Céad Míle Fáilte ~ A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

Here we seek a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little kindness. This blog is dedicated to peace, truth, justice and a post- industrial, post-petroleum illumined world in spite of all odds against it. I very much like the line about the ancient knight (see poem below) "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees" It is reminiscent of "beating swords into ploughshares" a sentiment I heartily approve of. Thank you for visiting ~ I hope you return!

Waterfall Animation Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Judge: "It's About Time."


Ah, so.........where you gonna run to?


Judge says "It's about time," to Rove Arresters
QUOTE The four Iowans arrested last Friday for attempting to make a citizen's arrest of Karl entered pleas of "not guilty" in
court on Wednesday, July 30,.2008. Retired Methodist minister, Chet Guinn, 80, and
Des Moines Catholic Workers, Ed Bloomer, 61, Mona Shaw 57, and Kirk Brown, 25,
were arrested at a Des Moines country club where Rove was appearing at a
Republican Fundraiser.

Shaw was the first called before Polk County Fifth Judicial District Associate Judge
William Price. After entering her plea, the judge asked Shaw, "Ma'am, what were you
doing at the Wakonda Country Club?"

"I was attempting to make a citizen's arrest of Karl Rove, your honor," Shaw
answered.

"Well," the judge looked up and said, "it's about time."

Then the judge called the other three defendants to the bench and accepted their
pleas simultaneously. A jury trial for has been set for August 20, 2008.
Previous reports that the arrest was "pre-arranged" by either the defendants or the
Des Moines Police are inaccurate. UNQUOTE

41 Years Ago

Fun trivia department: My neighbor rightly brings up that, forty-one years ago another cool white guy was in the limelight of the pop/rock music scene. His name was Eric Burdon and his band was The Animals.
How did such a youngster manage to nail the Delta sorrow of the old chestnut Saint James Infirmiry/House Of the Rising Sun? (Which also mutated into The Streets of Laredo.) Still sounds great 41 years later. How many pop tarts around now will we be able to say that about?

The Godfather, 2008


I ask you: what could be cooler than having Angelina Jolie for a mother and Brad Pitt for a father and a built-in family of siblings from across the wide world?


Answer: Having Bono for a godfather. Now that would be the coolest ever. Since Bono is the hippest white guy to walk the earth, and a Catholic to boot, the only thing cooler would be if B16 was your godfather or, coolest, if your Guardian Angel manifested physically at the baptism. Forgive The Rosemary Tree for indulging in a little chichi celeb talk once in a while, gentle readers; what fun.



QUOTE Rumour has it Bono has agreed to be the godfather of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's newborn twins, Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon.
Word is the lucky babies and their parents recently spent a week at one of Bono's residences in the South of France.
"In return for the kind gesture," Pitt and Jolie asked Bono the important favour and he, "accepted the offer immediately," Zoe Griffin of The Sunday Mirror reported. Griffin added: "The couple are planning a christening ceremony to welcome Bono into the extended family. But they have not yet decided if he will be sharing his duties with a godmother."
UNQUOTE

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More From the SF Trip...


Right: National Franciscan Shrine, North Beach


Saint Francis’ Prayer Praising Mary the Mother of God


Hail, O Lady, Holy Queen,Mary, holy Mother of God:you are the Virgin made Church


chosen by the most Holy Father in heaven


whom He consecrated with His most holy beloved Son


and with the Holy Spirit the Paraclete,


in whom there was and is all fullness of grace and every good.


Hail His Palace! Hail His Tabernacle! Hail His Dwelling! Hail His Robe! Hail His Servant!


Hail His Mother!


And hail all you holy virtues


Which are poured into the hearts of the faithful


through the grace and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,


that from being unbelievers,you may make them faithful to God.


Amen.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





After the dog park cafe, it was back on the streetcars and on to Golden Gate Park, where we first strolled the Botanical Gardens and then spent several very peaceful hours in the Japanese Tea Garden ~


it is so peaceful there, in spite of the throngs of tourists from all over the world. We heard more languages being spoken during our few days in San Francisco than we could remember ever hearing before.





Then it was on to the streetcars again up to North Beach, where the Cafe Trieste was in the middle of some sort of power failure and the lights flickered and wa was ruffled. Espresso still good though. We made a pilgrimage to the National Franciscan Shrine, and lit candles and prayed in front of holy relics of Sts. Francis, Clare and Anthony of Padua in a cool and dusky sacred spot, and felt the riveting presence of true holiness. It is like those spots in Ireland where heaven juxtaposes earth and the door swings open enough tot see some motes of light from the other side...We also made an pilgrimage to that bastion of free thought and American left hipdom, City Lights book store. Amazing ~ it looks 100% like it did the first time I saw it in 1967. Amazing. Lawrence Ferlinghetti may be a very old man, but his legacy in City Lights is young and crisp. I may have moved pretty far right from my youthful ramparts days, but I have to hand it to the left, they know how to maintain an intellectual landmark. The shop is wonderful.





The rest of the time was packed with Mass at Saint Patrick's downtown, where they have a lovely classic Catholic Church which, if it hasn't a Latin Mass yet, I predict will soon(judging by the lack of obscene modernist decorations and guitar hymnography).....with Fisherman's Wharf and the tall sailing ships festival, crab Louis at Alioto's, The De Young museum where we saw the Chihuly exhibit (amazing!) and then a late, late supper at Buca Di Beppo ,which is just too much fun.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday, July 28, 2008

Travel In San Francisco













Duboce Park Cafe sign
Santorini
SF CA

We had a sweet little trip to San Francisco for our daughter Toni's birthday and crammed a lot of sightseeing into 3 short days. Today finds us tired and jet-laggy.


We flew out of Omaha, leaving our car in the long-term parking, and got into SF about 2:30 p.m. or so their time. We took a shuttle straight to the hotel and then walked up to Union Square, got a espresso (Deb) and a coffee(Charlie) and admired the cool, sunny SF weather and the bustling cosmopolitan multi-raced multi-aged throngs of people.


Next, after a rest at the hotel for a few minutes, we walked up to Toni’s school up in the Phelan Building; The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, and saw the place, met her teachers and the director of the school, Alan Revere. Very nice people & lovely school.

Then since it was her birthday we walked to a restaurant nearby (Santorini) which she picked out for her birthday dinner. Very good food and quite cute to boot. I had California cuisine however even though I love Greek food, I felt obliged to have CA style food my first night in SF.

Then we walked back to our hotel and Toni visited a while then it was time to rest. The next day we arose early, grabbed breakfast at the hotel café “Little Joe’s” and then off to adventure. We took a streetcar to Duboce Park, which is where we lived when we met back in 1975. The corner store where we used to get It’s Its ice cream sandwiches (yumm) has been turned into a coffee bar and the park has been turned into a dog run park but it was much as remembered after 33 years and 20 Steiner Street, where we met in seminary, was still there and actually looked pretty good. Nobody was home when I knocked to see if we could give Toni a peep inside, probably just as well.


to be continued...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Headed West...

Charlie and myself are headed west in the morning, a mini-vacation to San Francisco to see our daughter, Toni, and some California cousins we hardly ever get to see, so blogging will be scarce to non-existant around here until Sunday or Monday. Enjoy yourselves and don't forget to enjoy summer: play croquet, baseball, tennis, badminton, softball, go hiking and eat cold watermelon outdoors, and get away from those durn computers once in a while!

"See you" online when we get back.

Pax Christi,

Deb

Pickens On the First Rule of Holes

I had to smile at at the utter beauty of it, the 84-year-old oil billionaire invoking the First Rule Of Holes* in this article on CNN.com today.

He meets today with the entire House Democratic Caucus. The venerable Texas oilman has not always been the most popular among this group during his long career as a corporate raider, which started in the 1980s — not to mention his role as a funder of the Swift Boat Veterans in the 2004 presidential campaign. But his current status as a champion of alternative energy has their attention.

In an interview, Mr. Pickens said Democrats have reached out to him. “I haven’t come up here trying to talk to anybody,” he said. “I felt like the grass roots is where I’d have my support.”
Last week, the “Pickens Plan,” which he’s touting in a huge national television, Internet and newspaper campaign, was mostly ignored on Capitol Hill. Many congressional offices knew no details of the plan, and most staffers said their bosses were too busy to bother.
However that was before word got around that Pickens was coming to town. His campaign has now reported “dozens and dozens” of requests for sit-down meetings. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), a strong critic of speculators, who he says are inflating the price of oil, last week called Pickens "my political friend." The Sierra Club's executive director recently flew in Pickens's private plane. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) invited him to speak to the Democratic caucus tonight. Strange bedfellows? When America's best interests are at stake, no surprise. Stay tuned, this is gonna get INTERESTING.

QUOTE Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens told Congress Tuesday that the government must act quickly to curb the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
"Our country is in a deep hole and it's time to stop digging," said Pickens, founder and principal of BP Capital, in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
"We have walked into a trap and we are the ones that put ourselves there," he said. "I'm not pointing the finger at anybody because it isn't going to help, but we have to work together to get out of it."
Earlier this month, Pickens unveiled a plan to curb America's dependence on foreign oil through increased investment in domestic renewable resources such as wind, and through use of natural gas as an alternative transportation fuel.
UNQUOTE

* definition: when you find yourself in a deep hole, stop digging!

CSPAN Today, a must-see video of Mr. Pickens before the Senate.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Law and Justice


Georg Thomas over at Red State Eclectic has an interesting post up on the people who built America, and law and justice. While Georg and I don't always see eye to eye, he makes some brilliant observations. Also while you are over there please check out the post Georg was responding to, The Emperor's New Clothes, and also their Think-Tank. There's a piece posted which I wrote on abortion, Towards A Comprehensive Pro-Life Meme (pardon the tooting of my own horn) as well as many other fine examples of American libertarian/conservative thought (and German thought; pardon me Georg!)


QUOTE The worst of all the powers that government has, if it is allowed to have it, is to spread the ignorance amongst the population as to what justice means.
If people, like the women and men who built America, but unlike our contemporaries, have a clear sense of what justice means, no government will be strong enough to break that force. America has been on the rise as long as that force was stronger than those trying to alienate it from its roots.
What worries me most is that government has made us accept the fact that we live without law, instead muddling through by calling things "politically correct" or "not politically correct".
UNQUOTE

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Veiling The Sacred


One hears frequently that one is a reprobate female for wearing a veil in Church. Some veiled ladies visiting modernist churches have overheard a whisper that a "Muslim" was visiting (this when covered Melkite-style - I've been Christian all my life); others question the veiled woman's self-esteem, feminist credentials or orientation to the men in her life. I have, as recently as today, been refused, in a Novus Ordo Mass, the Sign of Peace, refused eye contact and refused conversation, I guess because the head covering makes people uncomortable.


For myself, I was told by Traditionalist friends that it was a good Catholic sacred tradition which had been tossed out, like baby with the bathwater, after Vatican II. I have gradually tried it out of respect for the Melkite and Latin parishes where I frequently visit, and now maintain the custom even when I visit modern (Novus Ordo) churches.

Here is a fantastic explanation of the veiling custom by Lincoln' s own Father Robert Fromageot, FSSP. I heard him give this homily at Saint Francis last autumn, and it is nice to find this except online at Stony Creek Digest.

Veiling the Sacred

QUOTE Among the many different ways in which the sense of the sacred is brought out during the liturgy, the use of veils is perhaps the most obvious one. Whatever contains or is meant to contain the Blessed Sacrament is usually veiled: the tabernacle, the chalice, the ciborium, the monstrance. And even when the veil is removed from the chalice, the liturgy provides other ways to veil it.


At each moment of the double consecration, when the celebrant pronounces the words that brings forth Our Lord upon the altar in the species of bread and wine, he bends over the bread and wine, and places his arms upon the altar, the symbol of Christ. Such a gesture is meant to show the priest’s union with Christ at that moment, while also helping the priest to focus his entire attention on the consecration. Physically speaking, however, the priest is literally covering the species, veiling them, as it were, and thus producing the same effect as any other veil: namely, he manifests the sacredness of the moment of Consecration. In this way, the ancient rite gently inculcates in the faithful a proper disposition towards Our Lord contained in the Blessed Sacrament.

Consider also, the function of those things which are ordinarily veiled: the tabernacle, the chalice, etc. All of these are vessels of the very Source of life, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Light and Life and of the World. It is because these vessels are designated to contain Christ Himself that they are sacred vessels; hence, they are used for no other purpose than to receive and contain the Blessed Sacrament. At one time, only bishops, priests, and deacons were permitted to open the tabernacle, handle the sacred vessels, and touch the Sacred Host with their hands. All of these vessels, moreover, but especially the chalice, are usually made with great care out of gold and silver, jewels and precious stones.


Finally, the chalice is the only vessel that is consecrated by a bishop and anointed with oil. Little wonder, then, that the chalice veil is invariably the most beautiful of all the veils found in the sanctuary.

Taking our cue from the use of veils in the sanctuary, we can say that every woman who embraces the ancient tradition of wearing a veil creates a wonderful harmony between herself as a vessel of life and the vessels that hold Life itself. Like Our Lord contained in the Blessed Sacrament, a woman shares with Him a certain vulnerability. For just as a person who does not respect the Body and Blood of Christ can have his way with the Lord by receiving Him unworthily, so too can a man who has no respect for the opposite sex easily overpower her and have his way with her. Moreover, just as Our Lord makes Himself vulnerable by being born anew upon our altars under the perishable species of bread and wine, so too a woman shares in the vulnerability of her newborn infant in the very act of giving birth to him, to say nothing of the extra help many women need when they are pregnant.

Women are also sacred, inasmuch as the rise or fall of civilizations depends largely on how men regard and treat them, and how women understand and treat themselves. Just as only those who have committed themselves to the Lord through a life of celibacy may justly touch the Holy Eucharist with their hands, so too only those men who have committed themselves to their wives through the bonds of holy matrimony may justly “touch” a woman in a way that may bring new life into the world. For women are vessels of new life, life made according to the image and likeness of God Himself, just as the tabernacle, chalice, and ciborium contain the Image of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of all the sacred vessels, however, women are best likened to the chalice of the Precious Blood. For when a woman conceives and bears a child, it is through her blood that the life of the child is sustained and nourished. Similarly, the Bride of Christ, the Church, is said to sustain her members through the Blood of Christ. For just as Eve was taken from the side of Adam, the fathers of the Church see in the blood and water flowing from the side of Our Lord the birth of His Church: the New Eve, the Bride of Christ, which sustains and nourishes her members through the grace of the sacraments.

The leading lights of our age often claim to champion the rights of women, and in certain respects the claim is legitimate. At the same time, however, our age has clearly not sought to protect and foster the sacred dignity of women. On the contrary, society would have us remove our wedding garment, divest ourselves of Christ, and put on the “old man” and make ample provision for the flesh.


Men are practically encouraged to treat women as mere objects of pleasure, and women are encouraged to seek this degrading form of attention and accept it as normal and compatible with their dignity. Men and women, but especially women, have become desensitized to using contraceptives, choosing abortion, and embracing sterilization. In short, our society no longer respects or values the gift of fertility; society no longer honors the unique privilege of being a woman. Consequently, it no longer cultivates the responsibility that necessarily accompanies this gift, this privilege. This collective failure on the part of society has wreaked havoc, and it is far from certain that we shall recover and escape dissolution and destruction.

Sadly, some forty years ago millions of Catholics decided to put on the old man when they rejected the teaching of the Church concerning contraception. Around the same time, the ancient tradition of wearing veils or head coverings of any sort was likewise abandoned. Knowing what the veil stands for, it is difficult to not to regard that these two events — the rejection of the Church’s teaching on contraception on the one hand and the liturgical practice of wearing veils and head coverings on the other — as wholly unrelated. Indeed, many took both events as a step forward in the emancipation of women from so-called male dominance.

But as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, we should know better. We have all been called to the wedding banquet of the Lamb; we have received our wedding garment. Knowing, therefore, that many are called but few are chosen, let us cherish that garment and pray never to be without it. On the contrary, let us ever implore the divine assistance always to “put off the old man” with all of its deceitful lusts, and ever strive to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. Let us “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.” UNQUOTE

That is a LOT of Catholics




World Youth Day pilgrims listening to Pope Benedict XVI's homily
That's a LOT of Catholics.
HOMILY OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
VIGIL OF THE XXIII WORLD YOUTH DAY RANDWICK RACECOURSE
SYDNEY19 JULY 2008
Dear Young People,
Once again this evening we have heard Christ’s great promise – "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you". And we have heard his summons – "be my witnesses throughout the world" – (Acts 1:8). These were the very last words which Jesus spoke before his Ascension into heaven. How the Apostles felt upon hearing them, we can only imagine. But we do know that their deep love for Jesus, and their trust in his word, prompted them to gather and to wait; to wait not aimlessly, but together, united in prayer, with the women and Mary in the Upper Room (cf. Acts 1:14). Tonight, we do the same. Gathered before our much-travelled Cross and the icon of Mary, and under the magnificent constellation of the Southern Cross, we pray.
Tonight, I am praying for you and for young people throughout the world. Be inspired by the example of your Patrons! Accept into your hearts and minds the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit! Recognize and believe in the power of the Spirit in your lives!The other day we talked of the unity and harmony of God’s creation and our place within it. We recalled how in the great gift of baptism we, who are made in God’s image and likeness, have been reborn, we have become God’s adopted children, a new creation. And so it is as children of Christ’s light – symbolized by the lit candles you now hold – that we bear witness in our world to the radiance no darkness can overcome (cf. Jn 1:5).
Tonight we focus our attention on how to become witnesses. We need to understand the person of the Holy Spirit and his vivifying presence in our lives. This is not easy to comprehend. Indeed the variety of images found in scripture referring to the Spirit – wind, fire, breath – indicate our struggle to articulate an understanding of him. Yet we do know that it is the Holy Spirit who, though silent and unseen, gives direction and definition to our witness to Jesus Christ.You are already well aware that our Christian witness is offered to a world which in many ways is fragile. The unity of God’s creation is weakened by wounds which run particularly deep when social relations break apart, or when the human spirit is all but crushed through the exploitation and abuse of persons. Indeed, society today is being fragmented by a way of thinking that is inherently short-sighted, because it disregards the full horizon of truth– the truth about God and about us.
By its nature, relativism fails to see the whole picture. It ignores the very principles which enable us to live and flourish in unity, order and harmony.What is our response, as Christian witnesses, to a divided and fragmented world? How can we offer the hope of peace, healing and harmony to those "stations" of conflict, suffering, and tension through which you have chosen to march with this World Youth Day Cross? Unity and reconciliation cannot be achieved through our efforts alone. God has made us for one another (cf. Gen 2:24) and only in God and his Church can we find the unity we seek. Yet, in the face of imperfections and disappointments – both individual and institutional – we are sometimes tempted to construct artificially a "perfect" community. That temptation is not new. The history of the Church includes many examples of attempts to bypass or override human weaknesses or failures in order to create a perfect unity, a spiritual utopia.
Such attempts to construct unity in fact undermine it! To separate the Holy Spirit from Christ present in the Church’s institutional structure would compromise the unity of the Christian community, which is precisely the Spirit’s gift! It would betray the nature of the Church as the living temple of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 3:16). It is the Spirit, in fact, who guides the Church in the way of all truth and unifies her in communion and in the works of ministry (cf. Lumen Gentium, 4). Unfortunately the temptation to "go it alone" persists. Some today portray their local community as somehow separate from the so-called institutional Church, by speaking of the former as flexible and open to the Spirit and the latter as rigid and devoid of the Spirit.Unity is of the essence of the Church (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 813); it is a gift we must recognize and cherish.
Tonight, let us pray for the resolve to nurture unity: contribute to it! resist any temptation to walk away! For it is precisely the comprehensiveness, the vast vision, of our faith – solid yet open, consistent yet dynamic, true yet constantly growing in insight – that we can offer our world. Dear young people, is it not because of your faith that friends in difficulty or seeking meaning in their lives have turned to you? Be watchful! Listen! Through the dissonance and division of our world, can you hear the concordant voice of humanity? From the forlorn child in a Darfur camp, or a troubled teenager, or an anxious parent in any suburb, or perhaps even now from the depth of your own heart, there emerges the same human cry for recognition, for belonging, for unity. Who satisfies that essential human yearning to be one, to be immersed in communion, to be built up, to be led to truth? The Holy Spirit! This is the Spirit’s role: to bring Christ’s work to fulfilment. Enriched with the Spirit’s gifts, you will have the power to move beyond the piecemeal, the hollow utopia, the fleeting, to offer the consistency and certainty of Christian witness!Friends, when reciting the Creed we state: "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life". The "Creator Spirit" is the power of God giving life to all creation and the source of new and abundant life in Christ. The Spirit sustains the Church in union with the Lord and in fidelity to the apostolic Tradition. He inspired the Sacred Scriptures and he guides God’s People into the fullness of truth (cf. Jn 16:13) In all these ways the Spirit is the "giver of life", leading us into the very heart of God. So, the more we allow the Spirit to direct us, the more perfect will be our configuration to Christ and the deeper our immersion in the life of the Triune God.This sharing in God’s nature (cf. 2 Pet 1:4) occurs in the unfolding of the everyday moments of our lives where he is always present (cf. Bar 3:38).
There are times, however, when we might be tempted to seek a certain fulfilment apart from God. Jesus himself asked the Twelve: "do you also wish to go away?" Such drifting away perhaps offers the illusion of freedom. But where does it lead? To whom would we go? For in our hearts we know that it is the Lord who has "the words of eternal life" (Jn 6:67-68). To turn away from him is only a futile attempt to escape from ourselves (cf. Saint Augustine, Confessions VIII, 7). God is with us in the reality of life, not the fantasy! It is embrace, not escape, that we seek! So the Holy Spirit gently but surely steers us back to what is real, what is lasting, what is true. It is the Spirit who leads us back into the communion of the Blessed Trinity!The Holy Spirit has been in some ways the neglected person of the Blessed Trinity.
A clear understanding of the Spirit almost seems beyond our reach. Yet, when I was a small boy, my parents, like yours, taught me the Sign of the Cross. So, I soon came to realize that there is one God in three Persons, and that the Trinity is the centre of our Christian faith and life. While I grew up to have some understanding of God the Father and the Son – the names already conveyed much – my understanding of the third person of the Trinity remained incomplete. So, as a young priest teaching theology, I decided to study the outstanding witnesses to the Spirit in the Church’s history. It was on this journey that I found myself reading, among others, the great Saint Augustine.Augustine’s understanding of the Holy Spirit evolved gradually; it was a struggle. As a young man he had followed Manichaeism - one of those attempts I mentioned earlier, to create a spiritual utopia by radically separating the things of the spirit from the things of the flesh. Hence he was at first suspicious of the Christian teaching that God had become man. Yet his experience of the love of God present in the Church led him to investigate its source in the life of the Triune God. This led him to three particular insights about the Holy Spirit as the bond of unity within the Blessed Trinity: unity as communion, unity as abiding love, and unity as giving and gift.
These three insights are not just theoretical. They help explain how the Spirit works. In a world where both individuals and communities often suffer from an absence of unity or cohesion, these insights help us remain attuned to the Spirit and to extend and clarify the scope of our witness.So, with Augustine’s help, let us illustrate something of the Holy Spirit’s work. He noted that the two words "Holy" and "Spirit" refer to what is divine about God; in other words what is shared by the Father and the Son – their communion. So, if the distinguishing characteristic of the Holy Spirit is to be what is shared by the Father and the Son, Augustine concluded that the Spirit’s particular quality is unity. It is a unity of lived communion: a unity of persons in a relationship of constant giving, the Father and the Son giving themselves to each other. We begin to glimpse, I think, how illuminating is this understanding of the Holy Spirit as unity, as communion.
True unity could never be founded upon relationships which deny the equal dignity of other persons. Nor is unity simply the sum total of the groups through which we sometimes attempt to "define" ourselves. In fact, only in the life of communion is unity sustained and human identity fulfilled: we recognize the common need for God, we respond to the unifying presence of the Holy Spirit, and we give ourselves to one another in service.Augustine’s second insight – the Holy Spirit as abiding love – comes from his study of the First Letter of Saint John. John tells us that "God is love" (1 Jn 4:16). Augustine suggests that while these words refer to the Trinity as a whole they express a particular characteristic of the Holy Spirit. Reflecting on the lasting nature of love - "whoever abides in love remains in God and God in him" (ibid.) - he wondered: is it love or the Holy Spirit which grants the abiding? This is the conclusion he reaches: "The Holy Spirit makes us remain in God and God in us; yet it is love that effects this. The Spirit therefore is God as love!" (De Trinitate, 15.17.31).
It is a beautiful explanation: God shares himself as love in the Holy Spirit. What further understanding might we gain from this insight? Love is the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit! Ideas or voices which lack love – even if they seem sophisticated or knowledgeable – cannot be "of the Spirit". Furthermore, love has a particular trait: far from being indulgent or fickle, it has a task or purpose to fulfil: to abide. By its nature love is enduring. Again, dear friends, we catch a further glimpse of how much the Holy Spirit offers our world: love which dispels uncertainty; love which overcomes the fear of betrayal; love which carries eternity within; the true love which draws us into a unity that abides!The third insight – the Holy Spirit as gift – Augustine derived from meditating on a Gospel passage we all know and love: Christ’s conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. Here Jesus reveals himself as the giver of the living water (cf. Jn 4:10) which later is explained as the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 7:39; 1 Cor 12:13). The Spirit is "God’s gift" (Jn 4:10) - the internal spring (cf. Jn 4:14), who truly satisfies our deepest thirst and leads us to the Father. From this observation Augustine concludes that God sharing himself with us as gift is the Holy Spirit (cf. De Trinitate, 15, 18, 32).
Friends, again we catch a glimpse of the Trinity at work: the Holy Spirit is God eternally giving himself; like a never-ending spring he pours forth nothing less than himself. In view of this ceaseless gift, we come to see the limitations of all that perishes, the folly of the consumerist mindset. We begin to understand why the quest for novelty leaves us unsatisfied and wanting. Are we not looking for an eternal gift? The spring that will never run dry? With the Samaritan woman, let us exclaim: give me this water that I may thirst no more! (cf. Jn 4:15).
Dear young people, we have seen that it is the Holy Spirit who brings about the wonderful communion of believers in Jesus Christ. True to his nature as giver and gift alike, he is even now working through you. Inspired by the insights of Saint Augustine: let unifying love be your measure; abiding love your challenge; self-giving love your mission!Tomorrow, that same gift of the Spirit will be solemnly conferred upon our confirmation candidates. I shall pray: "give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgement and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence … and fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe". These gifts of the Spirit – each of which, as Saint Francis de Sales reminds us, is a way to participate in the one love of God – are neither prizes nor rewards. They are freely given (cf. 1 Cor 12:11). And they require only one response on the part of the receiver: I accept! Here we sense something of the deep mystery of being Christian. What constitutes our faith is not primarily what we do but what we receive. After all, many generous people who are not Christian may well achieve far more than we do. Friends, do you accept being drawn into God’s Trinitarian life? Do you accept being drawn into his communion of love?
The Spirit’s gifts working within us give direction and definition to our witness. Directed to unity, the gifts of the Spirit bind us more closely to the whole Body of Christ (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11), equipping us better to build up the Church in order to serve the world (cf. Eph 4:13). They call us to active and joyful participation in the life of the Church: in parishes and ecclesial movements, in religious education classes, in university chaplaincies and other catholic organizations. Yes, the Church must grow in unity, must be strengthened in holiness, must be rejuvenated, must be constantly renewed (cf. Lumen Gentium, 4). But according to whose standard? The Holy Spirit’s! Turn to him, dear young people, and you will find the true meaning of renewal.
Tonight, gathered under the beauty of the night sky, our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude to God for the great gift of our Trinitarian faith. We recall our parents and grandparents who walked alongside us when we, as children, were taking our first steps in our pilgrim journey of faith. Now many years later, you have gathered as young adults with the Successor of Peter. I am filled with deep joy to be with you. Let us invoke the Holy Spirit: he is the artisan of God’s works (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 741). Let his gifts shape you! Just as the Church travels the same journey with all humanity, so too you are called to exercise the Spirit’s gifts amidst the ups and downs of your daily life. Let your faith mature through your studies, work, sport, music and art. Let it be sustained by prayer and nurtured by the sacraments, and thus be a source of inspiration and help to those around you. In the end, life is not about accumulation. It is much more than success. To be truly alive is to be transformed from within, open to the energy of God’s love. In accepting the power of the Holy Spirit you too can transform your families, communities and nations. Set free the gifts! Let wisdom, courage, awe and reverence be the marks of greatness!
Photo courtesy Reuters

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Quote of the Week

ON Phil Gramm's resignation from the McCain team, where he held the position of economic adviser, at least until he hissed that the current economic sludge pond is a mental one, and called his suffering fellow Americans "whiners." From Taki's Magazine, formerly Taki's Top Drawer which had more cachet IMHO, author Tom Piatak. Click on over & read the rest.


Quote of the Week:


(Of course, it’s easy to view worries about the economy as “whining” from the commanding heights of a Swiss bank).

The Crisis Is Upon Us: Rep. Ron Paul



QUOTE I have, for the past 35 years, expressed my grave concern for the future of America. The course we have taken over the past century has threatened our liberties, security and prosperity. In spite of these long-held concerns, I have days – growing more frequent all the time – when I'm convinced the time is now upon us that some Big Events are about to occur.




These fast-approaching events will not go unnoticed. They will affect all of us. They will not be limited to just some areas of our country. The world economy and political system will share in the chaos about to be unleashed.


Though the world has long suffered from the senselessness of wars that should have been avoided, my greatest fear is that the course on which we find ourselves will bring even greater conflict and economic suffering to the innocent people of the world – unless we quickly change our ways.


America, with her traditions of free markets and property rights, led the way toward great wealth and progress throughout the world as well as at home. Since we have lost our confidence in the principles of liberty, self-reliance, hard work and frugality, and instead took on empire building, financed through inflation and debt, all this has changed. This is indeed frightening and an historic event.


The problem we face is not new in history. Authoritarianism has been around a long time. For centuries, inflation and debt have been used by tyrants to hold power, promote aggression, and provide “bread and circuses” for the people. The notion that a country can afford “guns and butter” with no significant penalty existed even before the 1960s when it became a popular slogan. It was then, though, we were told the Vietnam War and the massive expansion of the welfare state were not problems. The seventies proved that assumption wrong.


Today things are different from even ancient times or the 1970s. There is something to the argument that we are now a global economy. The world has more people and is more integrated due to modern technology, communications, and travel. If modern technology had been used to promote the ideas of liberty, free markets, sound money and trade, it would have ushered in a new golden age – a globalism we could accept.


Instead, the wealth and freedom we now enjoy are shrinking and rest upon a fragile philosophic infrastructure. It is not unlike the levies and bridges in our own country that our system of war and welfare has caused us to ignore.


I'm fearful that my concerns have been legitimate and things may even be worse than I first thought. They are now at our doorstep. Time is short for making a course correction before this grand experiment in liberty goes into deep hibernation.


There are reasons to believe this coming crisis is different and bigger than any the world has ever experienced. Instead of using globalism in a positive fashion, it's been used to globalize all of the mistakes of the politicians, bureaucrats and central bankers. UNQUOTE


Read the rest at LewRockwell.com.

Rock of Ages...

Love Reign O'er Me (Pearl Jam cover The Who.)


Shine - Collective Soul


Guns'N Roses - Knocking On Heaven's Door (Dylan Song)


Journey - Don't Stop Believin'
Who else LOVES this corny old song way more than is rational?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wakey, Wakey, Lads ~ The Boss is Coming

A group of Bishop's gathered yesterday at Barangaroo, AU listening to Pope Benedict XVI ~ aka the leader of the Church, successor of St. Peter and their COO (Chief Operations Officer) as he addresses the youth of the world on high matters of eternal import. Wakey, wakey, lads...His Excellencey Bishop Spooky Spook (left middle)has his eye on ye.
Hah.
A hat tip & bow to Father Sylvester at Shouts In the Piazza.

JibJab Flick" The Ron Paul Version

ROFL

Wisdom From The Heir Of Peter




QUOTE The authority of the papacy is exercised in service: service of the Church and service of the truth. Deep down, we crave to be subject to such authority. We want to live our lives according to what is true, good and beautiful. The Pope reminded the young people this evening that in seeking what is true, good and beautiful, we exercise true freedom – a true freedom that leads to happiness and joy.
Young people have a special gift of generosity and hope. They want a cause, something to give their lives for. They have a natural hope for happiness and fulfillment. They witness to the rest of us who may have given up on such ideals.
The Holy Father told the young people tonight,

“Our world has grown weary of greed, exploitation and division, of the tedium of false idols and piecemeal responses, and the pain of false promises. Our hearts and minds are yearning for a vision of life where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion. This is the work of the Holy Spirit!” UNQUOTE

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Constitutional Law A Go-Go

Super interview on Air America's The Lionel Show with Kevin Gutzman today, co author along with Thomas E. Woods, Jr. of a brand new book, Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush. Air America calls it Con. Law a go-go.
:D

(Kevin R. C. Gutzman, J.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor of History at Western Connecticut State University, is the author of Virginia’s American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776–1840 (newly available in paperback) and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. He is also the co-author, with Thomas E. Woods, Jr., of Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is a resident scholar at the Mises Institute. He is the author of The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy. His other recent books include The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (a New York Times bestseller) and How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.)

Take a listen.


The Land Down Under






QUOTE - SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI says the world's natural resources are being squandered by ``insatiable'' consumption and urges people to care more for the environment.
The pope also condemns television and the Internet for exalting violence and sexual exploitation as entertainment.
Benedict made the comments on Thursday in a speech to hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered in Australia for the Roman Catholic church's World Youth Day.
He says nonviolence, sustainable development, justice and care for the environment are of vital importance for humanity. UNQUOTE




Odd Man Out ~ Viva Don Quixote!


I love the guy in history and art who sticks up for the good no matter how hard it is, marches to a different drummer, who tilts at windmills, and would "endure the Bastille" for others. I've seen Lonesome Dove at least 6 times and think Robert Duvall's character Augustus McCrae in that old TV cowboy drama is on a par with the sheriff in High Noon or Victor Hugo's immense man of mercy and goodness in Les Miserables, Jean Valjean, which I've seen live three times already & read the entire 1,250 page novel; what a Victor Hugo geek, eh wot?


I'm a fan of Gandhi and Mother Teresa, Tom Paine, Samuel and John Adams, and in recent days, Ron Paul, Chuck Hagel and Dennis Kucinich. I don't agree with all they stand for, and think Ron and Dennis are both dangerously close to the edge ~ the cheese might slide off their cracker at any moment ~ but what an edge to be close to! The paradoxes presented to Valjean by Jauvert in Les Miz, the challlenge to ethics and values that Jake Spoon presents in Lonesome Dove, are present in the current tableau. ( I've blogged on this over at Gaia here previously.)


A clean breeze is blowing through this land ~ let the windows of your mind and soul open up, let the equivocations and excuses for the high and mighty cease, and let honest plain people back into the halls of power.

Servant leadership is almost back in vogue, as defined in the gospels: He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant Matthew 23:11. May it come soon.

Kucinich Calling For Impeachment


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Colbert on the Price of Life


That comedian Stephen Colbert is a devout Catholic isn't widely known, but one can often detect it in his routines. Here's his pro-life routine from Monday July 14, 2008.
And, for beer fans out there, (Marty and friends) here's his bit on the Anheuser-Busch Belgian takeover. Funny stuff.

Papa Ben's Organically Developed 2.0 Novus Ordo


From Creative Minority Report. What can I say, this is utterly brilliant and flipping hilarious. It's been around ten days or so, I'm a bit late in finding it in the blogosphere, so you may have seen it already.

Has anyone sent this on to the Vatican? Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos might like to see this. Bwahahahah, 50% less Bugnini...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
q) Do you know the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist?
a) You can negotiate with a terrorist.
Bada boom bada bing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saint Bonaventure, Franciscan Mystic and Scholar


Bonaventure, Franciscan, theologian, doctor of the Church, was both learned and holy. Because of the spirit that filled him and his writings, he was at first called the Devout Doctor; but in more recent centuries he has been known as the Seraphic Doctor after the “Seraphic Father” Francis because of the truly Franciscan spirit he possessed. Today is his feast day.
St. Bonaventure, pray for us.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You Know The Drill ~ Kunstler Gets EBW


Frequenters of this blog may know by now that Jim Kunstler gets a Eff Bomb Warning every time I link to him. But he's such a brilliant Cassandra, and so very often right, that hopefully my good Catholic and other conservative readers will forgive him, an dme for a couple of eff bombs.

It might be useful to try and think of them in the Irish sense, like boldface type or exclamation points, rather than cussing. Go here, scroll down and it's on the left side - July 14, 2008 Cluster**** Nation


Here's a snippet to whet your whistle:


QUOTE With the death of the IndyMac Bank last week, and the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac laying side-by-side in the EMT van on IV drips, headed for the Federal Reserve's ever more crowded intensive care unit, there was a sense of the American Dream having passed through the event horizon that denotes the opening of a black hole. What would happen if the US Government acted to bail out these feckless enterprises (and what if they don't)? Either way, it's not a pretty picture. If Mr. Bernanke does start shoveling loans into the GSE black hole, he'll further undermine the soundness of his own outfit and do nothing, really, to repair Fannie and Freddie's structural problem of having securitized too many loans that will never be paid back. If instead Fannie and Freddie are flat-out taken over entirely by the US government (and remember the Federal Reserve is not the government), then the national debt will roughly double overnight -- which will pound the US dollar down a rat-hole. UNQUOTE

McCain Refuses To Use Modern Communications Technology

From The Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/johnmccain/2299694/John-McCain-
John McCain refuses, to use email or the internet. He is typical of many older, haughty State officials, who think such tasks are for their aides & secretaries, and not for "the rulers". Just another example of why the war hero is past his prime and unfit for command in this day and age. A President who can't find his or her way around the internet or use email is like a President who won't learn to drive since the chauffer is always around, or one who refused to learn to boil an egg since the chef is almost always on duty.

(Psssst, John ~ It's not at all hard. That's why first graders can do it.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be The Change

Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi


How the pope is saving the Earth: Benedict's Hungarian forest plan will cut emissions and power Vatican City. From the Los Angeles Times.

The Perks of Papacy

Photo Thanks to AP

Papacy Perk # 204 ~ More legroom and privacy while flying than anyone else in the universe. Anyone. You could set up a cricket match in that amount of space. And where is the large, perspiring businessman nodding off dangerously close to His Holiness' shoulder? Where's the two kids, ages 3 and 5, playing toss-the-beanbag with their peanuts? The breastfeeding mother who has misplaced her cover-up blankie? The convict wearing that odd set of bracelets flying with a federal agent ?

Nice perk.



Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fannie, Freddie, The Banks and The Government


In trying to better understand the Fannie Mae - Freddie Mac mortgage debacle through reading news today I came across this impassioned tome calling for us to, like the doughty French, take to the streets to avoid being bankrupted by our own apathy and our weaselly government. This is a longish read but I encourage you to bite the bullet and read it. The knowledge may help you and yours. These giants of American business and finance aren't going down without dragging a lot of us with them. The current administration has argued for years, as part of its grandiose vision of an “ownership society”, that more Americans have been able to join the ranks of home ownership. They failed to note that it was being accomplished through artificially low interest rates, gimmick - sleazy mortgages, and non-existent lending restraint. So much for George W. Bush’s “ownership society”. Fasten your seat belts.

Here's a sample:

QUOTE Even worse, Fannie and Freddie, who guarantee their own bond issues, started buying their own paper. That is, they are writing insurance on a hurricane when they are both the writer of the insurance and the loss payee. This looks brilliant in that the "expense" of providing that insurance effectively disappears, thereby making the entirety of the spread they get from their source-of-funds to their paper issue theirs to keep, but that's the wrong way to look at it.
In fact that paper is uninsured, because the money comes from one hand goes to the other, attached to the same body.
Where were the regulators? Congress? Intentionally asleep. Remember that back in 2003 and 2004 both firms were found to have improperly accounted for their results. This should have led to an immediate clampdown and forced deleveraging to no more than 10:1 on an audited basis.
It did not, and in fact neither firm timely filed accounting statements until last year, more than three years after the "errors" were discovered.
But for Congress, The Fed and OFHEO looking the other way on purpose most of the Housing Bubble could not have happened, as the money necessary to fuel it simply would not have been available.
Now we are faced with the reality - Fannie and Freddie, under fair value accounting rules, are insolvent (if you listen to Bill Poole.) What does that mean? It means that if Fannie and Freddie were to sell their assets and net it out today, you'd wind up with a negative number. That is, its assets are less than its liabilities.
The question now comes down to "what do we do about this?"
There are several choices, all of which will have bad side effects. It is critical, however, that we understand those side effects and choose the path forward that represents the least risk to the broader economy and to the government, not just the most expedient or the one that the people who would lose will scream most loudly about. UNQUOTE


"NO MATERIAL HERE CONSTITUTES "INVESTMENT ADVICE" NOR IS IT A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY FINANICAL INSTRUMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO STOCKS, OPTIONS, BONDS OR FUTURES. "
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chillin' With Opus Down Under

Papa Bear is resting in this Opus Dei retreat, a good way to give them a thumbs-up after all the mubbage from that horrid movie.

Rumor has it the center has a baby grand piano that the Pope can use to indulge his love of playing. It also has walking trails and a shrine to Our Lady of the Family.

QUOTE Pope Benedict XVI will spend his three days of rest prior to World Youth Day at an Opus Dei-run centre, it has emerged.Cardinal George Pell of Sydney said the Pope and his entourage would be taken to the Kenthurst Study Centre after flying to Sydney on July 13.On July 16 he will leave the centre and for the remainder of his trip stay at St Mary's Cathedral House in the heart of Sydney with Cardinal Pell. UNQUOTE

Friday, July 11, 2008

This I Believe

From NPR, a take-off on an old radio show idea from the fifties.

My list of some things Americans believe:

It is cool to be kind to the pizza-delivery kid and important to go to funerals.
Savor the sweet times; remembering them will get you through life's nasty spots.
Justice isn't simple, truth isn't relative, and living honestly is harder than it looked when you were young.
What goes around comes around, and don't expect it not to.
Dogs are man's best friend, and woman's too.
You can't judge a book by its cover.
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao, You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
It is important to be sweet to old ladies and gentlemen, and to help them if you can.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Rome wasn't built in a day.
We're all just a hunk, a hunk of burning love.
When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.
A rocky vineyard does not need a prayer, but a pick ax.
"When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear; when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them." - Chief Seattle
We can't go on together, with suspicious minds.
Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.
Jesus really does love the little children, all the little children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they ARE precious in His sight.
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me, Speaking words of wisdom, Let it be.
~ DJY

From Edward R. Murrow's original introduction to the radio show, 1951.

QUOTE
This I Believe. By that name, we present the personal philosophies of thoughtful men and women in all walks of life. In this brief space, a banker or a butcher, a painter or a social worker, people of all kinds who need have nothing more in common than integrity, a real honesty, will write about the rules they live by, the things they have found to be the basic values in their lives.
We hardly need to be reminded that we are living in an age of confusion—a lot of us have traded in our beliefs for bitterness and cynicism or for a heavy package of despair, or even a quivering portion of hysteria. Opinions can be picked up cheap in the market place while such commodities as courage and fortitude and faith are in alarmingly short supply.
Around us all, now high like a distant thunderhead, now close upon us with the wet choking intimacy of a London fog, there is an enveloping cloud of fear. There is a physical fear, the kind that drives some of us to flee our homes and burrow into the ground in the bottom of a Montana valley like prairie dogs, to try to escape, if only for a little while, the sound and the fury of the A-bombs or the hell-bombs, or whatever may be coming.
UNQUOTE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let Your Light Shine

I have a busy day ahead of me with getting ready for the kids from Indiana to come in for a brief visit, a mini-seminar on Catholic psychology at the diocesan center (which I am interested in and may be going back to college to pursue a MS to practice ~ pray I make the right decision) and then to work at the organic bakery at the local food co-op.

Anyhow, enough darkness is in the world ~ let your light shine! Here's Carlos Santana with Put Your Lights On. I love all the crosses in the video. Yeah.

Crank up the volume.

Very Unfriendly Skies: Take Two


I blogged recently on the outrageous proposal to issue electric shock bracelets under control of airline crews and TSA or DHS officials. Here's an example of the sterling self control and Solomon-like wisdom of some of these erstwhile upholders of American empire, if not of chivalry.



Be sure and watch the video on the right side of the page: you will see how the actions of the officers appear to be completely uncalled for, could have resulted in severe injury, and the ruckus could very well have compromised airport security (where the blond female executive in no way did.) If this is how blond female New York business people are treated, what about somebody's Lebanese grandpa, Italian boyfriend or African foreign correspondent, or whoever fits a "watch-em" profile?
The sexual element cannot be totally ignored here, the video of three men roughing up a passive female is disturbing. Chivalry cannot return to us fast enough. Teach your sons how to treat a lady. If this woman was being apprehended for a capital crime, if she was a heinous murderer, this ungentlemanly conduct would still be out of line. The officers are not the judge, the jury nor the executioner, at least, not in a civilzed culture.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rock Of Ages

It has been entirely too long since I posted any music here.

This one is dedicated to my dear husband, Charlie. I love you.

And, yes, I still have a soft spot for these old wizened reformed heroin addict Brit rockers. (Should probably pray a few rosaries for them, though.)

Sing it, lads.

The country's largest photovoltaic solar power plant

From the San Francisco Chronicle, more welcome green news.

QUOTE SunPower Corp. of San Jose will announce plans today to build the country's largest photovoltaic solar power plant in Florida.
Unlike most large-scale solar plants, which use big mirrors to concentrate sunlight, the SunPower project will use the same solar panels that homeowners install on their rooftops.
It will be built in Florida's DeSoto County and will generate up to 25 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 18,750 homes. SunPower also will build a smaller facility, generating 10 megawatts, at Kennedy Space Center. UNQUOTE

More From Mr. Pickens

Fascinating stuff. This is the can-do America I was raised in. Yeah baby!

This reminds methat Winston Churchill once said "I firmly believe America will do what is right, but only, however, after it has exhausted all other options."




Find more videos like this on PickensPlan


A Real Find ~ Catholic Internet Radio


If you like great Gregorian Chant, wise little homilies and good basic scriptural teaching, check out this cool online radio station.



Rufina and Secunda, Strong Women, Holy Martyrs


Saints Rufina and Secunda (Italian - Sante Rufina e Seconda) (3rd century - 257 AD) were Roman martyrs and Christian saints. Their feast day is celebrated on July 10.


According to the legendary Acts, they suffered martyrdom for Christ in 257 during the persecution of Emperor Valerian. Their legend states that they were daughters of a Roman senator named Asterius. Their fiances, Armentarius and Verinus, were Christians, but renounced their faith when Valerian began his persecutions.

Escaping to Etruria, Rufina and Secunda were captured and brought before a prefect, who tortured and then beheaded them. Their bodies were buried on the Via Aurelia and the church of Sante Rufina e Secunda was built in their honor in Rome.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One of the criticisms levelled at Traditional Catholics is the idea that our women are somehow weak, pasty holy cards of submissive and drab womanhood. But when one pays attention, you realize that the saints and martyrs were often such strong-minded tough cookies that we may have little experience of such folks in our actual life. But just imagine, these young ladies, from a patriarchal culture, in love with their betrothed and their whole life ahead of them. But these ladies did not capitulate, even under what we now call "enhanced interrogations". They were strong women who loved truth, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost more than their lovers, more than life itself. Our Lady herself is the strongest flower in God's Garden, enduring as she did the
agony on the Cross with Her Son, and participating mystically in the redemption of fallen humanity. She is called by the Church Co-Redemptrix for this reason. Before the year 200, the Church Father Irenaeus referred to Mary as "causa salutis" [cause of our salvation] given her "fiat" ("Be it done to me according to thy word.")


Pope Benedict XV first described the term in his own right in his Apostolic Letter, Inter Soldalica, issued on March 22, 1918: "As the Blessed Virgin Mary does not seem to participate in the public life of Jesus Christ, and then, suddenly appears at the stations of his cross, she is not there without divine intention. She suffers with her suffering and dying son, almost as if she would have died herself. For the salvation of mankind, she gave up her rights as the mother of her son and sacrificed him for the reconciliation of divine justice, as far as she was permitted to do. Therefore, one can say, she redeemed with Christ the human race."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

T. Boone Pickens Has a Plan

Well, well, well, some good old fashioned American ingenuity. About time.

QUOTE America is in a hole and it's getting deeper every day. We import 70% of our oil at a cost of $700 billion a year - four times the annual cost of the Iraq war.

I've been an oil man all my life, but this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of. But if we create a new renewable energy network, we can break our addiction to foreign oil.

On January 20, 2009, a new President gets sworn in. If we're organized, we can convince Congress to make major changes towards cleaner, cheaper and domestic energy resources.

To get this done, I need your help. Check out the plan. If you think it's worth fighting for, please join our effort. UNQUOTE

Fly The Very Unfriendly Skies?


Just when you thought you’ve heard it all...From the Armageddon Stupider By The Day Department: A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®, leading us to believe that the acronym actually stands for "Department of Homeland Stupidity" or very possibly the "Department of Homeland Sadism."


According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.

This bracelet would:

• take the place of an airline boarding pass• contain personal information about the traveler

• be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage

• shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes.


So is the government really that interested in this bracelet? Yes!


If this actually comes to pass, my flying days are OVER. I've let them force me to buy doll sized toiletries, and Ziploc bag them, run barefoot through the airport, sneer at me while they feel me up, wave electric wands over my privates, rifle through my suitcases and carry on bags, dump out my purse, get whuffled and blown on in the sniffer machine, X-rayed so strangers can see my boobs and aging bootay ~ but I'll be goddamned if I'm going to submit to random electroshock's and the fear of such.


I hear Nero fiddling away...this once proud land has stooped so low, turning willingly into her worst enemies. FUBAR.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One Year Anniversary of the Motu Proprio


As a person who was raised Methodist, I retain a certain enjoyment of the old John and Charles Wesley hymns, gospel music and old school liberal social sensibilities ( equal pay for equal work, racial harmony and soup kitchens etc.) However, the Novus Ordo seems to delight in turning the Catholic Church into the Methodist one. Whenever I head the strains of Onward Christian Soldiers, All Hail the Power of Jesus Name and Amazing Grace in a Catholic Mass I get downcast and somewhat irked: if I wished to be a Methodist and hear these hymns I would never have converted.


I am not a Roman Catholic, I'm Eastern Rite Catholic, and a convert to the Catholic Church. When I converted, I selected the Byzantine Rite, because of my 18 years as a Greek Orthodox and how much I love the beauty of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, in part because of the modernized and often trite (and theologically dubious) English translation of the Novus Ordo, and in part because the local FSSP Chapel is across town far enough to be a serious drain on the petrol budget. Because the Melkite Mission here has few members, we seldom get a priest (and when we do we must fly one in from far away). That said, I have grown to love the Latin Mass very much. Only good can come of regularizing its use. This is the lost treasure of the West, the music, art, liturgy and architecture which lifts the soul to God. God bless Pope Benedict XVI forever for returning it to the world.




QUOTE In recent weeks, Cardinal Hoyos has made clear just how ambitious Benedict's expectations are. The cardinal made headlines when, in response to a journalist's inquiry as to whether the pope wanted to see the Extraordinary Form in "many ordinary parishes," he replied, "All the parishes. Not many -- all the parishes, because this is a gift of God." "This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful," he said.

According to Cardinal Hoyos, the Ecclesia Dei Commission is instructing seminaries to teach seminarians not only the Extraordinary Form itself but also the theology and language of the old Missal. He suggests that parishes hold classes to prepare their people for the traditional liturgy, so they might "appreciate the power of the silence, the power of the sacred way in front of God, the deep theology, to discover how and why the priest represents the person of Christ and to pray with the priest."

I never expected to live to see this. UNQUOTE

Monday, July 7, 2008

We Already Knew That


It is a source of mild amusement and occasional exasperation that the newspapers, that over my nearly fifty-five years of this life (forty-three or so of which I've been reading the news)the transparently obvious gets announced, and re-announced with bugles blaring and red ink a flowing. Headlines along the lines of "Men And Women Really Are Different! Science Proves It" and "Fruit and Vegetables Are Very Good For You To Eat" and "If We Continue To Blow Through Resources Like A Sailor On Leave Spends His Paycheck, The Earth Will Not Do Well" and "If You Kick Your Wife/Husband, She/He Will Leave You For Good" all have been seen lately.




How stupid are we, anyhow? Who thinks humanity in the bone doesn't already know ALL this stuff? Why can't we get past this level of idiocy? Who profits from the blaring of news that is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer, at least one in possession of his or her faculties?
Hooeeie boy.