Tuesday, May 31, 2005

It's Tuesday

so it's Catholic Carnival time again. It is open for patrons at DeoOmnisGloria.
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Monday, May 30, 2005

The Lessons of this Blog's Beginnings

Today is Memorial Day. One of the days when we remember those who have gone before us, and especially those who have been killed or wounded defending, or believing they were defending, us and our nation.

It is also May 30th. Three years ago today, the virtual Anchor Hold was born, out of the internecine warfare that mars the face of our holy Church.

Only about ten days before, two of my dearest listserv acquaintances, Mark Shea from the REBORN listserv, and the late Gerard Serafin of FreeCatholic and a few other places (Gerard pray for us!) had written to the lists about their shiny new blogs, and I went over to give them an ogle. On May 23rd, one of my grad-school classmates delivered a nasty retirement present to my retiring archbishop, and the early long Dormition Fast of 2002 began, and the Catholic portions of the internet seemed to explode, often with statements that appeared to have little correspondence with reality. There was so much that needed said, by someone who actually belonged to this local church, so, less than two weeks after I read my first blog, I was writing my own. I didn't know how to bold or italic or make a link that actually worked, so the first few days were painfully and embarrassingly plain. My first-day posts were an introduction, a reply to Sean of Nota Bene about what had happened here, and a prayer request for our archbishop.

There are ten lessons, truths of faith and life, that were learned, or powerfully reinforced, in the first few turbulent months of this site, which will remain true no matter what the current troubles are or who might be the current pariah. Or even if the current pariah should come to be me. The site's anniversary is an excellent time to review them:

1) The details of our long-ago-confessed and long-ago-absolved sins and stupidities are the business only of God. They are most definitely not the business of those who would turn them into cudgels.

2) The details of the sins of other people are none of my business; I've enough troubles with my own.

3) Sins and stupidities do not negate goodness, wisdom, love, or generosity.

4) The Accuser of the Brethren can have no foothold among us if we refuse to play his foul game. We must not accuse others, only ourselves. We cannot defend ourselves, even justly, by accusing anybody else of anything; not if we seek to live truly submitted lives.

5) The Church has wisely declared that the Lord can and does use imperfect instruments to build his Kingdom, and that the sacraments are not dependent on the perfection of their ministers. If we insist on having only perfect bishops who have only perfect priests, we will have neither bishops nor priests; for all of us have sinned, every single one of us has done spectacularly stupid things, and even the strongest and most faithful of us come equipped with two clay feet.

6) Where the bishop is, there is the Catholic Church, which the Lord has promised to protect and sustain, and there is no other place where one can be certain of that.

7) When chaos is breaking out all over and the world is spinning and shaking, one reaches deep down inside, down to the foundations of the soul, and finds one of those things that are known to be true and will not change, and one clings tightly to that until the chaos subsides. Two of those unchanging true things are "God made me to know Him, and to love Him, and to serve Him, and to be happy with Him forever and ever in Heaven" and "God is all-good and deserving of all my love."

8) I have sinned and have done some incredibly dumb things; I have no right to ridicule anybody, ever.

9) The judgment I judge is the judgment I will be judged by; the forgiveness I offer will be the forgiveness I receive. So how dare I even think of stringent judgment or withholding my forgiveness?

and 10) from the public chapter of faults, the last formal teaching, of my gentle and devoted retired archbishop, who was the designated pariah when this site was birthed three years ago: I have learned how frail my own human nature is, how in need of God’s loving embrace I am. Empty-handed for me now means a willingness to accept my humanity totally, just as Christ accepted that same human nature out of love. But for me it also means to be fully receptive to whatever God wants to place in those hands, to be ready with empty hands to receive new life.
But I am also aware much self-pity and pride remain. I must leave that pride behind. Each day I will try to leave room for God to enter into my life more and more. Ultimately I understand that the humanity God so loved and sought to redeem, including my own humanity, will be transformed by his loving embrace and grace.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

the alphabet meme

via Steven of Flos Carmeli:

A is for Age - old enough to remember the "dialogue Mass" and the very first postCounciliar liturgy change, which happened in my parish the Sunday following my First Communion. [a month shy of 49]

B is for Booze - even my best friends think I'm teetotal! A very rare (once or twice a year) glass of wine. Hot lemonade or limeade with a shot of dark Bacardi rum, medicinally when the stuffed sinuses are just too much to bear anymore.

C is for Career - "Anchor Hold Dweller" (also, retired library clerk)

D is for Dad’s name - Mick, but the birth certificate says Lawrence.

E is for Essential items to bring to a party - lots of cold beverages

F is for Favorite song at the moment - "All My Hope" Dave Brubeck

G is for Golf? - yes to watch, no to play

H is for Hometown - Akron, Ohio

I is for Instrument you [used to] play - Recorder, Transverse Flute, Piccolo.

J is for Jam or Jelly you like - Blueberry Simply Fruit

K is for Kids - None

L is for Living arrangement - two stories & basement, 4 bedrooms, one bathroom, three tenants. Lots of books. A couple of millipedes that run around after midnight to remind me it's time to go to bed. Two magnificently productive rhubarb plants, neighborhood birds, feral cats, and overeducated squirrels who have learned how to rip window screens.....

M is for Mom’s name - Mary, but the birth certificate says Janet.

N is for Names of best friends - Peter, two Dennises, Terri, Marie-Aimee, two Jeffreys, Gina

O is for overnight hospital stays - too many!

P is for Phobias - fear of becoming a burden

Q is for Quote you like - "Every family should have a room where Christ is welcome in the person of the hungry and thirsty stranger." St. John Chrysostom.

R is for Relationship that lasted longest - Other than siblings, Gina, who I met in the cafeteria line in college back in 1975 --- I made a sick joke about how they ought to hand out plenary indulgences for eating what they were serving that day.....

S is for Siblings - three brothers and four sisters, all younger.

T is for Television? - EWTN, CNN, the C-Spans. current Guilty Pleasures are Alton Brown's Good Eats, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, What Not to Wear, and Overhaulin'

U is for Unique trait - Propensity to give commands to inanimate objects

V if for Vegetable you love - brussels sprouts

W is for Worst trait - Too detached from what others think, Over-reclusive

X - is for XRays you’ve had - teeth, chest, knees, ankle

Y is for Yummy food you make - Braised Beef Shank, 10-minute Vegetarian Vegetable Soup, Splendad Rhubarb Crisp, Sugar-free Key Limeade (Steven, that's bottled Key Lime juice! which is cheaper than RealLime, I don't know why!)

Z is for Zodiac sign - Cancer
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Another crazy quiz ---- Me, a Hedonist????

via the Ragemonkeys:

You scored as Divine Command. Your life is directed by Divine Command: Your god and religion give you meaning and direction.



“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”

--King James Version of the Bible



“Even as a tree has a single trunk but many branches and leaves, there is one religion--human religion--but any number of faiths.”

--Mahatma Gandhi



More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...

Divine Command

95%

Hedonism

85%

Existentialism

80%

Utilitarianism

70%

Justice (Fairness)

55%

Kantianism

45%

Apathy

15%

Strong Egoism

10%

Nihilism

0%

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Splendad Rhubarb Crisp

I tried it today, and it actually worked! [Now, eldest younger brother Tom, do not faint!] adapted from the Two Sleepy Mommies' full-cane-goodness version with a hint in time from Alicia of Fructus Ventris, here is:

Splendad Rhubarb Crisp

Preheat oven to 375 drgrees
Take one stick of butter out to soften (1/4 lb or 1/2 cup)

For the filling:

5-6 cups washed and sliced rhubarb
1 cup Splenda granular --- the kind that measures 1/1 with sugar, not the packets!
2 Tablespoons white flour

Slice rhubarb. Mix Splenda and flour and toss them around in bowl with rhubarb peices. Put mixture in a suitable sized baking dish or pan --- I used a 3-quart Pyrex casserole dish. Make it kind of even.

for crisp topping [twice as much as the Mommies' version because I like crunchy stuff):

1 stick (1/4 lb or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons Splenda granular
1/3 cup white flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and/or ginger and/or nutmeg --- I used just cinnamon
2 tablespoons dark molasses
1 cup "old-fashioned" rolled oats

Smash the butter in a bowl to make sure it's gotten soft. Mix the Splenda, flour, and spice(s), add to the butter, and blend until there are no more huge lumps of butter. Add the molasses and blend well. Add the oatmeal and stir well. [If you like to add other crunchies like chopped nuts to your topping, add them before the oats; always add oats last so they don't get too smashed] Spread this mixture evenly over the chopped rhubarb mixture in the baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until the rhubarb is cooked and bubbly and the oatmeal topping is browned and crisp.

Enjoy without guilt! 1/8 of the dish=1 carbohydrate choice. The whole dish is only 8 carb choices!
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Monday, May 23, 2005

A special parish prayer

Father John Campbell, who has been an associate pastor at the Gesu (the other parish I belong to) from forever, and who is my goddaughter's confessor, has been fighting cancer of the tongue for several months now. We've been remembering him in prayer individually, and now the parish has a prayer-in-common to beg the Lord for him. Please, if you feel so moved, please join us ....

Prayer for Father John Campbell, S.J.

Good and gracious God, ever-loving and ever-present,
we humbly approach You with an urgent petition for our friend,
Father John Campbell of the Society of Jesus,
who is seriously ill with cancer.

The parish community of Gesu,
which Father John has served faithfully for almost 25 years,
begs that he be healed in body, mind, and spirit.

Bless Father John with Your sustaining love.
Ease his pain. Grant him peace, courage, strength, and hope.
May Your love and Your grace be enough for him this day.

We ask that You bless his mother, Mary; his brother, Don;
his brother Jesuits, and his many friends near and far.
Keep safe in the glory of Your loving embrace
all who are experiencing the Cross of Your Son, Jesus.

Through the intercession of Saint Ignatius of Loyola,
Jesuit Father Pedro Arrupe, Pope John Paul II,
and all the holy women and men from Gesu who are with You,
please return Father John to us, if it be Your holy will.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Three fine new priests!

Three fine new priests could use your prayers. Fathers Peter Berger, Michael Lightner, and Norberto Sandoval were ordained today for our archdiocese, witnessed by a joyous full cathedral. The entire local Church, gathered with the bishop at the altar of the Lord.

Those of my readers who have never been to an ordination, find out when the ordinations will be in your diocese, and go! Then remember the newly-ordained particularly in prayer, that they may persevere and may be true fathers to the faithful.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A fast update --- no, I haven't died

The other Milwaukee Catholic-blogger, Terrence, just sent me an email the full text of which was:

When you don't blog for five days, people worry that you're not well

OK, I haven't been the most inspired writer this month. And I'm too tempted (and succumb) to reading all my email and everybody else's blog before working on my own. Be that as may:

I did make it to the Pallium Lecture on Thursday. Fr. Richard John Neuhaus was as glorious as he has always been. I'm old enough to remember him from the days when the great prolife issues were napalm, MAD, and involuntary sterilization; when dinosaurs roamed the earth. I couldn't keep up with notetaking and still have two whole pages of notes, leaving two pages in the back of the worship booklet for notes on the upcomind June 2 speaker. The Powers that Be say they are trying to reschedule the cancelled first speaker --- Cardinal George had a really lame excuse about having to go to Rome [grin, groan].

Today was the monthly go-get-bled day, they got their tube of blood on the first poke, the hospital cafeteria had wonderful turnip greens, I wonder what it was they put in them besides the turnip tops. When I got home, I stayed outside for a while, harvested about two pounds of rhubarb (this is the earliest I've had harvestable rhubarb the whole 15 years I've lived here). Anyone having access to sugar-free or sugar-radically-reduced rhubarb recipes are strongly urged to post them, or links to them, in the comments. I think rhubarb sauce will work with splenda and apples, but I can't figure out a flavorful sub to try for the brown sugar in crisp topping......

My tenant Dennis and one of the neighbor boys were playing a basketball-related game called horse using the hoop that my across-the-street neighbor convinced me to let him mount in my front yard two weeks ago. It was uproariously fun to watch; I think this is the best idea that Jeff-the-lawyer has had in all the years we've both lived here. Much, much better that hollering at him over the ways he parks his cars (a volatile issue on a street only 13 feet wide without sidewalks or setbacks or driveways).

Sporadically working on the "ad altare dei" post; might have it ready for posting by the weekend.
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Friday, May 13, 2005

It's like herding cats

.... shepherding the intellectual lives of theologians and philosophers. But it has to be done. Free enough to be joyous and productive (catching lots of mice, teaching lots of students, leaping out the hayloft window, following the fascinating new concept.....) and controlled enough to stay safe (not get lost off the farm or hit by a car, not wandering off into heresy or getting mauled by other creatures on and about the place....). And the way this has been done, at least for the last few generations, is by arranging a good-cop/bad-cop team to ride herd on them all. Now Pope Benedict, before he became Pope, had the job of bad-cop to Pope John Paul's good-cop in keeping the theologians and philosophers productive and safe. Now Benedict is the pope, and has the good-cop job as part and parcel of the Petrine ministry --- but who was going to take over his own old job as bad-cop?

Now we know. The Powers that Be announced this morning that Archbishop William Levada, who has been honing his cat-herding skills among the feral felines of San Francisco, has been appointed Prefect of the CDF. May the Lord's blessing be with him in his new job. Theologians are a little less wild than San Franciscans, but also less predictable.
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Silly Political Quiz

You scored as Socialist.

Green

75%

Socialist

75%

Anarchism

75%

Democrat

58%

Communism

58%

Republican

33%

Fascism

8%

Nazi

0%

What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with QuizFarm.com

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[via the House of Homiletic Hash]
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Thursday, May 12, 2005

False Revelations, and bad TV too

From SojoNet, an excellent commentary on some of the more blatant idiocies of the new television series "Revelations". I'm hoping it dies a quick death, but considering our culture's chronic Biblical illiteracy and the willingness to believe absolutely everything --- after all, there are people outthere who think that the DaVinci Code is factual --- I can't count on that.
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Monday, May 09, 2005

"Ad apsidum" and "Versus populum" are both looking in the wrong direction

I've been working the past few days on a historical post with this title which isn't finished yet, but this morning I wrote a reply for one of the listservs that deserves this title too. In the listserv "VaticanII-Doc" we are studying Sacrosanctam Concilium, the document on the Liturgy, and we're in the paragraphs about church art and architecture. K. asked:

At 10:28 AM 5/9/2005, you wrote:
>Has anyone else on this list other than
>myself been in the newly designed
>Cathedral in Milwaukee as done by Rembert
>Weakland? I attended Mass there
>before the changes and I have visited
>since the changes but have not
>attended a liturgy since the changes.
>It seems the new way the priest's
>back would be to some of the people.
>But I do like it in a lot of ways
>(but not the priest's back to the people).


I'm a Cathedral parishioner and attend Mass there nearly every Sunday. I used to attend the Cathedral back in the 1970s and 1980's before I became disabled, then stopped because, before the rehab work, it was nearly impossible to get into. Also had structural problems and bad art problems from a hurried depression-WWII rebuilding after a fire with a lot of Mussolini-era church-supply stuff, and a bad refurbishing in the mid-70's that blocked off the stained glass and painted the interior in 26 somewhat garish colors gotten from the stained glass windows that couldn't be seen any more......

The way it works now, the bulk of the congregational seating is on the west side of the altar, slightly curved, and there is facing-style seating on the east side of the altar, between the altar and the ambo. The schola canticorum is beyond the ambo in the far east end. Tabernacle in a large domed side chapel that was the baptistry back when, over the crypts.

People who choose to sit in the facing seats are behind the priest when he is at the altar, but not behind the ambo not the presider's seats --- which are immediately north and south of the altar against pillars. (south is the cathedra, north the regular presider's seat). At the "high state" occasions, like ordinations, chrism mass, etc, the facing seats east of the altar (between altar and ambo) are where the concelebrants sit, like a presbyterium. And, for extra-small celebrations just slightly too large for the day chapel, all the congregation are encouraged to sit on the east, and father celebrates facing that way. The size and shape of what is defined as "sanctuary" is extremely flexible, and is defined by candles, etc. when it needs to be larger or smaller, besides the three very traditional altar steps.

There is no impression of being "turned the back to" no matter where one might sit --- because the church is so oriented toward the altar --- ad altare dei. Nobody is being stared at, nobody is having back turned toward them, but all are facing and beholding the altar, the center of life. This is reinforced by the corona and crucifix which guides the drifting attention back and directly to the altar. Although there are seven or eight new shrine spaces that have not yet been filled, it does not feel empty at all since the stained glass was uncovered and cleaned --- 13 huge windows of the apostles and St. Paul --- and I don't think it will be cluttered-looking after the shrine spaces are filled, partly because they are actual alcoves, spaces, and partly because the corona and crucifix will guide the attention back to the altar.

The ad apsidum pushers and the versus populum fans are all looking in the wrong direction!

karen marie
"from the anchor hold" http://kmknapp.blogspot.com/
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Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Schoenstatt community's probably happy

because one of their own is the Pope's right-hand woman. I'll bet this won't be nearly as controversial as it was back when Pius XII's #1 collaborator was female!

hat tip to Father Jim of Dappled Things.
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Lord, come live in me, come stay with me

Today is Ascension Thursday, and the first day of the great Pentecost Novena, the first novena. Here's an appropriate prayer for this time of prayer, from St. Symeon the New Theologian (who was new back in the 900's):

Come, O true light!
Come, O eternal life!
Come, O hidden mystery!
Come, O indescribable treasure!
Come, O ineffable thing!
Come, O inconceivable person!
Come, O endless delight!
Come, O unsetting light!
Come, O true and fervent expectation
of all those who will be saved!
Come, O rising of those who lie down!
Come, O resurrection of the dead!
Come, O powerful one,
who always creates and re-creates and transforms
by your will alone!
Come, O invisible and totally intangible and untouchable!
Come, O you who always remain immobile and at each moment move all,
and come to us, who lie in hades, you who are above all heavens.
Come, O desirable and legendary name,
which is completely impossible for us
to express what you are or to know your nature.
Come, O eternal joy!
Come, O unwithering wreath!
Come, O purple of the great king our God!
Come, O crystalline cincture,
studded with precious stones!
Come, O inaccessible sandal!
Come, O royal robe and truly imperial right hand!
Come, you whom my wretched soul has desired and does desire!
Come, you who alone go to the lonely
for as you see I am lonely!
Come, you who have separated me from everything
and made me solitary in this world!
Come, you who have become yourself desire in me,
who have made me desire you, the absolutely inaccessible one!
Come, O my breath and life!
Come, O consolation of my humble soul!
Come, O my joy, my glory, and my endless delight!
I thank you that you have become one spirit with me,
without confusion, without mutation,
without transformation, you the God of all;
and that you have become everything for me,
inexpressible and perfectly gratuitous nourishment,
which ever flows to the lips of my soul
and gushes out into the fountain of my heart,
dazzling garment which burns the demons,
purification which bathes me with these imperishable and holy tears,
that your presence brings to those whom you visit.
I give you thanks that for me you have become unsetting light
and non-declining sun;
for you who fill the universe with your glory
have nowhere to hide yourself.
No, you have never hidden yourself from anyone
but we are the ones who always hide from you,
by refusing to go to you;
but then, where would you hide,
you who nowhere find the place of your repose?
Why would you hide,
you who do not turn away from a single creature,
who do not reject a single one?
Today, then, O Master, come pitch your tent with me;
until the end, make your home
and live continually, inseparably within me,
your slave, O most-kind one,
that I also may find myself again in you,
at my departure from this world
and after my departure may I reign with you,
O God who are above everything.
O Master, stay and do not leave me alone,
so that my enemies, arriving unexpectedly,
they who are always seeking to devour my soul,
may find you living within me and that they may take flight,
in defeat, powerless against me,
seeing you, O more powerful than everything,
installed interiorly in the home of my poor soul.
Yea, O Master, just as you remembered me,
when I was in the world
and, in the midst of my ignorance,
you chose me and separated me from this world
and set me before your glorious face,
so now keep me interiorly, by your dwelling within me,
forever upright, resolute;
that by perpetually seeing you,
I, the corpse, may live;
that by possessing you,
I, the beggar, may always be rich, richer than kings;
that by eating you and by drinking you,
by putting you on at each moment,
I go from delight to delight in inexpressible blessings;
for it is You, who are all good and
all glory and all delight and it is to you,
holy, consubstantial, and life-creating Trinity
that the glory belongs,
you whom all faithful venerate, confess, adore, and serve
in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hankering for purges, eh?

There's been a lot of blather on various of the listservs, fora, and comboxes about why it's taking so long for the purges to start. After all, we've had a new pope for two weeks already! I have trouble understanding these kind of things even though I've lived in one of the Church's favorite battlegrounds all of my adult life. A particularly nasty sample was in my mail this morning. He writes, about a particular metropolitan archbishop who has not been accused or convicted of anything:

he needs to be removed, defrocked, and indicted, convicted, and imprisoned for multiple crimes. ....God can judge him from there.

Why? If anyone has evidence of wrongdoing, it is that one's duty, not option, to present it to the district attorney and to the nuncio. Until it's public, it doesn't belong on a listserv or in a combox. If there's no evidence, this kind of talk never belongs. Even the least favorite metropolitan is a successor to the apostles, anointed to teach and to rule, and is a priest forever, at whose hands we receive the Holy Eucharist, and should receive respect and honor for this cause alone --- no matter how least favorite.

With this kind of talk in circulation, it's another reminder to pray especially for the poor unfortunates among us who have to wear the purple and the red beanies, which are a great burden and, in these days, make one an open target besides. One's own, yes, but all of the others also, and especially the ones not particularly loved or admired.
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