17 December 2010

Last Coffee Bowl Browsing of 2010

OK. . .one more CBB!

No royal wedding invitation for B.O.

Hmmmm. . .Cuba banned Micheal Moore's "documentary" on its health care system.  Apparently, there are some leftists with a little shame left.

"Sustainability" on the campus. . .BIG waste o'tax dollars.

Mao is the greatest mass murderer in human history.

BXVI on the limits of the historical-critical method in Biblical interpretation.  H-C has its uses, but it can't be the only method used.  I prefer the more literary Patristic methods of interpretation.

The Manslator!  Using a patented FemLogic chip this device translates FemSpeak into ManSpeak.

Feline jihad. . .

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Winging my way home. . .

Venturing out into the cold, wet Roman morning. . .headed to Fiumicino.  Three hour layover in Atlanta and then on to Memphis!  

Travel reports from N. Europe aren't good.  Looks like the U.K. is getting snowed in.  Glad I'm not changing flights at Heathrow.

Mom and Pop tell me that the squirrels miss me reading to them.  Ahhh. 

Homilies, Coffee Bowl Browsing, etc. will pick back up again after Jan. 15, 2011.


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Snow in Rome!

Frs. Rick, Dominic, and Philip Neri

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Being members of the family of God

NB.  I laid around in bed 'til 6.00 this morning, so this homily is a little more muddled than usual.

3rd Week Advent (F)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
Ss. Domenico e Sisto, Roma

My paternal grandmother was a genealogy machine. Give her a name and a basic family relationship—aunt, cousin, sister-in-law—and she could calculate exactly how that person was related to everyone else in the family. On occasion, I would try to trick her by making up a complicated relationship to see if she was really as good as she seemed. She never missed. It was an amazing talent nourished by the great southern tradition of knowing “who your people are.” Of course, American southerners aren't the only ones who cherish this tradition. Knowing your family, your tribe, the history of your house is as old as creation. The most basic decisions in one's life can be made based on who you are within a family, within a nation. Who inherits the property? Who gets married? Who takes care of the children if the mother of a family dies? Who is expected to serve in the temple, the Church? We are who we are largely because of who our family is and who we are in that family. Genealogy is more than just a science of calculating familial relationships; it's the art of picking yourself out of the crowd so that you can be part of the crowd without losing your unique place among those you love and those who love you. When we hear Jesus' genealogy read aloud at Mass every December 17th, we are reminded again that he was and is a member of a family, an extraordinary individual who belongs to history, a man who is deeply rooted in the long, long story of Jewish people's history with God. And because we are heirs to His kingdom, Jesus' family history is our family history. Quite literally, we are the sons and daughters of the Father.

Knowing our family roots in the generations that precede us is vitally important to knowing who we are right now. But the work of the Church is not done in the past. We are not charged with spending our time and energy looking back to Achim, to Eleazar, to Ahaz. Our work is done today and tomorrow. We have the roots of the Jewish people firmly grounding us in the story of God's creation. We have the sturdy trunk of Jesus' preaching and teaching to support us when the Enemy comes against us. We have the thriving branches of our Church family to spread out and grow, reaching out and up to declare the Good News. And we have each one of us—the leaf, the flower, the seed—taking in the graces our Lord gives us, feeding the whole tree and bearing witness to His abundance. Our work as members of God's family is to flourish in His mercy and love and to make Him known to every tribe, every nation and people. With roots growing back to the day of creation, we are to spread out and plants the world's fields with the seeds of the Word. This is who we are in God's family. This is what we do as His sons and daughters. And our inheritance is nothing less than eternal life.

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16 December 2010

Updates, etc.

Many thanks for the prayers for my father.  He will likely have surgery before Christmas.  Nothing life-threatening.  Please, keep storming heaven anyway!

Add my maternal grandfather, Clyde, to your prayer list.  He was born the year the Titanic sunk.  Over the weekend, he suffered a mild heart attack.  I will see him and my grandmother for the first time in about five years over Christmas.

I leave for the U.S. on Saturday (18th).  Long Christmas vacation in MS before heading south to LA to be a parish priest for the first time in my life. Pray that the rioting students and strikers stay home.

Several HancAquam readers have asked me what I need for Christmas.  Honestly, nothing. . .other than the prayers requested above.  If you are so moved to send me something more material, the Wish List is always full.  :-)

I've embarked on a serious attempt to trim down.  At 46 and 320lbs., I am WAY too fat.  Being in the U.S. will only make this untenable situation worse.  No tricks, gimmicks, etc.  Just plain ole calorie counting and increased exercise.

There will be one more homily post before I leave Rome.  I have the English Mass in the morning.  After this, no more homilies 'til things get started in LA in mid-Jan 2011.  Internet access in MS is very limited, so comments, emails, etc. will be received but probably not answered for at least a month.  

As always, I appreciate my readers and pray for you everyday at Mass! 

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15 December 2010

More Roman rioting from Tuesday

The poster of the video below claims that the gov't infiltrated the protesters and started the riots in order to give the police an excuse to crack some heads. Entirely possible, even probable. Of course, it could be the case that the "gov't agents" are really communist agents pretending to be policemen so that the protesters can later claim that it was the police who started the riot. 

[Insert infinite regress. . .]

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Rome is burning! (again. . .)

It's good to see that the Pretty Boys of the Carabinieri got a little dirty. . .

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14 December 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Rome riots!  If you know anything about Rome's almost 3,000 year history, you know that rioting here is a fine art.

A short BBC vid of the rioting.

Why does the Church need a new English translation of the Missal?  'Nuff said.

Atheists are doing believers a huge favor in Ft. Worth.  

Lame Duck Dems offer a 1,924 pg. $1,100,000,000,000 budget. . .no review, no debate.

Manufacturing "hate crimes" at Harvard.  NB.  Christians were blamed for this.

". . .at opposite ends of Europe, Islamist radicals continue to probe for weak spots where they may carry out their atrocious acts."  And all of Europe is a weak spot.

The CIA, the LAPD, and the FBI go rabbit hunting. . .

Harry Potter. . .ermmmm, I mean hairy potter.

Kids tell us the naked truth about dating and marriage.

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Chant: Benedicamus Domino

Roman Catholic chant sung by an Orthodox master. . .

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Old Roman Catholic Chant: Popule meus

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13 December 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Great!  VA federal judge declares the individual mandate of ObamaCare unconstitutional.  The link includes the 42 pg. decision.  It is well worth the read--clear, concise, and persuasive.  

Key points of the judge's decision summarized.  Bottomline:  Congress cannot regulate commericial inactivity.  Duh.

Euro debt crisis caused "accidentally on-purpose" in order to expand E.U. political control?  I wouldn't be surprised at all.

A lefty HuffPo blogger/ColumbiaU prof was recently arrested for having an incestuous relationship with his adult daughter.  Given the Supreme Court's decisions on same-sex relationships and current litigation around SSM, this question was inevitable:  should incestuous adult relationships be illegal?  (Fair warning:  this article is not obscene but it deals frankly with the legal issues of the question.)

". . .report details the rise of a secularist attitude in European societies that increasingly leads to intolerance against Christian beliefs."
10 Manly Christmas gifts for the men in your life.

Is the Church skeptical of Marian apparitions?  Yes, she is. . .and she should be.  Everything necessary for salvation is contained within scripture and taught by the Tradition of the Church.  Apparitions are "extra" and never necessary.

Good vs. Evil comic:  Zombie Jesus!  Not sure what to think about this.  It combines two of my fav subjects--Jesus and zombies. 

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Are you ready to die for that answer?

3rd Week of Advent (M)/St Lucy
Fr. Philip Neri Powell
Ss. Domenico e Sisto, Roma

The chief priests and the elders are growing more and more frustrated with Jesus. At every turn, he manages to spoil their efforts to discredit him. He beats them at their legal game. He outperforms them at their religious game. He's certainly more politically popular among the common people. All of these defeats at the hands of a disreputable preacher from a backwater town are really starting to sting! Finding him teaching to a large crowd in the temple area, the priests and elders decide to go for the gold medal and ask a very basic question, a question that should either establish Jesus' credentials or expose him as a fraud: “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” You can almost hear the frustration in these questions. What exactly are these men after? What answers are they hoping for? Of course, Jesus is too smart by half to answer them directly. He already knows that the question is a trap, so he answers with his own question, “Was John's baptism of heavenly or human origin?” Now they are stuck! If they say that John's baptism was heavenly in origin, then his preaching about Jesus is true. If they say that he baptism was human in origin, then these men face an angry mob of John's supporters. Given these options, the priests and elders say, “We don't know.” Since they don't know the answer or won't give an answer, Jesus refuses to address their question about his authority to teach and perform miracles. In other words, he refuses to reveal himself as the Word made flesh, the Word authored by the Father and sent with His authority to preach the Good News.

Now, no doubt the priests and elders are just a little curious about this reckless prophet who's going around upsetting the rules of their playground. They are certainly frustrated by their failed attempts to expose Jesus as a fraud. But it is telling that they willing to confront him directly about the origins of his authority. They risk an outright public declaration from Jesus that he is the long-promised Messiah. Once spoken, such a claim is explosive; it cannot be unspoken. Once revealed—true or false—the claim will have to be addressed. The religious and political rulers will either have to accept Jesus' authority and see their world turned upside-down, or reject his authority and risk a violent reaction from the mobs that follow this preacher around. They opt for the predictable politicians' response: do nothing and hope to keep their jobs and their lives. It should go without saying that this sort of response is not what God demands of us. Hedging our bets for and against the Christ is no hedge at all. We either accept his authority, or we reject it. We follow, or we walk away. 

Half-measures, hedged bets, lukewarm hearts will not get us any closer to Christ. In fact, standing on the sidelines of the Way, watching from a safe distance, will get us nothing more than left behind. If the priests and elders were to ask you, “By what authority does Jesus do these things? And who gave him this authority?”—how would you answer? Are you ready to die for that answer? Because regardless of how you answer, you will be called upon to defend yourself. . .to death or all the way to eternal life.

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