07 November 2009

Thanks for the prayers (UPDATE)

I am very grateful for the outpouring of prayers for Mama Becky!

Please add me to your list. . .

Along with thesis-writing anxieties, I am revisiting old "issues" and contemplating old choices.

Ah, memory!  Wasn't it St. Augustine who noted that memory is a blessing and a curse?

We can leave behind who we were. . .but who we were never leaves us, uh?

UPDATE @ 4.08pm:   Just got off the phone with my mom. . .she's been moved to an isolation unit.  The docs suspect swine flu.  She's in very good spirits, complaining about the lack of a decent shower. 

Book arrival...

C.C., Studies in Scientific Realism finally arrived!  Mille grazie. . .

My apologies for the post. . .I've managed to lose your email address.   The shipping invoice doesn't have a return address. . .so this is the only way I have to say Thank You! 

How fortuitous as well. . .Chapter Three of the thesis is on scientific critical realism.  

Fr. Philip

06 November 2009

Thesis Update

Got the Introduction and Chapter One sent in ahead of schedule.  (Not happy with the results)

Chapter Two is due Sunday.

Chapters Three-Five are due Dec. 8th.

Pray for Mama Becky, please! (UPDATED)

URGENT Prayer Request!

Just got off the phone with Mama Becky.

She's been hospitalized in Memphis with pneumonia and bronchitis.  She's on 100% O2 and IV anti-biotics.

Despite all of this she's in good spirits.  Says the nurses are friendly and the food ain't bad!


UPDATE:  Just talked to Pop. . .Mom is doing well. . .fussing about having to wear an O2 mask.  Will likely stay in the hospital over the weekend.  

05 November 2009

Writing Philosophy-ese is BORING!

I am having some difficulty adjusting my writing style to fit the expectations of philosophical discourse.

For example, this morning I composed the following sentence:  "Truth is neither found naked among the things of the world nor is it made a la Frankenstein's monster in the laboratory of words."

Translated into Philosophy-ese:  "Truth is neither a property of the real nor an artifact of language."


(Clarification:  I don't mean that philosophy is intellectually boring. . .I just mean that it is no fun to write. . .)

04 November 2009

Sinsinawa Dominican Statement on Sr. Quinn

Public Statement of the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation

Several months ago, the leadership of the Sinsinawa Dominicans was informed that Sister Donna Quinn, OP, acted as a volunteer escort at a Chicago area clinic that among other procedures, performs abortions. After investigating the allegation, Congregation leaders have informed Sr. Donna that her actions are in violation of her profession as a Dominican religious. They regret that her actions have created controversy and resulted in public scandal. They are working with Sr. Donna to resolve the matter appropriately.

Congregation leaders offer the following statement on behalf of members of the Congregation. We as Sinsinawa Dominican women are called to proclaim the Gospel through the ministry of preaching and teaching to participate in the building of a holy and just society. As Dominican religious, we fully support the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the dignity and value of every human life from conception to natural death. We believe that abortion is an act of violence that destroys the life of the unborn. We do not engage in activity that witnesses to support of abortion.

Very happy to see this statement from the Sinsinawas.  I have to admit that I am also very surprised to see it.  Please note that this statement, though clearly supportive of the Church's pro-life teaching, does not indicate what, if anything, will be done to discourage Quinn's public support of abortion.  Frankly, anytime you hear a Catholic religious use the word "process" or "resolution," you can bet that you're looking at years and years of back and forth yammering. 

Now that the Sinsinawa's have publicly declared themselves to be pro-life, maybe we can persuade them to adopt a Corporate Stance opposing abortion!  

Nuns, Space Lizards, Episcopal Klansmen, & UnGood Thoughts

Yet another reason why nations should avoid entangling themselves in Nanny State Social Engineering Experiments.

Sr. Donna Quinn has been slapped on the wrist.  She takes this parting shot:  "I take this opportunity to urge those demonstrating against women who are patients at the Hinsdale Clinic, whom I have seen emotionally as well as physically threaten women, to cease those activities," she said. "I would never have had to serve as a peacekeeper had not they created a war against women."  Sister, there would be nothing to protest had the women you support not declared war on their unborn children and condemned them to death through abortion.

This is very likely where B.O.'s and the Dem's "hate crime" legislation is taking us.  (h/t: Shea)

More 19th C. Klu-Klux-Klanish/Know-Nothing anti-Catholicism from the Enlightened Brights of the Episcopal Church. . .this time it's one their "bishops."

On the new sci-fi show, V. . ."The news media swoons in admiration [of the new leader] --one simpering anchorman even shouts at a reporter who asks a tough question: 'Why don't you show some respect?!' The public is likewise smitten, except for a few nut cases who circulate batty rumors on the Internet about the leader's origins and intentions. The leader, undismayed, offers assurances that are soothing, if also just a tiny bit condescending: 'Embracing change is never easy.'  So, does that sound like anyone you know? Oh, wait -- did I mention the leader is secretly a totalitarian space lizard who's come here to eat us?"

03 November 2009

Book arrivals, etc.

Quick Wish List notes. . .

D.A. from Maryland. . .all seven of the books you shipped have arrived.  I gave them to Fr. Itza of the Angelicum library this morning.  Mille grazie!  A Thank You note will go out this weekend.

D.S. from N. Carolina. . .the book you sent some six months ago arrived safely!  One of my German brothers saw it and "borrowed" it almost immediately. . .don't worry:  I know where he lives.  Thank you for the addition!

P.P. from FL. . .I rec'd your gift while I was still in TX, however, the shipping invoice was shipped with my other books to Rome before I left Houston. . .just now getting it again.  Mille grazie. . .and a Thank You note headed your way.

Some of you may have noticed that my WISH LIST selections have shifted slightly from Philosophy of Science to Philosophy of Religion and philosophical theology.   As I move into Ph.D. work, my research must become more and more specialized.   Though I have not yet selected a specific topic, it will be something having to do with the controversy of using/abusing science in the defense of pluralistic theologies of religion (i.e., use/abuse of science in theology to promote heresy).

Pray for me!  Tough week. . .

Excuses instead of peace

St. Martin de Porres, OP: Readings
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
SS. Domenico e Sisto, Roma

Peace is boring. Deadly dull. Where's that sense of moving forward? Getting places? Accomplishing goals? Peace is all about sitting still. Being calm. Silence and solitude. You can get moldy sitting still. You can also get run over by those moving and shaking around you. Besides, peacefulness is really just mental laziness, right? Being at peace just means choosing not to deal with reality; refusing to see things as they are. Who can be at peace living in this world of economic collapse, political upheaval, spiritual desolation? Peace is a luxury for those who can afford a retreat house on the mountaintop. Down here in the valley with the real people in the real world, we have real problems that humming sweet tunes about peace ain't gonna solve! So take your peace out back under the tree and tell it to the nuts and the squirrels! The rest of us have work to do— we have new fields, a new wives, new oxen, and, sorry, but you are just going to have to excuse us. We can't make the feast. We're busy. But you guys have a great time, OK?

Were those who excused themselves from the feast lying about their duties? Why would they lie to get out of attending a feast? Could it be that even a short time at rest, or even a tiny little moment of peace is too much for the frantic soul, the soul in perpetual panic over Things To Do? They made their choice. New land, new wife, new oxen. . .all come first. They all come before the Banquet of the Lord. Peace will come later. Peace is the product of hard work. Much turmoil. Peace is what gets settled after the fight. And all of that may be true...about this world's peace. This world's peace seems to be nothing more than the absence of violence. Some find their peace in dialogue. Diplomacy and negotiation. Concessions and treaties. These folks tend not to make it to the feast because they have new wives, new lands, new oxen. However, all those called to the feast later on—the lame, the blind, the unclean, the homeless—none of these guests have much to worry with other than what they do not have. When they make it to the table as invited guests, they might pray, “O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I do not busy myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me.”

We must find our peace, and our place at the table, doing the little things of the Lord: holding on to what it is good; loving one another; staying fervent in faith; rejoicing in hope; enduring affliction; preserving in prayer—doing all those little things that not only bring us the peace of the Lord but also stand as witnesses against the truly soul-killing frenzies of being busybusybusy, too busy to accept an invitation to join the Lord at his table for the feast of Heaven. It's true: later always comes; but where will you be and who will you be when Later finds you. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Then, you can announce at the feasting table, “I have found my peace in you, O Lord!”

02 November 2009

Prayers all around

I con-celebrated the All Souls' Mass this morning with the other friars, offering prayers for those whose names were left in the combox (almost 200 names!).

Please pray for my mom. . .I called her this morning for our usual Monday chat, but my dad was preparing to take her to the doctor. . .When I asked her what was wrong, she responded, "I think I have the Russian Pig Flu." 

Dr. Becky at her best!

01 November 2009

Cover & Title of my newest prayer book!

Liguori Publications notes that Treasures Holy and Mystical will be available May 1, 2010.

Crdl Levada clarifies a question on celibacy

A clarification from Cardinal Levada of the CDF, regarding speculation that the publication of the Anglican apostolic constitution is being delayed in order to iron out the question of clerical celibacy for future seminarians of the Anglican Ordinariates:

There has been widespread speculation, based on supposedly knowledgeable remarks by an Italian correspondent Andrea Tornielli, that the delay in publication of the Apostolic Constitution regarding Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church, announced on October 20, 2009, by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is due to more than "technical" reasons. According to this speculation, there is a serious substantial issue at the basis of the delay, namely, disagreement about whether celibacy will be the norm for the future clergy of the Provision.

Cardinal Levada offered the following comments on this speculation: "Had I been asked I would happily have clarified any doubt about my remarks at the press conference. There is no substance to such speculation. No one at the Vatican has mentioned any such issue to me. The delay is purely technical in the sense of ensuring consistency in canonical language and references. [Shudder. . .the tedious task of getting the footnotes right.] The translation issues are secondary; the decision not to delay publication in order to wait for the ‘official’ Latin text to be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis was made some time ago.

The drafts prepared by the working group, and submitted for study and approval through the usual process followed by the Congregation, have all included the following statement, currently Article VI of the Constitution:

§1 Those who ministered [past tense] as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42 and in the Statement "In June" are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of CIC can. 277, §1. [The pastoral provisions for married Anglican clergy will remain in effect.]

§2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit [future tense] only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See [this is not a good move].

This article is to be understood as consistent with the current practice of the Church, in which married former Anglican ministers may be admitted to priestly ministry in the Catholic Church on a case by case basis. With regard to future seminarians, it was considered purely speculative whether there might be some cases in which a dispensation from the celibacy rule might be petitioned. For this reason, objective criteria about any such possibilities (e.g. married seminarians already in preparation) are to be developed jointly by the Personal Ordinariate and the Episcopal Conference, and submitted for approval of the Holy See."  [So it is likely that married men currently studying for the Anglican priesthood will be granted dispensations for ordination if they come over to Rome.  Nothing here indicates what the norms will be for those entering seminary after the P.O.'s are established.  My guess is that they are choosing to wait and deal with this when the question arises in the future.  This strikes me as risky, but real-life cases help make better law].

Cardinal Levada said he anticipates the technical work on the Constitution and Norms will be completed by the end of the first week of November.

Will the P.O.'s become a "back door" for making married clergy the norm for the Latin Rite as a whole?  Probably not.  But the canonical language will have to be very carefully drawn so as to prevent revisionists from giving the canons "creative interpretations."  However, unlike the Anglican Communion, the RCC has a central authority that can prevent unintended applications of canon law.  In other words, creative bishops will not be able to abuse the provisions of the P.O. to sneak married clergy into the Latin Rite as the norm. 

Book Winners for 2009

One fairly quick and easy way to find out what's considered the best English-language literature available is to peruse the annual prize winners' lists.  Print out a copy of a list and take it to Barnes & Nobel or Borders and buy two or three of these books for your reading pleasure. 

If you would like some poetry recommendations, just ask.  My knowledge of contemporary fiction is limited at best, but I do keep up with the latest in poetry.  For novels and non-fiction, I rely on lists like these:

Publishers' Weekly Ten Best Books of 2009 (. . .and I've not read any of them!)

National Book Award Winners for 2009

The Man Booker Prize (UK) shortlist. . .Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall won

Pulitzer Prize winners for 2009. . .W.S. Merwin wins in poetry (no surprise there)

Nobel Prize in Literature:  Herta Muller (never heard of her)

Poetry Foundation's Ruth Lilly Prize winners list