Saturday, March 22, 2008

More podcasts from JHK

@ Global Public Media:
KunstlerCast #2: Small Cities and Towns
KunstlerCast #3: World Made By Hand
Reality Report: James Howard Kunstler on World Made by Hand
KunstlerCast #4: Parking Garages

Behind the Scenes of The Forbidden Kingdom

@ Yahoo

I could be persuaded to watch this, even though the dialogue and acting seem rather cheesy...

official website; Apple; Yahoo

GL, Yes, I care for animals and then I eat them

Yes, I care for animals and then I eat them
There is a severe disconnect between our society today and the realities of the food chain. Many people no longer understand that nature is a magnificent banquet table around which sit all forms of life killing and eating each other.
When we got to Family Delight, it was already 3:30 and it was closed (for the afternoon?). So I didn't get to try it this time. We ended up going to Cafe Won Kee instead, and the food was not that great...

I definitely won't be going there again, if I can help it.

Holy Saturday 2008

The Harrowing of Hell. From Crossroads Initiative: Holy Saturday: He Descended into Hell, by an Unknown Early Church Father

Holy Saturday: All About Holy Saturday
Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year : Holy Saturday Activities in ...

Anastasis in Chora
Taken by someone on a trip to Turkey:


My mother should be dropping by Milpitas today to pick up some food for the trip tomorrow--I was thinking of going somewhere local for dinner, but I remembered that Milpitas Square and Ulferts Center gets packed. Still, Family Delight has some decent reviews, so we may try it. Another option would be Shanghai Restaurant, if it is still open.

ABC Seafood

Tomorrow we'll be driving down to SLO for Easter dinner at the MD's house. KK is already there and having a ball playing with the nieces. I'll probably be going to the 11 PM vigil at St. Thomas Aquinas, so I won't be getting much sleep tonight. Probably someone else will have to drive part of the way.

Only one of the school districts is off next week--I may work a couple of days for the other one. But I should be typing...

Holly Holyoake - I Walk With God

myspace; website

Wales National Anthem

2007 Holy Saturday--Jerusalem Matins

Friday, March 21, 2008

A single world currency?

Economic crisis renews prospects for world currency
by Maurizio d’Orlando
As the number of prophets of doom multiplies, the demand-side structural imbalance of the world economy, now under scrutiny in many economic studies, lies in the artificial compression of Chinese domestic consumption.

via The Bride and the Dragon

At the Colosseum...

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Text Prepared for Good Friday Event at Colosseum

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross

"What Have We Done With This Gift?"

ROME, MARCH 21, 2008 ( Here is a transcription and translation of the reflection Benedict XVI offered today at the end of the Way of the Cross in the Roman Colosseum.

* * *

Dear brothers and sisters,

This year too we have walked along the way of the cross, the Via Crucis, evoking again with faith the stages of the passion of Christ. Our eyes have turned to contemplate the sufferings and the anguish that our Redeemer had to bear in the hour of great sorrow, which entailed the highpoint of his earthly mission. Jesus dies on the cross and lies in the tomb. The day of Good Friday, so permeated by human sadness and religious silence, closes in the silence of meditation and prayer. In returning home, we too, like those who were present at the sacrifice of Jesus, beat our breasts, recalling what happened. Is it possible to remain indifferent before the death of the Lord, of the Son of God? For us, for our salvation he became man, so as to be able to suffer and die.

Brothers and sisters: Let us direct today our gaze toward Christ, a gaze frequently distracted by scattered and passing earthly interests. Let us pause to contemplate his cross. The cross, fount of life and school of justice and peace, is the universal patrimony of pardon and mercy. It is permanent proof of a self-emptying and infinite love that brought God to become man, vulnerable like us, unto dying crucified.

Through the sorrowful way of the cross, the men of all ages, reconciled and redeemed by the blood of Christ, have become friends of God, sons of the heavenly Father. "Friend," is what Jesus calls Judas and he offers him the last and dramatic call to conversion. "Friend," he calls each of us, because he is the authentic friend of everyone. Unfortunately, we do not always manage to perceive the depth of this limitless love that God has for us. For him, there is no distinction of race or culture. Jesus Christ died to liberate the humanity of old of their ignorance of God, of the circle of hate and violence, of the slavery to sin. The cross makes us brothers and sisters.

But let us ask ourselves, in this moment, what have we done with this gift, what have we done with the revelation of the face of God in Christ, with the revelation of the love of God that conquers hate. Many, in our age as well, do not know God and cannot encounter him in Christ crucified. Many are in search of a love or a liberty that excludes God. Many believe they have no need of God.

Dear friends: After having lived together the passion of Jesus, let us this night allow his sacrifice on the cross to question us. Let us permit him to challenge our human certainties. Let us open our hearts. Jesus is the truth that makes us free to love. Let us not be afraid: upon dying, the Lord destroyed sin and saved sinners, that is, all of us. The Apostle Peter writes: "He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness" (1 Peter 2:24). This is the truth of Good Friday: On the cross, the Redeemer has made us adoptive sons of God who he created in his image and likeness. Let us remain, then, in adoration before the cross.

Christ, give us the peace we seek, the happiness we desire, the love the fills our heart thirsty for the infinite. This is our prayer for this night, Jesus, Son of God, who died for us on the cross and was resurrected on the third day.


[Transcription and translation by ZENIT]

© Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Zenit: Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa

"The Tunic Was Without Seam"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the sermon delivered today by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household, at the Good Friday liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica.

* * *

"When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was without seam, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, 'Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,' in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says: 'They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots'" (John 19:23-24).

It has always been asked what the evangelist John wanted to say with the importance that he gives to this particular detail of the Passion. One relatively recent explanation is that the tunic alludes to the vestment of the high priest and that with this, John wanted to affirm that Jesus died not only as king but also as priest.

It is not said in the Bible, however, that the tunic of the high priest had to be seamless (cf. Exodus 28: 4; Leviticus 16:4). For this reason the most authoritative of the exegetes prefer to stick to the traditional explanation, according to which the seamless tunic symbolized the unity of the disciples.[1] It is the interpretation that St. Cyprian already gave: "The unity of the Church," he writes, "is expressed in the Gospel when it is said that the tunic of Christ was not divided or cut."[2]

Whatever be the explanation that one gives to the text, one thing is certain: The unity of the disciples is, for John, the purpose for which Christ dies. "Jesus had to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God" (John 11:51-52). At the Last Supper he himself 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).

The glad tidings to proclaim on Good Friday are that unity, before it is a goal to be sought, is a gift to be received. That the tunic is woven "from the top down," St. Cyprian continues, means that "the unity brought by Christ comes from above, from the heavenly Father, and because of this it cannot be broken apart by those who receive it, but must be received in its integrity."

The soldiers divided "the clothes," or the "the cloak," ("ta imatia") into four pieces, that is, Jesus' outer garments, not the tunic, the "chiton," which was the inner garment, which was in direct contact with his body. This is also a symbol. We men can divide the human and visible element of the Church, but not its deeper unity, which is identified with the Holy Spirit. Christ's tunic was not and can never be divided. It too is of a single piece. "Can Christ be divided?" Paul cried out (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:13). It is the faith we profess in the Creed: "I believe in the Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic."

* * *

But if unity must serve as a sign "so that the world believe," it must also be a visible, communitarian unity. This is the unity that has been lost and must be rediscovered. It is much more than maintaining neighborly relations; it is the mystical interior unity itself -- "one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God Father of all" (Ephesians 4:4-6) -- insofar as this objective unity is in fact received, lived and manifested by believers. A unity that is not endangered by diversity, but enriched by it.

After Easter the apostles asked Jesus: "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" Today we often address the same question to God: Is this the time in which you will restore the visible unity of the Church? God's answer is also the same as the one Jesus gave to the disciples: "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:6-8).

The Holy Father recalled this in a homily he gave on Jan. 25 in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls at the end of Christian Unity Week: "Unity with God and our brothers and sisters," he wrote, "is a gift that comes from on high, which flows from the communion of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit in which it is increased and perfected. It is not in our power to decide when or how this unity will be fully achieved. Only God can do it! Like St Paul, let us also place our hope and trust 'in the grace of God which is with us.'"

Today as well, the Holy Spirit will be the one to lead us into unity, if we let him guide us. How was it that the Holy Spirit brought about the first fundamental unity of the Church, that between Jews and pagans? The Holy Spirit descends upon Cornelius and his whole household in the same way in which he descended upon the apostles at Pentecost. So, Peter only needed to draw the conclusion: "If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?" (Acts 11:17).

For a century now, we have seen the same thing repeat itself before our eyes on a global scale. God has poured out the Holy Spirit in a new and unusual way upon millions of believers from every Christian denomination and, so that there would be no doubts about his intentions, he poured out the Spirit with the same manifestations. Is this not a sign that the Spirit moves us to recognize each other as disciples of Christ and work toward unity?

It is true that this spiritual and charismatic unity is not enough by itself. We see this already at the beginning of the Church. The newly formed unity between Jews and Gentiles was immediately threatened by schism. In the so-called Council of Jerusalem there was a "long discussion" and at the end an agreement was reached and announced to the Church with the formula: "It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us..." (Acts 15:28). The Holy Spirit works, therefore, also through another way, which is that of patient exchange, dialogue and even compromise between the different sides, when the essentials of the faith are not in play. He works through human "structures" and the "offices" put in action by Jesus, above all the apostolic and petrine office. It is that which today we call doctrinal and institutional ecumenism.

* * *

However, experience is convincing us that even this doctrinal ecumenism is not sufficient and does not advance matters if it is not also accompanied by a foundational spiritual ecumenism. This is repeated with ever greater insistence by the major promoters of institutional ecumenism. In this centenary of the institution of the week of prayer for Christian unity (1908-2008), at the foot of the cross we would like to meditate on this spiritual ecumenism, on what this spiritual ecumenism is and how we can make progress in it.

Spiritual ecumenism is born through repentance and forgiveness and is nourished by prayer. In 1977, I participated in a charismatic ecumenical congress in the U.S., in Kansas City, Missouri. There were 40,000 participants, half of them Catholic -- Cardinal Suenens among them -- and half from other Christian denominations. One evening, one of the leaders of the meeting began speaking at the microphone in a way that, to me, at that time, was strange: "You priests and pastors, weep and mourn, because the body of my Son is broken. ... You laypeople, men and women, weep and mourn, because the body of my Son is broken."

I began to see people around me fall to their knees, one after another, and to weep with repentance for the divisions in the body of Christ. And all of this went on while a sign reading "Jesus is Lord" went up from one part of the stadium to the other. I was there as an observer who was still rather critical and detached, but I remember thinking to myself: If one day all believers shall be reunited in one single body, it will happen like this, when we all are on our knees with a contrite and humiliated heart, under the great lordship of Christ.

If the unity of the disciples must be a reflection of the unity between Father and Son, it must above all be a unity of love, because such is the unity that reigns in the Trinity. Scripture exhorts us to "do the truth in love" -- "veritatem facientes in caritate" (Ephesians 4:15). And Augustine affirms that "one does not enter into the truth if not through charity" -- "non intratur in veritatem nisi per caritatem."[3]

The extraordinary thing about this way to unity based on love is that it is already now wide open before us. We cannot be hasty in regard to doctrine because differences exist and must be resolved with patience in the appropriate contexts. We can instead "be hasty" in charity and already be united in that sense now. The true, certain sign of the coming of the Spirit, St. Augustine writes, is not speaking in tongues, but it is the love of unity: "Know that you have the Holy Spirit when you allow your heart to adhere to unity through sincere charity."[4]

Let us reflect on St. Paul's hymn to charity. Each verse acquires a contemporary and new meaning if it is applied to the love of members of different Christian denominations in ecumenical relations:

"Love is patient…
Love is not jealous…
It does not seek its own interests…
It does not brood over injury… (if necessary, of the injury done to others!)
It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth (it doesn't rejoice over the difficulties of other Churches, but delights in their successes)
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1Corinthians 13:4ff.).

This week we have accompanied a woman to her eternal rest -- Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare Movement -- who was a pioneer and model of the spiritual ecumenism of love. She showed that the pursuit of unity among Christians does not lead to a closing to the rest of the world; it is rather the first step and the condition for a broader dialogue with believers of other religions and with all men and women who are concerned about the fate of humanity and about peace.

* * *

"Loving," it has been said, "does not mean looking at each other but looking together in the same direction." Even among Christians loving means looking in the same direction, which is Christ. "He is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14). It is like the spokes of a wheel. Consider what happens to the spokes of a wheel when they move from the center outward: As they distance themselves from the center they also become more distant from each other. On the contrary when they move from the periphery toward the center, as they come closer to the center, they also come nearer to each other, until they form a single point. To the extent that we move together toward Christ, we draw nearer to each other, until we are truly, as Jesus desired, "one with him and with the Father."

That which will reunite divided Christianity will only be a new wave of love for Christ that spreads among Christians. This is what is happening through the work of the Holy Spirit and it fills us with wonder and hope. "The love of Christ moves us, because we are convinced that one has died for all" (2 Corinthians 5:14). The brother who belongs to another Church -- indeed every human being -- is "a person for whom Christ died" (Romans 14:16), as he has died for me.

* * *

One thing must move us forward on this journey. What is in play at the beginning of the third millennium, is not the same as what was in play at the beginning of the second millennium, when there was the separation of East and West; nor is it the same as what was in play in the middle of the same millennium when there was the separation of Catholics and Protestants. Can we say that the way the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father or how justification of the sinner comes about are the problems that impassion the men of today and with which the Christian faith stands or falls? The world has moved beyond us and we remain fixed by problems and formulas that the world does not even know the meaning of.

In battles in the Middle Ages there was a moment in which, after the infantry, archers and cavalry had been overwhelmed, the melee began to circle around the king. There the final outcome of the fight was decided. Today the battle for us also takes place around the king. There are buildings and structures made of metal in such a way that if a certain neuralgic point is touched or a certain stone is removed, everything falls apart. In the edifice of the Christian faith this cornerstone is the divinity of Christ. If this is removed, everything falls apart and faith in the Trinity is the first to go.

From this we see that today there are two possible ecumenisms: an ecumenism of faith and an ecumenism of incredulity; one that unites all those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that Christ died to save all humankind, and an ecumenism that unites all those who, in deference to the Nicene Creed, continue to proclaim these formulas but empty them of their content. It is an ecumenism in which, in its extreme form, everyone believes the same things because no one any longer believes anything, in the sense that "believing" has in the New Testament.

"Who is it that overcomes the world," John writes in his first letter, "if not those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1John 5:5). Sticking with this criterion, the fundamental distinction among Christians is not between Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants, but between those who believe that Christ is the Son of God and those who do not believe this.

* * *

"On the first day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak…: 'Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?'" (Haggai 1:1-4).

This word of the prophet Haggai is addressed to us today. Is this the time to concern ourselves with that which only regards our religious order, our movement, or our Church? Is this not precisely the reason why we too "sow much but harvest little" (Haggai 1:6)? We preach and we are active in many ways, but we convert few people and the world moves away from Christ instead of drawing near to him.

The people of Israel heard the prophet's reproof; everyone stopped embellishing his own house and began to work together on God's temple. God then sent his prophet again with a message of consolation and encouragement, which is also addressed to us: "But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the Lord, and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak, And take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord, and work! For I am with you, says the Lord of hosts" (Haggai 2:4). Take courage, all of you who have at heart the cause of the unity of Christians, and go to work, because I am with you, says the Lord!

--- --- ---

[1] Cf. R. E. Brown, "The Death of the Messiah," vol. 2, Doubleday, New York 1994, pp. 955-958.
[2] St. Cyprian, De unitate Ecclesiae, 7 (CSEL 3, p. 215).
[3] St. Augustine, Contra Faustum, 32,18 (CCL 321, p. 779).
[4] St. Augustine, Sermons, 269,3-4 (PL38, 1236 s

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

Lamentations of Jeremiah

music composed by Thomas Tallis

Part 2

the group: Anonymous

Balamand Monastery - Holy Friday Lamentations

Part 1, 2, 3

Kevin Gutzman on the 2nd Amendment

via PaleoBlog:

Posted: 05:19 PM ET

Neither side has it right in the Second Amendment case currently before the Supreme Court.

District of Columbia v. Heller is an appeal from a federal appeals court’s decision that the D.C. gun control laws violate the Second Amendment. The circuit court’s decision reflected what I believe is the emerging scholarly consensus around the position that the Second Amendment involves an individual right to keep and bear arms.

A pro-gun advocate holds up a sign outside the Supreme Court in Washington, as the court heard arguments in an attempt to overturn the District of Columbia’s firearms ban. The District of Columbia is asking the Supreme Court to preserve the capital’s ban on handguns in a major case over the meaning of the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms.”

Gun control advocates on one side and gun rights advocates on the other dispute this question. Since I am known as an originalist, I was asked to sign an amicus brief arguing that the Second Amendment bans laws like D.C.’s. I refused to sign.

Does that mean that I do not believe that the Second Amendment reflected an individual right to keep and bear arms? No, it means that I do not believe that the District of Columbia is governed by the Second Amendment.

Why? Because the District of Columbia, insofar as it behaves as a state, is properly treated as a pseudo-state by the Supreme Court.

The original understanding of the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, was reflected in the Bill’s preamble. That preamble says that the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution “in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its [that is, the federal government’s] powers.” It was not about empowering federal judges to strike down state laws, in other words, but about limiting federal power.

The Supreme Court reflected this understanding in the 1833 case of Barron v. Baltimore (1833). There, for a unanimous Court, Chief Justice John Marshall said that the Bill of Rights limited only the powers of the federal government, not those of the states. This was the only significant decision in which Marshall came out for a limitation on federal power; he did so because what he was saying was indisputable.

One might counter by saying that the District of Columbia is part of the federal government. Yet, Congress long ago delegated home rule functions to D.C., and it allows residents to elect mayors, city councilors, and a delegate to Congress. When it comes to the Second Amendment, then, D.C. is a state, and the Second Amendment does not restrict its policy-making discretion.

This is not to say that gun control laws are a good idea. It also does not mean that D.C. residents do not have a right to keep and bear arms. What it means is that if they want that right to be respected, people in D.C. should take that up with their own government, not end-run the republican process by trying to get the Court to overturn its valid laws.

If the conservative majority on the Supreme Court rules in favor of Mr. Heller and against the D.C. gun laws, it will be ruling against the original understanding of the Second Amendment.

- Kevin R.C. Gutzman, J.D., Ph.D.

Editor’s note: Gutzman, an associate professor of history at Western Connecticut State University, is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution and, with Thomas E. Woods, Jr., of the forthcoming Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush

some discussion of Dr. Gutzman's post here; James Antle's response

A transcript of an interview with Dr. Gutzman: Tao of Dude: Kevin Gutzman. More discussion of the 2nd Amendment:

Mike: [Laughter] Right, it’s just – oh, gosh. All right. A final question. I know you’ve got to go, and I know you’re busy, but the final question, because this case is coming. This case where the District of Columbia, which is the purview of Congress, if I read the Constitution correctly, and the right of those citizens to keep and bear arms, what is the proper adjudication of that lawsuit where the D.C. council said that – they passed a law saying that they could – that citizens could not own firearms and couldn’t keep handguns. And the Supreme Court’s going to hear this. Number one, is that case the Court truly should hear, and number two, who actually has the authority; is it the Congress or the D.C. council?

Kevin: Well, there are two issues here. Even the left-leaning scholars have come to recognize in the last 20 years is about an individual right to own arms. So, they no longer – people no longer take seriously the old notion that, well, the Second Amendment was really just about the right of people who were the militia to have weapons when they’re in the militia. So, we can leave that aside. So, that gets us to the second question, which is, what about this District of Columbia government? Is that a state government? Is that Congress? What is that? Congress has power over the District of Columbia, but what it did in the 60’s was to give people who live in D.C. what they call “home rule,” which was the right to run their own city by electing a city council and mayor, the power of which, of course, they’ve often used pretty unwisely.

Mike: [Laughter]

Kevin: And then the courts have said, well, okay, insofar as laws of the city council for D.C. come before us, we’re going to treat them as if they were laws made by a state. So, we’re going to pretend that, when it comes to home rule, D.C. is a state. If, when it comes to the Second Amendment question, the Court decides to treat D.C. as a state, then it’s going to let those laws stand because states have the power to ban gun ownership if they want to. The Second Amendment is about limiting powers of Congress over gun ownership, not about limiting the powers of state governments.

Mike: Right.

Kevin: Of course, the whole Bill of Rights is about limiting the powers of the federal government, not about states. On the other hand, if the Court decides, well, really, this is just an instrumentality of Congress, and the Second Amendment was supposed to limit the power of Congress, then the Court will say, or should say, this law is invalid because Congress can’t be in the power of banning gun ownership. That’s really the main issue here. I think, however, that its one that will be totally ignored, and really what we’re going to hear about is this question of whether individuals can own guns.

Donnie Yen interview

@ Rotten Tomatoes

Yama no Anata trailer

@ Twitch


official website: 山のあなた徳市の恋

Trailer for Arn

@ Twitch

Swedish movie about the crusades? wiki
official website

a negative review at IMDB

CE on the Knights Templar

Zenit: Only Christians Believe Christ Is Risen

Only Christians Believe Christ Is Risen

Gospel Commentary for Easter Sunday

By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21, 2008 ( To the women who had come to the tomb on Easter morning the angels said: “Do not be afraid. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He is risen!”

But did Jesus really rise? What assurances do we have that we are dealing with something that really happened and not an invention or suggestion? St. Paul, writing no more than 25 years after the event, lists all the people who saw Jesus after the resurrection, the majority of whom were still alive (1 Corinthians 15:8). For what fact of antiquity do we have testimony as strong as this?

But a general observation will also convince us of the truth of the event. At the moment of Jesus’ death the disciples were scattered; his case was taken to be closed: “We had hoped that he would,” the disciples of Emmaus say. Evidently they did not hope anymore.

And then all of a sudden we see these same men proclaim together that Jesus is alive and face, on account of this testimony, trials, persecutions and, in the end, one after the other, martyrdom and death. What could have caused such a total change if not the certainty that he had truly risen.

They could not be deceived because they spoke and ate with him after his resurrection; and then they were practical men, not at all given to easy exaltation. They themselves doubted at first and put up not a little resistance to believing. Neither could they have wanted to deceive others, because, if Jesus was not risen, they were precisely the first to be betrayed and to return. Without the fact of the resurrection, the birth of Christianity and of the Church becomes a mystery that is still more difficult to explain than the resurrection itself.

These are some objective, historical arguments, but the strongest argument that Christ is risen, is that he is alive! He is alive not because we keep him alive by talking about him, but because he keeps us alive, he communicates the sense of his presence to us, he makes us hope. “He touches Christ who believes in Christ,” St. Augustine said, and the true believers experience the truth in this affirmation.

Those who do not believe in the reality of the resurrection have always advanced hypotheses that it be treated as a phenomenon of autosuggestion; the apostles “believed” to see. But this, if it were true, would constitute, in the end, a miracle no less great than the one that people try to avoid admitting. Suppose that different people, in different situations and places, all had the same hallucination. Imaginary visions usually come to those who intensely expect and desire them, but the apostles, after the events of Good Friday, did not expect anything else.

Christ’s resurrection is, for the spiritual universe, what the initial “Big Bang” was for the physical universe, according to one modern theory: such a massive explosion of energy impressed on the cosmos that expansion of energy that continues even today at a distance of billions of years. Take away from the Church faith in the resurrection and everything stops and shuts down, as when the electrical current goes out in a house.

St. Paul writes: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the death, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). “The faith of Christians is the resurrection of Christ,” St. Augustine said. Everyone believes that Jesus died, even the pagans, the agnostics believe it. But only Christians believe that he has also risen, and one is not a Christian unless he believes this.

Raising Christ from the dead, it is as if God had approved his conduct, impressing it with his seal. “God has given to all men an assurance by raising Jesus from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

* * *

Father Raniero Cantalamessa is the Pontifical Household preacher. The readings for this Sunday are Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9.

ITN vid on Paul Scofield

Tarek Saab

A former contestant on the Apprentice, he has a book out from Spence Publishing, Gut Check: Confronting Love, Work, and Manhood in Your Twenties. I was surprised to see that he is offering his services as a "Catholic speaker." See his website for details. I don't remember hearing him mention his faith while on the Apprentice, but then again that's not a show to which I would dedicate all my attention.

GUT CHECK by Tarek Saab - Home

Podcast Interviews
The Catholic Hack!: The Catholic Hack Episode No 26 –Tarek Saab
CS#43: Tarek Saab Shares About Gut Check And The Apprentice ...
The Catholic Hack!: The Catholic Hack! Episode No 44 - Gut Check ...
No. 45 Gut Check! Part 2
No. 46 Gut Check! Part 3
No. 47 Gut Check! Part 4

Apprentice Contestant Tarek Saab Launches New Clothing Line, Lionheart Apparel
Lionheart Apparel Interview with Tarek Saab, Lionheart Apparel

Tarek Saab | Facebook

From his "A Report From Inside Your TV":

I think from the front, he has a passing resemblance to Orlando Bloom.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Daniel McCarthy and W. James Antle, III on James Webb

Tory Anarchist: Still a Webbhead
W. James Antle, III: Untangling Webbheads
Tory Anarchist: Webblines

Some stuff from First Principles

The University and Revolution: An Insane Conjunction
Russell Kirk (from IR 6:1-2, Winter 1969-70) - 03/20/08

Global Democracy and the American Tradition
Clyde Wilson (from IR 24:1, Fall 1988) - 03/19/08

Beauty as an Essential Characteristic of Civilized Culture
Kevin L. Cope (MA 49:4, Fall 2007) - 03/20/08

FSSP Maundy Thursday cd

here; Ubi Caritas

Our Lady of Guadalupe has a new website

Theodoros Vassilikos - Cherubic Hymn

Hayley Westenra, On My Heart

Hrm... odd dream this morning involving Fujian Gal. Haven't talked to her in a while, maybe I'll call her on Sunday.

I was in a good mood this morning when I greeted the students--perhaps it was because I got plenty of sleep last night (and wasn't awoken at 4 in the morning). I tend to be irritable when I don't get enough sleep (is there anyone who isn't like that), though I don't think it carries over when dealing with students. It's more likely that I'm not fully awake during class and therefore not that alert, attentive, or responsive.Even the kids who misbehave didn't bother me too much today...

Maybe it was because the (cute) blonde school teacher and I exchanged greetings.

Or maybe I was just having and abnormal morning.

Her class and an upper-grade class had PE together today--mmm one of the tag derivatives, I can't remember the name right now. But the students line up on one side and then try to reach the other side without being tagged by the people in the middle... so she was out there in the middle, running around and trying to tag students. She seems to be rather athletic, or at least physically active. A definite plus for me and Sarge. Today she was wearing a white vest and khakis... plus a black shirt (with the school's mascot?). Thursdays are "Spirit Day" and so the class (for each grade) that has the highest percentage of students wearing a shirt with the name of the school and its mascot (a panda) gets to carry the spirit flag for a week.

"Whoopee," we adults may think. But it seems to work for the kids.

She does have a nice smile. Heh... crushes come and go... I'll wait and see how long this one lasts... probably a while until someone new shows up. My sister said I need to go to a different Mass at OLP to find a mantilla-wearing nubile woman, one in the morning. Maybe that is true, but those Masses are usually too full for my comfort level.

My class did have a short Easter party--one girl brought some Easter goodies to share with everyone. She even gave me a bag--a cookie and some candy. Unfortunately, she was the only one who brought goodies.

I did end up going to St. Thomas Aquinas tonight for Maundy Thursday Mass. There is a greater separation between pews at STA than at OLP--I like that. The St. Ann Choir was good, as usual. But even though the prayers were in Latin and there was Gregorian chant and polyphony... something felt "off." Maybe it was the versus populum orientation of the priest. Maybe it was the ordo itself--it was the ordinary form of the Roman rite, after all.

Boundlessline: Let's Talk About Dating, parts 5 and 6

Let's Talk About Dating, Part 5: Being Proactive
by Denise Morris on Mar 19, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Let's Talk About Dating, Part 6: Managing Expectations by Suzanne Hadley
A friend once told me: "Expectations are stupid." I'm not sure I'd go that far.

Mike Whitney, Winding Up Bear

March 20, 2008

Paulson's Gift to His Bankster Buddies
Winding Up Bear

Zenit: B16--On the Easter Triduum

On the Easter Triduum

"Love Is Stronger Than Hate, It Has Triumphed"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 19, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the greetings Benedict XVI gave today to students participating in the international UNIV congress who had gathered at St. Peter's Basilica, and the catechesis he gave afterward during his weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall.

* * *

[Pope's greeting to students in St. Peter's Basilica]

[In English, he said]

Dear Friends,

I offer a cordial welcome to all of you who have come to Rome from various countries and universities to celebrate Holy Week together, and to take part in the International UNIV Congress. In this way, you will be able to benefit from moments of common prayer, cultural enrichment and a helpful exchange of the experiences gained from your association with the centres and activities of Christian formation sponsored by the Prelature of Opus Dei in your respective cities and nations.

[In Spanish, he said]

You know that with a serious personal commitment, inspired by the Gospel values, it is possible to respond adequately to the great questions of our time.

The Christian knows that there is an inseparable link between the truth, ethics and responsibility. Every authentic cultural expression contributes to form the conscience and encourage the person to better himself with the end of bettering society. In this way one feels responsible before the truth, at the service of which one must put one's own personal liberty.

This certainly has to do with a mission requiring commitment, and to fulfill it the Christian is called to follow Jesus, cultivating an intense friendship with him through prayer and contemplation.

To be friends of Christ, and to give testimony of him wherever we are, demands, furthermore, the strength to go against the grain, remembering the words of the Lord: You are in the world but not of the world (cf. John 15:19)

Do not be afraid, then, to be nonconformists when it is necessary; at your university, school and in all places.

[In Italian, he said]

Dear young people of UNIV, be leaven of hope in the world that desires to meet Jesus, often without knowing it. To better the world, make an effort above all to change yourselves through an intense sacramental life, especially through approaching the sacrament of penance, and participating assiduously in the celebration of the Eucharist.

I commend each one of you and your families to Mary, who never stopped contemplating the face of her son Jesus. I invoke over each one of you the protection of Saint Josemaría and of all the saints of your lands, while I heartily wish you a happy Easter.

[Catechesis in Paul VI Hall]

Dear brothers and sisters

We have reached the eve of the Easter triduum. The next three days are commonly known as 'holy' because they allow us to relive the event central to our Redemption. They lead us to the nucleus of Christian faith: the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These three days could be considered one single day. They make up the heart and are the key to both the liturgical year and the life of the Church. At the end of Lent we also enter that climate which Christ himself experienced back then in Jerusalem.

We want to rekindle in ourselves the living memory of the suffering which our Lord endured for us and to joyously prepare ourselves for next Sunday “"the true Passover, which the Blood of Christ has covered with glory, the Passover on which the Church celebrates the Feast that is the origin of all feasts” as stated in the preface for Easter in the Ambrosian rite.

Tomorrow, Holy Thursday, the Church remembers the Last Supper during which our Lord, on the eve of his own passion and death, institutes the sacrament of the Eucharist and that of ministerial priesthood. On that same evening, Jesus gave us a new commandment, "mandatum novum," the commandment of brotherly love.

Tomorrow morning, before entering the Easter triduum, but very closely tied to it, the "Messa Crismale" will take place in every diocese during which the bishop and priests of the diocese renew their promises made at ordination.

Also, the oils used to celebrate the sacraments are blessed: the oil for the catechumen, the oil for the sick and the holy chrism. It is one of the most important moments in the life of every Christian diocese, which, gathered around it's pastor, strengthens it's unity and faith in Christ, the supreme and eternal priest.

In the evening during the "Cena Domini" Mass, we remember the Last Supper when Christ gave himself to all of us as the food of salvation, as the drug of immortality and the mystery of the Eucharist -- source and pinnacle of Christian life.

Through this sacrament of salvation the Lord offered and realized for all those who believe in him, the most intimate union possible between our lives and his. With the humble and most expressive gesture of washing someone's feet, we are reminded how much Christ did for his Apostles.

Washing their feet was a concrete way of exclaiming the primacy of his love, a love that serves even to the point of giving oneself, anticipating as well the supreme sacrifice of giving his life, which he was to do the following day on Calvary. According to a beautiful tradition, the faithful close on Holy Thursday for a vigil of prayer and Eucharistic adoration enabling them to relive the agonies that Christ suffered at Gethsemane more vividly.

On Good Friday we remember the passion, crucifixion and death of Christ. On this day the Church does not celebrate mass, but the Christian community gathers to consider the mystery of sin and evil that oppress humanity. They revisit, in the light of the word of God, the sufferings of Christ that atone for this evil.

After they have listened to the retelling of the passion of Christ, the congregation prays for all the necessities of the Church and of the world, they pay homage to the cross and take the consecrated bread and wine kept from the "Cena Domini" mass of the previous day.

By way of further invitation to consider the passion and death of the Redeemer, to express their love and to enable the faithful to participate in the suffering of Christ, Christian tradition has created popular processions and holy representations which aim to impress ever more deeply on the souls of the faithful a sense of having truly participated in the redemptive sacrifice of Christ.

The Via Crucis stands out among these. Over the years it has been enriched with many spiritual and artistic expressions linked to the sensitivities of the various cultures.

In many countries, sanctuaries with the name “Calvary” have been born which are accessible after a steep climb. In recalling the painful climb of the passion, it allows the faithful to participate in Jesus' climb toward the mount of the Cross, the mount of love offered right up to the end.

Holy Saturday is marked by a deep silence. The Churches are left undecorated and there are no particular liturgies set aside for this day. While waiting for the Resurrection, the faithful persevere in the wait with Mary by praying and meditating. A day of silence is necessary to ponder the reality of human life, the forces of evil and the enormous power of good unleashed by the passion and resurrection of Christ.

Great importance is given during this time to participation in the sacrament of reconciliation, indispensable for the purification of the heart and to prepare for the celebration of Easter completely renewed. We need to undertake this inner purification and renewal of ourselves at least once a year.

This Saturday of silence, of meditation, of forgiveness, of reconciliation leads into the Easter Vigil, which introduces the most important Sunday in history, the Sunday that marks the Passover of Christ.

The Church holds vigil next to the newly blessed fire and meditates on the great promise contained in the Old and New Testaments, of the conclusive liberation from the ancient slavery to sin and death. In the darkness of the night, the Easter candle is lit from the new fire as a symbol of Christ who rises again in glory.

Christ, the light of humanity, dispels any shadows in the heart and the spirit and illuminates all men who come into the world. Together with the lighting of the Easter candle, the great Easter announcement reverberates throughout the Church: Christ has truly risen, death no longer has any power over him. With his death he defeats evil forever and makes man a gift of God's own life.

It is tradition that Christ's followers received the sacrament of baptism during the Easter Vigil. This was to underline the participation of Christians in the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ. The joy, the light and the peace of Christ spread from the shining Easter night to fill the lives of the faithful in every Christian community and reaches into every area of space and time.

Dear brothers and sisters, during these special days let us guide our lives definitively toward a complete and decisive adherence to the designs of our celestial Father; let us renew our “yes” to the divine will as Jesus did with his sacrifice on the cross. The rites suggested for Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the rich silence of prayer of Holy Saturday and the solemn Easter vigil provide us with the opportunity to deepen the feelings and the values of our Christian vocation unleashed by the Paschal mystery and to strengthen it by faithfully following Christ in all circumstances, just as he did, even to the point of giving up our own existence to him.

Remembering the mysteries of Christ also means a willing and complete adherence to the history of today, convinced that when we celebrate, it is reality. Let us include in our prayers the terrible facts and situations that afflict our brothers across the world. We know that hate, division and violence never have the last word in historical events. These holy days reawaken a great hope in us: Christ was crucified, yet he rose again and conquered the world.

Love is stronger than hate, it has triumphed and we should affiliate ourselves with this victory of love. We should therefore start again from Christ and work together with him for a world founded on peace, justice and love.

In this commitment that involves all of us, let us allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, who accompanied her divine son on the road to his passion and cross, and who participated with the strength of her faith in the realization of his plan of salvation.

With these thoughts I send you my best wishes for a happy and holy Easter to you, your loved ones and your communities.

[Translation by Giustina Montaque]

[After his address, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In English, he said:]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Easter Triduum, which the Church now prepares to celebrate, invites us to share in the mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. These days are the heart of the liturgical year. On Holy Thursday the Church recalls the Last Supper. At the Chrism Mass, the Bishop and his priests renew their priestly promises and the sacramental oils are blessed. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates Jesus’ institution of the sacrament of his Body and Blood and his commandment that we should love one another. On Good Friday, we ponder the mystery of sin as we listen to the account of the Lord’s passion and venerate the wood of his Cross. Holy Saturday, a day of silence and prayer, prepares for the joy of the Easter Vigil, when the light of Christ dispels all darkness, and the saving power of his Paschal Mystery is communicated in the sacrament of Baptism.

May our sharing in these solemn celebrations deepen our conversion to Christ, particularly through the sacrament of Reconciliation, and our communion, in the hope of the resurrection, with all our suffering brothers and sisters throughout the world.

I offer a cordial welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, especially the pilgrims from Ireland, Canada and the United States. Upon you and your families I cordially invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord!

[After his greetings, the Holy Father made the following appeal in Italian:]

I follow with deep unrest the news that in these days is coming from Tibet. My fatherly heart feels sadness and sorrow at the suffering of so many people. The mystery of the passion and death of Jesus, that we live again in this Holy Week, helps us to be particularly sensitive to their situation.

With violence, problems are not solved, only aggravated. I invite you to unite yourselves to my prayer, asking God all-powerful, source of light, to enlighten the minds of all and give to each one the courage to choose the path of dialogue and tolerance.

(c) Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

How I'll probably spend the Triduum

I hadn't considered going to Palo Alto for the Triduum, but it's a good thing I checked the St. Ann Choir website today. Here is the schedule over at St. Thomas Aquinas in Plato Alto:

TENEBRAE St. Ann Chapel
Wednesday evening, March 19, 8:00 p.m.
Matins and Lauds of Holy Thursday in Latin (anticipated the evening before).
Lamentations of Jeremiah by Victoria (lasts 1¾ hrs.)

HOLY THURSDAY St. Thomas Aquinas Church
Thursday evening, March 20, 5:30 p.m.
Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, Washing of feet, and Procession of Blessed Sacrament. Music of Byrd, Tallis, Ciconia, and Dufay. (lasts 1½ hours)

GOOD FRIDAY St. Thomas Aquinas Church
Friday afternoon, March 21, 5:30 p.m.,
Solemn afternoon liturgy: Chanting of the St. John Passion, Adoration of the Cross, and Communion. Music of Victoria. (Lasts 1¾ hours)

EASTER VIGIL St. Thomas Aquinas Church
Saturday night, March 22, 11:00 p.m.
The Solemn Proclamation of Easter, the Prophecies, and Midnight Mass of the Resurrection. Music of Palestrina, Morales and Marenzio (lasts 2 hrs)

EASTER SUNDAY St. Thomas Aquinas Church
Sunday morning, March 23, 12:00 noon
Festive Sung Mass of Easter. Lasso, Missa Osculetur me for double ch. (lasts 1½ hours)

Sunday afternoon, March 23, vespers, 6:15 p.m.
Latin Vespers of Easter Sunday, sung in Gregorian Chant (lasts ¾ hour)
The schedule at St. Dominic's:

Thursday, March 20
6:30 AM - 9:00 AM
No Masses at 6:30 am or 8 am
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Tenebrae on Holy Thursday "Tenebrae" is the name given to the offices of Readings and Morning Prayer on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The name means "darkness" and refers to the practice, during the middle Ages, of praying these portions of the Divine Office ...
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
No Mass at 5:30 pm.
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Mass of the Lord's Supper The traditional Mass includes the presentation of the Holy Oils, blessed by the Archbishop; the Washing of Feet of twelve people; and, following communion, the Procession of the Sacrament to the Chapel of Reservation. Note that this will be the only...

Friday, March 21
6:30 AM - 9:00 AM
No Masses at 6:30 or 8 am.
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Tenebrae on Good Friday The morning office of Tenebrae includes the extinguishing of candles as each psalm is sung; thus leaving the church in darkness at the end. Breakfast follows in the Parish Hall.
12:15 PM - 1:00 PM
Stations of the Cross The traditional service of Stations of the Cross is celebrated at 12:15 pm on Good Friday
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Seven Last Words preaching The Seven Last Words of Jesus on the cross is celebrated with seven short sermons, given by a variety of people, both lay and religious. Eash sermon is followed by a piece of choral music to meditate upon and a period of silence.
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
No Mass at 5:30 pm
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Celebration of The Lord's Passion The traditional Good Friday Liturgy includes the sung Passion Gospel; Veneration of the Cross and a Communion Service. The Solemn Mass Choir provides suitable choral music, including Palestrina's Stabat Mater.

Saturday, March 22
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
No Mass at 8 am.
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Tenebrae on Holy Saturday The morning office of Tenebrae includes the extinguishing of candles as each psalm is sung; thus leaving the church in darkness at the end. Breakfast follows in the Parish Hall.
5:30 PM - 6:00 PM
No Mass at 5:30 pm
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Easter Vigil The traditional ceremonies of Lighting the New Paschal Candle; Singing the Exsultet; celebrating the Word of God; Initiation Rites (including baptism, confirmation and reception into the Church) and Easter Communion. Notes that there are no other Ma...

St. Dominic's is just too far, and I don't know what the music will be like for Holy Week, though it probably will be better than what one will hear at the typical parish down here in the South Bay. (With the exception of St. Thomas Aquinas, but isn't that considered to be a part of the peninsula?)

I don't know if I will be going to the vigil at STA, may be the latest one for the diocese. Good Friday at St. Dominic's might be nice, but I don't think I can spend a whole day in San Francisco. St. Elias is rather close to where I am living now; I'm too shy to go there for the first time, when the occasion is as important as this . From the monthly newsletter:

Wednesday 19 March—Great Wednesday: Repentance & Holy Oil, 7:30 pm
On this day, the Church offers us healing of soul and body. After prayers of repentance, there will be time for indi-vidual confession, then we will celebrate the Holy Mystery of Anointing with Holy Oil for healing.

Thursday 20 March—Great Thursday: Service of Crucifixion of Christ, 7:30 pm
On this day, the Church remembers the Last Supper, when Jesus gave us the Holy Mystery of the Communion of His Body and Blood, and also His Passion, Trial, and Crucifixion. We celebrate Matins of Holy Friday, with the Pas-sion Gospels, the procession with the Cross, and the Nailing to the Cross.

Friday 21 March—Great & Holy Friday: Ecumenical Way of the Cross, 12 Noon
In commemoration of the suffering and crucifixion of the Lord, the Alum Rock Ecumenical Association invites peo-ple to walk the Way of the Cross in Alum Rock Park, starting at 12 noon from the Rusticlands parking lot. At each station, there is a meditation and prayer. Enter the park from Penitencia Creek Road.

Friday 21 March—Great & Holy Friday: Ginnaz al-Massih, 7:30 pm
In the evening of Good Friday, we celebrate Vespers for Holy Friday, the service of the taking down of Christ’s body from the Cross, followed by Matins for Holy Saturday, the service of the Funeral of Christ, with the singing of the Lamentations and the Procession with the Epitaphios, the ikon of Christ in the tomb. Coming back into the church, we pass under the Epitaphion, showing that we die and are resurrected with our Savior.

Saturday 22 March—Great & Holy Pascha: New Fire, Hajmeh, Liturgy, 7:30 pm
After sundown on Saturday, we celebrate the first proclamation of the Resurrection—the New Fire, Procession of Triumph, Hajmeh, Paschal Orthros, Divine Liturgy, and blessing of eggs and bread. The church blazes with light and joy—“Christ is risen from the dead, and by His death He has trampled upon death and has given life to those who are in the tombs!” We sing “Christos Anesti! Al-Massih Qam! Christ is Risen!” again and again. At the end of the Liturgy, we break eggs, symbols of Christ breaking forth from the tomb.

Note: This will be our only Easter Service this year. There will be no Liturgy on Easter Sunday morning, because attendance in the past has been very low and we have no singers or servers to help celebrate the service.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tea at Trianon: Sidney Reilly, "Ace of Spies"

Tea at Trianon: Sidney Reilly, "Ace of Spies"

New Skete

affiliated with OCA.

Communities of New Skete
New Skete Monks
old page
New Skete Psalter
The Nuns of New Skete | The St. Nina Quarterly
New Skete (Cambridge, New York) - OrthodoxWiki

Raising Your Dog with the Monks of New Skete

compare with the Weston Priory

What are the principles of liturgical reform?

See comments by Anthony Symondson, SJ for the NLM thread.

On altars:
From the period of St Pius X and the guiding principles of Dom Lambert Beauduin OSB onwards altars conforming to the liturgical decrees inevitably gained in simplicity and dignity. They came to achieve an unselfconscious beauty which was essential in the poorest altar set up in a wooden hut, or a room at St Louis, as in a great basilica.

Many altars lose their beauty precisely because of their expensive embellishment. Many latter-day traditionalists confuse beauty with elaboration and that, I think, is evident in the St Louis oratory. The beauty of an altar depends upon its being designed, not for any subsidiary or non-liturgical purpose like the ornate exposition thrones of old, but for the one act round which the liturgy centres, the Sacrifice of the Mass.

But why should the appearance of the altar be of such supreme importance; why should it not only be correctly constructed for its purpose, but should also appear beautiful to the eye? The answer is that the Church has always regarded it as the representation of the Lord. She considers it to be the one likeness, the chief image of Him. But the altar does more than represent Our Lord, it interprets Him to the eye with an ordered variety denied by the most perfect statue of Him. This is reflected in the colours of the liturgical sequence, and the robing of the altar, as much as its proportions and innate dignity, has a vital significance and a universal appeal to the eye.

No pains, then, can be spared on the outward form of the altar; and no reverence it too great to guide our taste. The ornament we apply to the altar is such as we consider becoming to the person of Christ. This is the guiding principle for the choice of decoration and form of the altar. It is by this principle that such materials as lace (which mercifully does not appear on the St Louis altar) are judged to be suitable or frivolous. It is this principle which also decides whether simplicity or elaboration conveys the greatest honour.

The Church has pointed to the essential dignity of the altar, and laid down rules for achieving its outward effect. This can be assured only by obedience to the decrees of the Holy See which still apply to the use of the Roman Missal of 1962. Why go against them?
On Downside Abbey:
Dearmer's influence was non-existant at Downside, principally because medievalism in a fuller Catholic context was established before the Parson's Handbook was published and Comper had already designed vestments for the Abbey long before the St Dunstan's Society and Warham Guild had been started by Dearmer in 1911 or so.
With the completion of the altar in the Lady Chapel in 1913 it emerged fully-fledged, Then, in the same year, Dom Bede Camm arrived from Erdington and brought with him the needlework of the sisters at Southam which produced the distinctive dalmatics and tunicles. You could argue that there is more of a touch of Downside in Dearmer's endeavour than vice versa. In reality it was a feeble copying of Comper on a commercial basis.

Dom Edmund Fatt's achievement at Prinknash carried on the romantic medievalism of Caldey with a hefty chunk of indirect influence from Beuron. The Gothic vestments he produced were extremely good and a pleasure to wear, as I know from some in regular Jesuit use at the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon. They offered no encumbrence to liturgical actions. Comper's, on the other hand, sometimes needed to be turned back at the wrist to enable freedom of action. The vestments produced by the workroom at Downside largely followed Comper's patterns but, as time passed, used materials and braids infuenced by Beuron. You may, or may not, be persuaded by my evidence but I would advise you to forget Dearmer and go to safer principles.

Betjeman reference to fiddleback chasubles in mid-Lent pink certainly refers to Pusey House, Oxford, (even though Comper's work dates from after he went down) but his nostalgic poem, 'Anglo-Catholic Congresses' puts Travers at St Augustine's, Queens Gate, South Kensington, more prominently into focus. Comper was infinitely more serious as an architect and designer than him. He never embraced Folies Bergere liturgy which I notice is re-emerging with some force in certain quarters, but exemplified noble simplicity in the sense that Edmund Bishop meant it to be understood. Neither would be condemned by Mediator Dei, in the way that French and German monastic influence was. Nor were they part of the now largely forgotten breed of catacomb romantics. In Comper's case, his work became entirely accretive and was influenced by most styles and periods of the Christian centuries. In this way, and in his later planning, he points to the future as no other c20 church architect. His understanding of history, doctrine and liturgy was identical with Benedict XVI's.

I hope when the time comes for you to build your chapel you will use a good architect like Matthew Alderman or, in Britain, Warwick Pethers. Both know how Classic and Gothic architecture works without being superficial or pedantic. The majority of church architects these days have no idea. And I hope you will also consult Davis d'Ambly, in Philadelphis, for vestments and altar frontals. There is every reason for going for the best, even if it is an enemy of the good. And please put the altar beneath a ciborium magnum, gleaming in burnished gold.

Fr. Symondson is author of Sir Ninian Comper: An Introduction to His Life and Work, With Complete Gazetteer.

English Benedictine Congregation - Downside Abbey
photo gallery

St. Louis Abbey

Percy Dearmer (wiki)
The Parson's Handbook by Percy Dearmer (1899)
Biography and hymns of Pearcy Dearmer (1867-1936)
The Cathedral Church of Wells: A Description of Its Fabric and a ... - Google Books Result
Oxford University Press: The Oxford Book of Carols: Percy Dearmer
Percy Dearmer: An Authorized Biography - Donald Gray

Possibility Junkies

Ken Myers: Notes on Possibility Junkies
Rod Dreher: Possibility Junkies

The Office of Tenebrae, Dominican House of Studies

Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C.

Mama Mia trailer

@ Yahoo Movies

Why so much face time for Pierce Brosnan (and none for the other two possible fathers--especially as one of them is Colin Firth)? Is that a spoiler for those who know nothing about the original musical's plot?

AT: Green challenge to China's mega-projects

Green challenge toChina's mega-projects
China's fast pace of growth has come at huge cost in pollution and degradation of the countryside. Residents are now making their voice heard in protest against projects ranging from refineries to train lines. Assessment reports by the high-powered State Environmental Protection Administration will now play a key role - once it has some updated rules to follow. - Candy Zeng

Gummy on Love Letter, March 18, 2008

Gummy (ft. T.O.P)(1/3) - I'm Sorry(Mar 18, 2008)

Gummy, T.O.P & Jeong-Eun(2/3) - Let Me Dance(Mar 18, 2008)

Gummy(3/3) - Don't Know Why(Mar 18, 2008)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

W. James Antle, III gives an appraisal of Sen. Webb's first term so far

What the Hell Happened to Jim?—James Webb Talks Like Pat Buchanan, Votes Like Harry Reid

PCR, The Collapse of American Power

A Bankrupt Superpower
The Collapse of American Power


Also from Counterpunch:
The Coming Failure of the Social Safety Net
The Economic Crisis, Labor and the Left


The Damage Worsens Each Month
The Corrosive Consequences of the Trade Deficit


Richard Heinberg, Making the most of a global depression

Making the most of a global depression
Richard Heinberg, HopeDance
The problem is not just financial mismanagement; there is a deeper instability: the global economy is based on a fundamentally unsustainable exploitation of depleting natural resources.

And from EB:

How shipping containers shortened the life span of petro-civilization

Alice Friedemann, Culture Change
Book Review:
Mark Levinson: The Box. How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger. Princeton University Press, 2006.

Mark Levinson has written a book that shows how containers made global trade possible. In the preface of the paperback edition, he notes other aspects of containerization he became aware of later, such as the potential for containers to harbor atomic weapons, how they’ve become homes, and so on.

To me, what Levinson leaves out is how this global distribution system will make it very difficult to go back to local production as energy declines. He doesn’t mention that containerization was the fastest way yet for capitalism to loot the planet and strip Mother Earth down to her hard dry skin.

In 2005, roughly 18 million containers worldwide made over 200 million trips (wikipedia). Containers come in many sizes, an average one is 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet high, the size of three 10 by 10 foot bedrooms. There are 1,300 foot-long ships now that can carry 7,250 of them.

It’s mind boggling to think about how different the world is now. My grandparents ate what was in season, an orange was a precious Christmas gift. Today, the Japanese are eating Wyoming beef and we’re driving Japanese cars.

Before containers were used to move cargo, port cities had long piers where boxes and bales were moved by sweat and muscle onto ships. Longshoremen lived within two miles of the docks in cheap housing. Now the piers are gone and the only sweat comes from yuppies on treadmills in luxury apartments.

The cost of moving products by any means, whether truck, train, or ship, was often so high most goods were made locally. Factories were often located near ports to shorten the distance of getting products to ships.
(23 February 2008)

Oró sé do bheatha bhaile

Two Irish language students from Spain perform the Irish folk song "Oró sé do bheatha bhaile", in different versions (Spanish traditional songs, rap, carrol...)

Sarge, I'm sure you wish they had the masks off...

Darach Ó Catháin

Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem Oro Se do Bheatha Bhaile

I guess this is my St. Patrick's Day post for this year, though it is one day late.

Fr. Luke Dingman Icons

wiki entry for the song

Oró Sé Do Bheatha 'Bhaile
Óró 'Sé do bheatha 'bhaile,
Óró 'Sé do bheatha 'bhaile,
Óró 'Sé do bheatha 'bhaile,
Anois ar theacht an tsamhraidh!

Óró 'Sé do bheatha 'bhaile,
Óró 'Sé do bheatha 'bhaile,
Óró 'Sé do bheatha 'bhaile,
Anois ar theacht an tsamhraidh!

'Sé do bheatha a bhean ba léanmhar,
B' é ár gcreach tú bheith i ngéibhinn,
Do dhúiche bhreá i seilibh meirleach...
Is tú díolta leis na Gallaibh!

Tá Gráinne Mhaol ag teacht thar sáile,
Óglaigh armtha léi mar gharda,
Gaeil iad féin is ní Gaill ná Spáinnigh...
Is cuirfidh siad ruaig ar Ghallaibh!

A bhuí le Rí na bhFeart go bhfeiceann,
Muna mbíonn beo ina dhiaidh ach seachtain,
Gráinne Mhaol is míle gaiscíoch...
Ag fógairt fáin ar Ghallaibh!


Óró! You are welcome home!
Óró! You are welcome home!
Óró! You are welcome home!
Now that summer is coming

Welcome Oh woman who was so afflicted,
It was our ruin that you were in bondage,
Our fine land in the possesion of theives,
And sold to the foreigners

Grainne Mhaol is coming over the sea,
Armed warriors along with her as guard,
They are Irishmen, not English or Spanish,
And they will rout the foreigners

May it please the God of Miracles that we may see,
Although we only live a week after it,
Grainne Mhaol and a thousand warriors,
Dispersing the foreigners

Traditional - Oró, Sé Do Bheatha 'Bhaile (original lyrics .

Steven L. Nock

Just found out he passed away in January. RIP. His CV.

Oxford University Press: Marriage in Men's Lives: Steven L. Nock
Nock-Marriage in Men's Lives
Rutgers University Press: Covenant Marriage: Steven L. Nock, Laura ...
Covenant Marriage In Comparative Perspective - Google Books Result

Steven L. Nock - Marriage in a Culture of Divorce (review ...
Steven L. Nock - Marriage as a Public Issue - The Future of ...
Steven L. Nock - The Future of Public Laws for Private Marriages ...
Steven L. Nock

What’sLoveGot ToDo With It? Equality,Equity,Commitment and Women’s ... (pdf)
William Bradford Wilcox and Steven L. Nock - What's Love Got To Do ...
What wives want Study finds commitment to marriage, emotional ...
SSRN-The Division of Labor, the New Marriage, and Marital ...

Happiest Wives website

The top predictors of women’s marital happiness, in order of importance:

  1. A husband’s emotional engagement.
    Women who are married to men who make an effort to listen to them, who express affection and appreciation on a regular basis, and who share quality time with them on a regular basis (date nights, frequent conversations focusing on mutual interests and one another) are much happier in their marriages than women who do not have emotionally-engaged husbands.
  2. Fairness.
    Women who think that housework (and other family responsibilities) are divided fairly are significantly happier than women who think that their husband does not do his fair share. Note, however, that most wives do not equate fairness with a 50-50 model of equality. Only 30% of wives in this study think their marriage is unfair, even though the vast majority of wives do the bulk of childcare and housework. Why is this? In the average marriage, husbands devote significantly more hours to paid labor than do wives—especially when children come along. So, in the average marriage, husbands and wives devote about the same amount of total hours to the paid and unpaid work associated with caring for a family.
  3. A breadwinning husband.
    American wives, even wives who hold more feminist views about working women and the division of household tasks, are typically happier when their husband earns 68% or more of the household income. Husbands who are successful breadwinners probably give their wives the opportunity to make choices about work and family—e.g., working part-time, staying home, or pursuing a meaningful but not particularly remunerative job—that allow them to best respond to their own needs, and the needs of their children.
  4. A commitment to marriage.
    Wives who share a strong commitment to the norm of lifelong marriage with their husband—e.g., who both believe that even unhappily married couples should stay together for the sake of their children—are more likely to have a happy marriage than couples who do not share this commitment to marriage. Shared commitment seems to generate a sense of trust, emotional security, and a willingness to sacrifice for one’s spouse—all of which lead to happier marriages for women. This shared commitment also provides women with a long-term view of their marriage that helps them negotiate the inevitable difficulties that confront any marriage.
  5. Staying at home.
    Wives who stay at home tend to be happier in their marriages than wives who work outside the home. This is particularly true for women who have children in the home. Women often find it difficult to juggle kids, a career, and a marriage all at the same time. In fact, the study finds that working women are less likely to spend quality time with their husbands. They are also more likely to report that the division of housework is unfair. So time pressures and role overload help to explain why working wives are typically less happy in their marriages.
  6. Shared religious attendance.
    Wives who attend church or some other worship service with their husbands tend to be happier than wives who do not share religious attendance with their husbands. Religious attendance may give wives a sense that God is present in their marriage, a sense that their husband seeks to please them by attending church with them, and/or access to other married couples who value marriage and can provide them with guidance and moral support for their marriages.
  7. Traditional gender attitudes.
    Wives who hold more traditional gender attitudes—e.g., who believe that wives should focus more on nurturing/homemaking and husbands should focus more on breadwinning—are happier than wives who hold more feminist attitudes. One reason this may be the case is that traditional-minded wives probably have lower expectations of what their husbands can and should do for them emotionally and practically. We also find that more traditional-minded wives spend more quality time with their husbands, perhaps because they are less likely to argue with their husbands about housework and childcare.