Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Charlie Crews mantra

You hear this (being played on a self-help audio tape) at the end of episode 8 of the first season of Life; Crews recites it during his interrogation by IAD as well:

"We are none of us alone. Even as we exhale, it is inhaled by others. The light that shines upon me shines upon my neighbor as well. In this way, everything is connected to everything else. In this way, I am connected to my friend even as I am connected to my enemy. In this way, there is no difference between me and my friend. In this way, there is no difference between me and my enemy. We are none of us alone."

Is this Zen Buddhism? Or a popularization of Zen Buddhism? (Part of the series set-up is this: Crews picks up Zen while he spends time in prison for a crime he didn't commit--it is the Zen outlook that helps him survive the experience.) It certainly doesn't approach the radical monism of Buddhism, admitting the existence of separate individuals--though maybe the higher truth that all is one cannot be attained by a beginner, and would not contradict the the apparent truth of pluralism (according to Buddhism).

Contrast this with the following Gospel passage:

Matthew 5:43-46

You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
Audistis quia dictum est: "Diliges proximum tuum et odio habebis inimicum tuum". Ego autem dico vobis: Diligite inimicos vestros et orate pro persequentibus vos, ut sitis filii Patris vestri, qui in caelis est, quia solem suum oriri facit super malos et bonos et pluit super iustos et iniustos. Si enim dilexeritis eos, qui vos diligunt, quam mercedem habetis? Nonne et publicani hoc faciunt? Et si salutaveritis fratres vestros tantum, quid amplius facitis? Nonne et ethnici hoc faciunt?

Thus Christ concludes:
Estote ergo vos perfecti, sicut Pater vester caelestis perfectus est.

Here Christ teaches about charity and how it extends to all. Charity has its source and end in God, and so we are called to love our neighbor not because he is identical to ourself, and not merely because he is akin to us, possessing the same nature and sharing and being a part of the same Creation, but also because he too has been called to be a son of God and Christ died for him.

Just as God's love for us is not caused by us, so our participation in His love diffuses itself without consideration of what others deserve, seeking to bring them to Him.

Zen Buddhism WWW Virtual Library
Zen Texts

Upcoming movies

Sarge is going to be roughing it for 4 weeks... but I guess I'll keep posting stuff here for him, in case he does go back through the archives.

Perhaps my mother would like to see The Orphanage or The Eye. I read Tom Hibbs's review of The Orphanage--is it like The Others?

In Bruges opens February 8. (Brugge - officiële website van de stad Brugge)

February 13 -- My Blueberry Nights

February 15 -- Diary of the Dead

February 22 -- Vantage Point

February 29 -- The Other Boleyn Girl

I don't think Jumper will be that good...

Ana Ivanovic

Taki Theodoracopulos praises her beauty in Modern Tennis—More Vulgar Than Modern Life.

I'll stick to Maria Sharapova and that tennis has-been Anna Kournikova for now.

Ana Ivanovic | Ivanovic - Online .Com
Maria Sharapova - Tennis Princess
Maria sharapova | Maria sharapova gallery | Maria sharapova wallpapers
Maria Sharapova Fan Site
Maria Sharapova Zone | Maria Pictures, Pics, Photos
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova wins Wimbledon, Maria Sharapova Wallpaper, Maria ...
Sexy Maria Sharapova
Anna Kournakova, the Ultimate Photo Gallery, Wallpaper and Artwork ...

An interview with an old-school Jesuit

Fr. Andreas Hönisch, founder of the KPE and of the Servi Jesu et Mariae, and who passed away on Friday night.

Interview (in German) -- link via the comments section to the thread at NLM announcing his passing away

Katholische Pfadfinderschaft Europas e.V. - Startseite

What should we expect from the Jesuits in the future?

CNS: Jesuit general: Order is close to pope, making differences painful

Father Adolfo Nicolas, elected Jan. 19 to head the world's largest Catholic men's order, told reporters, "The Society of Jesus has always been, from the beginning, and always will be in communion with the Holy Father, and we are happy to be so."

Meeting journalists Jan. 25, he said, "If there are difficulties, it is precisely because we are so close."

Like a married couple, he said, the Jesuits and the pope are bound to one another and committed to working together for the good of the church and the world.

"Only those who love each other can hurt each other," he said.

From time to time difficulties arise, "but this is normal," he said.
Reminds me of the nonsense Fr. Keenan was spilling out to describe our relationship with the Church, which he based on a flawed human model of love.

"The Society of Jesus wants to cooperate with the Vatican and obey the Holy Father. This has not and will not change. We were born in this context, and this is the context that will determine our decisions," the superior said.
And what? We can't obey because we know we are right and the pope is wrong on several issues?

"In Spain, I was a bit intolerant, a bit in the line of 'everything in order,' demanding, because for me religion was still understood in the widespread way of fidelity to a series of religious practices," he said.

"But in Japan, I discovered that true religiosity is much deeper, that you must go to the heart of the person, the heart of the question when we speak of God, just as when we speak of ourselves or of human life," he said.

"It scandalizes the Japanese that we are so strict, intolerant, so unaccepting of diversity," the Jesuit said.
The virtue of religion goes beyond external practices but it does not do away with them, and for it to be cultivated, relies upon them. So do we create our own rule of life, or do we humbly accept what has been given to us? The same is true of charity. What would Professor Amerio say about this? Charity does not negate the need for [revealed] truth, and cannot exist without it.

And he was a professor of theology at Sophia University? Would it be premature to guess that his influence there was more negative than positive?

Now, perhaps the actual interview is more nuanced, and CNS is presenting selections from the interview which lend themselves to an exaggerated misinterpretation of what he really said and thinks. Maybe he is personally orthodox. But the Society of Jesus needs strong leadership (and as far as I know it is hierarchical structure does make it possible for the superior general to initiate reform), and if he is being lukewarm or muddle-headed, I don't see any reform happening during his tenure.

IGN interview with Sly

So Sarge's friend Br. was accepted by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. Lucky.

Oh, besides sheriffs being sometimes elected by the voters, sheriff's office usually enforces the law for a county, particularly for those cities in the county that don't have a police department of their own.

Canon Law resources

Code of Canon Law
Codes of Canon Law
Code of Canon Law - Table of Contents - IntraText LT
Canon Law Society of America
Code of Canon Law Index

The St. Joseph Foundation

Msgr. Cormac Burke

Edward Peters's blog; his website,
Excommunication! | An interview with canon lawyer Dr. Edward ...
Who Is Married? | Ed Peters

HPR | Exegetical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law
Reference Documents for the Code of Canon Law by Fr. Jason Gray
SURPRISED BY CANON LAW, Authors: Peter Vere&Michael Trueman
Ten Questions about Canon Law (This Rock: February 2005)

Canon Law: Kelly O'Donnell, JCD. Catholic Canonical Consultant

Prof. Neri Capponi

Zenit: Canon Law Makes Us Free, Says Pope

Canon Law Makes Us Free, Says Pope

Explains That It Is Founded on Sacraments

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 25, 2008 ( The law of the Church is liberating, Benedict XVI says: It is the law that makes Catholics free to follow Christ.

The Pope affirmed this today when he received in audience participants of a congress organized by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

He stated that "the 'ius ecclesiae' is not just a collection of norms produced by the ecclesial legislator for that particular group of people who form the Church of Christ. It is, primarily, the authoritative declaration by the ecclesial legislator of the duties and rights which are founded on the sacraments and which, consequently, derive from what Christ himself instituted."

The Holy Father quoted a phrase used by Blessed Antonio Rosmini to the effect that "the human person is the essence of law." This, he went on, is something "we must also emphasize for canon law: The essence of canon law is the Christian individual in the Church."

The law of the Church, he added, is an aid to accomplishing its final purpose: the salvation of souls.

"The Church recognizes that her laws have the nature and [...] the pastoral function of enabling her to pursue her final aim which is that of achieving 'salus animarum.' [...] In order for canon law to perform this vital service it must, first and foremost, be well structured," the Bishop of Rome explained. "This means, on the one hand, that it must be linked to the theological foundations that give it its reasonableness and that are an essential sign of ecclesial legitimacy and, on the other, that it must it must adhere to the changeable circumstances of the history of the people of God."

"Moreover," the Pontiff continued, canon law "must be clearly and unambiguously formulated in such a way as to remain in harmony with the other laws of the Church. Hence it is necessary to abrogate norms that have become outdated, modify those in need of correction, interpret -- in the light of the living magisterium of the Church -- those that are unclear and, finally, fill any 'lacunae legis.'"

Benedict XVI reminded the members of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts of their duty to ensure "that the activities of those structures within the Church called to dictate norms for the faithful may always reflect [...] the union and communion that are characteristic of the Church."

"The law of the Church is, first of all, 'lex libertatis': the law that makes us free to follow Jesus," he concluded. "Hence it is important we know how to show the people of God, the new generations and all those called to follow canon law, the real bond [that law] has with the life of the Church." This must be done in order "to defend the delicate interests of the things of God and to protect the rights of the weakest, [...] but also in order to defend that delicate 'good' which each of the faithful has gratuitously received -- the gift of faith, of the grace of God -- which in the Church cannot remain without adequate legal protection."

What is that home like...

The other day of the second-grade boys was telling another boy about 'humping'--he's a bit of a problem kid as well, so I wonder what's going on his home. I caught him talking about it, but I didn't know exactly how to handle it, so I just told him not to say any more. But he probably told the other boy at recess; after all, that's what he said--"I'll tell you later." I think he may have even added, "It's no big deal," or something along those lines.

A lot of the students I've had this week (2nd and 3rd graders) have watched horror movies--they know Chucky, Halloween, Leatherface. I was very shocked to hear them mention the names of characters in these movies. I don't know how they are able to watch movies like this, and what their parents are thinking, exposing their children to violence like this. One child even said, "I like violence," even though he seems to be quiet and did his work while I was there.


Parental neglect really merits the punishment it gets.

For Sarge

From Francisco Romero Carrasquillo: Traditional Catholic Revival of the Knights Templar!

The Deliberate Agrarian: An Agrarian-Style Economic Self Defense Plan

An Agrarian-Style Economic Self Defense Plan

a link in the comments section: Mark Cuban, The Stock Market is for Suckers

Carolyn Baker Interviews Greg Cox

TRANSFORMING COMMUNITIES THROUGH LOCALLY-GROWN FOOD: Carolyn Baker Interviews Greg Cox, Boardman Hill Farms, West Rutland, VT

Friday, January 25, 2008

Interview with Michael Pollan

An Omnivore Defends Real Food

Wendell Berry interview in World Ark

Turn to page 16 for the start of the interview. Thanks to Ricklibrarian.

[A healthy community] has to have a conscious and responsible connection to its sources, if its sources are going to be maintained. Phoenix, say, is a bad model. It can’t hope to live from its desert landscape. It’s a sort of suspended population. Everything has to come in by long-distance transportation. A better model, if we want to look for a historical one, would be the Greek cities. The Greek city, I’ve read, did not consist simply of the built-up urban center. It consisted of that center and its tributary landscape. So, as I understand it, the Greek cities were full of granaries and other storage places for local food.

World Ark Online
Heifer International

Lena Headey photos

at IGN

You watch the next two episodes of Terminator yet Sarge?

88 Minutes trailer

at Yahoo Movies

Oooh... this one also stars Leelee Sobieski, but I've read some bad reviews for it... why is she acting in all of these stinkers? Maybe she can't find work.

Never Back Down

Looks like there's another MMA movie coming out...

Screenshots from Redbelt

at IGN... David Mamet's film about... mixed martial arts?!?

I don't see how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu doesn't benefit from it...

David Mamet talking MMA film REDBELT

"REDBELT" Sonny Pictures New Martial arts movie

AICN news
Sony, Mamet put on 'Redbelt' - Entertainment News, Film News ...

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Gracie USA Jiu-Jitsu Home Page
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Miami - Home of Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in ...
Rickson Gracie Jiu Jitsu
Renzo Gracie
Ralph Gracie
Ralph Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Gracie Fighter
Carley Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy San Francisco
Royce Gracie
Jim Hughes & Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Self Defense Schools ...
Charles Gracie
Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy in Westerville, Ohio
Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Daniel Gracie - Jiu Jitsu
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy

Transcript for the Republican debate in Boca Raton, Florida


One for the Lady Downstairs

How to Date a Male Model

h/t to The American Scene

Zenit: Papal Address to Ecumenical Panel

Papal Address to Ecumenical Panel

"When Christians Pray Together, the Goal of Unity Seems Closer"

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 25, 2008 ( Here is the text of Benedict XVI's address today to the Joint Working Group of the World Council of Churches and the Catholic Church.

* * *

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to welcome you, the members of the Joint Working Group between the World Council of Churches and the Catholic Church, as you gather in Rome to begin a new phase of your work. Your meeting takes place in this City where the Apostles Peter and Paul bore supreme witness to Christ and shed their blood in his name. I greet you warmly in the words which Paul himself addressed to the first Christians in Rome: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 1:7).

The World Council of Churches and the Catholic Church have enjoyed a fruitful ecumenical relationship dating back to the time of the Second Vatican Council. The Joint Working Group, which began in 1965, has worked assiduously to strengthen the "dialogue of life" which my predecessor, Pope John Paul II, called the "dialogue of charity" (Ut Unum Sint, 17). This cooperation has given vivid expression to the communion already existing between Christians and has advanced the cause of ecumenical dialogue and understanding.

The centenary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity offers us an opportunity to thank Almighty God for the fruits of the ecumenical movement, in which we can discern the presence of the Holy Spirit fostering the growth of all Christ's followers in unity of faith, hope and love. To pray for unity is itself "an effective means of obtaining the grace of unity" (Unitatis Redintegratio, 8), since it is a participation in the prayer of Jesus himself. When Christians pray together, "the goal of unity seems closer" (Ut Unum Sint, 22), for the presence of Christ in our midst (cf. Mt 18:20) fosters a profound harmony of mind and heart: we are able to look at each other in a new way, and to strengthen our resolve to overcome whatever keeps us apart.

On this day, then, we think back with gratitude to the work of so many individuals who, over the years, have sought to spread the practice of spiritual ecumenism through common prayer, conversion of heart and growth in communion. We also give thanks for the ecumenical dialogues which have borne abundant fruit in the past century. The reception of those fruits is itself an important step in the process of promoting Christian unity, and the Joint Working Group is particularly suited to studying and encouraging that process.

Dear friends, I pray that the new Joint Working Group will be able to build on the commendable work already done, and thus open the way to ever greater cooperation, so that the Lord's prayer "that they all may be one" (Jn 17:21) will be ever more fully realized in our time.

With these sentiments, and with deep appreciation for your important service to the ecumenical movement, I cordially invoke upon you and your deliberations God's abundant blessings.

[Original text: English]

Thursday, January 24, 2008

St. Francis de Sales, January 24


2 of his spiritual writings:
Introduction to the Devout Life
Treatise on the Love of God (Catholic Treasury)

Heritage Week - The LEGACY of St. Francis de Sales
DeSales University

Icon of St. Francis de Sales by Lu Bro

I'd like to see some icons of Western saints written by an Eastern-rite iconographer...

A modern painting by OLA OKUNIEWSKA.

w/St. Jane de Chantal:

DeSales Resources and Ministries

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales
Oblates of St. Francis de Sales
Welcome to the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, Toledo-Detroit ...

世界中の誰よりきっと(Special Extended Various Mix) / 中山美穂


Live performance of Osaka no Onna

Zekley family band

Zekley family band
Morrison's Irish Jig by the Zekley Family Band - AOL Video
Corwin Zekley a young fiddler

Mr Lanes Maggot English Country Dance Tune Corwin Zekley

Jack's Health/Jacob Hall's Jigs English Country Dance Tunes

Jenny Pluck Pears English Country Dance Tune Corwin Zekley

ECD vids

English Country Dancing (Jack's Health)

Jane Austen Ball - Rochester

The Jane Austen Evening

The Fandango

Sir Roger de Coverley

Jane Austen Evening
Dance and the Country - The Jane Austen Ball in Pasadena
UCLA Ballroom Dance group

Candice Watters, A Hopeless Sinner

A Hopeless Sinner?

Unable to resist sexual sin with her atheist boyfriend, she's come to question whether she's even a Christian.

Alan Farago, Where Did All the Good Times Go?

The View from Ground Zero in the Credit Crisis
Where Did All the Good Times Go?


PCR, Farewell to Old Economic Nostrums

Neither Supply-Side Theory Nor Keynesian Remedies Can Save Us Now
Farewell to Old Economic Nostrums


Fabius Maximus, Framing current events about the global economic and geopolitical system

Framing current events about the global economic and geopolitical system

via DNI blog

Lind, On War #247: Crossing the Channel

On War #247: Crossing the Channel

IGN Kate Mara gallery


JHK interview

Via EB

Oil Pimping: Kunstler interview (Video)
The Stimulator, It's the END of the WORLD as We know it
This Week:
1. Rate Cut and Run
2. Oil Pimping
3. Asian Rice Blues
4. Nano Disaster
5. DangerMouse and Jemini
6. Klusterfuck Nation
(22 January 2008)
In-your-face news video and commentary. James Howard Kunstler is interviewed, starting at about 3:50 minutes into the video. If you object to four-letter words, stay away. Kunstler appears to shock the interviewer when he says that he doesn't think that current events mark the end of the world - just economic and political turmoil. -BA

AN: China articles for 070124

01/24/2008 CHINA
Inflation could force Beijing to modify its growth model
The economy continues to grow, but more slowly, after rigid government measures and worldwide contraction. Meanwhile, labour costs continue to increase, bringing crisis to companies accustomed to exploiting migrants. Experts: it will take months for government measures to bring adequate results.

01/24/2008 CHINA
For Hu Jintao good propaganda more important than solving problems
President calls on Communist party officials to increase propaganda activities ahead of next summer’s Olympics. The goal is to give the country a positive image, sweeping problems under the carpet. Propaganda Department gears up its censorship functions.

TJF, Strangers in a Strange Land

Strangers in a Strange Land

The least depressing conclusion I draw from all the coverage of Britney, Lindsay, OJ, and now Heath is that elections mean nothing. People who care who the next American Idol will be or who will win Dancing with the Stars could not be trusted to elect the board members of the Parks Department, much less the temporary dictator of an empire of 300 million people. One small detail. We Americans laugh at the people of India and Pakistan who choose party leaders on the strength of their last names, and then a significant number of us run out to vote for George W. Bush or Hilary Clinton. Benazir Bhutto may be as crooked as Hilary Clinton, but she spoke far better English and was a fine-looking woman, which makes her superior to every female I know in American politics. And, while on this low topic, what man would not follow a pretty air hostess like Sonia Gandhi? Good looks, charm, and an impressive demeanor have always played a part in human affairs, but here in America even our screen idols are monkey-faced women and epicene males. To restore the republic, we should have to undertake a massive program of disenfranchisement, beginning with people who work for or receive benefits from government, moving on to unmarried women, and finishing off with anyone who has seen three films starring Heath Ledger or Brad Pitt.

Celebrity eats up reality, the TV and film cameras suck out the souls, both of the actors and of the watchers who live through the actors. George Garret’s brilliant book, Poison Pen, may be the single most important commentary on the people we have become. It is not easy to get a hold of–and uses language not suitable for women and children–but it is horrifyingly true. In any kind of republic or democracy, the electorate must consist of people in touch with everyday reality. The wonderful thing about pop culture is that it alienates a majority of people from reality, persuading them that the criminal class consists of middle-class white males, and that brain surgeons and nuclear physicists and judges are, typically, people played by Will Smith and Samuel L. Jackson. In a free society, stereotypes and prejudices are somewhat false conclusions drawn from experience; in the servile state, the stereotypes are almost always the opposite of reality.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stallone, Day 5


Sharon Astyk, Is Relocalization Doomed?: A Response to Staniford’s "Fallacy of Reversibility"

Via EB:

Is Relocalization Doomed?: A Response to Staniford’s "Fallacy of Reversibility"

Sharon Astyk, The Oil Drum
Stuart Staniford's latest opus has taken a shot across the bow at those who advocate Relocalization and the de-industrialization. Embedded in his argument is a compelling critique of the prospects of certain parts of the Relocalization analysis. Staniford shows his customary brilliance in analyzing the ways that the biofuels movement is likely to overcome impetus towards Relocalization.

But that profound analysis is embedded in a paper that contains me serious errors of reasoning and misrepresentations of the Relocalization movement that I think deserve critique. And his final conclusion, that this should put an end to all hopes of Relocalization deserves some further consideration.

Is it true that peak oil as Staniford put in another post “puts paid” to the notion of Relocalization and local agriculture? Regardless of the answer, I think most of us should be grateful to Staniford for raising an important central issue - the way the biofuels response to peak oil raises agricultural prices and its effect on land prices. But let’s ask some questions about some of the other content Staniford ties his argument to.

Guest post by Sharon Astyk, a very small farmer whom the biofuels companies have yet to offer to buy out, and a writer with two forthcoming books about peak oil and climate change, one (Depletion and Abundance, Fall '08, New Society Publishers) about appropriate responses for families, and the other (A Nation of Farmers, Spring '09, same publisher) about food and agriculture. Her writings can be found at .

Tom Paulson, The Lowdown on Dirt: It's Disappearing

Via EB

The Lowdown on Dirt: It's Disappearing
Tom Paulson, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The planet is getting skinned. While many worry about the potential consequences of atmospheric warming, a few experts are trying to call attention to another global crisis quietly taking place under our feet. Call it the thin brown line. Dirt. On average, the planet is covered with little more than 3 feet of topsoil -- the shallow skin of nutrient-rich matter that sustains most of our food and appears to play a critical role in supporting life on Earth. 'We're losing more and more of it every day,' said David Montgomery, a geologist at the University of Washington. 'The estimate is that we are now losing about 1 percent of our topsoil every year to erosion, most of this caused by agriculture.'
(21 January 2008)

Richard Heinberg, Peak everything economics, or, what do you call this mess?

Peak everything economics, or, what do you call this mess?
If you're interested in finding shelter during the storm, get thee to the productive side of the economy. Grow something, or learn to make or repair something useful.

Tom McClintock has a blog

When he ran for governor and lieutenant governor I voted for him. I found out today that he supports Propositions 94. Here is his blog. And his positions on the various propositions on the upcoming February ballot. (He also supports 95-97.) I had been thinking about voting no on all of them, but maybe I will rethink my position. (If I can figure out what the legalese is saying, and its implications.)

YES on 94, 95, 96 & 97: Coalition to Protect California's Budget ...
California Propositions 94–97: Indian Gaming Compacts – NO ...

Sandro Magister on the new Superior General of the Jesuits

Mission: Asia. The New Frontier of the Society of Jesus

Zenit: B16--On Christian Unity

On Christian Unity

"Let's Accept the Invitation to 'Pray Without Ceasing'"

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 23, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today at the general audience in Paul VI Hall during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which comes to an end Friday, Jan. 25. This day marks the conversion of St. Paul, the apostle. Christians from various churches and ecclesiastical communities come together at this time in unanimous prayer to ask the Lord Jesus for the re-establishment of unity among his disciples.

It is an unanimous plea made with one soul and one heart in response to the Redeemer's own desire, who turned to our Father at the Last Supper and said, "I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 17,20-21). Asking for the gift of unity, Christians join in Christ's prayer and actively promote it to all humanity to acknowledge Christ as our only Lord, and thus experience the joy of his love.

This year the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes on a special value and meaning, because it celebrates it's 100th anniversary. From its beginnings it was a truly fertile intuition. It began in 1908: Father Paul Wattson, an American Anglican, founder of the "Society of the Atonement" (community of the Brothers and Sisters of Atonement), together with an Episcopalian, Father Spencer Jones, launched the prophetic idea of an octave of prayers for the unity of Christians. The idea was welcomed by the archbishop of New York and the papal nuncio.

In 1916 the call to pray for unity was then extended to the entire Catholic Church thanks to the intervention of my venerated predecessor, Pope Benedict XV, with the papal brief "At Perpetuam Rei Memoriam."

The initiative provoked much interest and was gradually established everywhere, perfecting its structure with time, and evolving also thanks to the contribution of the Abbé Couturier (1936).

Later, when the prophetic wind of the Second Vatican Council blew, the urgency of unity was felt even more. After the Conciliar assembly the journey continued for the patient quest for full communion among all Christians, an ecumenical journey that year after year has found one of its more defining and beneficial moments in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

One hundred years after the first call to pray together for unity, this Week of Prayer has now become a consolidated tradition, preserving the spirit and the dates chosen by Father Wattson. Indeed he chose them for their symbolic meaning. According to the calendar at that time, Jan. 18 was the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, which is a strong foundation and guarantee of unity of the people of God, while on Jan. 25, as in present times, the liturgy celebrates St. Paul's conversion.

While we give thanks to the Lord for these 100 years of prayer and of common engagement among many disciples of Christ, we remember with gratitude the author of this providential spiritual initiative, Father Wattson, and with him all those who promoted and enriched it with their contributions, making it something all Christians own together.

I was just telling you that the Second Vatican Council had dedicated a great deal of time and attention to the subject of Christian unity, especially in its decree on the Church ("Unitatis Redintegratio") in which, among other things, the importance of prayer in promoting unity is particularly emphasized. Prayer is at the very heart of all church life. "This change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement" (UR, 8).

Thanks to this spiritual ecumenism -- sanctity of life, conversion of the heart, private and public prayer -- the joint pursuit of unity has made great strides forward in the last decade and has diversified in many initiatives; from getting acquainted with and meeting members of various churches and church communities; to conversations and collaboration among various branches that become increasingly friendly; to theological discussions on concrete ways in which we can join together and collaborate with each other.

That which has given, and continues to give, life to this journey toward full unification for all Christians first and foremost -- is prayer. "Pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:17 ) is the theme of this year's Week of Prayer. It is at the same time an invitation that never stops resonating in our communities, because prayer is the light, the strength, the guide for our footsteps as we listen humbly to our God, the God of us all.

Secondly, the Council emphasizes common prayer, joint prayer between Catholics and other Christians directed toward the only celestial Father. To this end the Decree on Ecumenism affirms: "These prayers offered in common are doubtless a very effective means to beseech for Christian unity" (UR, 8). In common prayer Christian communities unite before the Lord, they become aware of the contradictions generated by division, and they show the will to obey the Lord's will, faithfully turning to him for his omnipotent help. Furthermore, the decree adds that such prayers are "a genuine manifestation of the links with which Catholics continue to be joined to their separated brothers" (ibid.).

Common prayer is therefore not a voluntary or a purely sociological action, but an expression of faith that unites all disciples of Christ.

As the years have passed, active collaboration has been established in this field, and since 1968, the then Secretariat for Christian Unity, which became the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Ecumenical Council of Churches, together prepare the guidelines for the Week of Prayer for Unity, that are then divulged to the world reaching areas that would have not been covered without this collective work.

The conciliar decree on ecumenism refers to prayer for unity when, toward the end, it affirms that the council knows that "this holy proposition to reconcile all Christians in the unity of the Church of Christ, the one and only, surpasses all human forces and gifts. Therefore, it places all its hope in the Christ's prayer for the Church" (UR 24).

It is the knowledge of our human limits that drives us to abandon ourselves to the hands of the Lord with complete trust. We see only too well the true meaning of the Prayer Week; to rely on the prayer of Christ, who continues to pray in his Church so that "all may be one ... so that the world may believe" (John 17:21).

Today the truth of these words really hits home. The world suffers from the absence of God, from God's inaccessibility; it strives to know the face of God. But how could the men of today meet the face of God in the face of Jesus Christ if we, the Christians, are divided, if one set of teachings is against the other?

Only united are we really able to show to the world -- that needs it -- the face of God, the face of Christ.

Although the dialogue and all we do is very necessary, it is also obvious that it is not through our own strategies that we can achieve unity. What we can obtain is our availability and capability to welcome this unity when the Lord grants it to us. Here is the sense of prayer: to open our hearts, to create in us the availability that opens the road to Christ.

In the liturgy of the ancient Church, after the sermon the main celebrant -- the bishop or the president of the celebration -- used to say: "Conversi ad Dominum" (turn to the Lord). Then he and everybody else stood up and turned themselves toward the East. All wanted to look toward Christ. Only if converted, only through this conversion to Christ, in this common look at Christ, can we find the gift of unity.

We can state that it was prayer for unity that enlivened and accompanied the various stages of the ecumenical movement, especially since the Second Vatican Council. In this period the Catholic Church got in touch with the various Churches and ecclesial communities of the East and the West with various forms of dialogue, facing with them the theological and historical issues that had risen over the centuries and had established elements of division. The Lord has allowed such friendly relations to improve reciprocal knowledge and to intensify communion, at the same time giving a clearer perception of the problems that still exist and are the causes of division.

Today, during this week, we give thanks to God who has sustained and guided the journey thus far; a rich journey that the conciliar decree on ecumenism described as "emerged by the grace of the Holy Spirit" and "growing more ample every day" (UR, 1).

Dear brothers and sisters, let's accept the invitation to "pray without ceasing" that the apostle Paul extended to the first Christians of Thessalonica, a community that he himself founded. Because he knew that dissent had started, he implored them to be patient with everyone, to not repay evil with evil, but to look for the good between them and everyone, and to be happy whatever the circumstances, happy, because the Lord is near us. St. Paul's sermon to the Thessalonians can guide the behavior of Christians in their ecumenical relations today.

Above all he says: "Live in peace among yourselves." And then: "Pray without ceasing, and in all circumstances, give thanks" (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:13-18). Let us also welcome this entreaty from the Apostle both to thank the Lord for the progress achieved in the ecumenical movement, and to appeal for full unity.

May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, make it possible for all the disciples of her divine Son to live in peace and reciprocal charity, as a true example before the whole world, and make the face of God accessible in the face of Christ, who is God-with-us, God of peace and unity.

[Translation by Laura Leoncini]

[After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in six languages. In English, he said:]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This week, Christians throughout the world celebrate the Hundredth Anniversary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, initiated by Father Paul Wattson, founder of the Society of the Atonement. The theme chosen for this year is Saint Paul's exhortation to the Thessalonians to "pray always" (1 Thess 5:17). According to the Second Vatican Council, prayer and holiness of life are "the soul of the whole ecumenical movement" (Unitatis Redintegratio, 8). When Christians from various communities come together to pray in common, they acknowledge that unity cannot be achieved by human strength alone. Only by relying on God's grace can they live according to Jesus's prayer that "they may all be one" (Jn 17:20-21). I therefore invite all Christians to render fitting thanks to Almighty God for the progress achieved thus far along the path of ecumenism, and to persevere as they strive toward unity so that "the world may believe" (Jn 17:21) that Jesus is the only Son sent by the Father.

I extend a cordial welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's audience, including students and staff from Saint Mary's High School in Sydney, and members of a delegation from the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders. May God bestow abundant blessings upon all of you!

© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Wesley J. Smith on Catholic Answers Live

Listen (Real)
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His website. Calendar for Catholic Answers Live.

More Natalie MacMaster

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Natalie in Boston Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Natalie MacMaster Official Site

Stallone, Day 4


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Gene Logsdon, Organic art?

Organic art?
Farming is itself an art and a whole lot more artists than you might imagine draw their early or late inspiration from it. And I don’t mean just sentimental, sugary, artsy-fartsy, pretty stuff about farming, but the guts of it, the tragedy and heartbreak a farmer must sometimes endure, as a true artist often endures, when he pits himself against the tyranny of greed and the indifference of nature to produce good food.
published January 22, 2008.

First Principles: ISI Web Journal


Via Eunomia.

Two from AICN

Day 3 - Stallone guts some more questions and lets the answers spill out!!!

What Happens When You're Almost Anakin Skywalker But Don't Get The Part?? You End Up At Sundance!!

Heath Ledger found dead in NYC at age 28

Heath Ledger found dead in NYC at age 28

Wow. This is a shocker.

Bacevich, Surge to Nowhere

Surge to Nowhere
Don't buy the hawks' hype. The war may be off the front pages, but Iraq is broken beyond repair, and we still own it.

By Andrew J. Bacevich

Alan Greenspan, Gold and Economic Freedom

@ 321 Gold

Alan Greenspan - Gold and Economic Freedom
Alan Greenspan, Gold and Economic Freedom (1966)
Gold and Economic Freedom
Precious Metals - Gold & Economic Freedom, Alan Greenspan, The ...
Greenspan - Gold and Economic Freedom
Gold and Economic Freedom by Alan Greenspan in 1966


Greenspan on Gold (1966) by Gary North

Took him long enough

Drudge is reporting that Fred Thompson is dropping out of the race. Of course we shouldn't expect that more attention will not be given to Ron Paul in the MSM.

Edit: report from CNN

Doug Noland, Daisy-chain

Credit insurer Ambac's loss of its AAA rating is just the start of what will be a devastating run of similar downgrades, and with virtually all major financial players embroiled in this systemic credit fiasco, the capacity of a rapidly rising number of market participants to fulfill their obligations is in question.

CNA: Exorcist priest warns against "hidden knowledge” trend in Mexico

Exorcist priest warns against "hidden knowledge” trend in Mexico

Monday, January 21, 2008

Boston Kiltics vid

Boston Kiltics Nova Scotia Celtic Fiddle Dance Story & Song


Celtic Fiddle from Boston via Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Big D Set Cape Breton Celtic Music w/ Stepdancing

Boston Kiltics Live TV Shoot smallpipes celtic cape breton

Natalie MacMaster

Another Medley - Natalie MacMaster

Natalie Plays the Fiddle

Something Up-Tempo Natalie MacMaster

Contradiction - Natalie MacMaster

A Slow Aire Natalie MacMaster

Closing the Concert Natalie MacMaster

Philadelphia Folk Festival

Natalie MacMaster - Blue Bonnets over the Border

Hayley Westenra - Both Sides Now STEREO

Classical Singing in Maori - Tarakihi

NZ FOLK SONG * Tarakihi

Defiance trailer

Yahoo Movies


On a lighter note... Leatherheads trailer

Odette Yustman and Lizzy Caplan

The real reasons why Sarge recommends Cloverfield. Photos from the premiere:

Odette Yustman Tribute ~
The Odette Yustman Website
Odette Yustman Filmography - Yahoo! Movies

Lizzy Fan @ // The Online Lizzy Caplan Source
LIZZY CAPLAN WEB | | your source for lizzy caplan

Better quality Star Trek teaser

Yahoo movies; larger version at the official site

Ok the Enterprise and the CGI look great... but is that enough?

Some have complained that the construction is taking place on earth, in violation of established Star Trek canon; others may be put off by the use of retro construction tools (which make it look like a 20th century ship construction yard). But like I've said in the other post... the teaser may have nothing to do with the movie. So we may not see this scene in the finished product, etc.

Edit: See this thread at TrekMovie.

See this reimagining of the Enterprise by Gabe Koerner:

And from this thread, a link to this website for fanboys who want to watch webcams monitoring construction.

Peter Brimelow speculates as to who could be the Dem. VP candidate

Jim Webb!

ISI Book Readers Club

I had joined it, but forgotten the specifics--here is the webpage with the offer.

Stuff for me to keep an eye on:
Nature's End: The Theological Meaning of the New Genetics

Family and Civilization
Written by Carle C. Zimmerman
Edited by James Kurth
with an Introduction by Allan C. Carlson

Marriage: The Dream That Refuses to Die by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese (May 2008)

Restoring The Meaning of Conservatism
Writings from Modern Age (February 2008)

Tradition: Concept and Claim by Josef Pieper (June 2008)

Justin Raimondo's book is coming out in May:
Reclaiming the American Right
The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement
Written by Justin Raimondo
with a new Introduction by George W. Carey

A review of Democracy Without Nations? The Fate of Self-Government in Europe

A review of Democracy Without Nations? The Fate of Self-Government in Europe, by Pierre Manent in City Journal

Bruce S. Thornton

Twilight of the Nation-State
European transnationalism is a utopian dream, Pierre Manent warns.
18 January 2008

Patrick Deneen, Everything Must Go...

Everything Must Go...

From that day forward we began selling overseas everything of value that we had built up over the preceding hundred years or so. Here's why: the extraordinary energy bonanza of the oil age made possible the massive expansion of our economy during the century that oil production rose annually. The massive energy infusion of our domestic oil reserves effectively allowed us to ignore any concomitant and at times steep costs of that economic system given the increasing levels of oil production from 1865 until 1971. Costs like the creation of an enormous interstate highway system, the build-out of America's suburbs and the resulting massive alteration of our patterns of living, the built-from-nothing cities in deserts and swamps with their massive air-conditioning costs and irrigation demands, the expansion of a continental system of commerce with its energy intensive forms of production and transportation - all these and more were easily borne during a period of increasing domestic energy supplies. It was the oil reserves in Pennsylvania, Texas, California and Alaska that provided us the illusion that it was our ingenuity and Protestant work ethic, and not this one-time geologic blow-out, that made possible such achievements that would have been inconceivable to previous ages.

Pam Martens, How Wall Street Blew Itself Up

$100 Billion and Counting
How Wall Street Blew Itself Up


Izumi Sakai

I just found out that Izumi Sakai, Zard, passed away in May of last year. While her voice may not have been that strong, her songs are catchy, perhaps a bit too cheery.

--- ZARD ---
ZARD the BEST | In Memorandum: Izumi Sakai (6 Feb 1967 - 27 May 2007) Official Website--

Izumi Sakai (wiki)
some photos

ZARD 揺れる想い (Live)

Zard 負けないで (2004年 ライブ)

ZARD - Nemurenai Yoru wo Daite (MJ Live, With Interview)


ZARD ~永遠に~ Appendix & more


ZARD - 負けないで
ZARD 坂井泉水 インタビュー集

A batch of trailers

via AICN and Twitch

Trailer for Chocolate (wiki)-- for anyone who liked Ong Bak, I suppose, though Tony Jaa is not in this one.

Trailer for Stephen Chow's latest, CJ7. (Hrm... CGI again is a problem...)

MR73-- I hope it's better than the Gerard Depardieu/Daniel Auteuil outing, 36 Quai des Orfèvres (imdb, wiki). Ah, according to wiki MR73 is a sequel to that film. Maybe I should give it another viewing and see if my opinion has changed.

36 Quai des Orfevres - Film Reviews - Film - Entertainment - smh ...

Official site for MR73.

What! A Hidden Fortress remake? (Go to the website for a teaser.) I'll have to admit, I'm seduced by the use of color.

Some of the other films are interesting, like Flame and Citron and Die Welle (trailer)--
based on the true story of a high school teacher who introduced fascism into his school as an experiment).

Website of Dennis Gansel

Zenit: B16--On Christian Unity

On Christian Unity

"We All Have the Duty to Pray and Work for the Overcoming of Every Division"

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 20, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today before reciting the midday Angelus with several thousand people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Two days ago began the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity during which Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants, knowing that their divisions constitute an obstacle to the reception of the Gospel, together implore the Lord, in a yet more intense way, for the gift of full communion. This providential initiative was born 100 years ago, when Father Paul Wattson started the "Octave" of prayer for the unity of all the disciples of Christ. Today for this occasion the spiritual sons and daughters of Father Wattson, the friars and sisters of the Atonement, are present in St. Peter's Square and I greet them cordially and encourage them to pursue the cause of unity with their special dedication.

We all have the duty to pray and work for the overcoming of every division between Christians, responding to Christ's desire "ut unum sint." Prayer, conversion of heart, the reinforcement of the bonds of communion, form the essence of this spiritual movement that we hope will soon lead the disciples of Christ to celebrate the Eucharist together, the manifestation of their full unity.

This year's biblical theme is dense with meaning: "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). St. Paul addresses himself to the community of Thessalonica, which was experiencing internal clashes and conflicts, to remind them with insistence about certain fundamental attitudes, among which there stands out, indeed, incessant prayer. With this invitation of his, he wants it to be understood that from the new life in Christ and in the Holy Spirit there flows forth the capacity to overcome all egoism, to live together in peace and fraternal union, to bear in large measure the burdens and sufferings of others. We must never tire of praying for the unity of Christians! When Jesus, during the Last Supper, prayed that his disciples "be one," he had a precise goal in mind: "That the world believe" (John 17:21).

The Church's evangelizing mission, therefore, moves along the path of ecumenism, the path of unity of faith, of evangelical witness and authentic fraternity. As is done every year, on Thursday, Jan. 25, I will go to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with solemn vespers. I invite Romans and pilgrims to join with me and with Christians of all the churches and ecclesial communities who will take part in the celebration, to ask of God the precious gift of reconciliation among all the baptized.

May the Mother of God, whose appearance to Alphonse Ratisbonne in the Church of Sant'Andrea delle Frate in Rome we remember today, obtain from the Lord the abundance of the Holy Spirit for all disciples in such a way that we can arrive at perfect unity and in this way offer the witness of faith and life that the world urgently needs.

[After the Angelus the Holy Father said the following:]

First of all I wish to greet the young students, the professors and all of you who have come in great numbers to St. Peter's Square to participate in the prayer of the Angelus and to express your solidarity; I also greet the many who unite themselves to us spiritually. I thank you from my heart, dear friends; I thank the cardinal vicar who has made himself the promoter of this meeting.

As you know, I happily accepted the courteous invitation that was made to me to give a lecture this past Thursday at the inauguration of the academic year at La Sapienza -- University of Rome. I know this athenaeum well, I esteem and have affection for the students who study there: On several occasions every year many of them come to meet me in the Vatican, together with their colleagues from other universities. Unfortunately, as is known, the climate that was created rendered my presence at the ceremony inopportune. I postponed my visit but I wanted in any case to send the text that I had prepared for the occasion.

I love the search for truth, the comparison, the frank and respectful dialogue between reciprocal positions of the university environment, which for many years was my world. All of that is also the mission of the Church, committed to faithfully following Jesus, master of life, truth and love. As professor emeritus, so to speak, who has met many students in his life, I encourage all of you university students to be respectful of the opinions of others and to seek, with a free and responsible spirit, the truth and the good. To all and to each I renew my expression of gratitude, assuring my affection and my prayer.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

[In English the Holy Father said the following:]

I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus. Today's Gospel presents the figure of John the Baptist who proclaims Jesus as the Chosen One of God. It is Christ, anointed with the Holy Spirit, who brings forgiveness of sins and the gift of new life. May we welcome this gift and strive with courage to follow in the footsteps of our Saviour. I wish you all a pleasant stay in Rome, and a blessed Sunday!

© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Time article on Fr. Adolfo Nicolás

Will the New "Black Pope" Work?

via Insight Scoop

From Zenit:

[2008-01-20] New Jesuit Superior Seen as "Optimal Choice"

[2008-01-20] Jesuits Elect New General Superior

Ted Trainer with Rob Hopkins, parts 5 and 6

Ted Trainer’s Q&A Part Five.
Ted Trainer Q&A Part Six

2 more parts to go

Tom Hodgkinson takes on Facebook

With friends like these ...

Facebook has 59 million users - and 2 million new ones join each week. But you won't catch Tom Hodgkinson volunteering his personal information - not now that he knows the politics of the people behind the social networking site

* Tom Hodgkinson
* The Guardian,
* Monday January 14 2008

via Transition Culture

Steve LeVine, Annals of the rising Lilliputians

Annals of the rising Lilliputians
The center of gravity of power is shifting relentlessly from the West. The most successful cars are made in Japan. The power of the purse is shifting to less profligate countries like Singapore, and petro-powers like Kuwait. Manufacturing has gone to China. Energy is in the hands of Saudi Arabia, Russia and others.

Martin Payne, Peak oil: Why is it so difficult to explain/understand?

Peak oil: Why is it so difficult to explain/understand?
Peak Oil is about RATE. And RATE is dependent on the SIZE, AGE and QUALITY of the RESERVES.
published January 20, 2008.

Interview with Msgr. Guido Marini

Fr. Z has the details.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

AustenBlog rips on Andrew Davies.

Now it's the presidential candidates' turn

via EB

Bush acknowledges peak oil
Jerome a Paris, European Tribune

The Coal Question Revisited
Kurt Cobb, Scitizen ("Bringing science closer to society")
Many people believe the world has enough coal to last hundreds of years. Recent assessments now suggest that coal production could actually start to decline as early as 2025.

Coal, in truth, stands not beside but entirely above all other commodities. It is the material energy of the country--the universal aid--the factor in everything we do. With coal almost any feat is possible or easy; without it we are thrown back into the laborious poverty of early times.---William Stanley Jevons, The Coal Question
The country to which William Stanley Jevons refers is Great Britain, and the year is 1865. Jevons investigated whether the coal from British mines would last as long as optimists were forecasting, that is, several hundred years. He concluded it wouldn't. Today, the phrase, "That's like bringing coals to Newcastle," referring to the former center of the British coal trade, has lost all its punch. The last mine within the boundaries of Newcastle closed in 1956. In 2006 the United Kingdom produced only 20 million short tons of coal, one-seventh its production in 1980.

With the concern that worldwide oil production may not rise much from here, and that it may, in fact, begin to decline in the next decade, those looking for alternatives are naturally drawn to coal. Coal is being trumpeted as both abundant and versatile. This is because worldwide reserves are assumed to be very large and because coal can be turned into the liquid fuels we'll need as oil declines.(17 January 2008)

Shepherd Bliss, The false US economy versus nature’s expansion-contraction cycle

The false US economy versus nature’s expansion-contraction cycle
Shepherd Bliss, Energy Bulletin
A gracious fall is better than a bitter, ballistic, hostile one. The flexibility of bamboo would be a better model for our fall than rigid, fossilized bones likely to break and shatter. Then we may come back up, though hopefully in a different, more mature way.published January 20, 2008.


Looks like Hong Gil-dong is already being aired... official website.