Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Try and keep up, would you now deary, thank you.
“New Years 2008”
Another year is closing, another one dawning,
And somewhere, out there, someone is yawning.
Some major big changes happened this year,
So shut up your singing and lend me your ear
(I’m sorry to bother you, but I think you should hear).
I wrote a big thesis, it weighs a ton
But during the writing, boy I sure had fun.
I have a BA, (but its sort of BS),
Since I majored in English and History, I guess)
Worked through the summer, then got a real job
Teaching some youngsters, most of ‘em slobs!
(I don’t mean that jab. Please, no tears and sobs)
I visit my friend, and strain for a life,
Outside of teaching and grading and dodging the scythe
(And yes, I’m still single, and still have no wife)
And thus I look forward to the New Year ahead.
Will it be lively, or will it be dead.
(With Dems in charge, I’m voting for dead)
Lets hope it gets better, rather than worse,
And maybe a sports team will throw off its curse,
And maybe I’ll find out my vocation
And spend some time during summer vacation
Traveling round to places so cool,
And maybe the College will get a new pool.
(Non Sequitor, I know, but it rhymes with “cool”)
So here’s to the prayers for luck and success,
And blessings and blessings and all of the rest.
Happy New Year to you, and yes, you too.
I’ll see you on the flip side, East-side of this zoo.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
"If God exists, then there is no meaningless time, no time devoid of significance. Every moment has its value, even if all I an do is to endure my illness in silence. If God exists, then there is always something to hope for, even where no human voice can any longer summon me to hope. And old age and retirement are no longer the last stage of my life, a position from which all I can do is look backwards: for something greater always lies ahead, and it is precisely the time of an apparent uselessness that can be the highest form of human ripening. Christian hope does not devalue time. On the contrary, it means that every moment of life possesses its own value; it means that we can accept the present and that we out to live it to the full because everything we have accepted in our heart will remain." (Joseph Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI], The Blessing of Christmas, p. 26)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Fr. S is a little more apathetic, so maybe I'll be able to MC a good Mass on Christmas as well.
So here's my reason for posting: Any Suggestions? I want to have the Mass be the most beautiful it can be. I have a limited idea of what fits well at a Christmas Midnight Mass.
Well, let the suggestions begin!
Monday, November 24, 2008
I want him to go to the College. I think he would like it there, would have a lot of fun, and would get the intellectual and spiritual burst he needs. Also, it will give him two years of time to change his mind regarding majors.
Or he might go somewhere else. He's a big boy. He can make his own decisions.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Antiquarianism is the claim that ancient rituals are more suitable for worship and the liturgy by the very fact that they are old. It is widely held to be a heresy, defined as such by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Mediator Dei. An ultra-traditionalist usually argues that the changes in the liturgy that are contained in the Novus Ordo are clear examples of this heresy. They cite a passage from Mediator Dei that seems to describe many of the changes brought about in the Novus Ordo:
One would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored
to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the
liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in
Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's
body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and
reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to
regulations issued by the Holy See. (62)
It seems clear that the document is attacking directly what the Novus Ordo has brought about. How often does one go to a modern Catholic church and see an altar that looks more like a table than the folding tables in the parish hall? When was the last time black was readily used during funerals or on All Soul’s Day? Has anyone not entered a church with a resurrected Jesus coming off of the cross or another church seemingly devoid of all religious images? How close to polyphonic music is the music in a modern gospel Mass or your typical folk Mass? These changes seem to have taken place, despite the expressed statements against it of a previous pope.
However when one reads the rest of the encyclical, one notices that Pius XII is condemning something different than the changes mentioned above. Pius XII is rather condemning the act making such changes without the approval of the Holy See. Pope Pius clearly says in that same encyclical that what he is condemning is the abuse of one’s authority. He says in another place that, “It follows from this that the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification” (58). He states later in that Paragraph, “Private individuals, therefore, even though they be clerics, may not be left to decide for themselves in these holy and venerable matters” (Ibid.). Clearly it is a matter of authority. If the Holy See, the Pope with a Pontifical council, decides that it is ok for the liturgy to be in the vernacular, it is different than if Fr. X, a random pastor at a random parish, decides to put everything in the vernacular. This also works in reverse. If Fr. S, a more traditionally minded priest than Fr. X, becomes pastor and decides to pray some prayers of the Mass, but changes them to the prayers in older missals, without any Episcopal approval. The condemnation is a double edged sword, hitting both ultra-traditionalist and ultra-liberals in one foul swipe.
Thank you for reading these posts. For those who are in support of the Ordinary Form, I hope you have learned more about the Mass and have gone away with a deeper love of this Holy Sacrifice. For those who came to bash the Novus Ordo, I hope you have been convinced of the error of your ways. Either way, let me know if you would like any more information, if I made any mistakes, or if you just want to say hi. Thank you again.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
No, not Obama winning the presidential seat (although I think I offended some of my students when I said I didn't like Obama, and was sad that he won). I'm talking about another death, the passing of another celebrity close to my heart.
Michael Crichton. Author extrodinaire.
Michael Crichton has written some of the coolest books I have ever read, including Jurassic Park, one of my all time favorites. He also, in case you didn't know, created the TV show ER. How bout that?
We all must go, but he was only 66. One wonders what wonders and works he still had in him. Was he working on another great novel? What whirlled in that man's brain?
I guess we'll never know for sure.
But we can hope he makes it to heaven. It is, after all, the month of Holy Souls.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Paul Newman was, as far as I can tell, that odd sort of Hollywood actor who hated Hollywood. He loved acting, but he hated the Hollywood world, that sort of elitist capsule of people who would rather sun by a swimming than meet people. Mr. Newman, on the other hand would go out and help people. Many people know of Newman's Own, the company of salad dressings and other delectables founded by Paul and his wife. The proceeds from the sales of those products go to charity. Not some of the proceeds. All of them. The Newmans get nothing from it.
The world will miss the man, not only for such awesome roles in movies that will never fade from the cultural imagination (Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cars), but also for his work in helping others.
Here's the link to a rather good article about Paul Newman.
May his soul rest in peace. Amen.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Today was the first day of the rest of my life. IT was the day that would define me as an adult. It was my first day of teaching.
Class went well. I survived, and so did the kids. It was hot (no AC + broken fan = hot, thirsty kids and a sweaty teacher) and sometimes awkward, but we made it. Tomorrow will be more of the same, with me doing intro stuff with the other half of the 8th grade.
Its only 1/2 days this week, so we'll see what happens next week, when we get together for the whole day. . .
Keep up the prayers.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Is it a talk show site?????
Is it both?????
Hope for the talk show bit, because its my friends from college, and they are butt ugly. . .
But anyway, hopefully it will be interesting, maybe even not too boring.
Listen in. The podcasts will appear on this blog.
Or just follow their link on the left side of this blog page.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Regardless, it happens to us all. Here I am, on the threshold of a new year in my life, and as I stare at the vast marble notebook before me, I am curious as to what exactly will happen. I know that I have a rather exciting year ahead of me, what with teaching et al. Who knows what will, in fact, happen. Maybe I'll find riches, being able to settle down and read/write for the rest of my life. Actually, I wouldn't want that. If I come into great wealth, I think I'll get a doctorate first, and then teach college, and then retire and read and write.
Maybe I'll find love, or it will find me, or let me catch it, or something. Maybe I'll save someone's life without realizing it. Maybe I'll win awards and honors and have my name be something grand.
Maybe I should do what is best for me right now, that is, live every second of my life like it was my last, like at any second I could meet Him who made me, He who is the eternal judge and knows what will happen to me.
It is amazing what freedom can do to one's head.
So I enter this life. Maybe I'll get published in a journal, or maybe I'll have my students listen to me. Maybe I'll write the Great American novel, or maybe I'll read it myself, penned by the hands of my friends. I know that something great is coming. As Mr. Akers, one of my professors during my semester in Rome (the original purpose for this blog, if I'm not mistaken), wisely stated, this generation is bound to produce great things. When there is the slaughter of the innocent, particularly the infants and the unborn, in otherwords, when life is cut short by the hands of men, great things come about and great men arise. God uses tragedy to shine his light through his instruments. Moses was the product of this. Jesus, the Light of the World, came from this background of horror (think slaughter of the Holy Innocents at the hand of King Herod). The Holocaust produced great heros, Saints, and Martyrs. We can only hope to follow in their footsteps, and yet it seems like we are doing just that. We are the next generation of the Church. We are the immediate successors in the world. We hold in our grasps the salvation of the world, torn apart by death and violence, infidelity and promuscuity, lies and betrayals.
This is what I face this year. This is what awaits me this coming year.
However, as mentioned before, I have a sign.
In Hoc Signum Vinces. In this Sign, Conquer.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Topic I - The upcoming elections
I have remained silent on political matters simply because they are not what excite me (albeit, I haven't really posted on what does excite me, but that's besides the point). Politics is too corrupt and confusing, filled with muddy waters and depressing disappointments as promises are broken. Plus the two main candidates, BO and JMC, really don't appeal to me. I definitely don't want BO to win such a seat of power, with his sly charms and tricky workaround answers to problems, nor do I really want JMC, who doesn't seem to have much to offer either. BO will probably win (one of my friends noted that BO's followers still love him even when he walks all over them) and all us conservatives are going to cry themselves to sleep. However, even if JMC wins, we conservatives will cry, for he is not very conservative, even though he is supposed to represent the relatively conservative party. The conservative candidates, it seems, are to be found in third parties only, not in the major ones. At work, the majority of my coworkers lean on the BO side side of things, and see JMC as the stupider of the candidates. However, BO does tend to tug on people's hearts with his elegant words. Why else would he admit to his adoring supporters in Lansing, Michigan that there is nowhere he would rather be on his birthday (it was his birthday that day) than Lansing, Michigan?
We'll see what I do come election time.
Topic II - Classroom management
For those of you who have not heard, I am one of the newest employees of Mt. Calvary Parish Catholic School in Forrestville, MD. I am the new 6-8th grade Language Arts teacher, in charge of teaching the future how to read, write, and speak the English language.
Its a pretty steep task.
My classroom is an ugly shade of sea green, with matching shades. I am working on making the classroom look cooler, hanging posters, etc. Maybe, if you're nice, I'll post pictures. . .
Hmm, this isn't very random. Maybe I'll think of something else later.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Something washed ashore of a beach the other day in Montauk, New York. Nobody is sure exactly what it is. Some say a turtle without a shell. Others say a dog that's been pickled by the ocean. Jeff Corwin, Animal Planet host, holds its a rotten raccoon. Others say it is a new creature, a monster worthy of MONSTER QUEST.
The picture doesn't help much.
I hope somebody was smart enough to gather some DNA stuff from the thing. Or maybe take a better picture?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The changes will not take effect for a while, a good thing, so as to avoid the liturgical and linguistic confusion that followed the promulgation of the Mass in the vernacular following Vatican II.
The full article can be here or one can read a blog post on it by Fr. Cusick, a priest I know, here.
I'm excited. Hopefully it will cut down on the number of people raising their hands with the priest when they say "and also with you."
But some people never change.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
He claims to have them. . .
Storm Heaven, my friends! Please!
Morris, MN, Jul 16, 2008 / 01:11 pm (CNA).- University of Minnesota Morris biology professor and science blogger Dr. Paul Zachary Myers, who last week threatened to desecrate the Eucharist and to broadcast the act on the internet, says he has acquired Eucharistic Hosts consecrated at a Catholic Mass.
Prof. Myers explained in an e-mail to CNA that he has received the Eucharist from several people. “So far, the crackers I have received have been given to me in person or sent to my home address.”
Myers has been derisively referring to the Eucharist as a “cracker.” He began his desecration campaign on his scienceblogs.com blog “Pharyngula” in reaction to an incident at the University of Central Florida in which a student senator allegedly held the Eucharist hostage.
When asked by CNA whether he considered taking consecrated Hosts from a Catholic church to be theft, he replied:
“I'm not taking the crackers from any church. I'm not interested in attending church, nor would I misrepresent myself as a Catholic to receive it.
“It is freely handed out to people taking communion in the church. The people who are sending me crackers have received it openly,” he wrote.
Myers also could not see how others could consider taking a consecrated Host to be theft. “No. This ‘theft’ nonsense is a rationalization people are making up to justify hysteria.”
Myers said the reason to abuse a Host is “to expose the witch-hunt tactics of extremist Catholics like Bill Donohue.”
CNA asked Myers if he had received any “intellectually worthy” replies to his desecration threat, to which he responded “No.” “It's your job to give me one. ‘I will pray for you,’ ‘you must hate Catholics,’ and ‘why don't you desecrate a Koran?’, which are the most common messages I'm being sent, are not rational.
He noted that his blog Pharyngula has an open comments policy where critiques are already posted.
On Friday the Catholic League reported that Thomas E. Foley, a Virginia delegate to the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Minneapolis has asked that increased security be considered for the event in light of Myers’ threat to acquire and desecrate the Eucharist.
“I just felt security at the Republican National Convention ought to look at him and his followers,” Foley told CNA in a phone interview on Wednesday morning. He reported that he had not received an update about his request.
Voicing his concerns about Myers, Foley said: “What I think he has done, he’s loaded a cyberpistol and he’s cocked it and he’s left it on the table. He may have set something in motion that no one can stop. It was irresponsible, a hell of a thing to do.”
Foley explained that he thought Myers should not be able to incite such acts with “impunity,” saying that he was especially disturbed by the comments posted on Myers’ blog. He said it was “eye-opening” to read the people who supported Myers’ action. Even at his age of 63, Foley said, he had never “personally encountered such bigotry.”
He also objected to Myers’ recent description of Catholic League President Bill Donohue as “braying,” which Foley, a self-described Irish Catholic, claimed was “a great insult for the Irish.”
Foley said he believes Myers was telling his readers to acquire a consecrated Host at Mass, which Foley thought would result in disruptions.
“What’s he telling them to do? Consecrated Hosts are not just lying around,” he said to CNA, noting that the only other possible way to secure a Host would be to accost a priest, nun, or layman taking the Sacrament to the sick. Even E-bay, Foley emphasized, has prevented the sale of consecrated Hosts.Foley said he thinks Myers’ actions have ended his career. “Who can listen to him lecture on science without thinking ‘Polly wants a cracker’?” he asked.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
To deny the invalidity of the Mass, even more recent forms such as the “Novus Ordo,” is a grave matter, for claiming invalidity opens up a Pandora’s box of other conclusions. If the “New” Mass is merely invalid, is an error that has been promulgated by all stages of Church hierarchy for the last 40 years, including all popes from Paul VI to our present day Holy Father, Benedict XVI. Such a claim is serious, for it undermines the right mind and authority of the Magisterium. On one hand, if the “Novus Ordo” is invalid because the intention of the priest is not the “intention of doing what the Church does,” as stated in the September 2002 issue of The Angelus, then there is no way that a member of the congregation can know for sure if the Mass is valid, and therefore must avoid any association to the form. On the other hand, if the Novus Ordo itself is sinful or heretical (sinful in its nature by promoting sacrilege or heretical by promoting heresy), then those who promote it are sinful/heretical, and therefore the popes from Paul VI through Benedict XVI are heretics. But a formal heretic cannot be pope, and therefore the see of Peter has been empty for 40 years, a series claim for any Catholic, much less a devout one. This, therefore, is no light matter and requires not a passing glance, but rather a firm examination.
I will first examine the claim that the Novus Ordo is invalid in itself, that is, in the matter and form of the sacrament.
The core of the validity of any sacrament lies in the matter and form of the said sacrament. The matter is the physical action or substance used, the physical vehicles for conveying grace. The form is the words spoken. For example, in baptism, the matter is the water poured on the recipient’s head and the form is the words “N. I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” That is the bare minimum for a valid baptism.
For the Mass, the matter and form are a little more complicated. The debate over the validity of the Mass centers on the consecration, where the matter (bread and wine) is transubstantiated into the body and blood of Jesus Christ through the form (the words of consecration) spoken by the priest. Since the beginning of the Church this has always been the case. The disagreements have been over things like what the exact consistency of the bread should be, or what exact words are necessary for consecration. These same debates have appeared again in the debate over the “Novus Ordo Missae” and its validity.
Since the main focus of the debate has been over the form, not the matter (at least 50% wheat bread and grape wine), this Apologia will likewise focus on the words of consecration.
One of the main arguments of the ultra-traditionalists is that the Words of Consecration were made invalid by moving the “Mysterium Fide” from the consecration of the wine, turning it into the Blood of Christ, to after the elevation and adoration of the sacrifice. In the Traditional Mass, the Consecration of the wine is as follows:
HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI,
THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT:
The Consecration (From the First Eucharistic Prayer) is as follows:
HIC EST ENIM CALIZ SANGUINIS MEI, NOVI ET AETERNI TESTAMENTI, QUI PROVOBIS ET PRO MULTIES EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM.
THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN.
One notices that the phrase “Mysterium Fide” (“Mystery of Faith”) is missing. It appears immediately afterwards. In the Latin of the Novus Ordo, it retains the structure of Mysterium Fide; in the English translation it is rendered “Let Us Proclaim the Mystery of Faith.” We will return to this positioning and translation question later. For now, we examine the question of whether not having the Mysterium Fide among the words of consecration invalidates the consecration, and therefore the
The reason the rearranging of the words does not invalidate the consecration is because the phrase Mysterium Fide is not required for the consecration. It is a matter of rites. The Church is made up of several different rites from different parts of the world, Latin rite being the one with which most of you readers are most familiar. Each of these rites have valid, licit sacraments, including their liturgie; therefore their Masses, and thus their consecrations, are valid. The Church recognizes these rites as such, allowing certain things to be different about each one, while maintaining the central Pillars of faith. Such is the case with the
Now there are some rites recognized by the Church, much older than the 20th Century, which have consecrations lacking the phrase Mysterium Fide. These rites include the Ethiopian Rite and the Liturgy of the Abysinnian Jacobites. These rites are valid rites with valid sacraments, and therefore their liturgies are valid, despite the fact that they lack the phrase “Mysterium Fidei.” Though some ultra-traditionalists claim that St. Thomas Aquinas states that the whole consecration of the wine is every part of the consecration, not merely “This is the Chalice of my blood,” which is refuted by the fact that it is an instance of
But what of the argument on the part of Ultra-traditionalist that placing the “Mysterium Fidei” after the consecration actually draws away from the Eucharistic sacrifice, placing more emphasis on the response following the phrase, which references Christ death, Resurrection, and Second Coming? Surely that is a problem. It is not. The proclamation after the consecration (which follows immediately after the priest genuflects in adoration before Christ made present on the altar) draws the focus of the prayers out to encompass the entirety of salvation history. The sacrifice on the Cross, Christ’s death and Resurrection, are presented as one all encompassing sacrifice.
A related point is brought up by Ultra-traditionalists dealing with the English translation of the
The simple answer is no, but since simple answers don’t win arguments, I’ll give a little more complex one. The Mass does not become invalid with the translation of “multis” as “all” because of the same reason removing “Mysterium Fidei” does not produce invalidity. Both rites mentioned earlier, the Ethiopian and Abysinnian Jacobites, do not have anything resembling “pro multis” in their valid consecrations. Even if that were not the case, poor translations of sacraments do not mean the sacrament is invalid, as said in this quote from Instauratio Liturgica from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith:
"When a vernacular translation of a sacramental formula is submitted to the Holy See for approval, it examines it carefully. When it is satisfied that it expresses the meaning intended by the Church, it approves and confirms it, stipulating, however, that it must be understood in accordance with the mind of the Church as expressed in the original Latin text." - Instauratio Liturgica, 25 January 1974
It scares me and pisses me off. More fear than anger though with him, sorrow as well. I fear for him, who seems so messed up in the head that he would want to do something like desecrate the Blessed Sacrament. What's in it for him?
Please pray for him, that he does not follow through with this threats.
Here's the article.
Morris, MN, Jul 16, 2008 / 03:58 am (CNA).- University of Minnesota at Morris biology professor P.Z. Myers has repeated his threat to desecrate the Eucharist, saying “I have to do something. I’m not going to just let this disappear.”
Speaking in an interview with the Minnesota Independent, Myers characterized the Eucharist as a “cracker.” He said that the vitriolic responses he received from self-described Catholics had strengthened his resolve.
“I have to do something,” he said in the interview. “I'm not going to just let this disappear. It's just so darned weird that they're demanding that I offer this respect to a symbol that means nothing to me. Something will be done. It won't be gross. It won't be totally tasteless, but yeah, I'll do something that shows this cracker has no power. This cracker is nothing.”
According to Myers, a minority of the threats even directed anti-Jewish remarks at him. Myers was in fact raised Lutheran.
When the Minnesota Independent asked Myers how his proposed action differed from U.S. military personnel’s reported abuse of the Koran, Myers responded:
“There's a subtle difference there -- maybe an important difference. I don't favor the idea of going to somebody's home or to something they own and possess and consider very important, like a graveyard -- going to a grave and desecrating that. That's something completely different. Because what you're doing is doing harm to something unique and something that is rightfully part of somebody else -- it's somebody else's ownership. The cracker is completely different. This is something that's freely handed out.”
Myers claimed the furor generated by his threat was a result of the weakening state of religion. “This is them lashing out. It's a disparate ploy to be relevant and to be important again... They're looking for somebody to take their ire out on.”
Last week Myers had threatened to desecrate the Eucharist in response to a Florida incident in which a student senator allegedly held a consecrated Host hostage.
“Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers?” Myers wrote on July 8 on his blog Pharyngula. “…if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I’ll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. I won’t be tempted to hold it hostage… but will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web.”
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, in a Tuesday statement criticized Myers for showing deference to Islam but not Catholicism in Myers’ Minnesota Independent interview.
Donohue cited Myers’ 2006 remarks on a Danish controversy surrounding derogatory depictions of Mohammed, in which he said the cartoons “lack artistic or social or even comedic merit, and are presented as an insult to inflame a poor minority.”
Donohue continued: “He even went so far as to say that Muslims ‘have cause to be furious.’ (His italic.) Worthy of burning down churches, pledging to behead Christians and shooting a nun in the back…”
“We hope Myers does the right thing and just moves on without further disgracing himself and his university,” Donohue stated. “The letter I received from University of Minnesota President Robert H. Bruininks makes it clear that school officials want nothing to do with his hate-filled remarks. It would also be nice if Myers’ fans would cease and desist with their hate-filled screeds.”
In a Friday Catholic League statement Donohue said that Myers’ remarks and the reactions of Myers’ supporters has prompted Thomas E. Foley, a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, to voice concern for Catholics who are attending the September convention.
“Accordingly, Foley has asked the top GOP brass to provide additional security while in the Twin Cities so that Catholics can worship without fear of violence,” Donohue said.
The Florida incident which provoked Myers’ desecration threat happened in June when Webster Cook, a student senator at the University of Central Florida, reportedly received a consecrated Host at a campus Mass and took it back to his seat to show his curious friend. When confronted by a Catholic leader who reputedly tried to retrieve the Host, Cook left the church and stored the Sacrament in a plastic bag. He returned the Host on Sunday July 6 and apologized, but said he was motivated by his opposition to the Catholic campus group’s use of student funds.
Catholic students in an official complaint charged Cook with disruptive conduct, while Cook responded with an official complaint concerning alleged physical force.
According to wftv.com, Cook is now pressing charges against the University of Central Florida Catholic Campus Ministries for hazing, alleging the Catholic group violated an anti-hazing rule against the forced consumption of food. The rule is normally applied to fraternity initiations.
Cook has also charged the Catholic group of violating the school’s underage alcohol policy by serving communion wine to underage students.Anthony Furbush, an officer in the university’s Student Government Association (SGA), has filed an affidavit of impeachment against Cook, alleging that he violated SGA ethics when he announced that he was an SGA official during the Mass. He claimed this status as a reason he did not have to leave the Mass when asked. If impeached, Cook would be stripped of his SGA position.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
It sounds like the plot of a bad adventure movie, but this time its real. The article tells the tale, and is pretty thorough, so I won't waste time summing it up here.
I just thought it was something interesting to post, something nice and controversial.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The Ultra-traditionalist examination of this phenomenon is interesting. They hold that the Holy Spirit has not abandoned the Church. Instead, it is a sort of dark night of the soul for the the faithful, where evil men try to lead the innocent to damnation. The bishops of the Church, and even the pope, are trying to lead the Church to its destruction, an ominous plan constructed by Satan himself. There is, however, the Remnant, those who have withstood the attempts of the Father of Lies and have stood on the Church's holy Traditions to save the Church. This is how the Ultra-traditionalists view themselves, a band of 300 Spartans against the possessed Persian Magisterium. It has happened before, they state. It is the same situation that the Church found itself when the Arians took over and nearly drove the Faith to destruction. Only a handful remained Catholic, and the Church was saved. Once again, the Ultra-traditionalists hold, the Church faces a devastating heresy. They, the defenders of Tradition, are the those that stood against the Arians so many years ago.
Are they right?
Ultra-traditionalism, contrary to what many more moderate Catholics think, goes far beyond the liturgical arguments over Masses. The key is the liturgy for them, but their problem goes deeper. Maybe at a later point I'll examine their other arguements, but for now I will focus on the liturgy, the central mystery of the Church, which is the most prominent controversy between Ultra-traditionalists and the Church.
My arguments will be in parts. I will first examine the heart of the liturgy, i.e., the words of consecration, first in its original Latin context (still the official language of the Church) and in the current English translation. I will then examine another argument on the part of Ultra-traditionalists, that the Novus Ordo itself is heretical, focusing first on some of the phrases in the Mass claimed to be "too Protestant" to be Catholic and also provide an argument against claims that the Mass promotes the Antiquarian heresy, my arguments I did not argue in my Apologetics presentation.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Here is where the background story ends and the review begins.
Crash is the story of our times, the story of race, prejudice, and hatred, a story filled with distrust and suspicion. There are many characters, separated by distance, age, and race, who "crash" into each other, often in violent ways. Their worlds collapse around them as they face the reality of their ideas and their actions. What is probably most intriguing, and appropriate, is that no one race is strictly racist. Even then, it is not each race that is racist, but rather individuals that make the racial prejudices.
But the story is not simply one of race. It is one of the human condition. Spoiled men of many races use each other for their own gain, not realizing until its too late that if they had turned that energy towards something more important, say, their family, they would have saved not only their own life, but those who love them. Once again, here is another movie where the importance of family is shown as more important than personal gain. The petty racial and status-based prejudices the characters express in the movie are the enemy of the family. In every case of racial or social prejudice explored in the movie, a family is attacked. In one case, a husband and wife's encounter with two thugs (whom themselves are racist against white people, proud of their ghetto lives) exacerbates an already growing split between the spouses. In another, an angry Persian store owner takes vengeance on the man who he thinks robbed and destroyed his shop, nearly destroying the other man. All the linked stories follow like that, beautifully showing the horrors of racial prejudice, the evil that is intense hatred, and the destruction of society that ensues when we tear each other apart on such superficial grounds.
It is a very hard movie to watch, at least at the beginning. It is Hell.
It is easy to portray Hell, Chesterton pointed out many years ago. What's hard is to portray Heaven.
There is no portrayal of Heaven in this movie. Actually, the redemption out of Hell (which is so crucial in a movie portraying such Hell) is not as satisfying as one can hope. Some of the individuals realize what is wrong with their life, but not all of them act upon it. Sins are hard to overcome, that is true, but something more redemptive is needed in such a movie. There is also a lot of swearing and cussing in the film, not to mention the racial epitaphs. It is ugly.
I give the movie 3 stars (***) because, while being an excellent story and moving film, as well as a well made one, the need for some sort of redemption for the characters was too great to give it a higher rating.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Such is the case with this year’s Oscar winner for Best Actress, Marion Cotillard, who becomes the late French singer Edith Piaf in the biographical movie La Vie En Rose. I became interested in the film not only because Ms. Cotillard won the award this year, but also because the film was widely recognized as a great film, not only by critics but also by some of my friends. They were right. It is an incredibly moving film, not only in the acting department but in other technical aspects as well.
The film tells the story of Edith Piaf, opening with one of her later performances wherein she collapses on stage. Frequent flashbacks reveal her life story, although they are not as linear as one might hope, leading to some confusion in the storyline, though this confusion is only occasional. Edith was from her youth a product of the dirty Parisian streets in the early 20th Century, soon finding herself left at a brothel run by her grandmother. It is in these brothel scenes that the sexual content of the film rears its ugly head. It is not by any means a glorification of such abuse of sex, and in fact it is a dirty and ugly place. Edith finds a diamond in that rough when one of the prostitutes becomes a sort of mother for the lost child. Her father’s return, however, forces Edith to move into the next stage of her life. From then on the movie chronicles Edith’s spiraling career into stardom as a singer, painting her triumphs and catastrophes with bitter clarity.
This is a story of a singer, and the storyline is filled with songs, sometimes in the background, other times the song is supposed to be sung by Edith in front of adoring fans. The movie is also a sort of moral tale, demonstrating the problems with Edith’s life of partying and painkillers. It shows the destruction of the young woman who is dead before her 50th birthday, killed from the inside out.
This is again a chance for Cotillard to shine as an actress. She portrays Edith throughout her adult life, and is thus faced with the challenge of playing a woman who’s internal organs have shut down, and yet struggles on to sing. The performance is so detailed, so perfected, that it is natural and one is moved inside at the sight of a woman dying.
And yet even in death there is beauty (it makes more sense when you see the movie. Trust me).
The only real fault in the movie was that confusion in the script’s setup mentioned earlier. Other than that, it was a superb film. I give it 3 ½ stars (*** ½).
See it, and then enjoy it.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Such was the sight last week. We, the College’s graduating class of 2008, had made it through the ceremonies. We had walked the walk, shook the proper hands, kissed the Cardinal’s ring, and accepted our diplomas. We graduated.
There was one last thing, however, on our agenda. We had to dance the night away. We had one last dance beneath the roof of our Commons, one last dance as a class, as a family.
Everything was going well. A couple of people had gotten wet-eyed earlier in the evening, but they had calmed down by now. We had danced “We Are Family” up on stage like a mass of nutcases, bumping hips like a bunch of oversized kids. We had danced the last dance of the night (I even had one dedicated to me for all my years of birthday singing).
And there we were.
It started out one by one. This or that girl began crying, and her friends came over to her. Then they started crying. But now the dance had ended, and the announcement had been made that underclassmen should stay and clean up, but Seniors (that is, us graduates) did not have to help. So we didn’t. It was time to say goodbye.
And then the tears came forth.
It started in groups, but soon every single graduated girl in the room was crying. It varied between girls, but each one had a wet eye. The men were men, of courses, not crying outside, but talking in hushed tones as we hugged each other. We hugged the girls too, of course, but it was the guys embracing each other like brothers that was the most touching. Even those of us who didn’t really know each other embraced in a sign of bonding. We were a class, and yet we realized that too late.
But should we have cried like we did? Why did we not just smile? A new chapter of our lives was beginning, but we could not see it then for the salty tears.
In Italian there is a big difference between “Buona sera” and “Buona notte.” Buona sera means “good afternoon/evening,” a more indefinite greeting or parting that means you might very well see the other person again before the day is over. Buona notte means that it is bed time, and you will not see the person again before the next day.
Graduation is a Buona sera moment. By that I mean it is not the end. We will all see each other again in time. Cry not for the parting but instead look forward in hope to the future meetings and greetings.
That is my Graduation hope for my class: that we will all meet again.
And we will. It is all in God's time.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
They are called "cafeteria Catholics," because like someone in a cafeteria they pick and choose which rules they want to obey.
There are other Catholics, however, who are just as much "cafeteria Catholics" as these more liberal Catholics, only this second group resides on the polar opposite end of the spectrum. They are ultra-traditionalists. Just like the liberals they pick and choose what they want from the Church. They accept the Church's moral rulings, an essential part of what it means to be a Catholic, they hold. They do nt agree, despite their moral leanings, that one has to agree with rulings of the Church, even if they are from a Church Council. Modern ultra-traditionalists more often than not have some qualms with one or more of the rulings from the Second Vatican Council, which was held from 1962 - 1965, and which some traditionalists (not all of them as crazy as the others) say opened the door for liberalism to destroy the Church.
The problems with the two groups of "cafeteria Catholics" is that they refuse to obey the Church. The Church calls them back lovingly, trying to be firm and soft for the lost sheep, but these "cafeteria Catholics" refuse to listen. Like a disobedient child that refuses to sit down and behave, the ultra-traditionalists and the ultra-liberals keep telling Mother Church the same thing heretics have been telling the Church for centuries (note: the following is how one of my history professors in College described the heretical reaction). Heretics keep telling the Church: "No, no, no, you just don't understand." "You're wrong, Church," the heretics, ultra-traditionalists, and ultra-liberals cry. "If you ran the Church our way we would be members, but you won't. Until you see the light, we aren't gonna listen to you." Then a spiritual middle finger is thrown in the face of the Holy Father, and the offenders walk away.
It keeps happening. Look at this article.
It is sad, it is shocking, and it is true. The Church will always have her dissenters within, and we must stand against them, but one wishes, not to sound so fuzzy, that we could all just get along. By that, I mean I wish everyone would be in full communion with the Church and not damn themselves to Hell just because they want it their way on earth.
There is something greater than our comfort at stake.
Pray for them. They need it.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Well, the rough draft was due today, and unlike certain philosophy majors I know, I turned it in on time. That's right, I turned in the dragon thesis on the day that it was due. What makes this an amazing feat? Its . . . . .
72 pages long, plus a 4 page Bibliography.
So that's a big deal, I think. I mean, 72 pages is a pretty good sized thesis.
Still have three more papers and teaching this semester. Hopefully that will go well too.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
"UFO Photos Draw National Attention"
Exciting, I know. But I don't think its a real photo. By that, I mean that I think that it is a hoax. Yes, it could have been done on Photoshop by someone with way too much time on his hand. Or, also very likely, Someone could have designed this thing and somehow flown it in the air. Look at the photo:
It looks like its not that far off the ground (telephone poles are not that high up). It could be a combination of the two, that is, it could be a model spliced with a picture of the sky and telephone pole.
If it is something unexplained, it would be interesting, but I don't know if it is.
Friday, March 21, 2008
"Lord, I am not worthy
Lord, I am not worthy
but speak the word only."
- T. S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday
Christ has died,
(They have sighed).
Some have lied,
(But we survive).
In this place,
Full of Grace,
in this place,
touch our face.
Make us feel
as you feel.
For this meal,
his flesh pealed
we do take,
him we break.
Such is salvation
I wrote it just now, on the spot. What do you think?
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I Student Teach. That's right, I, Ibid, teach for school credits. I student teach here and here. Its really exciting. Right now, for example, I'm doing a series of lectures on Irish History from the Uprising of 1798 through the Civil War in 1922. I think the kids are really getting into the stories I'm telling. It feels so right, standing in front of them, teaching them, helping them.
I actually should be preparing my lecture right now. I need to keep up the good work, as they say. I've impressed Dr. Carroll, one of my heroes, so that's really good.
Thesis is going. The Rough Draft is due on April 2, and I'm only just now starting chapter 3. I'm hoping to get it done in time.
Its about 56 pages long right now. I know. that's without chapter three or the conclusion.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Yes, I took the name from the show on Disney channel.
So anyway, I have dragons on the brain. I even turned the word into a verb.
Dragon: v. To hoard or hog something, such as gold or books. I can't believe Matt Rose dragoned all the books on dragons. That jerk.
So now you can dragon.
I also took pictures of my dragon Ol' Blue Eyes. I got Ol' Blue Eyes for Kris Kringle this past Christmas. Here they are:
As you can see, Ol' Blue Eyes is dragoning my thesis books.
So Ol' Blue Eyes seemed so interested in my thesis topic that I decided to put him to good use.
So those are the dragon pics. I can almost guarantee that I will post on my thesis again.
"On that you can rely."
Monday, January 28, 2008
"The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." - G. K. Chesterton
Of all the songs and poems read by men,
Have none composed or sung of one like thee?
Of you there is no equal dish, why then
Have they who sing and write and croon for me,
Forgotten how you taste and warm the sea
That is my heart, or how you give my life
Complete control of all my faults, and be
What all the saints desire for their strife?
(No wonder Ham is seen as your fair wife)
Though none have sung about your grace and pride,
Your smell when you are found to be too ripe,
I take my queue and turn about inside.
A verse is sung, for you do give and please,
And thus a rhyme about my love, my cheese.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Yesterday The Good Doctor, the college president, gave an amazingly awesome speech to rouse the student body to do their best this semester, the second in our 30th Anniversary celebration. he encouraged us to live Christian lives by first and foremost doing our school work (for you can not serve Christ if you cannot do your daily duties). He also expressed his disgust of recent incidents of students who were kicked out of the school after this past semester because of behavior. Its the kind of skeletons that no college likes to have in their closet, yet they all do. it is our job, The Good Doctor urged us, to tell our friends when they are doing something bad that what they are doing might not be a good thing, or that it might be a danger to themselves or others. One essential thing one must remember, however, is that we cannot be preachy. We must approach them as our friends, or better yet, as our brothers and sisters in Christ. That is our mission as students of the College. We are to Restore all things in Christ, even our daily lives, no matter how hard that may be.
Therefore, we march. A week from today is another anniversary, one less joyful than that of the college's founding. It is the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion. It is never a good sign of a society when immorality is legalized. Such was the case in the legalization of abortion. The arguments against abortion will not be presented here. This is not the reason for my mentioning it in this post. Rather, I mention the March for Life, what people call the organized protest to the ruling that occurs every year on January 22, because it is another avenue that we as members of the College, indeed as Catholics throughout this nation and the world, may use to restore the world to Christ. What better way to evangelize the faith than to live it? The March provides an opportunity for just that. Men and women of all faiths, even no faith at all, descend upon capital hill to protest the inhumanity that is abortion. There are Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, Mormons, and everything in between. We overcome our religious differences to stand up for life, to protest something that needs to be stopped. In doing so we provide to those who do not know us, those who may be unfamiliar with the Catholic life, a clear portrait of what John Paul II, of happy memory, called "ordinary Christian living." Race, Creed, etc do not stop us from marching with each other. Maybe this year a young (or even not so young) Protestant or Atheist might see the Christendom banner and the chilled students underneath and behind it marching to the sound of the rosary, and think "hey, they seem to know what they're doing" and be inspired to investigate the faith. How many unknown converts are won each year by the witness in defense of life? We may never know, but the One who is greater than all of this, who gave life at the beginning of time, will know.
"And that has made all the difference."