About Me

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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, 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.