and peruseDo you think times are so bad that you have received nothing of value? Look around and think again. There is much tradition falling right into your lap: it will die with your generation unless you pick up the baton. The time may be short, but at the moment there is still a residual Christianity clinging to our rapidly decaying culture. Let’s make the most of it. - Jeff of "Stony Creek"
Mr. Drudge's site, checking the news;
Where I find that, pell-mell,
We are rushing to Hell -
Which, for some reason, fails to amuse.
- Bob of "Trousered Ape"
"He jests as one who's never felt a meme."Jeff Miller passed on this latest meme to me which I agree is surprisingly difficult to answer.
-- from Romeo & Juliet, where 'meme' was originally 'wound'
Name up to three characters . . .By the power invested in me by the state of blogspot and Jeff Miller, I hereby inflict this meme on Half-baked Taters, Soc Engineer, Literary Compass, People of the Book, Darwin Catholic, and the Iconic Catholic.
1) . . . you wish were real so you could meet them.
1. Binx Bolling (Percy's "Moviegoer")
2. Scarlett O'Hara (Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind")
3. Edward Casaubon (Elliot's "Middlemarch")
2) . . . you would like to be.
1. Don Quixote de la Mancha
2. Coach on NBC's Friday Night Lights
3. Pretty much any of the Who's in Whoville in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
3) . . . who scare you.
1. most of the characters in Flannery O'Connor's fiction
2. Uriah Heep (David Copperfield)
3. Maurice Bendrix (Greene's "End of the Affair")