Monday, August 29, 2011

The Handmade of the Lord

Had my students learn by heart the Angelus.  When we got to the line that is suppose to read, "I am the handmaid of the Lord." Many of the students spelled "handmaid" h-a-n-d-m-a-d-e.  Did these kids every learn homophones in grammar school?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chesterton for the Critics of WYD, the Pope, and the Catholic Church

Moderns have not the moral courage, as a rule, to avow the sincere spiritual bias behind their fads; they become insincere even about their sincerity. Most modern liberality consists of finding irreligious excuses for religious bigotry. The earlier type of bigot pretended to be more religious than he really was. The later type pretends to be less religious than he really is. He does not wear a mask of piety, but rather a mask of impiety or, at any rate, of indifference.
- G. K. Chesterton

When Analogies Break Down

Most of the language we use to speak of God draws on an analogy of some kind. God is like xyz.  Such and such is like God.  God is similar to zyx.  It must always be remembered that the earthly part of the analogy will always break down at some point when comparing it to God, as God is far beyond the limitations of not only earthly things but also the language we use to speak of Him.  Additionally, whenever a person says that "A" is like "B", they are also saying that "A" is unlike "B" in other ways.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Where'd the Blessing Go?

Flipping through the most recent "Book of Blessings" today at a local Catholic Bookstore, I discovered something that made me awfully sad.  The most current Book no longer contains the official ritual for the Blessing of Beer, which was contained in the older 1962 version.  I brew my own beer and am a big fan of the liquid bread.  I even have a copy of the blessing of beer on the door of my fridge, so that every time I pop open a beer I can pray the beer blessing.

The removal of the beer blessing got mean thinking.  What does it mean now that the blessing of beer has been from the roman ritual; after all, weren't Catholic monks part of the reason beer is so popular today?  Has the Catholic Church turned its back on on of its grates cultural achievements?  Have members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving infiltrated the ranks of the Catholic Church?  Is the removal of the blessing part of the so-called Protestantization of the Church?

Eh, it probably means nothing.  Till otherwise noted that I am doing something I should not be doing, I'll continue blessing my beer.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

10 Catholic Signs It Is Hot HOt HOT Outside.

  1. You understand the meaning of "Psalms 32:4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer"
  2. The Nuns are baking the communion wafers/hosts on the dash of their parked car.
  3. At the sign of peace, no one touches; instead, everyone waves quickly in attempts to create a breeze in the church.
  4. You repeat the line from Matthew 20 "Borne the burden and heat of the day." over and over again as a sign of repentance.
  5. You start wondering if it is liturgically appropriate to administer the blood of Christ chilled.
  6. Noah's flood isn't sounding too bad right about now.
  7. The Newly baptized ask Father for 15 more minutes in the baptismal immersion font.
  8. The discalced carmelites actually put shoes on.
  9. Gehenna, Shemehenna.
  10. For the homily, the Priest takes to the ambo and says, "You think it's hot as hell.  It's not." then steps down and continues with Mass.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Assumption of Mary: Where's The Body?

I've been reading several articles on the assumption of Mary.  Most of which give a historical and or theological approach to the teaching of Mary "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."

I would like to throw this into the ring.  Where is Mary's body?  That is, the Catholic Church loves relics.  Relics, for those who do not know, are little bits (commonly bone, hair, or nails) of the deceased body of a Saint used in public veneration.  Relics serve as a reminder and remembrance of the holy people who have gone to their eternal rest (yes, there is biblical evidence for relics).  Through out history, Catholics have gone through great lengths to preserve the bodies and even rescued the bodies of Martyrs under pain of death so as to have relics of the faithfully departed.  Even greater length is had to ensure that all Catholic churches posses a relic of the saith with whose name the church bears.  So, if you attend Mass at St. John Vianney Parish, there should be a relic of St. John Vianney somewhere in the church.  Some churches even go as far as to have the ear of such and such a saint, the tongue of this saint, or the foot of another saint.

What do relics have to do with Mary's Assumption?  Only everything!  I've had the opportunity to see several relics of Mary; however, these were all second class relics (things owned and use by the Saint) .  None were actual pieces of her body.  That is because no first class relics of Mary's bones are known to exist.  The only first class relics that might be in existence are of her hair and breast milk -- yes there are a few places that say to have the milk that nourished Christ.  If Mary was not assumed into heaven and the doctrine of the Assumption was only created in 1950 by Pope Pius XII, then where are all the first class relics of Mary that should be in existence the previous 1949 years?  Where are the bones or bits of bones from the Theotokos?  Where is she buried?   No churches exist as shrines to her deceased body.  No pilgrimage routes have been made to the burial place of her body.  There are no keepers of the body that birthed Salvation.

If any Saint would have been broken up and spread to the ends of the Earth -- her foot here, her ear some place else, or he tongue there -- it would have been the Blessed Mother. She who gave a body to the God-Man. She who is more intimately united with Christ than any other person will ever be.  Yet, the annals are silent on the resting place of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the reliquaries are empty of the bones of the Mother of God.  Because her body is not here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Speaking of Theology of the Body: Don't Over Sexualize it

Some of the Christopher West devotees might take issue with this but I've always critiqued the parts of Bl. John Paul's Theology of the Body that he over sexualized.  I'm sorry West, the baptismal candle being dipped in the baptismal DOES NOT symbolize Christ copulating with his Bride the church.  At that moment in the Liturgy, the the candle represents the Holy Spirit going out over the waters of creation.

Recently, a Vatican Official said:
The problem is that if you focus only on sexuality, you cannot develop beyond that level, that such beauty is a gift, something given to mankind by the Creator but within a much broader context. Attraction to the beauty of human sexuality and the human body is normal because it is true and real. What can become a problem, however, would be to regard human sexuality in a kind of mystical way. Pope John Paul II embraced no form of mystic sexuality. What the Blessed Pontiff did in fact say is that sexuality has a mystical perspective and dimension …  
There is a danger of vulgarizing here a crucial truth of our Faith that needs rather to be contemplated.

Have a Good Weekend

It is Not Good: A Short Reflection of Theology of the Body

It is Not Good

God says of man in Genesis: “It is not good that the man should be alone” (2:18 RSV-CE). Here solitude appears to take on a negative character. In the creation stories, it is clear that man is alone in the sense that there are no other creatures like himself. The solitude man experiences in the beginning is different from the solitude of a monk or hermit; they have and know others but leave the world to be for the world. No, man here, in the creation stories, really is alone: there is none like him and it is not good that man should have none like himself. “Alone simply means he has no other like himself.

But why is not having another like oneself “not good”? Christ Himself says of God in the Gospels that “no one is good but God alone” (Mark 10:18 RSV-CE). Knowing the revelation of God through Christ and the Spirit, God is revealed as a community of loving persons where each is like the other (scripture passages). It can be said that what is “not good” about Man's solitude is that man, at this point, has no community, no other who is like himself. In other words, it is “not good” for man to be alone because man less perfectly images the self-giving love of the Trinity when man has no other like himself. Therefore, man more perfectly images the Trinity when he has another like himself to whom he may make of gift of himself.

This is expressed at man's joyous proclamation upon waking and discovering woman: “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” It is as if Man looks at woman and says, “you are a creature who is like me in not only form and matter but also in nature and substance. I give the gift of myself to one who is like me and you give the gift of yourself to one who is like you.”

The giving of self as a gift expresses in no way an economic system. Making a gift into an economic system destroys the nature of what a gift is – namely that a gift is freely given. Original man is not saying that he loves woman because she is instrumentally good and useful for something (washing the dishes, cooking dinner or having children). Man gives of himself freely to woman simply because she is the only one who is able to accept the gift, understand the gift, and respond to the gift in a way that results in man and woman echoing the Trinity. In the process of giving, accepting, understanding, and responding to the gift of self, man and woman form a relationship of reciprocity

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not Said by St. Lawrence

St. Lawrence, the early deacon of the Catholic faith who, when commanded by the king to bring to him the treasures of the Church, brought to the king the poor, the sick, and the injured to the king saying, "Here is the wealth of the church."  The kind was far less than happy.  He ordered the good deacon to be grilled alive.  Legends state that after cooking for a while on one side, the deacon quipped, "Turn me over, I'm done on this side."  St. Lawrence is the patron saint of Cooks (the Catholic church love irony).

In honor of this holy man.  LarryD over at Acts of the Apostasy has made a humorous post of Things NOT said by St. Lawrence.  It is worth a read.

Monday, August 01, 2011

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