Saturday, November 10, 2007

Zenit: God Is Not God of the Dead

God Is Not God of the Dead

Gospel Commentary for the 32rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap

ROME, NOV. 9, 2007 ( In reply to the question that the Sadducees had posed to trap him about the woman who had had seven husbands on earth, Jesus above all reaffirms the fact of the resurrection, correcting at the same time the Sadducees' materialistic caricature of it.

Eternal beatitude is not just an increase and prolongation of terrestrial joys, the maximization of the pleasures of the flesh and the table. The other life is truly another life, a life of a different quality. It is true that it is the fulfillment of all man's longings on earth, yet it is infinitely more, on a different level. "Those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels."

At the end of the Gospel passage, Jesus explains the reason why there must be life after death. "That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out 'Lord, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,' and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." Where in that is the proof that the dead rise? If God is defined as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and is a God of the living, not of the dead, then this means that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive somewhere, even if they have been dead for centuries at the time that God talks to Moses.

Interpreting Jesus' answer to the Sadducees in an erroneous way, some have claimed that marriage has no follow-up in heaven. But with his reply Jesus rejects the caricature that the Sadducees present of heaven, a caricature that suggests that it is a simple continuation of the earthly relationships of the spouses. He does not deny that they might rediscover in God the bond that united them on earth.

Is it possible that a husband and wife, after a life that brought them into relation with God through the miracle of creation, will not in eternal life have anything more in common, as if all were forgotten, lost? Would this not be contrary to Jesus' word according to which that which God has united must not be divided? If God united them on earth, how could he divide them in heaven? Could an entire life spent together end in nothing without betraying the meaning of this present life, which is a preparation for the kingdom, the new heaven and the new earth?

It is Scripture itself, and not only the natural desire of the husband and wife, that supports this hope. Marriage, Scripture says, is "a great sacrament" because it symbolizes the union between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:32). Is it possible that it be eliminated in the heavenly Jerusalem, where there will be celebrated the eternal wedding feast of Christ and the Church of which the marriage of man and woman is an image?

According to this vision, matrimony does not entirely end with death but is transfigured, spiritualized -- it loses those limits that mark life on earth -- in the same way that the bonds between parents and children or between friends will not be forgotten. In the preface of the Mass for the dead, the liturgy says that with death "life is changed, not taken away"; the same must be said of marriage, which is an integral part of life.

But what about those who have had a negative experience of earthly marriage, an experience of misunderstanding and suffering? Should not this idea that the marital bond will not break at death be for them, rather than a consolation, a reason for fear? No, for in the passage from time to eternity the good remains and evil falls away. The love that united them, perhaps for only a brief time, remains; defects, misunderstandings, suffering that they inflicted on each other, will fall away. Many spouses will experience true love for each other only when they will be reunited "in God," and with this love there will be the joy and fullness of the union that they did not know on earth. This is also what happens to the love between Faust and Margaret in Goethe's story: "Only in heaven the unreachable -- that is, the total and pacific union between two creatures who love each other -- will become reality." In God all will be understood, all will be excused, all will be forgiven.

And what can be said about those who have been legitimately married to different people, widowers and widows who have remarried. (This was the case presented to Jesus of the seven brothers who successively had the same woman as their wife.) Even for them we must repeat the same thing: That which was truly love and self-surrender between each of the husbands or wives, being objectively a good coming from God, will not be dissolved. In heaven there will not be rivalry in love or jealousy. These things do not belong to true love but to the intrinsic limits of the creature.

[Translation by ZENIT]

* * *

Father Raniero Cantalamessa is the Pontifical Household preacher. The readings for this Sunday are 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:15-3:5; Luke 20:27-38.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Dominican chant cds

(From the comments section for Part 3 of the History of the Dominican Liturgy)

Polish Dominicans listing of cds
Their liturgy website. (Alas, everything is in Polish.)

Dominican Province of Saint Joseph
(According to Fr. Augustine Thompson: "I understand that the U.S. Eastern Province has made recordings too, but readers need to contact them directly.")

Does the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer use Dominican chant? Or do they adhere to the Solesmes interpretation?

More from Fabius Maximus, this time on the dollar

At his blog

The Archdruid Report: Waiting for the other shoe

Waiting for the other shoe
John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
Foreshocks ripple through the commodity and credit markets, the once-optimistic IEA warns of an energy crunch, and a famous conservative pundit raises a white flag: business as usual, or signs of imminent crisis? The Archdruid Report looks at current news stories.


EB: Another Gene Logsdon article

A grove of trees to live in
Gene Logsdon, Organic To Be
Sometimes (maybe always) the most delightful events in life happen seemingly by chance, not plan. Or to say that a better way: if you strive to live with respect for nature’s ways, unforeseen good things happen. And keep on happening. Take a look at the picture that accompanies this article. published November 9, 2007.

More Yoko Nagayama

Center Stage
Nagayama Yoko
The path from idol to enka

Nagayama Yoko - DramaWiki
Barbara's Enka Site - Yoko Nagayama
Yoko Nagayama Complete Listings

Yoko Nagayama Hatsukoi no Hito (My First Love)

Yoko Nagayama Midnight Guitar

Yoko Nagayama Destinated Snow

Yoko Nagayama Koi no Kisetsu (Season For Love)

Yoko Nagayama garasuzaka (Glassy Incline)

Yoko Nagayama Making my heart frozen

Yoko Nagayama Matsunoki Kouta (Pine Tree Ballade)

Yoko Nagayama Jonkara Onnabushi

Yoko Nagayama Cause the moon is so blue

Yoko Nagayama Parting Song

Yoko Nagayama Tategami (Mane)

Yoko Nagayama Higurashi (Evening Cicade)

Yoko Nagayama Yume Hitotsu (One Dream)

Yoko Nagayama Shiawaseni Shitene (Make me happy)
Yoko Nagayama Koyubi no Omoide (Pinkie's Memory)
Yoko Nagayama SUTERARETE (Deserted )
Yoko Nagayama Sayonara wa Dance no atoni

Nagayama Yoko - Etsuraku No Sono

A blast from the past:
Yoko Nagayama Future in the Shoulder Width
her cover of Venus (There are other vids of this song.)

Zenit: Sacred Music Needs Governing, Says Director of Institute

Sacred Music Needs Governing, Says Director of Institute
States Deviations After Vatican II Have Been Rampant

ROME, NOV. 8, 2007 ( Perhaps a pontifical office with authority over sacred music would correct the abuses that have occurred in this area, suggested a Vatican official.

Monsignor Valentín Miserachs Grau, director of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, said this at a conference last Saturday, marking the 80th anniversary of the diocesan institute of Sacred Music of Trent, L'Osservatore Romano reported.

The pontifical institute directed by the monsignor was originally established by the Holy See in 1911. It is an academic institution dedicated to teaching and also performing sacred music. But, Monsignor Miserachs said, "In my opinion, it would be opportune to establish an office with authority over the material of sacred music."


Monsignor Miserachs contended that "in none of the areas touched on by Vatican II -- and practically all are included -- have there been greater deviations than in sacred music."

"How far we are from the true spirit of sacred music, that is, of true liturgical music," he lamented. "How can we stand it that such a wave of inconsistent, arrogant and ridiculous profanities have so easily gained a stamp of approval in our celebrations?"

It is a great error, Monsignor Miserachs said, to think that people "should find in the temple the same nonsense given to them outside," since "the liturgy, even in the music, should educate all people -- including youth and children."

"Much music written today, or put in circulation, nevertheless ignores not only the grammar, but even the basic ABC's of musical art," he continued. "Due to general ignorance, especially in certain sectors of the clergy," certain media act as loudspeakers for "products that, devoid of the indispensable characteristics of sacred music -- sanctity, true art, universality -- can never procure the authentic good of the Church."

A reform

The monsignor called for a "conversion" back to the norms of the Church. "And that 'norm' has Gregorian chant as its cardinal point, either the chant itself, or as an inspiration for good liturgical music." He noted that his recommendations are not related to Benedict XVI's document on the use of the 1962 Roman Missal.

"'Nova et vetera,'" he urged, "the treasure of tradition and of new things, but rooted in tradition."

Monsignor Miserachs suggested that contact with tradition should "not be limited to the academic realm, or concerts or records." Instead, "it should become again the living song of the assembly that finds in it that which calms their deepest spiritual tensions, and which makes them feel that they are truly the people of God."

AICN news

Sarge is visiting this weekend--light blogging.

Winona Ryder cast as Spock's mom
Spy photos of the Starfleet uniforms
Valkyrie trailer
Rachel Nichols as Janice Rand? (I still don't see why all of the characters from TOS need to be brough back, but Rachel Nichols is pretty.)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Alan Farago, The Housing Crash, Suburban Sprawl, and the Crisis of the American Middle Class

The Housing Crash, Suburban Sprawl and the Crisis of the American Middle Class By ALAN FARAGO

Peak oil stuff

Big melt meets big empty: Rethinking the implications of climate change and peak oil
The central question facing us is not whether the world will move away from fossil fuels, but how. The primary dispute will be between those who look for short-term solutions to energy supply shocks ... and policy advocates with a long-range plan for dealing effectively and peacefully with climate change, adaptation to scarcity, and global inequity.
published November 4, 2007.

NATO and energy security
Concerns about energy security have made their way to the agenda of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). But to ensure energy security we are now risking global security.
published November 3, 2007.

DOE publishes poster: "Peak Oil - the Turning Point"
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) recently made available on its website a large poster explaining peak oil. Most of the text is reproduced here.
published November 3, 2007.

Hrm... Michael Pollan:

Food & agriculture - Nov 5
Michael Pollan on the farm bill
Church urges supermarkets to give farmers a fairer deal
Sharon Astyk: Change your diet
Food and community in Katine (Uganda)
Commodity, fuel costs boost grocery prices
published November 5, 2007.

And from Peak Oil - Nov. 5:
New Presentations by Matt Simmons
Simmons & Company

  • A Hungry World In Search Of More Oil
  • Gauging The Risks Of Peak Oil - Will We Face Limits To Growth?
(4 November 2007)
These and more are available as PDFs at the link.

Peter Hitchens on improving the train system in the UK

Why are trains left-wing, and cars conservative?
Cars on the Left, Trains on the Right

Tolkien didn't like trains, as far as I know. But I suppose if mass transit is necessary, it is better to promote the use of the train than to shape society around the use of a car.

He responds to readers' comments to his last post on abortion.

He also defends the BBC license.

More from DNI

11/06/07 More answers about Peak Oil! (or just better phrased questions). Part II of Fabius Maximus's series on Peak Oil - on Fab Max's new blog - check it out. A couple of common myths.

11/03/07 The Guns of August, by Adam Elkus. The sniper as a strategic weapon of fourth generation warfare.

Andrew Bacevich, Picking up after failed war on terror

Picking up after failed war on terror

Bush's campaign to wipe out terrorism is a costly mess. Here are five steps to move on.
By Andrew J. Bacevich
November 6, 2007

Don't expect to hear this from the White House any time soon, but the global war on terrorism conceived in the wake of 9/11 has effectively ended. As President Bush travels from one military post to the next giving pep talks to soldiers, he manfully sustains the pretense that V-T Day is just around the corner. Yet events have shredded the strategy that his administration was counting on to produce its victory over terrorism.

War requires adherence to principles. Once a conflict becomes an exercise in improvisation, it ceases to be meaningful. It becomes the antithesis of war -- killing without political purpose or moral justification.

The Bush administration is no longer engaged in a principled effort to address the threat posed by violent Islamic radicalism. In lieu of principles, the administration now engages in crisis management, reacting to problems as they pop up. Last week, it was Turkey's threat to invade Iraqi Kurdistan. This week, it's Pervez Musharraf, key ally and beneficiary of $10 billion in U.S. aid since 2001, imposing naked military rule on Pakistan. Next week, who knows what surprises await?

This much we can say with certainty: Bush is as much in the dark as you are.

It wasn't always this way. During the heady run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the president was boldly promising that the United States, drawing on its "unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence," would not only "defend the peace by fighting terrorists and tyrants" but also "extend the benefits of freedom across the globe."

Stripped of its hyperbole, this meant that the Bush administration intended to nudge, cajole, bribe or bludgeon regimes across the Islamic world into embracing modernity so that they would no longer breed, harbor or otherwise support terrorists. Condoleezza Rice put it this way: Because the United States "has always been, and will always be, not a status quo power but a revolutionary power," the Bush administration was going to engineer a democratic revolution, thereby creating what Rice called a "new Middle East."

This revolution has demonstrably failed. In such places as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, it never got off the ground. In the West Bank and Gaza, free and fair elections delivered power into the hands of Hamas. In Lebanon, the people voted in droves for Hezbollah. In each case, the United States refused to accept the outcome, opening itself to charges of hypocrisy.

In Afghanistan, the promotion of democracy has yielded record opium crops and a resurgence of the Taliban. Then there is Iraq. The "liberation" that deposed a dictator gave rise to civil war, created a vacuum that Al Qaeda was quick to fill and has benefited no one apart from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Policymakers such as Rice, who once disdained mere stability, are now frantically trying to prevent the greater Middle East from sliding into chaos. As the clock runs down on the Bush era, the administration preoccupies itself with damage control.

Given that Bush's version of global war has proved such a costly flop, what ought to replace it? Answering that question requires a new set of principles to guide U.S. policy. Here are five:

* Rather than squandering American power, husband it. As Iraq has shown, U.S. military strength is finite. The nation's economic reserves and diplomatic clout also are limited. They badly need replenishment.

* Align ends with means. Although Bush's penchant for Wilsonian rhetoric may warm the cockles of neoconservative hearts, it raises expectations that cannot be met. Promise only the achievable.

* Let Islam be Islam. The United States possesses neither the capacity nor the wisdom required to liberate the world's 1.4 billion Muslims, who just might entertain their own ideas about what genuine freedom entails. Islam will eventually accommodate itself to the modern world, but Muslims will have to work out the terms.

* Reinvent containment. The process of negotiating that accommodation will produce unwelcome fallout: anger, alienation, scapegoating and violence. In collaboration with its allies, the United States must insulate itself against Islamic radicalism. The imperative is not to wage global war, whether real or metaphorical, but to erect effective defenses, as the West did during the Cold War.

* Exemplify the ideals we profess. Rather than telling others how to live, Americans should devote themselves to repairing their own institutions. Our enfeebled democracy just might offer the place to start.

The essence of these principles can be expressed in a single word: realism, which implies seeing ourselves as we really are and the world as it actually is.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University.

via Rod Dreher

Meg Meeker, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, M.D. - Books ...
Book website
Meg Meeker's website
Q&A: Dr. Meg Meeker on 'Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters' - HUMAN ...
Living Catholicism: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg ...
Random House | Authors | Meg Meeker, M.D.

Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls

Recommended by Dr. Laura. Official website for the book. Carol Libeau's blog.
Carol Platt Liebau: Prude Debuts! Our Sex-Obsessed Culture is Hurting Young Women ...

The Books: Prude by Carol Platt Liebau

More from Bill Bonner on the GDP

No Market for Bulls:

Which brings us back to numbers - we have become suspicious of them. There are only ten basic digits…but just look at them. Since we gave up Roman numerals, our numbers aren't straight. Who can trust the number 5, for example? The squiggly little humbug! It is crooked. It has a straight bar across the top, which makes it appear on the up and up…but then it stabs down and then hooks around to the bottom. Very devious.

Still, when they are on their own, numbers - like men - seem to be fairly reliable and decent. You have one dollar. We have three chickens. The team scored nine runs. But mix 'em and match 'em…put 'em in a crowd …and you can get any combination and any scammy result you want.

We mentioned yesterday that after the feds got finished scrambling the GDP numbers, they revealed growth of precisely 3.9% per year. We pointed out that "growth" itself doesn't mean much. Life imitates academia; we begin to act like dead economists say we should act. The professors tell us that digits are important. The next thing you know people are worrying about their cholesterol count and their return on investment. Not only that, but they're putting their wives to work in order to increase the digits in their household incomes…and watching the Fed to see what it will do with the digits in short-term interest rates.

And lo! Their interest in digits…in making money and spending it…causes the digits in the GDP to go up. Instead of cutting their own lawns or baking their own cookies, our new digitally-enhanced citizens pay someone else to do these things so they can spend their own time making more digital money.

Ah yes…dear reader…we've come to that. Even those 'paper' dollars are often not even paper. They are computer fantasies. Your bank tells you that you have a certain number of dollars in your account. You take it for granted that the dollars are there. But there are no dollars…just a spectral trace of dollars in digital form.

So, you tell someone that you have 10 dollars and 22 cents. What do you have? Ten what? It sounds precise…but the precision is as much a fantasy as the money itself. You don't know what you have. Maybe you have nothing at all…or something that could become nothing pretty darned fast. Ten dollars was what we earned for two days' hard labor in the tobacco fields when we were 15 years old. Now, it is what we earn every five minutes. Yes, we are older and wiser…and people pay us more money today than they did 40 years ago. We're not the same person we were then…and the money isn't the same either. While we gained value in the workplace, our money lost value.

The feds say the inflation rate is less than 3%. How could inflation be running at less than 3% per year while prices on the most important things in commerce - food and energy - are increasing 10 times as fast? We don't know; it's one of the reasons we've lost faith in digits. They lie.

The only way the feds could get the inflation rate down was by smashing it on the head. And guess what happened? The GDP rate popped up. Yes, dear reader, real output is calculated by subtracting the inflation rate from nominal output. The lower the inflation rate, the higher the GDP number. So, if you can beat down the inflation number, that GDP number will get bigger. Neat, huh?

John Crudele, writing in the New York Post:

"The trouble is, the GDP only grew that much because the government somehow manufactured a big drop in inflation.

"According to the Commerce Department report, inflation was only 0.8 percent in the third quarter.

"When you look at real economic growth - meaning, after inflation - every tick down in inflation causes a tick up in economic growth.

"The rate of inflation was 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2007 and 4.2 percent in this year's first quarter. Wall Street was expecting 2 percent inflation this time.

"Inflation at a slow 0.8 percent rate would certainly be welcome - if only it were credible.

"But even less believable is the fact that the inflation rate nose-dived at the same time oil prices were heading toward $90 a barrel - which it now exceeds.

"So, in reality, economic growth is probably much slower than is being reported. And inflation is a lot higher."

We're convinced; reality and digits don't hang together anymore. Maybe they never did.

And then on Walmart and the digital divide:

Here's something interesting…this week, Wal-Mart says it has crossed the 'digital divide,' by offering a computer for less than $200. Yes, dear reader, this is a big day for us here at The Daily Reckoning. Now every yahoo with $200 in his jeans can read what we write. This is a big step forward for society, too, say the commentators, because now we will have 'digital equity,' meaning everyone can have access to all the digital information, news and opinions they want.

Of all the crackpot notions to come along in recent years, the idea of the 'digital divide' was among the looniest. If you didn't have access to the Internet, they said, you would be left behind…doomed to live in poverty and obscurity all your life.

But what do people actually do when they get a computer? Do they go onto chat lines to exchange interpretations of Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason?" Do they begin to read Posidonius's account of the battle of Pydna…or search for solutions to Poincare's last theorem? No, they play poker…watch stupid videos…or visit porno sites. In other words, digits don't actually improve people; they just make it possible for them to indulge more abundantly in whatever shiftless pursuit they take up.

The list of famous and successful people who never even laid eyes on a computer is as long as the Encyclopedia Britannica. And even today, many of the smartest and most successful people in the world view them as time-wasting distractions.

Video Scandal Casts Cloud Over Ivy's Schedule

Video Scandal Casts Cloud Over Ivy's Schedule

Wow. That's sad.

It remains to be seen how the singer, who had consistently built her image as bright and innocent woman, will overcome the embarrassment and return to the public.
Uh, innocent? Not quite--she's gone for the sexy image in the past 1.5 years or so. Sorta like what Britney (and Hyori) did. We saw what happened with Britney and what her (not so) private life is really like.

What's in a Name

From Peter Hitchens:

Been to Zhongguo lately? Or perhaps to Bharat? What to say to people who do the cultural cringe to China and India

All he's asking for is some consistency?

2 on the economy

Both via Asia Times (though originally published elsewhere):

Dinner roll model
of Yale economics
A famous-yet-laughable Yale economist bonehead thinks the Fed can "mitigate" the US housing bust by taking "aggressive actions". This guy is saying that there IS such a thing as a free lunch! Hahaha! Bigshot Yale economist!

Road to ruin
The week saw the credit crisis engulf the epicenter of the US credit system. Not surprisingly, the Fed rate cut only seemed to exacerbate market tension, with oil, gold and commodities spiking and the dollar faltering. Those arguing that the Fed needs to cut rates aggressively to avoid recession are disregarding the much higher stakes involved.
Doug Noland wraps up the previous week's developments each Monday. (Nov 5, '07)

Interview with Roger McCaffrey

From blog:

Interview with Roger McCaffrey

Posted by Thomas Woods at 10:23 AM
For any Catholic readers, this interview (part 1, part 2) with publisher Roger McCaffrey is excellent, especially the semi-explosive part 2.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Palo Alto

St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Palo Alto

An appropriate church to visit regularly in the future?

Today I went to the 12:00 Mass, which is special because it features the St. Ann Choir singing polyphony and Gregorian chant. (The website for the choir was down when I checked this morning.) As for the liturgy, it was very much like sung Mass at Christendom (ordinary form for both places). The choir was pretty good, probably better than the choir at Christendom. The women of the choir also sang the Gregorian chant--there isn't a separate schola devoted to chant, like there is at Christendom. Most of the faithful there were seniors, though there were some in their 30s and 40s, and perhaps two couples who were even younger. Stanford University is currently in session, so I am thinking not many Catholic students attend this Mass. (Where do the students associated with Opus Dei in Palo Alto go on Sundays?)

So where is one to find a right-believing single Catholic female who is attached to the liturgical tradition of the Roman Rite here in the Bay Area? Oakland? Sacramento? Sarge, you may be out of luck in California. If you do visit, I may bring you here. Or I may inflict the Byzantine rite upon you. Though perhaps you would be interested in attending the 5:30 High Mass at the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

[Hrm... supposedly there is a ikon chapel at St. Patrick's Seminary now. (Mention of it at the website for St. Elias.)]

The priest needs a little bit more practice. He isn't one of the priests assigned to the parish, so I don't know where he is from.

Professor Mahrt is supposed to be giving a talk on November 18, I think it is on the differences between the extraordinary use and the ordinary use, but I'm not sure. (The lector mentioned "Gregorian" Mass and ----- Mass.) Professor Mahrt wasn't directing the choir today; I don't know how often he is there. It would be nice to meet him in person, but that Sunday I should be down in SLO for a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving dinner.

I think I prefer the sung liturgy here over low Mass at the oratory and over the Sunday liturgies at Our Lady of Peace. (Too bad they haven't introduced more Latin or chant at OLP.) But it is a bit far... a good place to go though if one is planning on visiting Palo Alto (or eating in downtown Palo Alto) afterwards.

Stanford Magazine > March/April 2003 > Showcase > Noteworthy
The New Liturgical Movement: William Mahrt and Gregorian Chant
letter on sacred music
Champion of chant: Musicologist makes an ancient tradition a local ...
An idea whose time has come ... again: Mahrt guides Gregorian ...
MusicaSacra » Summorum Pontificum: The Musical Consideration
Early Music Singers - William Mahrt, director
Early Music Singers – William Mahrt, director

William Byrd Festival

image of St. Cecilia