Sunday, June 29, 2014

.csiM


Waited on the next up Uncle Corky. Patience wonderfully delicious pays.


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Oh! I "discovered" another symphonic poem by Rachmaninoff:






Quite in the same vein as Isle of the Dead. Beautiful!


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Yeah, they weren't related or anything.

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Boredom is a walled kingdom in which lust typically accedes to the throne and starts amplifying the wonders of State through megaphones on every corner.

If it were possible to find out, would statistics show that a large percentage of temptations to lust - with its manifestations of porn-viewing, masturbation, adultery, fornication - was preceded by an almost soul-crushing boredom?

I know where the favour would be stacked in betting on Boredom as the great precursor to Lust.

As far as I can remember, Christopher West never talks about this (are his books and talks even relevant anymore? LOL). Obviously there is a reason why he doesn't. It would dismantle his brand of sex mysticism - immediately. His whole show is predicated on the falsehood that lust is the key to infinity gone berserk.

To say it is the progeny of a preexisting boredom...well, yeah. No money there either.

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Stuff White People Like #137: Stuff White People Like.

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Does the Church wage campaigns against herself?

Are the Church's "vital signs" indicated by the computed numbers of bad stories and the computed numbers of good stories?

Is the state of the economy indicated by the "Dow Jones"?

Nope and nope and nope.

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People who jump off cliffs in order to "fly" (with the new wing suits they've developed) before deploying the parachute are high risk addicts. There is such a thing. They are addicted to the "endorphin" release which comes from jumping off a six thousand foot cliff and safely landing in a field somewhere.

Think about what that must do to a person's daily life with its ordinary duties. Such a thing would be a HUGE dissipation of focus on the ordinary and daily, on anything. No wonder they talk about how they "need" to do it, suddenly dropping everything and going cliff jumping flying.

They can talk the near-mystical bullcrap all they want about how were they born to do it - they're addicts, addicted to the release of "endorphins". In their case, the release that comes from throwing yourself off a cliff - and then not dying or being injured. All of them have friends who have been killed doing it. All what it takes with these cliff "fliers" is one single splat - and they've just deprived their wife, husband, significant other, children, relatives, parents, dog, cat, gold fish, of a person held dear. And for what? Your noble need to throw yourself off a cliff? And that's not to mention the tax, the cost it demands from your wife, husband, significant other, children, relatives, parents, dog, cat, gold fish, every single time you go out to soothe your cliff-endorphin addiction, with them wondering if you'll be coming back because of the thought you might go splat. Back in the day (and today!) wives had similar worries over the return of their husbands - from war. But the return from narcissistic endorphin-addiction?

Yeah, but you "need" it. So yeah, sorry, I don't jive with the dream talk about how they were born to do it and how they so need it and how it's a step in the progress of aviation evolution.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fr. Angelo of Mary Victrix

is one of those teachers on the blogosphere whose comments in response to comments are worthy of posts in themselves.

I always learn at his blog. It has that particular Catholic stamp of richness and deepness that comes from thinking with the Church, rather than asserting that one knows what is good for the Church. And he is unafraid of the polemical propaganda of the red pill restorationists.

Take his comment from this post for instance:

Actually, that the N.O “theogically impoverished” is your personal opinion and not the teaching of the Church. So in your personal opinion does that make the N.O. valid and licit but not pleasing to God, or not as pleasing to God? And what does attending the N.O. in “good faith” mean? Does that mean those in “good faith” are in error, but unaware? Or uninformed, but following the postconciliar Church without knowing better?

And is theological impoverishment a numerical or qualitative problem? Is it that the signs (matter, gesture and words) are fewer or less distinct? Or that they are no longer capable of signifying what Christ intended in Instituting the Sacrament and Sacrifice of the Eucharist? In what sense does the N.O. not capture the fullness of Catholic doctrine about propitiatory sacrifice?

Are you sure that Christ does is not satisfied with the N.O. celebrated according to the mind of the Church, or that He is less satisfied? And I assume if you are, you would assert this as a matter of reason, and not divine faith? Or is it otherwise?

You can go on and on about the problems of abuse and the lack of faith, but that does not really answer the theological question at hand. And that is the real question, because it is the only one you raised. And the only conclusion you can come to is purely a personal opinion which neither you or anyone else can impose on anyone or expect to use as a policy to control the behavior of other people, especially those who do not and have never believed such things.

I certainly admit a legitimate range of opinion on the matter, as long as it is presented as purely non-authoritative opinion. The problem is when this is translated into slogans like “save the liturgy and save the Church,” or “of Mary and the liturgy there is never enough.” And it becomes more of a problem when it becomes the policy of a religious community, whose members are free to adhere to the teaching of the postconciliar magisterium and cannot have imposed on them the purely personal opinions that you hold. Indeed, they have at least as much right to resist such opinions, if not more, than you do to expect the toleration of them.

One last thing: There is a very bad habit on the part of many in the Church today, whether progressive, conservative or traditionalist to confuse apologetics, polemics, politics and journalism with theology. Theology is not agenda driven and it only works well when it exercised in full communion with the Church.

The essential problem you are dealing with concerns the theological relationship between the sign and its signification, which are distinct. This distinction is the reason why, for example in the East the epiclesis can play a far more prominent role and occur after the Institutive Narrative. The sign is different than the Western Rite, but the signification is not, or at least, not so much. The relationship between these two things is neither purely physical nor mathematical. It is not like programing code. The relationship is metaphysical and related to the Institution of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is not a political question, nor is it going to be solved by the inside baseball of agenda driven liturgical ideology.

I totally agree that the liturgy, even the current one, may develop and be corrected and improved, but the problem cannot be lifted from its ecclesiological and metaphysical context. And it certainly is not going to be solved by bloggers and armchair theologians.

A feast of sanity is found at his blog.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Misc.

My rosary went through the wash, something that never happens. Being a sturdy rosary of sure copper linkage and wooden beads of a honey hue, it stayed intact. But to my horror the deep lustre which the beads had attained from over a decade of de facto hand polishing was completely stripped. Stripped as in Borax stripped. Because I add Borax to my laundry detergent. Because I like the stiffness it gives to clothes.

Back to square one.

Funny, I made an idol of my de facto hand polishing and I didn't even know it.

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If statues and images of Jesus and Mary and the Saints are just dead wood and dead stone then the letters in your Bible are just dead letters.

Hah, right back at you.

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Wendy's has fallen from a great height, I'm sorry to say. Their beef patties used to be thick and juicy and their fries chips were vastly superior to what they are now. Their burgers are not as substantial as they used to be - and oh, that is so annoying the way they put a huge chunk of whole lettuce leaf in the burger.

Take a cue from McDonald's and Burger King: their lettuce is chopped. McDonald's lettuce is more shredded, but Burger King does the lettuce the best. In fact, Burger King has the burger condiments down perfect (by which I mean the lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and all of that). McDonald's burgers are nothing but sliders - all of them. A&W is great, but man the saltiness...wow. But seriously, no one can beat A&W's root beer milkshake. That is just awesome. And their onion rings are nice.

But nope, I will say it: of the fast food burger chains, Burger King's double whopper with cheese is the best. Better than what Wendy's now offers. And yeah, I'll take it over A&W.

Why?

Because the flame-broil.

And because of the general circumference of their burgers. The circle is wider. The others are not.

And this is Canada. We don't have White Castle. Yet.

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How can people eat Krispy Kreme Crispy Creme Crispy Cream Croustillant Crème donuts doughnuts? Even Tim Hortons Tim Hortons' Time Horton's Tim Horton's' are disgustingly sugarfied. But Krispy Kreme Crispy Creme Crispy Cream Croustillant Crème is just...holy crap, how do you people even eat one of them, let alone half a dozen, or a dozen?

They are not donuts doughnuts. They are half-baked squishy sugar-flour somethings - with more sugar on top.

Don't think just in terms of health here, but what are doing to your palette? A palette actually needs to be developed. When you eat things like Krispy Kreme Crispy Creme Crispy Cream Croustillant Crème you are dulling it, turning it into a one-note monochromatic screaming little brat that refuses to eat real things - you know, like actual real donuts doughnuts.

Says the man who voted Burger King.

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And who does the best coffee?

Me.

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Stop it with the word "random". Random this, random that. Own what you say. Like, more than half the girls in church are like randomly wearing like nothing. It's like so random!

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I'm not interested in any discussion about immodesty exciting the lusts of men or any other such thing. I would just like to say this, and I say it with sincerity. Ladies, girls, women: you do not have the right to come to church dressed like that. Take that and digest it. There is no difficult thing here. If everything you substantially change about yourself must have some babyish basis in a feminist justification, well then, yeah, you might want to try Hinduism - Hinduism in the western experience, without the butt-naked ascetics.

I don't care about "the subject". The issue, insofar as to "what to wear to church", has in my opinion been largely sidetracked by talking about modesty. It has derailed the main point.

As to the wearing of those articles to church...let me repeat it, and this isn't me talking here, but the Church: you do not have the right. Go to Rome if you want to find that out.

Let me repeat it a third time: You do not have the right to come to church dressed like that.

Think about that for a span of five minutes straight, if you can. Notice where the emphasis in that statement lies. It does not start with "the modesty issue" and its concomitant "Well, real modesty begins in the heart and the intentions..." discussion/debate.

It doesn't mean burka or ankle-length dress or anything you wouldn't naturally wear. Dress casual if you want. If it's not cooking out, I'll typically throw on a cashmere or something with long sleeves or a light jacket over the t-shirt.

That's the general rule. General coverage: good. Purposely designed to reveal either by exposure or tightness: bad. Really, it's not hard. Do you not own a mirror?

Life is short and every little thing we do with it has immense consequences. The Church's consecrated spaces where Christ in the Blessed Sacrament abides should be a no-brainer.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Snatched


I went down on my hands and knees to catch the little bird that was hopping along but was not flying. Surely it was injured. My intention was to pick it up and give it to B. to maybe nurture and keep out of harm's way; this would at least be something.

The difficult part wasn't catching up to the bird, but cupping the hand just right around it. You feel how delicate the body is and you immediately hesitate to grip because you think you are going crush the bird; in which case the bird gets away because you don't have him tight enough.

Then there was a moment when the bird let me pick him up; from there he walked along my hand, arm, shoulder. I cupped him again in my hand.

Later, I thought: if even the momentary docility of a little bird gives to a mere man such delight, then what must be the delight of God when we let Him snatch us up and do with as He wills?

B. said to me it was a baby nuthatch and she's been watching them being fed by their mother at the bird feeder; at which point the bird suddenly flew, away and up to the feeder. Though not before leaving a little white parting gift.

The delight of seeing the bird's flight - tenuous but sure, the flight of a baby: my only thought was thanks that the bird could fly and that it was not injured after all.

And later: if the flight of a little bird from the hand of a mere man gives to him such delight, then what must be the delight...





Monday, June 16, 2014

Achievement


Time was ever dripping, spilling, leaking
through a fractured basin
that some began to mend, cork and caulk.
To a degree they found success; but then
the volume being pent,
burst the bandages.
Widening hairline fissures
time gushed out in rapid torrent.
And now everyone stares frightened
at the draining.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chichikov

I NEED A CRISIS
By Pavel Chichikov


The dragon crawls from the cave for a smoke,
The air inside is stagnant, dense,
He needs to clear his head from sleep
And a dream he had that made no sense

He dreamed the gold of his golden pile
Had turned to straw and then to powder,
Had left him writhing on the floor
With a need for something to devour

The dragon shook his scaly fringe
And came to see a real nightmare,
Suppose the price of gold had failed?
It gave the worried worm a scare

Who would want to find his cave
To steal his horde and battle him?
There’d be no princes he could eat,
A dragon could grow cold and thin

I need a crisis, said the beast
To send the price of gold aloft,
Then from each nostril grew a flame
Because the dragon swelled and coughed 




The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

Oil Painting




Title: Perch

Medium: Oil on canvas paper

Size: 12 in. x 16 in.

Happy Father's Day...

...Papa Francisco!

Happy Father's Day to our Holy Father!













  






 Loved by many of your children.











 Though some of your children have Daddy Issues.

But that's to be expected in this day and age.

The Zeitgeist retains a grip on some part of our hearts.

The Zeitgeist allows wiggle room of all kinds;

lets us roam about in our fantasies,

our fantasies fueled by the internet

that we are in the truth,

that we know,

that we don't need a father.

But the Zeitgeist keeps a hold of one precious part;

and we find docility and humility hard.

We all have issues.




"But it would be a grave error to think that a father and mother can do nothing to form their child to grow in the grace of God. To grow in age, to grow in wisdom and to grow in grace: this is the work Joseph did with Jesus, to help him grow in these three ways, to aid his growth.

"Dear brothers and sisters, Joseph’s mission is certainly unique and unrepeatable, because Jesus is absolutely unique. And yet, in his guardianship of Jesus, forming him to grow in age, wisdom and grace, he is a model for every educator, especially every father. St Joseph is the model of the educator and the dad, the father. I, therefore, entrust to his protection, all parents, priests — who are fathers — and those who have an educational role in the Church and in society. In a special way, I would like to greet today, being fathers’ day, all parents, all fathers: I greet you from the heart! Let’s see: are there any fathers in the square? Raise your hands, dads! Look, there are many fathers! Best wishes, best wishes to you on your day! I ask for you the grace to be ever closer to your children, allow them to grow, but be close, close! They need you, your presence, your closeness, your love. May you be for them as St Joseph was: guardians of their growth in age, wisdom and grace. May you guard them on their journey: be educators and walk with them. And by this closeness you will be true educators. Thank you for all you do for your children: thank you. Best wishes to you, and a happy fathers’ day to all fathers here, and to all fathers. May St Joseph bless you and accompany you. Some of us have lost our dad, he has passed away, the Lord has called him; many in this square do not have their dad still with them. We can pray for all the fathers of the world, for the fathers living and deceased, as well as our own, and we can do it together, each one remembering his or her own father whether he be living or dead. And let us pray to the great Father of us all, the Father. An Our Father for our fathers: Our Father.... Best wishes to fathers!" --Pope Francis in his General Audience from March 19, 2014






Friday, June 13, 2014

Couple of good Levant videos

On Melinda Gates:






On the persecution of Trinity Western University:


Misc.

I still have not read Tolkien's translation of Beowulf just published. I haven't even ordered it yet. I know I'm going to like it. Lo! I've always liked the hard alliterative translations. The problem with Heaney's is not that he made it too Irish or too anything. The problem with what he did was that he took a poem that is audible and aural, in the sense that its written words have their reason in the prior context of being heard and spoken - even if the poem is going to be read silently, and turned it into the contemporarily visual, replete with the contemporary obsession with enjambment and the contemporary embarrassment over alliteration. In other words, by "contemporarily visual" I don't mean "visionary". I mean the modern regard for a poem as it is looked at on the page. So.

The contemporary obsession with enjambment - its consistent use on par with previous generations' decadent use of alliteration - and the contemporary embarrassment over alliteration is an ironic thing. It is ironic because enjambment, in its large-scale contemporary use, is ten times more artificial and contrived than what moderns think alliteration is supposed to be. Enjambment came as a result of necessity and happily it struck a certain beauty that exists between the aural meter and the visual line (break). Its employment today, by the thousands of poets in Poetry Magazine for instance, is a decadent museum artifact that has changed in being removed from its living context of necessity, and employed after the fact; and people are oblivious to how quaint they're being - far more so than any Victorian.

Some might say, "But Beowulf is nothing but enjambment all the time!"

Not so. Because Beowulf is not written in a line-by-line meter. In other words, it is not syllabic meter. Syllabic meter is line-by-line meter: so many syllables to a line, which becomes line-by-line. Beowulf has lines, but the lines are not decided by syllable count. The more I think about it, the more I realize that Tolkien was correct to translate it as "prose".

The end result of Heaney's is a poem whose hard edges have been softened. Beowulf is a poem in which the words are a sort of combat. The words don't positively make combat, or fight with each other, but they retain that belief in word which leaves a word at face value. And the combat exists in our - the readers - coming to terms with word. Poetry should "purify the dialect of the tribe": a poem should be the tribe speaking in its own language in such a way that it is discovering its own language for the first, within the crucible of the poem. Such that entering into it every time necessitates this rediscovery, this regaining, this remembering.

So maybe Heaney's translation is too Irish. LOL. Though, in Heaney's translation it's not so much like the poem fell into the hands of someone deeply immersed in the music of Ireland, but of Wales. That wasn't an insult. I like Dylan Thomas.

And no, I don't dislike Heaney's translation. My prior excitement over it has fizzled though, and I realize there was always something essential lacking, and this lack comes down to talking about it as a translation. It is an example that language is not just language, and it says something about the assumption that in spite of transitions away from a poem's forms to other forms, the essence of the poem will remain. It won't. The language of poetical form is intrinsic to what is essential in the poem, for the outer forms were the means by which the scops grasped and wrangled with the essential, thus they are the lenses which one must dispose oneself to, which becomes a question not of phonetic pedantry (or innovation), but of disposition.

I don't regard Heaney's as top of the list for Beowulf translations. It is its own kind of artwork. Yes, he "made a masterpiece from a masterpiece", but his masterpiece does not get the reader close to, into, what makes Beowulf a masterpiece.

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One of the things I love so much about Pope Francis is the surprise. I don't mean the surprise of him, or of anything he does or says (though there is that too), but the surprise that seems to be ushered in with his pontificate, of seeing, together with his pontificate, aided and headed by his pontificate (not isolated from it), the continuation of the life of the Church and the facets of her truth and beauty and goodness that are ever ancient and ever new.

From that afternoon on March 13 when my boss said to me at work, "Well, we have a new Pope! Pope Francis the First [as was the mistaken wont of folks to say]. From Argentina!"

And as I drove home from work, overwhelmed with joy so that I could hardly get my breath and like my mind was both stunned and drunk with gratitude to God for His Reality, I kept saying, "YES! YES! Of course! Francis! Renewal!" And the sense of freshness as I drove...it wasn't fake; it was something like scary new life coming from an ancient well. The newness and sense of renewal were already dawning on me before even laying eyes on this new Pope!

And now we see how the labours of his two predecessors (and three and four and five...) show forth their reality, their depth, their meaning; that their labours were not in vain, that their labours were not isolated. All continuous and always revealing, revealing some new aspect that is ever new and ever ancient.

I think a Pentecost is blowing through the Church revealing new treasures, ever ancient, in the midst of much grief, chaos, misery, and darkness of sin.

But I think these Pentecostal winds have a dual nature. They bring new life, but they simultaneously shake the chaff.

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What is taking the Red Pill but deciding that you have sealed yourself from all error and that all error lies exterior to yourself?

Good luck with that.

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Here is a strange reality that certain bloggers of the Blogisterium prove over and over again: when a reaction to something is isolated enough and forceful enough, the reaction actually replicates what it is trying to push against.

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Over-sized sunglasses: ladies, stop it. Really, just stop it. Getting old. Real fast. You totally make me ROFL.

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There's a stupid cat that likes to come into the backyard every once and a while because - as far as I can discern - he thinks I dug up the garden bed nice and crumbly to be his own personal litter box. Though I have no evidence to prove this. I have noticed over the years that simply having a garden is an invitation to creatures; and I've learned not to fear this.

So I say "stupid cat" in the kindest sort of way.

As for pests such as slugs...now then, I use words that should not be written - or spoken.

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God gave Saint John Paul the Great a pontificate for 27 years. God Gave Pope Benedict XVI a pontificate for 8 years - short but intense and concise in fixing (fixing as in affixing, not "repairing"), among other things, the liturgical traditions of the church; one could say he assured the inner liturgical workings of the Church. While John Paul the Great's pontificate was spreading the Divine Mercy and evangelism and ecumenism.

I think the timelines are a good indicator to us about how much time one should focus on certain aspects of the life of the Church.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fairytale Salad

E.T. was always one of those films that the adults had unanimously decided kids really ought to like; that kids were supposed to like, and therefore they did like. But E.T. for us kids, while being immanently watchable (our favourite part was the bicycle getaway towards the end), was never what the adults thought it was for us. We never regarded the story as meat, but salad.

The same held for "the Force" mumbo jumbo in the Star Wars films; it was salad, albeit slathered with thousand island dressing (which I used to love but now hate). Though the backstories as hinted by Kenobi and later unfolded was meat. What took our interest and fascination was the Sand People, the light saber, the Millennium Falcon, the hologram chessboard, the Rancor Monster, Greedo (who did not engage in the fairytale salad of shooting first), Jabba the Hut, Boba Fett, Yoda's swamp and his stone dwelling...in other words, we wanted meat.

In other words, we loved The Goonies. Is it coincidental that The Goonies found great favour with kids while adults generally disliked the film?

The Indiana Jones films were totally meat, never salad. The supernatural aspects (or in the case of the second film, the uh, preternatural aspects?) of the films were never salad. I still remember getting the terrible willies from that early scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana is approached in the lecture hall by the men about the Lost Ark, and he pulls out the book with the illustration of the tribe of Israel carrying the Ark. No effects, eerie music, all evoked: it was totally meat.

Notice I'm not including the "fourth" "installment" of "Indiana Jones and Skull Something or Other". Fairytale salad.

Perhaps you are starting to get a clue as to what is meant by "fairytale salad".

I recall Tim Jones of Old World Swine blog remarking how when he was a kid it was the same deal with Where the Wild Things Are: the book was something the adults had decided kids really ought to love and that's precisely how the book came across to him. Fairytale salad.

I don't remember being read Hans Christian Anderson stories as a kid. I do remember when browsing through them, looking at the pictures, the particular aura, the particular scent that the books gave off: fairytale salad.

But we were always suckers for such things as Hansel and Gretel. That was meat. That was faerie. Aesop's fables (whatever renditions we read at that time) and other stories such as Br'er Rabbit and the Tar-Baby were meat enough to not be considered fairytale salad.

People like to say that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is redneck white trash. But the fact is, when the movie first came out - this is after the toys and the animated t.v. series - it was so totally meat. It held our fascination because it was so stunningly earthy. One can laugh, but the movie still holds up - for what it is.

Anyways, to carry this further, I thought I would include some meaty cultural twins. Here's a pair: Lord of the Flies and The Lord of the Rings.

Both were published in the same year: 1954. Both have titles referring to the evil one. In the case of Tolkien, to Sauron, the servant of Melkor. In the case of Golding, the title is the literal English for "Beelzebub". Both books went on to become best-sellers, and both went on to become hugely popular albeit in different ways. The Lord of the Rings became the best-selling book behind the Bible and, well, we all know how huge it is; and Lord of the Flies, while a best-seller, became entrenched as required reading for Grade 11 English classes the world over (or other grades, give or take). Both involve a chubby or portly "sidekick" who is regarded as insignificant (and in the case of Piggy, downright mocked and derided) but who turns out to be either the hero or, in the case of Piggy, the one who ought to be listened to. It goes without saying, both authors were English (British). Interestingly, Lord of the Flies is allegorical, boldly so, yet not at all in the same vein as Lewis. There is something much more archetypical, or evocative, about Golding's very imagistic allegory. It's more like the images develop an allegorical sense on their own. But still very different from The Lord of the Rings.

Golding and Tolkien, as far as I know, were not acquaintances. How does one account for this cultural phenomenon, these cultural twins?

Anyhow, here's a quote from a letter that J.R.R Tolkien wrote, Letter 328:


"A few years ago I was visited in Oxford by a man whose name I have now forgotten (though I believe he was well-known). He had been much struck by the curious way in which many old pictures seemed to him to have been designed to illustrate The Lord of the Rings long before its time. He brought one or two reproductions. I think he wanted at first simply to discover whether my imagination had fed on pictures, as it clearly had been by certain kinds of literature and languages. When it became obvious that, unless I was a liar, I had never seen the pictures before and was not well acquainted with pictorial Art, he fell silent. I became aware that he was looking fixedly at me. Suddenly he said: 'Of course you don't suppose, do you, that you wrote all that book yourself?'

Pure Gandalf! I was too well acquainted with G. to expose myself rashly or to ask what he meant. I think I said: 'No, I don't suppose so any longer.' I have never since been able to suppose so. An alarming conclusion for an old philologist to draw concerning his private amusement. But not one that should puff any one up who considers the imperfections of 'chosen instruments', and indeed what sometimes seems their lamentable unfitness for the purpose."

Uncle Corky




Figs, and especially white figs, really do have a peak point at which they must be picked. The fat one sagging there on the tree (and consequently on the plate) was yet too early, in spite of its being squishy and somewhat translucent. 

The fig at its picking point must not be defying gravity at all. It must be fully drooping with its own weight. The one in the picture, while drooping heavily, was still fighting gravity somewhat, and its skin was not starting to break. It tasted mediocre; not nearly what it should be. I knew as soon as I broke into the skin with my fingers that it wasn't going to taste great because you could see areas between the pulp and the skin that were still "cottony".

As Tom at Tall Clover Farm has remarked, a single day can mean the difference between biting into gobsmacking juiciness and biting into a mealy cotton ball.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

If you were to pray for the Pope, then maybe you would be led to cease attacking him on your blogs

814     From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church's members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. "Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions." The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. And so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

815     What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity "binds everything together in perfect harmony." But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:

- profession of one faith received from the Apostles;

- common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments;

- apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God's family.

1475     In the communion of saints, "a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things." In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.

--Catechism of the Catholic Church (Emphasis mine)


From "Apostolic Penitentiary, The Gift of the Indulgence" via the Vatican (emphasis mine):


3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:


have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;

have sacramentally confessed their sins;

receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);

pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.


An indulgence, which can be applied to either oneself or to the souls in purgatory, requires one to pray for the intentions of the Pope. The bond of charity which unites the communion of saints is the same that unites the pilgrim Church. There is no division between the charity shared by the saints in heaven and the charity that must run in the body of Christ, His pilgrim Church.

If this is not so, then an indulgence could not be applied to the souls in purgatory. If charity is the "perennial link" that exists between the faithful in heaven, purgatory, and in the pilgrim Church, then praying for the intentions of the Pope is a work that is of high importance in being a Catholic. In the highest prayer of the Church, the Holy Mass, the priest prays "...together with your servant Francis our Pope..."

Together with: unity in the love of Christ. Charity is the bond of unity, of which praying for the Pope is both a work towards edifying and maintaining unity, as well as an immediate consequence and fruit of unity, in the same manner that "as one acts and does, so he believes", and not, "I believe, and then I get to do some random acts as proof".

It is in the same manner of, "nobody is able to say, 'Jesus is Lord' except in the Holy Spirit." And, "Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me." And, "Thus you will recognize them by their fruits."

These take the bearing of resemblance to be the essence. Likewise, this is at the heart of what we call penance: "...in this sense doing penance is completed by bringing forth fruits worthy of penance."

In other words, the act of praying for the Pope is not an optional addition. It is a fruit and consequence of being in communion with the Church, which is united in charity. It belongs to the order of charity which is the perennial link in the unity of the Church; so much so, that the Church makes praying for the Pope one of the requirements to be fulfilled in gaining an indulgence - which, to remind, operates in the above-mentioned unity between Pilgrim Church, Purgatory, and the Saints in Heaven.


"I was simply numb, and felt crestfallen. For me the hardest thing has been an inability to pray for Francis as Pope ever since. It might be scrupulosity on my part, but my intellect and my heart just can't be convinced he is Pope.

I remember exactly where I was and who I was with when Ratzinger was elected, and the sense of jubilation at the time, which in hindsight I feel was well deserved.

Not this time." --Comment from "BrianK" in Steve Skojec's combox

"I am a devotee, as many are, of the DIVINE MERCY. In Saint Faustina's diary, Our Lord asks her to pray 33 Blood and Water prayers for The Holy Father's intentions. I had done so for 20 years, but I stopped with Bergoglio. There are several back-stories, speculations, etc..as to why Benedict quit. In January of that year, the false mystics of Medjugorge were in Rome openly saying they would divulge secrets about Benedict, if, as expected, he forbid, under penalty of sin, any cooperation with this billion-dollar/occult fraud. I suppose I was hoping that Benedict could force the hand of God and Peter Romanus would be given us, the last great Roman Pontiff..." --Comment from "Joseph Dreamcoat" in Steve Skojec's combox


When Pope Francis, just elected, came out onto the loggia, he asked the crowds, everyone watching in fact, the whole Church, to pray for him, just as Popes have done previously. He bowed before God after asking the people to pray to God to bless him. Actually, I believe there is even an indulgence attached to the Pope's blessing from the loggia upon being elected, that his blessing extends even to those who are not present in St. Peter's square but are watching on television. The bond of unity.



"I got the creeps. And my reaction, in all honesty, was "man of perdition". I do not say he is that, or that I have not tried to squelch my own negative reaction. I just say gat was the inner word I felt when he stepped out onto that balcony and surveyed the scene. He looked like one who calmly assessed the crowd he would rule.

Like I said, I do not say that is what he is. But that was, honestly, my strong and immediate reaction. I felt strongly gist we were in trouble." --Comment from "Thetimman" in Steve Skojec's combox


Steve Skojec replies to the above comment with:


"'He looked like one who calmly assessed the crowd he would rule.'

Yes. Or eat them. It's hard to say how you can see so much in a blank face, but there was something disturbingly triumphant in it."


Oh, there' so much more where that came from. You're well aware of it I'm sure.

Funny way for Catholics to greet the election of a new Pope.

You will know them by their fruits.

First impressions rule only when people want them to. Especially when you're projecting your present feelings into the past to colour your precious "first impression".

Or perhaps they really did have those first impressions because out of lack of charity, and not being in union with the prayers of the Church which united Catholics the world over on that drizzly night - prayers led by the newly-elected head of the Church, the Pope - they made themselves ripe pickings for the Devil and his instigations? Perhaps the spiritual lines were being drawn from square one - literally, from St. Peter's square? If Pope Francis is a holy man and a God-send, then the Devil surely would have some cunning wiles to attack him, and thus the unity of the Church, right?

Or I guess being in the unity of prayer with the head of the Church that night was papolatry?

Yes, funny way for Catholics to greet the election of a new Pope. And for them to continue it onward and to propagate on their world-wide blogs.

By their fruits you will know them.

Time-stamped:





Be blessed, Papa Francisco! Amen!

Yes, and as can be seen in that video, there are always those who, unexpected and unlooked for, expiate and repair for the sins of others "well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others". As can be seen in that video, though unknowingly done, reparation for the division caused to the Body of Christ - division caused by Catholics who attack the Pope on their world-wide social media - finds willing takers in the Pentecostals. Existential peripheries. The wind blows where it will. Perhaps one day they will be Catholics on fire, and entering into the heavenly kingdom before many learned others.




Friday, June 6, 2014

Special Permission?

"Padre Pio, already over 80 and with failing eyesight, exercised the faculty Pope Paul VI gave to all elderly priests, to continue celebrating according to the Roman Missal of 1962." --Colin Donovan (emphasis mine)

Elderly priests were routinely given this faculty to continue saying the 1962 Mass.

Then why do some bloggers claim that St. Padre Pio wrote to ask for special permission to continue saying the 1962 Mass? Or rather, special permission not to have to learn the New Mass, since Vatican II did not suppress the 1962 Mass. In other words, they want us to believe that St. Padre Pio was adamant, on "traditionalist" grounds, not to celebrate the New Mass. They want us to think that Padre Pio (who of all saints is a paramount example of filial obedience to the Holy See) regarded the liturgical reforms under way (he died before the Novus Ordo was fully placed) as a break from tradition, as something evil. Can they supply the evidence? A letter of some kind that doesn't have dubious origins, or even a letter that has dubious origins?

There is this letter, addressing Pope Paul VI, which the same bloggers would hold to be of dubious origin:

San Giovanni Rotondo
September 12, 1968

Your Holiness,

I unite myself with my brothers and present at your feet my affectionate respect, all my devotion to your august person in an act of faith, love and obedience to the dignity of him whom you are representing on this earth. The Capuchin Order has always been in the first line in love, fidelity, obedience and devotion to the Holy See; I pray to God that it may remain thus and continue in its tradition of religious seriousness and austerity, evangelical poverty and faithful observance of the Rule and Constitution, certainly renewing itself in the vitality and in the inner spirit, according to the guides of the Second Vatican Council, in order to be always ready to attend to the necessities of Mother Church under the rule of your Holiness.
I know that your heart is suffering much these days in the interest of the Church, for the peace of the world, for the innumerable necessities of the people of the world, but above all, for the lack of obedience of some, even Catholics, to the high teaching that you, assisted by the Holy Spirit and in the name of God, are giving us. I offer you my prayers and daily sufferings as a small but sincere contribution on the part of the least of your sons in order that God may give you comfort with his Grace to follow the straight and painful way in the defense of eternal truth, which never changes with the passing of the years. Also, in the name of my spiritual children and the Prayer Groups, I thank you for your clear and decisive words that you especially pronounced in the last encyclical "Humanae Vitae"; and I reaffirm my faith, my unconditional obedience to your illuminated directions.
May God grant victory to the truth, peace to his Church, tranquility to the world, health and prosperity to your Holiness so that, once these fleeting doubts are dissipated, the Kingdom of God may triumph in all hearts, guided by your apostolic work as Supreme Pastor of all Christianity.
Prostrate at your feet, I beg you to bless me in the company of my brothers in religion, my spiritual children, the Prayer Groups, my sick ones and also to bless all our good endeavours which we are trying to fulfill under your protection in the name of Jesus.

Humbly yours,
P. Pio, Capuchin

As to its authenticity, I do not know. There are two versions of the letter, one that doesn't say "the Second Vatican Council". It's featured on Catholic World Report and EWTN, and other places.

But the supposed letter in which St. Padre Pio supposedly asks special permission to be dispensed from saying the New Mass (when in fact this dispensation was, as mentioned, being regularly granted to elderly priests)? The evidence?

See, that's the point I'm making about people who hypocritically tell you to always do your homework but absolve themselves from such a task: Padre Pio may or may not have written a letter asking special permission. What is certain is that elderly priests were given the faculty by Pope Paul VI, and the giving of this faculty to elderly priests was regular, not something specially given, and that certain bloggers find this oh so convenient not to mention in the case of St. Padre Pio. They will cite hearsay, rumours regarding Padre Pio; things that have as much, or less, indication of authenticity as the letter I cited above - that is, if it works for their particular ideology. If it does not work for their ideology - as with the letter I cited above - they will say it is of dubious origins.

The faculty was given regularly to elderly priests, but certain bloggers believe...what exactly? That the Holy See decided to give Padre Pio a special permission to say the Old Mass because he was adamant that the reforms were a break from tradition? LOL! Oh, you know, it's Padre Pio, the one we banned earlier on from saying Mass and hearing confessions. He doesn't like the Second Vatican Council. He has stigmata, so let's give him special permission to say the Old Mass. ROFL! I suppose that's the reasoning behind those who have been studying the church for years and years on how it is must have worked. Talk about cheap boilerplate ecclesial tourism. LOL!

Padre Pio was an elderly priest when the Council was taking place. He was given the faculty that was given to any elderly priest to continue saying the Old Mass. That is what we know for sure (in addition to the fact that he was a living example of obedience to Holy Mother Church and we have the chops from earlier in his life to back that up), but certain bloggers run with this and do the filling-in according to their own lights. Padre Pio had to have hated the reforms and refused them (though he died before the Novus Ordo took place) because, you know, I took the red pill, and I just know.

Always do your homework.

Anyways, then there is this, from a former aide to Padre Pio (emphasis mine):


An Italian priest who served as a liaison between the famed Capuchin St. Padre Pio and English-speaking followers says that the saint had incorporated elements of the new or "Novus Ordo" Mass into his own celebrations of the liturgy before his death in 1968 despite rumors to the contrary.

The assisting priest, Padre Ermelindo Di Capua -- currently stationed in San Giovanno, Italy, where St. Pio spent nearly his entire ministry -- says the saint strictly adhered to dictates from Rome and sought information on precisely what he needed to do in order to conform with new strictures as the liturgy was changed from the Latin Rite after Vatican II.

The remarks are significant at a time when controversy has arisen over both the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo and the reaction to it by Pio -- considered a paragon of discernment.

It also comes at a time of enhanced interest (including here) of reintroducing elements of the Latin Rite into the modern Mass to bring back its mystical aspects. "It's not just old-timers wanting to cling to pre-Vatican II ways who are coming to the liturgies," notes one newspaper recently. "People in their twenties and thirties are filling many of the pews, finding serenity and a sense of awe in the solemn rituals." Additional interest has been sparked by director Mel Gibson, who recently made headlines with his movie about the Passion and who reportedly adheres only to the Latin Rite.

While there is no indication that Pio embraced all the reforms of Vatican II -- and indeed are even reports that he was distressed by certain Church trends -- Padre Ermelindo told Spirit Daily there was no indication that the saint opposed the new way of saying Mass, which has the priest facing the congregation and speaking in the national vernacular, which many believe detracts from reverence.

Ermelindo notes that the Novus Ordo is the only rite used at San Giovanni today and that visiting priests who request to use the Latin Rite are denied in conformance with the national bishops.

"He used to say Mass according to the new order," asserts the Franciscan, who lived in the same monastery as Pio and answered his English-speaking correspondence. "By 1968 [when Pio died] the new order was not yet complete, but had changed some things from Latin into the Italian language. He attempted to say Mass according to the new disposition of the Church. He tried to learn and adapt himself to the new rules of the Mass. There was still some Latin. It wasn't yet completely changed. The canon I don't remember exactly."

"Latin proponents have asserted that in fact Pio never did recite the new rite. "When the Mass of 1965 was introduced, bearing the first changes that were the precursors to the Novus Ordo, Padre Pio, without even reading the text, publicly took the position that he did not want to celebrate it," claimed one such correspondent. "He died before the full-blown Novus Ordo was issued in 1969 (and then recalled for doctrinal flaws)."

Padre Ermelindo -- who left San Giovanni Rotundo in 1970 and returned four years ago -- contradicts that, saying that he never heard Padre Pio criticize the new rules and that Pio always referred to Rome as "our mother." Ermelindo adds that the sainthood of Pio would have been impossible without strict obedience and that the greatest miracles around the saint were conversions. During his last Mass Padre Pio, who was too ailing to stand, sat on a chair in front of the people, says the assistant.

Dubious? The priest is lying? Hijacking Padre Pio for his own ends?

But why then should one believe the claim that Padre Pio asked special permission to be dispensed from saying the New Mass along with believing every other anti-Vatican II claim that the SSPX and Red-Pill Catholic bloggers love to put into the mouth of St. Padre Pio (who was canonized by Saint Pope John Paul the Great)?

There was an interim version of the Mass before the Novus Ordo was fully implemented. Did Padre Pio seek to learn that form? Would he have sought to learn that form, as his aide said he did? What does his former aide have to gain from this? Is he a blogger with an ideology?

Seems that St. Padre Pio was against the trends (the Council of the Media) that were happening at the time, but not the Council, and that any insistence on saying the 1962 Mass would have been owing to physical impairments severely limiting any capacity to learn the New Mass, even though his aide says Pio was diligent to learn the new forms for the interim Mass, and were those impairments not there...the question is, would St. Padre Pio have refused to learn and say the Novus Ordo?

Always do your homework? What?


"The difference between the liturgy according to the new books, how it is actually practiced and celebrated in different places, is often greater than the difference between an old Mass and a new Mass, when both these are celebrated according to the prescribed liturgical books." Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Ten Years of the Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei" (Oct. 24, 1998)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Ah yes, the homily that teaches how three things are needed to constitute mortal sin and if one of these things is lacking then the sin is not mortal; and, ah yes, let's see how we can run with this to make the commission of mortal sin look near impossible.

And ah yes, our venial sins are washed away in the Confiteor and the Agnus Dei and the reception of Holy Communion and one needs only open the sacrament of confession for mortal sin.

And ah yes, you wonder why the confessionals are empty but people are presenting themselves for Communion in droves.

It's called something: the wrong approach to sin.

God is offended by the least venial sin and the sacrament of confession is not a utility. Toilets are utilities. The sacrament of confession is not a utility.

Funnily, the regard for Confession as a utility is something common to both the loosey lefties and the tighty righties.