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I was born, I'm currently living, and will eventually die. After that I face my judgment, and we'll talk then.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

On Huckabee

So I've been kinda out of the election thing, since I'm a registered independent (Less concerned about parties, more concerned about topics). I've been reading about the Republican race, since I'll probably vote for one of them, if I don't vote third party, and I don't really care for the Democrats. So I'll probably vote for a Republican, but only if they support what I support.

My Older sister has told me that she is currently supporting Mike Huckabee, one of the Pro-life, pro-family Republicans fighting for the Republican seat. However, he recently ran into some controversy with the Catholic Church (of which most of my readers belong, to quote Chesterton, as well as myself) for, "courting his evangelical base at the church of a controversial preacher accused of disparaging Catholics." The preacher was one John Hagee, who is a well known anti-Catholic. When I mean Anti-Catholic, I mean all out Whore of Babylon/Evil Crusader and Inquisition/"Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews" kind of stuff. The same stuff that has been going around since the Reformation.

So what does a Catholic do? Does he support someone who supports his political views, even if that candidate gains support from people who see your religion as the actualization of the Book of Revelation?

I say you can. It's what Catholics have been doing throughout this country's history. For most of our history, Catholics have faced hostilities, and yet have come to political agreements. It is the same sort of thing that happens at the Right to Life March in January on the anniversery of Roe vs. Wade. People of all religions come together to stand up for life.

Such could be the same in this up coming election.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A desperate need

Oh man, I have so much to post on. Only one problem: no time. No time to sit here and write up my deep thoughts, no time to fill a post with some sort of wit.

I need to post on Christmas. I finally went to a Midnight Mass (I haven't gotten to go to one in years), I got a whole bunch of stuff under the tree, and I did have fun.

I need to post on some news I just noticed about Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, and the possibility of his Anti-Catholicism.

I also need to report on an event that has not happened yet: I'm getting my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow.

. . . . . .

I know. I'm not really excited about it either.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Post

Its Christmas time. It is a time of love, peace, and life. We remember the birth of Jesus, the only man born to die, and the mystery of our salvation. Yet the season has been scarred by things like commercialism and fighting over whether one should say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." The most tv specials will admit is that it is not all about getting presents, but giving. The whole Jesus aspect has been forgotten. One of the only references to the Nativity of Christ as the reason for Christmas I have seen recently, oddly enough, is in the Christmas special for the cartoon Ed, Edd, and Eddy (which I think is a pretty funny show). Talk to me later and I'll describe the scene. The point is that we have lost what the season is about.

My mom sent me this email thing which she probably got from her homeschooling emailing group. It may not be 100% on target, but it makes some good points. I'll leave you with the text of the "Letter from Jesus." "God bless us, everyone," and Merry Christmas.

Letter from Jesus about Christmas --

Dear Children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks aretaking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn'tactually born during this time of the year and that it was some of yourpredecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually atime of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easilyunderstood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own.I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, justGET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in whichyou live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of acouple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your ownfront lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for sucha scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday treeinstead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can rememberMe anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actuallyspoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you andwhat each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wishlist. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday isbeing celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home.They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally.They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards hisstaff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why Icame to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don'tknow who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smileand a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary--especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret thatyou wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do whatI have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom youlove and remember : I LOVE YOU,


Monday, December 17, 2007

Break time

Hey guess what.

That's right its break time. I somehow managed to survive the papers (A- on at least two of them) and the thesis, and the finals.

One more semester.

The downside is that there is only one more semester. One more semester to hang out with my friends, one more semester to live on that beautiful campus, one more semester to live as a student before becoming an adult. Everyone keeps commenting that they don't know what they'll do without me. I don't like to let it on, but I have no freaking clue what I'm gonna do without them. My friends have become part of who I am. I am not just Ibid. I'm Propter Quid, Quia, WP, CO, Carducci, PBJ Girl, Ry, Jerico, John, Shelia, and all the others whose blog names I can't think of off the top of my head. They are part of me, and parting with them is gonna be like loosing part of myself.

Except now I'm sounding mushy. Maybe I'll post something more happy next time.

Oh, and go see Evlyn. It is a great movie. Not often do you have a film that is a moving story, artistically beautiful, sympathetic to the Catholic Church, and made only 5 years ago. Go rent it.

Now. Do it. Don't be shy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Paper Time

One of the key reasons i started up this blog was to share pictures of my adventures in Rome with my mom. That reason, in cause you haven't actually been reading this thing, has come and gone. Now its more of a venue for me to vent my stress at everything, be it school work or how stupid the world is, as well as give you guys a taste of my creative mind.
So I come to you again, fair readers, to say that I am stressed again. This time it is not my thesis (I got an A- on the rough draft, by the by) which I have almost perfected. Rather, what makes my adrenaline rise are the papers I must write.

And Write

And Write

And did I mention Write?

Writing and reading are basically what I'm majoring in. English and History do not lend themselves to light intellectual discussions and that sort of cramming for tests. Rather, the heavy weight is how well you can write a paper. Its like a mini thesis, or a thesis is like a huge paper.

Except this time I have 5 papers in two weeks.

This Tuesday, before we start Thanksgiving break, I have my English Novel paper (10-12 pages) and my Immigrant Church paper (also 10-12 pages). The week we return from break, I have my English Renaissances Literature paper due on Tuesday, my Communist Revolution paper due on Wednesday, my thesis' final draft due on Thursday, and my Literary Criticism paper due on Friday.

Holy Hand Cramp Batman!

So yeah, I've got my work cut out for me. Oh, and I must stay caught up in my reading for the classes. Don't worry though, its only 100 pages or so to read every other night. While juggling papers. Add on that that I have to remain alive, and I'm in an interesting situation.

I blame society.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Updated life

Alright, the rough draft to the thesis is turned in. Now all I have left to do are the papers for all the classes I'm taking. Its pretty intense. I mean, the amount of pages minimally required of for each paper is more than the length of the rough draft I turned in for the thesis.

Somethings crazy about all this.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thesis and high blood pressure

You know, with the history of high blood pressure and heart problems in my family, one would think I would avoid such things that could endanger my heart's wellbeing or raise my blood pressure, that is, stress me out. Yet I love fattening foods, and I decided to double major.

Ah double majoring. It probably wouldn't be as bad if I had not picked History and English as my majors, the two majors notorious for their excessive amount of reading required even to pass.

And to make matters worse, its thesis time. That's right, I decided (somehow) that I would write my thesis in a week and a half, coming back from fall break. That is, I would write 35 pages or so next week.

Unfortunately, I forgot to factor in a major speaker, Medieval Fest, and generally struggling to keep up with work and the thesis. I have been working on reading ahead in my books for school. This week I've finished two books and started another one.

I'm not in the fall plays, but its time for my HELL WEEK!!!!!!!!!!

Fratres, Orare pro me.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Film History Lesson

Time for a lesson in Film History. I know you all must be dying to hear about it, but, well, here you go. Its another article I wrote for the Rambler.

Rating Films: A History
By Matthew Rose

When one goes to the movies, one of the first things looked at is the movie’s rating, not merely the star rating (scaled 1 to 4), but rather the MPAA, the Motion Picture Association of America, and its rating system. You are all familiar with it: G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. What many people do not know is that the current rating system is a recent development. The history of movie ratings, however, traces back to the early years of film.

The first major films, appearing in the early twentieth century, were different than the movies we watch today. For one thing they lacked sound. The technology for recording sound, such as music and dialogue, along with picture would not come about until later. There was also a difference in content. Many of the old silent films are rather racy, and graphic nudity is frequent. It was not until the 1920s or so that the movie industry cracked down on film content. Scattered protests of particularly immoral films were often held, but nothing universal.

Then came the Legion of Decency. The Legion was founded in 1933, when “talkies,” the name given to talking movies, had already become popular. It was a Catholic response to immorality found in movies, as well as an organized support for the recently founded Production Code (aka the Hays Code) put out by Hollywood in response to complaints of the immorality in movies. These two reactions led to the original rating system. Movies were labeled A) “Morally unobjectionable,” B) “Morally objectionable in part”, or C) “Condemned” by the Legion of Decency. During the ‘30s and ‘40s, many films that received a C rating were either not released or, if they were released, did poorly in theaters.

Then came the 1960s. Looking at a list of movies condemned by the Legion of Decency in the ‘60s, one recognizes several titles: Kiss Me Stupid; From Russia With Love; Torn Curtain; and others. Movies were not passing the Legion of Decency, yet were popular at the box office. The rating system was about to undergo another change, separating itself from the Legion. The Legion, however, did not disappear; it became the USCCB movie rating office.

The year was 1968. The head honchos at the MPAA decided a new rating system should be created. They created the following four-pronged rating system: G (general audiences); M (mature audiences, parental guidance suggested for children); R (children under 16, later 17, not admitted without an adult); and X (no one under 17 admitted). These ratings soon changed slightly when the M became GP (later PG). The ratings remained unchanged until the 1980s, when the PG-13 rating appeared, courtesy of Steven Spielberg, his film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and another film, Gremlins. Spielberg pushed for a separate rating for films like Gremlins which were too intense for little children, but not bad for older ones. Because of this, the PG-13 rating is nicknamed the “Spielberg rating.”

The ratings would undergo another change in 1990. To quote the MPAA website, “the X rating over the years appeared to have taken on a surly meaning in the minds of many people, something that was never intended when the system was created.” In order to distinguish their rating of X from certain other “surly” films, the MPAA created the NC-17 rating.

The rating system has come a long way from its early beginnings. As we proceed into the new millennium, one wonders what could be in store for cinema and the film rating system. Whatever comes, at least we will know the rating system’s history.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


There are a sick mess of weddings in 2008. I actually know some of the people getting married this time too.

In February, my cousin is getting married. I'm gonna be going home from there. I don't have any special part in the wedding party or anything with the after party. But thats only the first one.

In March, Nick is getting married. He asked me to be one of the groomsmen, which is really cool. I said yes, of course.
What kind of person do you take me for.

Sometime later Jen and Joe are getting married. I'm the DJ for their after party (I'm getting paid $25 in food).

There are a couple other ones, but those are the three I'm most concerned with.

Makes me want to get a girlfriend.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"To Medusa"

A message to writers:
When you are in class, do not feel as if you should pay attention. If you feel inspiration, write it down. It could be gold like this. Think of it. You too could be writing Haiku sequences to Medusa.
How romantic!

"To Medusa" by Matthew Rose

Gorgon, my Gorgon

I gaze on that sweetest face.

Stone, my own face turns.

O Medusa, dear,

Let us talk a while here,

Make our wedding plans.

Shall it be had here,

Or closer to your own Greece,

Under olive trees?

Who should we invite?

Who can stand to see your grace?

Who can witness love?

My love, they will bide

While we promise each other

Our entire life.

"I do, I, I do."

I say it with gleeful pride.

And she says it too.

And I raise her veil.

I gaze into her eyes; and

There I stand today.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Apologia sua Novus Ordo Missae part 1

At long last I am posting it. Now that the Motu Proprio has come into effect, there has already been discussion throughout the country (I've seen the blogs) of how stupid and bad the Novus Ordo ( I mean, the Ordinary form of the Roman rite, to use Benedict's terms) is, etc. I don't have any exact links, but trust me, they are out there. So now is an opportune time to post my defense of the Novus Ordo. It will be in parts, obviously, since it is a large project. I'm posting first the introduction, providing a little scriptural meditation and general explanation of the project. The entire series is adapted from my Apologetics presentation from my Junior year at the College. Hopefully it is lucid and understandable.

Apologia pro Novus Ordo Missae

One of the most popular parables in the Gospel accounts is the story of the Prodigal Son. The story is so influential that Pope Benedict XVI, in his book Jesus of Nazareth, uses the parable as one of seven that best summarize Jesus’ teaching ministry. The story is universal in message, delving into the depths of God’s forgiveness, the great gift of salvation. Often a homily on this Gospel will reflect on just that, that no matter what the prodigal son did, the forgiving Father welcomes him back.

So what, you may be wondering, does this have to do with defending the Novus Ordo Missae, now referred to as the Ordinary form of the Roman Rite? The reality is that the parable has a lot to do with Ultra-traditionals, against whom this defense is argued. The parable does not end with the Father embracing the son, and Jesus saying “isn’t that nice; that’s how God loves everyone.” The resolution involves another son. The other son is a good boy. He never left his Father’s side, has never deviated from what his father has set forth, etc. Now his brother, his sinful, stupid brother who had told his father to drop dead, comes home; the Father receives him with open arms. A celebration, the Father cries, for my returned son, and the other son watches in envy. Why, he asks his Father. Why have you never rewarded me for my devotion to you? Should I not be rewarded for my love?

You do not understand, the Father replies. I love you too. You have always been devoted to me, but your brother, while he did not show his love of me as you have, has returned. I love you both. Now rejoice, because you are both my sons.

The message was for the Pharisees, but can also be applied to the Ultra-traditionalist of today. While the Church at large may not see itself as the prodigal son, the Ultra-traditionalists certainly see it that way. What these Ultra-traditionalists do not realize is that they, in labeling the main Church as such, have labeled themselves the other son. They are waiting for their brother to return home and be punished, but are shocked and appalled when they see do not see that happening. What is God doing, they may wonder. Has God abandoned the Church, leaving them as the only surviving (to use their term) remnant of the true Church?

The simple answer is that God will never abandon his Church, that the Papacy will always have a pope on Peter’s chair either actually or potentially) until the end of the world, and that the Mass will never end, no matter what Satan may try, for he has already lost. This is not a reason to be prideful or envious of favor. It is a time of rejoicing. Yet the Ultra-traditionalists, particularly those who argue the invalidity of the Ordinary form of the Roman Rite, stand as firm as the other brother. They produce arguments that, on the surface, seem perfectly align with Church teaching, even more so than what the Church herself produces. There lies the classical danger of those who have stood against the Church and the Pope throughout history. The Ultra-traditionalists claim to come from the same lineage as the defenders of the Church. Unfortunately, they do not see how their reflection shines in the Church’s enemies.

It is against these enemies, the Ultra-traditionalists, that these arguments are aimed. It is in defense of the Church and the Mass, both the extraordinary (the “Traditional Mass,” as it is called) and ordinary (the “Novus Ordo Missae, or New Mass”) forms.

Apologia pro Novus Ordo Missae est.

Friday, September 14, 2007

September 14, 2007

Today is a busy day. It is the feat of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a great feast for the Church (although not high enough for us to eat meat today. Snff!). You want to know what this feast is about? Here, this is a good summery of the history behind the feast from the Catholic News Agency website:

The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320, under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem and the dedication, in 335, of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine which mark the site of the Crucifixion.

Today is also important because it is the 30th Anniversary of the College. For 30 years the College has been teaching students Truth. We have a busy weekend ahead of us. Later today is a special convocation honoring three founders of Catholic colleges that appeared around the 70s, here, TAC, and Franciscan. After that is Mass, offered by Archbishop Burke of St. Louis, an apparently very conservative bishop. He has been one of the loudest episcopal voices against Pro-Choice politicians receiving Holy Communion. I'm one of the servers. I'm trembling inside. After Mass will be some food, music, and then, if the rain holds off, some fireworks. Tomorrow there will be a sort of festive dinner and a dance that night.

Today is also the day that Motu Proprio Summorum pontificum (see my previous posts) goes into effect. That means priests can say the Traditional Mass on their own discretion, with out the explicit approval of the local bishop. This should be interesting to see how things play out in the next year or so.

So that's the abbreviated roundup. Hopefully nothing bad will happen.

Wow, that was dire.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I would like to tell the blogger world that today is my little sister's birthday.

She's getting older,
and so am I.
She's getting more mature
and so should I.

So Happy Birthday, baby sister. May God shower blessings upon you. May you grow this year as never before (not in height though, because then you'll be too tall, taller even than me!).

If I had money enough to spend
And leisure time to sit a while
There is a fair maid in this town
That surely has my heart beguiled
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips
I own she has my heart in thrall
Then fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I finally got my blog rated. I must say, I'm kinda disappointed. I was hoping for a higher rating. Apparently my blog only rates a G.


Like kid movies.

So I need to make my blog edgier. So, shock the censors. . .


Of all my woes in life,
death is among the grimmest,
for even loosing one's very limbs,
does not appall in the slightest.
Only body soul seperation,
causes death and horrid constipation,
No wait, you don't need to worry
about those things that we all hurry
to avoid at all dire cost,
and kill ourselves when at a loss.

well, lets see what that does. I'll comment on the results.
as does

Chorus: the DVD review

As I said earlier, the DVD for Chorus, the first feature length film by Mirandum Pictures came out last week. I have been asked to write a review of the DVD for The Rambler, and you beloved readers (if there are any of you left) get to read it FIRST!

Chorus: The DVD
By. Matthew Rose

One year ago, Mirandum Pictures, the independent film company formed by Christendom alumni Colin Mason, Nick Mason, and Mike Powell with Dr. Keats, released their first full-length feature film, Chorus. On August 27th, the anniversary of the film’s premiere, the DVD for Chorus was made public. The two-disk set contains interesting goodies not only for fans of Mirandum Pictures, but also for fans of film in general.

Chorus, running at about two hours and twenty minutes, is the story of Mandy Holden (played by Laura Shrader), director of her college’s Shakespeare play. When disaster strikes the performance opening night, Mandy is left to wonder what has happened not only to the production, but to herself as well. The film weaves a tale featuring such characters as the mysterious Phil (played by Julian Ahlquist), the quirky Al (Joseph Powell), the friendly Katie (Annie Clark), and the reclusive Katrina (Anna Svendson). Chorus is their story, and begs the view as well as the characters what they consider a stranger.

The DVD is full of features to accompany this powerful movie. The first disk contains the 1:85:1 widescreen feature presentation of Chorus. The sound has been improved from the theatrical release, and the DVD even offers the choice of playing the movie in 2.0 stereo. English subtitles have been included for the hearing impaired. The first disk also contains a full-length commentary on the film, featuring Writer/Producer/Director Mike Powell, Director of Photography Colin Mason, Sound and visual designer Nick Mason, and actors Anna Svendson and Joseph Powell. The commentary answers many questions raised by one’s first viewing of the movie (such as where did so and so get that thing, or what is that character supposed to be thinking, or how did they get that shot). The commentary also draws out the message of the film and highlights spiritual themes, encouraging viewers to see at Chorus in a new light.

The second disk contains the bulk of the special features, including a fascinating documentary chronicling the production of Chorus, trailers for Chorus and Discretion (Mirandum Picture’s first film), deleted scenes with commentary by Mike Powell, bloopers, and a music video for the song “Accepted,” performed by Marie Miller. The documentary tells the film’s story, about people working to make a dream possible. Dr. Keats tells the story of the pre-production dinner where the movie’s plot first formed, as well as explaining the historical importance of the premiere (Chorus was the first movie to premiere in Front Royal in fifty years). Included in the documentary is behind-the-scenes footage filmed during production of the movie, providing viewers with a glimpse into the world of filmmaking. The deleted scenes, as Mike warns at the beginning of his commentary, may be boring, and were mostly cut to speed up the pace of the movie (the original cut of the film was three hours long). The bloopers are, well, bloopers. The “Accepted” music video cuts together clips of Marie Miller in concert with shots from the movie, making a moving song even more so. There is also a hidden treat, an “Easter Egg,” as it are called, on the Special Features disk. However, the viewer is left to find that on his or her own.

Overall this premiere release of Chorus on DVD is an interesting and fitting start to what will hopefully be the beginning of a blossoming career for Mirandum Pictures.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm back

Like a bad sickness, I am back from Ireland.
And Maryland

Ok, I'm back at school. Its the start of senior year. Time for the whole double majoring thing to start hitting me. I have two 40 page thesises due before I graduate: one this semester and another the next.

I should probably be doing reading for the English Reniassance Lit class, but Thomas More's Utopia is not the most exciting work I have ever read. Right up there with, dare I say it, Peers Plowman.

But on a completely different note. . .

CHORUS IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE NOW!!!!!!!! I bought my copy last night.

Hmm, maybe I should watch that with the commentary track turned on. . .

But anyway, a little more on Ireland:

Ireland, as I had said before, was awesome. It is a beautiful country dripping with a history and faith that I have not seen in other places. Unfortunately, it is being brushed away, though not completely. It is a more subtle brushing, a sort of semi-visible, semi-hidden picture of a world from long ago. The historical sites do not tell the whole story for fear of offending. I can see why, with all the more recent turmoil in the country, but still, ignoring or airbrushing history? Maybe its just the historian in me, but I don't think that's right.

I should put samples of my journal on the blog in the coming week. Hopefully.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Here in Ireland

Ireland, for those who have not been here, is an amazing place. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

More on that later, when i have time.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I've been taking classes here on campus for the Ireland trip, so I offer you some insights:

Dr. OD teaches Ireland's history as animatedly as he taught 101. Its great. Sometimes I loose myself in the lecture and just don't take notes. Which then reminds me that I need to do the reading.

Dr. Keats is fun in class. I've never had him before, and he seems to be taking the awkwardness of 2 hours with mostly strangers rather well.

I wrote a poem about Oscar Wilde. Would you like to read it? No? Then skip ahead, meany.

"Wild Wilde"
Oscar was a Wilde boy,
who ran and skipped along
But when he grew, Wilde was wild,
and his heathen side grew strong.

But as he gazed at death's slim door,
he called for a papist priest.
For Wild Wilde was no more,
for the child in Wilde slew the beast.

For those who have been wondering, I'm leaving for Ireland on Monday, and since the Library here at the College will not be open tomorrow, I'm posting this now. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to check the blog (all depending on access to internet in the Emerald Isle), but I am giving you all this fond farewell. So if there isn't an update in two weeks, you'll know why.

Hopefully I'll post pictures, if I remember. Maybe I'll post on things from Rome too. Remember all that, all those years months ago. Its been almost a year since I left for Rome, and now I'm heading again to Europe.

"The Times, they are a'changin," to quote a certain "Song and Dance man," who I argue is a great American poet. Look it up if you don't know who it is. If you do, more power to you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A heck of a lot of memory

So I was in Costco looking for some DVDR DLs (for You Can't Take It With You DVDs, which hopefully will be burning within the next 48 hours). And there it was. LO! the coming of the Lord.

A Tera bite hard drive. That's right. 1,000 Gigabites of memory sitting there to buy. And it was only, drum roll please. . .
. . . . .
. . . .
. . .
. .


That's a lot of memory for not a lot of money.

Somebody tell Mirandum Pictures so they can get one. They need it.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I went and saw Transformers this past weekend. It wasn't that bad. Really. There were plenty of explosions, the acting really wasn't that bad, the main character was a believable character, there were some pretty good camera angles, and the music was good. I liked how most of the film was in a harder, darker light (which made sweaty people look even more sweaty and dirty). There were some scenes that were not, however. They were scenes of peacefulness. The army captain (I forget what rank he was) talks with his wife and daughter via video over the internet. When the camera enters the home where the wife and daughter are, the light is softer. At the end when the day is saved, the setting sun provides a softer touch on the scenes. So from that standpoint it was rather good.
There were some problems with it, however, besides any of the sexual references and discussions, or violence or language or any of the things normally wrong with movies.
The main problem with the movie (this did not hit me until yesterday) was that it wasn't memorable. The script didn't have any astounding one liners or anything like that. There were some memorable scenes, but the movie itself wasn't that memorable.
The other thing that bugged me was that the fight scenes. They were pretty amazing, but not exactly what I expected. The robots didn't use their weapons as much as wrestle. It seemed kinda odd sometimes to watch to giant robots tackling each other.
Of course, remember that these are my opinions. It definitely was a fun ride, but not something to write home to mom about.

Overall I give it ** 1/2 Stars.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thinking about Summorum Pontificum

As anyone who's been reading my blog this summer knows, I'm kinda excited about Pope Benedict's Motu Proprio Summorum pontificum. It should be a great thing for the Church, and I hope that Benedict's prayers come true, shown in the double meaning the letter holds: To promote the use of the Traditional Mass as well as restore dignity and glory to the Novus Ordo. However, I remember something from a couple years ago that has me kinda worried. During my Sophomore year at the College, Draper wrote an article for the Rambler about the Novus Ordo (at least I hope it was Draper. If not, I'm sorry). He discussed its validity, something which, hopefully, I'll post on in the future.

But that's not important right now. Here's what is. Draper, in his article, noted that the arguments against the Novus Ordo that are based solely on aesthetics are not valid arguments. He gives several reasons, mainly that they don't necessarily apply to the Novus Ordo itself. These arguments include: the direction the priest faces (although in the Novus Ordo he usually faces the people, with altars that do not face that way, such as the ones in, say, St. Peter's in Rome, he does not, yet a Novus Ordo is still offered there), the use of Latin (the Novus Ordo can and is often said in Latin, and the Traditional one can be said in the vernacular), and the music.

Music is an important part of any Mass (except for Low Masses, where there is no singing; that applies to both Traditional and Novus Ordo Masses). It is one of the most immediately noticeable part of the liturgy. And, unfortunately, it is one of the most abused aspects ofthe Novus Ordo (it might even the most abused, but I'm not sure where liturgical dancers fit in the picture). Music in a Novus Ordo varies from traditional Gregorian chant (Christendom is a classic, but by no means the only, example of this) to more traditional choral pieces ("Lift High the Cross" anyone) to the much less traditional, which ranges from more recent songs written by Catholics for Catholics to things like songs from Godspell. The music behind the words can be absent (as in chant and polyphonic music), played on an organ ("Lift High the Cross" again, but other songs can be played on the organ. However, "Our God is an Awesome God" sounds kinda weird on it), and more recently, guitars.

Guitars. So much debate over a guitar. The debate will not be held here and now, so stop sharpening your axes.

So anyway, there's this video on Youtube that somebody put together in praise of the Traditional Mass. It does so by showing some pretty bad Novus Ordos (complete with Liturgical Dancing and what looks like badly constructed tables for altars), then contrasting it with a normal Traditional Mass. It gets across the point: The Novus Ordo tends to be disrespectful and sloppy, while the Traditional is beautiful.

And since I'm sure somebody is still reading this post, I'll get to my actual beef. Remember that article by Draper i mentioned earlier? Well, in it Draper brought up a good point. Things like Latin, ad orientem and chant are possible in the Novus Ordo. Similarly, it is possible for a Traditional Mass to be said with guitars, dancing, etc.

Which finally leads to my fears. So lets say the Traditional Mass is widely said, and priests who might not normally want to do so find themselves saying the Traditional Mass. Is it possible that these priests could bring into the Traditional Mass something newer, such as guitars and Kumbyas?

When I hear traditionalists slam the Novus Ordo (not the priests who are abusing it), I think, what if it had not come about? What if there wasn't a Novus Ordo? What if the same priests who have, lets face it, desecrated the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass were left with only the Traditional Mass to play with? What would come of it? Will we ever know?

I hope not, but I still dread that we might soon find out.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I Miss My Rome

The youth group at my parish went on a trip yesterday. No, it wasn't anywhere exciting for them (i.e., a baseball game or the movies). It was to the Franciscan Monastery in DC. The Monastery is an incredible thing. With altars and shrines based on ones around the world, particularly from the Holy Land, the Franciscan Monastery is famous for its beauty. And it is well deserved. It brought back memories of Rome walking in that church. They even had scaffolding, which was great. We took the catacomb tour, which was based off the ones in Rome, and even had the body of a saint, St. Innocent, a child martyr, and some of the bones of another (it brought back the excitement of the Eternal City). I had a blast there.
But before our arrival I was thinking of Rome. I knew what the church there was like, and knew that I would remember Rome, but it was something else that made me write this post, another reason I miss Rome.
In Rome, as you Romers can remember, the sky is pierced with the cross-tipped spires of churches. Every section of the city, it seems, has a church somewhere. You could spend your entire three months to Rome looking around at every church, examining everything about them. All of them, from St. Peter's on the Vatican to St. Andrew on the Quirinal, have something exciting and special in store for the pilgrim if they know where to look. My biggest regret about Rome was that I did not spend more time just walking the streets and entering churches. Oh, how glorious!
I dare now to compare Rome to DC. In DC the sky is also pierced by spires, many of which have crosses on them, just as the churches in Rome do. However, at the ground level, a different story is told. That cross leads not to Christ dwelling on Earth but rather to what in reality is a fancy meeting hall. It was the frequency of this that struck me. There are less Catholic churches in DC. Duh. Any atheist could tell you that. What struck me was that the same mark that labeled the Catholic churches in Rome is used in American to label Protestant ones. But its not the same. Where is the excitement in entering a Protestant church over a Catholic one? Can a Methodist church offer you the body of St. Vittoria, or the chains that held St. Paul? Can a Lutheran church present you with the Holy Eucharist, Christ truly present body and soul there in a tabernacle? What takes place in those hollowed walls of our "separated brethren?" Does it compare to the continuation of Calvary that occurs everyday in a Catholic church? I would say no.
But what struck me the most was the Spires. In Rome I did have the privilege of walking the streets, following after the crosses I saw punctuating the sky. There I would find treasures mentioned above. My heart would dance. Now I saw the spires of DC. I knew if I walked DC, following the crosses, I would not dig up such gold and jewels as in Rome. The treasures of a Catholic church are harder and harder to find.
I know why; I'm a historian. And I'm not stupid. I know the history of Italy and the history of this country. I know that Italy, particularly Rome, would be dead without the Church. The Rome of today has Catholicism in its blood. Not so with DC. I know how Catholics have played such a great role in this nation's history. They have been the unsung heroes of war, and the backbone of many political things. However, this is not a Catholic country. That's the simple truth.
So what have I gained from that afternoon reflection yesterday? Something that has hit me several times. Mary Beth just blogged on this. I have wanted to say something for a long time, but kept forgetting. Now I have time. Now I remember.

I Miss Rome.

updates on Motu Proprio

For those of you who have not gone blog hopping already and have not checked out my friends' blogs (a bunch have stuff on the Motu Proprio already), here is a link to the Latin edition of the document and here is a link to the accompanying letter to bishops explaining what is going on.

Maybe later I'll provide a commentary to go along with the text. Until then, have fun.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Its here

Its here. . .

Want to read the USCCB English translation, go here.

I can't find the orignal Latin as of 8:00 am, Saturday, July 7th. It might appear later though, so keep your eyes pealed.

And remember, changes don't take effect until September 14.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

July 7th

Is this reliable? Will it happen?

Expected Motu Proprio to be published July 7, German newspaper announces

.- Pope Benedict XVI intends to publish his Motu Proprio liberating the Mass of St. Pius V on July 7, 2007 announced today the Vatican correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, Paul Badde.

Badde reported today that Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, presented a copy of the Motu Proprio universally liberating the Tridentine Mass to some 30 bishops from different countries at the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace.

Die Welt’s correspondent only mentions that Cardinal Karl Lehmann from Germany was one of the bishops attending the meeting, which ended with a one-by-one greeting to the Holy Father.

The 3-page long document, signed by Pope Benedict XVI, comes with a letter of explanation about four pages long. The publication of both documents will take place on July 7th.

According to Badde, the letter emphasizes the unity of the Roman Rite, which from now on will have to forms, an “ordinary” and an “extraordinary,” supposed to inspire each other.

The ordinary form will continue to be the Post-Vatican rite; while the extraordinary will be the Missal used until 1962 and written according to the norms established by Pope St. Pius V and confirmed by the Council of Trent –thus the name “Tridentine.”

Ok, this one deals with the Mass. The question is, is this report reliable? And why July 7th?

July 7th is a Saturday. There is no feast on the New calender that day. However, on the Traditional calender (if you go by that one) it is the feast of Cyril and Methodius, great apostles to Moravia, Bohemia, and Bulgaria. It is also the feast, historically, of Blesseds Ralph Milner and Roger Dickenson, who died in 1591, both martyrs of the English persecution. Check here for more saints of that date.

So the questions remain. But should we get so excited about this? Will it change anything?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Motu Proprio

It CAME!!!!!!

Ha, fooled you.

A Motu Proprio did come out today, however, but not the kind that traditionalists have been looking for. It was not one granting universal permission to say the Traditional Mass, nor anything else like that. It was about electing popes. Or at least how to go about doing it.
Pope Benedict has changed the way that popes are elected from what John Paul II instituted, the whole after three days there is a day of prayer and reflection, to the traditional not stopping until a 2/3 majority is reached. Here's the article:

Holy Father changes rules for electing new pope

.- It was announced today that the Holy Father, Benedict XVI has brought back the traditional method for electing a new Pope. Under Pope John Paul II, the procedure was changed to a series of ballots punctuated with time for reflection and prayer if a pontiff was not chosen within the first three days.

The change back to the traditional rules was made public today in a "Motu Proprio," written in Latin. In the letter, Benedict XVI restores the traditional norm concerning the majority required for the valid election of the Supreme Pontiff to two thirds of the cardinals present.

In 1996, John Paul II changed the standard in the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici gregis. Under John Paul II’s rules, a new Pope was validly elected by two thirds during the first three days of voting.

However, after three days of voting without an election, there would be a day dedicated to reflection and prayer, without voting. Thereafter, voting would resume for seven additional ballots, another pause for reflection, another seven ballots, another pause and yet another seven ballots. After which an absolute majority was to decide how to proceed, either for a vote by absolute majority or with balloting between two candidates. This was to happen only in the event that the cardinals arrived at the 33rd or 34th ballot without a positive result.

Cathedral vs. Mosque

Now the first thought I had after hearing about this was "well, at least the cathedral isn't being torn down. That might anger a few people, tearing down a centuries old church, a historical landmark of the highest degree.

Oh wait, I forgot to give you guys the story. Alright, here's the summation, based of the article in The Washington Times:

The population of Muslims in Cologne, Germany is on the rise, and theses followers of Muhammad want a decent place to worship. They want to build a mosque, a big one, like the one in Berlin. That is not the controversy. That little detail lies in the fact that the mosque would be built right next to the cathedral, within two miles of each other actually, pretty close when you think about it. And it is gonna be big. Seating capacity will be 2,000 and the minarets, the fun top parts of the mosque, are 170 feet each. That's pretty big.

They designers are basing the mosque off the one in Berlin, seen here:

The Islamic community has been crying out for a decent place of worship for the last 40 years, and this might be their chance to get out of their basements and move into the public

So why is this causing so much controversy? And why would the the political world care about it? Isn't this a matter of religion, not the State?
Ah, there's the rub. Religion and the State.
You can't have an official State religion, right? That would be mean to all the other religions. So the State should stay out of religious things, right? Well, how do you enforce religious equality while not getting involved with religion? Such is the situation in Germany and throughout the world. I offer not a solution here, but am simply stating a fact.
So what will come of this, and what does it show? Well, for one thing, it shows something that Hillaire Belloc wrote about in his The Great Heresies (I could be wrong about the title) is coming true: a warning of instability as Muslims take over Europe. It happens every time two cultures meet. One fights against the conquerors, and the other is left with two choices: assimilate into the culture, such as what happened with the Romans and Alexander the Great, or try to force the culture into the lives of the conquered, allowing no wiggle room.
What will happen? Could this be another step towards the destruction of Catholic Germany? Hopefully not, but who knows. Only time can tell.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ryan and my parish

Well, we've lost another to the big golden ring. Ryan has been wed to Maria. The execution took place on Saturday, and they could not have been happier. Ryan had that ridiculously goofy grin that paints his face when life goes his way. Maria had that delighted smile that I'm sure Ryan fell in love with weeks before I even knew who she was. The wedding was beautiful. The reception was great. Everything was lovely, and for a moment everything was going great.
I had to leave the reception early. The next day was the 50th anniversary Mass for my Parish. The Main celebrant was Archbishop Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington. It went well enough. There wasn't anything too shocking. Nothing spectacular either. My mom had tried to bring about some traditional, well, not even traditional, just bare-bones what the GIRM requires, things back to the parish for the Mass, and she was shot down.


So it went well enough, as I said. I've determined what my church's sanctuary looked like before the liturgical changes. Its my pleasure to announce that, as far as I can tell, the altar of sacrifice still used to this day is the same one used in the past 50 years. Rather than blowing out the altar and tearing it out of the wall, moving it closer, as had been done in other places, the people who re-did the inside of my church just blew the wall out. . . and built it up again. Rather than moving the altar, they moved the back wall. The tabernacle had not been in the previous wall; rather it was more or less sitting on the altar, and put into the back wall after the new construction.

That made me smile.

So Ryan and Maria's life together has begun (and will continue, mind you. Marriage isn't one of those one day things), and my Parish continues, soon with a new pastor. Hopefully everything will go better with him than with Fr. De, but you never know. If not, it will give me something to blog about.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

“The Most Humble Man on Earth”

I finally wrote it this morning. I know I promised I would write it last semester, during finals week, and then the day after finals, but that never happened. I blame billiards.

So tell me what you think. Its supposed to be funny, so tell me if it is.

“The Most Humble Man on Earth”

By Matthew B. Rose

I’m the most humble man on earth.

Of all men stripped of noble birth

And left to wander the streets at night,

With only a forsaken birth right,

I am the most humble.

I am more holy than a pious priest

Who wages wars with spiritual beasts,

And says his prayers at night before bed,

And strikes his breast, and bows his head,

For he lacks my great humility,

For I am the most humble.

I am mightier than the greatest king,

President, sultan, or other such thing,

Who leads his country from sin and vice,

Hearing whispers of others’ advice,

And shows the advisor as the man

Who thought up that awesome saving plan;

Such great men are mere pish-pash,

Since I am much more humble.

I am more beautiful than the moon,

Reflected near in a child’s spoon.

For the moon steals from the sun

And from theft his light becomes

The source for light in dark night,

And takes the sun’s greater might

And shoves it in his burning face.

Such things cause my heart to race,

For I know I’m more humble.

So for all those whose hearts descend,

Frowning because I am so grand,

Rest assured when you see me pass,

That you are only next to last,

And that you have been greatly blest

And can tonight in your bed rest,

Because you saw my humble face,

That which God could never replace,

That face of incredible birth,

Of the most humble man on earth.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Past weekend

This has nothing to do with bad news.

So this past weekend was a busy one for me. Do you want to hear about it?

Then go away from this post. Jeeez, some people.

Friday was the first day of the IHM homeschooling conference. This is typically the day that I go with my mom and dad and spend $100 on books. Well, I didn't spend that much, but I did get to see some Christendomites as well as buy some books:
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Jesus of Nazareth - Pope Benedict XVI
St. Peter the Apostle - William T. Walsh
The Chapel Veil: Symbol of the Spouse - Elizabeth Black and Emily Griswold
Witness to Hope - George Weigel
Some other books too, but I forgot their names.

Saturday was the annual Softball tournament for the Archdiocese at my parish. Its for teens only, so I didn't play. Our team did come in second place though, again. I got a chance to talk with some of the adults around, which was very interesting. One of the grandparents of one of the teens wants me to write his life story, he says I have a good grasp of the English language, and that I came from a good Catholic upbringing. My parents were happy about that.

Sunday was, as you all know, the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi (unless you only go to Trad Masses, in which case it was the second Sunday after Pentecost. Not as exciting, but you guys had the feast last Thursday. If you couldn't make it, stinks for you). Once again my parish had a Eucharistic procession. There were some differences from the past couple of years. For starters, Fr. PV was in charge, since the previous priest that had run it for the past couple of years had been sent to another parish. He only had us go out to the Marian grotto, where he had set up a table for benedictions, which is where that was held. He had not said the Mass that preceded the procession (the Pastor, Fr. De, said it, but did not attend the procession), but rather came out at the end to bear Our Lord. I was serving, and it was a good thing too, since the only other servers were my brother and another boy, neither of which were assigned to serve. My brother and I were asked to help because of the procession, and the other guy was thrown up there at the last minute. So we were the servers. For the procession I was incensor; that went well. I got to do the incense like we do it at Christendom, which was fun. It went over well.

That was the weekend. Sorry I didn't tell you sooner. Now another one is around the corner, waiting to be had.

More Good and Bad news

You'll be happy to know that this has nothing to do with Ireland. I know you guys are getting sick of it.

So I had my sister order a 500GB external hard drive for me from Overstock.com, a really good site normally. Well, it came yesterday. I was really excited as I opened the box.
There was the hard drive, light and the size of a book, just as described;
There was the cord that plugs into the computer itself;
There were even little sticky pads to help keep the thing from sliding around on the desk.
Exciting eh? Well, there was one thing missing.
When you have an electronic thing such as an external hard drive, it usually comes with a cord to plug it into a wall. Electronics that require more voltage, such as laptops or hard drives, have 2 parts to their power cords, one part plugs into the electronic piece itself, the other part connects the wall to the adapter, thus to the electronic device. The part that plugs into the hard drive itself was in the shipped box.

The part that plugs into the wall was not. Rather it was one for a different machine. The two parts did not fit together.

So I told Emily she needs to return it, which she is willing to do. But first, I'm gonna search around work to see if we here have anything that works. I'm hoping we do.

I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Good news/Bad News

Bad: Senator Santorum has pulled himself and his family out of the Ireland trip. They are not going. I don't get to go to Ireland with a senator.

Good: Guess who was first on the waiting list?
Emily, my sister.
I get to go to Ireland with my sister.

That should be fun.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Surreal, for real

Alright, two surreal moments in one day is not fair. You shouldn't get me that excited about something. Alright, first A, then B

A) "Grampa, I have had a letter from Russia. . . " Siobhan shipped out more info on the Ireland trip. So now I have an exciting clump of papers to tell you about, but the real surreal thing involves who is going on the trip.
Now lets see here, ah, here's the list. Alright, now who's going on this thing. Lets see here. I'm only gonna put the names I recognize:
Julian Ahlquist, Matt Bowman, Dr. and Mr. Burns, Fr. Heisler, Nikole Hill, Lisa Hudson, Dr. & Mrs. Keats, Bobby Lancaster, Katherine Melton, Flannery O'Connor, Dr., Mrs., Dubh, & Bridget O'Donnell, Me, Catherine Trojack. . .
And Senator Rick Santorum's entire family. Like there are 8 of them going (blame him if you wanted seats, but were rejected).
So surreal moment #1 is that I'm going to spend 2 weeks in Ireland with Senator Santorum. I think that's pretty darn surreal.

B) So my mom gets the Angelus Press catalog. No, we're not SSPX. They just sell some really good books. They sell, along with works from their own press, other books from other publishers. For example, in the catalog that we received yesterday, there were several Dr. Carroll books in there. Well anyway, so I was flipping around, seeing all the fun books describing why the SSPX is not in schism, and why Archbishop Lefebvre is really a saint, when I stumbled across this short (23 pages) book for $3.25: The Chapel Veil: Symbol of the Spouse. The title wasn't what caught my eye (of all the things traditional Catholics argue for the restoration of, chapel veils is low on my concerned list) but rather the authors, two young women: Elizabeth Black and Emily Griswold.
Um, I believe I know those people. I believe I went to school with them, and Lo! they have a published work. That's pretty surreal, isn't it?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Will it work?

That is the question that arises in the minds of many Catholics as rumors of the Motu Propio that may come out soon(er or later). Will this decree preserve the Church and unite her with those in schism? I'm not gonna lie, I'm in support of the Traditional Mass, but I don't know if the Motu Propio is going to be coming out soon or not.
However, I could be wrong. My good friend Chris, who is Somewhere, has posted on his blog about the Motu Propio quite frequently, most often in the form of copying and pasting the whole article into the post. Well, I'm no better than him, so here's an article from CNA:

Cardinal Bertone announces Latin Mass to be universally authorized “soon”

VATICAN CITY, June 4 (CNA) - In an interview published this Sunday by the
Italian Catholic daily “Avvenire”, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal
Tarcisio Bertone, announced that the Motu Propio authorizing the universal
celebration of the Mass of St. Pius V—known as the Tridentine Mass—will be made
public “soon.”

During the interview, Cardinal Bertone, said the Motu Propio that would be
signed by Pope Benedict XVI would authorize any priest to celebrate the
Tridentine Mass without the need for prior approval by the local bishop.

The Vatican secretary of State said Catholics “will not have to wait long” for
the publication of the Motu Propio, adding that the Pope “has written an
accompanying letter that explains the reasons for the decision and why he hopes
the authorization will be calmly accepted.”

Cardinal Bertone did not say whether the Motu Propio would open the possibility
for the return to communion with the Rome of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius
X, founded by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated by the
Vatican on June 30, 1988 after ordaining four bishops without the Pope’s
consent. The cardinal also said the Pope’s letter to Catholics in China would
also be published soon, and that it has “already been approved by the Pope and
is being translated into various languages.

Will this solve all the problems, like fully reuniting the SSPX with the Church of Rome, or bringing back other schismatics? Will it satisfy those people I know at school who would probably rather skip Mass on Sunday than go to a Novus Ordo?

I've decided that later this summer, maybe sooner than later, I will post my Apologetics presentation in defense of the Novus Ordo's validity. Will my comments be outdated by then? Who knows.

Until then, God's will be done.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Noise pollution

"I asked the priest if he could start later but he refused, so in the end I brought a complaint of noise pollution against him. I cannot listen to the television or the radio, and reading a book or a newspaper is out of the question." – Flora Leuzzi

Yesterday, in the Washington Times, there was an article on the front page, down at the bottom. It was about how this man, Signore Leuzzi, was fed up with the local practice of the nearby church in quiet Lavagna, Italy. Signore Leuzzi is not talking about some sort of rambunctious rock Mass or some horrible liturgical abuse. He is talking about bells. Church bells to be specific. Leuzzi’s argument is that the constant church bells ringing throughout the day, every 15 minutes to be exact, is disturbing his peace and quiet, his retreat from the noisy world of the city. The bells should not ring.

The Italian Bishops Conference countered, saying that the bells are part of the rhythm of everyday Italian life. They have hired lawyers “to defend their right to ring.”

Fighting against the Conference is the city council of Genoa, the bigger city near Lavagna, who says that the bells are, in fact, breaking noise regulations. Already there have been requests by the council to only chime the bells from 7 am to 10 pm, no earlier or later. The council also asked “that even during religious festivals, chimes last no longer than three minutes. If these guidelines are breached, the churches involved will be fined."

So what does this mean for the Church in Italy? It doesn’t seem the declarations of the council will stop all bell ringing. To quote Monsignor Paolo Urso, of the Bishop’s Conference’s Judicial Office: "The sensibilities of locals must be considered, but at the same time there are also the liturgical practices of the church to bear in mind."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On The Lot

Well, I guess since this is a blog, and blogs normally have deep intellectual meditations, and I’ve been kinda slacking in my meditations, I guess I should provide something. I had something beautiful and brilliant that I thought of last night to write about, but I forgot it. Of course. Maybe it will come to me as I write.

So I finally started watching some TV again. Now that Ed, Edd, and Eddy has fallen into the world of reruns (hoping for a complete series DVD one day), I’ve been forced to turn to other shows to enjoy, maybe something a little more mature or align with my mental capacity.

So you will probably be confused to hear that my new favorite show is on FOX. No, its not House, although I finally saw my first episode of it two weeks ago (it’s a little edgy of a show, but good. Hugh Laurie is incredible. But more on that later). No, my new favorite show tailors to my interests perfectly. It is a reality show, one where you get to vote for your favorite contestant. Yes, it is a shameless take off of American Idol, but there is something different about this one. Very different.

The show is called On The Lot. It is set in Hollywood, land of dreams. There are now 18 (there were 50, soon to be 15) contestants on this show, although they do not need to sing or dance to stay alive. They need to direct movies. And they only have so much time too. The prize: a $1 million deal with Dreamworks to direct a movie for them, executively produced somehow along the line with Steven Spielberg. So they do their thing, hoping, praying. . .

They first had to pitch a movie based on a predetermined logline. Some of them did rather well, others not so well. So that was the first wave of cuts. Then they had to work in groups of 3 to make a 2:30 movie in 24 hours. That cut a bunch of people too.

So that brings me to last night’s show. They had to work on a 1 minute comedy movie; they were all shown last night, and now we America are to vote on which we liked best. Except you only had 2 hours to do it last night, so I missed my window of opportunity. So now I’m worried that my favorite guy won’t make it, etc. He’s a family man, my favorite guy, with two kids and a loving wife. This will probably be his only chance to make it in the movie business. So I like him. His mind for stories is very nice, and it feels like he is a dad at heart. His minute clip was a neat thing about a guy who picks up a lucky penny, and then horrible things happen to him. It was really funny, kinda cute, etc. In other words, it was really well done, funny, and didn’t have to resort to bathroom or sexual humor (although one of the ones with bathroom humor was really funny).

Not all were like that though. Even when there was only a 1 minute runtime, there were still movies with 2 guys kissing, a man and woman feeling each other up in the security check for an airline, nice family friendly stuff like that. But most were not like that. Now I don’t know if that’s because the directors didn’t have enough time to work that in, but I’m hoping its because they’re above all that.

Either way, it looks like an interesting series, and even if my guy gets kicked off, I’m sure I’ll continue watching it.

Fun Times

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Yes, that's right children. Its summer time. You know what that means, its time for Matthew's


Thats right folks. its time for me to tell you, oh most captivated audience, of my remarkable deeds so far, since myself and my school friends parted. Ok, here goes it:

I've finally put away most of my stuff. In order to do that, i had to go through my closet and get rid of clothes that don't fit me. That opened up a decent amount of room in that doorway to Narnia.

I have decided to have an elaborate dinner reminiscent of of Rome. It will involve sausages cooked with whiskey, green beans, and gelato (the Giant up the street from my house sells it). I'm really excited.

I've been reading The Idiot by Dostoyevsky, but its slow going. I'm only 1/4 of the way through it.

I've started work, which is going fine, thanks for asking. I'm working again at UMD, except this year I should be doing other stuff besides just help desk things. That should work out alright. I'm there right now, actually.

I need to get stuff for my thesis (thesi, thesises, i don't know).

So thats all i can think of right now.

how bout you? what do you have to show for your efforts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Ok, finals are over. I don't think I failed any of them, in other words, I'm now a freaking SENIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now two thesi, thesises, whatever, left to go. Ok, two of those, and two semesters worth of classes left too.

So now that it is summer, I can blog more, with more stuff too. . .
Doesn't that make you excited?

And that will start as soon as I start working at UMD. . . in a week.

SO be patient.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Finals time is here. Which means we must take finals.

Finals: From the Latin finalius, meaning for "end"

Used in a sentences: "My Finals are gonna kill me."

I've got three down. The first being the Apologetics presentation mentioned earlier, defending the validity of the Novus Ordo Missae. The next two were today. Early in the morning I had Shakespeare's Histories and Tragedies, which I feel went well. Then there was Modern Philosophy. That hurt. I mean, that felt like I was being punched like no other. It was terrible. I answered everything, but I know I didn't get full credit for a single answer.


But that is the past. Now to the future!

I have no exams tomorrow, two on Wednesday, and one on Thursday. That one on Thursday is a Seminar, so that should be fun.

Maybe later I'll post an actual thought provoking post.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A milestone

I reached a milestone in my life. I finally pulled an allnighter. That's right, little old me. It was for the Rice Paper, which i finished at 6:30 am. I had 8:30 Historiography, and then Modern Phil (I also felt like just skipping them, but I decided against that. So I just nodded during class). The paper is 11 1/2 pages long, with 31 footnotes. It is beautiful.

Watch me do bad on it too.

Oh well. I'm really tired now. I decided to say "forget you" to the American Intellectual and Cultural History reading, and take a little rest of the ol' eyes. Yeah. . .

That sounds goooddd.......


Monday, April 16, 2007


No this will not make you sick. Just relax.

Easter Sunday
Patrick, Emily, Mommy, and I went to Easter morning Mass. Fr. PV (i'll call him that) said Mass. Twas better than the vigil, nothing like a College Mass, of course, but still pretty awesome in parts.
Fr. PV says we should start a Latin Mass Society for the parish, and get priests from around us to say Novus Ordos in Latin on Sunday. He would do it for us, but he ships out to Iraq this summer.

Tis a shame.

PPS I got my Shakespeare test on Hamlet back today.
drum roll..........


That's an A, for those of you who were wondering.

Ok, that's it for now. Now on to write the papers!!!!

Update time

Ok, I guess since I promised you an update, I should post something. Jeez, you all are demanding.

First Easter Break. Holy Thursday was good, pretty standard, except we did something different from all other years in my memory. In years past we brought Jesus from the tabernacle and set him out for adoration off to the side in the church where Mary's statue stands normally. There He is adored for a couple hours, then brought to the chapel in the rectory. Normally that's what happened, or at least under the old pastor. But he got transferred to another parish in DC.
So now we have De as pastor. De has made several changes in the church since arriving, most of them not good. He did something with the lights, spending $10,000 to replace lights that, as far as the parish was concerned, worked fine. There are other things too (see previous post concerning living nativity in Christmas Eve Mass) but this was different. So this year for Holy Thursday, Jesus was processed out of the sanctuary, down and all throughout the church, and brought into the Crying Room, where the temporary tabernacle had been set up.There He reposed, accesable for private adoration. This was odd, but I could live with it. Besides, He was just going to be placed in the tabernacle in the rectory soon. No worries. My family left before he normally would've been processed out of the church. Such was the end of Holy Thursday.

Little did we know what De had decided concerning the cimborium.

Good Friday
Good Friday came. It was a busy day, for my brother had two performances of the teen group's living Stations of the Cross, one to be done at our old pastor's new parish, and one done at our home parish. He played Jesus (rather well, if i do say so my self). So the original staging for the stations has the men carrying the dead Jesus away, depositing him in the Crying Room. Well, I went in there to check to make sure all was well in there, that they actors would be able to put him in there, etc. Lo and behold, there in the room were the tabernacle, table, and extinguished candles. Hmm, thinks I. I open the tabernacle, thinking to myself "he wouldn't have forgotten. Please tell me he didn't forget to move the cimborium with Jesus in it. I opened up the tabernacle door, and behold, there is the cimborium. I left, and told Mom, who goes with me back into the Crying Room. I open the tabernacle and show her the cimborium. Well, she asks, is it empty. My mother, remember, is probably more traditionally Catholic than I am when it comes to these things. I said i didn't check. So I put my hand in my sleeve, and lifted the lid of the cimborium slightly, then closed the lid, closed the tabernacle, and bowed low, asking for the Lord's forgiveness.
He was still in there. They never brought him out of the church.
Well, decided my mother and me, the actors can't go in there. Jesus is there. So now what? Well, I'm not sure. I think it all ended up well. I didn't watch where they put my brother's body.
So we went to Good Friday service. Ah, Good Friday. When even the most ultra extreme traditionalists use terms like communion service to refer to the official Church function. No Mass, remember. So we get there to service (this just feels so awkward to say) and everything goes fine, and the Body of Christ is distributed to the hungry hearted. There were even traditional type songs sung, like "O Sacred Head Surrounded," which I did not hear before comming to the College. So again my family departed the church, knowing that we would return the next night for the Vigil, since my brother was serving, and my sister reading one of the readings.

Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
Vigil time. Fr. Parochial Vicar, a type traditional priest who is scared of making waves, sang the Exsultet beautifully. Then at the Gloria, he intoned it in Latin, and Emily and I continued it in Latin, until we stopped, and looked at each other. The Choir had continued the Gloria in English. We sang along in English, saddened. We only read 3 old testament readings, not all seven, which bummed me out. During the Canon (we used Eucharistic Prayer 3), Fr. De dropped the ball when it was his turn to continue the prayer at the end, so the poor souls in purgatory were left out. Thats ok though. My family still prayed for them, as did Fr. Par. Vic. During distribution of Communion, the choir sang one of my favorite songs, Ubi Caritas.
Except it was in English. It didn't translate that well: ibi est doesn't go into English that well.
At the end of Mass, when there is normally a final Blessing, where the Priest sends you out, well, we kinda skipped that part.
The bright side: One more person came into the Parish. I love it.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Easter has come, Christ has risen. . .

We made it through the night.

More when I get back to campus. I have something to say.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Done did it

Well, I am finished (i hope) with Apologetics. I took the midterm on Tuesday (50%) and today I delivered my presentation (the other 50%). It seemed that it went over well, and the questions were not that harsh. See the earlier post on the Project. The Theologian was most supportive of my defense after i gave it. I hope we manage to not have the final, because that will probably break my heart.

Well, only 35 papers left to write.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Holy. . .

I leave this title unfinished for whoever to fill in with their desired conclusion. I found out something interesting today. But first, some backstory. . .

My little brother tried out for the JV baseball team at his school (he didn't make it, but that's not important right now). but in order for him to try out he had to sell a certain amount of tickets for this raffle. Ok, its a raffle of sorts. Your number isn't drawn from a hat. Its based on the "Pick Three" Maryland Lottery each night. Whatever number they draw, thats the number for the night. For weekdays the winnings are $50, but on Saturday the winnings are $200. Well, for those who haven't guessed where I'm going, I won last Saturday (St. Patrick's day, of all days), thus winning $200. Well, my mom told me that earlier today, when I called her. Well, she just called me like an hour ago, and said I won for tonight. I looked myself, and lo and behold, the winning number is mine. But not only that, the number is the same one that won me the $200.

I think my prayers at the beginning of the year for God to help me with my money needs has been answered.

And I've got all the things I need to write up my Apologetics presentation. The Play's this weekend. I'm excited. Are you excited?

Things are coming together.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Well, now I'm back at school. Break was a lovely break, with sevearal movies seen (You, READER! Go, leave your computer now, and go rent The Prestige and The Illusionist. They are excellent.), some reading finished (no more Von Balthasar) and some more of that fun reading for the Apologetics presentation, which hopefully will go well. I hope I don't get ripped apart by my fellows.

Speaking of hellish weeks (not hell week, for I'm not in the play. Poor kids, that all starts next week), The last week in March is very, um, oh, I'll just say it. Its gonna be Hell. But enough about that.

I'm working on an article right now showing that Gladiator is a Senecan Drama. Don't worry if you don't know what I'm talking about. It will all make sense in time.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Break (and a minor rant)

Well, here I am. On Spring Break. At home.


My sister Clare has just been confirmed. She took the name Philomena, which means she has completely taken over my birthday with her feast days. Stinks. But anyway, this is a joyous occasion, because she now is filled with graces that many people in this country do not have and will not get for several years. I am refering to the horrible trend throughout the country of dioceses pushing confirmation ages later and later, some waiting until the confimande are 16, others refusing to allow the sacrament on those under 18. Yet what does that lead to, but hundreds of youth unready for the world, shoved into it without the graces of the great sacrament of Confirmation.

Enough of that rant though; that is for another time.

So I have more stuff to read, namely to catch up on my Von Balthasar reading for Historiography, read some Agrarian stuff (knda not the most excited about that, but at least it doesn't look to hard to read), go over some of my books for the Apologetics presentation (ahh), and still keep sane.

Break. Right.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Decades Dance

Well, this is a picture of me, as a hipster, for our decades dance. For those who are interested, a hipster is a liberal arts or regular art school graduate who is a genius (in his own mind)
yet for some reason can't get a job; they are also known as beatniks. In other words, my whole class in about two years. Well, there were a lot of
them in the late 70s and early 80s, so they fit perfectly with the theme of the dance. Note the smokes in my right hand and notebook of poetry and modern art sketches in the left. Captain Oblivious' hat is on my head. Next to me is Monica, one of the Sophmores who seem to end up hanging around us all the time. I think she went as a hippie. Everybody went as a hippie. Well, actually, no, a lot of people went as other things, but there were a lot of hippies. Hippies are just so dang cool, that everyone wants to be them.
Of course, the one year I decided not to go as a hippie. . .

But yes, apparently there are more pictures of me somewhere, but I don't know where.
Hopefully I will find them and post some, or maybe all. I don't know what they are, or even if you can tell its me.

Such is life.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Fourth Spring

This is an essay I have written for the College's student journal, The Rambler. Hopefully it is not that incomprehensible. If there are any flagrent errors, then tell me. But remember, its published next week or so, so comments must be prompt. Grazia!

The Fourth Spring

In the last issue of the Rambler, John Jalsevac, editor extraordinaire, wrote about Ken Ferguson of M-Power media, a Catholic production company. Mr. Jalsevac commented that Mr. Ferguson urged Christendom students to get involved in movie making, that movies are a powerful medium. Such words of inspiration are true; much emphasis should be given to the art of moviemaking in today’s world for a very specific reason: a new spring is coming.

By spring I am not merely talking about the time of year when flowers come from the cold frozen soil, although the term is used equivocally. Rather, the new spring refers to a movement in the culture. Dr. Schwartz, in his book The Third Spring, discusses the “spring” that blossomed in the first half of the twentieth century. A “spring”, as one finds from reading the book, is a time of converting the culture to a Catholic renewal, the embodiment of this schools motto: to restore all things in Christ. The spring before “the third spring” was called the “second spring” by John Henry Newman, and consisted of the late Victorian convert writers such as Oscar Wilde and even Newman himself. The third one consists of names familiar to all: Chesterton, Dawson, Greene, Waugh, and even those who did not fully convert to the Church, but nevertheless became devout Christians, such as Lewis and Eliot.

What these “springs” have in common is the rebirth of Catholic culture through their converted writers. The converts approached their new found Faith with eagerness, desiring to express their joy in words. Whether one writer is more elegant or “better” than another, it cannot be denied that their Catholic faith, even those who were not Catholic per se, had a profound influence on their work. Because of their efforts, the culture was changed, and as when spring arrives,


Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain,[i]

so also the “springs” brought forth spiritual life from its writers’ pens.

So how do these writers of turn of the century England and America relate to our modern world? Its rather simple. What we are seeing is a new spring flowering. What happened a century ago is happening again. This time, however, it is not happening just in the writers of essays, poems, songs and stories, but also in a new format: films. How are films in the same field as poems and stories? Well, like poems and stories, a film utilizes creative writing, as well as visuals via the camera. Like plays films spread a message to the populous through audio-visuals..

We here at Christendom College have already seen some bits of this new form of the Catholic literary revival in our own Wojtyla-Ratzinger Film Club, a student club on campus whose principle aim is to make movies they hope will reflect their Catholic Faith. Even more prominent is Mirandum Pictures, the production company started Christendom grads Mike Powell, Nick & Colin Mason, and Dr. Keats. For these gentlemen, the Catholic literary revival is not some relic of the past but something to carry into the new millennium. Concerning their recently released film Chorus, Mike Powell said, "The object was to show the Catholic faith as something that’s real and assumed in the lives of Catholics, not something that is justified or self-conscious, but real, just there."[ii] This is not some simple hobby, but is a real attempt to fulfill the Christendom mission in the real world.

M-power is another example of the same thing. The movie Bella, which they co-produced, was a huge success at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and came home with the festival’s highly coveted People’s Choice Award, one of the most respectable awards this side of the Atlantic. What this movie has, as far as I have heard, that separates itself from other movies is its genuine Catholic content. And they are not alone in the film industry. Plenty of other film companies, least of which is Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions, are craving for the type of movies that come from Catholic producers.

There are other Catholic creative writers making mainstream waves. Although it is not strictly Catholic, there is rising interest in Christian music, including bands like Switchfoot, who manage to produce Christian songs for the popular culture. Others are following in their wake. In the realm of literature, that is books, there are several Catholic writers out there writing fiction and non-fiction alike for an eager hungry populous. Anne Rice, famous for her novels of vampires and witches (anyone ever seen Interview with a Vampire?), reverted back to the Faith in 1998, after having left at 18. She promised “that from now on I would write only for the Lord.”[iii] Her next three novels, the first one already released, concern the early years of Christ’s life, written from his perspective, drawn from such sources as the Apocrapha (the Gospel of St. Thomas, etc.), New Testament scholarship, and traditions surrounding the “lost years” of Christ’s life. There is Nicholas Sparks, another Catholic, whose novels, while not always involving Catholics, at least has Christian morals and messages within. Regina Doman is another more local example. Also, with the increased interest in Tolkien, Lewis, and others in today’s world, it can not be denied there is a market. And where there is a market, people will come and, as it were, feed.

So maybe in 100 years men will look back at the turn of the twenty-first century and note that their Catholic world is indebted to the great literary works of writers from Christendom College and their like. Maybe it will be you that people remember so many decades from now.

Go, my fellow students! Write for our Lord!

[i]T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland.

[ii]Anna Svendson, “Independent Filmmaking in the Making: The Newest Powell/Mason Production, Chorus,” The Rambler.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


This whole Apologetics thing is really getting to me. i'm doing my presentation on defending the Novus Ordo against those who say that it is invalid. The problem is, the literature of the side I'm arguing messes with one's head. I mean, here I am, reading the random Ultra-tradie stuff, and it makes sense in parts, but not in others. I did see coming, of course, the degradation from saying the New Mass is invalid to sedevecantism, but some of the other arguements are a little harder to stop. Captian Oblivious is very helpful for keeping my head above water. I am eternally indebted to him, and will hopefully soon see the friuts of our labors.

Pray for me, that I will not give into the test.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An Accident?

If one listens to the beginning of James Blunt's song "Billy" (that's the same song which I previously posted the lyrics to) and the beginning of "Chariot" by Gavin DeGraw, one will hear similar sounding music.

Its a little jarring at first, and was one of the first things I noticed when I heard the song. I just thought I would let you know.