Friday, June 30, 2006


Welcome to our reader from the National Catholic Reporter.  It is always good to have diverse readership.  Hope you enjoyed the Curt Jester's breakdown of your article on the liturgical translation.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

bad advertising

Don't the creators of this advertisement know it is a bad idea to encourage kids to place plastic bags over their head?  Most every bag has a warning on it that kids may die from this action. 
But then again, that is the sort of the point with their product.  Death or prevention of life.
hat tip to the Jester

Golden Oldies

And I am referencing this article on The Tyranny of the Ubiquitous Song Leader, not the type of music we play at Mass.

His face he did not shield from Buffet's spending?

Did I mention Human Life International is one of my preferred charities. 

mark this

I have lamented here before about the conservatives on the Supreme Court being very "establishment friendly."  And we get another example here.  Thankfully the checks and balances worked this time around. 

This isn't just about trying terrorists.  It is about some people thinking they are above the law.  And if they prove successful in superseding the law in this action, that may seem okay.  But what about when the next president comes along?  What is the Patriot Act deems you to be a domestic terrorist because you own a gun? 
Reminds me of St. Thomas More's reply when the young man says he would cut down all the laws to get at the Devil.  What then if the Devil turns on you and you have no laws to protect yourself? (bad memory leads to paraphrasing)

Merck involved in questionable vaccine practice?

Who would think a huge company like Merck would be involved in questionable practices just to get a vaccine approved? Of course it has happened before and is now happening again with the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

Bottom line, know your facts about vaccines. The manufacturers are big into money and big money changes lots of rules, even in government entities like the FDA and CDC. [/end obvious sarcasm]

Give the kids a sporting chance

Eric at the Daily Eudemon puts it in definite terms for Youth League Coaches who don't get the concept of "coach."

Lots of people volunteer time off the field, and lots of people donate money to the league. ... you do such things to help the community, not to get a personal benefit for your kid.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

passionately habitual or habitually passionate

As usual, Eric Scheske writes an excellent article.  One might deduce that he is passionate about his work but does not let the passions control his output.
In his latest work on Catholic Exchange, he makes the point why we should care about the checkered lives of our politicians.  It isn't merely for gossip's sake, but that it may indicate a problem.
The thing is, passion inflames. It distorts the reasoning process. In classical philosophy, it’s known as the “doctrine of connaturality”: the apprehension of truth can take place only after the clamoring of the passions has calmed down.

If a person has surrendered himself to passion — and does so repeatedly, to the point it becomes habitual or erupts in serious misconduct, like adultery — the effects stay with the person. It’s kind of like a hangover. The most noticeable effects of a passion — the inebriation, the beating heart, the yelling — might be gone, but the effects are still there. Take a look at your worst passion. Do you find yourself more inclined to engage in it later, if you indulged it earlier? I do, and so does everyone else.
Not that I will remember the "doctrine of connaturality", but it sure makes sense.  Sin begets sin.  Even venial sin tends to cloud the judgment the next time around.  Kinda like a bug hitting the windshield.  One isn't big deal.  But if you don't wash them off at the next fuel stop, your vision will be diminished.  And eventually you may hit a deer at dusk because of your poor visibility. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


As in Fiddler on the Roof and the song Tradition! The Curt Jester fisks the latest NCR editorial suggesting that people should resist the approved liturgical changes. He is dead on with his comment "Tradition is really really important especially if it only goes back 30 years or so."

Funny how those who were so quick to throw out the 2000 year old traditions get really upset if you try to change their pet 30 year traditions. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard some people say that "it is tradition here" when we discussed the First Communion before Reconciliation issue. Yes indeed, I never thought I would hear praise of tradition from these folks. But since we redefine all words to fit our arguments now, why not Tradition too? is having their fundraiser.  Consider supporting them if you use them.  If you don't use them, have a look and try them out.  Great Catholic content for free.  And if you really like them, you can subscribe to my blog via my Axom feed.

new blog

The New Advent site now has a blog.  And a recent link to this item, How to give a bad homily.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Jest another parody

Speaking of the Curt Jester, he has another fine parody.  This time it is about the Weapons of MASS Destruction. Something about how the UN inspectors missed the long range liturgical destruction capabilities of the Gather Missals.

ICEL, you sell, we all sold our souls

That is about where this whole liturgy issue has driven some of us.  For awhile it made going to Mass and focusing on the reason for being there very difficult.  Now for me it just is a nuisance when I notice silly or careless abuses.  But for others I know, it can turn a good Sunday Mass into a frustrating headache.
How much grace is lost because someone's ego is leading others to temptation and many to sin?
Fr. Stephanos gives us some examples of why we need the texts re-translated, What's at stake in the new translation.
He also links this article by Michael Foley, The Language of Prayer .

The Rev. Lawrence J. Madden, director of the Georgetown Center for Liturgy, dislikes the new and more accurate translation because "It isn't the English we speak. It's becoming more sacred English, rather than vernacular English."
Foley points out that that is THE point.  My thoughts, "umm, for the sake of your argument, you might want to recant that last sentence."
Thus, if English is to convey sacred mysteries, there should be a "sacred English." The very word we use for everyday speech, "profane," comes from pro-fano, "outside the temple." If Catholics wish to make the world Christ's temple, as Pope Benedict recently put it, they must first be careful not to make Christ's temple the world.
Yes indeed.  But the current ending to our English Mass has us doing just that.  With Christ present in our bodies we are told, "Go in peace, the Mass is ended."  And we respond heartily, "Thanks be to God!"  Bottom-line, were done and outta here, Alleluia. 
According to my knowledge, a more correct translation of "et missa"** should be, "Go you are sent."
That would be taking Christ out into the world and making it into his image.  Now we make the temple of God into our image so we can "understand" it.
**Forgive my limited Latin if this is the incorrect spelling.
Tip to the Curt Jester

Friday, June 23, 2006

By fits and jerks

Most of us have the opportunity to become saints. We usually just don't recognize the opportunity or fail to act. When we do gather up the courage it is often small or seemingly insignificant. Therefore we travel the road to heaven by small fits and jerks. Once in a while the grace breaks through our fallen nature and we get to see a glimpse of the Divine plan for us.

One man took a big stride in his journey to heaven recently. He was elected to the Colorado House of Representative, a responsibility larger than most of us will ever dare undertake. I think many politicians start with ideas of doing good with their responsibility, but the lure of power leads them astray. This man saw his opportunity to travel by the narrow path, despite the potential costs.

He challenged the powerful and many thanks to him and the brave young lady involved. I won't ruin the story with an snippets or any more comments.

And God help us on our journey along the narrow path.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How do we know we don't know?

Following the lines of my ever recurring thought of When will you restore the Kingdom, Lord; Mark Shea at Catholic Exchange lets us know we are in the Golden Age.  Even if it doesn't look like it.  What Council is he referring to here?
"a huge number of bishops, as well as most the cultured elite, had more or less given up trying to actually live by the teaching of the Council."
Would you believe, Nicaea?  And Peter himself didn't always live up to his Holy Spirit filled proclamation at the Council of Jerusalem.    What can we as laity do two centuries later if the First Pope and Apostle couldn't even hold up to the standards of the Church? 
Pray and fast for our Bishops would be a good start.  Live our own lives so they may not give scandal.  Then pray some more. 
And rest assured that, as the Curt Jester says, the heretics of today aren't as innovative as the early ones so we can trust in the teachings of the Church to guide us.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Local Tea Party

For those interested in a breakdown of the Coeur d'Alene school board budget meeting, see this report on the Huckleberries site.

Raising Cain, or Abel?

I came across this quote in Tim Drake's latest article on Catholic Exchange.

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him,” wrote Chesterton.
Amazing how God works sometimes. The past couple of days I was stumped at how to teach my boys the value of defending themselves, their siblings and those they love; while teaching them that fighting is not a trait of honorable young men. And how well the genius of Chesterton explains my dilemma. To defend someone or something is honorable as long as it is out of love. (disordered love is another topic) To fight out of self-pride or anger is not honorable.
Now I pray that God will give me the grace to get this message through to them.

Thoughts from Sunday

One might have to try hard not to give a good homily on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The readings gave one focus and that is the source and summit of the life of the Church.

The visiting priest this past Sunday gave us a wonderful sermon on the Real Presence. The following is a paraphrase of one marvelous point.

Is Christ not really present in our fellow man? Is He not really present in the Bible, the Word of God? Yes He is really present in many ways. Why then the Feast of Corpus Christi and the focus on the Real Presence? Because there is of our limited perception that we cannot see His presence without being more aware of our fellow man. And there is nothing so extraordinary about Joe Bloke that makes him someone we would genuflect too. Nor someone we would adore and worship nor honor with a procession.

Only in that singular presence when the Heavenly is made available to us on earth, only there do we know a presence so real that we can worship Him.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Empty Pews

An interesting Washington Post article, "Empty Pews: Where Did All the Men Go?It focuses on Protestants, but very fitting for our modern day Catholic Church. 

"The target audience of almost everything about church culture was a 50- to 55-year-old woman, ... Every Muslim man knows that he is locked in a great battle between good and evil, and although that was a prevalent teaching in Christianity until about 100 years ago, today it's primarily about having a relationship with a man who loves you unconditionally,"

Our society as a whole is missing the realization that we are in a battle between good and evil.  The Catholic Church has the fullness of the Truth, but most of us pew sitters have little idea that we are in a battle.  Fat and happy, ignorant in our bliss, we sit right were Satan wants us.  Lukewarm as some were called in Revelations.

And something this article misses, the need for ritual.  Our liturgy has become one warm fuzzy happy-fest.  Look at me and how great God thinks I am.  We need to be called higher.  We need rituals in our liturgy because rituals mean reverence.  What happens in a courtroom when the judge walks in?  Look at all the men flocking to secular rituals, the Survivor TV show is full of them and people are attracted to it.

Tip to National Fellowship of Catholic Men

Friday, June 16, 2006

And another point

Another point on the approved translations.

“Thirty-some years ago we made the transition from Latin, a language which no one speaks, to English,” Fr. Layden said, “to think that the current changes will result in some kind of catastrophe at the parish level is to seriously underestimate the people of God.”
“I’ve heard the concern raised that the new translations are too distant from the way we speak ‘on the street’,” Layden continued, “in some ways, that is precisely the idea. While the saying of the Mass in English is meant to draw people in from their everyday lives, the whole purpose of the Mass is then to uplift us, to lift our eyes and ears to heaven. If anything, these changes will remind Catholics of what is really happening in the Mass.”

Hooray, hooray

Not cheering in a gloating way, just so glad the Changes to Mass to reflect Latin translation and Biblical origins has been approved.

A few thoughts.

On of the most commonly used exchanges between priest and people during the Mass is currently translated "The Lord be with you" / "And also with you". The new translation would read, "The Lord be with you" / "And with your spirit".
... The translation of the phrase “et cum spritu tuo,” Bishop Roche said, “cannot be understood without reference to St Paul, who will often address a person, for example Timothy, by referring to ‘your spirit’ rather than simply to ‘you.’ What is the significance of this? Well, he is addressing someone close to God who has God’s spirit. So when we reply, ‘and with your spirit,’ we are indicating that we are part of a spiritual community, it is God’s spirit that has gathered us together.

And hopefully this will offer the opportunity to eliminate the shoveling motion with both hands that has become prominent locally. From my understanding, the extending of hands towards the people is a priestly gesture and is specified to him only in the rubrics. This excessive motion was locally brought about largely by one priest that made it a point to say everyone was cocelebrants in the Mass, as if his calling and ordination was nothing special.

The prayer Catholics say prior to communion, which currently reads, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,” would now be translated, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.” This response, Roche said, is supposed to be reminiscent of the Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant.

I am not clear on this part yet. I understood that the second part was also mis-translated and should be, "only say the word and my SOUL shall be healed." The reference to roof may cause some drama in architecture according to The Ironic Catholic. That would be a bit more drastic than throwing open the windows IMO.

The penitential rite at the beginning of Mass would be expanded to mirror more closely the Latin translation. Whereas Catholics currently say, "I have sinned through my fault," they would eventually say, "I have sinned greatly through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

Does this mean the Confetior might be making a comeback? It is mostly ignored in our neck of the woods on Sunday Mass (we need the time for the lenthy "Lord Have Mercy".)

Bottom line is this, like the changes, love them or hate them;
“The prayers of the Mass, Bishop Roche said, “are mainly inspired and formed from Sacred Scripture, and the Commission of ICEL has accepted one very important point found in Liturgiam authenticam and accepted it as being crucial, namely the significance of the language of Sacred Scripture in our translation of the Mass.”

Monday, June 05, 2006


Is there some strange correlation between the Jewish county in Idaho and the county that refers to soft drinks and soda?
Probably, but less sinister than one might imagine. Here is an update from the "Mapping religion in America" site on the Idaho anomily.

The "puzzling" county in Idaho with a larger than expected Jewish population is Blaine County, home of the Sun Valley ski resort. Blaine County is populated with many transplants from California, which accounts for the demographic differences between it and the rest of Idaho. I think the ski-resort factor can also be applied to the areas in central Colorado with high percentage of Jews.

Blaine is the same county that prefers "Soda" which would be explained by the California influence. How long before Kootenai is overrun by "Soda" drinkers?

I find these studies of culture interesting. Especially in the Lake of the Woods county in Minnesota where 2 of the 3 respondents chose "other" because they had never heard of any of the 3 choices.

Now if someone would superimpose this on the religion map and see if there is a broader correlation...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Fair Warning

In her article on the difference between "decended into Hell" and "decended to the dead" in the translations of the Apostle's Creed; Ms. O'Neill touches on a much deeper subject. One that be well for us all to pay heed.

With the bishops voting on the new translation for the holy liturgy in June we should be open and understanding about any changes that may be made. I find it insulting when priests claim they can’t change the words of the liturgy because “the people have been saying it that way for 30 years or more.” Just because we have said it a particular way for a long time doesn’t mean we have been doing it the best way and it is the Church, our Holy Mother taking care of the needs of her children, that discerns the need for change. Let’s respect her actions and support her priests during these next few years when some wordings most probably will change. If we keep informed and gently point out to one another the whats and whys of the changes, we will be a much more joyful Church, rather than one so quick to condemn because we don’t understand. There are no “Creed police” that will break down your door and drag you off for praying as you have always prayed, however our pastors are many times gossiped about and slandered for using the official language of the Church because we don’t know. Why not simply ask: “Father why do we pray the words ‘He descended to the dead’ now when I was taught ‘He descended to hell’?” Simple questions can stop much of the misunderstanding we have within our parishes. It may even be that at some point the Church decides that “He descended into hell” is preferable and is the phrase that should be used in the liturgy. As an obedient Catholic, I am ready and willing to teach accordingly as the Church decides. Won’t you join me in this attitude?

A hearty YES should echo from all those who seek a better Church. Pride has no place in our worship, only obedience. Even us orthodox Catholics do NOT know better than the Church. So when changes are made in obedience to Rome, even if we don't agree, shall we not obey?

Friday, June 02, 2006

True shepherd

Bishop Wu Qinjing of Zhouzi, whose episcopal ordination was approved by the Holy See but was not recognized by the Catholic Patriotic Association of China, has challenged Chinese officials by presiding publicly at a ceremony at the diocesan cathedral.

Now this is the sacrifice that the successors to the Apostles are called to. It is strange times for Catholics in China, but we can rest assured of one thing. Christ will prevail, and it will be done through his Church.