Saturday, October 27, 2007

First Ron Paul NH ad



via LewRockwell.com blog

Patrick Deneen reflects on the wildfires

in Southern California, and the folly (or selfishness?) of a society that fails to accept the limits set by nature

via Crunchy Con

Extraordinary vs. ordinary

Shawn Tribe discusses the two adjectives, with regards to the Roman rite

Something [Christendom] Crusaders should enjoy

and former faculty members as well... should make a good gift, if one could only purchase a bottle at the local wine store (which doesn't seem likely, but who knows...)

The Smith-Berry Winery

(the winery is owned by the daughter of Wendell Berry and her husband)

via the Crunchy Con

The scam that is higher ed

Discussion over at Crunchy Con

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rorate Caeli: Don Guido speaks

Rorate Caeli posts an excerpt from an interview with Monsignor Guido Marini

edit: Fr. Z has his own post on this

Julianne Hough sites



Julianne Hough Fan Site
Julianne Hough Picture Gallery
Official site

Cardinal Biffi: What I Told the Future Pope

via Sandro Magister: Before the Last Conclave: "What I Told the Future Pope"

Peter Hitchens on the legalization of abortion

Safe, legal, and very common - the Abortion Epidemic

The Pharisee and the Publican

The Pharisee and the Publican

Gospel Commentary for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time


By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap

ROME, OCT. 26, 2007 (Zenit.org).- This Sunday's Gospel is the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. Those who attend Mass this Sunday will hear a commentary more or less of this type.

The Pharisee represents the conservative who feels himself in line with God and man, and looks with contempt on his neighbor. The publican is the person who has committed an error, but he recognizes it and humbly asks God for forgiveness. The latter doesn't think of saving himself on his own merits, but rather through the mercy of God. The preference of Jesus between these two is clear, as the last line of the parable indicates: The latter returns to his house justified, that is, forgiven and reconciled with God; the Pharisee returns home just as he left it -- preserving his sense of righteousness, but losing God's.

Hearing this commentary, and repeating it here, leaves me dissatisfied. It's not because it is mistaken, but it doesn't respond to our modern times. Jesus told these parables to those who were listening to him in the moment. In a culture charged with faith and religious practice like that of Galilee and Judea of his time, hypocrisy consisted in flaunting the observance of the law and of holiness, because these were the things that brought applause.

In our secularized and permissive culture, values have changed. What is admired and opens the path to success is the contrary of that other time: It is the rejection of traditional moral norms, independence, the liberty of the individual. For the Pharisees the key word was "observance" of the norms; for many, today, the key word is "transgression." To say that an author, a book or a show is a "transgressor" is to give it one of the most desired compliments of today.

In other words, today we should turn the terms around to get at the original intention. The publicans of yesterday are the new Pharisees of today! Today the publican, the transgressor, says to God: "I thank you Lord, because I am not one of those believing Pharisees, hypocritical and intolerant, that worry about fasting, but in real life are worse than we are." Paradoxically, it seems as if there are those who pray like this: "I thank you, Lord, because I'm an atheist!"


Rochefoucauld said that hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. Today it is frequently the tribute that virtue pays to vice. This is shown, in fact, especially among youth, who show themselves worse and more shameless than they are, so as not to appear less than others.

A practical conclusion, valid as much in the traditional interpretation alluded to at the beginning, as in the development given here, is this one: Very few -- perhaps no one -- are always in the role of the Pharisee or always in the role of the publican, that is, righteous in everything or sinners in everything. Most of us have a little of both in us. The worst thing would be to act like the publican in our daily lives and like the Pharisee in church. The publicans were sinners, men without scruple, who put money and business above everything else. The Pharisees, on the contrary, were, very austere and attentive to the law in their daily lives. We thus seem like the publican in daily life and the Pharisee in the temple, if, like the publican we are sinners, and like the Pharisee, we believe ourselves just.

If we must resign ourselves to being a little of both, then let us be the opposite of what we have just described: Pharisees in daily life and publicans in church! Like the Pharisee, we must try in daily life to not be thieves and unjust, but to follow God's commandments and pay our dues; like the publican, when we are before God, we must recognize that the little that we have done is entirely God's own gift, and let us implore, for ourselves and for all, God's mercy.

* * *

Father Raniero Cantalamessa is the Pontifical Household preacher. The readings for this Sunday are Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14.

Stuff at IGN TV

24 Lost Moments

24 Season 7 (includes trailer)

Razor clips

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A different take on Blackwater and PMCs

from John Robb: Is Blackwater evil?

Arthur J. Versluis, “The Revolutionary Conservatism of Jefferson’s Small Republics

Arthur J. Versluis, The Revolutionary Conservatism of Jefferson’s Small Republics

Do we have reason to be optimistic like Mr. Versluis, that decentralization can be accomplished, even if it will take a century or more?

A Da Vinci Code Movie Sequel?

Unbelievable. I guess the movie did ok overseas, to make up for the poor draw here in the US. Still... didn't they learn a lesson the first time? I guess Tom Hanks and Ron Howard will do anything for money. Unless they actually buy into the whole gnostic/enlightenment BS.

CI: Big Mama Goes for Bigger Audience on Latest Album


Big Mama Goes for Bigger Audience on Latest Album
Hardcore fans of Big Mama, expecting more of the group's trademark power tracks, might be disappointed by the quartet's latest album. But the four women's rich vocals make a strong appeal to a wider audience. Big Mama has filled "Blossom" with songs that might seem bland compared to their earlier hits, but the album is likely to appeal to broader listeners. >>Full Text

Aacck! Loome's is going out of business

Someone let Fr. Bob know! From LewRockwel.com blog:
The World's Greatest Bookstore to Close
Posted by Karen DeCoster at 04:22 PM

Loome's Antiquarian Booksellers in Stillwater, Minnesota is closing at the end of the year. Stillwater sits on the fabulous St. Croix, just Northeast of St. Paul, and it has been known as America's Booktown. Loome's provides books for the discerning reader, and it can no longer compete with Amazon and the used book market on the Internet, so it must close its beautiful and huge store in downtown Stillwater in December of 2007. If you live anywhere near Minneapolis/St. Paul and love books, make the drive because Loome's is selling all of its books (excluding its rare book collection) at 50% off (excluding Internet sales). I have never seen a bookstore with such a marvelous selection of books that includes: Mises, Rothbard, Belloc, Chesterton, Orwell, William Lloyd Garrison, American & Brit Lit, Modern Library, Evelyn Waugh, Mencken, Nabokov, James J. Martin, Frank Chodorov, and LewRockwell.com's Robert Higgs and Tom DiLorenzo. I had once bought a very old copy of God's Gold (Chodorov) at Loome's. I even spied a book by Condy Roguet at Loome's.

Photos: Catherine Zeta-Jones


Actors Catherine Zeta-Jones,left, and Michael Douglas arrive at 'A Fine Romance' third annual benefit at Sony Pictures in Culver City, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)






AP, Chris Carlson














Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones attends the third annual "A Fine Romance" evening gala in Culver City, California October 20, 2007. The gala benefits the Motion Picture & Television Fund. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES)

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones addresses the crowd during the 11th Annual Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif., Monday, Oct. 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)


Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones poses backstage at the Hollywood Film Festival 11th Annual Hollywood Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Monday, Oct. 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who was a presenter at the Hollywood Awards gala held by the Hollywood Film Festival, poses backstage in Beverly Hills, California October 22, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)

Award winners for producing Neil Meron, right, and Craig Zaden, left, pose with presenter Catherine Zeta-Jones backstage at the Hollywood Film Festival 11th Annual Hollywood Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Monday, Oct. 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Truth of the Knights Templar Unveiled

Truth of the Knights Templar Unveiled

Vatican Publishes Acts of 14th-Century Trials


VATICAN CITY, OCT. 25, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Due to what a Vatican archivist calls a "sketchy" error, a document exonerating the Knights Templar of heresy is only now being made public.

This morning in the Old Synod Hall, the a number of Vatican officials and laypeople presented "Processus Contra Templarios" (Trial Against the Templars), a compendium of reprints of the original acts of the hearings against the Knights Templar, the group novelist Dan Brown linked to the Holy Grail in "The Da Vinci Code."

The volume is the third in the "Exemplaria Praetiosa" series of the Vatican Secret Archives, issued in collaboration with the Scrinium publishing house.

Despite its hefty price tag -- $8,377 -- the 799 available copies of the volume have been sold to collectors, scholars and libraries from all over the world, reported the Vatican press office. The 800th copy will be given to Benedict XVI.

The military order of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon was founded in Jerusalem in 1118 to protect Christians in the Holy Land.

The order eventually fell into disfavor with King Philip IV of France, who wanted their money, or perhaps, wanted to cancel the debts he owed it. The French king arrested members of the Knights and resorting to torture, extracted confessions of heresy.

In 1308, however, Pope Clement V decided to save the order, as recorded by the "Parchment of Chinon." King Philip IV later pressured the Pontiff to reverse the decision, and the order was suppressed in 1312.

The acts of the hearings against the Knights Templar (1308-1311) had been kept in the Vatican Secret Archives, but until recently, had not been reviewed since the early 20th century.

Discovery

Barbara Frale, an official at the Vatican Secret Archives, found the "Parchment of Chinon" in 2001. Frale told the Associated Press the 3-foot-wide document probably had been ignored because a catalog entry in 1628 was "too vague." "Unfortunately, there was an archiving error, an error in how the document was described. More than an error, it was a little sketchy."

Frale was interested by the 1628 entry because it included a reference to Clement V's aide, Cardinal Berenger Fredol, who had gone with other important cardinals to interrogate someone.

The book reproduces all of the documentation of the papal hearings convened after Philip IV arrested and tortured the Templars on charges of heresy and immorality.

Frale said the parchment reveals the cardinals reached the conclusion the Templars were guilty of abuses, but not "a real and true heresy."

"There were a lot of faults in the order -- abuses, violence ... a lot of sins, but not heresy," she said.

"Processus Contra Templarios" was presented by Archbishop Raffaele Farina, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church; Bishop Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives; Frale and Marco Maiorino, officials of the Vatican Secret Archives; Franco Cardini, a professor of mediaeval history; Valerio Massimo Manfredi, an author and archaeologist; and Ferdinando Santoro, president of Scrinium.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jennifer Lopez on Dancing with the Stars

Do It Well


Let's Get Loud


ET on DWTS w/Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough


Apolo and Julianne on Ellen

Jeffrey Tucker, Organic Musical Development in Salve Regina

Organic Musical Development in Salve Regina

Joseph Stromberg, The Conservative Intellectual Uprising

The Conservative Intellectual Uprising

Posted by Joseph Stromberg

Good post about what's been going on at The Modern Age. There's hope for the journal (and ISI in general) yet.

Of note at the Crunchy Con blog

A monastery rises in Oklahoma
Going ungently
Dark Age ahead?

24 season 7 trailer

From AICN:

‘Torture Him If You Have To!!’
Jack!! Chloe!! 24 7.X Trailer!!

I am – Hercules!!

See Jack Bauer give Sen. Kurtwood Smith a piece of his mind!

Find out what would happen if the CIP firewall were breached!

See the supersized soul-patch here!!

New episodes of “24” return to Fox in January.



2 from Lind

Light Infantry. Another manual in the 4GW series by the Imperial and Royal (K. u. K.) Austro-Hungarian Marine Corps. As the manual says, "... [light infantry] is the only one able successfully to counter the challenge imposed by the current transition towards the Fourth Generation of War." [189 KB PDF]

On War #238: Mahan or Corbett? By William S. Lind

and DNI has posted another piece by Robert Hirsch:
World Oil Shortage - Scenarios for Mitigation Planning, by Robert L. Hirsch. "The more you think about it, the uglier it gets." Stand by for World War III. [114 KB PDF]

Papal Address to the Vatican Chapter

Papal Address to the Vatican Chapter

"I Trust in Your Ministry So St. Peter's May Become a Place of Prayer"


VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of the Oct. 8 address Benedict XVI delivered to members of the Chapter of St. Peter's Basilica.

* * *

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO MEMBERS OF THE CHAPTER
OF THE PAPAL BASILICA
OF SAINT PETER AT THE VATICAN

Vatican's Clementine Hall
Monday, 8 October 2007

Dear Member of the Vatican Chapter,

I have been looking forward to meeting you for a long time and I gladly take this opportunity to express to you my personal esteem and affection. I address a cordial greeting to each one of you.

I greet in particular Archbishop Angelo Comastri, Archpriest, whom I thank for his presentation of this ancient and venerable institution. With him, I greet the Vicar, Bishop Vittorio Lanzani, the Canons and the Coadjutors. I appreciated, Your Excellency, the fact that as Archpriest you referred to the uninterrupted presence of clergy praying in the Vatican Basilica since the time of St Gregory the Great. It has been a continuous, deliberately discreet but faithful and persevering presence.

Properly speaking, however, your Chapter was founded in 1053, when Pope Leo IX confirmed that the Archpriest and Canons of St Peter's who had settled in the Monastery of St Stephen the Great would be granted the same possessions and privileges that his Predecessors had conferred upon them. It was later, during the Pontificate of Eugene III (1145-53), that the General Chapter acquired the characteristics of a well-structured and autonomous community. Indeed, the transition from a monastic structure at the service of the Basilica to today's canonical structure was essentially long and gradual. Under the Archpriest's guidance, the activity of the Vatican Chapter focused from the outset on a wide rang of commitments: the liturgical sphere, for a harmonious celebration and the daily supervision of the services connected to worship; the administrative context, for the management of the patrimony of the Basilica and its affiliated churches; the pastoral sector, in which the Chapter was entrusted with the care of the Borgo district; the charitable sector, in which the Chapter carried out its own activities of assistance and collaboration with the Santo Spirito Hospital and other institutions.

From the 11th century to this day, at least 11 Popes have belonged to the Vatican Chapter. I would like to recall among them the 20th century Popes in particular, Pius XI and Pius XII.

Ever since the 16th century, when the construction of the new Basilica began -- we celebrated the fifth centenary of the laying of the foundation stone last year -- the history of the Vatican Chapter has been linked to that of the Fabric of St Peter's. They are two separate institutions but are united in the person of the Archpriest, who ensures that their reciprocal collaboration is fruitful.

The Chapter's work in the life of the Vatican Basilica, especially in the last decades of the past century, has sought more and more to rediscover its true, original function that consisted above all in the ministry of prayer. If prayer is fundamental for all Christians, for you, dear brothers, it is as it were a "professional" task.

As I said during my recent Journey in Austria, prayer is at the same time both a service to the Lord who deserves to be ceaselessly praised and adored and a testimony for people.

Moreover, when God is faithfully praised and worshipped, his blessings are unfailing (cf. Address at Holy Cross Abbey, 9 September 2007; L'Osservatore Romano English edition, 12 September, p. 10). This is the proper nature of the Vatican Chapter and the contribution that the Pope expects of you: to recall with your prayerful presence at Peter's tomb that nothing can come before God; that the Church is entirely oriented to him and to his glory; that the primacy of Peter is at the service of the unity of the Church, and that this in turn is at the service of the saving plan of the Most Holy Trinity.

Dear and venerable Brothers, I trust profoundly in you and in your ministry so that St Peter's Basilica may become an authentic place of prayer, adoration and praise of the Lord. It is more necessary than elsewhere that a permanent community of prayer should exist here, by Peter's tomb, in this sacred place visited every day by thousands of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world, which can guarantee continuity with tradition and at the same time intercede for the Pope's intentions in the Church and in the world today. In this perspective, I invoke upon you the protection of St Peter, of St John Chrysostom, whose relics are preserved precisely in your Chapel, and of the other Saints and Blesseds enshrined in the Basilica. May the Immaculate Virgin watch over you. Her image, which you venerate in the Chapel of the Choir, was crowned by Bl. Pius IX in 1854 and, 50 years later in 1904, St Pius X surrounded it with stars. Once again, I thank you for the zeal with which you carry out your task, and as I assure you of my special remembrance in Holy Mass, I warmly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and to your loved ones.

© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rebecca Solnit, Finding Time

Finding Time
The fast, the bad, the ugly, the alternatives
by Rebecca Solnit

via Rod Dreher
(see also his Small Farmer Liberation Front)

Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal :: Chelsea Green Publishing
Amazon.com: Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories From ...

Joel Salatin is profiled in Omnivore's Dilemma.
Interviews 5 - Joel Salatin
You Can Farm by Joel Salatin | Permaculture
Family Friendly Farming by Joel Salatin | Permaculture
The Beginning Farmer: Salatin vs. Avery Debate
MoonStar Films Home Page:
The Polyface Farm DVD

Georgia Organics - Event
Download the entire Winter 2006/7 issue of The Dirt to read our interview with Joel Salatin. Includes complete conference details and registration form.

The Believer - Interview with Michael Pollan
THE BELIEVER If the problem is consumption, a consumer-based philosophy, then it seems like in the newer organic model, like in Joel Salatin’s case, ...

The Deliberate Agrarian: Go Listen to The New John Mesko Interview
Joel Salatin comes to mind immediately. There are many others testing the waters ... The interview is titled "Agriculture and Economics: Yime is Not Money. ...

Local Forage: Liz Lipski / Sally Fallon Interview
Satya Sept 06: Interview with Michael Pollan

Also from the current issue of Orion:
Losing Home
by Melissa Holbrook Pierson
Place is physical before it is emotional, which is why losing one feels like a punch in the gut.

Horse Power
by Dick Courteau
A case for elegant, four-legged energy over the kind that must be mined and refined.

Altar Call for True Believers
by Janisse Ray
Even the so-called choir seems to be failing at making great strides toward sustainability.

Lessons from the New World
by Gina Cassidy
The successors of the settlers who starved among America's abundance have yet to learn the true art of survival.

License to Kill
by Robert Michael Pyle
Killing other creatures, whether direct or by proxy, are an inevitable part of being among the living.

More on peak oil

Peak Oil -- Oct 23

T. Boone Pickens: we peaked last year, globally (video interview)
Julian Darley et al, Global Public Media
Legendary Texas oilman and chair of BP Capital, T. Boone Pickens, holds an impromptu video question and answer session at ASPO Houston with Global Public Media's Julian Darley and other journalists. Pickens talks about the peaking of world oil production, which he says occurred in 2006.

79 year old billionaire T. Boone Pickens is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 131st richest person in the world. Pickens was a well-known takeover artist who he grew his company, Mesa Petroleum, by acquisitions rather than by exploration alone. In recent years Pickens has spoken out on the issue of peak oil and he advocates, amongst other responses, the promotion of renewable energy technologies.
(23 October 2007)

Robert Hirsh interview (transcription)
David Strahan, ContreInfo
David Strahan's site has a podcast of the interview .


And there is this post, in response to the German Energy Watch Group peak oil report.
More on the Energy Watch Group peak oil report

Chris Skrebowski on alarming new peak oil report
(audio)
Julian Darley, Global Public Media
Chris Skrebowski, editor of the UK Petroleum Review, speaks with GPM's Julian Darley about the remarkable new oil report from the German-based Energy Watch Group, which states that world oil production peaked in 2006 and will decline by half as soon as 2030.
(23 October 2007)




Peak Oil could trigger meltdown of society

Energy Watch Group, press release via YubaNet
According to a newly published global oil supply report to be presented by the Energy Watch Group at the Foreign Press Association in London, world oil production peaked in 2006. Production will start to decline at a rate of several percent per year. By 2020, and even more by 2030, global oil supply will be dramatically lower. This will create a supply gap which can hardly be closed by growing contributions from other fossil, nuclear or alternative energy sources in this time frame.

"The most alarming finding is the steep decline of the oil supply after peak", warns Jörg Schindler from the Energy Watch Group. This result, together with the timing of the peak, is obviously in sharp contrast to the projections by the International Energy Agency (IEA). "Since crude oil is the most important energy carrier at a global scale and since all kinds of transport rely heavily on oil, the future oil availability is of paramount importance as it entails completely different actions by politics, business and individuals.", says Schindler.

This cautious energy outlook corresponds with statements made by former US Defense Secretary and CIA Director, James Schlesinger, who said at a recent oil summit in Cork: "The battle is over, the oil peakists have won. Current US energy policy and the administration's oil strategy in Iraq and Iran are deluded."

However, until recently the International Energy Agency denied that a fundamental change of energy supply is likely to happen in the near or medium term future. Hans-Josef Fell MP, a prominent member of the German Parliament, is clear: "The message by the IEA, namely that business as usual will also be possible in future, sends a diffusing signal to the markets and blocks investments in already available renewable energy technologies.

Remaining world oil reserves are estimated to be 1,255 Gb (Giga barrel) according to the industry database HIS (2006). For the Energy Watch Group (EWG), however, there are sound reasons to modify these figures for some regions and key countries, leading to a corresponding EWG estimate of 854 Gb. This oil supply outlook does not rely primarily on reserve data which in the past have frequently turned out to be unreliable. Hence the EWG analysis is based primarily on production data which can be observed more easily and which are more reliable.

Peak oil is now. "The oil boom is over and will not return. All of us must get used to a different lifestyle.", said King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the largest global oil producer. For quite some time, a hot debate has been going on regarding peak oil. Institutions close to the energy industry, like CERA, are engaging in a campaign trying to debunk peak oil as a "theory". However, the EWG report shows that peak oil is real. The world is at the beginning of a structural change of its economic system. This change will be triggered by a sharp decline of fossil fuel supplies and will influence almost all aspects of daily life. Climate change will also force mankind to change energy consumption patterns by significantly reducing the burning of fossil fuels.

Anticipated supply shortages could easily lead to disturbing scenes of mass unrest as witnessed in Burma this month. For government, industry and the wider public just muddling through is not an option anymore as this situation could spin out of control and turn into a meltdown of society.

"My experience of debating the peak oil issue with the oil industry, and trying to alert Whitehall to it, is that there is a culture of institutionalised denial in government and the energy industry. As the evidence of an early peak in production unfolds, this becomes increasingly impossible to understand", says Jeremy Leggett, the Solarcentury CEO and former member of the British Government's Renewables Advisory Board.

Further information:

The Energy Watch Group was founded on joint initiative by Hans-Josef Fell MP, international parliamentarians and scientists. It is supported by the Ludwig-Bölkow-Foundation and produces reports on fossil and nuclear energy resources, scenarios for regenerative energy and also strategies for a long-term secure energy supply. The focus lies thereby on the analysis of economical and technological implications. Results of these studies are to be presented not only to expert audiences but also to the wider interested public.
(23 October 2007)




Energy Watch Group report on peak oil: excecutive summary

Energy Watch Group (Germany)
The main purpose of this paper is to project the future availability of crude oil up to 2030. Since crude oil is the most important energy carrier at a global scale and since all kinds of transport rely heavily on oil, the future availability of crude oil is of paramount interest. At present, widely diverging projections exist in parallel which would require completely different actions by politics, business and individuals.

The scope of these projections is similar to that of the World Energy Outlook by the International Energy Agency (IEA). However, no assumptions or projections regarding the oil price are made.

In this paper a scenario for the possible global oil supply is derived by aggregating projections for ten world regions.

... the scenario results presented in this paper are very different to the scenarios presented by the IEA in their periodic editions of the World Energy Outlook (WEO) where continuing growth of oil supply and as a consequence a continuation of business as usual for decades to come is deemed possible.

... Methodology

The analysis in this paper does not primarily rely on reserve data which are difficult to assess and to verify and in the past frequently have turned out to be unreliable. The history of discoveries is a better indicator though the individual data are of varying quality. Rather the analysis is based primarily on production data which can be observed more easily and are also more reliable. Historical discovery and production patterns allow to project future discoveries and - where peak production has already been reached - future production patterns.

The analysis is based on an industry database for past production data and partly also for reserve data for certain regions. As reserve data vary widely and as there is no audited reference, the authors have in some cases made their own reserve estimates based on various sources and own assessments. Generally, future production in regions which are already in decline can be predicted fairly accurately relying solely on past production data.

Only oil that has been found before can be produced. Therefore, the peak of discoveries which took place a long time ago in the 1960s, will some day have to be followed by a peak of production. After peak oil, the global availability of oil will decline year after year. There are strong indications that world oil production is near peak.

The growing discrepancy between oil discoveries and production is shown in Figure 1.

...So, the production pattern over time of an oil province can be characterised as follows: To increase the supply of oil will become more and more difficult, the growth rate will slow down and costs will increase until the point is reached where the industry is not anymore able to bring into production a sufficient number of new fields quick enough. At that point, production will stagnate temporarily and then eventually start to decline.

... Key findings

• “Peak oil is now”.

For quite some time, a hot debate is going on regarding peak oil. Institutions close to the energy industry, like CERA, are engaging in a campaign trying to “debunk” the “peak oil theory”. This paper is one of many by authors inside and outside ASPO (the Organisation for the Study of Peak Oil) showing that peak oil is anything but a “theory”, it is real and we are witnessing it already. According to the scenario projections, the peak of world oil production was in 2006.

The timing of the peak in this study is by a few years earlier than seen by other authors (like e.g. Campbell, ASPO, and Skrebowski) who are also well aware of the imminent oil peak. One reason for the difference is a more pessimistic assessment of the potential of future additions to oil production, especially from offshore oil and from deep sea oil due to the observed delays in announced field developments. Another reason are earlier and greater declines projected for key producing regions, especially in the Middle East.

• The most important finding is the steep decline of the oil supply after peak.

This result - together with the timing of the peak - is obviously in sharp contrast to the projections by the IEA. But the decline is also more pronounced compared with the more moderate projections by ASPO. Yet, this result conforms very well with the recent findings of Robelius in his doctoral thesis. This is all the more remarkable because a different methodology and different data sources have been used.

• The global scenario for the future oil supply is shown in the following Figure 7.

... Conclusion

The major result from this analysis is that world oil production has peaked in 2006. Production will start to decline at a rate of several percent per year. By 2020, and even more by 2030, global oil supply will be dramatically lower. This will create a supply gap which can hardly be closed by growing contributions from other fossil, nuclear or alternative energy sources in this time frame. The world is at the beginning of a structural change of its economic system. This change will be triggered by declining fossil fuel supplies and will influence almost all aspects of our daily life.

Climate change will also force humankind to change energy consumption patterns by reducing significantly the burning of fossil fuels. Global warming is a very serious problem. However, the focus of this paper is on the aspects of resource depletion as these are much less transparent to the public.

The now beginning transition period probably has its own rules which are valid only during this phase. Things might happen which we never experienced before and which we may never experience again once this transition period has ended. Our way of dealing with energy issues probably will have to change fundamentally.

The International Energy Agency, anyway until recently, denies that such a fundamental change of our energy supply is likely to happen in the near or medium term future. The message by the IEA, namely that business as usual will also be possible in future, sends a false signal to politicians, industry and consumers - not to forget the media.
(22 October 2007)
See the 13-page original PDF of the Executive Summary for more text and some excellent graphs. The 101-page full report can be downloaded from the Energy Watch Group site.

The English versions can be downloaded from here. The German versions are here. Their website is: www.energywatchgroup.de/

The UK Guardian broke the story on October 21 with their article: Steep decline in oil production brings risk of war and unrest, says new study.
-BA





New Report on Peak Oil Argues That We Have Already Peaked…

Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
This morning’s Guardian appears to have beaten the rest of the media to the story of the imminent release of a report by the Energy Watch Group which argues that in fact we peaked in 2006, and that annual decline rates from hereonin will be 7% a year. This is chilling stuff. The report, rather than make guesses about total world reserves, focused instead on global production data, which it sees as being a lot more reliable.

...I refuse to see this report as bad news though. It is chilling, and it gives no further room for putting doing things off for a few more months while we get one more cheap flight to Prague in, but it is, ultimately good news. The Oil Age has brought many benefits, but mostly to us in the world’s wealthier nations, and at a huge cost. As the Big Melt study set out, we need to cut emissions to zero yesterday, and if the EWG report is correct, the illusion that we can choose what we do at this point just crumbled to dust. We need to plan now for contraction, for relocalisation and for a decoupling of happiness and economic wellbeing from the amount of fossil fuels we consume. Lester Brown’s concept of a ‘wartime mobilisation’ keeps returning to the front of my mind, we need this, but clearly cannot wait for Governments to do this.

David Strahan’s recent interview with Robert Hirsch is also essential listening, Hirsch argues that peak oil means peak economy, that once we pass the peak the economy contracts in line with the depletion rate. The rebuilding of local resilience is key and is of the utmost urgency, and the viral spread of the Transition concept is evidence of the hunger out there for facing this problem with creativity rather than denial. As these two great issues accelerate before our eyes, we can choose to, as I did as a child watching Dr Who, hide behind the sofa waiting until the scary bits are past, or read what’s happening as the best opportunity we have ever had to actually get to work and rebuild local economies, bringing people together again and starting to relearn the essential skills we will need. As the great South African poet Mark Mzwake put it “Now is the Time”.
(22 October 2007)




Editor's Pick: Peak Oil Is Now

Mikka Pineda, RGE Monitor
German-based Energy Watch Group released its October Oil Market Report which claims "peak oil is now".

-Looking at the countries outside of the Former Soviet Union and OPEC, it can be noticed that their total production increased until about the year 2000, but since then total production has been declining.

-Only a very limited numberof countries will still be able to expand production, particularly Brazil and Angola.

-King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: "The oil boom is over and will not return. All of us must get used to a different lifestyle."

-World's biggest fields in decline.

-Based on the analysis of the world's giant oilfields peak oil will happen somewhere between 2008 and 2018 [Robelius 2007].

-Growth of production has come to a standstill and production now is more or less on a plateau despite historically high oil prices.

-The historical maximum of oil discoveries after some time has to be followed by a maximum of oil production (the "peak"), which was in May 2005

-33 of the 48 largest oil producing countries have already passed peak [Chevron 2007].

-IEA projections are not a very reliable basis for planning the future.
(22 October 2007)
Nice summary by a financial consultancy. Co-founder of RGE Monitor is Dr. Nouriel Roubini, who teaches finance and economics at the Stern School of Business at NYU. More on RGE:
RGE Monitor delivers ahead-of-the-curve global economic insights that financial professionals need to know. Our analysts define the key geostrategic debates and continuously distill the best thinking on all sides.


Other news articles on the Energy Watch Group report:

Agence France Presse (AFP) via Pakistan Times

Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) via Mathaba news (Wikipedia on IRNA)

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

... and a defining silence from the mainstream media in U.S., Australia, and elsewhere. -BA

Robert Jensen, The Quagmire of Masculinity

Robert Jensen
The Quagmire of Masculinity



He recounts three incidents of bad male behavior. His solution?

Masculinity in three acts: Attempts at dominance through (1) force and humiliation, (2) words and argument, and (3) raw insults. Three episodes about the ways masculinity does men in, neatly played out during one long weekend. By the time I get home, I am tired. I am sad. It feels like there are few ways out.

But there is, of course, a way out. It's called feminism. It offers men a way to understand the nature of this toxic conception of who we are.

Feminism is a gift to men, if we are smart enough to accept it.


And how does he define feminism? He doesn't do so here, in this excerpt from his book,
Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity. If feminism is just aping bad male behavior, then how is it a solution. On the other hand, if feminism is linked to the "ethic of care" and an exaggerated account of female virtues (that sort of account that claims that men are just evil while women are always good), then isn't the solution worse than the disease? What can we say from a Christian standpoint, when reviewing the three incidents? Yes--males are involved, but then again they are the subject of inquiry, aren't they? Are these "characteristic" alpha males of the first two stories (or the passive-aggressive male in the third) following the ideal? It is one thing to remind us (who are civilized) of what is obvious--that these men are behaving badly. But it is another to ask what is the justification for this claim? Is Mr. Jensen evaluating it from the standpoint of feminism? Or from an inherited tradition that he attempts to live?

These men are proud, and the solution is not for them to become like women, or to adopt an ideology which either does away with sex differences, or goes to an extreme by denigrating one sex while elevating the other, but to embrace humility, as a cure to pride, and grace, as a cure to original sin. (The first one seems to be guilty of being unchaste, in addition to being proud, while the second lacks some of the appropriate social virtues... what can we say about the third? He does seem to have an anger issue, and lacks the virtues of obedience and legal justice.)

There is nothing wrong with argument, so long it is in the service of God and truth and not of ego.

So let us not be quick to blame "masculinity" when what is the source of the problem is not bare masculinity, but bad habits or vices.

The True Cost of War for Oil

Bonnie Bricker /
Adil E. Shamoo

The True Cost of War for Oil


This is the debate that Americans should be having: on the one hand, America's economy is fueled by our use of energy to run our lives--fueling our cars and SUVs, our industry, our homes. The United States uses 25% of the world's oil and but we're only 4% of the world's population.

We like to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and we love the freedom of choosing to use as much energy as we want. We also don't like anyone telling us that we have to change our ways. If we keep using energy the way we always have, we're going to need a dependable source of it to ensure that our children and grandchildren have access to the same way of life. But we have competitors for oil in the world marketplace--China, especially--and many argue that if we don't lock up Middle Eastern oil for ourselves now, we won't have it for our use in the very near future. That will mean paying even more for energy and allowing other nations to rev up their economic engines at our expense.

On the other hand, the cost of ensuring this oil supply is a hefty one. Americans are losing lives. A generation of veterans will be suffering through the vast wounds of this war. Our actions in Iraq have led to as many as a million Iraqi deaths and many more wounded, and displaced 4.4 million Iraqis. We have, in the name of "The War on Terror", created so many U.S. enemies around the world, that our college-age students sew Canadian flags on their backpacks when abroad in the hopes of disguising their American identities.

As a result of this war, many Americans have come to accept that U.S. policy will include the moral and ethical disruptions of war--even when we have not been attacked by the people we invade, but rather are invading a weakened nation for the resource we desire.

Americans deserve this discussion so we can decide who we are and how we wish to solve this problem. Is it feasible or naïve to think we can use alternative energy sources instead of oil to address our needs?

Is it possible to change our habits and our lives to accommodate lower energy needs--or will too many Americans reject any change in habit?

And finally, are we really the noble Americans we like to think that we are, if we allow death and destruction of this magnitude to occur in our name?

We're still waiting to hear the honest debate from our presidential candidates, from our media, and even with our friends and neighbors.


Bill Bonner, Humpty Dumpty Investors

Humpty Dumpty Investors

Why do we care about the Dow? We don't really. Only a fool would buy the Dow at today's levels. Still, there's a fool on every corner…and they're fun to watch.

Buying the Dow is a gamble on an entire asset class - large-cap stocks. Whether they will go up or down, we don't know. But if we feel like gambling, we'll go to a casino. There, at least, we'll get drinks and pretty girls to look at too.

Investing in a particular stock is a different matter altogether. You can always find one or two decent stocks - even in an over-priced market. If you do your homework - the way Warren Buffett does, for instance - you'll be making an investment. We leave it to others do that kind of heavy lifting. Here at The Daily Reckoning, we just point and laugh.

We laughed at the dotcom buyers in the frenzy of the late '90s. Then, we laughed at the subprime buyers in the 2001-2006 house price bubble. We still laugh at anyone who 'invests' in a hedge fund. And we love laughing most at the 'sophisticated' institutions - including many hedge funds - that put money into derivative contracts composed of subprime mortgages. Investors in these funds must have had enough willing suspension of disbelief to hold up a bridge. They thought that, by some mysterious transubstantiation never explained, loans to people who couldn't pay them off could be sliced and diced and turned into Triple A credits. What's more, they were willing to give up 2% of their principal and 20% of their gains to the fellows who offered to let them in on the deal!

Ha…ha…ha…

But you've got to hand it to the Goldman crowd. They gave investors what they wanted - good and hard. They securitized these dicey mortgages…sold them to their customers…and then, in order to protect themselves from the inevitable losses…sold them short!

Bill Bonner, The Broken Rungs of the Housing Ladder

The Broken Rungs of the Housing Ladder

Foreclosures in the yankee state are running three times last year's level. And losses are working their way up the socio-economic ladder. Goldman Sachs' (NYSE:GS) Trust 2006-S3 is a sophisticated investment instrument containing 8,274 mortgages. One out of every six of those mortgages is in default - only 18 months after the thing was put together. When that many people stop paying, it wipes out the entire capital value of the derivative. And since speculators usually take leveraged positions, the losses can go much further.

We don't know whose mortgage is going unpaid…or who invested in the trust…but according to former colleague Adrian Ash, after Goldman created the derivative and sold it to its customers, it then sold its own monster creation short in order to protect itself.

Goldman is a smart operator. The typical fellow has no obvious way to protect himself. His house falls in value…his earnings go down in value…his living costs go up…and he's out of luck. And not all the big players are as smart as Goldman. There always has to be someone on the other side of these trades. Also last week, two major financial companies - one in London, the other in Düsseldorf - defaulted on $7 billion worth of debt.

What is going on? Time will tell.

"It's funny because you can see it is a big problem," said our cousin yesterday. "People have bought these huge houses. They don't really need so much house, and they never intended to pay for it. They just figured that they'd stay in it for a few years…and then sell out at a big profit. The bigger the house, the more money they'd make. So they bought these McMansions, which really aren't very well built. Everybody thought the same thing, so everyone was buying more house than he needed. That's why the whole housing market went up…people were all pushing up to the next level.

"But now, no one is coming up. The pressure from the bottom has gone away. And these people are left with a lot more house than they can really afford, or that they even want. They have to keep it clean…and maintain it…and pay taxes on it. And property taxes are so high in Maryland now…especially for waterfront property…that you never really own your house; you just rent it from the government. I was going to build a house down on the bay…but the property taxes alone would have been between $15,000 and $20,000 per year. I said, 'Forget it'."

What will happen next? What happens when people say 'forget it' to new purchases? What happens when the bottom rung of the property ladder breaks? When happens to an economy that depends on consumer spending when consumers have no more money to spend?

We don't know, dear reader, but we don't think it'll be pretty. And if you'd like to spare yourself from the ugliness that will ensue, you might want to check out this report.

For the moment, time is keeping its mouth shut. We have our opinions, of course. You can probably guess what they are. But we'll keep our mouth shut too - at least until we get back from the ranch.

In the meantime, we pass along this from Julian H. Robertson, one of the smartest people in the hedge fund industry. The economy is headed for one "doozy of a recession," says he.

Colleague Steve Sarnoff adds his two cents on the latest market happenings, saying, "Stocks slipped sharply on Friday and this morning, as disappointment, worry, and fear over housing, credit, currency, recession, and inflation spread like southern California wildfire. The financial media fans investors' fear through the markets like Santa Ana winds funneling fire through dried out coastal sage and chaparral canyons.

"Prices move naturally from resistance to support and that is simply what is going on here. The pressure is on over the near-term, but watch how the news will change (sudden easing of fears) once technical support (demand) comes in."

We'll have to wait and see if what Steve says proves to be true…in the meantime, he's found an aluminum play for his Options Hotline subscribers - and for a limited time, we're offering an opportunity for new subscribers that you won't want to miss!

Until tomorrow, Tuesday, October 23 at midnight, you can get 6 months of one of the oldest, and most respected options trading services in America - free of charge. But you have to act fast:

Options Hotline - 6 Months FREE Until Midnight Tomorrow!

Here's our old Fed chief, Alan Greenspan, commenting on the effects of the credit bubble that he, more than anyone, created:

"The financial crisis that erupted on August 9 was an accident waiting to happen," Greenspan said in a speech yesterday. "Credit spreads across all global asset classes had become suppressed to clearly unsustainable levels.

"Something had to give."

Well, yes. Something has to give. We've said as much ourselves. Then again, we didn't control short-term interest rates during the long period in which pressure was building up. We weren't the ones with our hands on the credit throttle, shifting the lever to 'Full Speed Ahead' - even as the rivets began to pop. And we weren't the one who reassured the public that all would be well, either.

But Alan Greenspan is a marvel. We admire him. Who else would have the chutzpah…the gall…the cheek?

He continued: "If the crisis had not been triggered by a mispricing of securitized U.S. subprime mortgages, it would eventually have erupted in some other sector or market."

He makes it sound as though he played no part in it…as if it were an act of God when a credit expansion comes to an end. And then, he adds a warning:

"If the pernicious drift toward fiscal instability is not arrested and is compounded by a protectionist reversal of globalization, the current account adjustment could be quite painful for the United States and our trading partners."

That Greenspan! What a character! If the authorities don't get control of this thing, he says, it could hurt.

We've come to the ranch to count the cows. Unfortunately, the cows are spread over thousands of acres.

But let us back up and tell the new, dear readers how we got here.

Until we were nearly 50 years old, we scarcely ever left home. We lived only a mile or two from where we were born…and where our mother's family had lived since the 17th century. We assumed we would die there too.

But in our 48th year, we began to wonder. Our area had completely changed. Rural Maryland was not nearly as rural - or as nice - as we remembered it from our childhood. The landscape had changed; tobacco fields had been replaced with housing developments. The roads were full of commuters. The people changed too - gone were all the old families with their local accents and local customs. The new people spoke in different tongues and worshipped different gods.

It was not so much that we disliked this new world. It's just that we had no attachment to it. We had stayed put. But the world we knew and felt close to had left us. We looked around and realized that we weren't at home anymore.

So, we decided to leave too.

Dom Christopher Lazowski, The Place of Lectio Divina

The Place of Lectio Divina in the Liturgical Life

A request for help, and a (different) modest proposal

by Dom Christopher Lazowski, OSB

Trailers

Links via AICN:

RAMBO eviscerates all that watches his 1st Official Trailer!!!

I AM LEGEND trailer two locks and unloads on your ass!!!
Click here for the early leaked version. The trailer will be up in gorgeous form, later tonight officially!!!

Lee Hyori, Shall We Dance?

For Watcher

Dancing with the Stars, week 5

Dancing With The Stars - Week 5- Helio Castroneves


Dancing With The Stars - Week 5 - Jennie Garth

Transcript: Florida Republican debate

NY Times; cfr

A restoration of sacred music in Rome?

A New Musical Season Opens at the Vatican – And Here's the Program

Pope Ratzinger seems to be stepping up the tempo. The curia will have a new office with authority in the field of sacred music. And the choir of the Sistine Chapel is getting a new director

Varia, 23 October 2007

Two Star Couples Divorce

Chosun Dynasty Flag Returns After 136 Years
The flag of General Eo Jae-yeon (1823-1871), the garrison commander of Ganghwa Island during the latter years of the Chosun Dynasty, has returned home 136 years after it was captured by American troops. The flag was taken as a war trophy after American forces seized the island during the U.S. Expedition to Korea in 1871, or Shinmiyangyo. >>Full Text

Dr. Fleming on the right to secession

at Chronicles

Guardian: Steep decline in oil production brings risk of war and unrest

@ EB
Published on 21 Oct 2007 by The Guardian (UK). Archived on 21 Oct 2007.
Steep decline in oil production brings risk of war and unrest, says new study

by Ashley Seager


World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown.

The German-based Energy Watch Group will release its study in London today saying that global oil production peaked in 2006 - much earlier than most experts had expected. The report, which predicts that production will now fall by 7% a year, comes after oil prices set new records almost every day last week, on Friday hitting more than $90 (£44) a barrel.

"The world soon will not be able to produce all the oil it needs as demand is rising while supply is falling. This is a huge problem for the world economy," said Hans-Josef Fell, EWG's founder and the German MP behind the country's successful support system for renewable energy.

The report's author, Joerg Schindler, said its most alarming finding was the steep decline in oil production after its peak, which he says is now behind us.

The results are in contrast to projections from the International Energy Agency, which says there is little reason to worry about oil supplies at the moment.

However, the EWG study relies more on actual oil production data which, it says, are more reliable than estimates of reserves still in the ground. The group says official industry estimates put global reserves at about 1.255 gigabarrels - equivalent to 42 years' supply at current consumption rates. But it thinks the figure is only about two thirds of that.

Global oil production is currently about 81m barrels a day - EWG expects that to fall to 39m by 2030. It also predicts significant falls in gas, coal and uranium production as those energy sources are used up.

Britain's oil production peaked in 1999 and has already dropped by half to about 1.6 million barrels a day.

The report presents a bleak view of the future unless a radically different approach is adopted. It quotes the British energy economist David Fleming as saying: "Anticipated supply shortages could lead easily to disturbing scenes of mass unrest as witnessed in Burma this month. For government, industry and the wider public, just muddling through is not an option any more as this situation could spin out of control and turn into a complete meltdown of society."

Mr Schindler comes to a similar conclusion. "The world is at the beginning of a structural change of its economic system. This change will be triggered by declining fossil fuel supplies and will influence almost all aspects of our daily life."

Jeremy Leggett, one of Britain's leading environmentalists and the author of Half Gone, a book about "peak oil" - defined as the moment when maximum production is reached, said that both the UK government and the energy industry were in "institutionalised denial" and that action should have been taken sooner.

"When I was an adviser to government, I proposed that we set up a taskforce to look at how fast the UK could mobilise alternative energy technologies in extremis, come the peak," he said. "Other industry advisers supported that. But the government prefers to sleep on without even doing a contingency study. For those of us who know that premature peak oil is a clear and present danger, it is impossible to understand such complacency."

Mr Fell said that the world had to move quickly towards the massive deployment of renewable energy and to a dramatic increase in energy efficiency, both as a way to combat climate change and to ensure that the lights stayed on. "If we did all this we may not have an energy crisis."

He accused the British government of hypocrisy. "Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have talked a lot about climate change but have not brought in proper policies to drive up the use of renewables," he said. "This is why they are left talking about nuclear and carbon capture and storage. "

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Department of Business and Enterprise said: "Over the next few years global oil production and refining capacity is expected to increase faster than demand. The world's oil resources are sufficient to sustain economic growth for the foreseeable future. The challenge will be to bring these resources to market in a way that ensures sustainable, timely, reliable and affordable supplies of energy."

The German policy, which guarantees above-market payments to producers of renewable power, is being adopted in many countries - but not Britain, where renewables generate about 4% of the country's electricity and 2% of its overall energy needs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Editorial Notes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Guardian seems to have scooped the rest of the media on this - nothing else seems to be posted on the Web yet.

UPDATE (October 21): The Energy Watch Group has posted its report (101-page PDF) and an executive summary (13-page PDF).

The English versions can be downloaded from here. The German versions are here. Their website is:
www.energywatchgroup.de/

The Energy Watch Group has previously posted studies of uranium and coal supplies: covered at Energy Bulletin.

-BA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Original article available here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cardinal Hummes' Message to Catechists

Cardinal Hummes' Message to Catechists

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Here is the text of a message to catechists of the world from Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. It was published Thursday, feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, and marks the end of the cardinal's first year of service as leader of the dicastery.

* * *

Dear Catechists,

May the peace of the Lord be with you!

In my first year of service to the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, in the Congregation for Clergy -- which also has catechesis entrusted to it -- I wish to extend to you my cordial and fraternal greeting.

I ask almighty God, who is good and great in his love, and rich in mercy, to bless you in a very special way.

I do this on the feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist, recalling his foundational contribution to the universal proclamation of Jesus Christ dead and risen, and of his kingdom.

First of all, I want to express my admiration for your often untiring ecclesial service in the area of the transmission of Catholic faith to so many catechumens and those entrusted to you who have been already baptized.

I assure you of my affection, as my dearest brothers and sisters, committed to the good fight of faith, which often requires heroic sacrifices, to which, nonetheless, you respond with joy and perseverance.

In daily faithfulness to God and man, you continue to be and represent a real asset for your parish communities. You are one of the most promising signs with which the Lord endlessly comforts and surprises us.

In a dedicated fashion and with passion, seek to acquire and exhibit that image, which is required of teachers, educators and witnesses of the truth, by faithfully passing on that truth to contemporary man, in all of its fullness and integrity.

Be able to strengthen your faith, “always ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope" (1 Peter 3:15), with prayer, with continuing education, with charity. Be always joyful and zealous so that, also through your work, "in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion" (1 Peter 4:11).

I urge you to pray and cultivate with trust a relationship of love, devotion, attentiveness and silence with the Lord.

In a world which is often hopeless, in the grip of violence and selfishness, let every gesture, every smile, every word of yours be a living testimony that the Lord is victorious over sin and death, and that love is possible!

Rediscover the deep roots of your witness in baptism and confirmation. Nourish your service as catechists with the food of the strong: the Eucharist.

Reveal the face of Christ to all those you meet, through the grace and faithfulness of your service.

May the Spirit of the Lord render your life new and make communion among you grow.

“May the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the Good News not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ, and who are willing to risk their lives so that the kingdom may be proclaimed and the Church established in the midst of the world” ("Evangelii Nuntiandi," 80).

I invoke upon you the blessing that was so dear to St. Francis of Assisi:

"The Lord bless you and keep you.
May he show his face to you and have mercy.
May he turn his countenance to you and give you peace."

And may the Virgin Mary, star of evangelization, guide you and help you, and be for you a sign of sure hope.

From the Vatican, Oct. 18, 2007
Feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist

Cardinal Cláudio Hummes
Prefect

[Text adapted]