Friday, June 27, 2008

Tantrum ... with full range of motion.
Tim has finished his twenty-day prescription of Amoxicillin, ἁλληλουϊά.

After two weeks, his blood is tested again for Lyme Disease.

I hope he's cured.
With this news, I foresee a time again when I won't be receiving Communion ...

"Receiving Eucharist kneeling will be norm at papal liturgies" - Catholic News Service, 6/26/08:
He said "it is necessary not to forget that the distribution of Communion in the hand, from a juridical standpoint, remains up to now an indult," which is an exemption from a general requirement that is granted by the Vatican to the bishops' conferences which have requested it.

However, the pope's preference for the traditional practice is not meant to "take anything away from the other" permissible form of standing or receiving the Eucharist in the hand, he said.
Wouldn't the "preference" be up to the recipient? The indult says nothing about kneeling or standing.

via Catholic Courier
Q. I remember years ago observing Ember Days several times a year when Catholics were obliged to observe fast and abstinence. What happened to them? Why don't we have them now? (Illinois)

B. Ember Days (from an Old English word "ymbren," a season or period of time) were 12 penitential days, occurring in groups of three - Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, four times a year - in Advent, Lent, summer and fall.

While they were generally called penitential times, Ember Days were in fact marked by a combination of penance and joyful celebrations, with a variety of spiritual practices and their own proper Masses and Liturgy of the Hours.

Pope Callistus I stared the idea in the third century, basing it on ancient Jewish traditions, but also paralleling much older pagan Roman feasts of nature celebrated at times of sowing seeds, summer harvest and gathering grapes.

In other words, they were closely related to agricultural seasons and largely remain so even today where they are observed with prayer for a good crop and giving thanks for a generous harvest.

The "four seasons"( Latin "quattuor tempora") observance went through many evolutions through the centuries until Pope Gregory VII in 1078 determined the specific days on which Ember Days would be observed by the universal Church: the weeks after the third Sunday of Advent, after the first Sunday of Lent, after Pentecost, and after the feast of the Holy Cross, Sept. 14.

In his 1966 reorganization of penitential discipline in the Church, Pope Paul VI did not include Ember Days as times of fast and abstinence, and they are no longer including in the Roman MIssal.

The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar (Sacred Congregation of Rites, 1969) left it to the discretion of conferences of bishops to arrange how these days should be kept, in light of local conditions. Some countries still celebrate them, especially in rural areas. United States bishops have decided not to observe them in this country.
- Father John Dietzen, 6/6/08
George Weigel wants to switch the national anthem to "America the Beautiful" because "The Star-Spangled Banner" won only narrowly in the 1931 Congressional vote, is too hard to sing and "America the Beautiful" is just better. Never mind that Key's poem was set to what was orginally a London drinking song - "not a disqualification for right-thinking Catholics, although it might vex some of the evangelical brethren ..."1

To suggest this at all can only mean that Weigel has forgotten the significance of the War of 1812.

Granted around American holidays, our recessional hymn will be some patriotic song other than the national anthem. I'm not sure why.

Isn't the tension always between elevation worthy of a sublime purpose and accessibility to all? Generally, I'm for keeping things simple and obvious. But I think SSB is the better song. One sings it, butchers it, aspires.

1 It seems to me only the rare evangelical doesn't drink.
In studying Genesis 38, reference was made to Tamar's appearance in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus. It was asked whether Luke's genealogy also includes her and, without flipping to the text, the ready answer came that, since Luke's genealogy follows Mary's line, it wasn't likely.

On the one hand, patriarchs are patriarchs. The lion of Judah is the lion of Judah. And the root of David ... or Jesse ... is just that. In other words, if the genealogy is through Joseph and Mary, respectively, it must agree up to David. So, even without being listed, Tamar appears in Mary's line, too.

But whose line is it, anyway?

Luke 3:23 - He [Jesus] was the son, as was thought, of Joseph, ...
Matt 1:16 - ... the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.

My Scofield Bible has this note on Luke 3:23 -
"Two views have been maintained by equally godly and learned scholars. Some believe both genealogies are of Joseph, but that the one in Matthew gives the legal descendants ... blah, blah, blah.

"A far simpler solution ... Matthew presents Joseph's genealogy whereas Luke presents Mary's genealogy. In addition, appeal may be made to Nm. 27:1-11 and 36:1-12 to give Scriptural precedent for the substitution of Joseph's name in Lk. 3:23. At the same time it avoids the judgment spoken of in Jer. 22:28-30."
Wouldn't it be a remarkable thing, in the Bible, if a man's genealogy was recorded through his mother, as many claim Luke does? Such a thing would trump the length and the star-studded personages.

Thankfully, the Spirit of the Reformation Bible does less hemmin' and hawin':
"They ... differ in that some of the names are different. Some suggest that Matthew's traces Joseph's line and Luke's Mary's, but Luke's specifically starts with "Joseph," the son of Heli. What is clear is that both Gospels defend the fact that Jesus descended from David."
I don't have a problem affirming that, that Jesus descended from David. But let's not pretend that Mary's genealogy is recorded in the Bible.

Besides, I don't see Joachim listed.1

1 Someone who has given this some thought.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I heard this on NPR this morning as I was waking up the kids ... I guess Jeff set their alarm clock radio last night ... in vain.

I thought I was in a time-warp because, well, aren't we done with this discussion?

"Survey: More have dropped dogma for spirituality in U.S." -, 6/24/08:
"Americans believe in everything. It's a spiritual salad bar," says Rice University sociologist Michael Lindsay. Rather than religious leaders setting the cultural agenda, today, it's Oprah Winfrey, he says.

When he factors in Pew's February findings that 44% of adults say they've switched to another religion or none at all, Lugo says, "You have to wonder: How do you guarantee the integrity of a religious tradition when so many people are coming or going or following ideas that don't match up?"

The Rev. Frank Page of Taylors, S.C., past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, is not surprised by the Pew findings. "The number (of churches that) teach a clear doctrinal Christianity are a minority today. How would people know it when they never hear about how to be saved?"

"We still work as hard as we can to share the good news," he says, "even though we know most will reject the way."

"Christians: No One Path to Salvation" - TIME, 6/23/08:
Americans of every religious stripe are considerably more tolerant of the beliefs of others than most of us might have assumed, according to a new poll released Monday.

An acceptance of the notion of other paths to salvation dilutes the impact of the doctrine that Christ died to remove sin and thus opened the pathway to eternal life for those who accept him as their personal savior. It could also reduce the impulse to evangelize, which is based on the premise that those who are not Christian are denied salvation. The problem, says Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is that "the cultural context and the reality of pluralism has pulled many away from historic Christianity."

Says Lindsay, "The problem is not that Americans don't believe in anything, but that they believe in everything, and the two things don't always fit together."

More so than Christ's divinity or Resurrection, [Dr. Al Mohler] says, "the exclusivity of the Gospel is the most vulnerable doctrine in the face of the modern world."
I think it all boils down to definitions, how they asked the questions, distorted media sound-bites and the fact that people don't want to come across as bigoted, especially Christians.
Ça m'a manqué ...

"Tens of thousands accompany Eucharist through streets of Quebec" - Catholic News Service, 6/20/08.

"Pilgrims learn church history by visiting Quebec historical sites" - Catholic News Service, 6/19/08.
I'll have to congratulate Fr. Boadt when I see him later this summer ...

"Catholics gather to observe 150th anniversary of Paulist Fathers" - Catholic News Service, 6/23/08.

tags technorati :

Monday, June 23, 2008

Alright, alright, I've been asleep ...

Congratulations, Fr. Mossa! ...
"The Day Has Come ..."
Simply marvelous.

tags technorati :

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm glad Beliefnet picked up David Gibson's column blog after Benedict's visit, "Pontifications" ... (could we get a less obnoxious blog name, please?)

A recent post, "Angels or demons?" No ecstasy for Ron Howard or Dan Brown" has the lovely, familiar sculpture of Teresa of Avila in ecstasy1 and a reference to Geneva, N-E-W-Y-O-R-K.

The comments to David's post get a little saucy ... so go light on them.

1 Featured on the Penguin Classics cover of her autobiography, read online.
Ah, memories ...

This classic Unix tee (ha!) has found its way into Jeff's weekend rotation again ... after many years ...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Seems a week early this year ... perhaps because Corzine is closing the state parks on 7/1:
The British are coming (again) to Monmouth Battlefield State Park and George Washington and the Continental Army are not far behind.

On June 21-22 the park will be alive with more than 1,000 re-enactors portraying the militia, Continental Army and British Army.
"Battle of Monmouth will rage again in Manalapan" - Examiner, 6/19/08.

One of these years, we'll go. Kenny sure loves "war."

cf. "Hundreds re-enact historic Battle of Monmouth" - Asbury Park Press, 6/22/08; Battle of Monmouth - Wiki
Jeff told me about this ...

"Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High" - Time, 6/18/08.

He - or the media - tried to turn it into a Catholic birth control thing, but it isn't that: the girls want to get pregnant.

Since they're stopping after one child and they have the support systems, even to finish school, they are simply trying to make the best of their limited opportunities.

I wouldn't call this a social tragedy.

The pervasive anti-child attitude our society has cultivated for the past twenty years is the greater shame. The tide is turning, 'though in less than ideal ways, i.e., for selfish reasons, by immoral means.

Friday, June 20, 2008

GULP ...

"Pope would like Tridentine Mass in each parish, Vatican official says" - Catholic News Service

I think one must take into consideration the cardinal's audience:
The cardinal, who was visiting London at the invitation of the Latin Mass Society, a British Catholic group committed to promoting Mass in the Tridentine rite of the 1962 Roman Missal,
And, um, adult catechism classes are more needed for the basics of the Faith, rather than as a primer on how to worship God which ought to arise naturally from a well-formed faith and be so integrated into the culture as to be second nature:
The cardinal said parishes could use catechism classes to prepare Catholics to celebrate such Masses every Sunday

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Recent vacation photos ... Hersheypark ... Flickr slideshow ...

Hershey 2008 Flickr photo set.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Après le bain.

A lefty?

She loves feeding herself.

More pictures of "DLG" ... for Father's Day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tell me, how does this school sound for my boys ...

"SciCore Academy explodes into new space" - Examiner, 6/15/06.

Related article: "School offers different approach to education: New SciCore Academy, Hightstown, focuses on core curriculum" - Examiner, 11/27/03.
Don't worry ... I haven't adopted a cause.

This one looks dead anyway ...

"Time is ticking away for Lyme bill to be heard" - Examiner, 6/12/08.

And I'm not getting down ... I'm just struck by the sheer coincidence ...

Related articles in this week's paper:

"N.J. among states hardest hit by Lyme disease" - Examiner, 6/12/08.

"Lyme disease patients share their struggles" - Examiner, 6/12/08.
I wasn't really a fan ... speaking of Polish Catholics from Buffalo ...

"Tim Russert's death saddens his beloved hometown of Buffalo" - Newsday, 6/13/08:
He was, in every way, Mr. Buffalo," said Sen. Charles Schumer, who first met Russert when he was an aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

"Even when he was interviewing presidents and heads of state, western New Yorkers knew that his blue-collar Buffalo sensibility guided him throughout."

"One of the people in Buffalo that made it and never forgot where he came from," [Thurman] Thomas said. "Just a down home, good solid person."

Buffalo Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn, who went to Canisius High School with Russert and stayed in regular touch, said Russert called to buy Sabres season tickets last year.

"So many people don't acknowledge that they're from here and he never did that," Quinn said.
I read this piece in RD at the time: "Tim Russert Gets Lessons From His Father", Reader's Digest, June 2004:
When he heard this, Dad roared with laughter. "You wrote a letter to the Pope? Let me know if you hear back from him."

I told him that I had managed to get an appointment with Joseph Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia and was hoping to enlist his help. Cardinal Krol was of Polish descent and a friend of the Holy Father's; when Pope John Paul II was a cardinal, he visited Cardinal Krol on a trip to the United States.

Dad said, "Maybe you should write that letter in Polish. I have some friends in Cheektowaga" -- a blue-collar suburb of Buffalo -- "who could help you."

We were both laughing. Then he said, "I'm serious. When you talk to people, speak their language. It shows respect."

When I hung up the phone, I thought: Actually, that's a pretty good idea.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

UPDATE: Doctor just called with blood test results: lyme disease.

And low platelets.

Scheduling an appointment with a hematologist.

This summer is shaping up as a repeat of last summer.

It looks like a sunburn ... that spreads over time and darkens on the outer edge.

The rash's classic bull's-eye pattern is obfuscated by his ear near the center. Never saw a tick on him. Ever. The lab drew blood on Saturday, the same day he started antibiotics. The rash is fading.

Hoping for the best.

tags technorati :
A different St. Stanislaus Kostka church ...

"Deacon Michael McCloskey of Holy Name Cathedral places the 12-inch consecrated host in an iconic monstrance of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy, at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Chicago May 31. The nine-foot high, hand-carved and decorated monstrance is believed to be the largest in the world."

"Nine-foot monstrance unveiled as part of new Divine Mercy shrine"

- Catholic News Service

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Here's my guess at the Catholic Carnival URL; 'though Jay hasn't posted it yet:

Catholic Carnival 176

If my guess is wrong, I'll fixed the link in the morning. But you get the idea.

I submitted the post about my foreign church experience but don't know whether it's been accepted or rejected with puzzlement.

tags technorati :
So, I have my car back ... after a week ... and I gotta pick up my kids at school ...

The new transmission feels good, if a little tight.

Just makes me think that I've had a transmission problem for a long, long time ... long before the computer reported it.
I didn't read all this, but you might want to ...

"The iMonk Spends Five Hours with Scott Hahn: The Full Report"

I read just enough to get my chuckle for the day. Poor fellow.
"Several Shore schools announce early dismissals" - Asbury Park Press, 6/10/08:
Many area schools will dismiss students early and a couple of districts are closed because of today's high temperatures, according to school district Web sites.
Not Millstone.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I can see making this slip:

...when you are praying the Jesus prayer and mumble, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a dinner."

via Ironic Catholic
Jeff was asking me what the holiday was today and I couldn't say.

He said he'll ask when everyone returns to work on Wednesday.

Shavuot 2008
It was such a relief to visit the Walsh family. They were blessedly ordinary, liberal-leaning Democrat-voting Roman Catholics.

Unlike my family, the Walsh children seemed to have lives independent of their father and mother. Genie's mother seemed pleased when her children made their own ways. The frantic talk about the Lord's leading, or the "direction of the work," and the constant wrangling and positioning between family members over what amounted to the family business - L'Abri - was absent. And my admiration for Genie's sensible family was one of the reasons that I began wondering if the ideas I'd grown up with were really the only good ideas to live by. The Walsh clan didn't believe what we believed, and yet they seemed to be doing just fine.
Not a coincidence. Excerpted from Crazy For God, page 250.
This will undoubtedly result in more conversions like Beckwith.
Pope Benedict XVI called for a re-emphasis on the study of philosophy in universities, as part of a more intense dialogue between faith and reason.
Does this add fuel to the rumor? -
When Pope Benedict XVI and U.S. President George W. Bush meet at the Vatican June 13, they will scrap the usual formal protocol and instead hold talks and take a leisurely stroll in the Vatican Gardens.
Letting a conservative speak his mind ... brace yourself:

Colbert's charming parochialism is so admirable: he seems genuinely shocked that Will is an agnostic.

Rather, baseball is Will's religion, that game just about everyone can enjoy to their individual degree, at a personal depth of appreciative understanding.

via KOMT
Yup, something's still missin':

no car in the driveway.

Friends are coming tomorrow to cheer us up!

Almost a week ago.
She'll climb into a chair at the play table and sit ... too tired or afraid to get down.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Jeff just emailed me this ...

"Yes, Dear. Tonight Again." - NYT, 6/8/08.

Hustling upstairs now ...
And when a cop yells: "Stand back there, you!" he means us, the John Does!
Meet John Doe script
"Excuse me, is the service over?"

"Uh-huh. The next one begins at 11."1

A 10 o'clock service is just beginning across the street ... at Queenship of Mary.
It was too early and too hot to be greeted with rock music. I stepped over three people in order to sit exactly where I wanted, my warm smile for them stemming from smug amusement at the latecomers' breakneck driving into the parking lot.

"They act as if they'll miss something."

A quartet lead us in Rain Down (video), a program kick-off familiar from my visit 3 years ago. "Has time stood still here?" The lead singer then read from the NIV:
" 'I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will live in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.'"
The worship tempo slowed with You Alone Are God2, before an offering prayer laden with conversational encouragement to give sacrificially.

"Where's the fire and brimstone? How can God let this place stand?!"

For their next number, an original, the high school rock band told us to just listen since we didn't know the words anyway. There was applause after each song and, in introducing the band-members as they exited stage left, I discovered that the bass player is son of my Bible study leader.

The senior pastor came on with the buildup of a main event, prop in hand. A soccer ball. Oh, and a Bible. Two props.

He talked through the historical narrative of the Tanakh, beginning with Abraham through the kings of the united kingdom before returning to discuss his favorite, Joseph. In my other study, we are just about to begin Joseph's story, so I knew where to flip in my Bible ... the black ribbon was marking the chapter before.

Pastor Boyd gestured accordingly as he paraphrased Joseph's dreams from Scripture then, starting at verse 12, concluded with the brothers' plot: "Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams." I looked up from the leather-bound book in my lap and saw those same words fade from the overhead screens.

The sermon specified sensitivity to others' dreams. If not encouraging, at least not casting dreamers into cisterns. Not killing dreamers. The pastor recalled the tradition of laying on hands and asked those with dreams to stand as church elders and staff (i.e., parish secretaries) prayed over them. Well-aware of my interloper status, I easily resisted the temptation to stand and receive prayer.

Not even the proverbially Catholic "second collection" - for their mission trip to Mexico - made me feel at home. 'Though I was struck by the pastor's3 audacity in asking specifically for fifty dollar bills, to reach their goal of $60,000 across this weekend's services. More than once, I considered discreetly drawing out the rosary from my pocket and praying it like some old Irishwoman during a Latin Mass - the proceedings were that inane.

Not a word about sin and salvation.4 Wow. Just ... wow.

1 At 10:30.

2 This video is almost enough to make me an ad orientem advocate.

3 The pastor announced this morning, with the vice president of the church board alongside him on stage, that he'll take eight weeks sabbatical this summer to finish his doctoral dissertation, I presume at Princeton. Sounds very reasonable; the church ought to be behind that effort.

4 Jim once asked me whether a Catholic could attend a UU church. I replied, "Probably, but attendance there wouldn't make anyone Catholic who wasn't one already." I see the same thing here: a Christian can attend this church, but attending this church won't lead someone to become a Christian. They'd have to hear the gospel somewhere else.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief;1 rather, he was strengthened by faith and gave glory to God and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do. That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.

But it was not for him alone that it was written that it was credited to him; it was also for us, to whom it will be credited, who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over for our transgressions and was raised for our justification.
excerpt from second reading, 10th Sunday OT, Romans 4:20-25.

1Hearing Paul's claim about Abraham reminded me of the apparent internal struggle presented in Genesis 17. Abraham's actions never reveal doubt ... he's like a robot sometimes ... but his words can.

The NAB footnote explains 4:20a this way: any doubts Abraham might have had were resolved in commitment to God's promise. IOW, Genesis read in light of Hebrews' "Hall of Faith," as always. The New illuminates the Old. I think these semantic gymnastics are known in the exegetical trade as "harmonizing Scripture."
A guy - a former teammate, I suppose? - who graduated in the year between my sister and my husband has a new web site / blog that I'll mention:

On the "rood" to Ruiru

He's been a linguist for Wycliffe Bible Translators for as long as I know.

His site has something new every two months, so not a busy place.

Mostly pictures of the kids. He hasn't changed significantly in appearance either.

If you are inclined, you can pray for his missionary work.

Dominus vo biscum, Will.
The mother-in-law to two PCUSA ministers spoke up:
"It's just a man-made law that women can't be ordained. There's nothing in the Bible about it!"
He and I shot concerned glances at each other before he replied, "I can't talk about it."

His admission didn't shut her down. On the contrary, she exploited his silence:
"I used to think there were you Catholics on one side and us Protestants on the other.

But I've learned over the years that Protestants disagree with each other about so many silly things!"
Not about silly things. I told her, "The things are important."

And what sparked her outburst? Jim read all of the 1994 christological agreement between John Paul II and the Assyrian Church of the East, emphasizing this portion:
That is the reason why the Assyrian Church of the East is praying the Virgin Mary as "the Mother of Christ our God and Saviour". In the light of this same faith the Catholic tradition addresses the Virgin Mary as "the Mother of God" and also as "the Mother of Christ". We both recognize the legitimacy and rightness of these expressions of the same faith and we both respect the preference of each Church in her liturgical life and piety.
He said there were still barriers to full communion but this agreement was a beginning, a movement in the right direction. And that some practices are a movement in the wrong direction, like those churches that ordain women.
Edward Florek, 63, said he broke ranks with the board in March after concluding that Father Marek Bozek, whom the board hired as its pastor after the archbishop recalled the parish's priests in 2004, was leading the parish away from Roman Catholicism.
"St. Stanislaus Kostka board member reconciles with Catholic Church" - Catholic News Service, 6/6/08.

When we moved out here to St. Joseph's, Fr. V's liturgical preferences were so antiquated and my fellow parishioners so regimented that I thought the parish was in formal schism. Seriously. I described the celebration of Mass to my mother and she also questioned whether the parish was in communion with the bishop in Trenton.

I never thought I'd ever have to wonder whether the local Catholic parish was in good standing with the diocese.

During the eucharistic prayer, Fr. V. must have mentioned bishop and pope by name ... ? That likely gave me some assurance until I was able to determine with certainty that Trenton claimed St. Joseph's as its own, even if nobody there knew, geographically, where the parish was located.

But this church in St. Louis gives very little indication up front that it's in schism.

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, St. Louis.

I've had this picture of Ella for a while now but have held off posting it because of the book in her hands. Because I'm talking about Fr. Brown on a couple of blogs with people, it's too much of a coincidence. I mean, posting the picture might be considered propaganda or something. Besides, her hair is so dirty looking. But, anyway, I thought she was so cute, sitting there, flipping through some books that she'd pulled off the table.
I don't read as much Church sociology as I would like ... and I would only like Greeley or ... Davidson.

Fr. Komonchak thinks Davidson is oversimplifying his research.

Some of the comments are interesting, in a sociological way ... and ultimately very positive, encouraging, hopeful ...
the results of surveys ... show a clear trend, amplified in each succeeding generation, away from what Catholic writer Eugene Kennedy calls “Culture One Catholicism,” with a high emphasis on religious practice, clerical authority and doctrinal conformity, towards “Culture Two Catholicism,” emphasizing lay autonomy and the individual conscience.

the idea that some younger Catholics–including theologians–are “Culture One” Catholics just doesn’t work for me. They couldn’t be even if they tried. The “Culture One” culture that Davidson is referring to isn’t just a belief system. It’s a whole set of unconscious assumptions that people picked up from living in a certain time and place and it is gone, dead and buried. “Liberal” and “Conservative” Catholics in the post-conciliar era are liberals and conservatives in decidedly “Culture Two” ways. The Catholic blogosphere–where hotshot young laity regularly take the p–s out of bishops they don’t like–is very much a Culture Two phenomenon. [J. Peter Nixon]

The difference (and peril) for what I’ll call Neo Culture One types (just because putting “neo” in front of anything makes it so trendy) is that, as Peter said, they are not generationally Culture One. They are more like restorationists, but trying to restore something they don’t know. And that, as Peter Berger points out, becomes fundamentalism–the effort to recreate a past that never existed. That makes fundamentalists as modern as anyone. And just as Peter noted, the purportedly ultramontane “conservatives” are in fact among the toughest critics of the church, top to bottom. Or what they might call “dissenters.” Culture is hard to create; it’s even harder to re-create. PS: I converted at the Vatican in 1989 at the age of 30. What the hell does that make me? [David Gibson]

While I agree that Culture 1 is a thing of the past, I also believe that a modicum of sacramental discipline on the part of the faithful would be salutary. That’s a Culture One phenomenon that’s well worth trying to transform into something vibrant today. [Jim Pauwels]

My intent was to suggest that a certain type of Catholic -culture-, quite apart from the individuals who were once formed by it, no longer exists. We may rejoice in its passing or we may regret it. But it seems indisputable to me that it has passed. My own feelings are mixed. There are times when I think there is an “unbearable lightness” to contemporary Catholic culture and applaud efforts to recover a “thicker” set of Catholic practices. I think there are many of my generation who are not necessarily “fundamentalists” who feel this way. But any new Catholic culture that might come into being through small acts of resourcement will certainly not be a return to the recent past. It will be something new, something that is hopefully a form of Christian witness that can speak to the unique needs of our age. [J. Peter Nixon]

Friday, June 06, 2008

"Millstoners brace for new insurance costs, detour - FEMA maps show new flood zones" - Examiner, 5/29/08:
MILLSTONE - If new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps are correct, there are homeowners in the township who will need to buy flood insurance.

Some houses on Rocky Brook Road and Hampton Hollow Court are now listed as being in the flood zone, he said. A number of the houses listed in the flood zone back up to the Rocky Brook, he said.

Millstone residents are also bracing for bridge construction that will take a major thoroughfare out of use for at least six months.

The county plans to close the bridge from July 1 to the end December, he said.

Traffic will have to detour off Prodelin Way onto either Baird Road or Perrineville Road to access Millstone Road while construction is under way.
So, it is the bridge right by Agress, right by the synagogue. Months ago, the paper had photos of the other bridge. Either way, same thing to me. And the boys' camp bus must take a different route.
We ended up with this last night:
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
The "symbol" or definition of Chalcedon.

It's been a number of years (ten?!) since I've read the definition.

Of course, Jim maintains that the Apostles would not recognize this language, even the few who knew Greek. And while I think he sympathizes with those council fathers who wanted only biblical terminology in the formulations of Christian faith, he realizes how impossible that was, especially as the Church spread West and the vernacular changed to Latin.

The recipe of Christ is known as the hypostatic union and Jim printed out the five instances in Scripture where the Greek word, ὑπόστασις, appears. He printed out the Greek alongside English from the RSV and the NAB. I had with me my NASB so I was able to compare a third English translation. His point was that, since the word is translated in various ways, one can assume that ὑπόστασις is not a technical (theological) term. So, it brings no pre-Chalcedon usage with it, formally, into the Definition.

"Confidence" and "assurance" he had the hardest time accepting as translation choices.1 I think those are traditional choices; readers would expect those words in those familiar verses.

Anyway, that wraps up the Christology course. I know everything about the Incarnation now, just ask. (Just kidding). It was probably the best class from him (although I did enjoy Psalms way back when).

In the fall, we'll read Paul's letters in honor of this "Year of Paul" that Benedict has declared. I suggested that we read the Letters in canonical order because, frankly, I never have. Jim said that since we can't be certain about composition dates, etc., canonical is just as good as chronological. That isn't my reasoning. I actually hope that by reading them in order, I'll get a better sense of which Letters contain which of Paul's arguments, analogies, metaphors, etc. because it tends to be jumbled in my mind. "The body of Christ analogy is where? The Potter and the clay metaphor? The grafting of the wild root?"

I didn't mention this, but I also don't want Jim to pass over those books of doubtful Pauline authorship: I WANT ROMANS TO HEBREWS.

1 This NAB footnote touches on the difference, the choices:

There is dispute about the meaning of the Greek words hypostasis and elenchos, here translated realization and evidence, respectively.

Hypostasis usually means "substance," "being" (as translated in Hebrews 1:3), or "reality" (as translated in Hebrews 3:14); here it connotes something more subjective, and so realization has been chosen rather than "assurance" (RSV).

Elenchos, usually "proof," is used here in an objective sense and so translated evidence rather than the transferred sense of "(inner) conviction" (RSV).

Thursday, June 05, 2008

This article appeared in our diocesan paper this week ... obviously our editor is doing a great job! ;-)

I'll just quote what like ... if you've read his autobiography, then you know his story.

I've added my own emphasis.

"The nobility of Cardinal Dulles" - George Weigel:
Here was the truth, nobly expressed: the only possible response was to adhere to it, heart, mind, and soul. That is what Avery Dulles has done for 68 years, since he entered the Catholic Church in 1940. [...] Avery Dulles has been a theologian of the tradition, explicating ancient truths, stretching them a bit, exploring their implications, but never seeking cheap originality or sound-bite fame.

That modesty of purpose has gone hand-in-hand with an evangelical modesty of person. One does not often see cardinals of the Holy Roman Church repairing their shoes with duct tape, or walking across campus in cheap blue windbreakers; the cardinal’s sartorial style would cause pain at Men’s Wearhouse (not to mention Brooks Brothers). There is no affectation here, though; Avery Dulles took a vow of poverty when he entered the Society of Jesus and he has kept it, as he has kept his vows of chastity, obedience to superiors, and that special obedience to the Pope which is the distinguishing hallmark of classic Ignatian life.
What would it take to get him canonized? I ask you.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"The tow truck will arrive within 45 minutes. The driver is just finishing up a remedial class because of a recent accident."

Long pause.

"Unless you'd rather I call another tow truck company?"

The company you called yesterday never showed up.

How many tow truck companies operate in Western Monmouth County?

The "remediated" driver was nice enough.

I made sure he was aware that "Newman Springs Rd." is also County Route 520. Even though he lives in S.I., he assured me that he knows NJ. He found my house, didn't he? That's more than yesterday's crew could manage. Neither could they apparently navigate a telephone keypad since they never called for directions.

I suppose I'd have received a better response around Exit 9 of the Turnpike. Being "safe at home" with a disabled car lacks damsel-in-distress drama that towers thrive on.

But looks are deceptive because there's plenty of drama: price of a new transmission. On a 3 1/2 year old car. With 66,000 miles. Right.

I remember the ETS malfunction on the wagon. Repair cost $800, mostly for downloading software to the boards. A year later, the manufacturer refunded the repair costs because they identified a production defect. The problem became a recall or something. I'd have to believe that this problem is in the same category.

But it isn't reasonable to hope for a refund. I mean, such a hope can't factor into the decision-making process. Thankfully, it's Jeff's decision, not mine, as one-sided as it appears.

Me, I'd just do it because I don't see any other option. As the spending budget for Jeff's home office furniture gets smaller and smaller ...

I hope the pope has better luck with his wheels ...

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Monday, June 02, 2008

I watched Evan Almighty just recently. I wasn't expecting much. Just some goofy Steve Carell, I guess. Some good Morgan Freeman as God, maybe. 'Though I was pretty sure Alanis Morissette had the God-act down long before him.

The Buffalo gags take on another dimension to a native son daughter. And, like Bruce Almighty, homage was again paid to Capra, this time, in the form of allusions to his Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: the dirty land deals around the dam and lots of shots of the Lincoln Memorial. Jeff thinks the birds, the pigeons, are a stretch. You know, that Smith brings pigeons to D.C. But then, Smith knows those bird calls as well. He's a real nature lover, that Boy Ranger. Evan starts out not especially liking animals at all. He also starts out fainting, just like Smith.

The Gen. 6:14 gag was overused. I expected the alarm to sound in the dresser drawer as the beeper did in the street.

Jeff saw the part when Evan receives his new license plates. Jeff asked, "Genesee County?" An inside joke because about fifteen years ago, most plates in that county started with "GEN" followed by three digits.

There was a plug for evolution, I thought, when Evan shares a drink with some baboons or something. Or maybe it was simply a statement about Carell's personal affinity. Or the fact that Evan likes animals now.

Bruce Almighty was funnier, I think. Carrey plays haughty better than humble and Carell is the opposite. So, neither of them nailed the full range of getting right with God.

Previous posts on Capra's Mr. Smith worth reading (seriously):

March 2006
February 2006

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I think about him often ... as he was ...

"A Visit with Avery Dulles" - Commonweal blog

Fr. Imbelli writes:
He can no longer speak, and the muscles of his arms are also impaired. Yet his mind is lucid, he continues to read and work, and communicates slowly by touching the letters of his computer keyboard. In our “conversation” he was always one step ahead of me.


These days, when I pray in the “Preface” to the Eucharistic Prayer that we might “always and everywhere give thanks,” the witness of Avery Dulles is in my heart.
I'm afraid I knew it ...

"Smoldering cigarette blamed for fire fatal to Batavia teen" - The Buffalo News, 5/31/08:
BATAVIA -- A smoldering cigarette has been called the probable cause of a fire early Friday that killed a 17-year-old high school student.

Genesee County Emergency Management Services coordinator Timothy J. Yaeger said the victim's mother, Judy Clark, 41, had been smoking in an enclosed porch about half an hour before the fire broke out about 2 a.m. A smoke detector and barking dog awakened Clark and she and another son, 15-year-old Michael Mooney, escaped with minor injuries.

Erik Mooney was found in the house and pronounced dead of smoke inhalation an hour later at United Memorial Medical Center.

The brothers were students at Oakfield-Alabama Central School. Their stepfather, Scott Clark, 47, is a truck driver and was not home at the time.
Nobody dare smoke indoors these days. Or use an ashtray, those filthy things.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

At the Thursday evening christology study, we've had reason to discuss local church news, especially as regards any effort, however informal, to shift public liturgy away from the vernacular.

So, during break last Thursday, Leslie, 45, mentioned the liturgical recitation of two prayers in Latin during daily mass in her Manalapan parish. She couldn't tell us which prayers. She did not recognize the prayers. She admitted to being completely lost and confused during the Latin prayers.

Mary Margaret, 65, and I, 40, chuckled a little at Leslie's bewilderment as we both speculated simultaneously that one of the prayers was probably the Agnus Dei. We couldn't agree on the other, with Mary Margaret leaning towards the Gloria and me, the Pater noster.

Leslie wasn't interested in appreciating which prayers these were. She just wants the Latin prayers to stop! Mary Margaret suggested asking the priest for an explanation ... or at least an understanding of when these prayers were first introduced.

Me, I found myself encouraging Leslie to just learn the Latin prayers! I heard myself saying, "Agnus Dei is very easy ... you can learn it in a few days."

"But I don't want to learn them, " Leslie replied with frustrated defiance. I caught a glimpse of how her teenage daughter who's stopped attending mass because she gets nothing out of it might sound.

It wasn't as if I was suggesting she learn witchcraft. Can't she at least look at it as knowledge for its own sake? That's how I justify it.

Knowledge for the Sake of Knowledge" - First Things, 1/2002 - quotes one of my favorite books.
Jeff got one of those flip video cameras last week.

He posted a video of Ella at flickr.

Her new word is "crack," short for "cracker" and means, not just that she'd like a cracker but that she'd like to eat.

She uses the word in this video because she is expecting breakfast.

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Had tidied up the car last week for its service appointment and consequently couldn't find my missal or his envelopes this morning.

I keep a spare missal ... that's right, a spare Sunday missal ... in the passenger seat pocket. It's arranged differently from my regular one: order of liturgy up front, followed by all cycle A readings, all cycle B readings, etc. The other one is slightly more comfortable to use because the order of liturgy is smack-dab in the middle, for better balance, and cycle A, B and C are arranged together by Sunday.

The ribbons didn't mark the correct Sunday because I hadn't used this missal in months. All I knew was that it was ordinary time again. I didn't know which Sunday. It isn't my custom to take a bulletin on the way in but at least glancing at it would have helped.

The Sunday after Corpus Christi in my missals is the 10th. I didn't even say, "Yeah, but Easter was soo early this year." I went with it, but the Opening Prayer didn't match up. Then I, like, forgot what cycle we're in ... Isn't it B?!

The first reading from Deuteronomy sounded familiar, but from another place.

I was able to find Deuteronomy in the Scripture index in the back, flip to the page number indicated and get on track. Yeah, obviously, the missal's calendar expired years ago and I didn't feel like extrapolating the years forward ... 'though I have done that before and can do that. If the first reading wasn't as familiar, I would have had no other choice.