19 April 2014

What do you and Pontius Pilate have in common?

Because he's just like us: postmodernist wienies

Pilate is not bloodthirsty.  Nor is he indifferent to justice.  If given the choice, he would prefer that the innocent not die, but neither truth nor justice are his highest priorities.  He is more concerned with keeping the peace and keeping his job.  Pilate fears the passions of the crowd and the opinions of his superiors.  He is a canny enough politician to know that it is best to stay the middle course.

This is an apt description of many of us: pastors, bishops, religious superiors, school principals, professors, just plain ole ordinary Catholics. . .

Easter is all about NOT being Pilate. 

Hmmmm. . .I feel an Easter homily theme coming on!

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Abysmal ignorance into execrable prose. . .

David Bentley Hart -- one of the best Christian writers alive today -- shreds a silly post from some nobody secularist. . .fun, fun, fun.

Journalism is the art of translating abysmal ignorance into execrable prose. At least, that is its purest and most minimal essence. There are, of course, practitioners of the trade who possess talents of a higher order—the rare ability, say, to produce complex sentences and coherent paragraphs—and they tend to occupy the more elevated caste of “intellectual journalists.” These, however, are rather like “whores with hearts of gold”: more misty figments of tender fantasy than concrete objects of empirical experience. Most journalism of ideas is little more than a form of empty garrulousness, incessant gossip about half-heard rumors and half-formed opinions, an intense specialization in diffuse generalizations. It is something we all do at social gatherings—creating ephemeral connections with strangers by chattering vacuously about things of which we know nothing—miraculously transformed into a vocation.

[. . .]
Which brings me to Adam Gopnik, and specifically his New Yorker article of February 17, “Bigger Than Phil”—the immediate occasion of all the rude remarks that went coursing through my mind and spilling out onto the page overhead. Ostensibly a survey of recently published books on (vaguely speaking) theism and atheism, it is actually an almost perfect distillation of everything most depressingly vapid about the cogitatively indolent secularism of late modern society. This is no particular reflection on Gopnik’s intelligence—he is bright enough, surely—but only on that atmosphere of complacent ignorance that seems to be the native element of so many of today’s cultured unbelievers. The article is intellectually trivial, but perhaps culturally portentous.

Simply said, we have reached a moment in Western history when, despite all appearances, no meaningful public debate over belief and unbelief is possible. Not only do convinced secularists no longer understand what the issue is; they are incapable of even suspecting that they do not understand, or of caring whether they do. The logical and imaginative grammars of belief, which still informed the thinking of earlier generations of atheists and skeptics, are no longer there. In their place, there is now—where questions of the divine, the supernatural, or the religious are concerned—only a kind of habitual intellectual listlessness.

Give yourself an Easter gift. . .read the whole thing!

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18 April 2014

Good Friday from St Dominic's Parish, NOLA

St Dominic's Good Friday Service starts at 3.00pm CDT.

Here's the link to watch the live-stream.

I'll be in The Box hearing confessions.

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Coffee Cup Browsing (Good Friday Edition)

A 2012 Good Friday homily featuring W.H. Auden. . . 

That Good Friday when I was within 20ft. of BXVI at St. Peter's. 

Excellent Good Friday meditation by NDS' academic dean, Prof. Tom Neal.

Beginning the Passion. . .

Reflections on our Good Friday readings. . .

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17 April 2014

More thanks for Easter

Just in time for Easter. . .

Books arrived today from Jenny K and Evandro M. . .many, many Mendicant Thanks to you both for visiting the Wish List and shooting these my way.

Jenny K. has been on my Book Benefactor Prayer List for years now, and Evandro M. gets a spot now too.

Happy Easter Everyone!

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Coffee Cup Browsing (Holy Week Edition)

The forces of death lose in Colorado! Of course, they won't give up. Remember how they operate: one tiny step at a time.

Flannery on Good Friday & Easter. . . 

Choosing Christ: On Pilate's postmodernist wishy-washiness.

Where is the Holy Spirit in the New Evangelization

Facing down "ambient universalism."

Good Friday Way of the Cross meditations from Rome.
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16 April 2014

Easter Mass. . .

Father Michael gave me a choice of Masses to celebrate on Easter Sunday. . .

I chose the 8.00am Mass. 

I'm up early, so why not?

The live-stream link is working now, so come on over and watch me sweat and gimp through Easter Sunday Mass!


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Coffee Cup Browsing

Gym in D.C. = Church in the South. I knew it! I just knew it!

Having Zilch-Zero-Nada to acclaim, B.O. campaigns on racial and sexual resentment

Fundamentalist anti-theist leads honest atheists back to the Church. Good job, Dick! Keep spewing your harebrained nonsense.

The U.N. is getting nuttier and nuttier. Someone please give these people a real job. . .like cleaning up public parks, or a Burger King cashier.

Slipping down the secular slope: a time-line of social de-evolution.

The Dems learned this tactic from the UK Labour Party: more immigrants, more votes for them at election time.  

Warning against Maria Divine Mercy. We do not need visionaries to be good Catholics. We have Scripture, the Sacraments, and the Magisterium. Nothing more is needed.

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15 April 2014

Thanks and Easter Mass

A few kind and generous souls have been peeking at the Wish List and sending books my way. . .

Always appreciated!

I will be celebrating one of the Easter Masses at St Dominic's this weekend, so my intention will be for my Book Benefactors. . .may God bless them abundantly!

Once Fr. Michael assigns a Mass to me, I'll post the time. All of St Dominic's Masses are lived-streamed now. Check it out.*

* We had a power outage in NOLA early this morning, so the server isn't working properly just yet.  It will be ready by the weekend.
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Knee Doc Report

Just got back from the Knee Doc.

Verdict: moderate arthritis in my right knee, mild in my left.

Doc shows me the x-rays, "Father, you can see here and here that there's not much cushion btw the bones. . ."

Me, "Great. Only place on my body w/o enough cushioning."

Sooooo. . .who knows anything about Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate?

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14 April 2014

Pastoral Responses to the New Atheism

Dr John Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director, Institute for Church Life, presented at the Symposium: Pastoral Issues in Science and Human Dignity, University of Notre Dame, February 12-14, 2014

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No conflict btw Faith and Science

A longish video on the false conflict between faith and science.

Fr Robert Spitzer, S J, Magis Center of Reason and Faith, presented at the Symposium: Pastoral Issues in Science and Human Dignity, University of Notre Dame, February 12-14, 2014

Fr. Spitzer is also the author of New Proofs for the Existence of God. I've read it. It's tough going if you don't have a background in physics. 


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13 April 2014

Can we survive our fools?

A great quote from Cicero:

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.

Change "nation" and "city" to "Church" and it still make perfect sense. 


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Coffee Cup Browsing

Younger priests prefer older Mass. . .well, if NDS is any indication, they prefer a reverent Mass w/o the clerical-egocentric goofiness of the 80's. 

Another instance of the Pope being All Catholic and Stuff. This time he's on the Devil! 

Crdl. Dolan learns the value of a politician's word. Zero. Nada. Nil. Zilch.

10 essays about death. . .

Noah takes a dive; God is Not Dead takes wing. . .

Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse. . .Five Best/Worst States. Thankfully, I'm an honorary citizen of the Republic of Texas.

Here's what the push for same-sex "marriage" is really about: the destruction of the family and the growth of gov't power.  Totalitarianism must always destroy the faith and the family. No competition allowed.

Why is B.O.'s press secretary's home decorated with Soviet propaganda?  Yeah, I know. . .rhetorical question.

Americans, look to Sweden for our future. . .we're on Supreme Court ruling away from it happening here.


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"Hosanna" then "Crucify"

My traditional Palm Sunday homily. . .a tradition since 2007!

Palm Sunday 2014
Fr. Philip N. Powell, OP
Lay Carmelites/Our Lady of the Rosary, NOLA

Paul says that Jesus, emptying himself, took on the form of a slave and became one of us to die as one of us for all of us. We can cheer all we want. Wave palms all we want. No one here will ask Jesus to let his cup pass. No one here will volunteer to hang on that cross and let Jesus go free. Are we cowards? No. We know that Jesus must die so that we might live. The certainty of his death is the only possibility of our eternal life. Only he is Son of God, Son of Man; fully human, fully divine. His death pulls us down into the grave and his rising again draws us up with him. Everything that needs to be healed will be healed. All repairs will be made. Nothing will be left broken or hurt. 

But today, just today, knowing what we know about his journey from here to the tomb, even still we must cheer and whistle. And wave palms. And shout “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” And we want so much to grab the tail end of his departing scene and pull it back, just yank it back to the garden or the roaring sea or the mountaintop or the desert or to any of the dozens of places where we sat with him to listen to God’s wisdom, to see the radiant glory of his love for us. 

We want him anywhere but here in Jerusalem. He rides to the cross, ya know? And we must cheer. We must cheer because later we will shout, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” What did we forget between our cheering him into the city and our heckling him to the cross, between our exuberant welcome and our jeering blood lust? To be Christ we must follow Christ. Who wants to follow Christ to the cross? Who wants their flesh torn and bleeding? Who wants the thorns of a mocking crown piercing their scalp? I deny him. I do not know him. No, I’m not his disciple. Never heard of him, never met him. Who? Who? No, sorry, doesn’t ring a bell. 

We’ve come too far for that now, brothers and sisters! That desert was forty days long. Along the way we dropped coffee and tea, booze and cigarettes, TV and shopping, email and chocolate. We dropped gossiping, nagging, sex, meat, cussing. We picked up extra hours of prayer, daily Mass, weekly confession, spiritual reading, volunteer hours, being nice to little brother and sister, obeying mom and dad, obeying husband or wife, extra money in the plate on Sunday. The devil bought out his best temptations to show us our weaknesses and sometimes he won and sometimes we won. But he knows and you need to know if you don’t already: God wins all the time, every time, for all time! And He has given us Easter to prove it. But now…if you will be Christ you must follow Christ. Walk right behind him. Feel the stones. Wipe the spit. Hear the curses and jeers. Taste the salty iron of blood. See the cross on his shoulder. And know that he carries for you the only means of your salvation. The sacrificial victim carries his own altar to the church of the skulls. 

How far will you follow?

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