November 30, 2009

Various & Sundry

My favorite meditation piece today: “Christ opened up Heaven to us in the manhood he assumed,” - St. Iraenus. The possibility of Heaven was given to us by Christ. What greater reason to praise and thank Him! Where once in Heaven the bodily were looked down upon and not accepted, not worthy of making the cut, now the Creator Himself became body and brought the body to Heaven so that all the angels and archangels and heavenly spirits might not look down on us anymore, the curse of Adam lifted.

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Reading a book on Mexico City that is patently biased and one-sided which I won't name rather than give further publicity to it. The anti-religion viewpoint could not have been made more clear than if the writer’s name were Hitchens or Dawkins. He denies the existence of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego but - humorously in the glaringness of its omission - he can’t deny the existence of the tilma. The materialist sometimes won't deny that which he can see with his own eyes, but will ignore it if it doesn’t fit into his pre-arranged views. Thus, sadly, all the wonder of the image is lost for him. He does not even address how something like that could last for hundreds of years when science has shown that tilmas of that sort degrade over a fraction of that time. It’s an ongoing miracle, but that goes to show that even ongoing miracles can be ignored. Proof again as if we needed it that what is needed, even in the face of the miraculous, is faith.

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The NY Times has an article about KSM, the terrorist mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, and he was said to be very surprised at America's reaction to 9/11. He did not anticipate the incursion into Afghanistan or that we would seek out Al Qeada operatives across the globe. In other words, he underestimated us. Just like Saddam Hussein, who thought we were a paper tiger. It's stunning to see how out of touch with reality those folks were but I suppose in hindsight it's recognizable if only because by definition if you're willing to attack the U.S., then you're going to think we're a paper tiger.

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Heard an encouraging homily not too long ago from the new friar at the downtown Dominican parish. It concerned the gospel was where Jesus cleared out the Temple at Jerusalem (which is the favorite passage for those with anger management issues). But the gospel was twinned that day with a reading from 1st Maccabees about how Jesus was simply fulfilling this old passage, being a "type". In Maccabees, they cleared how the Temple of pagans so that the Jews could worship in purity again, but what Jesus was doing was clearing the court of the Gentiles of animals. There would be no need to clear the court of the Gentiles - that wasn't the holy ground, was it? Or was it!? He was, symbolically, making room in His temple for we Gentiles! In Heaven there are many mansions, and he was building more mansions for the Gentiles. How lovely is that thought? Also, he mentioned that Jesus never objected to the Jewish practice of praying for the dead, so that would be another point in favor of the truth of Purgatory.

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