July 11, 2013


J.G. Ballard, 1977
Well that doesn't happen every day. We were on the brunt end of a helluva thunderstorm. “It looks like a war zone,” said neighbor Bud, looking at all the trash and downed trees. We weren't entirely spared - we lost the top fifteen feet from our evergreen out front, some of the maple beside it, and gobs and gobs of the maple out back – it now has a gaping whole in the middle of it. The neighbor lady on the corner lost her 40-year old apple tree, the biggest I'd ever seen. The giant rootball was hanging eerily in the air.

We apparently lost electricity because one of neighbor Bud's tree tops snapped off and is sagging the line. Thousands are without power and I'm thinking it's really going to be awhile before we're restored since our particular outage is so localized - all the neighbors on the other side of our street have power. So there's not much incentive to come out to fix the line given that maybe four or five houses are in play. It's slightly discombobulating to be without power even though on paper it shouldn't be problematical at all. I brought home chicken salad, so no microwaving necessary for dinner. Beer's still cold. Ipad and Kindle still work.  Temperatures not too hot so a/c not particularly missed yet. We're really roughing it…not!



The work day passed reasonably speedily. Before work read savorously of the new encyclical, which certainly reads like Benedict. Very, very interesting to see addressed what for many may be taken as THE question: why God doesn't appear to us individually? In other words, for example, why have Moses relay the message? The answer seems to be that shared knowledge is the “knowledge proper to love” and is not appreciated by those with an “individualistic conception of conscience”.

Also liked how Isaac's birth was referred to as “Abraham's Christmas”, a sort of incarnation event.


Interesting to hear Fr. Rob on Lino Rulli's radio show concerning the Francis tapping of John XXIII. The sainthood thing is something all the last three popes have just gone crazy about. All of them seem to be upping the ante: John Paul II, besides canonizing the most folks ever, waived the first miracle for Juan Diego, Benedict waived the five-year waiting period for Mother Teresa, and now Francis says, “Second miracle, second schmiracle! The guy's a saint! Let's not stand on ceremony here.” What's next, canonization of the still living? Haha.

With Blessed John XXIII, you might be tempted to take the fact that his body is said to be incorrupted as a sign, a second miracle, although I've always kind of wondered if that was due to special embalming.

The secular media is all saying it's because Francis wants a “liberal” and a “conservative” pope together at one ceremony, but I just learned that this month is the 50th anniversary of John XXIII's death, and the Church loves anniversaries. Just loves to mark them. Maybe also some of the Vaticanistas who love John XXIII are getting nervous about his canonization chances given that he's fading from memory now that most of the people who remember Vatican II are getting older. Got to strike while the iron's hot sort of thing.
Anyway, it's fun being Catholic. You get papal encyclicals and a “Hall of Fame” for the all-time Christian greats.

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