Saturday, October 11, 2008
I was trying to nap during the day, but it's not easy to do so when one niece or the other is being herself. (Well, I could be specific and point at niece #2--she has very powerful lungs and big teaers. hah.)
The rabbi of Haifa protests, and "La Civiltà Cattolica" bridles. But the beatification of Pope Eugenio Pacelli continues to draw near. And history will also have to do him justice, according to Paolo Mieli, a secular Jew, in "L'Osservatore Romano"
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI arrives to celebrate a mass to commemorate the 50th anniversary of death of controversial Nazi-era Pope Pius XII on October 9, 2008 in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI backed the beatification of Pius XII, defending his actions during a "complex historical moment." (AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI (C) celebrates a mass to commemorate the 50th anniversary of death of controversial Nazi-era Pope Pius XII on October 9, 2008 in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI backed the beatification of Pius XII, defending his actions during a "complex historical moment." (AFP/Getty)
AP Photo by ANDREW MEDICHINI
Pope Benedict XVI views the crypt of Pius XII in the grotto of Saint Peter's Basilica, on the 50th anniversary of his death at the Vatican October 9, 2008. Pope Benedict said on Thursday he hoped his Nazi-era predecessor Pius XII, who some Jews have accused of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust, can proceed on the road to Roman Catholic sainthood. Benedict defended Pius, saying he worked "secretly and silently" during World War Two to "avoid the worst and save the greatest number of Jews possible". (Reuters)
more photos (screen captures) at NLM
The other substitute is an Indian woman; she was wearing a shalwar kameez. (Some samples here. Pants can be feminine and therefore modest without violating tradition even if not traditional, so long as they are covered by something else, no? Other examples would be the ao dai and Qing-era Chinese clothing.) She's old-school, like my mom, when it comes to classroom management.
One of the substitutes in the adjoining K classroom must have lived in Oregon for a while--she was telling me how Oregon requires its substitutes to have certification (while California doesn't).
She was rather chatty during the AM recess. In some ways she resembled what I'd imagine an ex-flower child would be like at this point in time, but not quite. There was something about her demeanor. Maybe it's because she's from Oregon. She was quiet in the staff room during lunch. I'm not sure why.
Zoophonics used to be one of the more popular new phonics programs in the district--I don't see it much these days; I suppose much has changed within the district in 10 years. But it is being used in this kindergarten/school.
I talked a bit with the teacher I was subbing for--she had asked me to sub for her last week, but I was unable to because I was waiting for the district office to recognize the renewal of my credential. Of course she asked me if I was thinking of becoming a teacher. I told her I was thinking about it. But I really doubt I'd become an elementary school teacher.
So what are my options? What I've thought about so far--
1. Teaching at a high school. But as I've said time and time again, the local Catholic high schools probably would not be welcoming of an orthodox Catholic seeking to defend the Catholic intellectual tradition. Perhaps it is possible to teach at an orthodox Catholic elementary school--I might even consider teaching 5th or 6th grade, if the students were well-behaved.
I suppose teaching in a Great Books program is not wholly out of the question. If the students already have some adherence to the tradition. If only this could be done at a Catholic secondary school, but one cannot assume that the students (or the faculty and administration for that matter) hold the same principles or truths.
2. Becoming an editor of some sort. A grad degree in the 'humanities' doesn't really qualify one for much else, besides teaching, editing, and writing?
3. Working for a worthwhile non-profit organization or an independent political party.
Raising public awareness about peak-oil, natural resources, and relocalization seems worthwhile and noble. It could also be an entry-point for politics. While there is a "Training for Transition" course to be held in SF in December, I don't know of any local Transition Town efforts. (There are stirrings in LA, apparently.)
Maybe I should look into becoming a community organizer. Hah.
4. Youth ministry. It's not a 'job,' and would require intensive spiritual preparation. How does one help teenagers become more interested in the faith? Watcher has had difficulties in the past with teens who have grown up with plenty of material comforts. Forming teenagers is not easy, especially when asceticism is an integral part of Catholic spirituality. "That's a-s-c-e-t-i-s-m."
There are risks though--the liability of being accused of misconduct or sexual harassment should worry any male considering working in an environment filled with young women. (Though I suppose this is true of any workplace, not just schools and churches.) Would I be able to put up with teenagers? I don't think I'm Don Bosco...
The pay for being a youth minister isn't that good, as far as I know--I doubt it would be enough to support a family here in the Bay Area. I was a bit surprised to hear how much priests for the diocese of San Jose get paid. As good as or better than entry-level engineers.
5. Costco. While it may be a better employer than Walmart, it's not perfect, in so far as it has a questionable sales strategy.
Working for the Federal Government is not an option, just as the NG isn't a possibility. I see it as part of the problem, not the solution, though I may not go as far as Albert Jay Nock or some libertarians or anarchists.
I suppose one could analyze to distinguish between material and formal cooperation with evil before ruling it out completely. What about working for corporations, which have no accountability? Can one really know the effects or impact of one's actions, or that of the group or organization of which one is a member? For a large organization it seems impossible to know what the group is doing in its own name. Even if there is a analogy with participating in a just war--one would have to look at whether the National government or a corporation is promoting the common good, or if they are merely promoting the unrestrained appetites of a few or of the many.
Any other suggestions?
The district has hired some teachers from Spain in the past for the ESL classes. Did they send someone all the way to Spain to scout for teacher? The teacher for whom I was subbing is one of them. It reminds me of "Spanish Ladies" from Master and Commander...
Master and Commander - Spanish Ladies
Farewell and Adieu
I do like their accent, the teachers that I have met--their manner of speaking sounds quite mature, in comparison with a lot of American women, who sound like they've been arrested in adolescence. (Alas, this describes many of the callers to Dr. Laura.)
Sarge, you might find this interesting, but I don't think you have access to Hulu videos. I watched the first episode of season 2--I will try to catch the other episodes when I have some time. The show originally aired on Fox Reality. I don't know what to make of the LASD. How did some of the candidates get admitted? Some were clearly lacking self-knowledge. How many were admitted simply because of PC considerations? (SM Hutchens on the heresy of egalitarianism.) I can't wait until they get to the episodes dealing with shooting and hand-to-hand combat.
It may be that I wouldn't pass muster--though I do wonder if the military-style drilling is really necessary. Could stressful conditions not be created in some other way? Maybe not. I personally wouldn't like being shouted at; does it really motivate one to move fast and practice thinking calmly in such a situation? Shouldn't people be able to do this without having someone shouting at them? I suppose it's a matter of assuming everyone is at the same lowest level, and building from there, but it's not a very efficient way of handling it. Then there is the question of being able to handle the monotony of uneventful patrols...
Catholic Answers: Fr. Michael Giesler, Were the Early Christians Counter-Cultural (real audio, MP3)
His works of historical fiction: Junia, Marcus, Grain of Wheat. Fr. Giesler is an Opus Dei priest.
The Body’s Forgotten Ally: A Brief Defense of Corporal Mortification
Opus Dei celebrates 50th anniversary in St. Louis
Wespine Study Center, St. Louis
PathToHoliness » Wespine Study Center
Pope's Homily on Pius XII
"Sanctity Was His Ideal"
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the homily given by Benedict XVI at a Mass said in St. Peter's today in memory of the death of Pius XII on the 50th anniversary of his death.
* * *
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
The passage from the Book of Syracide and the prologue from the First Letter of Saint Peter, proclaimed as the first and second reading, offer significant points for reflection in this Eucharistic celebration, during which we remember my venerable predecessor, the Servant of God Pius XII. Exactly fifty years have passed since the time of his death, which occurred in the first hours of October 9 1958. The Syracide, as we heard, reminded those who wish to follow the Lord that they must prepare themselves to face new trials, difficulties and suffering. To not be overcome by these -- he admonishes -- one needs a righteous and constant heart, faithfulness to God and patience united to an inflexible determination in continuing on the path of good. Suffering sharpens the heart of the Lord's disciple, just as gold is purified in the furnace. The sacred author writes: "Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire, and the chosen in the furnace of humiliation" (2:4).
On his part, Saint Peter in the pericope that was proposed to us, turning to the Christians of the communities of Asia Minor who "bear all sorts of trials", goes beyond this: he asks them to feel, despite all this, "great joy" (1 Pet 1:6). Proof is in fact necessary, he observes, "so that the worth of your faith, more valuable than gold, which is perishable even if it has been tested by fire, may be proved -- to your praise and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Pet 1:7). And then, for the second time, he exhorts them to be joyous, rather exult "with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described" (see 1:8). The profound reason of this spiritual joy is the love for Jesus and the certainty of His invisible presence. He makes the believers' faith and hope unshakeable, even when faced with the most complicated and harsh events of existence.
In the light of these Biblical texts we can read about the earthly life of Pope Pacelli and his lengthy service to the Church, which began in 1901 under Leo XIII and continued with Saint Pius X, Benedict XV and Pius XI. These Biblical texts help us, above all, to understand which was the source he drew from for his courage and patience in his pontifical ministry, during the troubled years of World War II and the following ones, no less complex, of reconstruction and difficult international relationship of history called "the Cold War."
"Miserere mei Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam": with this invocation from Psalm 50(51), Pius XII began his testament. And he continued: "These words, conscious of being unworthy and unequal, which I pronounced the moment I gave, trembling, my acceptance of the election as Supreme Pontiff, with greater conviction I repeat now." This was two years before his death. To abandon oneself in the hands of the merciful God: This was the attitude my venerable Predecessor constantly cultivated, the last of the Popes born in Rome and belonging to a family tied to the Holy See for many years.
In Germany, where he was the Apostolic Nuncio, first in Munich of Bavaria and then in Berlin until 1929, he left behind grateful memories, especially for having collaborated with Benedict XV in the attempt to stop the "useless slaughter" of the Great War, and for having realized from the beginning the danger of the monstrous Nazi-Socialist ideology with its pernicious anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic root. He was created a Cardinal in December 1929, and shortly after became the Secretary of State. For nine years he was a faithful collaborator of Pius XI, in a time marked by totalitarianism: Fascist, Nazi and Soviet Communism, all condemned by the encyclicals "Non Abbiamo Bisogno," "Mit Brennenbder Sorge" and "Divini Redemptoris."
"Whoever listens to my words, and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life" (Jn 5:24). This assurance made by Jesus, which we have heard in the Gospel, makes us think back to the hardest moments of the Pontificate of Pius XII when, realizing the loss of any human security, he felt the need, even through constant ascetic effort, to belong to Christ, the only certainty that never sets. The Word of God thus becomes the light of his path, a path in which Pope Pacelli had to comfort the homeless and persecuted persons, dry the tears of suffering and the crying of so many victims of the war. Only Christ is the true hope of man; only entrusting the human heart to Him can it open up to love that overcomes hate. This knowledge followed Pius XII in his ministry as the Successor of Peter, a ministry that began when the menacing clouds of a new world conflict grew over Europe and the rest of the world, which he tried to avoid in all ways: He called out in his message on the radio on August 24 1939: The danger is imminent, but there is still time. Nothing is lost with peace. Everything can be lost with war" (AAS, XXXI, 1939, p. 334).
The war highlighted the love he felt for his "beloved Rome," a love demonstrated by the intense charitable work he undertook in defense of the persecuted, without any distinction of religion, ethnicity, nationality or political leanings. When, once the city was occupied, he was repeatedly advised to leave the Vatican to safeguard himself, his answer was always the same and decisive: "I will not leave Rome and my place, even at the cost of my life" (cf Summarium, p. 186). His relatives and other witnesses refer furthermore to privations regarding food, heating, clothes and comfort, to which he subjected himself voluntarily in order to share in the extremely trying conditions suffered by the people due to the bombardments and consequences of war (cf A. Tornielli, "Pio XII, Un uomo sul trono di Pietro"). And how can we forget his Christmas radio message of December 1942? In a voice breaking with emotion he deplored the situation of "the hundreds of thousands of persons who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline" (AAS, XXXV, 1943, p. 23), a clear reference to the deportation and extermination of the Jews. He often acted secretly and silently because, in the light of the concrete realities of that complex historical moment, he saw that this was the only way to avoid the worst and save the largest possible number of Jews. His interventions, at the end of the war and at the time of his death, received numerous and unanimous expressions of gratitude from the highest authorities of the Jewish world, such as, for example, the Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir, who wrote: "During the ten years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and commiserate with their victims"; ending emotionally: "We mourn a great servant of peace."
Unfortunately, the historical debate on the figure of the Servant of God Pius XII, which has not always been the calmest, has prevented us shining a light on all the aspects of his multifaceted Pontificate. There was a great multitude of speeches, addresses and messages delivered to scientists, doctors, and representatives of the most varied categories of workers, some of which even today still possess an extraordinary relevance and continue to be a concrete point of reference. Paul VI, who was his faithful collaborator for many years, described him as an erudite man, an attentive scholar, open to modern means of research and culture, with an ever-strong and coherent fidelity both to the principles of human reasoning, as well as to the intangible depository of the truth of faith. He considered him a precursor of Vatican Council II (cf Angelus of 10 March, 1974). From this point of view, many of his writings deserve to be remembered, but I will limit myself to quoting from only a few. With the Encyclical "Mystici Corporis," published on 29 June 1943, while war still raged, he described the spiritual and visible relationships that unite men to the Word Incarnate, and he proposed integrating into this point of view all the principle themes of ecclesiology, offering for the first time a dogmatic and theological synthesis that would provide the basis for the Conciliar Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium."
A few months later, on 20 September 1943, with the Encyclical "Divino Afflante Spiritu" he laid down the doctrinal norms for the study of Sacred Scripture, highlighting its importance and role in Christian life. This is a document that bears witness to a great opening to scientific research on the Biblical texts. How can we not remember this Encyclical, during the course of the work of this Synod that has as its own theme "The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church"? It is to the prophetic intuition of Pius XII that we owe the launch of a serious study of the characteristics of ancient historiography, in order to better understand the nature of the sacred books, without weakening or negating their historical value. The deeper study of the "literary genres," whose intention is to better understand what the sacred author meant, was viewed with a certain suspicion prior to 1943, in part thanks to the abuse that had been made of it.
The Encyclical recognized that it could be applied correctly, declaring its use legitimate not only for the study of the Old Testament, but also the New. "In the present day indeed this art -- explained the Pope -- which is called textual criticism and which is used with great and praiseworthy results in the editions of profane writings, is also quite rightly employed in the case of the Sacred Books, because of that very reverence which is due to the Divine Oracles." And he added: "For its very purpose is to insure that the sacred text be restored, as perfectly as possible, be purified from the corruptions due to the carelessness of the copyists and be freed, as far as may be done, from glosses and omissions, from the interchange and repetition of words and from all other kinds of mistakes, which are wont to make their way gradually into writings handed down through many centuries" (AAS, XXXV, 1943, p 336).
The third Encyclical I would like to mention is the "Mediator Dei," dedicated to the liturgy, published 20 November 1947. With this document, the Servant of God provided an impulse to the liturgical movement, insisting that "the chief element of divine worship must be interior. For -- he writes -- we must always live in Christ and give ourselves to Him completely, so that in Him, with Him and through Him the heavenly Father may be duly glorified. The sacred liturgy requires, however, that both of these elements be intimately linked with each another. ... Otherwise religion clearly amounts to mere formalism, without meaning and without content."
We cannot do other then than acknowledge the notable impulse this Pontiff gave to the Church's missionary activity with the Encyclicals "Evangelii Praecones" (1951) and "Fidei Donum" (1957), that highlighted the duty of every community to announce the Gospel to the peoples, as Vatican II would go on to do with courageous strength. Pope Pacelli had already shown this love for the missions from the outset of his Pontificate when in October 1939 he had wanted to consecrate personally twelve bishops from mission countries, including an Indian, a Chinese and a Japanese, the first African bishop and the first bishop of Madagascar. One of his constant pastoral concerns, finally, was the promotion of the role of lay people so that the ecclesial community could make use of all its possible energy and resources. For this too the Church and the world are grateful to him.
Dear brothers and sisters, while we pray that the cause of beatification of the Servant of God Pius XII may continue smoothly, it is good to remember that sanctity was his ideal, an ideal he never failed to propose to everyone. This is why he promoted the causes of beatification and canonization for persons from different peoples, representatives of all states of life, roles and professions, and granted substantial space to women. And it was Mary, the Woman of salvation, whom he offered to humanity as a sign of certain hope, proclaiming the dogma of the Assumption, during the Holy Year of 1950. In this world of ours, which, like then, is assailed by worries and anguish about its future; in this world where, perhaps more than then, the distancing of many from truth and virtue allows us to glimpse scenarios without hope, Pius XII invites us to look to Mary assumed into the glory of Heaven. He invites us to invoke her faithfully, so that she will allow us to appreciate ever more the value of life on earth and help us to look to the true aim that is the destiny of all of us: that eternal life that, as Jesus assures us, already belongs to those who hear and follow his word. Amen!
[Translation issued by the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops]
The Holy See - The Holy Father - Pius XII
Pope Pius XII Vicar of Christ Servant of God Deserving of Sainthood
Pius XII and His Bible Revolution
Marking 50 Years Since Death of "Papa Pacelli"
By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- For decades, the figure of Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, has been at the center of some volatile polemics.
The controversy has raged since the end of the Holocaust over whether the Pope did and said enough in defense of the Jews and other victims of the Nazis. The Roman Pontiff, who guided the Church through the terrible years of the Second World War and the Cold War, is the victim of a "black legend," which has proven difficult to combat and is so widespread that many consider it to be more true than the actual historical facts.
One of the unpleasant secondary consequences of this black legend, which falsely portrays Pius XII as indulgent toward Nazism and indifferent to the fate of the victims of persecution, has been to sideline or even obliterate the extraordinary teaching and contribution of this Pope who was a precursor of the Second Vatican Council.
Pius XII must be remembered for his encyclical “Mediator Dei,” the great preparatory work that would flow into the conciliar liturgical reform. It is the same Pope who, in the encyclical "Humani Generis," takes evolutionary theory into consideration. Pius XII also gave notable impetus to missionary activity with the encyclicals "Evangelii Praecones" in 1951, and "Fidei Donum" in 1957, highlighting the Church's duty to proclaim the Gospel to the nations, as Vatican II would amply reaffirm.
One of the most frequent questions among the many foreign journalists covering the “Synod on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church” deals with this morning's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Pius XII in the context of the synod.
At 11:30 today, just after the synod's morning session, Benedict XVI presided at a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, attended by, among others, all participants at the synod and a host of other people to mark this anniversary. I have been asked numerous times in the Vatican press center, “Why did this commemoration take place today in the midst of a Synod on the Bible?” Or, “What does Pope Pius XII have to do with the Scriptures?”
My answer to the first question has been: “Because Oct. 9 marks the date of his death in 1958, and today happens to be Oct. 9. When would you like the Pope to commemorate this anniversary? On Christmas Day?”
To the second question, my answer has been: “Everything. Pius XII has everything to do with what is taking place in the synod hall and in the small groups and among anyone around the Catholic world who wishes to take Scripture studies seriously.” Alas, like the rich young man in the New Testament, several went away sad because of my answers to their questions.
A synod on the Bible cannot ignore nor forget the landscape of Catholic biblical studies in the last century. Physical, historical, and linguistic methods, known to us only in approximately the last 125 years, have produced a scientifically critical study of the Bible, a study that has revolutionized views held in the past about the authorship, origin, and dating of the biblical books, about how they were composed, and about what their authors meant.
In the first 40 years of the last century (1900-1940), the Roman Catholic Church clearly and officially took a stance against such biblical criticism. The modernist heretics at the beginning of the last century employed biblical criticism, and the official Vatican condemnations of modernism made little distinction between the possible intrinsic validity of biblical criticism and the theological misuse of it by the modernists.
Between 1905 and 1915 the Pontifical Biblical Commission issued a series of conservative decisions on the composition and authorship of the Bible. Although phrased with nuance, these decisions ran against the trends of contemporary Old and New Testament investigations. Catholic scholars were obliged to assent to these decisions and to teach them.
After 40 years of strident opposition, the Catholic Church in the 1940’s, under the pontificate of Pius XII, made an undeniable about-face toward biblical criticism. That Pontiff's 1943 encyclical “Divino Afflante Spiritu” instructed Catholic scholars to use the methods of scientific approach to the Bible that had hitherto been forbidden to them. It was now safe for Catholic scholars to take up the methods that were previously forbidden. A particular aspect of the encyclical definitively steered Catholics away from fundamentalism: namely, the recognition that the Bible includes many different literary forms or genres, not just history.
Within 10 years teachers trained in biblical criticism began to move in large numbers into Catholic classrooms in seminaries and colleges, so that the mid-1950’s really marked the watershed. By that time the pursuit of the scientific method had led Catholic exegetes to abandon almost all the positions on biblical authorship and composition taken by the Vatican at the beginning of the century.
“Divino Afflante Spiritu” sparked an enormous growth in Catholic biblical scholarship. New teachers were trained, and the results of the changed approach to Scripture were gradually communicated to the people -- the very steps that Pius XII had urged. “Papa Pacelli” opened up the application of the historical-critical method to the Bible, and established the doctrinal norms for the study of sacred Scripture, emphasizing the importance of its role in Christian life. After sacred Scripture, the Second Vatican Council's documents cite no single author as frequently as Pius XII.
Let us remember some other key facts about the Pope's story and about history. Pius XII led the Catholic Church from 1939 to 1958. Immediately before his election, then Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was the Vatican secretary of state. He, more than anyone else in the Vatican, knew what was happening in the world. Pius XII was not only the Pope of the Second World War, but a pastor who, from March 2, 1939, to Oct. 9, 1958, had before him a world at war during very troubled times.
Those who attack Pius XII often do so for ideological reasons. The campaign against him was started in the Soviet Union and was then sustained in various Catholic environments. He took sides against the Communist world in a severe, strong and determined way.
As Benedict XVI pointed out this morning in his moving homily and tribute to his predecessor, Pius XII, Hitler and his closest followers were motivated by a pathological hatred for the Catholic Church, which they appraised correctly as the most dangerous opponent to what they hoped to do in Germany. There was radical divergence between the Nazis and the Catholic Church. Papa Pacelli cannot be the person who is blamed for something that belongs in a complex way to the world community.
Popes do not speak with the idea of pre-constituting a favorable image for future ages. They know that the fate of millions of Christians can at times depend on their every word; they have at heart the fate of men and women of flesh and blood, not the applause or fleeting approval of historians.
Pius XII was not concerned for his reputation, but with saving Jewish lives and this was the only just decision, which clearly required wisdom and a great amount of courage. The Pope protested vehemently the persecution of Jews, but he explained in 1943 that he could not speak in more dramatic or public terms without the risk of making things much worse than they were. His was a prophecy in action, which saved the lives of countless victims of the neo-pagan Nazi reign of terror, rather than potentially counter-productive public statements.
Since Pius XII's death 50 years ago today, the Church has taken great strides in forging closer relations with the Jewish faith. Pope John Paul II made Jewish-Christian relations a priority of his pontificate. Benedict XVI has continued on that path. Both Popes have strongly defended the actions of Pius XII, while speaking as well of the silence and inaction of some other Catholics during the Holocaust.
In my other life in Toronto, when I am not serving as the “Deputati Notitiis Vulgandi” for Vatican synods on the Word of God, I am the “Director Exsecutivus Retis Televisifici Catholici 'Salt and Light.'" This week we are premiering our latest documentary “A Hand of Peace: Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust."
Through a generous grant from the Knights of Columbus, each synod father, expert, auditor and staff person received a copy of the documentary this morning during the synod. Benedict XVI received his copy yesterday.
It is our hope that this documentary will shed light and truth on this Pius XII’s life, prophetic actions, courageous words and his significant contributions to Scripture scholarship and to humanity. We can learn much from Eugenio Pacelli's wisdom, heroism, courage and prophetic gestures during a very dark period of world history.
Pius XII has been called many names. He is a significant patron and intercessor for the synod now under way at the Vatican. We owe much to him and remain every grateful for his foresight, vision and love of God’s word. May this Servant of God, on the path to beatification and canonization, continue to intercede for all us as we discover new ways to make God’s word alive, known, loved and available to the world.
* * *
Basilian Father Thomas Rosica is the Vatican's English-language press attache for the 2008 world Synod of Bishops. A Scripture scholar and university lecturer, he is the chief executive officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network in Canada, and a member of the General Council of the Congregation of St. Basil.
Dancing with the stars: Cody Linley and Julianne Hough (Jive)
DWTS Cody Linley & Julianne Hough Week 3
DWTS S07 Wk3 Derek and Julianne with Jennifer Hudson
Too early to psychologically prepare for an Obama victory in November?
Edit: A piece from Daniel McCarthy, Is There Life Beyond the Party?
I received an e-mail from the Silicon Valley GOP with the slate of its candidates. (Its voter guide.) Why should I vote for anyone here who has the support of either major party? (Unfortunately most of the third-party candidates belong to the Green Party.)
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Do such shows do anything to increase our charity? (Of course not, charity is a supernatural virtue.) How about natural benevolence of sympathy? It seems not...
When she gets frustrated or upset and throws a tantrum, she no longer throws things or hits them, but hits herself on the head--and she's upgraded from using one hand to two. Saw mui!
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Benedict XVI's Homily at Synod's Inaugural Mass
"When God Speaks, He Always Seeks a Response"
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 6, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is an unofficial Vatican translation of the homily Benedict XVI delivered Sunday at the inaugural Mass of the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, held at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. The synod will be held at the Vatican through Oct. 26. The theme is "The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church."
* * *
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
The first reading, taken from the book of the Prophet Isaiah, like the page from the Gospel according to Matthew, proposed a suggestive allegorical image of the Sacred Scripture to our liturgical assembly: the image of the vineyard, which we have already heard about during the past Sundays. The initial pericope of the Evangelical story refers to the “canticle of the vineyard” that we find in Isaiah. This is a canticle placed in the autumnal context of harvest: a small masterpiece of Jewish poetry, which must have been very familiar to those who listened to Jesus and from which, as from other references by the Prophets (Cf. Hos 10:1; Jr 2:21; Ez 17:3-10; 19:10-14; Psa 79:9-17), we learn that the vineyard was Israel. To His vineyard, to His chosen people, God maintained the same care as that of a faithful husband for his wife (Cf. Ez 16:1-14, Eph 5:25-33).
The image of the vineyard, together with the one of marriage, therefore describes the divine project of salvation, and is seen as a moving allegory of the Covenant of God with His people. In the Gospel, Jesus takes up the canticle of Isaiah, but adapts it to those listening to Him and to the new hour of the history of salvation. The accent is no longer placed on the vineyard but on the tenants, to whom the “servants” of the owner ask for the rent in his name. The servants are mistreated though and even killed. How can we not think of the events of the chosen people and to the fate awaiting the prophets sent by God? At the end, the owner of the vineyard makes a last attempt: he sends his son, convinced that they will at least listen to him. However the contrary occurs: the tenants kill him because he is the son, the heir, convinced that they can then easily come into possession of the vineyard. Therefore, faced with a jump in quality with respect to the accusation of violating social justice, which emerges from the canticle of Isaiah. Here we can clearly see how contempt for the order given by the owner is changed into scorn for him: this is not simple disobedience to a divine precept, this is the true and actual rejection of God: there appears the mystery of the Cross.
What is denounced in the evangelical page calls upon our way of thinking and acting. It speaks not only of the “hour” of Christ, of the mystery of the Cross in that moment, but also of the presence of the Cross at all times. In a special way, it calls upon the people who have received the proclamation of the Gospel. If we look at history, we are forced to notice the frequent coldness and rebellion of incoherent Christians. Because of this, God, while never shirking in his promise of salvation, often had to turn towards punishment. In this context, it becomes spontaneous to return to the first proclamation of the Gospel, from which the initial flourishing Christian communities emerged, which then disappeared and are only remembered today in history books. Could this same thing not happen in our day and age? Today, nations once rich in faith and vocations are losing their own identity, under the harmful and destructive influence of a certain modern culture. There are those that, having decided that “God is dead”, declare themselves “god”, believing themselves to be the only creator of their own fate, the absolute owner of the world.
Ridding himself of God and not awaiting His salvation, Man believes he can do as he likes and be the only judge of himself and his actions. But is man truly more happy if he removes God from his life, if he declares God “dead”? When men proclaim themselves absolute owners of themselves and the only masters of creation, are they really going to be able to construct a society where freedom, justice and peace reign? Is it not more likely - as demonstrated by news headlines every day - that the arbitrary rule of power, selfish interests, injustice and exploitation, and violence in all its forms will extend their grip? Man’s final destination, in the end, is to find himself more alone and society more divided and confused.
But there is a promise in the words of Jesus: the vineyard will not be destroyed. While the landowner abandons the unfaithful tenants to their fate, he does not abandon his vineyard and he entrusts it to his faithful tenants. What this demonstrates is that, if in some areas faith weakens to the point of vanishing, there will always be other peoples ready to embrace it. This is why Jesus, as he quotes Psalm 117 : “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (v. 22), assures us that his death will not represent the defeat of God. Having been killed, he will not remain in the tomb, but rather that which appears to be a total defeat will mark the start of a definitive victory. His dreadful passion and death on the cross will be followed by the glory of the Resurrection. The vineyard will therefore continue to produce grapes and will be leased by the landowner “to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him at the proper time” (Mt 21:41).
The image of the vineyard with its moral, doctrinal and spiritual implications, will reappear in the speech at the Last Supper when, taking his leave of the Apostles, the Lord will say: “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more” (Jn 15:1-2).Setting out from the Easter event, the history of salvation will experience a major turning point, and the protagonists will be those “other tenants” who, planted as the chosen seeds in Christ, the true vine, will bear fruits that are abundant in eternal life (cf Opening Prayer). We too are among these “tenants”, grafted in Christ who Himself wished to become the “true vine”. Let us pray that the Lord, who Himself gives us His blood in the Eucharist, will help us to “bear fruit” for life eternal and for this our time.
The consolatory message we gather from these Biblical texts is the certainty that evil and death will not have the last word, but it will be Christ who wins in the end. Always! The Church will never tire of proclaiming this Good News, as is happening today, in this basilica dedicated to the Apostle to the Gentiles who was the first to spread the Gospel in vast tracts of Asia Minor and Europe. We will renew this message in a meaningful way during the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which has as its theme “The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church”. I would like at this point to greet all of you cordially, Venerable Synodal Fathers, and all of you who are taking part in this meeting as experts, auditors and special guests. Furthermore, I am delighted to welcome the fraternal delegates of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities. We should all recognize the great work that has been carried out by the General Secretary and his assistants in these last few months, as well as wishing them all the best for their efforts in the coming weeks.
When God speaks, he always seeks a response; His saving action requires human cooperation; His love awaits correspondence. What should never happen, dear brothers and sisters, is what biblical text narrates when speaking of the vineyard: “He expected it to yield fine grapes: wild grapes were all it yielded” (cf. Is 5:2)
Only the Word of God can change the depth of the heart of man, and so it is important that with it both individual believers and the community enter into an ever-growing intimacy. The Synodal Assembly will direct its attention to this truth which is fundamental to the life and the mission of the Church. Nourishing oneself with the Word of God is for her the first and fundamental responsibility. In effect, if the proclamation of the Gospel constitutes her reason for being and her mission, it is indispensable that the Church know and live that which She proclaims, so that her preaching is credible, despite the weaknesses and poverty of Her members. We know, moreover, that the proclamation of the Word, to the school of Christ, has as its content the Kingdom of God (cf Mk 1:14-15), but the Kingdom of God is the person of Jesus Himself, who with his words and his works offers salvation to men of every age. It is interesting with regard to San Jerome’s consideration: “He who knows not the Scriptures knows not the power of God nor his wisdom. Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Prologue to the Commentary on Isaiah: PL 24, 17).
In this Year dedicated to Saint Paul, we will hear the urgent cry of the Apostle of the Gentiles: “I should be in trouble if I failed to do it [preach the Gospel]” (1 Cor 9:16); a cry which becomes for every Christian an insistent invitation to place oneself at the service of Christ. “The harvest is rich” (Mt 9:37), the Divine Teacher repeats even today: many have not met Him yet and are waiting for the first proclamation of his Gospel; others, though having received Christian formation, their enthusiasm has weakened and they maintain only a superficial contact with the Word of God; still others have fallen away from the practice of their faith and are in need of a new evangelization. Nor is there a lack of righteous persons asking essential questions on the meaning of life and death, questions to which only Christ can supply a fulfilling response. It becomes therefore indispensable for Christians on every continent to be ready to respond to whomever asks the reason for the hope that is within them (cf 1Pt 3:15), announcing the Word of God with joy and living the Gospel without compromise.
Venerable and dear Brothers, the Lord will help us to interrogate ourselves, during these next weeks of Synodal works, on how to render ever more effective the proclamation of the Gospel in this our time. We all sense how necessary it is to place the Word of God at the center of our life, to welcome Christ as our only Redeemer, as the Kingdom of God in person, to allow his light to enlighten every sphere of humanity: from the family to school, to culture, to work, to free time and to other sectors of society and of our life. Participating in the celebration of the Eucharist, we are always aware of the close bond which exists between the announcement of the Word of God and the Eucharistic Sacrifice: it is the same Mystery which is offered for our contemplation. This is why, as pointed out by Vatican Council II: “The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God's word and of Christ's body.” Rightly the Council concludes: “Just as the life of the Church is strengthened through more frequent celebration of the Eucharistic mystery, similarly we may hope for a new stimulus for the life of the Spirit from a growing reverence for the word of God, which “lasts forever’” ("Dei Verbum," 21.26)
May the Lord grant us to draw near with faith to the dual tables of the Word and the Body and Blood of Christ. May the Most Holy Mary, who “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Lk 2:19) obtain this gift for us. That She may teach us to listen to the Scriptures and to meditate upon them in an interior process of maturity, which never separates intelligence from the heart. May the Saints too come to our aid, in particular the Apostle Paul, who reveals himself evermore as an intrepid witness and herald of the Word of God. Amen!
Pope Benedict XVI opens a session of a synod of Catholic bishops on the theme of "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church" on October 6, 2008 at the Vatican. Of the 253 archbishops, bishops and cardinals summoned to the three-week long synod, 51 are from Africa, 62 from the Americas, 41 from Asia, 90 from Europe and nine from the Pacific with for the first time representatives and prelates from other religions. (AFP/Getty)
Bishops listen to Pope Benedict XVI during the opening meeting of the Synod of the bishops at the Nervi Hall in the Vatican October 6, 2008. (Reuters)
Pope Benedict XVI, seen, during the works of a meeting of 253 bishops at the Vatican, Tuesday Oct. 7, 2008. (AP/GREGORIO BORGIA)
Monday, October 06, 2008
I have in mind… the one example known to me of an American community of small family farmers who have not only survived but thrived during some very difficult years: I mean the Amish. I do not recommend, of course, that all farmers should become Amish, nor do I want to suggest that the Amish are perfect people or that their way of life is perfect. What I want to recommend are some Amish principles.
c.1250, verray "true, real, genuine," later "actual, sheer" (c.1390), from Anglo-Fr. verrai, O.Fr. verai "true," from V.L. *veracus, from L. verax (gen. veracis) "truthful," from verus "true," from PIE *weros- (cf. O.E. wær "a compact," O.Du., O.H.G. war, Du. waar, Ger. wahr "true;" Welsh gwyr, O.Ir. fir "true;" O.C.S. vera "faith"). Meaning "greatly, extremely" is first recorded 1448. Used as a pure intensive since M.E.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
IGN: 24: Redemption - Our First Look
It's also very cool to see Jack in such a different setting - Redemption was filmed on location in South Africa, and this is a very different element for Jack to do his thing in than the Los Angeles settings we've grown accustomed to for the character. It certainly makes us curious what it would be like to follow the character through something even bigger in scope, such as the long-discussed 24 feature film.Jack Bauer takes on Jason Bourne in the feature movie... I'd like to see Jack Bauer do more hand-to-hand combat. A chance for more MMA to be shown on screen...
IGN's 24 gallery
Too bad Marisol Nichols won't be back for season 7.
Looks like she is expecting... great!
PASADENA, CA - AUGUST 17: Actress Marisol Nichols arrives at the 2008 ALMA Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on August 17, 2008 in Pasadena, California. (Getty)
TOLUCA LAKE, CA - AUGUST 16: Actress Marisol Nichols poses at her Baby Shower hosted by Fisher-Price Toys at her home on August 16,2008 in Toluca Lake, California. (Getty)
In this photo released by the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre, Marisol Nichols, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, left to right, pose for photographers during the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre's 39th Anniversary Gala, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP/Rene Macura)
The lucky guy:
TOLUCA LAKE, CA - AUGUST 16: Actress Marisol Nichols and husband Taron Lexton, director pose togetherat their Baby Shower hosted by Fisher-Price Toys at their home on August 16,2008 in Toluca Lake, California. (Getty)
In this photo released by the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre, Marisol Nichols, left, gets a kiss from her husband Taron Leyton, right, during the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre's 39th Anniversary Gala, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP/Rene Macura)
Sarge you might be interested in this: Were there Defects in the Canon of the Old Roman Rite? (I found both doing a search on Dom Cipriano Vaggagini, O.S.B. There isn't that much online by or about him.)
Bishops arrive as Pope Benedict XVI leads a mass to celebrate the opening of the Synod of the Bishop at Saint Paul Outside the Wall Basilica in Rome October 5, 2008. (Reuters)
Pope Benedict XVI holds the pastoral as he celebrates a Mass in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008 to open a worldwide meeting of bishops on the relevance of the Bible for contemporary Catholics. (AP Photo by ALESSANDRA TARANTINO)
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a Mass in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, in Rome, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008 to open a worldwide meeting of bishops on the relevance of the Bible for contemporary Catholics. (AP Photo by ALESSANDRA TARANTINO)
Pope Benedict XVI holds an incense burner as he leads a mass to celebrate the opening of the Synod of the Bishop at Saint Paul Outside the Wall Basilica in Rome October 5, 2008. (Reuters)
Pope Benedict XVI holds his pastoral cross as he leads a mass to celebrate the opening of the Synod of the Bishop at Saint Paul Outside the Wall Basilica in Rome October 5, 2008. (Reuters)
An unidentified cardinal prays during a mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI for the opening of a Roman Catholic synod of bishops on October 5, 2008 at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Roma. The synod, attended by 253 cardinals, archbishops and bishops is the second such gathering to be presided over by Benedict since his election in 2005 and have the theme "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church." (AFP/Getty)
Pope Benedict XVI holds the cup of the blessed wine as he leads a mass to celebrate the opening of the Synod of the Bishop at Saint Paul Outside the Wall Basilica in Rome October 5, 2008. (Reuters)
Pope Benedict XVI kisses the main altar as he celebrates the opening of the Synod of the Bishop at Saint Paul Outside the Wall Basilica in Rome October 5, 2008. (Reuters)
Pope Benedict XVI (R) leaves the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome after celebrating a mass for the opening of a Roman Catholic synod of bishops on October 5, 2008. The synod, attended by 253 cardinals, archbishops and bishops is the second such gathering to be presided over by Benedict since his election in 2005 and have the theme "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church." (AFP/Getty)
Pope Benedict XVI leaves from the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome after he celebrated a Mass, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008 to open a worldwide meeting of bishops on the relevance of the Bible for contemporary Catholics. (AP Photo by ALESSANDRA TARANTINO)
Pope Benedict XVI, right, is greeted by cardinals after he celebrated a Mass in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008 to open a worldwide meeting of bishops on the relevance of the Bible for contemporary Catholics. (AP Photo by ALESSANDRA TARANTINO)
Pope Benedict XVI leaves from the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome after he celebrated a Mass, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008 to open a worldwide meeting of bishops on the relevance of the Bible for contemporary Catholics. (AP Photo by ALESSANDRA TARANTINO)
Macross Frontier - 23 | Random Curiosity
Macross Frontier 23 | Sea Slugs! Anime Blog
THAT Animeblog - Macross Frontier 23
Star Crossed Anime Blog :: Macross Frontier - 23
Macross Frontier 23 - True Begin
Macross Frontier - 24 | Random Curiosity
Macross Frontier 24 | Sea Slugs! Anime Blog
THAT Animeblog - Macross Frontier 24
Star Crossed Anime Blog :: Macross Frontier - 24
Macross Frontier 24 - Last Frontier « Calamitous Intent
Macross Frontier - Episode 24 « Kitsune’s Thoughts
Macross Frontier - 25 (END) | Random Curiosity
Macross Frontier 25 (Final) | Sea Slugs! Anime Blog
THAT Animeblog - Macross Frontier 25 (END)
Star Crossed Anime Blog :: Macross Frontier - 25
Macross Frontier 25 - Your Sound. « Calamitous Intent
Macross Frontier 25 (END) : Otaku Complex
Macross FRONTIER - 25 Final Battle - [FINAL IMPRESSIONS]
Macross Frontier - Episode 25 (End) « Kitsune’s Thoughts
The series finale of Macross Frontier certainly stayed faithful to the theme of love/music/culture being the source of humanity's strength. Once again, love triumphs over superior technology. This a theme of the other Macross stories to one degree or another, but perhaps the strongest comparison can be made with Macross Plus, with the AI of Sharon Apple representing technology, which is ultimately defeated by the 3 friends forming the love triangle of that OVA series. The cybernetic fleet of Macross Galaxy represents certain 'advances' in technology that have been made by humans since Macross Plus.
The love triangle of Macross Frontier wasn't resolved, but I think that's fine, given that Alto is still a teenager and has some growing up to do still. Why do so many fans expect so much out of what may be nothing more than a high school crush? (What reason do we have to think that there is anything deeper than some sort of superficial attraction? What do the characters really know about each other, and what do we know about the characters? Given the maturity level of anime fans in general, it may not be a surprise that they don't know much about what makes love work. Then again, we can also blame manga authors and anime creators for not knowing about what makes for a "successful match" and peddling instead romantic fantasy.)
Did the finale feel rushed? Not so much. (Though fans may have preferred more action sequences, especially dogfights between the VF-25 and the VF-27.) However, while the length of time allotted for the finale was sufficient, I would have preferred the series as a whole be longer, for the sake of character development and also more story in general--a lot of the relationships between the characters, and the characters themselves, were sketched rather lightly. While at first I dreaded another story about teenagers at a high school who happened to be mech drivers, Macross Frontier did not really use the high school that much. We are given some of the history and back story for the main characters, but very little for most of the minor characters. The Pixie Squadron was woefully neglected in my opinion as a fanboy; while I still don't care much for certain aspects of Klan Klan's character design, it would have been interesting to see more interaction between the Meltran pilots and the development of Meltran culture.
The series does leave more to the imagination, but I do not know if this is good for a story relying upon an audiovisual medium. In comparison to Macross Plus or Macross Zero, or most TV series or Hollywood movies, the amount of character development in Macross Frontier is average. But it doesn't provide much material, from which we can draw some moral. Be a decisive man?
The same complaints that were made about Macross Zero -- the final chapter being rushed, lack of sufficient details or explanations -- are probably applicable to Macross Frontier as well. It definitely could have been much better, but I don't think fans will not give up on Macross because the latest series didn't meet all their expectations.
I found what they did with the Vajra as having a hive mind and the ensuing cultural misunderstanding with the humans to be interesting. Naturally, it turns out that Ranka's song, "Aimo," is the Vajra mating song. I haven't seen the subtitles, so I don't know if they had encountered Protoculture or any of the other older sentient races in the galaxy before.
Pitting Macross Frontier against Macross Galaxy was another otaku fantasy put on the TV screen. While there were two colonization fleets engaging each other, very little of the other ships was actually shown in the episode, given time constraints. No grand fleet battles. And we didn't get a chance to see life aboard Macross Galaxy, though we do know that the Galaxy Fleet makes use of cybernetic implants. What sort of culture exists there? Do they too have a collective mind, once Grace takes over their minds through the implants (like the Borg of Star Trek)? What a contrast it would be with the more 'ecologically sensitive' and 'natural' Frontier fleet, where such implants have been banned.
There is a Macross Frontier movie in the works, but no news if it will be an original story taking place after the events of the series, or a re-telling of the series.
Bilrer turns out to be a Minmei fan and was hoping to meet her on the Vajra homeworld. The mystery of the disappearance of Megaroad 01 remains unsolved. (As many have pointed out in the Macross World Forums, Bilrer represents Macross otakus and their obsessions with Minmei and variable fighters.)
Macross Frontier Movie Announced - Anime News Network
Macross Compendium Memories: Shoji Kawamori, July 6, 2002
The World Unseen trailer @ Yahoo; website
"PG for mature thematic material involving sexuality, and violence"
Uh, a story that involves same sex attraction between two women is rated PG. It is based on the novel by Shamim Sarif. Agit-propo disguised as art? (Things get piled on as the story takes place in segregated South Africa--and so we are to regard moral objections to homosexual sex acts as being the same as racial discrimination.)
The World Unseen - Shamim Sarif London BFI interview
Out at TIFF - The World Unseen
When one takes into consideration the moral lessons that are supposed to be drawn from a story or movie, the kind of roles and characters actors and actresses play does say something about them as people and their beliefs. (And hence they can be called 'progressive' or 'liberal'...)