21 May 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing (B.O.-less Edition)

The American Papist's initial reaction to the Knights of Columbus brouhaha.  

The pagan rites of a lesbian-Episcopalian consecration.  I never witnessed this sort of thing when I was an Episcopalian.  I had to become Catholic to see it.    Fair warning:  this vid is spew-worthy.

Again, words matter: no created being can create;  we can recombine existing things to produce something new, but we can't create.  That's God's job.

Did she excommunicate herself?  On the Catholic sister who approved an abortion in AZ.

An English translation of the Descartes letter we were given to translate for our exam.  I've read it five or six times--in English!--and I don't know what he's talking about.

One priest's experience with multi-lingual Continentals.  Here at the Angelicum, most of the friars are at least trilingual (native tongue, Italian, and English).  Several friars speak all of the major European languages.  And some can boast Latin, Greek, and Hebrew on top of these.  In my limited experience, our Polish brothers are the most proficient at picking up foreign languages.

On the suicide of Catholic culture in Spain.  Perhaps these folks yearn for the return of the Moors.

"No one is listening until you make a mistake" and 53 other cynical Thoughts for the Day.

Do-it-yourself consumer warning labels:  "A Dead Sea scroll found that UFO's cause liberalism in bald Armenians, so just don't over do it." 

Ronald "The Pimp Meister" McDonald reiterates, "I said NO special orders!"

Dog diary vs. Cat diary.  I love dogs, but would rather be a cat.

First Lesson of Law School:  never ask a witness a question you don't already know the answer to.

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The Knights, Pro-aborts, & You

I'm getting a lot of questions about the recent ruling of the national leadership of the Knights of Columbus that forbids local chapters from expelling Knights who are pro-abortion politicians. 

I've not had a chance to ferret out all the relevant info.

My advice for the moment:  don't resign from your local council just yet.  You can't change the policy if you are on the outside.  Resignation is an option if the national leadership will not budge.  But for now, learn as much as you can about the policy.  Express your respectful, considered opinion to your KC leadership, your pastor, and your bishop.  And pray!

As I learn more about what's going on, I will opine at length.

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20 May 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Words matter. . .but they matter more to some than to others:  B.O.'s P.C. assault on how we talk about terrorism.

What are the paradoxes inherent in the creative mind?  Most of these apply to the preacher, I think.  How does a preacher of an ancient message bring that message to a contemporary world without sacrificing its substance?

Immigrants reduce violent crime in urban areas?  This study says yes.  NB.  the study doesn't distinguish between legal and illegal immigration nor does it factor in the use of mandatory sentencing laws as a deterrent to crime.  Read the comments for other flaws in the study.

The dangers of Multiculturalism in a multicultural society.  When it comes to the Dogma of Immaculate Multiculturalism, leftists consistently confuse "descriptive multiculturalism" with "prescriptive multiculturalism;" in other words, there is a difference between saying, "Wow.  We have a lot of different cultures in the US" and "The difference ethnic cultures in the US must be allowed to dominate American culture."

Damien Thompson reports that the Holy Father will not be tortured by trendy, folksy music during his visit to the U.K.

Female "priest" denied a Catholic burial.  This column is so full of factual errors that it's hard to fisk it.  NB.  the Vatican did NOT excommunicate this woman.  By pretending to be ordained a Catholic priest, she excommunicated herself.  By denying her a Catholic burial, the archdiocese was simply honoring her wishes not to be included in the life of the Church.

America Magazine quietly edits the on-line anti-Benedict rant of one of its Jebbie columnists.  Maybe they got a call from The Inquisition?

If you have ever watched an episode of The Shield, you know how important it is to have a gangster name.  So, here's the Gangster Name Generator.  Mine is "Fredo 'Louie Ha-Ha' Giordano." 

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This week started with some bad news:  the French Failure.

But it's ending with some much, much better news:  the Summer Housing Crisis is over!

There is room at the inn.  I won't have to make any changes in my travel plans, class schedule, or visits home.  

Now, we just have to keep that Klingon Volcano in Iceland under wraps for the summer.

Thank you all for your prayers and kind encouragement.  And special thanks to Frs. Carmen and Rudy for their generosity.

God bless, Fr. Philip 

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Fr. McDermott, OP on Catherine of Siena, OP

My friend and Dominican brother, Fr. Thomas McDermott on EWTN!

Fr. McDermott recently published a book on St Catherine, Catherine of Siena:  Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching.

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19 May 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Looks like most of us have something to look forward to anyway:  Happiness begins at 50.

The socialist government of Spain has admitted that their "green jobs" economic policies have been disastrous.  Will the socialist in the White House pay attention?

A physicist de-mythologizes the myth of "renewable energy."

What importance should we give to a politician's/nominee's senior thesis?  Not much, probably.  I wrote for my college newspaper my first year of grad school (I was 22 y.o.).  I wrote the Friday opinion column.  My shtick was Anti-Reagan/Anti-Religious Right Polemics.  I read those columns now and cringe.   

President George W. Obama asked about holding a real news conference sometime soon.   Remember:  "W" was mercilessly pounded in the press for not holding news conferences.  So far, B.O. has gotten a pass.

The Real Scandal of the lying Dem candidate in PA:  the media.

Maybe these guys can come up with something usable before I have to retake the French exam!

What is a leftist to do if the democratic process at home rejects his agenda?  Use international treaties, of course!

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”   Classy insults.

OK. . .this has to be the creepiest pic I've ever seen.   [Shudder]

How a giraffe might save you on a math exam.

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18 May 2010

"It was not a success. . ." (UPDATE)

UPDATE:  Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement!  My poor poet's brain is simply not wired to be trained to use foreign languages.  I was a horrible algebra/calculus student in high school and college b/c the formulas, rules, etc. just wouldn't stick in my head. . .seeds cast on rocky soil!  I recoil when I see symbolic logic used in philosophy texts--it looks like Math!  I understand why foreign languages (esp. French and German) are required for the study of philosophy.  But their necessity as research tools is not sufficient to reconfigure my aging brain. 

The dean of the philosophy school informed me this morning that my French exam "was not a success."

No surprise there.  I studied the wrong kind of text in exactly the wrong way.

So, on to October!

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17 May 2010

We belong to Christ

7th Week of Easter (T)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
SS. Domenico e Sisto, Roma


Coming to Christ in baptism and following after him throughout our lives sets us apart from the world and at the same time puts us right in the middle of it. We are at once observers and participants, watching from the sidelines and digging in with everyone else. If there is a paradox, a contradiction that causes the Church more difficulty than this one, I'm not sure what it is. How do we manage to live in the world and yet not be of the world? Buddhists and Muslims have much simpler solutions to this problems. Buddhists see the world as an illusion, a deceptive projection of the suffering self. They withdraw from the illusion and seek out the selfless freedom of no-mindedness. Muslims see the world as Allah's kingdom, large portions of which are occupied by the devil's minions. When the whole of the world is conquered for Allah, his divine law will be enforced as the only law. For us, there is Christ and Caesar, the Church and the State. There is the world we must live in; the same world we cannot belong to. How do we manage this without illusion or violence? Praying for us, Jesus says to his Father: “They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.” We belonged to the Father and the Father gave us to Christ. So long as we keep his word, we belong to him and not this world.

Paul reveals how he kept Christ's word. He reports to the Church at Ephesus: “I served the Lord with all humility. . .I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public. . .I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks. . .Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course. . .” Paul kept Christ's word by teaching, by bearing witness, by serving the Father's family. To what end? To proclaim the “entire plan of God.” The entire plan of God includes the whole of creation. Not just the Church but the world as well. Not just the Jews but the Greeks too. Male and female, slave and free. The world we must live in; the same world we cannot belong to.

What are we then? What are we in the world? We are seeds spread and nurtured to grow where we land. We are invading viruses, replicating Christ in the blood and bone of the world, infecting our sick host with the grace we ourselves have been freely given. We are tourists, visiting for a time, scattering the wealth of the gospel—the culture of eternal life—in a foreign land. We are salesmen, marketplace hawkers, and beggars, always displaying our wares and enticing those who need what we have to give. We are physicians who heal. Tailors who clothe. Chefs who feed. Saints who live in heaven while walking on earth. Sinners who see through the lies but have not yet received perfect grace. We are all of these in the world, but who we are from our rebirth to our eternal end belongs to Christ. And we cannot rest until the course is finished.

The Church cannot serve the world by abandoning it to evil. Nor can we serve the world by conquering it with violence. The Father gave us to Christ. And Christ sent us out to follow him. As we make our way back to him, along the way, we can frighten those we meet, or we can alienate them, or we can condemn them. If we want to finish this course, however, we will entice them, convince them, show them God's mercy in us. Even against violent resistance and withering ridicule, we will be ambassadors for the one who sent us, envoys to a world waiting to belong to Christ.

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Coffee Bowl Browsing

Are left-wing undergraduates running the country?  Yea, I think so.  Fortunately, we will soon have an opportunity to put the adults back in charge.

Corollary:  America is the university, B.O. is our dean.  I've been thinking about this analogy for some time.  It struck me one day that someone who has spent his whole professional life in the academy would see university culture as a great model for governing a nation.

Jimmy Akin and Fr. Fessio fisk the controversial remarks of Cardinal Schonborn.  There's a time and place to get philosophical. . .interviews with the bigots of the anti-Catholic MSM isn't one of them.

Along with Boston Legal, I stopped watching Law & Order about 10 yrs. ago.  Got tired of being preached to by their dramatic recreations of NYT op-ed disinformation.

Gallup Poll:  76% of Americans say moral values in the United States are getting worse.  No surprise here.  Empires in decline abroad always rot from within.  

Case in point. . .the Big Brotherization of the U.K.

What is it with B.O. admin-lackeys and their willingness to condemn the AZ anti-illegal immigration law even though they haven't read it?

Damien Thompson reveals a plan by British liturgists to torture the Holy Father when he visits the U.K. in September. 

For the discerning papabile in your life:  Pope Pius IX's cologne.  Growing up in the 80's as a zealot yuppie, I spent many a dollar on good cologne.  At one point in my life--while holding down a good-paying job--I had about 20 bottles of the stuff.  I rarely wear any now. . .when I do it's John Varvatos--an older friar gave me a bottle he was given as a Christmas gift.

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