Localization of our food supply is one of the most critical ways we will improve the condition of our planet. There are many things we can be doing in the way of environmental sustainability. But none of them play as central a role in everyone's life as food. In this episode, we launch Crop To Cuisine onto the airwaves discussing the reasons that localization of our food supply is so important, including the historical context, environmental impacts, and even economic benefits. Our guests include Amy Trubek, PhD, Dawn Thilmany, PhD, and Jon Ash, Chef and Author.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Sierra Hull, musical prodigy in Pickett County!
Sierra Hull, 12, rises in bluegrass with help from Alison Krauss ...
Sierra Hull ~ Steel Rails
What will her voice sound like once it matures? It's not exactly a powerful one, but the same could be said of Alison Krauss?
VLTOR Weapon Systems
Then there is the Dillon Aero M134D minigun
Dillon Aero: M134 Gatling Gun, Miniguns, M134 Gun Systems, Naval ...
M-134D Gatling Gun System
YouTube - M134 Gatling Gun vs. M240
YouTube - M134D Gatling Gun on Italian NH90
Dillion Aero M134D Gatling gun - Military Photos
Have you heard anything about the M6A1 or 2?
Land Warfare Resource Corporation
Defense Review - LWRC M6A2 Gas Piston Weapons at NDIA Small Arms ...
General Equipment International page
LWRC Gas piston rifles
LWRC 6.8mm SPC M6A2 Mag Dump
LWRC PSD Future Weapons
6.8mm! Includes a brief appearance by Paul Howe.
LWRC PSD Part 2 Future Weapons
LWRC PSD Future Weapons - AOL Video
Future Weapons: "LWRC Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR)"
Future Weapons Season 3 Premier Infantry Automatic Rifle
I've seen the posters for the concert up, both at Milpitas Square and
There's no website for it, though.
The dates can be found here:
@ Flint Center, Cupertino
Apr 26, 2008, Saturday, 7:30 PM
Apr 27, 2008, Sunday, 4:00 PM
I don't think I'll be going--the cheapest seats were $50, I think.
Nonetheless, I did have the following questions:
1. When are monks permitted to have the cowl over their head and when are the forbidden from doing so?
2. What would St. Paul make of the practice of Jewish men wearing a headcovering? How long has this custom been observed? (Since before the coming of Christ?) Some of the Jewish men are shown with headcoverings (e.g., the Pharisees and Simon of Cyrene) in The Passion of the Christ, but St. John does not have one (especially at the Crucifixion).
If the argumentation behind St. Paul's injunction pertains to the relationship beetween husband and wife, then why should single women need to ear the veil? (So this Messianic Jewish website would argue.) But the words in the passage seem to refer more to the relationship between men and women in general?
Headcovering in Jewish Law
Question 11.1.2: Dress: Why do many Jewish men wear head coverings ...
Having worn a hood while in church to pray I can say that it has helped to block everything else out and more over foster certain interior dispositions towards prayer.
A Protestant's take on the question
The promo for this season:
Apollo's promo photos include a shot of him as a civilian, and there is a reason for that, so is this what Baltar will look like after the first episode of season 4?
At first I thought the cult would consist of only women, but there are some men in it as well. Those who are familiar with Baltar's proclivities will understand why I thought that.
And then there is that moment later in the episode when Baltar has some measure of humility and conversion while praying for the health of a sick child. And who is the leader of the cult? She seems to be a cynical woman with her own agenda.
edit: ah! So he does shave 35 minutes into the episode...
New episodes can be seen at the Sci-Fi website.
CFP: Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy at Philosophy Conferences ...
From Blackwell... naturally.
The latest regulatory plan from the Treasury Department, with the potential to turn the Federal Reserve into a super-regulator overseeing state-chartered banks and bank holding companies, and acting as a guarantor of market stability, is another in a long line of half-baked government responses to financial difficulty. Recession after recession has not impressed upon government leaders the reality that the Federal Reserve's monetary policy activities are what lead to market instability.
The business cycle, contrary to what Secretary Paulson and others seem to believe, is not endemic to the free market. It is always and everywhere the result of monetary inflation and subsequent malinvestment, which when it is discovered must of necessity be liquidated in order for a true recovery to occur. Delaying the liquidation will only prolong the crisis and ensure that the next crisis will be more severe.
Every government intervention will result in a distortion of the market and a subsequent shock somewhere down the line in the future. It is about time that we recognize the failure of government intervention, get our hands out of the private sector, and for once allow the market to function.
World: Economist Reflects On Financial Crisis
Martin Wolf: FT bio, wiki; Nottingham University
He is also the author of Why Globalization Works; Google Books.
Friday, April 04, 2008
We don't need a conversation about race. At least not now. What we need is a conversation about money. It becomes clearer by the day that this is not your grandmother's--or even Barack Obama's grandmother's--economic downturn. This time we start with a huge government deficit and record private debt, all run up when times were good and we should have been storing up acorns. This is one that begins with people losing their homes, which is usually the last act of the drama. This is one that is bringing back stagflation--that poisonous combination of economic slowdown and eroding currency we cured at a terrible cost back in 1981. When that red phone rings in the middle of the night, it probably won't be the National Security Adviser saying Osama bin Laden has struck again. It will be the Treasury Secretary reporting that markets have opened in the Far East and the dollar has become worthless.Paleoconservatives and paleolibertarians, as well as those on the "left" (the folks over at Counterpunch, for example), have known that this should have been an important campaign issue from the very start, beginning last year. Where the heck have you been Michael Kinsley, and the rest of the MSM? Where are the critical minds with a deep knowledge of history, political science, economics, and philosophy, instead of a meager degree in journalism and a passing acquaintance with best-sellers and the like?
We cannot count on the MSM to do the investigative work that we as citizens should be doing, and if we ourselves cannot do it, then there is something wrong with the "Republic." But we knew that already.
Actually, it's the show The Tudors, back for season 2. It's popular enough among young people as well, which is unfortunate, given their lack of historical knowledge these days.
official Showtime site
The Tudors Online
History of the Monarchy > The Tudors
This Morning Hayley Westenra & Jonathan Ansell interview
Hayley Westenra - Benedictus
One of the boys forgot to bring his inhaler to school today and he had two asthma attacks--he didn't tell me about the first one, even though he was starting to have it right before P.E. But apparently that didn't last too long. The other one started afterschool, and he couldn't walk, he was bent over, trying to breathe. I was going to carry him to the office, but that didn't seem to help his breathing. Fortunately, his father came with his inhaler. Kids!
Apparently Ms. N- told [some of] her kids that I was doing graduate studies to become a doctor, so three of them walked up to me and said "Dr. ----" and laughed. They thought it was impressive and funny at the same time. Kids!
Mattie Porte, Findhorn Foundation
Now that he'd warmed us up with a talk on 'Peak Everything,' Richard Heinberg said he'd come back to try out some new ideas he'd working with over the past few weeks. "It's all a big unknown," he admitted, but had decided we were the kind of audience that could handle the unknown. Where are we? Where are we going?
DWTS - Adam Carolla with Julianne Hough - Week 3
Adam & Julianne Interview Each Other
The Insider with Adam Carolla & Julianne Hough
Interview with DWTS Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough
Kylie Minogue-Can't Get You Out Of My Head[Live DWTS-2008]
JULIANNE HOUGH AND FAMILY - sister sister
Kylie Minogue - Dancing with the Stars (All I See)
Kylie Minogue - Dancing With the Stars - ExtraTV Backstage
All I See (The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson)
Jesus Remains With Us in Scripture
Gospel Commentary for 3rd Sunday of Easter
By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap
ROME, APRIL 4, 2008 (Zenit.org).- “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and explained the Scriptures to us?” This line from the Gospel passage about the disciples of Emmaus brings us to reflect on the Scriptures.
There are two ways to approach the Bible. The first is that of considering it an old book, full of religious wisdom, of moral values, and of poetry too. From this point of view it is absolutely the most important book for understanding our Western culture and the Judeo-Christian religion. It is also the most printed and read book in the world.
But there is another, much more demanding way to approach the Bible, and it is that of believing that it contains the living word of God for us, that it is an “inspired” book, that is, written, indeed, by human authors, with all of their limitations, but with God’s direct intervention. A very human book and, at the same time, divine, that speaks to men of all times and reveals to them the meaning of life and death.
Above all it reveals to them God’s love. If all the Bibles in the world, St. Augustine said, on account of some disaster, would be destroyed and there remained only one copy and, of this copy, all of the pages were illegible save for one, and on this page only one line were legible; if this line were that of the first letter of John that reads “God is love,” the whole Bible would be saved because it is summed up in this statement. This explains how it is that so many people approach the Bible without culture, without great education, with simplicity, believing that it is the Holy Spirit that speaks in it and find in it answers to their problems, light, encouragement, in a word, life.
The two ways of approaching the Bible -- the way of erudition and the way of faith -- do not exclude each other, on the contrary, they must be united. It is necessary to study the Bible, the way in which it should be interpreted (or to pay attention to the findings of those study it in this way), so as not to fall into fundamentalism.
Fundamentalism consists in taking a verse from the Bible, just as it sounds, and applying it to today’s situations, without taking into account the difference of culture, of time, and of the different genres of the Bible.
It is believed, for example, that the universe is little more that 4,000 years old since this would seem to be what we can calculate from the information that the Bible provides, while we know that the universe is some billions of years old. The Bible was not written as a textbook of natural science, but for salvation. God, in the Bible, adapted himself to the way of speaking of the men of the time so that they could understand; he did not write only for the men of the age of technology.
On the other hand, to reduce the Bible to an object of study and erudition, remaining neutral to its message, is to kill it. It would be as if a man, receiving a letter from the woman he loves, were to examine it with a dictionary, from the point of view of grammar and syntax, and stops at these things, without grasping the love that is in it.
Reading the Bible without faith is like trying to read a book at night: nothing can be read, or at least one does not read what is essential. Reading Scripture with faith means reading it in reference to Christ, grasping what refers to him on every page, just as he did with the disciples of Emmaus.
Jesus remains with us in two ways: in the Eucharist and in his word. He is present in both: in the Eucharist under the form of food, in the Word under the form of light and truth. The word has a great advantage over the Eucharist. Only those who already believe and are in a state of grace can receive communion; but everyone, believers and nonbelievers, married people and divorced people, can approach the word of God. Indeed, to become a believer, the most normal route is that of listening to God’s word.
[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]
* * *
Father Raniero Cantalamessa is the Pontifical Household preacher. The readings for this Sunday are Acts 2:14a, 22-28; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35.
by Nirmala Carvalho
A Tibetan leader defends the choice of non-violence, and claims that Chinese soldiers dressed as monks in order to instigate violence. "We are not terrorists", he says, expressing the view that "Chinese propaganda" is behind attacks meant to justify accusations against the Tibetans. In Lhasa, the army is also harassing the Chinese.
BBC website; Masterpiece Theater
I've been able to watch most of S&S 2008 at that other source, and it has been ok, despite the additions made by Andrew Davies. Most consider it to be the best adaptation out of the group, and I suspect this is true, but I am not going to take the time to confirm it by watching the rest. I do think the Edward Ferrars in this one is better than the Hugh Grant one in the Ang Lee version...
the trailer for the DVD...
Hattie Morahan (plays Elinor Dashwood):
Hattie Morahan Fansite for the star of Sense and Sensibility
(Whoa! Didn't realize she was in The Bank Job! What did I say about British actresses, Sarge!)
Charity Wakefield plays Marianne Dashwood.
Charity Wakefield fansite
Plus some Doctor Who news:
The stars line up for Doctor Who
Series 4 premiere: April 5
Trailer for season 4--includes a glimpse of Rose. And Donna isn't annoying, either! (Trailers also available at the official site.)
Thursday, April 03, 2008
[CF] olympus miu cf 02 - kim tae hee
[CF] corn silk tea cf 01 - kim tae hee
[Interview] CF Corn Silk Tea
[Making] CF Corn Silk Tea
[CF] corn silk tea cf 02 - kim tae hee
Kim Tae Hee Olympus CF
[CF] olympus cf digital smile - kim tae hee
Kim Tae Hee CF
[CF] cyon viewty pink cf 15sec
When Pigs Sprout Wings: Mangled Rationales for a Fatter Defense Budget
Hallie Woods, The Coloradoan
Conrad Tool and Knife website (seems to be down at the moment?)
AMERICAN TOMAHAWK COMPANY
SOG Fusion Tactical Tomahawk
Defense Review - The Tactical Operator Newsletter: Reality-Based ...
GG&G Battle Hawk Tomahawk
Condor combat tomahawk/axe - Knifeforums.com - Intelligent ...
From the Knifecenter Store:
Condor Tool & Knife Combat Tomahawk Axe 13-3/8 Overall w/ Sheath
Part Number: CN4010BC
Tomahawk Throwing by Dan Beard
Axe Throwing by Peter McLaren
Youtube: mel gibson the patriot tomahawk fight scenes
Combat Knife Throwing
Modern Knives Video Magazine
Combat Knives Magazine [Archive] - BladeForums.com
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
But according to the following article: Alain Ducasse regains crown as most-starred chef
Ramsay was briefly tied with Ducasse on 12 stars last month when his eponymous restaurant at the London NYC hotel in midtown Manhattan debuted with two stars in Michelin's New York 2008 guide.
So... how rigged is Hell's Kitchen? Or do they really carefully screen the contestants, so that the nannies and stay-at-home dads are more skilled than they might appear on TV?
'Hell's Kitchen': The dark lord of cooking reigns again!
And the 'dark lord of cooking'? I suppose Chef Ramsay had to sign off on that moniker, but I don't think it really fits him. The Drill Sergeant of the Culinary World, perhaps...
Chef Ramsay rules devilishly
Oops, just remembered the name of the show is Hell's Kitchen. So the moniker fits that...
This morning I think I got enough sleep--I was in a good mood and actually rather energetic, even though I didn't eat breakfast. I though I would be able to last the day, and was thinking of how after the third week I'd be looking forward to the end of the 30-day assignment. But by the end of the day I was back to thinking that it was a bad idea to accept the assignment.
And, the energy didn't last the afternoon, though I was able to stay on top of things. But I'm feeling a bit tired right now here at home.
As JP might think, I had to be 'mean.' Raising one's voice in the classroom seems inevitable, and often it was due to irritation. It also seems to me that yelling can lead one to become angry. But I think I'll have to stick to this policy (of warning about consequences early in the day and following through if necessary), since it was effective in getting them to quiet down and work and they really need that sort of heavy-handed direction. Unfortunately there is so much to do during the school day, especially checking their work, so sometimes I can't monitor the classroom as closely as I would like.
Some of the students in blonde schoolteacher Ms. R's class apparently were not following directions. I'm a bit surprised she let them go out to recess--I thought they might have to stay in, but sometimes you just let them go so they get their energy outside while you have a breather. One of the boys was crying though--not sure if he wasn't following directions and was reprimanded.
M-rat wanted me to jump rope and she got me during afternoon recess. The first time they tried to swing the rope over my head, it wasn't high enough and got caught on my hat. I had to laugh at that, because I've told them before the jump rope is a bit too short. (It's the appropriate length for primary school students.) They did it again though and it cleared my head the next time. I was able to jump the rope about 4 times, even though I was wearing sandals today. For some reason the girls think it's fun to have the teacher jump rope; they like to stand and watch... it's seems to be an engrossing sight, though it usually doesn't last long since I have yard duty. A couple of her classmates were acting like hangers-on again, but fortunately only briefly... I say, "Fortunately," because while it's harmless, it could cause other people to talk, and maybe that could lead to something nasty.
JM came by the classroom several times today. After school, her sister noticed her desire to be in the class. She told me once about things at home, and it seems that her father doesn't really spend much time with her or ignores her most of the time. So I am conscious that I need to be a good role model/ideal for her, even while I am being attentive to her. Perhaps she is too young for me to have an impact on her, and her decision-making in the future. But I remember when I had her class in December that she was going to marry only a "gentleman." I hope she remembers what she says and knows what one is, when the time comes. Maybe I should read through Meg Meeker's book.
Girls will be girls, no matter what the deconstructionists might believe.
Q&A: Dr. Meg Meeker on 'Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters' - HUMAN ....
Dr. Meg Meeker - Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters (part 1)
Dr. Meg Meeker - Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters (part 2)
parts 3, 4, 5, 6
Dr. Meg Meeker - The Rules Have Changed: pt 1, 2, 3
Dr. Meg Meeker - Teens & Sex, part 1, 2
Dr. Meg Meeker - Right To Sex
About Meg Meeker
Cardinal Zen Cites Reason to Retire
HONG KONG, APRIL 2, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Joseph Zen had an artificial heart pacemaker implanted this month, citing this as one more reason to step down as the bishop of Hong Kong.
Cardinal Zen, 76, told a local newspaper Apple Daily on March 30 that the pacemaker was placed sometime during the weekend of Easter. He has not made any official announcement of his retirement.
On Good Friday, the cardinal's Stations of the Cross meditations were read at a ceremony at the Roman Colosseum, presided over by Benedict XVI.
The Pontiff had invited the cardinal to compose the meditations for the annual Via Crucis. Cardinal Zen told ZENIT, "With his invitation, the Holy Father wanted me to bring to the Colosseum the voice of the faithful in China."
Bishop John Tong Hon, 68, was appointed coadjutor bishop in January, meaning he will automatically become the head of the Diocese of Hong Kong upon the death or retirement of Cardinal Zen.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The post is from 2007; let's hope that it's true and that not much has changed since then.
From the comments:
The Paragon Foundation
I don't know much about it, and how it relates to the Southern republican tradition.
Constitutional Law Enforcement Association
by William R. Luckey
When dealing with revealed truths, truths which can be known only through God’s revealing them, it is admitted that there can be some development. John Henry Cardinal Newman, in his famous Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, responded to Protestant accusations that the Catholic Church actually invents doctrines. He showed that the Church can have new insights into revealed doctrines while the doctrines remain unchanged. He gave a number of rules which should be used to tell if a development of a doctrine is authentic. Newman’s theology of development was accepted by Vatican II. While Catholic Social Teaching surely has some of the elements of consistency that are similar to that in the doctrinal statements, the fact of the changing circumstances and the changing insights of the social sciences, not to mention the very real possibility of seeing social, political and economic problems through ideological glasses, make the development of a "corpus’ of Catholic Social Thought problematic.
What is needed to resolve these dilemmas is an encyclical which bases its teaching on the foundational principles of Catholic moral theology, the 10 commandments and the Beatitudes, while abstaining from the acceptance of any (especially) economic theory per se.
The main elements of such an encyclical can now be suggested:
A brief theological and philosophical treatise of the nature of the human person. This treatise will take into account the developments over the last hundred years or so in Phenomenology and Personalism as developed by John Paul II and the Lublin School of Thomism. It would show man as a creature having reason and free will. He can discern the good with his reason and his will is truly free so that he can freely choose the good. It would recognize that his knowledge and choice of the good are tainted by Original Sin, which darkened his intellect and weakened his will, but also that many choices in life are not clear, and more often than is supposed, are not simplistic choices between good and evil, but between two competing goods of varying and possibly hidden values.
Man is created with certain drives or impulses the satisfaction of which is supposed to produce human flourishing and are arranged in a hierarchy – the lower meant to serve the higher. If the hierarchy is violated, the human being is lead away from happiness and flourishing. So, the instincts of self-preservation, feeding, shelter, etc., are not valued for themselves but allow men to pursue higher-level ones, such as the desire for family, the respect of others, the need for a well-ordered relation with God, and happiness and admittance into the inner life of the trinity.
But many of the choices we make are economic. These choices are the responsibility of the adult, who makes them ostensibly for his own flourishing. The Vatican II Decree on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, is an appropriate guidepost for this and is based on the dignity of the human person. The core of Dignitatis Humanae has never been thoroughly unpacked by anyone, and can be extended theologically to defend a free economy. The document states:
Further, in dealing with this question of liberty the sacred Council intends to develop the teaching of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and on the constitutional order of society. (Dig. Hum., # 1)
While the document discussed this subject in relation to religious liberty, which obviously is man’s greatest freedom, it never got around to the discussion of human rights in general and the constitutional order of society as it seemed to promise. The implication is that man must be allowed to discover religious truth without coercion; if man must be allowed to believe and practice the faith of their conscience without hindrance from anyone, whether public or private except as a matter of public order, he ought to be free to decide, again within the limits of public order, the other, lesser, things, which he believes lead to human flourishing, even if it is to his own detriment. This does not exclude the right of the church and others to guide, persuade and even morally condemn some choices, nor does it imply a moral approval of all choices. But just as in man’s search for religious truth, it must not be coerced choice.
Having said this, the Church has a duty and a right to give moral guidance to man’s choices, where morality is in question. Here is where this new document must take into account the developments in moral theology of the last hundred years or so, and are seen in the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor. In this latter document, the Pope states that "the morality of acts is defined by the relationship of man’s freedom with the authentic good." This good is established in man by Divine wisdom. (Ver. Spl., # 72, italics in original) In other words, the moral law is meant to bring man to the fulfillment of the hierarchy of existential ends which God placed in him for his flourishing and ultimate happiness. There is no carping in this encyclical about how the world is going down the drain as we see in so many past encyclicals, which are so worded, not because of eternal truths, but because the events of the times were so harrowing.
Lastly, this new encyclical should focus on specifically moral aspects of social, political and moral actions in the same style of Evangelium Vitae, and avoid painting with too broad strokes. Popes need to remember, that painting with broad strokes opens the door to the enemies of true liberty, friends of statism, and anti-capitalism that many of us Catholic Austrian economists have had to bear with all these years.
But will Pope Benedict XVI's next encyclical be what he wants?
Economic choices are nonetheless still moral choices; moreover, teachings about economics flow from the Natural Law. So CST is applicable not only to Catholics, but all societies.
Part 4: A panic-stricken
The recent moves by the US Federal Reserve, amid fears of an economic depression, to inject liquidity into the credit market and to bail out banks and brokerage houses are looking more like fixes for drug addicts in advanced stages of abuse. But for neo-liberal market fundamentalists, the fear is not of an economic depression, but the populism that may follow it. - Henry C K Liu
Heinberg on 'resilient communities: paths for powering down'
Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
The first public airing by Richard Heinberg of a new concept he has been developing: a Resilient Communities Action Plan.
published April 1, 2008.
Rather old-school... maybe too much so. And I can't help but shake the feeling that there the movie has an aspect of nationalistic propaganda. Part of it is due to the fact that much of what is called wushu on the screen really is the modern sport of wushu, and has very little to do with practical combat. At least Donnie Yen has brought some MMA into his recent si chong movies.
jet li wushu competition 1978
Sammo Hung looks good, but it seems to be another E. Asian (or Chinese) story focused on young [idealistic] people--pandering to the rather unformed youth of E. Asia. At least it's not as bad as the movies in the U.S. where this sort of mentality, that young people will redeem the world with their idealism and their 'native virtue,' causes stories to be told about teenagers (and children) teaching adults a lesson or two about courage and morality.
This is much different from what Christ said about becoming like children...
Opus Dei Opens Its Doors to Everyone
Interview With the Vicar General of the Personal Prelature
By Miriam Díez i Bosch
ROME, MARCH 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The doors of Opus Dei are open to everyone, says the prelature's vicar general, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz.
ZENIT spoke to Monsignor Ocáriz for the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Opus Dei as a personal prelature -- the only one in existence at present.
He explains the relationship between this institution and the dioceses, and says that the strength of the group is simply the power that comes from the Gospel.
Q: Opus Dei was born to help laypeople in their ordinary life. Are laypeople truly a part of the prelature of Opus Dei, or is the prelature only for the relatively few priests of Opus Dei?
Monsignor Ocáriz: Opus Dei was born precisely to remind everyone, both priests and laypersons, of the universal call to holiness. As [the founder] St. Josemaría taught since 1928, the fact that this call is universal and that God calls each person, means that all upright human realities -- professional work, family and social relations -- can and should be a sanctified and sanctifying reality.
As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said when the founder of Opus Dei was canonized, the message of St. Josemaría Escrivá has helped to correct an erroneous idea of sanctity, as thought it were reserved only for the "great." Sanctity means becoming a friend of God, letting the Other act, the only one who can make this world good and joyful.
The laypeople of Opus Dei, both women and men, married or single, are an integral part of the prelature, just as much as the priests who constitute its clergy. The relationship between these sacred ministers and the lay faithful is that proper to the Church.
At the same time, each layperson also belongs to the diocese where he or she lives, just like any other Catholic. As John Paul II said on a number of occasions, referring specifically to Opus Dei, the ministerial priesthood of the clergy and the common priesthood of the lay faithful are united and linked in a unity of vocation and governance to fulfill the prelature's mission of evangelization under the guidance of its prelate.
Q: At this time Opus Dei is the only personal prelature. Do you receive inquiries from other ecclesiastical institutions that would like to become personal prelatures?
Monsignor Ocáriz: Yes, at the moment it's the only personal prelature. However, there are other ecclesiastical circumscriptions in the Church which are delimited on a personal -- and not territorial -- basis, for various pastoral needs. For instance, there are the apostolic exarchates that exist in some countries to care for faithful of Oriental Rites, the military ordinariates, and a personal apostolic administration erected a few years ago in Brazil.
Only the Holy See can establish a personal prelature. Furthermore, canon law lays down that the episcopal conferences that are involved also have to be consulted. Establishing a personal prelature is a pastoral decision, aimed at furthering the Church's mission in a world characterized by a constant movement of people. For example, in the post-synodal apostolic exhortations "Ecclesia in America" and "Ecclesia in Europa," John Paul II refers to personal prelatures as a possible solution for people in need of special pastoral attention, mentioning groups of immigrants in particular.
It is also possible, as happened with Opus Dei, that the action of the Holy Spirit inspires particular apostolic tasks, which give rise to pastoral needs that require the structure of a personal prelature.
I am not aware that Opus Dei has received any consultations from other institutions regarding the possibility of becoming a personal prelature. However, in the context of congresses, pastoral gatherings, etc., people of Opus Dei have sometimes been asked to pass on the experience the prelature has gathered over the years.
Q: What truth is there to Opus Dei's alleged independence -- autonomy, if you prefer -- stemming from the fact that juridically it is a personal prelature?
Monsignor Ocáriz: The reality is exactly the opposite. Erecting a prelature means precisely "dependence." It means placing a part of the Christian people in pastoral dependence under a member of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. It doesn't make sense to speak of independence or autonomy, since, on the contrary, Opus Dei depends on a prelate appointed by the Roman Pontiff.
The prelate and his vicars exercise ecclesiastical power in common with the other pastors, under the supreme authority of the Pope, in accord with the universal law of the Church and the particular law contained in the statutes which the Holy See has established for the prelature.
I think that the experience of the presence of Opus Dei in so many dioceses all over the world should contribute to an understanding, even from a practical point of view, that the personal prelatures introduced by the Second Vatican Council do not harm the unity of the particular churches. On the contrary, their purpose is to serve these churches in the general evangelizing mission of the Church.
As Benedict XVI wrote to the present prelate, Bishop Echevarría, on the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination, "when you foster the eagerness for personal sanctity and the apostolic zeal of your priests and laypeople, not only do you see the flock that has been entrusted to you grow, but you provide an effective help to the Church in her urgent evangelization of present-day society."
Q: Is it correct to say that there are "Opus Dei bishops"?
Monsignor Ocáriz: It depends what you mean by that phrase. When, as occurs at times, a priest of the prelature's clergy is called by the Holy Father to the episcopate, the same thing happens as with any diocesan priest: He ceases to be incardinated in the ecclesiastical circumscription from which he comes, although he continues to receive spiritual assistance from the prelature. He has the same canonical status as any other bishop.
Obviously, the prelate of Opus Dei has no power whatsoever over the episcopal mission of these bishops.
Q: I imagine that you don't see any "before and after" in Opus Dei as a result of the "Da Vinci Code" phenomenon.
Monsignor Ocáriz: Clearly not. It makes no sense to think that such a novel could have an historical impact great enough to result in a "before and after" in Opus Dei
On the other hand, it may very well have influenced some people. Without ignoring the disorientation that this type of literature could give rise to in some readers, I know that many people have decided to make contact with the prelature and its activities of Christian formation precisely as a consequence of the information that it gave about the Work, in order calmly to counteract the book's errors.
There have also been very many examples of solidarity with Opus Dei on the part of journalists, writers, and other people who have followed this topic more closely. It has occasioned a marvelous ecclesial solidarity; in times like these one truly senses that the Church is a family.
Q: At times one hears people speak of the "power" of Opus Dei. Why do you think this image has arisen?
Monsignor Ocáriz: Despite our personal limitations -- we neither are nor see ourselves as "the head of the class" -- God has blessed Opus Dei's work for souls with abundant apostolic fruit. Seen from a human point of view, some might see this as an expression of "strength" or "power."
In reality, the Work is a small part of the Church, and its "power" comes from its source: from the Gospel, which, as St. Paul writes, is "the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith." The fruitfulness of the work of Opus Dei's faithful is caused by the Holy Spirit in the Church and through the Church.
Anyone who comes to an apostolic activity organized by the prelature -- its doors are open to everyone -- is offered a broad vista of Christian life. Anyone who comes to the Work seeking human influence or anything other than a spiritual goal would not last very long. He would hear people speaking about love for Jesus Christ and the Church, about Christian commitment, about spiritual life and generous service to others.
Monday, March 31, 2008
The Collapse Party platform
Dmitry Orlov, Energy Bulletin
This being an election year in the US, I thought it fitting to circulate my little wish list of items that the US government could try to accomplish if it suddenly decided to make itself useful. [Excerpt from Reinventing Collapse]
published March 31, 2008.
Time to start growing your own bread
Gene Logsdon, Organic To Be
It is gratifying to know there are still Americans who, instead of wringing their hands at a possible problem headed their way, start figuring what to do about it.
published March 31, 2008.
His name is Magdi Cristiano Allam. For five years he has lived under guard, threatened with death. But his baptism has raised harsh criticism, against him and against Benedict XVI. The complete text of the accusation written by Aref Ali Nayed, architect of the letter of the 138.
Vatican Watcher: Magdi Cristiano Allam
Primo Piano | Amici di Magdi Allam
Government, Constitution, and Patria
Plus reactions to stuff by George Kateb and Will Wilkinson:
Who Fears Solidarity?
Anti-Patriotism As Political Promiscuity
Where Universalism And Nationalism Meet
Patriotism Should Be A Lot Like Patriotism
On the foreign policy ideals of the Old Right (which is not 'isolationism'):
Who's Afraid Of Joe Lieberman?
From the website of the Department of the Treasury:
Why Paulson's Reform Plan Falls Short
Pope Urges Salesians to Focus on Families
Says This Is the Way to Help in Formation of Youth
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Since the family should have an active role in the education of youth, it is necessary to expand youth ministry to family ministry, Benedict XVI is telling the Salesians.
The Pope encouraged the Salesians along these lines when he received in audience today representatives of that religious family, in Rome for their 29th General Chapter.
On March 25, the congregation re-elected Father Pascual Chávez Villanueva as the ninth successor of the Salesian founder, St. John Bosco, for another six years.
The chapter's theme is a motto of St. John Bosco, "Da mihi animas, cetera tolle" (give me souls, take away all else). The Holy Father commented on the theme, noting that "its aim is to reawaken apostolic passion in each individual Salesian and in the entire congregation. This will help better to define the profile of Salesians, that they may become more aware of their identity as people consecrated 'for the glory of God'" and "of their pastoral commitment 'to the salvation of souls.'"
"Another characteristic of the Salesian model is the consciousness of the inestimable value of souls," the Holy Father said.
Thus, the Salesian "should have his heart open to identify the new needs of youth and listen to their appeals for help," the Pope continued, especially that of the "most materially and spiritually poor."
Fascinated by Christ
Benedict XVI exhorted the Salesians to help youth "above all to know and love" Jesus Christ "and to allow themselves to be fascinated by him, to cultivate the evangelical commitment, to want to do good to one's contemporaries, to be apostles of other youth."
From there, the Pope urged the congregation, "That your effort would be to form laypeople with apostolic hearts, inviting all to walk in the sanctity of life that brings to mature courageous disciples and authentic apostles."
The Holy Father said he was aware that these challenges are launched in a context of a "great educational emergency," whose most grave element is "the sensation of discouragement that overcomes many educators, especially parents and professors."
"At the root of the crisis in education exists in fact a crisis of confidence in life, which deep down is nothing more than a lack of trust in the God who has called us to life," he said
In any case, the Pontiff affirmed, "in the education of youth it is extremely important that the family be an active subject."
"So often it is either unable to make its specific contribution, or it is absent," he said. "The predilection for and commitment to young people, so characteristic of Don Bosco's charism, must be translated into a like commitment to the involvement and formation of families. [...] To care for families is not to subtract force from efforts on behalf of the young, rather it makes those efforts more lasting and effective. I encourage you, then, to study ways to implement this commitment. [...] This will be an advantage in the education and evangelization of the young."
The Holy Father concluded by underlining the need for "solid formation" for all members of the congregation, "not resting content with mediocre results, overcoming the difficulties of vocational fragility, favoring strong spiritual accompaniment and guaranteeing, through permanent formation, educational and pastoral excellence."
On John Paul II and Divine Mercy
"All the Church Does Shows the Mercy God Feels for Man"
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, MARCH 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the greeting Benedict XVI gave today before praying the Regina Caeli with thousands of people gathered in the patio of the pontifical residence at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.
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Dear brothers and sisters:
During the Jubilee Year 2000, the dear Servant of God John Paul II established that in the whole Church the Sunday after Easter, besides being the Sunday "in albis" would be designated Divine Mercy Sunday. He did this together with the canonization of Faustina Kowalska, a humble Polish woman religious, who was born in 1905 and died in 1938, a zealous messenger of merciful Jesus.
Mercy is in reality the central nucleus of the Gospel message; it is the very name of God, the face with which he has revealed himself in the old covenant and fully in Jesus Christ, the incarnation of creative and redeeming love. This merciful love also illumines the face of the Church, and is manifested, both by way of the sacraments, in particular that of reconciliation, and with works of communitarian and individual charity.
All that the Church says and does shows the mercy that God feels for man. When the Church has to remind about a neglected truth, or a betrayed good, it does it always motivated by a merciful love, so that men may have life and have it in abundance (cf. John 10:10). From divine mercy, which puts hearts at peace, also arises the authentic peace of the world, peace among peoples, cultures and religions.
Like Sister Faustina, John Paul II became in turn an apostle of divine mercy. On the night of that unforgettable Saturday, April 2, 2005, when he closed his eyes to this world, precisely the vigil of the Second Sunday of Easter was celebrated, and many observed the unique coincidence, which brought together a Marian dimension -- the first Saturday of the month -- and that of divine mercy.
In fact, his long and multifaceted pontificate finds here its central nucleus; all of his mission at the service of the truth about God, about man and peace in the world is summarized in this proclamation, as he himself said in Krakow-Lagiewniki in 2002, in inaugurating the great Shrine of Divine Mercy, "Apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind." His message, like that of St. Faustina, presents the face of Christ, supreme revelation of the mercy of God. To contemplate constantly this face: This is the inheritance that he has left us, which we welcome with joy and make our own.
There will be special reflection about divine mercy in the coming days, due to the World Apostolic Congress on Divine Mercy, which will take place in Rome and will be inaugurated with the holy Mass, which, God willing, I will preside over in the morning of Wednesday, April 2, on the third anniversary of the death of the Servant of God John Paul II. Let us place the congress under the heavenly protection of most holy Mary, Mother of Mercy. We entrust to her the great cause of peace in the world so that the mercy of God achieves what is impossible with human strength alone, and instills the courage for dialogue and reconciliation.
[Translation by ZENIT]
* * *
[After the Regina Caeli, the Holy Father greeted the people in various languages. In English, he said:]
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here today. This Sunday's Gospel reminds us that through faith we recognize the presence of the Risen Lord in the Church, and that we receive from him the gift of the Holy Spirit. During this Easter season may we strengthen our desire to bear witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ calling us to a life of peace and joy. Upon each of you present and your families, I invoke God's blessings of happiness and wisdom.
© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
On the Joy of Easter
"Christ's Resurrection Gives Us the Certainty of Our Own Resurrection"
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the greeting Benedict XVI gave last Wednesday during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters
"'Et resurrexit tertia die secundum Scripturas' -- on the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures." Every Sunday, we renew our profession of faith in the resurrection of Christ with the Creed. This amazing event is the keystone of Christianity. In the Church, everything is understood to derive from this wonderful mystery that altered the course of history and that is made present at every celebration of the Eucharist.
There is a liturgical time, however, when this reality, central to the Christian faith, in all its rich doctrine and inexhaustible vitality is presented to the faithful in a particularly strong fashion because more people rediscover it and live it more faithfully: Easter time. Each year during the "holy triduum of Christ's crucifixion, death and resurrection," as St. Augustine calls it, the Church goes back over the final stages of Christ's life on earth in a climate of prayer and penitence: his being condemned to death, his journey to Calvary carrying the cross, the sacrifice he made for our salvation, and laying his body to rest. On the third day, the Church relives his resurrection; it is Easter, Jesus' journey from death to life, in which the ancient prophesies are completely fulfilled. All of the liturgies of Easter proclaim the certainty and the joy of Christ's resurrection.
Dear brothers and sisters, we must constantly strive to renew our adherence to Christ who died and rose again for us. His Easter is also our Easter because Christ's resurrection gives us the certainty of our own resurrection. The news of Christ's resurrection never ages and Jesus is always alive; he lives in the Gospel. "The faith of Christians," observes St. Augustine, "is the resurrection of Christ." The Acts of the Apostles explains this clearly: "God has provided confirmation for all by raising Jesus from the dead" (17:31).
The death of Jesus was not enough to prove he was truly the Son of God, the awaited Messiah. How many people, in the course of history, have given their lives for a cause they believed in! They did not come back. The death of our Lord demonstrates the enormous love he felt for us, even to the point of sacrificing himself. It is only through his Resurrection however that we are given "confirmation," the certainty that what he says is truth, a truth that applies to us too, forever. By resurrecting him, God glorified him. St. Paul writes in his Letter to the Romans: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord and you believe with your heart that God resurrected him, you will be saved" (10:9).
It is important to reaffirm this truth which is fundamental to our faith. The historical truth of this has been well documented even if today as in the past there are people who in various ways doubt or even deny it occurred. The weakening of faith in the resurrection of Jesus in turn weakens the testimony of believers. In fact, if the Church's faith in the Resurrection were reduced, everything would stop and break up. On the other hand, adherence of the heart and mind to the belief in Christ's death and resurrection changes your life and lights up the lives of individuals and people everywhere.
Is it not this certainty in the risen Lord that inspires courage, bold prophecies and perseverance in the martyrs through the ages? Is it not this meeting with the living Christ which captivates and converts so many men and women who from the beginning of Christianity leave all they have to follow him and give their lives to serve the Gospel? If Christ has not risen, said the Apostle Paul, then our preaching is in vain and our faith is also in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14). But he has risen!
The announcement which we constantly hear during these days is this: Christ is risen, he lives and we can meet him -- just as the women met him, the women who on the morning of the third day, the day after Saturday, went to the tomb; just as the disciples, surprised and upset by what the women had told them, met him; just as many other witnesses met him in the days following the resurrection. Even after the ascension, Jesus continued to be present among his friends just as he had promised: "I am with you every day until the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20). The Lord is with you, with his Church, until the end of time. Illuminated by the Holy Spirit, the first members of the Church began making the Easter proclamation openly and without fear. This announcement handed down through the generations has now reached us too and is repeated each year at Easter with renewed vigor.
Particularly in these days of the Octave of Easter, the liturgy invites us personally to meet with the Risen Lord and to recognize his enlivening effect on historical events and on our daily lives. Today, Wednesday, for example, we are reminded of the moving story of the two disciples of Emmaus (cf. Luke 24:13-35). After the Crucifixion, overwhelmed with sadness and delusion, they disconsolately made their way home. While walking they talked to each other about what had happened over the past few days in Jerusalem. Jesus approached them, he began talking to them and teaching them, "Oh foolish men and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken ... was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory? " (Luke 24:25-26).
Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. The teachings of Christ -- the explanation of the prophesies -- were for the disciples of Emmaus like an unexpected revelation, illuminating and comforting. Jesus provided a new key to reading the Bible and everything now seemed clear, all leading up to this moment. Won over by the words of this stranger, they asked him to stop and eat dinner with them. He accepted and sat down at the table with them. The Evangelist Luke tells us: "When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them" (Luke 24:29-30). It was at that precise moment that the eyes of the two disciples were opened and they recognized him, "but he vanished from their sight" (Luke 24:31). Overcome with surprise and with joy, they said: "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32).
The Lord walks with us and he explains the Scriptures throughout the whole of the liturgical year, but particularly in Holy Week and in Easter Week. He enables us to understand this mystery: Everything refers to him. This should make our hearts burn too so that our eyes may be opened. The Lord is with us and shows us the true path. Just as the two disciples recognized Jesus when he broke the bread, we too acknowledge his presence when we break the bread. The disciples of Emmaus recognized him and remembered those moments when Jesus broke the bread with them and in so doing anticipated his death and his resurrection, giving himself to his disciples.
Jesus breaks the bread for us and with us too, he is present with us in the holy Eucharist, he gives himself to us and opens our hearts. In the holy Eucharist and by reading his word, we too can meet and get to know Jesus by taking the consecrated bread and wine. Every Sunday, the community of the Church relives the Easter of the Lord and reaps from the savior his testament of love and brotherly service. Dear brothers and sisters, the joy of these days strengthens our faithful adherence to Christ who was crucified and resurrected. Above all, let us allow ourselves to feel the wonder of the Resurrection. May Mary help us to be messengers of the light and the joy of Easter. Again, I send you all my warmest wishes for a Happy Easter.
[Translation by Giustina Montaque]
[After his address, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In English, he said:]
I offer a warm welcome to the international group of School Sisters of Saint Francis gathered in Rome. I also thank the choirs for their praise of God in song. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims, especially those from Wales, Ireland, Indonesia, Japan, Canada and the United States, I cordially invoke the joy and peace of the Risen Christ.
(c) Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana