Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jesuit #1

Jesuit High of New Orelans's state championship soccer team is ranked #1 in the NSCAA/Adidas National Rankings.

Check out the Team's site on the Jesuit High School's site.

Notre Dame Being Catholic

As an alumnus of the Universtiy of Notre Dame I often just roll my eyes when people start talking about ND not being an authentically Catholic school because the people making those comments are the people who never hear about the authentically catholic stuff that the University actually does and how more often than not the Univeristy's practices are in line with orthodoxy. They only read the headlines, and Eucharistic Processions and adoration never makes the CNN news.

Here is one of those authentically catholic practices that is going on at that supposedly inauthentically catholic university.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Donut unto others . . .

Sadly, I wish this was my original idea, but it isn't. Jeff, the Curt Jester, quipped it in the comment section on a post at the Ironic Catholic's blog. I just put it to picture.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Orleans Archbishop Says "No" to Commencement Speaker

Notre Dame is not the only university bishops are speaking out against for not only inviting a pro-abortion individual to give the commencement address but also giving an honor to said speaker. New Orleans Archbishop, Alfred Hughes, has informed Xavier University that he will not be attending Xavier's graduating ceremonies due to the award they will be giving the Donna Brazile, a firm supporter of women's rights and abortion. Though Donna Brazile, a native of the New Orleans' suburbs, supports things that are specifically against the Catholic Chruch she says that she "will remain faithful to the Catholic chruch and my christian faith."

For the full article go here.

Also, I wonder what the founder of Xavier of New Orleans, Saint Katharine Drexel, would say about this?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mary - The Unburnt Bush

There are a number of 8 pointed stars on the Jesuit buildings and in chapel in the school at which I teach. This got be thinking, "What does the 8 pointed star represent?" No one seemed to be able to answer my question.

Eventually I came across some information saying that the 8 pointed star can be one of two things. First, it can be a stylized symbol of the burning bush. Second, it can be a stylized symbol of Mary the unburnt bush.

The title is meant to be an emphasis on Mary's perpetual virginity, and does not have anything to do with her being God. This is a type.

Click on the image to see a larger picture of the icon.

I found a site that explains it a little bit. It reads:
Commemorated on September 4

The Unburnt Bush Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is based on the miracle witnessed by Moses in the Old Testament. In Chapter 3 of Exodus God calls Moses on Mt. Horeb from the midst of a bush which "was burning, yet it was not consumed" (Ex. 3:2). Moses is informed that he will lead the Hebrews out of their slavery in Egypt, and then God tells him His name, "I am Who am" (Ex. 3:14).

The Church has always regarded the Unburnt Bush on Horeb as a type of the Most Holy Theotokos giving birth to the Savior Christ, while remaining a Virgin. This imagery is to be found in the Church's hymnography (for example, the Dogmatikon at Saturday Vespers in Tone 2), and also in iconography.

One of the earliest depictions of the Mother of God as the Unburnt Bush shows her holding her divine Son in the midst of a burning bush. Moses is shown to one side, removing his sandals, for that place was holy (Ex. 3:5).

Most icons now depict the bush in a symbolic fashion. There are two overlapping diamonds: one red (representing the fire), the other green (representing the bush), forming an eight pointed star. The Theotokos is shown in the center.

In the four corners of the green diamond are the symbols of the four Evangelists: a man (St Matthew), a lion (St Mark), an ox (St Luke), and an eagle (St John). These symbols are derived from Ezekiel 1:10 and Revelation 4:7. Archangels are depicted in the four corners of the red diamond.

The design of the icon has become more complex over time. Now we can see archangels, Moses and the burning bush (Ex. 3:2), Isaiah and the seraphim with the burning coal (Is. 6:7), Ezekiel and the gate through which only the Lord may enter (Ez. 44:2), and Jacob with the ladder (Gen. 28:12). The Theotokos is shown holding Jacob's ladder which leads from earth to heaven. Sometimes the Root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1) is shown in the center of the icon's lower border.

There is an old story about a fire which was consuming several wooden buildings. In the midst of the fire an old woman stood in front of her house holding an icon of the "Unburnt Bush." A witness happened to see her there, and marveled at her faith. The next day he returned to the spot and was astonished to see the old woman's home completely unscathed by the fire, while all the other houses around it were destroyed. This may explain why the Mother of God, through her Icon of the Unburnt Bush, is regarded as the protector of homes from fire.

It is believed that the earliest icons of the Unburnt Bush originated at St Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai.
I might return to this later. Perhaps when I have more time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Generation Diva: How our obsession with beauty is changing our kids.

This is kind of disturbing. What ever happened to just being yourself and content with what you have?

From the Article:
There's a scene in "Toddlers & Tiaras," the TLC reality series, where 2-year-old Marleigh is perched in front of a mirror, smothering her face with blush and lipstick. She giggles as her mother attempts to hold the squealing toddler still, lathering her legs with self-tanner. "Marleigh loves to get tan," her mom says, as the girl presses her face against the mirror.
. . .
Consider this: according to a NEWSWEEK examination of the most common beauty trends, by the time your 10-year-old is 50, she'll have spent nearly $300,000 on just her hair and face.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Sign I am Aging: The Watchmen

I head some talk about the graphic "novel" The Watchmen from a number of my students since the movie came out a while back. It is nearly a near consensus among the students that the graphic novel is better than the movie. Anyway, I told one of my students that I'd like to read the book, because the book is almost always better than the movie. Recently the same student came into the theology office to see if I had gotten around the reading the book. The conversation went something like this:
Student: "Hey Mr. C. Did you get a chance to read The Watchmen yet?"

Me: "I looked through a copy the other night at Barns and Nobles and decided not to get a copy.

Student: "Awww why not. It's really good."

Me: "Honestly, it has too many pictures for me."
Needless to say the student found this amusing and so did the other faculty in the theology office. I never thought I would not read a book because it had "too many" pictures. I mean, isn't this what people are supposed to want in a reading experience? Nahh. I think I'll just stick with my imagination.

Forgo Being Part of the Lost Generation

Be sure to watch it all so that you get the whole message. Also, inspiration without action is vain. So don't just be inspired, do something.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Vagina Monologues a No Show This Year

V-Day came a went without much of an outcry over the controversial play, the Vagina Monologues, that has a tendency to boil women down to an object to be used and abused as opposed to a person who is to be loved. Femininity does not equate to the vagina alone. Anyway, the students at Notre Dame are not doing a production of the Vagina Monologues this year.

From the Article:
For the first time in eight years, Notre Dame students will not perform "The Vagina Monologues" at an on- or off-campus location.

Junior Miriam Olsen, a producer of last year's show, said the group of students in charge of organizing the production of "The Vagina Monologues" this year decided not to continue the show.

"We were not forbidden by the University to do the Monologues and we didn't give up fighting," she said.

Instead, Olsen said she, along with several other students, declined to produce the show because they believed the controversy on campus that follows the show is ultimately counterproductive to the show's purpose.

"What happened was that I, and some other people who have been involved in the past, feel like the "Monologues" are an amazing piece that talks about women's sexuality that can be very productive for Notre Dame students," she said. "But unfortunately, what happens when the "Monologues" are put on, is they turn into more of a scandal than an action piece."

I've read the play in full and though sexual abuse is an important issue at hand, the majority of the book is not about sexual abuse. It is about the strange myth that seems to be floating around that in order to be liberated one must have some kind of unrestrained sex with whomever, whenever, and wherever they are. The text itself is sophomoric at best and is on the same level of crassness as my high school locker room. And to believe that women at one point were the superior gender/sex is becoming more difficult to believe.

Book Review: The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist

When Double Day told me they were sending me a book on exorcism, my initial reaction was “great, how bad is this book going to be?” However, to my complete surprise, The Rite, was an excellent read. Baglio, a journalist who was somewhat skeptical about exorcism, follows the training and education of a priest from California, Father Gary, as he learns how to be an exorcist while on sabbatical in Rome.

Rich in catholic theology on good, evil, angels, and demons, Baglio takes a level headed approach to his writing and investigation and expels many of the myths and overly dramatized production that Hollywood spins into tales of exorcism. In fact, many of the cases presented by Baglio as he follows Father Gary are quite boring where there is little more than escaping air from the exorcised to signify that the exorcism is finished.

As a person who teaches theology for a living, I recommend it to any who has a healthy and balanced interested in the subject of exorcism. It is on par with, if not better than, other books of its type – like Father Amroth’s An Exorcist Tells His Story.
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