Sunday, August 21, 2005
Here and There . . .
An irregular roundup of blogs, articles and commentary.
- Spirit of Dissent - from Cosmos, Liturgy, Sex on the "spirit of Protestantism in the Catholic Church" that Brother Roger of Taizé criticized, and thoughts on Brother Rodger's own relationship with Rome by way of Ken, a friend who has spent some time with the community:
. . . Ken visited the Taizé community and has been interested in it since beginning his journey to the Church. He found it an inspiration that so many Protestant ministers who joined the community ended up, sooner or later, in full communion with Rome. That, by the way, is what he believes that Brother Roger did as well. Ken is confident that Brother Roger was Catholic when he visited him in 2003. In any case, based upon his interest in Taizé he caught something that I had missed in reading the Zenit article discussing Brother Roger’s letter to the Pope. In the letter, Zenit reports that Brother Roger wrote of his desire "to come as soon as possible to Rome to meet with me [B16] and to tell me that 'our Community of Taizé wants to go forward in communion with the Holy Father . . . '" Ken sees in this the logical fulfillment of Taizé’s mission, in other words, the community’s full communion with the Catholic Church. . . .
- Stephen Riddle (Flos Carmeli) on The New Life and Detachment:
A few weeks back I wrote an entry on Jesus's proclamation, "Behold, I make all things new." All things--everything--that includes us. How can we be new if we are still doing everything we did before? How can we be new if we are completely ingrained in habit? How can Jesus recreate each one of us if we steadfastly refuse to be recreated?
Detachment is our part of the work (aided by grace, of course) that complements the power of Jesus's resurrection. He raises us to new life, and we cooperate with the help of the graces of God by allowing ourselves to be changed. . . .
- David Michael Phelps on the necessity for clarity in our definitions:
We must be extremely careful about our language when we debate one another on any issue. So often, an argument is won, lost, or irredeemably confused because of a definition. If truths can be unlocked in careful definition, so can lies be reified in careless ones. . . .
In a society of immense wealth, are those people in poverty who can afford only a fraction of the luxuries that others can afford? Can we so easily hijack a word, complete with its connotations? If you think that words cannot be so easily hijacked, so easily skewed, or so simply misunderstood as to serious impact culture and life, I submit the terms ‘liberal’ and ‘human rights’ for your consideration.
See also: "Watch Your Language" Acton Inst. Powerblog Thursday, June 30. 2005.
- A Religion the New York Times Can Love, by Donna Steichen - on the "minimalist world religion" of Fr. Hans Kung. (This article originally appeared in the June 2005 issue of The Catholic World Report).
- Young adult ministry can be hazardous to your health - Karen Marie Knapp profiles Blessed Karl Leisner, youth minister, whose memorial was on August 12.
- "Cardinal Avery Dulles once said to a Lutheran theologian, "We'll only know what your 'yes' means when you say 'no' to someone." - Bill Cork, who has a great post demonstrating how Dulles' admonishment applies to the ELCA and Eucharistic sharing.
- First, Do No Harm - Disputations on moral scandal and a recognition of our limitations:
If moral scandal -- the turning away from Christ caused by another's sin -- that comes with the tabloid scandal -- public reports of the sins of a Christian apostle -- is motivated by hatred of falsehood, anyone involved in preaching the Gospel ought to make clear that he himself recognizes he is to some extent a false sign of Christ, that for example he is perfectly capable of fathering a child. The apostle necessarily signifies Christ; his choice is whether to be an imperfect sign or a false sign.
It's often remarked that, the holier a person becomes, the more aware he is of his own sins. Less often is it remarked that we are aware of how aware the saints are of their own sins. We know this because they have told others of their awareness, and telling others serves not only to instruct us on how sinful we must be, but to make of the saints' lives a true, because admittedly imperfect, sign of Christ.
- Faith and Certainty - Clairity at Cahiers Peguy shares some insights from Fr. Giussani:
In the section of Why the Church? about "The Cultural Value of a New Concept of Truth," Giussani compares the Hebrew concept to that of the Greek world. For the Hebrew, God is the rock. It is He himself who is certain for us, rather than just our idea of Him. Yahweh - I am who am. His Being is the pivotal point for our own, and is the only thing that will anchor us in the world, which is full of everything uncertain from capricious circumstance to the unsteady roiling of our own psyches. . . .(Read on).
- "Same old, same old", says Genevieve Kineke (Feminine Genius), providing critical commmentary on the ordination of Susan Ringer to the deaconate in the United Catholic Church (which is not valid, licit, or recognised in any way by Rome).
- Lane Core posts a tribute to Steven Vincent, a fallen journalist and blogger murdered by terrorists.
- This has been mentioned in countless blogs by now, but I'd like to praise Nick Cannon for his song and music video "Can I Live?". If you haven't seen it, check it out. As one reader commented on his forum: "You have no idea the power of that song, it's power is bigger than you are, it's bigger than the music industry itself. It will continue to take on a life of it's own. Let it be so." This has great potential to change minds and hearts and save the lives of unborn children, and that it is being played on the cesspool of MTV is nothing short of amazing.
- Stephen Bogner (Catholicism, Holiness and Spirituality on learning to forgive from the heart.
- Tuesday, August 9th, was the feast day of Edith Stein -. Teresa Polk (Blog by the Sea commmemorates the occasion with a series of readings on the Search to Know God's Will; Grace, Faith and the Church and The Cross and Freedom.
- "Last week I received phone calls from two of the most powerful, mysterious, and controversial institutions in the world: Opus Dei and The New York Times. And I lived to talk about it," says Carl Olson, writing about his amusing encounter with the New York Times.
- Is the Adoremus Society opposed to "reform of the reform"? -- Back in July my father aka The Pertinacious Papist posted a letter he had sent to Adoremus Bulletin regarding some ambiguities in the Adoremus Society's mission regarding liturgical renewal:
There are three liturgical movements in Roman Catholicism today: (1) the Tridentine rite, which continues under an officially encouraged indult, (2) the reform of that rite called for by Vatican II, and (3) the Novus Ordo, which incorporates numerous innovations never envisioned by the Council, and which Pope Benedict has called a "rupture" with liturgical tradition. . . . If Adoremus is devoted to the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy "according to the genuine intention of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council," wouldn't you be committed primarily to #2 above? Yet over the last decade, you have been occupied almost exclusively with abuses within the Novus Ordo, which, even with its abuses eliminated, incorporates numerous innovations never mandated by the Council. Doesn't this suggest that Adoremus is more concerned with #3 than with #2?
As he noted, he recieved a rather curt and ambiguous response from the editors of the publication. Now, he posts a letter he recieved from Rev. Thomas M. Kocik, author of Reform of the Reform? A Liturgical Debate (San Diego: Ignatius Press, 2003). Adoremus' response towards the book (or marked lack thereof) appears to corroborate Dr. Blosser's suspicions regarding the misplaced emphasis of the organization. Curiouser and curiouser . . .
- The incomparable William Luse:
I'm the kind of Christian who can hold his booze . . . You must make the most of your inheritance, of the talents you've been given. If you don't, there's a penalty. The Bible says. So my liver is a capacious and efficiently ordered mechanism; I feel obligated to see that it lives up to its potential. . . .
The other kind of Christian I am is one who would never force his tastes and habits on another. For example, if in my presence you wanted to play the part of the pseudo-virtuous teetotaller (pregnant women excepted), by my guest. Suffer for the greater glory. If you don't like alcohol, that's fine with me; I'm sorry for your loss and I'll still love you while drinking enough for the both of us. For further example, if I were in charge of the Mass, which I'm obviously not, I'd never shove my stinking lousy taste in music down your earpipes. If you wanted a moment to pray in silence before Mass, I'd find a way to squeeze it in. If you thought the jungle thunder of drums and the endless chatter and wail of human voices did not provide the appropriately reverent ambience for keeping our focus on the sacrifice at the free-standing table, I'd find a way to tone it down.
- Domenico Bettinelli asks What has happened to WorldNetDaily?, responding to a disturbing resurgence in anti-Catholic bigotry in a popular dispenser of conservative news and commentary. (By the way, A hearty congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Domenico Bettinelli on their marrage!)
- Dave Pierre @ Newsbusters notes that the mainstream media is silent after Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (PPGG) posted an animated video that displayed gross acts of brutality against those who wish to advance the messages of life and abstinence. In addition to its violence, the video also extended its own degree of tastelessness and disrespect."
The video was removed from PPGG's site around midday, Tue. Aug. 9, 2005), but the silence of the secular media over its' appearance is deafening. Imagine the outcry if, say, the National Right to Life posted a cartoon subtly advocating violence against abortionists? (Via Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam).
- Gen X Revert has finally updated his very impressive Catholic Blog Directory, in which he integrates a list of Catholic bloggers outside the U.S.A.. According to Gen X, "There are several lists of Catholic Blogs out there, all with some good qualities. St. Blog's needs to get together and create a master list that is totally up to date and can be updated by many people." Those who maintain similar lists take note.
- Rick Morrow (Being in the Form of a Quest), on Pieper and the Health Promoting "Fear of the Lord":I often talk with Catholics who have been infected with a strange malady. They have come to fear the fear of the Lord. They seem to avoid it in all of the conversations, and, especially, their liturgical expression. If asked, they will suggest that fear and guilt are outmoded in modern religion.Morrow offers a good quote from Joseph Peiper as a remedy to such confusion one may have about "fearing the Lord."
- But God's First - a new blog by Stephen Dillard, founder of the excellent group-blog Southern Appeal.
On a lighter note . . .
- Jimmy Akin has developed with much thought and care a theology of the living dead. As in "Night of the Living . . ."; "Dawn of the . . . ", or most recently, "Land of the . . .". -- You know, zombies. Just in case you had any moral reservations about blowing one away in the rare event of a zombie attack.
From the new blog