Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A New St. Josaphat? Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev and The Russian Orthodox Church

http://www.insidethevaticanweb.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=letter-47.html&Itemid=169

Inside The Vatican's Robert Moynihan presents a fascinating interview with the Archbishop in charge of External Relations for the Russian Orthodox. Archbishop Hilarion is a man of culture, insight, and profound insight. His answers to Moynihan's questions I found to be thoughtful and provocative. May the Russian Orthodox and our own Catholic Church be blessed with many more like him. I will leave a brief quote from Moynihan's letter, with Hilarion describing why the emphasis of Orthodox-Catholic efforts must be in Europe.


Hilarion: Firstly, because I believe that it is in Europe that the most deadly battles between Christianity and relativism are going to take place in the nearest future. It is in Europe that the onslaught of militant secularism against religion takes the most aggressive forms. It is Europe that most obsessively denies its Christian heritage. It is in Europe that crucifixes are taken away from schools, religious symbols are banned from public places, and Christianity becomes an object of constant criticism, outrage and mockery. It is in Europe that a profound demographic crisis affected Christian population, threatening its very survival. Not that these processes do not take place in other parts of the world, but it is in Europe that they become so stunningly evident.


A wise man indeed!

-Amator

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Glass Harp--A Real Instrument?




I never thought of the glass harp as a serious instrument. The above performance gives me second thoughts. What do you think?

-Amator

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Pope Is Right Again

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1340797?eng=y
I know that posting twice on one day is excessive, but I saw this and could not resist. :)

One thing I love about Pope Benedict is how his words seem to call forth the best of the history and tradition of the Church. He could easily be speaking to men in another age, but speaks to mankind in every age.

-Amator

P.S. The link does not seem to work. Copy and paste it to the address bar, instead...

Peggy Noonan Gets it Right?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703363704574503631430926354.html
In this article in the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan speaks of the current government and how their attempts at legislation and government action are rather unrelated to the lives of ordinary Americans. I recommend the story.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Women Are No Longer Happy?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/opinion/20dowd.html

A New York Times story by Maureen Dowd refers to a study conducted by the group General Social Survey. Interestingly enough, the study concludes that almost every grouping of women is now less happy than from before 1972. Despite the increase in women-held positions in commerce and politics, women are less happy than ever. Dowd continues, explaining that perhaps the traditional role of women kept them happier, and now they balance too much to be happy. While many of her conclusions are logical, her ultimate conclusion that to women, "happiness is beside the point. We’re happy to have our newfound abundance of choices, she said, even if those choices end up making us unhappier." This twisted logic baffles me. The only thing I hear in it is an echo of the cry "non serviam." Though women are less happy, they are more empowered, and that's what matters. I wonder how many unhappy women want empowerment more than happiness? If one makes an absolute freedom of will--essentially trying to decide your own good--a higher good than satisfying that will, you are left only with unhappiness. That, after all, has been man's failing from the Garden till now.

-Amator

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Christ Fulfills the Old Testament

http://bibletidbits.blogspot.com/2009/09/dans-top-10-bible-tidbits-in-minute.html

An interesting blog I found posted this about Our Lord:

In Leviticus 21:10 it says that the high priest is not allowed to tear his garments. (You know in the OT whenever they heard band news they were always tearing their garments and putting dirt on their head)
Well, while Jesus was on trial before the High Priest Caiphas, Jesus admits that he is the Christ and Caiphas the high priest tears his own robes breaking the law in Leviticus 21. But notice something else - in John 19:23 when they are dividing Jesus’ garments (which was a seamless garment, what a priest would where when offering sacrifice). Instead of tearing them they decide to draw lots for them, and his cloths do not get torn showing that Jesus is the new High Priest.


I am familiar with many of the other points in the list Daniel Egan makes, but this one was new to me. Perfect! I love this little gem.

-Amator

The Obama Administration's Sense of Taste

http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2009/09/with-friends-like-these.html

Creative Minority Report reports that the Obama administration, despite the fact it is summer recess, failed to send anyone important to the recent commemoration of the seventy-year anniversary of the start of WWII. Originally intending to send a former Defense Secretary, Obama's team sent his National Security Advisor. That's right: Russia, Germany, Britain, and Poland all sent their head's of state, we sent an advisor. How gauche, how blatantly disrespectful and ignorant of history! Sounds like the public school education taking effect.

-Amator

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Story of Honduras--Set in the US

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/cburgard/2009/09/03/stranger-than-fiction/

Big Hollywood has a post from a reporter recently returned from Honduras. In case you haven't heard (the events were under-reported, due in part to Michael Jackson's death and surrounding media circus) Honduras recently arrested and deported its then-President Manuel Zelaya. He had been democratically elected, but then attempted to Communize Honduras. The army, legislature, and judicial branch resisted, ultimately removing Zelaya from power. The rest of the world refused to observe the real questions at play, and has suspended economic aid to Honduras, while roundly condemning the expulsion of Zelaya. I say the Hondurans who acted as they did are heros, and have done precisely as they ought, despite immense international pressure. Read this article. Satire aside, it is a worthwhile read.

-Amator

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Priesthood

We need a return of the kind of attitude towards the priesthood shown here.




-Amator

Scientific Darwinism leads to Doctrinal Darwinism

http://ncronline.org/news/spirituality/god-who-beckons

This rather inaccurate article in the notoriously liberal National Catholic Register declares that since Darwinism has been "proved," our idea of the God behind creation (the author presents little idea of what the real relation between the two is) must also change. Since our idea of the world was wrong, our idea of God was wrong. All this leads Joan Chittister to come up with some rather inferior theologies, and an excuse for justifying the change of doctrine. "But as long as we love each other and ensure social justice like Jesus wanted, we are all true Catholics, right?"

-Amator

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How We Need to Think

Dom Chautard, in his book The Soul of the Apostolate, has this to say: He (the true Apostle) is always ready to say; "O my God, Thou dost not will that the work I have begun should be completed. It pleases Thee that I confine myself acting valiantly yet ever peacefully, to making efforts to achieve results, but that I leave to Thee alone the task of deciding whether Thou wilt receive more glory from my success, or from the act of virtue that failure will give me the opportunity to perform. Blessed a thousand times be Thy holy and adorable Will, and may I, with the help of Thy grace, know just as well how to repel the slightest symptoms of vain complacency, if Thou shouldst bless my work as to humble myself and adore Thee is Thy Providence sees fit to wipe out everything that my labors have produced."

-Amator

Proof that Liberal Catholic Editors Cause Confusion

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1339839?eng=y

The Vatican watcher, Sandro Magister, in the article linked above, concludes falsely that the Vatican mildly favors President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi. He then concludes that the Vatican and local Bishops are at odds on these points. The amazing element in this is that he concludes as much based on the editorials of 'L'Osservatore Romano'! The editor of L'Osservatore, Giovanni Maria Vian, has written many editorials favoring or at least remaining neutral towards liberal elements in the US. He was also involved (by extension, since L'Osservatore was at fault)in the scandal where Archbishop Salvatore "Rino" Fisichella condemned Brazilian Archbishop Jose Cardoso for publicly declaring the excommunication of those involved in the abortion of two children of a nine year-old mother. Archbishop Fisichella was the President of the Pontifical Council for Life, and did not even bother to ascertain the facts of the matter. (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032514.html) Vian's neglect or dismissal of the facts is clearly implied, since an editor-in-chief should be able to know such basic facts. Now, an important Vatican commentator is sowing seeds of dissent and misinformation (whether wittingly not is unclear), using the work of L'Osservatore Romano as justification of his assertions. I think the assertions are poorly researched and illogical, but Vian clearly bears some censure for allowing Magister--and surely many others--to draw such conclusions.

--Amator

A Short Film

http://www.thedoorpost.com/hope/The Butterfly Circus/

Some real beauty captured here.

Some Pithy Remarks

http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2009/09/connies-corner.html
Creative Minority Report has a few hilarious (and true) quips about our current society.

To err is human,
to err on a large scale requires humanism.

'Smart Government' is an oxymoron
designed to sell Gov't programs
to actual morons.

Kicking a man when he is down,
once called sin,
is now called tax policy.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Kennedy Funeral and Social Justice: Where Are Our Bishops?

This past weekend saw the Archdiocese of Boston--indeed the whole American Church--demonstrate the lack of backbone that has plagued American Catholicism for far too long. American Bishops knew the Kennedys and what they did to American Catholicism, but seemingly remained silent. Why must Catholics lie down and accept that no one wants us in the public sphere? All this accomplishes is to make Catholics and the Catholic Faith an unknown quantity. I was not in favor of denying Senator Kennedy a funeral, as were some outraged bloggers and writers, but a public funeral? A funeral with literally dozens of Kennedys parading around the altar could not be the best way to promote Catholicism. Senator Kennedy was diametrically opposed to some core teachings of the Catholic Church, all in the name of his own visions of social justice; yet Cardinal O'Malley allowed these positions to be defended at the funeral! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lg1g5yimqU
Why was no-one praying for the repose of the Senator's soul? Senator Kennedy was made a saint for his social justice efforts, but no one begged mercy for him. In all this, I have not heard a word from the Bishops of the United States. Where are our Teachers, our Shepherds? We need them to proclaim the truth. The Church must not become the platform for any ideology or false truth, especially the artificial social justice promoted by today's Democrats. We cannot have our Bishops allow such a travesty of the liturgy and our faith as the one that took place on Saturday. The social justice of the Kennedys is death to the soul, and to anyone inconveniently in the way of it. Belief in mercy is not enough to earn it, and I pray that Senator Kennedy prayed for it, and prayed to avert the justice that we all must face. May God have mercy on him, and all of us.

-Amator

Friday, August 28, 2009

Homeschooled Christian Needs a "Religion to Suit Her Needs"

http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/news/story.aspx?cid=5050#

A new Hampshire Court recently handed down this court brief described above, wherein they recommend that a homeschooled child, who meets or exceeds their every standard for social and educational progress, be enrolled in Government-run schools. The court saw that she held her religious beliefs strongly, and decided that this was not correct for a ten-year old. She needs--in the court's view--to be confronted with multiple religions, so that she can decide which one is best for her.
Besides being an obvious overstepping of government authority, the whole situation is a ridiculous (but scary) example of judicial activism. One judge decides that a young girl, though perfectly normal in every other way, is too Christian for her age, and rules she should go to public school. How twisted is that? If a judge can decide that, then a judge could find that I am too firm of a Catholic teacher, and have to teach more alternate religions. The possibilities are--scarily--endless. I am not sure this brief would hold up in a higher court, but I am seriously disturbed by the thought that such a judge is in a position of power at all. This whole situation arises from a divorce case, which in New Hampshire involves a government employee, called a "Marital Master." The Marital Master is the point of contact for divorce or custody decisions by courts, and has a significant influence on court decisions. That a court would accept such an opinion as the one expressed above, and attempt to enforce it, should make any person of sincere belief concerned. According to the report, the guardian ad litem of this child (whose parents are divorced) was not happy with the strongly held beliefs of the child, and the Marital Master thus made the recommendation to the court to have the child placed in public school. So much for allowing parents to be the natural educators of their children, or for freedom of religion, or freedom of speech, or freedom of most kinds. Licentiousness is the norm, but moral or ideological conviction is a bad for us.

-Amator

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How the Kennedys Fell

This is a fascinating article giving inside information on some of the mechanisms behind the Kennedy switch to supporting abortion. The part describing the work by a council of liberal theologians to provide justification for abortion support is especially scary.

-Amator

The Arts Have Been Corrupted

The Andrew Breitbart-led blog, "Big Hollywood," has a rather disturbing piece about the blatant mis-use of position by the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts). In the name of promoting change and social growth, as well as other euphemisms for political activism, they actively supported Obama's presidential campaign. So much for the integrity of the arts. I recommend the read. The blog seems to be more thoughtful than many.

-Amator

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ad Orientam in Oklahoma

Bishop Slattery recently published a column, in which he discusses his reasons for celebrating the Mass "Ad Orientam." Not only does he thoughtfully justify his position (pun intended, sorry) but he provides an excellent meditation on the nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Benedictine Reform slowly gathers steam, and the sooner, the better. Bishop Slattery's words, almost undreamed of five years ago, demonstrate a growing renewal of the liturgy, a renewal desperately needed since before Vatican II. Vatican II almost highlighted the problems, rather than fixing them, but, God-willing, such time is drawing to a close and we will enjoy a real "Spirit of Vatican II," a Spirit "ever ancient, ever new," a spirit of renewal and hope, not a spirit of change and self-glorification.

-Amator

Health Care not a Right?

Bishop Nickless of Sioux City, South Dakota weighed in on the Health Care Reform debate. He did so as a Bishop, reiterating the teaching of the Catholic Magisterium. I found this comment in particular to be very enlightening (and long-since forgotten by the public at large): "The Catholic Church does not teach that “health care” as such, without distinction, is a natural right. The “natural right” of health care is the divine bounty of food, water, and air without which all of us quickly die. This bounty comes from God directly. None of us own it, and none of us can morally withhold it from others. The remainder of health care is a political, not a natural, right, because it comes from our human efforts, creativity, and compassion. As a political right, health care should be apportioned according to need, not ability to pay or to benefit from the care. We reject the rationing of care. Those who are sickest should get the most care, regardless of age, status, or wealth. But how to do this is not self-evident. The decisions that we must collectively make about how to administer health care therefore fall under “prudential judgment.”

Finally a Bishop who speaks clearly on this! Check out the rest of his article, equally good.

-Amator

Monday, August 17, 2009

Musings

Catholics everywhere are losing the faith. Why? Because they don't know it. So if you are a Catholic who knows anything at all about the Faith, especially for our reasons for believing, then you need to speak up. The re-evangelization of the Church must be a top priority. I read a study a while back that showed a lot of Catholic converts falling away after several years. Why? They had no-one to uphold them in their beliefs--certainly not their fellow Catholics. Remember: Nerdy Catholics are cool in heaven.

-Amator

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Part and the Whole

The Catholic Thing has a fantastic piece called "The Part and the Whole," which sums up perfectly what we need to say about our Catholic faith to others. "We teach the truth, whatever the cost, wherever we can." As Catholics, we need this identity restored to our own self-consciousness, as well as the conciousness of the world at large.

-Amator

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The World is Aging!

An old friend was approached by the Philadelphia Bulletin, to comment on recent reports showing that global aging is increasing at an alarming rate. The mainstream press comes out with these reports, every once in a while, but this one seems to be an accurate report, without the complaining that they often have. I wonder when the Liberal West will sit up and notice what any common-sense person can see?

Anyway, take a peek. (Click on the title.)

-Amator

Monday, August 10, 2009

An excellent observation

Cardinal Pell has an excellent insight, taken from the works of Cardinal Newman, on conscience. He quotes Newman, saying:

Even conscience, therefore, must be ‘judged by conformity to the truth, and to the Word of God.’ As Newman’s Letter to the Duke of Norfolk declares, conscience is in fact fulfilled and completed only when it embraces the Faith and Morals taught by the Catholic Church.

Detached from this vocation to objective truth, Newman knows that conscience degenerates from discerning what is right into ‘the right of self will’. From this flows ‘the dictatorship of relativism’, according to which truth is sacrificed to human passions and opinion.

The conscience as self-will is precisely what we see today in so many controversial "personal" decisions. It is certainly the fraudulent line of arguing used by liberal Catholics to justify their un-Catholic positions. The rest of his address is also excellent. Hat-tip to Fr. Z (WDTPRS)

-Amator

The State of the Church

Two Sundays ago, I listened to the pastor preach about silence in the church, respect for the Eucharist, respect for others at prayer, and prayer after mass. The congregation acted as if they had not heard him, bursting into noisy conversation (over the organ postlude) as soon as the hymn was completed. So much for sermons.

-Amator

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unicorns?

Atheist camp: now offering a fun-filled alternative to God. Apparently, there have been ongoing efforts for the last thirteen years to provide summer camps for "free-thinker" children. It would appear that anyone who does not subscribe to Atheism is a "constrained thinker," but that Atheists are free. Free from error, bias, judgment, or what? If only modern man could get it out of his increasingly thick and unused skull that destroying your foundations prevents you from building anything. Like it or not, we have certain things about us that we cannot change, and upon which we can build our lives only if we know them.
At the aforementioned camps, the campers are entered into a contest to win a prize for proving that unicorns do not exist. (These unicorns are continually referenced at camp, though the only proof of their existence is in a mythical book.) Oddly enough, no one has ever proved that the unicorns don't exist.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Exultet

It has been a very long time since I posted here. That must change, and I must return to writing, or to the attempt thereto. Here is a video of the Papal mass on the Easter Vigil this past April. I was there, behind the main altar of St. Peter. The experience was amazing. video

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Interview with the Prefect of the CDW

This an interview with Cardinal CaƱizares Llovera, the Prefect of the CDW. He has a very accurate summary of the state of affairs in the Church during the times of change after Vatican II. This was from The Hermeneutic of Continuity, by way of Fr. Zuhlsdorf.


When asked about his priorities in his new appointment, Cardinal Llovera refers to the book "The Spirit of the Liturgy" by Cardinal Ratzinger, seeing it as an important part of his mission to help people to understand his teaching on the liturgy, both in that book and in his personal example.

Speaking of his experience of the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, he says:

The first part of the Sacrosanctum Concilium Constitution did not enter the hearts of the Christian people. There was a change in the forms, a reform, but not a true renewal as required by the Sacrosanctum Concilium. At times change was for the mere sake of changing from a past perceived as negative and outdated. Sometimes the reform was regarded as a break and not as an organic development of Tradition.

and he continues:

More than anything else I would say that it was a reform that was applied and above all was experienced as an absolute change, as if a chasm has to be created between the pre- and post-Vatican II, in a context in which “pre-Council” was used as an insult.

It does seem that the idea of the hermeneutic of reform and continuity is becoming an established idea. On the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, he says:

Even if it has upset some people it was an extraordinary gesture of ecclesial good sense. Whereby a rite that has spiritually nurtured the Latin Church for more than four centuries was recognized as fully valid. I think that this motu proprio is a grace that will fortify the faith of traditionalist groups that are already organically present in the Church and that it will help the return of so-called Lefebvrians... It will also be a help to everyone.

It is interesting that the Prefect of the CDW sees Summorum Pontificum as a grace for everyone and not only for those already attached to the traditional liturgy.

The Cardinal also has some important observations on secularism in Spain that are applicable elsewhere:

As bishop I have a particular duty to the faithful and to all Spaniards. I have the duty to defend the rights of the weakest, as the unborn are, I have the duty to defend marriage as is required by natural law, I have the duty to defend religious freedom, the freedom of parents to educate their children in accord with their own principles, the freedom of the Church. As you see, it’s a matter of promoting the great “yes” to life and the family as we are required by the Gospel of Jesus. For the good of man and of the whole of society. We don’t want to impose anything. We want to be free to propose. We love freedom. Without freedom a society has no future. The danger today is that this freedom may be annulled.

-Amator

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Clear Creek

I found this (the link in the title takes you to a story) online today, while looking for some scholarly discussion of connaturality. Unfortunately, such discussions are not frequent or easy to find in the general public mass of information which is the internet. Anyway, that is another post, another discussion. Come to think of it, that's probably two or more discussions. Sitientes, venite as aquas, dixit Dominus.
-Amator.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

PRI Reports

Obama Turns Back The Clock

by Colin Mason

At a time when highly significant—even historic—breakthroughs in adult stem cell research have become almost daily occurrences and almost to the point of being mundane, President Obama has chosen to turn back the clock, and starting today, will force taxpayers to subsidize the unethical over the ethical, the unworkable over what works, and hype and hyperbole over hope.

Human embryo destroying stem cell research is not only unethical, unworkable, and unreliable, it is now demonstrably unnecessary.

--Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), March 9, 2009

This speech, at which were present so-called “snowflake babies” (former frozen embryos, implanted and carried to term), was made in response to President Obama’s March 9th executive order, which sweepingly legalized embryonic stem-cell research in an attempt to remove “limitations on scientific inquiry.”

“Rather than furthering discovery,” said Obama in his March 9th statement immediately preceding the signing of the order, “our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values. In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering.”

While most pro-lifers are vigorously opposed to embryonic stem-cell research, many have difficulty defending their stance because of supposed medical advances which the research has made possible. Many would be surprised to learn that any and all medical breakthroughs made regarding stem cells have been made without using embryos. Work with these cells has produced promising research and may lead to dramatic cures of all manner of diseases. As Michaela Kingston writes, in an article entitled “Pardon Me, Your Ideology is Showing”:

ESCs may have the potential to cure many diseases. But after ten years and billions of dollars, they still have not realised their potential. In the meantime, stem cells isolated from adults have proven to be quite effective in relieving human suffering. Even better, if you’re on the ESC bandwagon, are "induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells", which behave almost exactly like ESCs but do not involve embryo destruction. These iPS cells do not involve costly embryo manipulation and can be made from a patient’s own cells, avoiding immune rejection.

So, in other words, Obama has not only signed off on a procedure which would be morally unacceptable no matter what its scientific advantages, he has done so in the face of all medical and scientific evidence. In addition to this, Obama also rescinded Bush’s Executive Order 13435, which poured funding into research involving adult stem cells. In short, Obama has effectively worked to kill adult stem cell research (i.e., the only stem cell research that has produced results) to pour money into a dead-end, highly controversial research instead.

The president’s supposed desire to “work to ease human suffering” rings hollow when it is clear that the procedures he espouses have proven scientifically fruitless. In addition to this, morally concerned scientists have not only identified the moral hazard, but they have even offered a workable solution.

But it is to no avail.

Obama’s ideological bone-tossing apparently extends to forced abortion, as well. The FY2009 Omnibus Bill, signed into law by the president on March 11th, contains a loophole that allows funding to go the UNFPA, regardless of whether or not they are involved in forced abortion or sterilization. The Reagan-era Kemp-Kasten amendment, clearly dictates that American tax dollars cannot be used to fund coercive abortion or sterilization overseas. Even when House pro-lifers proposed an amendment that would essentially force the UNFPA to be regulated under Kemp-Kasten like everyone else, it was overturned.

The message that this sends is very clear: Obama wants his programs funded, regardless of the costs. He is perfectly willing to cut a swathe through both legal and moral concerns to achieve this goal. However, not only is he willing to cast aside concerns, he is even willing to disregard the basic cold logic of the matter, the logic upon which delicate, bi-partisan agreements are made.

This logic dictates that, while we may not agree on abortion, we agree that women should never be forced to have abortions; that, shelving the moral controversies, embryonic stem cell research is a sterile science and should be abandoned in favor of more productive investigations. This logic dictates that Americans are split on the subject of abortion, and it is thus irresponsible to use their tax dollars equally to fund something that so many of them find morally repugnant.

In the words of Kingston, far from promoting “responsiblility,” Obama has only paved the way for “pressure on scientists from media hype, special interest groups, lobbyists and a poorly informed but well-meaning public to pursue dead-end research.”

Simply speaking, Obama really is willing to turn back the clock—to turn it back to a time when the people had little say in government, and when government took little interest in the scientific or moral conundrums placed before it.

God save us from “change” like this.

Colin Mason is the Director of Media Production at PRI.

Interview with Archbishop Burke

Pewsitter.com has a transcript of an interview between Randall Terry and Archbishop Raymond Burke. I found it very clear and to the point. Read away.

-Amator

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Joseph

I rather wish that I could find the time to post more regularly. I seem to get bogged down in the day-to-day actions of my life. I wonder if anyone else struggles with this....
For today, I wanted to say something about St. Joseph. While he is not a patron of mine, I wish to grow my devotion to him. I know he has aided me in the past, but I am lazy in my devotions, so my prayers to the Foster Father of Christ are sporadic, at best.
One thing that really came to my attention not so very long ago was something that in turn shed a great light on St. Joseph. I have been teaching many children of different ages, and interacting regularly with many others. What struck me then, and strikes me now, is how much they model themselves, consciously or not, upon their parents. Especially as children, but even as grown adults, children are the mirror of their parents, in many ways. I suppose this might not be the case in unhealthy families, but I am blessed to work with children from families that live their Faith. The point in all this is that if St. Joseph was the Foster Father of Our Lord, then it was from St. Joseph that Our Lord learned to be a man, a human (in His human nature, anyway). To know Our Lord is to know the man who formed Him, to whom He was subject. St. Joseph, the just man, was chosen by God as the best man to form the Son of God. That is no little privilege, and only a really and truly great man, whose image (human) we see in his Foster-Son. Sancte Joseph, Ora pro nobis!

-Amator

O Glorious Descendant of the kings of Judah, Inheritor of the virtues of all the patriarchs. Just and happy St. Joseph, listen to our prayer. Thou art our glorious protector, and shall ever be, after Jesus and Mary the object of our most profound veneration and tender confidence. Thou art a hidden saint, one of the greatest of saints, and art particularly the patron of interior souls. In union with all those who have ever been most devoted to thee we now dedicate ourselves to thy service; beseeching thee, for the sake of Jesus Christ, who vouchsafed to love and obey thee as a son, to become a father to us; and to obtain for us the filial respect, confidence and love of children towards thee.

O powerful advocate of all Christians, whose intercession, as St. Theresa assures us, has never been found to fail, deign to intercede for us now, and to implore for us the particular intentions of this Novena.

(Mention your intentions here)

[Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.]

Present us, O great Saint, to the adorable Trinity, with Whom thou hast so glorious and so intimate a correspondence. Obtain that we may never efface by sin the Sacred Image, according to the likeness of which we were created. Beg for us that Our Divine Redeemer would enkindle in our hearts and in all hearts, the fire of His Love, and infuse therein the virtues of His adorable infancy, His purity, simplicity, obedience, and humility.

Obtain for us likewise a lively devotion to thy virgin spouse, and protect us so powerfully in life and death, that we may have the happiness of dying as thou didst, in the friendship of our Creator, and in the immediate protection of the Mother of God. Amen.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Look at the Public School System

I stumbled across this video today. I knew that public school education was bad, but as bad as I thought it, it did not compare with what I saw here. The good news is that at this School (Locke High School in Watts, CA), people rebelled, and began to reform the school. More efforts like this, and the minds of our children will have an opportunity to reopen.

--Amator

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Interview with Archbishop Chaput

Lifesite News has a transcript of a conversation with Archbishop Chaput of Denver. He has some excellent things to say, and clearly has good thoughts about the current state of affairs in the Church. It is perhaps surprising how grim his outlook on the situation is, at least practically speaking.

Monday, February 23, 2009

About a Man

The Manassas Journal-Messenger had a moving news story about Tom VanderWoude, the retired airline pilot and father of six who saved his son at the cost of his own life. I highly recommend that you read it; it provides a profound insight into the character and motivations of a man who, if not quite a saint, was a saintly hero. And when I say "not quite a saint," I only mean that I did not know him enough to say. All I know is that he was a great man, and a humble man. He was one after Our Lord's own heart, a real St. Joseph, a real father, a real man.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

On Liberal Newscasting

I happened to catch a news brief on ABC this evening. I was outraged at the blatant liberal bias shown in the report. ABC's presentation roughly followed these lines: "Some Republican Governors are planning on rejecting parts of the new Federal Economic Stimulus Bill; why are they allowing politics to interfere with the good of the citizens of their states?" One version of this story went to so far as to declare that because the black population in the GOP-led states would suffer by Gubernatorial rejection of funds, the Republican Governors were planning on rejecting funds.
I don't know if one could more deliberately sidetrack and distort a legitimate action by state governors. First, the news story acts as if there is only one possible reason why anyone would reject Federal money: selfish politicking. Other versions went so far as to imply that hatred for another race would be the cause of such an action. This is extremely irresponsible, false, and biased reporting. Here is what two Republican Governors said to defend rejection of Federal money.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Friday that he will decline stimulus money specifically targeted at expanding state unemployment insurance coverage, becoming the first state executive to officially refuse any part of the federal government’s payout to states. In a statement, Jindal, who is slated to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s message to Congress on Tuesday, expressed concern that expanding unemployment insurance coverage would lead to increased unemployment insurance taxes later on. “The federal money in this bill will run out in less than three years for this benefit and our businesses would then be stuck paying the bill,” Jindal said. “We must be careful and thoughtful as we examine all the strings attached to the funding in this package. We cannot grow government in an unsustainable way.” Jindal is one of a small group of Republican governors, which includes South Carolina’s Mark Sanford and Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, who have said they might refuse some or all of the stimulus money targeted to their states. In an interview Friday, Barbour said he, too, would likely decline funds for broadening access to unemployment insurance. “Subject to learning more, my position is that Mississippi won’t accept funds that require us to have a tax increase later, because [they would force] us to change our rules for qualifying for unemployment compensation,” he said. (Alexander Burns, Yahoo News The full news story can be found at Yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090220/pl_politico/19092 )

Republican reasoning makes a lot of sense to me. Why take a handout now that everyone will suffer for later? If we all were looking for less in the way of a free ride, the economic crisis would be much less drastic. Alas, human nature always seeks the easy way, mistaking that path for the path to happiness. I only pray that the false City of Man will not prevail, despite its renewed impetus under the current political regime. Pax.

--Amator

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A quick rant

Why do liberal priests or liturgy planners insist on calling vestments "robes?" I cannot stand this. It seems just another instance of taking away all the meaningful names of liturgical things and replacing them with blase (no accent, sorry) terms. Deconstruction in the liturgy happens even on the level of terms. I guess I just go to "worship service" as much as I can, to dialogue with "World Spirit" and my neighbor.

-Amator

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Death of Reason

Apparently Obama wants those banks which receive public funding to increase their loans and credit approvals. Don't look now, but isn't this the same policy that led to the current economic downturn? I think Modern Man has lost his reason.
-Amator

Sure Feels Good

I am sure that Joe Biden appreciated his warm welcome at Holy Trinity Parish in Georgetown. When you get a standing ovation (according to the news report from the AP, at TheMorningCall.com) during Mass, you are special. To be singled out in the presence of Our Lord, and to be the object of attention, this indeed must be gratifying. But this is not especially surprising, since Holy Trinity is administered by Jesuits, that order now dedicated to spreading love and error. To be serious, this is an outrage! Applause during Mass--Mass, not "Catholic church service"--is downright disrespectful to the Real Presence. I would call it sacrilege, the profanation of something holy or sacred, for what is there that is holier or more sacred than Our Lord? Why and how can we justify anything detracting from attention to that which is most dear to us? Even when done after Mass or before Mass, applause destroys the sacred silence of the Holy of Holies. But in the middle of Mass, or whenever it was done, there is a further reason for outrage. For this is Biden, one of the most pro-abortion Catholics in the United States. Those parishoners applauded someone in favor of fifty million deaths. But for everyone there, it sure felt good . . . .

-Amator

The Virgin Mary

Today at Holy Mass, the Celebrant gave a homily on the Gospel for the Second Sunday after Epiphany (which was the pericope relating the miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana. He reminded us that it was Mary who saw the need and asked her Son to alleviate that need; she does precisely this with all of us, each with our own needs. I suppose some mother's might be shy about asking for a miracle to address a seemingly minor need, but not Our Lady. Because she and her Son saw fit to maintain the observance of the cerremonies without interruption, this can be taken as a sign of Divine approbation for the wedded state. Holy Mary, Refuge of Sinners, Pray for us!

-Amator