10 December 2010

Prayer Request

Please add my dad, Glenn, to your prayer list. . .

He got some bad health news yesterday.  Nothing fatal but nothing good either.


Follow HancAquam & Check out my Wish List --------->

Coffee Bowl Browsing

The number of waivers from the insurance mandates of ObamaCare is doubled in just two weeks.   Lesson:  if you have to free businesses from your mandates in order to avoid disaster, then your mandates are probably inherently disastrous.

More "unintended consequences" of ObamaCare:  Orphan drug discounts canceled.

The "science" is settled!  Global Warming fundamentalists partying in Cancun sign petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide. . .that's water (H2O).   Meanwhile, Paris receives its largest snowfall since 1987.

Speaking of the Church of Global Warming:  BXVI on the "new polytheism" and the dangers of paganism.

Louisiana school board (rightly) rejects an attempt to have creationism included in biology textbooks.  Religion is not science.  Thanks be to God!

Lots of student rioting in London. . .apparently, asking them to pay for part of their education is riot-worthy.

B.O.'s bud in Venezuela allows Iran to place missiles within range of the U.S.  Fortunately, the Iranians will only allow Chavez to use in the missiles "in case of emergency."  Whew.

Just how radical is Pope BXVI?  Pretty radical, dude!

The next generation plots its fiscal revenge

Calvin & Hobbes pit their wits against the raging elements

Follow HancAquam & Check out my Wish List --------->

Listen, follow, act

2nd Week Advent (F)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
Ss. Domenico e Sisto, Roma

To the prophet Isiah the Lord says, “I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go.” The Psalmist echoes this truth when he writes, “Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.” Developing the idea even further, Jesus says to the crowds, “. . .wisdom is vindicated by her works.” The Lord leads. We follow. And wisdom is upheld in His deeds. If there's a formula to living in Christ, this is it: Go where the Lord leads; do what He asks; and the truth of His Word will manifest in the fruit of our works. This sounds so easy, so straightforward. But we all know how often things go so horribly wrong. Jesus gives us a good reason for our frequent failures. Instead of listening to the Lord and following Him, we prefer to do the talking; we prefer to lead Him where we want Him to go. Needless to say, this is the formula for spiritual disaster.

Speaking to the crowds, Jesus compares his generation to children in the marketplace who complain that no one dances to their music, no one mourns when they sing. The people of this generation accuse John the Baptist of being possessed by a demon b/c he neither eats nor drinks. When Jesus eats and drinks with sinners, they accuse him of being a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors. Like the children in the marketplace who whine b/c no one dances to their tunes, those who hear John and Jesus preach reject what they hear b/c it's not what they want to hear. Perhaps we shouldn't be too quick in condemning the crowds. John and Jesus are preaching some difficult truths: repentance, humility, charity, and obedience. There's little here to soothe a sinners' mind, almost nothing attractive to a heart steeped in sin. Regardless, let's not miss out on Jesus' principal concern. By accusing both John and Jesus of the same crimes for different reasons, the people of this evil generation expose a deeply seated unwillingness to listen to, follow after, and uphold the wisdom of God. John and Jesus are preaching a consistent message of repentance and salvation. The stubborn crowds are living lives of destructive contradiction. In other words, when the heart and mind are divided against themselves, truth cannot take hold and thrive. 

If you hope to be a follower of Christ and not just a fan, you will unite your mind around the light of life; you will close your heart around the radical openness of God's love. When we listen to, follow after, and act on the Father's wisdom, we will not only be made whole, we will be vindicated—upheld and glorified as Christ himself is glorified.

Follow HancAquam & Check out my Wish List --------->

07 December 2010

Mary: most noble resting place of the Holy Trinity

The following bit of meditative history on the I.C. is from the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy:

8th December
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Hail Mary, full of grace’. For thousands of centuries, millions of times per day the Virgin Mary is greeted by the faithful with the greeting of the Archangel, that we hear resonating a new in today’s Gospel. The sons of the Church learn from the words of the Archangel Gabriel that the fullness of the mystery of God’s grace was realised in Holy Mary. St Paul, the Apostle teaches us that the Father made all fullness dwell in His Incarnate Son (c.f. Col 1:12-20), which overflows from Christ’s head and spills out on His Mystical Body that is the Church. Before descending in Body, Christ’s fullness was spread in a unique and unrepeatable way on Mary, predestined from eternity to be the Mother of God.

Significantly in the first reading, the liturgy recalls the figure of Eve, the mother of all the living. The Father’s of the Church saw in Mary, the new Eve that unties the knot bound by the first woman. The knot of disobedience tied by Eve, was untied by the obedience of Mary. As Eve was created in purity and integrity, also the new Eve was miraculously preserved from the contamination of original sin because she had to give humanity the Word, who was incarnated for our ransom.

Saint Irenaeus compares the virginity of the pure earth from which Adam was drawn to the virginity of the immaculate humanity of Mary from which the Second Adam was drawn. ‘And as the protoplast himself Adam, had his substance from untilled and as yet virgin soil (for God had not yet sent rain, and man had not tilled the ground (Genesis2:5)) so did He who is the Word, recapitulating Adam in Himself, rightly receive a birth, enabling Him to gather up Adam [into Himself], from Mary, who was as yet a virgin’. (Adversus hereses III, 21:10 http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/index3.htm)

Blessed Pope Pius IX on the 8th December 1854 proclaimed the Dogma of the faith revealed by God that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin" (Denz. – Schonm, 2083). If the official proclamation of the dogma is relatively recent, the profession of faith by Christians and the liturgy is very ancient in this regard. Furthermore, four years later the same Virgin Mary, appearing in Lourdes to St Bernadette, confirmed the truth of the doctrine by presenting herself with the title ‘I am the Immaculate Conception’.

Mary’s predestination to this singular grace – consistent with the suspension of the universal degree by which every man, from the moment of his conception is contaminated with original sin – leads us to ponder in the deepest depths the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity’s salvific plan. God, One and Triune had foreseen from the very beginning the future incarnation of the Word cumulating in the redemption of human nature that had fallen into sin. He therefore predestined pure Mary, so that He could draw from her uncontaminated humanity, which the Son could adopt in order to re-establish in Himself the original purity of creation and reorientate it to eternal glory.

For this reason, in the second reading of today’s liturgy, St Paul reminds us that God wants to see us holy and immaculate before Him. The purity of our origins seamed to be irredeemably lost. However, in Immaculate Mary, God found the perfect solution to reverse the disaster made from the misuse of our liberty, and returned humanity to the original purity that seamed hopelessly lost.

Mary’s Immaculate Conception is a direct consequence of her Divine Maternity. St Anslem of Aosla wrote: ‘Assuredly, it was fitting that the Virgin be beautified with a purity than which a greater cannot be conceived, except for God's. For, toward her, God the Father was so disposed to give His only Son was naturally one and the same common Son of God the Father and of the Virgin.’ (De conceptu virginali et originali peccato, XVIII)

This link between the privilege of Divine Maternity and Mary’s Immaculate Conception results also in her superiority with respect to us. She is a perfect image of the Church in heaven, the new triumphant Jerusalem, that won’t have any marks nor will there be pain and death. This is why today’s preface recites: …she was to be a worthy mother of your Son, your sign of favour to the church at its beginning, and the promise of its perfection as the bride of Christ, radiant in beauty’. Also in heaven Mary isn’t or will ever be only a disciple, but her Son’s most exalted. She is and will always be the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, the Queen of the Angels and Saints. Therefore, the preface of the Mass adds: ‘…You chose her from all creatures to be our advocate with you and our pattern of holiness.’

Mary was Immaculate because she had to be the Mother of God. She, herself has received the original grace of purity and the final state of the blessed life that we also, by collaborating with Divine Grace, hope one day to receive.

Immaculate Mary is full of grace. She is not only Christ’s disciple, that with the help of grace has overcome the chains of sin, but she is totius Trinitatis nobile triclinium, the noble resting place of the Holy Trinity (St Thomas Acuinas, Exposito Salutatioris Angelicae, I). The Immaculate, full of grace will always be Mother and Queen for that elect part of the Church that we hope one day to join, that will one day will joyfully sing in front of the Almighty.

Follow HancAquam & Check out my Wish List --------->

06 December 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Everything you've always wanted to know about the forensics of Zombie Headshots.  

Life imitating art:  man is decapitated at a chicken factory. . .this was an episode of Bones a few years back.

Tolerant, freedom-loving leftists in Spain pitch a hissy fit b/c a Cardinal of the Church is invited to speak at a university in Madrid.  Apparently, "dialogue" and "free expression" are only available to those who agree with these petulant adolescents.

Science vs. religion. . .someone doesn't know their history.  Science gave us nuclear weapons.  Religion gave us Mother Theresa.

Sometimes "science" makes ya stupid.  Or rather, the ideological usurpation of science makes you stupid.

Best headline of the day:  "No Country for Burly Men"

Survival Guide:  tracks you need to know

Understanding the engineer in your life 

"The easiest way is always mined."  Army quotes for everyday life

Follow HancAquam & Check out my Wish List --------->

Because of you they will be healed

2nd Week of Advent (M)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
Ss. Domenico e Sisto, Roma

A paralyzed man is brought to Jesus for healing. The man's friends, unable to get through the crowd surrounding Jesus, lower him from the roof through the ceiling. Seeing an opportunity to not only reconcile a sinner to God but to teach the Pharisees a lesson, Jesus does what no one but God Himself can do: he forgives the poor man's sins. Predictably, the Pharisees start murmuring among themselves and quietly accusing Jesus of blasphemy. In answer to these accusations, Jesus says to the man, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” And he does. Just like that. His sins are forgiven and his disability is healed. Luke reports that those who witness this miracle are seized with astonishment and glorify God, saying, “We have seen incredible things today.” Now, this event may not seem so incredible to us b/c we've been reading about it for some 2,000 years. That Jesus healed the sick as part of his ministry is hardly astonishing to us. That sin is part and parcel of physical illness is not really all that shocking anymore either. What might get missed in the telling of this miraculous story is the fact that Jesus forgives the man's sin not b/c the man himself has faith sufficient to justify absolution but b/c the man's friends show their faith in the authority of the Son of Man to forgive. When Jesus sees the faith of the man's friends, he says, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.” 

While we are focused on the miraculous healing and the public rebuke of the Pharisees' disbelief, we might miss one of the more theologically significant points in this story: forgiveness of sins can be obtained by someone other than the one forgiven. Unlike the blind man who was healed when he professed his faith in the Lordship of Christ, the paralyzed man never utters a word. We have no indication of his faith, no way of knowing whether or not he believed that Jesus was capable of restoring his legs to good use. All we know is that his friends believed and their belief was strong enough to compel them to go to great lengths to get their disabled friend in front of Jesus. For all we know, the disabled man did not believe. He have may even been actively disbelieving! It makes no difference. Jesus heals him because—that is, in virtue of—the astonishing faith of those who love him. 

This miracle tells us a lot about the nature of faith and the power of intercessory prayer. First, faith is contagious. Its benefits are not immediately limited to believers alone. Second, interceding on behalf of a loved one, even an unbelieving loved one, can work miracles. Third, the authority of the Son of Man to forgive sins extends over all, believers, non-believers, and those who actively disbelieve. And finally, knowing all of this to be true, those of us who follow Christ are charged with putting our faith to work for those who do not believe. Knowing that our faith can merit the forgiveness of another person's sins, how can we fail to intercede on their behalf? How can we fail to share the fruits of the faith we ourselves have been given?

Who in your life is paralyzed by sin? Who needs the healing touch of Christ's forgiveness? Use your faith to intercede for them. Lower them through the ceiling to rest in front of Christ and allow those whom you love to be infected by your divine gift of trusting in God. Christ will see them, and because of you, they will be healed.

Follow HancAquam & Check out my Wish List --------->