Saturday, December 13, 2008

Charles Maurras, Shaper of an Age, by Thomas Molnar (Modern Age 41:4, Fall 1999)

Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

(A photo of the old Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, at Encyclopedia Britannica. I prefer the look of the old one to that of the new.)

We went to OLoP for its Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations--I enjoyed the live music (which is to be preferred to recorded music being played at festive events, particularly when it is well-done) and the chicken was very tasty, but I have to admit, we were a bit hungry at the end of dinner. (I don't know how the chicken was prepared -- not grilled like the chicken at El Pollo Loco -- baked in the oven? Or in a pot?) My sister KK was thinking of going to Casa Vicky to get a tamale, since she had a craving for one. Fortunately, my mother called from St. Joe's and let us know that the reception had just started (it was around 9 P.M.), so we decided to head over there.

It's probably best that we missed the liturgy at St. Joe's, even though the bishop was in attendance (or maybe it's precisely because he was there and showing tacit approval to what was being done). I enjoy mariachi music, but it's out of place during the liturgy... how far away is he from retirement? I didn't see him at the reception, but I didn't look for him. He might have left early. I did see the pastor, but I didn't get a chance to chat with him.

(I wonder if the LCs celebrate Mass in any of the churches in the area, and what their ars celebrandi is like. Too bad the Dominicans don't have a presence down in this part of the Bay Area.)

It was good to be there in that we met KK's godmother, so my mother and KK were able to catch up with her for a bit. I hope my mom will be able to spend more time visiting old friends. And... the ballet folklorico dancers at St. Joe's were younger (high school students, I believe) than the ones at OLoP. But not too many nubile women at either celebration. (Very few at OLoP, in fact--most of the young Mexican women were already married with kids.)

At both parishes, the fact that the feast is very much a Mexican holiday was emphasized. (The 6:30 Mass at OLoP was in Spanish--I don't think all of the Mass at St. Joe's was in Spanish, but at least the music was.) I don't know if celebrating the feast day has really caught on in the rest of Latin America. Certainly, it does not seem to be an important holy day for people in the United States, unless they attend a parish with a lot of Mexican(-American) parishioners. (I've forgotten how it is celebrated over at Christendom. Our Lady of Guadalupe is also the patroness of the FSSP's American seminary; I imagine the feast there is a rather important.)

Certainly the feast commemorates an important event in the history of the Church in Mexico. But is there a way to make it less of an ethnic holiday? I don't know if it will catch on in the rest of the United States, or Canada or Quebec since it is so bound up with the history and people of Mexico. I would think that there would be at least some resistance to adopting the feast day as their own by those Catholics who are attached to American Anglo-Saxon-Celtic-(Latin) culture or some other ethnic identity. Most of those attending the dinner at OLoP were Mexican. But even if there were more tickets available, I wonder how many more non-Mexican parishioners would be present.

For some, perhaps the feast is like St. Patrick's Day, when everyone's Irish, except that everyone's Mexican on December 12. (If so, the feast day would be a good replacement for Cinco de Mayo here in the U.S., at least for Catholics.) It could easily degenerate into an excuse to party and drink. But even then, to recognize that there is a festive occasion is a step towards being merry out of devotion to the Blessed Mother. Perhaps all one would need, in addition to a religious conversion, are an explanation of the reasons for the occasion and a proper understanding of festivity and its importance for the community (as an individual chasing after the pleasure of food and drink, and whatever else, qua individual, with other like-minded individuals, is not festivity).

Or maybe it would be cause for Latin-rite Catholics to recognize their common Latin roots with Mexicans, as many 'catholic' Catholics already do. As I alluded with the parenthetical reference, even American-Anglo culture has some Latin roots and influences, even if there may be some divergence with respect to the respective political traditions of England and the rest of Europe. (How much of a real divergence there actually is, I do not know. How does the American-Anglo republican tradition differ from that of the Italian city-states, for example, or traditional Romanitas? How similar is cowboy culture to that of the vaqueros, for that matter?)

The male dancers at OLoP were wearing guayabera, which were pleasing to the eye. I am still thinking of getting one eventually. Is there a tradition of group dancing in Spain or Latin America, similar to ECD? (Or was dancing mostly in pairs?) How much of ballet folklorico is readily transformed to the popular dances from which it originated?

I did feel a bit out of place at both celebrations, since I don't really consider myself a member of either parish. (It's been a while since I went to OLoP regularly; these days I go to Palo Alto or to the oratory for Sunday liturgy.) Certainly the parishes don't have the same sort of tight-knit feel that one might experience at an Eastern-rite parish or an Orthodox church. It would be nice if St. Joe's could host a dance for the families... maybe even an ECD ball.

I miss JWB's potato tamales... I don't know when we will be able to see her again. Maybe if there is another wedding in the family.
Zenit: Papal Address to Taiwanese Bishops
Here you go Sarge: Miss World 2008 - Miss World 2008 Special
Miss World website
The Global Miss Contest: Miss World 2008
Miss World 2008 in Johannesburg
Miss World 2008 Delegates
Miss World 2008 – East Asia Fili’s World
Miss World 2007 Miss Universe 2008, Miss World 2009, Miss Earth ...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Reba & Brooks And Dunn ~ Cowgirls Don't Cry ~ Official Video
Counterpunch: A Final Injustice
Whatever Happened to Iris Chang?


Related links: Iris Chang - The Official Iris Chang Website
The Official site of Iris Chang the Movie - The Rape of Nanking
Historian Iris Chang won many battles / The war she lost raged within

From this website:
AICN: Don’t Forget!! New GALACTICA Webisode Series Launches Today!!

via Fr. Z: from Damian Thompson, Civil war in the Latin Mass Society

A conflict between the low Mass and Solemn High Mass mentalities?

Related links: Latin Mass Society of England & Wales
Fr. Z: The Holy Father with the Bishops of Taiwan
AP: 10 Silver Stars for soldiers in Afghan cliff clash

In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Army, Capt. Kyle Walton, right, and Master Sgt. Scott Ford, left, talk to an interpreter in Eastern Afghanistan. Both men will recieve a Silver Star Friday, Dec. 12, 2008 in the largest Special Forces award ceremony since the Vietnam War.
(AP Photo/U.S. Army Photo, Sgt. David N Gunn)

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Last year's post for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

official sanctuary website

Don't forget the recently consecrated shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse, WI: Welcome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

This morning my mother was given some tickets to the OLoP celebration, so it looks like we'll be attending that one.
AICN: The Question Of Whether Abrams' STAR TREK Is Truly Canon Has Been Answered...Sort Of...

The problem with sci-fi and the conceit of time travel, is that one has to take such changes to reality seriously. (Never mind the paradoxes that result, and render it all rather silly.) So if Jim Kirk does not have the same life experiences as before, and therefore does not act or react in certain ways, he is not really the same person as before. And that does have an impact on the audience's identification with the character. (If one takes time travel and the altering of time lines seriously.)

Otherwise it makes the very bad assumption that everyone is born with a certain kind of character, or worse, that character is reducible to having strong innate emotions and impulses.

Is it the case that moderns value characters more than the direction and end of a story? So much so that it is akin to celebrity worship and having an excessive fantasy life and other distortions of the imagination and will? If we do not have an end that lies outside ourselves, then why shouldn't we adore and be inspired by some ideal person as they exist in a particular time, in some fixed, idealized ever-present now, even if that person and now are imaginary? (Does a TNG fan appreciate the timid Picard who never rose above the rank of Lieutenant JG? No, they want the bold starship captain.) If that's all the fans have, why take it away from them, just for the sake of 'reinvigorating' the franchise and generating more profit? (Obviously it's the bottom line that matters for Paramount.)

The new Kirk may not be as bad as the timid Picard; however we will see if the initial impressions of some that he's just a CW adultlescent with issues are correct or not.

Edit: You can read the interview with Bob Orci here. My suspicions seem to be confirmed:

Anthony: OK, well then some fans will say ‘fair enough, alternate timeline, we are used to that, but that is not my Kirk, that is some other Kirk.’ So is this still our movie, or are we seeing some other version of Star Trek?

Bob: Well that depends on whether or not you believe in nature or nurture and how much you believe in, for lack of a better word, their souls. I would argue that for the characters, their true nature does not change. Our motto for this movie was ’same ship, different day.’

His statements reveal a rather poor understanding of human nature...
AN: Arrests continue for signers of Charter 08
Charter 08: a bold call for change

English translation of Charter 08
Over 300 sign “Charter 08”, a manifesto for human rights in China, but some are already arrested

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tonight I walked up one of the streets to Piedmont. There is a slight increase at elevation at the end of the road, so that when one reaches Piedmont, one is able to see some of Silicon Valley at night, with all of the lights. Just imagine what the view is like on one of the hills directly behind Piedmont, to the east! There are a lot of big expensive houses on Piedmont, as one might expect. It reminds me of the time we drove up to the hills to catch a glimpse of the valley at night... is it a fleeting world?

JL just called. Apparently her husband petitioned the court and was granted temporary sole custody, until a hearing can be held at which both parties can be present. Not surprising, since his stepfather is a lawyer, but it seems to be a sign that this is going to get ugly.

Fr. Maximos on Involuntary Sins

You might ask, "What are involuntary sins?" I'd be interested in finding out, too. Fr. Maximos of Holy Resurrection Monastery has written a MA thesis for PAOI on the voluntary and involuntary sins. Here is the page and the attachment.

The announcement regarding the monastery's move. An update.
Asia News: Mr Joseph Xu Zhixuan, bishop of Wanzhou, dies
Robert A. J. Gagnon, More than “Mutual Joy”: Lisa Miller of Newsweek against Scripture and Jesus

Christopher Roach: FBI Agent Dead After Following Preferred Libertarian Arrest Procedures

An discussion of whether the use of SWAT teams is necessary in executing certain search or arrest warrants... of course all reasonable measures should be taken to ensure the right house is being targeted, innocents are not harmed, and so on, including doing preliminary reconnaissance if possible. (That is what police intelligence is for, is it not?)
Please pray for Mr. Jeff Culbreath, who suffered a heart attack this week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What do the seniors over at Chronicles think of The Southern Review?

Theodore Dalrymple has a new book, which was just published in October of this year--Not With a Bang But a Whimper: The Politics and Culture of Decline. (Another compilation of essays, but valuable social commentary nonetheless.)
Fr. Augustine DiNoia, O.P.: Preaching to Young Adults Today

via Mark Shea

Another sign that the multiculturalism and the proposition nation

Have triumphed among the elites: Barack Hussein Obama won't drop his middle name. The problem is not having a certain kind of ancestry, in itself, but that he is using his middle name to send a particular "message to the world" regarding 'American' identity.
A summary of each chapter of America's Defense Meltdown.
Kate Beckinsale on The Tonight Show (Dec. 9, 2008)

She stars in Nothing But the Truth, which looks interesting... poster, trailer. (Do I see Noah Wyle in the trailer? And there's Vera Farmiga. At first I thought it was Maggie Gyllenhaal.)

Kate Beckinsale Tells Nothing But The Truth
Nothing But the Truth starring Kate Beckinsale
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Kate Beckinsale Tells Us Nothing But the Truth
Access Extended: Kate Beckinsale Talks ‘Nothing But The Truth
YT: Toronto Premiere
"Rod Lurie's Nothing But the Truth"

Related Links:
Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale Fan
K a t e B e c k i n s a l e W e b . c o m
Kate Beckinsale Gallery
Kate Beckinsale Online, Kate Beckinsale Online GALLERY
Yahoo Movies
The Superficial
YT: An appearance earlier this year on Letterman.

What to do for Friday?

What's going on over at OLoP?

The bulletin says: "A day of festivities for Our Patroness of the Americas and Protector of the Unborn: Dinner, Folkloric Dance, Raffles, and More. Tickets for sale after all Masses; donation only $5.00."

I'll have to call the rectory and see if tickets are still available.

Then there's St. Joe's:
Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration: 6:30-8:30 P.M.
Mass: 7:00-8:30 P.M.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Fiesta: 8:30-11:00 P.M.

I don't know if I can handle another mariachi Mass, though.

KK are you going to either?

Over at St. Maria Goretti: Mañanitas at 5 A.M., Mass at 6 A.M., reception afterwards...
via NLM: Legnano, III Domenica di Avvento: ars celebrandi ambrosiana.
Ugh. A Hollywood remake of 47 Ronin, with Keanu? "Why, oh why?"
New Terminator Salvation trailer. Via AICN.

McG has denied that the rumors about the ending are true. Still, the trailer does make one wonder if the end isn't crazy in some way...


Edit. I watched the trailer again--from one angle, Bryce Dallas Howard does resemble Claire Danes--I am not sure they are playing the same character (John Connor's wife-to-be from T3). I think Claire Danes is underused in Hollywood--it would have been nice for her to be in T4. (Nick Stahl, on the other hand... was too much of an adultlescent... the same criticism I have of Chris Pine in the new Star Trek movie.)

Bryce Fan
Simply Bryce
Bryce Online

Bryce Dallas Howard promotes Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation Panel, Comic Con 2008

Bryce Dallas Howard on Letterman

How about "Kiss a Ginger" Day instead... hah.
Chrissy Crowley at ECMA 2008

alt: part 1, 2
Children Go Where I Send You

The Rankin Family
The Rankins Online
Loyalty in the Modern World, by Andreas Kinneging

What is loyalty? What is its quintessence, its fundamental nature? What rank does loyalty have in the realm of values and virtues? How important is it to a life well lived? The question of loyalty is of considerable interest because it sheds light not noly on the nature of modern society but also on similarities and differences of today’s culture to that of the ancients. . . .

(from Modern Age, 46:1-2, Winter/Spring 2004)
The Art of Manliness: Free Ebook: Guide to Being A Gentleman in 2008
Pearl Harbor Day, by Clyde N. Wilson.

Change is a constant in the life of men and nations, and old geezers going on about how it used to be are tedious. But our change in America has been, it seems to me, abnormally large and fast, excessive to the point that most of the population is literally cut off from the past. It may be argued that America has always been the land of change, but that is a half truth. The other truth is that Americans have through most of their history, until recently, sought stability. Pioneers moved west for opportunity—opportunity to recreate on new and richer land the communities from which they had come.

The Dalai Lama receives the Honoris Causa doctorate from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, Monday, Dec. 8, 2008. In comments at a news conference after the ceremony, the Tibetan spiritual leader said conditions in Tibet have "not improved at all" since the Olympic Games in Beijing. (AP Photo)

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama receives an honorary doctorate at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland on December 8, 2008, during an eight-day visit to Poland which began on December 5. The Dalai Lama received an honorary doctorate in Poland Monday and expressed admiration for the nation's 1980s non-violent struggle against its now defunct communist regime. (AFP/Getty Images)

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama receives an honorary doctorate at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, on December 8, 2008, during an eight-day visit to Poland which began on December 5. Poland-Tibet-education-award-religionAFP PHOTO / PAWEL ULATOWSKI.

Check out Polish academic dress and regalia. I am abstaining from commenting on honorary doctorates and the Dalai Lama... The flattened biretta(?) is interesting.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The new prefect of CDW: Antonio Card. Cañizares Llovera

I was supposed to go to LA school today to sub for a first grade class, but the car wouldn't start. (I don't know if YR is in that class or not, but I probably would have seen her somewhere--I wonder if her mom is satisfied with her progress now. She moved her daughter because the teacher had been absent for most of the school year, and the class was being taught by subs.)

So I ended up using AAA Roadside Assistance; they dispatched a towtruck from a local garage, but a tow turned out to be unnecessary, as the two truck driver was able to get the get started after 2 or 3 minutes of quick, constant turning of the ignition. (Is that good for the starter?)

Of course, the starter was bad. I went to a garage in Apple Country that my mother had used to get the starter in her car changed. The cost of replacing the starter? Almost $300. The mechanic advised that I get other parts replaced; on top of that there are the rear brakes. Around $1000 worth of work needs to be done, if I follow all of his recommendations, and on top of that the front passenger window needs to be fixed as well. Having a car is such a pain.

Just last night I dreamt I was riding a horse.
Anthony Esolen, Is Culture a Thing of the Past?--ISI lecture, Yale University, New Haven, CT

No sign of the lectures by Patrick Deneen or Daniel Larison.

Pontiff's Piazza di Spagna Address

Pontiff's Piazza di Spagna Address

Mary Immaculate: "Sign of Sure Hope and Consolation"

ROME, DEC. 9, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Monday afternoon, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, during his visit Saturday to the image of the Immaculate Conception in Rome's Piazza de Spagna.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Almost three months ago, I had the joy to go on pilgrimage to Lourdes, on the occasion of the 150 years of the historic apparition of the Virgin Mary to St. Bernadette. The celebration of this singular anniversary concludes precisely today, solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, because the "beautiful lady" -- as Bernadette called her, when appearing to her for the last time in the grotto of Massabielle, revealed her name, saying: "I am the Immaculate Conception." She said it in the local language, and the little seer referred that expression, which to her was unknown and incomprehensible, to her parish priest.

"Immaculate Conception": Today we also repeat with emotion that mysterious name. We repeat it here, at the foot of this monument in the heart of Rome; and innumerable brothers and sisters of ours do the same in other places of the world, in shrines and chapels, as well as in the homes of Christian families. Wherever there is a Catholic community, the Virgin is venerated with this wonderful and marvelous name: Immaculate Conception. Of course, the conviction of Mary's immaculate conception already existed many centuries before the apparitions of Lourdes, but the latter came as a heavenly seal after my venerated predecessor, Blessed Pius IX, defined the dogma on Dec. 8, 1854. In today's feast, so loved by the Christian people, this expression arises from the heart and flowers on the lips as the name of our heavenly Mother. As a child raises its eyes to his mother's face and, seeing him smiling, forgets all fear and pain, so we, turning our gaze to Mary, recognize in her "God's smile," immaculate reflection of divine light, we find in her our hope, also in the midst of the problems and tragedies of the world.

It is a tradition for the Pope to join the city's acknowledgement by bringing a basket of flowers to Mary. These flowers indicate our love and devotion: the love and devotion of the Pope, of the Church of Rome and of the inhabitants of this City, who feel themselves spiritually children of the Virgin Mary. Symbolically, the roses can express all the beautiful and good we have carried out during the year, because in this now traditional meeting we would like to offer it to our Mother, convinced that we could have done nothing without her protection and without the grace that she obtains continually from God. However -- as is usually said --there are no roses without thorns, and also on the stems of these wonderful white roses there is no lack of thorns, which represent for us the difficulties, sufferings, and evils that mark the lives of persons and of our communities. We present our joys to our Mother, but also entrust to her our preoccupations, confident of finding in her the comfort not to be discouraged, and the support to go forward.

O Immaculate Virgin, in this moment I would like to entrust to you especially the "little ones" of this, our city: the children above all, especially those who are seriously ill, children who are deprived and those who suffer the consequences of harsh family situations. Watch over them and make them feel, in the affection and help of those around them, the warmth of the love of God. I entrust to you, O Mary, the lonely elderly, the sick, immigrants who find difficulty in integrating, family nucleuses that struggle to cover their bills and persons who do not find work or who have lost an indispensable job to get ahead. Teach us, Mary, to be sympathetic with those who are going through difficulties, to level the ever larger social differences; help us to cultivate a lively sense of the common good, of respect for what is public, encourage us to regard -- more than ever this, our city of Rome -- as patrimony of all, and may each one of us do, with awareness and determination, our part in constructing a more just and sympathetic society.

O Immaculate Mary, who are for all a sign of sure hope and consolation, let us be attracted by your immaculate candor. Your beauty -- "Tota Pulchra," we sing today -- assures us that the victory of love is possible; what is more, that it is certain. It assures us that grace is stronger than sin and, therefore, that rescue from any slavery is possible. Yes, O Mary, you help us to believe with greater confidence in the good and to put our faith in gratitude, service, nonviolence, the force of truth. You encourage us to stay awake, not to yield to the temptation of easy evasions, to confront reality and its problems with courage and responsibility. So you did, young woman, called to risk all for the Word of the Lord. Be a loving mother for our young people, so that they will have the courage to be "morning watchmen," and give this virtue to all Christians so that they will be the soul of the world in this not easy period of our history. Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and our Mother, "Salus Populi Romani," pray for us!

[Translation by ZENIT]

On the Immaculate Conception

On the Immaculate Conception

"The Reflection of the Beauty That Saves the World"

ROME, DEC. 9, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Monday, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

The mystery of Mary's Immaculate Conception, which we celebrated solemnly today, reminds us of two fundamental truths of our faith: in the first place original sin, and then the victory of Christ's grace over it, a victory that shines sublimely in Mary Most Holy. The existence of what the Church calls "original sin" is, sadly, a crushing truth, suffice it to look around us and above all in our interior. The experience of evil is, in fact, so consistent, that it imposes itself and makes us ask the question: from whence does it come? For a believer especially, the question is even more profound: If God, who is absolute goodness, has created everything, where does evil come from?

The first pages of the Bible (Genesis 1-3) respond precisely to the fundamental question -- posed by every human generation -- with the account of creation and our parents' fall: God created everything so that it would exist, in particular he created man in his own image; he did not create death, rather, the latter entered the world because of the envy of the devil (cf. Wisdom 1:13-14; 2:23-24), who, rebelling against God, also attracted men with deceit, inducing them to rebellion. It is the drama of freedom, which God accepts totally out of love, but promising that there would be the son of a woman that would crush the head of the ancient serpent (Genesis 3:15).

Hence, from the beginning, the "eternal counsel" -- as Dante would say -- has a "fixed term" (Paradise, XXXIII, 3): The Woman predestined to be mother of the Redeemer, mother of him who humbled himself to the extreme to lead us back to our original dignity. In God's eyes, this Woman has always had a face and name: "full of grace" (Luke 1:28), as the Angel called her when visiting her in Nazareth. She is the new Eve, spouse of the new Adam, destined to be the mother of all the redeemed. Thus wrote St. Andrew of Crete: "The Theotokos Mary, the common refuge of all Christians, was the first to be delivered from the primitive fall of our parents" (Homily IV, on Christmas, PG 97, 880 A). And today's liturgy states that God has "prepared a worthy dwelling for his Son and, in anticipation of his death, preserved her from all stain of sin" (Collect Prayer).

Beloved, in Mary Immaculate we contemplate the reflection of the Beauty that saves the world: the beauty of God that shines on the face of Christ. In Mary, this beauty is totally pure, humble, free of all pride and presumption. The Virgin showed herself in this way to St. Bernadette 150 years ago in Lourdes, and in this way she is venerated in so many shrines. This afternoon, in keeping with tradition, I will also render her homage before the monument dedicated to her in the Piazza di Spagna. Let us now invoke the Immaculate Virgin with confidence, recalling with the Angelus the words of the Gospel, which today's liturgy proposes for our meditation.

[Translation by ZENIT]

[After the Angelus the Pope greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In English, he said:]

I greet all the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims who are present today. The feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an occasion for us all to rejoice in the radiant purity of the Mother of our Redeemer. She was chosen from among all women to be our pattern of holiness, a sign of favor to the Church at its beginning and the promise of its perfection as the spotless bride of Christ. May God bless you, your families and all those you love.

© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Hayley Westenra - Santa Lucia


Hayley Westenra - Variety Club Awards 2008 - Classical Performer of the Year

Monday, December 08, 2008

Recent clips from Psallentes

Inviolata integra et casta es Maria

O Sancta Mater Begga

Virgineos flores

O sacrum convivium
Twitch: Bollywood Goes Kung Fu! Full Trailer Arrives For CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA!

official website

Edit: Apple trailer
Illegal immigration foe Rep. Tom Tancredo retires
AP: Court won't review Obama's eligibility to serve
Spengler: Benedict XVI is magnificently right
Pope Benedict XVI argued when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger that an unethical economy will destroy itself, and that economics cannot determine whether any activity is ethical or not. If the present economic crisis helps the West to reflect on its moral weakness, the cost well may be worth it.
Harold Fickett, A Monastic Kind of Life: How Catholic religious communities are trying to attract young people again. (via Godspy)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

On the Definitive Exodus

On the Definitive Exodus

"From the Kingdom of Evil to the Kingdom of God"

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 7, 2008 ( Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

For a week now we have been experiencing the liturgical season of Advent: a time of openness to God's future, a time of preparation for Christmas, when he, the Lord, who is the absolute novelty, came to dwell in the midst of this fallen humanity to renew it from within. In the Advent liturgy there resounds a message full of hope, which invites us to lift up our gaze to the ultimate horizon, but at the same time to recognize the signs of God-with-us in the present. On this second Sunday of Advent, the Word of God assumes the emotional aspects of the so-called Deutero-Isaiah, which finally announces liberation to the Israelites, who have suffered decades of bitter exile in Babylon: "Comfort, give comfort to my people," the prophet says in God's name. "Speak to Jerusalem's heart and tell her that her tribulation is over" (Isaiah 40:1-2). This is what the Lord wants to do in Advent: to speak to the heart of his people and, through them, to the whole of humanity, to proclaim salvation.

Today as well the Church's voice is lifted up: "Prepare a way for the Lord in the desert" (Isaiah 40:3). For populations worn out by misery and hunger, for throngs of refugees, for those who suffer grave and systematic violations of their rights, the Church is as a sentinel on the mountain of faith and she announces to them: "Behold your God! The Lord your God comes in power" (Isaiah 40:11).

This prophetic announcement is realized in Jesus Christ. He, with his preaching and then with his death and resurrection, fulfilled the ancient promises, revealing a deeper and more universal perspective. He inaugurated an exodus that was no longer a merely earthly, historical, and as such provisional, exodus, but one that was radical and definitive: the passage from the kingdom of evil to the Kingdom of God, from the dominion of sin and death to that of love and life. Because of this, Christian hope transcends the legitimate desire for a social and political liberation, because that what Jesus began is a new humanity that comes "from God," but that at the same time germinates on our earth, to the extent that it lets itself be impregnated by the Spirit of the Lord. It is thus a matter of entering fully into the logic of faith: believing in God, in his plan of salvation, and also working for the building up of his Kingdom. Justice and peace, in fact, are God's gift, but they require men and women who are "good soil," ready to receive the good seed of his Word.

Jesus is the first fruit of this new humanity, the Son of God and the Son of Mary. She, the Virgin Mother, is the "way" that God himself prepared for his coming into the world. With all her humility, Mary walks at the head of the new Israel in the exodus from every exile, from all oppression, from every moral and material slavery, toward "the new heavens and the new earth, in which justice lives" (2 Peter 3:13). Let us entrust the desire for peace and salvation of the men of our time to her maternal intercession.

[After the Angelus the Pope greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In Italian he said:]

The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, His Holiness Alexy II, died on Friday. We join our Orthodox brethren in prayer to recommend his soul to the goodness of the Lord, that he might welcome him into this kingdom of light and peace.

On Thursday, Dec. 11, in the afternoon, following the Holy Mass at which Cardinal Agostino Vallini will preside, I will meet with the students of the Roman universities in the Basilica of St. Peter. In observance of the Pauline Year, I will give the young students the Apostle Paul's Letter to the Romans. I will be happy to greet the students, along with the rectors, the professors and the technical and administrative staffs at this traditional gathering in preparation for Christmas.

I am happy to address a special greeting to the Chierici Mariani dell’Immacolata Concezione, who are beginning the jubilee of the rebirth and reform of their congregation. Dear brothers, may the Virgin Mary obtain abundant graces for you and help you always to remain faithful to your charism.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

[In English he said:]

I greet the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims who are gathered here today. The Church puts before us, on this second Sunday of Advent, the figure of John the Baptist, the voice crying in the wilderness: "Prepare a way for the Lord". During this Advent season, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of Christ, let us prepare a place for him in our hearts. I invoke God's abundant blessings upon all of you, and upon your families and loved ones at home.

© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
The singularity: The fantasy and its effect
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
An aura of inevitability surrounds the idea of technological progress. And, that aura implies meaningful progress for human society as well. But is that aura in reality merely a paralyzing agent that prevents careful examination of technology and its claims for the future?

While we should remember and pray for those killed at Pearl Harbor, should we not also look critically at the 'official' history and the actions of the Roosevelt administration? How much did the administration no, and was it deliberately negligent in order to force the United States' entry into war?

Misallocated Infamy, by Srdja Trifkovic

Other links:
USS Arizona Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)