December 15, 2009

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

Frazer was perfectly right to point to the similarities between myth and Christianity. In both instances you have a victim who is killed by an entire community and who becomes who he is and who he has always been, the christ of the community. What Frazer did not see, which is the simplest thing of all, is that Christianity is very different from mythology. It is exactly the same situation, but whereas in all the myths the victim is guilty, in Christianity, Christ is innocent. - Rene Girard on National Review TV

I think my understanding of “apostolate” has been colored by my experiences with Regnum Christi, in which apostolate is related to recruitment, and is worked on during hours specifically designated for Christian work. As that Movement undergoes purification, I am also rethinking how I use certain words I am in the habit of using. Part of my objection to the “blog as aspotolate” idea is that it compartmentalizes aspects of our Christian life. - Betty Duffy

You are absolutely right that these matters of the hymn announcers and the furniture arrangement are very trivial. Leave the parish? So....why are we in a parish? You know how when you go on an airplane the stewardess (are they still called that?) tells you that if that little oxygen mask drops you should make sure you have yours on before you assist anyone else? We are in a parish to get to Heaven. My job is to get myself to heaven and to assist you in getting to Heaven, in that order. If I'm not working to get myself to Heaven, I won't be able to help you. I'll just pass out and die. So we sit in these pews together. We pray together. We eat pancake breakfasts and attend funerals. And someday, we hope to be in Heaven together. If you can't even be in the same church building with Joe Schlemmer because Joe got to read the hymn list instead of Mary Bernbrock, how are you going to stand being in Heaven with Joe?" - Sister Mary Martha's blog

Climate and society are both chaotic systems -- in fact, since they affect each other, they're chaotic subsystems of a larger chaotic system with a vast number of variables. The best climate models in the world have not been validated, the uncertainty of economic models is empirically established and recognized in law... and these models all produce input for the even sketchier models of what we really care about, which is the common good (of which I won't attempt a definition here). - Tom of Disputations

So how does the National Catholic Reporter celebrate the feast of St. Juan Diego? Why of course by linking to articles denying that he ever existed...Anne Rice in her last book in the Vampire Chronicles involved St. Juan Diego in the plot. At one point the Vampire Lestat reads an article about him since he has a subscription to the National Catholic Reporter (figures). So questions of his existence are part of the novel and it is obvious that Anne Rice was swayed by this dissident rag. Lestat ponders the intersection of papal infallibility and a non-existent saint and imagines Juan Diego popping into Heaven upon the Pope's proclamation. - Jeff Miller aka "Curt Jester"

It is precisely because God is God that he lacks 'a human range of emotions'—and that is what makes him ungraspable in the terms of literature, which is a humane art. - Mr. Wilson of Books INQ via Steven Riddle's "Momentary Taste of Being"

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. - opening of a Shirley Jackson novel via Steven Riddle

Nobody ever left the Catholic Church because of an Andrew Greeley novel; but many have returned to the Catholic Church because of one. - via Sancta Sanctis

My [musical] tastes were set in stone in 1965–66...I believe I could recognize every Top 40 song from those years. Then my interest in rock simply shut off... The antics of the industry (grossness, seriousness) had something to do with the death of my interest, along with the poverty of the form and the lack of talent of most of the practioners...The Hillsdale student who drove me to the airport after my gig two weeks ago said he was a senior, a political philosophy major, and a fan of classic rock..., he said, he had had to examine his preferences in light of Plato's analysis of music and its power over the soul. I could hear the thrumming of the Straussian Interstate as he spoke, and I warned him to be always mindful of Plato's envy of artists: He can't stand the fact that Homer is a better writer than he is, and he may have the same resentment of musicians. - Richard Brookhiser on his "Right Place" blog

The dark cloud that's lurking over all this political hubbub is the threat, or the seductive whisper (depending on how I feel that day) that none of it is going to matter. Soon I may need to re-orient myself very simply towards the survival of my family and my people, and I sort of welcome the thought. I live my life so much in the realm of superfluities, and so little in what is essential. It's sort of the modern conundrum that life has become so easy that my very existence seems superfluous at times, that my sole purpose is to consume what can be consumed. - Betty Duffy

Reading Eamon Duffy's The Stripping of the Altars... First he details the spiritual health and devotions in pre-Anglican Church England, and then he details the destruction. Here is a snip from the destruction, which started as a creeping destruction:
So the sprinkling of the holy water was explained not in terms of the water's power to banish demons or bring blessing, but "to put us in remembrance of our baptism and the blood of Christ sprinkled for our redemption," holy bread was presented not as a curative but "to put us in remembrance of the sacrament of the altar," candles at Candlemas not as defences against the power of evil or the disorder of the elements but "in memory of Christ the spiritual light".
As I read this, I wonder who won in the end. The water-downed version seems to be what we live with today in most Catholic parishes. Our faith, Catholic culture and devotions have been eliminated (who celebrates Candlemas now?) or greatly watered-down (I have never heard sprinkling of holy water to banish demons except from one priest.) - Jim of Bethune Catholic

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