Saturday, February 15, 2003

Hey, some people already think you don't need a man and a woman for marriage
Why not take it to the next level and eliminate the other person entirely ?

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Seventh (and last) paragraph
from the handout.
"Lastly, the sin of lust is, like gluttony, the result of a disorderly animal appetite, through which the person becomes over-concerned with sexual saitsfaction, so that his sexual desire demands a higher place in his life than his desire for God. As such, it is a form of selfishness which operates on the level of physical gratification to the detriment of all else, including the feelings and needs of others. The opposite virtue is chastity, that practical expression of the holiness of our bodies by the right use of our sexual desires, kept within the ordering of our vocations, be it to marriage or to the single state. This virtue is to be sought as the means of bringing into its proper place in God's scheme of things this particular aspect of our humanity so that it contributes constructively to the whole reordering of our lives around the service of God and neighbor. "

Friday, February 14, 2003

I got a e-mail from Sandra Miesel, in which she said that she likes my blog !

Michael Medved
fisks the Oscar nominations . I've liked this guy ever since I first read Hollywood vs. America .

Sixth paragraph
from the handout.
"Gluttony is the sin that flows from a disorderly animal appetite, the obsession with food and drink to the pont of living to eat, rather than eating to live. This failure in proportion is countered by temperance, a sensible and unexciting virtue which is essential to a balanced and worthwhile life because it frees us from excess in order to give us room to work energetically for God. "
Bill White
blogs a section from The Idea of a University , by the Venerable, of course.

A set of Saints who deserve better commemoration than the hedonism with which our culture soils their day...
Information on the Sts. Valentine can be found here , here , and here .
Here's a bit of verse, written by the Venerable Newman, apparently for the small daughter of a friend.

Valentine to a Little Girl

Little maiden, dost thou pine
For a faithful Valentine?
Art thou scanning timidly
Every face that meets thine eye?
Art thou fancying there may be
Fairer face than thou dost see?
Little maiden, scholar mine,
Wouldst thou have a Valentine?

Go and ask, my little child,
Ask the Mother undefiled:
Ask, for she will draw thee near,
And will whisper in thine ear:—
"Valentine! the name is good;
For it comes of lineage high,
And a famous family:
And it tells of gentle blood,
Noble blood,—and nobler still,
For its owner freely pour'd
Every drop there was to spill
In the quarrel of his Lord.
Valentine! I know the name,
Many martyrs bear the same;
And they stand in glittering ring
Round their warrior God and King, —
Who before and for them bled,—
With their robes of ruby red,
And their swords of cherub flame."

Yes! there is a plenty there,
Knights without reproach or fear,—
Such St. Denys, such St. George,
Martin, Maurice, Theodore,
And a hundred thousand more;
Guerdon gain'd and warfare o'er,
By that sea without a surge,
And beneath the eternal sky,
And the beatific Sun,
In Jerusalem above,
Valentine is every one;
Choose from out that company
Whom to serve, and whom to love.

The Oratory.

The Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Apostles to the Slavs
is today. There is information on them at these links .

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Fifth paragraph
from the handout
"Sloth, the bosom companion of covetousness, is seen as the failure of the will to work purposefully and constructively for God. It is a mean sin which could not care less about others when there is no obvious and immediate personal gratification. The only antidote is perserverance, the willingness and effort to remain aware of others and open-hearted towards them, even and especially when there is nothing to be gained for the self. Perseverance is the way the selfish laziness of the will is overcome throught persistent acts of charity towards others and acts of devotion towards God. "

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

FOR RENT: Small country, with lovely mountain view
Liechtenstein for rent.
For some reason the extremely small European countries, with the obvious exception of the Vatican, make me think of Leonard Wibberly's hilarious The Mouse That Roared. I wonder if Liechtenstein makes any Pinot ?

Thanks to Michelle for the link.

This is just too funny
I don't know whether it's real or a Photoshop derived urban legend. Either way, it's a riot.
Two Regions Separated By a Common Language

St. Philip story...just because
St. Philip Neri was less than enthusiastic about physical mortifications. While he did incorporate them in his life to a certain extent, he saw mortification of the will as being both more important and less spiritually dangerous. A follower of the saint, ( I believe his name was Bartolomeo) kept pestering Philip to permit him to wear a hairshirt. (Somehow I doubt that this is a problem for many superiors nowadays !) Philip kept saying no, until one day, in a moment of either exasperation or inspiration, he replied, yes, you can wear the hairshirt. In fact, I am requiring you to wear the hairshirt- on top of your other clothes !
Let's just say Bartolomeo ended up with more mortification than he planned on !

Fourth paragraph
from the handout.
"Covetousness, commonly called idolatry by St. Paul, is also to be rejected. It is a debased desire for things as the source of happiness. This consuming vice is the misuse of God's good creation to provide us with material possessions to support our self-esteem and to provoke our neighbors to envy. It soon burns up our love for God and turns it into a love for things, thus making an idol out of what God has given us of His creation. The cure for covetousness is generosity, to 'give and not to count the cost.' Love of neighbor as well as love of God should show itself in the stewardship of our resources, turning our material benefits into a means of blessing for others and an expression of our dedication to God."

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

For the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
Mary is the "Virgo Purissima," the Most Pure Virgin
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

By the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin is meant the great revealed truth that she was conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without original sin.

Since the fall of Adam all mankind, his descendants, are conceived and born in sin. "Behold," says the inspired writer in the Psalm Miserere—"Behold, I was conceived in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me". That sin which belongs to every one of us, and is ours from the first moment of our existence, is the sin of unbelief and disobedience, by which Adam lost Paradise. We, as the children of Adam, are heirs to the consequences of his sin, and have forfeited in him that spiritual robe of grace and holiness which he had given him by his Creator at the time that he was made. In this state of forfeiture and disinheritance we are all of us conceived and born; and the ordinary way by which we are taken out of it is the Sacrament of Baptism.

But Mary never was in this state; she was by the eternal decree of God exempted from it. From eternity, God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, decreed to create the race of man, and, foreseeing the fall of Adam, decreed to redeem the whole race by the Son's taking flesh and suffering on the Cross. In that same incomprehensible, eternal instant, in which the Son of God was born of the Father, was also the decree passed of man's redemption through Him. He who was born from Eternity was born by an eternal decree to save us in Time, and to redeem the whole race; and Mary's redemption was determined in that special manner which we call the Immaculate Conception. It was decreed, not that she should be cleansed from sin, but that she should, from the first moment of her being, be preserved from sin; so that the Evil One never had any part in her. Therefore she was a child of Adam and Eve as if they had never fallen; she did not share with them their sin; she inherited the gifts and graces (and more than those) which Adam and Eve possessed in Paradise. This is her prerogative, and the foundation of all those salutary truths which are revealed to us concerning her. Let us say then with all holy souls, Virgin most pure, conceived without original sin, Mary, pray for us.
Third paragraph
from the handout...
"Anger, the sister of envy, is to be resisted as an unworthy adjunct of pride, feeding as it does on the resentment of envy until the violence inherent in envy breaks out in physical and emotional cruelty, psychological pain, rage, assaults and even murder, the viciousness of the tongue, insulting, abusing, cursing and swearing to inflict damage, and many other terrible combinations of hatred, including hatred at a social level producing war, civil strife, and dissention. Such anger should be rejected in favor of meekness, that gentlest of virtues, which does not mean being a milk-sop, but being obedient to the will of God for peace. Meekness requires the courage to promote harmony out of strife, reconciliation out of emnity, communion out of dissention, agreement out of conflict. It means standing firm for God, for peace, and as such not return blow for blow."
Who'd have thought ?
It seems to have been taken down, but apparently at one point Fëanor had a blog.
And I didn't even know the Halls of Mandos had Internet access.....

According to Mr. Longenecker
things have reached a frightening state across the Pond.
The Venerable Newman, of course, saw it coming over 100 years ago.

Very thoughful post
by Kevin Miller on theology and heresy.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Chuckling a bit
over a quote from The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, from a letter written to his son Christopher, dated March 1, 1944:
"Lewis is as energetic and jolly as ever, but getting too much publicity for his or any of our tastes. 'Peterborough', usually fairly reasonable, did him the doubtful honour of a peculiarly misrepresentative and asinine paragraph in the Daily Telegraph of Tuesday last. It began 'Asetic Mr. Lewis' - !! I ask you ! He put away three pints in a very short session we had this morning, and said he was 'going short for Lent.' "
Second paragraph
from the anonymus retreat handout I described below.
"Envy, the product of insecurity brought on by pride, is to be rejected because it bears grudges against others, produces intolerance, bigotry, prejudice, using the lie and the smear to destroy the good work and the good name of others, creating jealousy with its demands for rights, advantages, status. In contrast, love is inculcated in the soul as the means of reducing envy and of growing in self-sacrifice, self-giving dedication to the good, the benefit, the welfare of others. "
Yes, another quiz is making the rounds..
Here's my result.

I am heroic couplets; most precise
And fond of order. Planned and structured. Nice.
I know, of course, just what I want; I know,
As well, what I will do to make it so.
This doesn't mean that I attempt to shun
Excitement, entertainment, pleasure, fun;
But they must keep their place, like all the rest;
They might be good, but ordered life is best.
What Poetry Form Are You?

It also said that if I weren't heroic couplets, I'd be blank verse.

If I remember correctly, heroic couplets was the verse form the Professor used in his unfinished "The Lay of Leithian" and "The Lay of Leithian, Recommenced", in which he told the tale of Beren and Lúthien, the part of the Silmarillion which quite probably was the closest to his heart.
Welcome back !
Jeff Miller is back with a new blog, The Curt Jester. His mother went to her reward yesterday, and I am sure that prayers would be appreciated.
Also, after the long hiatus imposed upon him, Fr. Bryce Sibley is blogging again over at A Saintly Salmagundi . And the first POD story he told was about Blessed Antony Grassi, C.O. !
The Feast of St. Scholastica
is today. There is information on her here. Happy feast day to all, but especially any Benedictines out there. Prayers for my friend Clare, who enters a Benedictine community as a postulant today, would be welcome.