July 07, 2009

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

Slightly sheepish about going to reconciliation on Saturday afternoon, the 4th of July, I smile a bit, sit and say [to Confessor] "I'm really sorry. Sin doesn't take a holiday." Not skipping a beat: "Not to worry. Neither does Grace." - Ironic Catholic via Dylan

And the Antichrist, with an air of scholarly excellence, tells us that any exegesis that reads the Bible from the perspective of faith in the living God, in order to listen to what God has to say, is fundamentalism; he wants to convince us that only his kind of exegesis, the supposedly purely scientific kind, in which God says nothing and has nothing to say, is able to keep abreast of the times. - Pope Benedict via Dylan of Dark October

I fell in love with beer brewing as a result of reading the charmingly entitled An Essay on Brewing, Vintage and Distillation, Together With Selected Remedies for Hangover Melancholia: Or, How to Make Booze by John Festus Adams. Adams opens with an extended discussion of what sort of hobby book this will not be, recounting his experience with a book on growing mushrooms. Written by the Brit who Took Food Seriously, it eventually became clear to Adams while reading this book that the author did not actually expect him to be able to master this most occult of gardening hobbies. It took skill... It is the inevitable danger of being deeply absorbed in some topic that one begins to draw lines in the sand and say, "If you don't do X, Y and Z in my favorite way, you are clearly not serious about this and should get out." And yet for those of us who make reading, talking and writing about the Catholic Church a hobby of sorts, this presents a serious danger. Those of us who are "Catholic geeks" need always to recall that however much the more abstruse corners of Catholic history or theology may fascinate us, that Catholicism is not a hobby or field of study -- the exclusive territory of those with sufficient levels of detailed knowledge and experience. Rather, the Church is the Body of Christ on earth, and the source of the sacraments which are channels of grace to those of us in the Church Militant. - Darwin Catholic

The most general and prevalent reason of study is the impossibility of finding another amusement equally cheap or constant, equally independent on the hour or the weather. He that wants money to follow the chase of pleasure through her yearly circuit, and is left at home when the gay world rolls to Bath or Tunbridge; he whose gout compels him to hear from his chamber the rattle of chariots transporting happier beings to plays and assemblies, will be forced to seek in books a refuge from himself. - Samuel Johnson

Lest any doubt remain about Michael’s status as a commercial property, let his father lay claim. When a CNN reporter asked his father, Joe, shortly after Michael’s death, “How are you doing sir, how’s the family holding up?” Joe Jackson replied, “I’m great. My family’s doing pretty good. It has been really tough. Remember we just lost the biggest star, the biggest superstar in the world.” Most fathers would have simply said they had lost a son. Undeterred, the CNN reporter asked if he’d like to share anything about his son and his legacy. Joe Jackson throttled the tender moment and immediately squeezed in a promotional spot for his new production company proving that even the sudden, shocking death of his son couldn’t soften the stage parent from hell. Michael Jackson had been parented to be sold. - Al Kresta

I have little patience for the sex-is-a-holy-thing-on-a-pedestal attitude... It's impossible to maintain an attitude of breathless respect in the face of the holy when one is attempting to have intercourse in, say, the eighth month of pregnancy. There's a tradition of bawdiness, I think, that is distinct from debauchery. Laugh in the face of the prince of this world, and give him a little less power over you. - commenter "Bearing" on Darwin Catholic

Michael must have said the word "dungeon" 6 dozen times in the hour we were there. He really covets the job of throwing people into the dungeon. And he doesn't mean lead or send, he means throwing. He'll fight you for that job. - Amy Welborn on her son

For nearly twenty years, Chris Mortimer had been predicting that civilization would collapse, and so it was a with a certain grim satisfaction that he watched as it did -- after a fashion. When the peak oil theory surprised even its own firmest proponents by being true beyond their wildest dreams, Chris watched the rioting crowds after the collapse of the Saudi monarchy, the Russian federation and Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, and wondered how much longer television would be broadcasting...Somewhere along the way, however, the event he had long anticipated deviated from the mental script he had crafted for it. Where he had pictured a need for rugged individualists who knew how to hunt and gather and perhaps eventually farm and ranch, others with skills he had despised were, maddeningly, well equipped to thrive in the new world. Most maddening of all was that his boss, whom he had at first envisioned begging at his door for canned goods and solar battery chargers, had turned a penchant for "networking" into a trading empire that encompassed control of key aqueducts, solar trading schooners, and the southern overland trade route to California. That this short, nervous-looking man who doubtless did not know three different ways of starting a fire without matches could, in this new world, say grandly to people, "Would you step into my office? I have air conditioning," made Chris feel as if the collapse of civilization was simply not all it was cracked up to be. - Darwin Catholic

There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know. - Pres. Barack Obama on Feb. 5, 2009 (from Exultet blog)

Suppose we are strong enough in ourselves, at least for day to day living. (Though whether any of us are actually strong enough in ourselves, and not merely deceiving ourselves about what discipleship demands of us, is another question.) Then, even if we make it through this life without collapsing, we'll still have failed to be the channels of God's power in the world that He intends us to be. It seems that we can be strong in ourselves, or strong in Christ, and Christ leaves the choice to us. Pray for the grace to make the right choice! - Tom of Disputations

I think [GK Chesterton] mentioned this mystery [of holiness] when he pointed out that martyrs are usually depicted with the tools by which they were tortured and killed. It is hardly, as more antiseptic sensibilities might suggest, a disordered focus on the more brutal elements of the story. Someone who lingers on the more sordid aspects of Marilyn Monroe's life (or perhaps, Elvis Presley's life) can be said to have the wrong focus, but the difference in St. Maria Goretti's story is that the sordid created an opening for the sublime. Those who see only the morbid in the story of a martyr are missing something. Perhaps they are missing the Communion of Saints? Notice that no one is ever encouraged to have a relationship with Marilyn, creepy Candle in the Wind lyrics aside...We gaze at her glamour shots and think that we never really knew her; but we look at images of St. Maria Goretti and believe that we can get to know her very well--because the medium that brings her to us does not also separate her from us. We address her without resorting to apostrophe whenever we plead: Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis! - Sancta Sanctis

1 comment:

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I either missed Bearing's comment the first time or skipped over it in my rush to get at "Anonymous." It makes me wonder whether Anonymous, so quick to tell a married woman off, has ever been married herself.

(Yes, I'm still dwelling on it; I can dwell on things for months. One of my worst faults, etc.)