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Veritatis Splendor

"Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" --Hebrews 12:2

Pope Benedict XVI before our Lord

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ambulance drivers don't wear Roman collars

In the news - No mercy for priest with parking ticket, after he parked in an ambulance-only zone to tend a patient in need. Speaking as a former EMT/ambulance driver, I have to say that I'm a bit torn - I mean, it doesn't say if the patient was literally on death's door or not, and I must say that if I came in my bus and some priest had parked in my spot to talk to Granny (yes, I realize that is a good and honorable thing), I'd be a bit mad too. I mean, you can park legally and walk to talk to Granny Padre. Of course, Padre rushing to hear someone's confession who's dying, now I would be much more sympathetic to that. I hope there was valid cause for Fr. to be there, but in any case, Romans 8:28 shows us again how true it is -

The silver lining is that readers who learned about the ticket from the Daily News, where the story first appeared, and from an Associated Press story mailed cards, letters and nearly $1,500.

"I was very surprised," Monsignor Guy Massie, pastor of St. Andrew's, said Wednesday. "People are responding to their own frustration with the Bureau of Traffic Violations."

Massie said he would donate the money to charity.

Gotta love it. It never ceases to amaze me how much "loose money" must be floating around in our homes and checking accounts, ready for donation to causes that catch our eye. Ponder that the next time you throw a measley buck in the collection basket at church. Then again, maybe we should learn from it - as a culture, we seem to be far more inclined to help with a lot of little specific things than to just throw our money into a big pot. Maybe we shouldn't be afraid to let people know the details of our church's needs, maybe all it takes to refurbish the Adoration chapel is to say, "hey folks, does anyone want to donate money towards a new statue/tabernacle/icon/altar/you-name-it?" People like giving a little personally, instead of giving a lot vaguely.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Another joyful sister!

So, my friend Molly entered the Nashville Dominicans in August, and I just now thought to look on the Dominicans' website to see if they have photos - what do you know, there she is, our dear sister in Christ!

Read more, with more photos, at: Postulant Entrance.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Where no cardinal has gone before!

Cardinal Seán’s Blog

The Cardinal-Archbishop of Boston, Sean Cardinal O'Malley, has joined the ranks of blogger! So far he's limiting his blog to his current trip to Rome, hopefully he will continue it long afterwards. The posts up to this point do, in fact, seem to be written "blog-style" by the Cardinal, very informal writing just to let us know what he's up to and where he's going - he's on his way right now to the shrine to St. Padre Pio in southeast Italy, San Giovanni Rotondo. I eagerly await his homily (and pictures!) from the feast day Mass there tomorrow. Check it out!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Unbelieveable - the only one defending the Pope is Merkel!

Merkel defends Pope amid Muslim fury | Top News | Reuters.com

Well what do you know - German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears to be one of the only leaders of free nations to get what the Pope was trying to say, and defend him publicly.

I must say this whole thing is so utterly ridiculous that my mind can't wrap around the full implications of it. Make no mistake - this is BAD. But, I ask, why the hell do so few Western citizens (to say nothing of their Muslim/Eastern counterparts) SEE what is going on here? It was one passage of a complete speech given as a scholar's reflections on the relationship between faith and reason, and the utter wrongness of any religion that claims to be peaceful to use violence or war to obtain its goals. And the mainstream media gleefully jumped on one sentence as a "soundbyte" and may very well now become responsible for blowing up the world. Good job guys.

Never mind the fact that the outraged reactions by Muslims over this is so completely ironic that I shake my head in dismay - seriously, the pope talks about how Islam has historically been spread by the sword (something that is undeniable, as some Islamic scholars have already, praise their courage, said publicly) and then moves on to condemn all violence by religious adherents. And what does the Muslim population do? (Well, a high number of them anyway.) Say, "you can't call us violent, that's an insult, we're going to REALLY kill you now!" and proceed to burn churches, kill Christians, and burn pictures of the Pope while screaming obscenities. As Amy Welborn observed, this basically proves NOT the point of the Pope (which was about faith and reason and non-violence), but proves the opposite of the point they are trying to make, which seems to be, "we're not violent and if you say we are we'll kill you!"

It has been noted that the vast majority of Muslims (and the vast majority of European/American citizens, for that matter) haven't even read the speech they are protesting against, they are doing this based on what they think they know, and they should therefore not be held responsible for what they are doing. HUH? Yeah, and we don't hold any of those SS soliders of Hitler's responsible for killing all kinds of people do we. Right. We might not hold them to the SAME responsibility as Hitler himself, but we sure do see that there is indeed responsibility there.

Nope, no matter how "misled" they are by their own media, a good number of the Muslim population right now is proving to the entire world how focused it is upon Islam at all costs. In fact, if they are indeed doing this while beingn IGNORANT of what the Pope actually said, it only serves to further prove the point that this kind of violent mob mentality is even more deeply rooted in the psyche of many Muslim adherents than we might have guessed.

AND NO ONE SEEMS TO SEE THIS! So submerged are we in the mass media culture, after being slowly boiled like a frog in the kettle for the past decades of CNN. Even if people do see this, they are apparently so cowed by the possibility of being called "intolerant" that they are willing to allow World War III to continue heading our direction. Very, very few people seem willing to call a spade a spade, or even to just call the reactions of many Muslims to this for what they are - incredibly overreacting temper tantrums. Unbelievable.

Prayer warriors unite - while as Christians we recognize that nothing that happens in this world, even the utter destruction of it, can harm us except for our own sinfulness, we are called by Christ to always work and pray for peace and safety. For peace and sense to return to the people of the world, particularly for the Muslim adherents and for the Christians who live among them, and for the safety of our Holy Father, let us now pray. Hard. It only takes one lunatic in St. Peter's Square, or have we forgotten May 13th, 1981? I haven't - I've touched the stone.

One practical step we can all take - go read the full address given by the Holy Father at Regensburg, at Zenit.org, and then print out a ton of copies, give them to everyone you come in contact with in the next few days who hasn't read it yet, warn them not to read only the NY Times and the mass media, but to really read what the Pope said and then judge for themselves what is going on here and what the various reactions from the media and Islam mean for our futures.

Fra Angelico's Annunciation