Saturday, January 27, 2007

Some photos of LYA

From last year:

Plus 2 of Jang Jinyoung from the same occasion:

Press Conference for Cinderella

Photos from last year--it's a horror movie/thriller involving the contemporary obsession with plastic surgery--I don't know how good it is.

official website

The two stars of the film, Do Jiwon and Shin Sekyung

More photos of JJY

Christians Can't Multitask

Christians Can't Multitask
by Alex and Brett Harris

Let's face it, our generation multitasks constantly. Chances are some of you won't even finish this article without checking your e-mail. Others are already listening to music or Instant Messaging a friend.

The fact is, though the corporate executive has long epitomized multitasking, it has more and more become a characteristic of the rising Generation Y — especially when it comes to media consumption.

A recent Harrison Group study reports that American young people spend more than 72 hours per week using electronic media, including the Internet, cell phones, television, music and video games. Many experts, though, argue that the actual amount of media consumption is much higher because of our ability to interact with more than one medium at a time. Other studies show that teenagers are packing up to 44 hours of activity into a 24-hour day by doing multiple things at once — nearly two days worth of "stuff" experienced in a single day.

But in an era where it has become routine to conduct six IM conversations, watch TV, and Google the names of last season's American Idol finalists all at the same time, we can't afford to unquestionably embrace the multitasking lifestyle that technology provides.

Think about it: We are the first generation to grow up with high-speed, wireless Internet access and the first to widely use cell phones. It's easy to get caught up being the "Early Adopters" of technology's latest offerings and forget that eight years ago most home computers weren't even linked to the Internet.

Even in its infancy the incredible power and pervasiveness of modern technology requires us to step back and reassess our generation's proclivity for multitasking. As life gets faster and faster and technology continues to advance we've got to stop texting long enough to ask ourselves whether we're really more efficient when we multitask. How does this juggling show affect our productivity, our thought life, and our relationships?

Productivity: Doing Less By Doing More

Many of us enjoy the rush of doing many things at once because it gives us a feeling of control and productivity. But studies show that our split attention is only serving to hide our diminished efficiency.

"People often take pride in their ability to multitask," writes Dr. Edward Hallowell in his book CrazyBusy, "but often they do none of their tasks as well as when they focus on one at a time."

In fact, a 2001 study conducted at the University of Michigan reports that 20 to 40 percent of a person's productivity is eaten up by "task-switching," the time it takes to mentally re-engage when shifting from one task to another.

The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." This idea of being singly focused is the secret of true efficiency.

Of course, this doesn't mean we should never multitask. Our ability to participate in multiple activities at once is unrivalled by any other creature in God's creation. It's a gift from God, just not one to be abused, and definitely not an excuse for giving God any less than our best.

Instead, we need to understand that both our ability to focus and our ability to multitask are extremely valuable. We should never practice the latter at the expense of the former. Sadly, our culture's busyness, where the average employee switches tasks every three minutes and is interrupted every two minutes, seems to be crippling our ability to focus. Studies show that most employees are unable to focus on any one task for longer than 12 minutes.

As unfortunate as that is, we shouldn't jump into the ditch on the other side of the road where every little thing we do requires 100 percent concentration. The Apostle Paul's encouragement to "work with all your heart," when read in context, clearly exhorts us to honor God by giving appropriate attention to our relationships and tasks, not to chew gum with all our hearts.

The challenge is to get our priorities straight and then not allow our culture's crazy pace to rob our jobs or our studies of the attention they deserve.

Thought Life: "A Place of Quietness With God"

"The pursuit of maximum moments drives many a multitasking life and an often-distracted mind," writes Carolyn Curiel in her recent New York Times opinion piece. "We think of America as a sleep-deprived nation, but we are becoming deep-thought deprived, too. A closed door does not stop interruptions, because we are packing the weapons that can shatter concentration or quiet contemplation. Our fingers are always on a button."

Even before computers, cell phones, and other wireless technology, the radio was placed in homes and then cars, helping to fill the dead air that accompanies housework and long rides. But now, modern technology has pushed our escape from quiet thought to dizzying new heights.

"No one seems to want (and no one can find) a place for quiet," wrote Francis Schaeffer, "because when you are quiet, you have to face reality. But many in the present generation dare not do this because on their own basis reality leads them to meaninglessness; so they fill their lives with entertainment, even if it is only noise."

Such escapism makes sense for non-Christians, yet most Christians act the same way — escaping from meaningful thought through the distractions of technology. Yet, as Schaeffer writes, it is Christians who can dare to face the realities of life unclouded.

"We do not need these things to fill the crannies of our lives," he concludes, "in fact, we should want to face reality: the glory of the world God has created and the wonder of being human — yes, and even the awful reality of the Fall and the tragedy of marred men and women, even our own flawed character. We are not to be people of escape. The Christian is to be the realist. To face reality as born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit is the Christian's calling."

Of course, the problem is not with technology — Schaeffer was addressing these same issues long before Steve Jobs ever dreamt of the iPod. Rather, the problem is the way and the frequency with which we have chosen to use technology.

Because of that, the solution is not to give away our laptops, but to make sure that our consumption of media is supplementing our thought life, not distracting from it; that it is providing opportunity for more incredible quiet moments with God — not keeping our minds constantly busy dealing with new articles, IM conversations and song lyrics.

Relationships: True Love Meets Multitasking

Imagine a movie where the noncommittal boyfriend finally gets down on one knee, looks up into the eyes of his sweetheart, and solemnly intones, "Baby, to signify how important our relationship has become to me, I am now removing the second earpiece of my iPod."

Soaring orchestral music rises in triumph as he reaches to his ear, never taking his eyes off of her, and in a radical display of commitment removes the glistening piece of white plastic and places it carefully in his pocket for later use.

After several moments of silence, while his sweetheart allows the last strains of Coldplay to fade from her own remaining earpiece, she returns the display of devotion. Then, they kiss. This is Hollywood at its finest.

Of course, we laugh at this fictional "Hollywood Couple" because their expression of love is so obvious. "The most basic sign of affection is attention," we think. "Everyone knows that!" Yet, aren't we really laughing at ourselves? After all, it's our generation that is setting records for how long and how completely we can withhold this basic expression of love.

Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Do we stand out from the rest of world because of the way we show love for others? Or, are we just like the rest of our generation — so connected that we're disconnected — distracted from the people God has placed in our lives?

These are hard questions. But we must challenge ourselves to answer them honestly and then respond appropriately to what we see in ourselves. For some of us this might mean setting limits on when we can get on the computer, or not listening to our iPods when we're with other people.

Whatever it is, we can expect that it won't be easy — or glamorous. There won't be any soaring orchestral music when we remove our earbuds. Oftentimes we won't even feel like loving the people around us and will have to cry out to God to help us love them from the heart.

And if that's not hard enough, God usually doesn't answer that kind of prayer immediately. He seems to prefer that, by still obeying His command to love others, even when we don't feel that love, we act ourselves into a better way of feeling, rather than "feel" ourselves into a better way of acting.

But, you see, that's all part of what the Bible calls the obedience of faith — trusting God's wisdom and goodness enough to obey Him, even when we don't feel like it. And hard though it may be, getting better at trusting God and loving people is well worth the workout.

The Verdict: Christians Can't Multitask

Of course, we don't mean that Christians should never multitask, just that we can't multitask. Confused? Here's what we mean: Everything we do as Christians falls under one all-encompassing activity: representing Jesus Christ. So, in a way, no matter how many activities we're doing, they all boil down to this one thing. This means that the standard is not, "Am I multitasking or not multitasking?" but rather, "How does what I'm doing bring glory to God?"

Christ lived His life with one purpose: to glorify His Father. And the Apostle Paul issues us the same challenge in 1 Corinthians 10:31 when he says, "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

The purpose of this article is to give all of us a framework with which to evaluate a prevalent aspect of modern culture in the light of the question: "Does it glorify God?" By recognizing the pitfalls of multitasking we are better prepared to answer that question.

The truth is that multitasking often hampers our productivity, robs us of quiet thought, and keeps us from demonstrating Christ's love. For these reasons we can see that multitasking is generally more of a hindrance than a help.

However, the lazy part of us wants to jump on that and say, "No multitasking, ever!" It's much easier to make a legalistic declaration than to continue asking the right questions. However, we must take the harder road of not rejecting multitasking entirely, but rather carefully evaluating each situation as another opportunity to determine what most glorifies God.

It might not be easy, but it will be good.

Recent photos

With Fujian Gal last week at AMC Boston Common.

From last night, the night we celebrated the Lady Downstair's birthday.

The Lady Downstairs and the Philosopher.

Photos from the B Side Lounge. The food there is expensive! We should have gone to Victoria haha.

The Lady Downstairs and Boston Gal.

"Understanding the causes of the uncivil war"

Via The League of the South


A Brief Explanation of the Impact of the Morrill Tariff

By Mike Scruggs for the Tribune Papers

Archbishop Bruno Forte on Scripture

Archbishop Bruno Forte on Scripture

"Listen to His Words, Let His Heart Speak to Yours"

CHIETI, Italy, JAN. 27, 2007 ( Here is a translation of the pastoral letter written in Italian by Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, member of the International Theological Commission, on the theme "The Word for Living: Sacred Scripture and the Beauty of God."

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The Word for Living: Sacred Scripture and the Beauty of God
Pastoral Letter for 2006-2007

Let us try together to understand what the Word of God is: If you truly understand it, with the mind and with the heart, you will feel the need to bring yourself to listen to the Words in which it is God himself who speaks to you, giving you the light to know yourself in truth, wisdom to discern the signs of his presence, strength to make you able to speak to him Words of love, which are the voice of your prayer, confession of your humble faith, song in the song of the whole Church, which is born from the Word and is called by the Word to be a witness unto the ends of the earth.

1. Why a letter on the Word of God?

I thought I should write you a letter on the Word of God because I am convinced that in our complex society something is happening that is similar to what is described in the book of Amos: "The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will send a hunger into the country, not hunger for bread nor thirst for water, but of hearing the Word of God" (Amos 8:10). I recognize this hunger in the need for love that is in each of us, men and women of this "post-modern" time. We are becoming more and more prisoners of our solitude. Only an infinite love can satisfy the expectation that burns inside of us: Only the God who is love can say to us that we are not alone in this world and that our house is in the heavenly city, where there will no longer be neither sorrow nor death. "From that city," writes Augustine, "our Father has sent us letters, he has sent us the Scripture, and from this awakens our desire to return home."[1]

If you understand that the Bible is this "letter of God," which speaks to your heart, then you will approach it with the trepidation and the desire with which one who is in love reads the Words of the beloved. Thus God, who is Father and Mother in love, will speak just to you, and the faithful, intelligent, humble, and prayerful listening to what he says to you will slowly begin to satiate your need for light, your thirst for love. Learning to listen to the voice that speaks to you in sacred Scripture is to learn to love: The Word of God is the good news against solitude! For this reason listening to the Scriptures is a listening that liberates and saves.

2. God speaks!

Only God could break the silence of the heavens and irrupt into the silence of the heart: Only he could speak to us -- as no other -- Words of love. This is what happened in his revelation, first to the chosen people, Israel, and then in Jesus Christ, the eternal Word made flesh. God speaks: Through events and Words that are intimately connected, he communicates himself to men. Put in writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these texts constitute sacred Scripture, the dwelling of the Word of God in the Words of men. The Word of God is God himself in the sign of his Word! It shares in his power: "For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, so shall my Word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10ff).

The Hebrew Word "dabar," usually translated as "Word," means Word just as much as action: Thus, the Ten
Commandments are called "the ten Words" in Hebrew, to indicate that they express both the demands of God's love and the help that he gives for following them. The Lord says what he does and does what he says. In the Old Testament he announces to the children of Israel the coming of the Messiah and the founding of a new covenant; in the Word made flesh he accomplishes his promises beyond all expectations. The First Testament and the New Testament narrate the story of his love for us, according to a path with which God prepares his people for the gift of the covenant's fulfilment: the Old Testament is illumined by the New and the New is prepared by the Old! How can the grown tree be any less than the roots from which is comes? "If the root is healthy, the branches will be too … Know that it is not you who carries the roots but that the roots carry you" (Romans 11:16, 18). For this reason the disciples of Jesus love the Scripture which he himself loved.

3. The Word becomes flesh

"And the Word became flesh and came to dwell among us" (John 1:14). The fulfillment of revelation, supreme gift of divine love, is Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man for us, the unique Word, perfect and definitive of the Father, who in him says everything to us and gives everything to us. In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe" (Hebrews 1:1ff). In Jesus the texts of the New Testament acquire and manifest there full meaning: "All Scripture is a single book and this book is Christ."[2] To nourish oneself with Scripture is the nourish oneself with Christ: "Ignorance of the Scriptures," affirms St. Jerome, "is ignorance of Christ."[3] Whoever wants to live from Jesus must listen incessantly to the Sacred Scriptures, no one excepted. It is in them that the countenance of the beloved is revealed, in this today which is passing and in that day of love without end: "I seek your face, O Lord: seeking the face of Christ must be the life of all of us Christians.… If we persevere in seeking the face of the Lord, at the end of our pilgrimage our eternal joy with be Jesus, our recompense and glory forever."[4]

4. The Spirit interprets the Word

How can we meet the Living One in the garden of the Scriptures, as in the garden of the sepulcher? If we wish to happen to us what happened to the woman whose eyes were opened to recognize the risen Lord after first taking him to be the gardener (cf. John 20:15ff), it is necessary to be called by the beloved, touched by the fire of his Holy Spirit: "The comforter, the Holy Spirit who the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and remind you of all I have said" (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit who guided the chosen people, inspiring the authors of the sacred Scriptures, opens the heart of the believer to the understanding of what is contained in the Scriptures. Thus, the Scriptures "grow with the one who reads them."[5]

No encounter with the Word of God will be experienced, then, without an invocation of the Spirit who opens the sealed book, moving the heart and turning it to God, opening the eyes of the mind and giving sweetness in consenting to and believing the truth.[6] It is the Spirit who will lead us into the whole truth through the door of the Word of God, making us workers and witnesses of the liberating power that it contains and which is so necessary in a Word that often seems to have lost its taste and passion for truth. Before reading the Scriptures, you must always invoke the giver of gifts, the light of hearts: the Holy Spirit!

5. The Church: creature and house of the Word

To make us capable of faithfully receiving the Word of God, the Lord Jesus wanted to leave us -- together with the Spirit -- also the gift of the Church, founded on the Apostles. They were the ones who received the Word of salvation and handed it down to their successors as a precious jewel, kept in the secure custody of the people of God on pilgrimage through time. The Church is the house of the Word, the community of interpretation, guaranteed by the guidance of the shepherds to whom God wished to entrust his flock.

The faithful reading of Scripture is not the work of solitary navigators, but is done in the bark of Peter: proclamation, catechesis, liturgical celebration, the study of theology, personal or group meditation, also in the family and spiritual understanding that has matured along the path of faith are all channels that allow us to come to know the Bible in the life of the Church. It is particularly beautiful and fruitful to meditate on the Word according to the distribution of readings proposed by the daily liturgy, letting take us by the hand through the luxuriant forest of biblical texts.
Accompanied by mother Church, no baptized person should feel indifferent to the Word of God: listening to it, proclaiming it, allowing it to enlighten us so that we may enlighten others -- these are tasks that touch all of us, each one according to the gift he has received and the responsibility entrusted to him, with the missionary passion that Christ asks of his disciples, no one excluded (cf. Mark 16:15). This is why I wanted in the diocese a school of the Word open to all! From priests to deacons, from parents to catechists, from consecrated men to consecrated women, from theologians to teachers, from members of associations and movements to each baptized individual, whether young or old, we are all called to be the Church generated by the Word that proclaims the Word: even you!

6. The obedience of faith to the Word

You will truly correspond to the Word of the Lord if you bear along it in that welcoming listening that is the obedience of the faith, "by which man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission of intellect and will to the God who reveals and freely assenting to the truth revealed by him."[7] The God who presents himself to your heart calls you to offer to him not just a part of you but your entire self. This receptive listening makes you free: "If you remain faithful to my Word, you will truly be my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32).

In the Word it is God himself who comes to you and transforms you: "The Word of God is living, efficacious and sharper than any two-edged sword; it penetrates to the very division of the soul and spirit, the joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Give yourself, then, to the Word. Trust in it. It is eternally faithful, like the God who speaks it and inhabits it. That is why if you welcome the Word in faith, you will never be alone: In life, as in death, you will enter through it into the heart of God: "Learn to know the heart of God by the Words of God."[8] Listen, read, meditate on the Word; taste it, love it, celebrate it; live it and proclaim it in Words and deeds: this is the way that is opening to you if you understand that in the Word of God is the fountain of life. In it God visits you in person: for this reason the Word implicates you, catches up your heart, and offers itself to your faith as a help and a defense in your spiritual growth.

7. A way of welcoming the Word: "lectio divina"

How should we read the Word of God? A tried and true way of delving into it and tasting it is "lectio divina," which constitutes an authentic spiritual journey in various stages. The first stage is the "lectio," reading. Read a passage of Scripture attentively and more than once and ask yourself: "What is the text itself about?" Move on then to the "meditatio," meditation, which is like an interior resting. Recollect yourself and ask God: "What are you saying to me with these Words of yours?" Adopt the attitude of the young Samuel: "Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening!" (1 Samuel 3:10). Then answer with prayer, "oratio," turning to the God who has spoken to you: "What will I say to you, my Lord?" Ask the Lord to live in the house of your heart so that he transforms your thoughts and your steps. You now arrive at the "contemplatio," that active contemplation in which your heart, touched by the presence of Christ, will ask: "What must I do now to realize this Word?" and will try to live it.

Through these four ways -- attention, understanding, judgment, decision -- experienced in the encounter with the Word, it will be for you as a "lamp that shines in a dark place until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19). Precisely in this way Scripture can guide and accompany you on the paths of life: "Your Word is a lamp for my steps, a light on my way" (Psalm 118 [119]:105). Sometimes it can seem that the Word you have read says nothing to you. Do not be discouraged! Return to it and ask: "Lord give me life according to your Word" (Psalm 118 [119]:107). The problem you are having has been experienced by many before you, Abraham, Sara, Moses, Jeremiah, Esther, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul: These and other men and women of the Bible can tell you about the struggle and the joy of believing. Try to meet them by meditating on the texts that narrate their story, using the steps of the "lectio divina": You will discover how near they are to your questions and how their experience speaks to you -- this is the way that I am trying to follow in the meetings of the "laboratory of faith" which have been directed above all to young people.

8. The Word: fount of love

The Words of the God who is love make us capable of loving. Love is the fruit that is born from the true hearing of the Word: "Be doers of the Word," says St. James, "and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (1:22). He who allows himself to be enlightened by the Word knows that the meaning of life does not consist in being focused on himself, but in that exodus from self without return, which is love. Listening to sacred Scripture makes you feel loved and renders you capable of loving: If you hand yourself over without reserve to the God who loves you he will be the one who gives you to others, enriching you with all the necessary power to put yourself at their service.

This is why Benedict XVI especially invites young people, who stand before life, "to acquire a familiarity with the Bible, to have it at their fingertips, so that it be as a compass indicating which road to take."[9] The Word is a certain guide because -- among the many distractions of the world -- it leads us to commit ourselves to others in the footsteps of Jesus, to recognize in them his voice that calls us. The works are our signs of caritas in our Church: counseling centers, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, etc., the different volunteer activities, the challenges of justice, of peace, and of care for creation, the people that knock at your heart each day, await you to see whether the Word you listen to has truly changed your heart. If you do these things, then you can feel that the following Words of the Lord are directed to you: "Each time you did these things for the least of my brethren, you did them to me" (Matthew 25:40).

9. The Word: fount of joy and hope
If you listen to the Word and carry it with you, you will sense that your life is in the heart itself of God, whence is born confidence for the present and hope for tomorrow: "Whoever hears my Words and puts them into practice," says Jesus, "is like a wise man who built his house on rock" (Matthew 7:24). This confidence is nourished by the joy of feeling loved: "When your Words found me I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart because I bore your name, O Lord, God of hosts" (Jeremiah 15:16). This is why the two disciples on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, in the explanation of the Scriptures experienced a burning in their hearts, they rediscovered the reasons for hope, they were full of the joy of the meeting (cf. Luke 24:13-35).

Scripture, which is the account of the history of the covenant between God and his people, is a living memory of this great love, which awakens confidence in him who will bring his promises to fulfillment. Giving you reasons for life and hope, the Word opens you to God's tomorrow and helps you bring it into the present by the power of humble acts of faith and simple gestures of charity. It is because of its power that the Word is also the reason for the great hope that animates ecumenical dialogue: If we make the effort to be disciples of the one Word, how can we consider our divisions more important than the unity to which the Word calls us?

10. From the Word to silence

From obedient listening to the Word flows, therefore, the eloquent silence of life: "We give thanks to God always because, having received from us the divine Word we preached, you accepted it not as the Word of men but, as it truly is, the Word of God who is at work in you who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). This existence which is inhabited by the Eternal is constantly nourished by listening to his silence, which comes to us through the Word and opens us up to the silence of desire and expectation. Those who love the Word, know how necessary silence is -- both interior and exterior -- to truly hear it, and to allow that its light transform us through prayer, reflection, and discernment: In an environment of silence, in the light of the Scriptures, we learn to recognize the signs of God and to bring our problems to the plan of salvation to which the Scripture bears witness. Listening is the fruitful silence inhabited by the Word: "The Father pronounced one Word, which was his Son and he repeats it in an eternal silence; thus it must be listened to in silence by the soul."[10] Never pronounce, then, the Word of life, without having traveled long in the paths of silence, in the meditative and profound silence of the Word that comes from the Eternal!

11. The icon of Mary: the Virgin of listening

Mary is an icon of fruitful listening to the Word: She teaches us to welcome it, to care for it, and to meditate on it without ceasing: "Mary, for her part, treasured all these things, meditating on them in her heart" (Luke 2:19). Perfect image of the Church, Mary allows herself to be formed by the Word of God: "Let it be done to me according to your Word" (Luke 1:38). And listening she makes a gift of love: The Virgin of the annunciation goes to Elizabeth to help her in her need. The woman of listening, Mary presents herself in the visitation as the Mother of love: "How is it that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 2:43). Her voice is the bearer of messianic joy: "When the voice of your greeting came to my ears the child in my womb leaped for joy" (Luke 1:44).

Her blessedness is to have heard and believed the Word of the Eternal: "Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill his words to her" (Luke 2:45). I ask Mary -- creature of the Word, who intercedes for us in the glory of God -- to help us to live as she did in listening to the Word, to welcome the Word of life and bring him to others, in transparency and in the concerns of our everyday life. Pray with Mary, entrust yourself to her intercession (with prayer of the rosary, for example, rich with biblical motifs), she will help you to care for and live the divine Scriptures.

12. The Word for living

The prayer of a monk, expert in the assiduous meditation on the Scriptures, can help us to listen to the Word of God according to Mary's example: "We beseech you, Lord, to make us know what we love, so that we seek nothing outside of you. You are everything for us: our life, our light, our salvation, our food, our drink, our God. We pray to you, our Jesus, to inspire our hearts with the breath of your Spirit and to transfix our souls with your love so that each one of us can say in all truth: Make me know him whom my heart loves; I am indeed wounded by your love. I desire that those wounds be made in me, O Lord. Blessed is the soul transfixed by charity! It will seek the fountain and drink. Drinking from it, it will always thirst. Quenching its thirst it will desire with ardor him for whom it always thirsts, though drinking from this fountain continually. In this way, love is thirst for the soul that seeks with desire; it is the wound that heals."[11]

Only love opens one up to knowledge of the beloved: "Only he who rested on Jesus' breast can understand the meaning of Jesus' Words."[12] Rest your head on the Lord's breast too, like the beloved disciple at the Last Supper (cf. John 13:25), and listen to his Words, let his heart speak to yours! This is what I ask of God for you as I "commend you to God and to the Word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you the inheritance among all the saints" (cf. Acts 20:32). Amen!

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[1] "Commentary on the Psalms," 64, 2-3.
[2] Hugh of St. Victor, "Noah's Ark," II, 8.
[3] "Commentary on the Prophet Isaiah," PL 24, 17.

[4] Benedict XVI, Discourse of Sept. 1, 2006, at the Sanctuary of the Holy Face of Manoppello.
[5] St. Gregory the Great, "Homilies on Ezekiel," I, 7, 8.
[6] Cf. Second Vatican Council, "Dei Verbum," 5.

[7] Second Vatican Council, "Dei Verbum," 5.
[8] St. Gregory the Great, "Letters," 5, 46.
[9] Message for World Youth Day 2006.

[10] St. John of the Cross, "Opere," Rome, 1967, 1095.
[11] St. Columba, "Instruction 13 on Christ Fountain of Life," 2-3, "Opera", Dublin, 1957, 118-120.
[12] Origen, "In Joannem," 1, 6, PG 14, 31.

[Translation by ZENIT]

Cardinal Hummes' Letter to Priests

Cardinal Hummes' Letter to Priests

"What a Mission! What an 'Amoris Officium!'"

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 26, 2007 ( Here is the letter to priests sent Wednesday by Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, the new prefect for the Congregation of Clergy. The letter is available on the dicastery's Web page:

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Greetings from His Eminence
Claudio Cardinal Hummes

My dear brother Priests,

I have felt a desire to address a cordial greeting to you, even if only through our Internet site.

I have been in Rome for a brief time, called by our beloved Pope Benedict XVI to cooperate with him in the service of love toward the priests, deacons and catechists of the Church.

In the first instance, you know that I must offer a deferential note of gratitude to Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, my immediate predecessor. It is thanks to his vision that I can now entrust my words to the mysterious paths of the heavens.

He has been a true friend of priests. He has carried you in his heart as a pastor; he has prayed for you; he has loved you.

Dear friends, it now falls on me to carry you in my heart, to pray for you, and to love you.

I cannot hide that I still feel like of a "novice." I have also had a bit of nostalgia on leaving São Paulo in Brazil. But, like Abraham, I trust in my Lord and God. I am here to be a bishop for you and a priest with you.

To serve priests! What a mission! What an "amoris officium!"

We are bearers of a specific identity that constantly characterizes us in our existence and in our activity. We are consecrated and incorporated into the activity of Christ. The gestures and the words of Jesus become re-actualized in time and in history to elicit in those who fulfill them "the same sentiments of Christ" and the same effects of salvation.

The Church, in conferring the sacrament of orders, ontologically constitutes the priest as an "alter Christus," or as some say, an "ipse Christus"; and it establishes him as a minister of the word and as a minister of the prophetic action and pastoral love of Christ. His function, therefore, is not to exhaust himself exclusively in the dimension of worship, but to fulfill himself in the prophetic dimension by proclaiming the word and in the pastoral dimension by being a guide for the community.

Among the beautiful expressions of the Second Vatican Council is the following statement, which synthesizes the functions of the priest while delineating his identity: "Priests, while engaging in prayer and adoration, or preaching the word, or offering the Eucharistic sacrifice and administering the other sacraments, or performing other works of the ministry for men, devote all this energy to the increase of the glory of God and to man's progress in the divine life" ("Presbyterorum Ordinis," 2).

Dear brothers, we are proud and joyful of our priestly identity. We are proud to be priests.

It is true, ours is not an easy mission. But united to Christ the eternal High Priest, and with Mary, Mother of the first Priest and of all priests, we will always be mindful of giving testimony to the hope that is within us to our numerous brothers and sisters who, even today, long for the way, the truth and the life.

From the Vatican, Jan. 24, 2007
Memorial of St. Francis de Sales

Claudius Cardinal Hummes
Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy

[Translation issued by the Congregation for Clergy. Text adapted.]

Interview with Congressman Roscoe Bartlett

via EB

Roscoe Bartlett: Man on a Mission (text and video)
Bill Moore, EV World
Watching Congressman Roscoe Bartlett on C-Span yesterday afternoon, two things were obvious: he knows how to give a lecture and he's passionate about the topic of peak oil. He came prepared with charts and graphs and powerful prose, quoting a speech given fifty years ago by Admiral Hyman Rickover.

We've featured several of his speeches at various conferences over the last few years here on EV World and I've spoken briefly to him on a couple occasions. I've even been to his office in Washington, D.C. and met with his press secretary. But this was the first time I was able to talk to him at length.

I began by asking him his sense of the mood in Congress to start working seriously on reducing America's dependence on oil and climate change.
(26 Jan 2007)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Pics from CA

Sophia, Stella, xiao Jimmy

Andrew and Jimmy (plus you know who)

Sun's daughter:

The gang out in front of Hong Kong Saigon.

Daniel's children: