Friday, August 31, 2007

Garage sale tomorrow

When I was in high school, my neighbor's father, a doctor, told me about how the ambulance had brought in a person who had been in a car crash where they had gone off the Dumbarton Bridge into the San Francisco Bay tidal flats. Since the person was covered in mud, the EMTs were asked to hose the patient off on the front lawn before bringing him in to the ER, as the docs couldn't work on the injuries without first removing the mud.

This memory has been in my mind as the preparations have been ongoing for a yard sale tomorrow; some of the Dominicans, Anita (V-for victory), Bonnie, and Lorette have been a great help dragging stuff out, sorting, and arranging, and yet I have the sense that we've only scraped off the top layer, no real surgery has been done yet. I recognized that in large part that is because I've leased the house furnished, but it still looms as a task not yet fully engaged.

Here's a picture of how things look at this point; it almost doesn't do justice to the magnitude of "stuff."

It's interesting that probably 90+% of what is in this picture is from mother-in-law, wife, (both deceased) and daughter (off to college). There is some sentimental attachment in some of the things, but not much; very easy to let it go. Yet my stuff, that's been a different story; Catholic books (1 full Anita car-load) went to the Dominican Chapter House, and vintage motorcycles (2 plus full pickup load of boxed parts) went to son-in-law's house. I suppose it was as easy to let it go, just the destination was, well, not really let go.

there remains some serious surgery to do; not the least of which is the house of my last 22 years where my children were born and raised.

Interestingly, the reading in Divine Intimacy is about "Simplicity" - but not as the world sees it (ie: "getting rid of stuff," but in the biblical sense "let your yes be yes and your no be no," "an Israelite in whom there is no guile")

PS: funds raised by this yard sale will be split between my daughter and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training marathon being run by Ingrid Sather, an old friend who is running in memory of Gwen (well, it's their stuff!). The destination of the unsold items will be yard sale being held as a fund raiser for the Mike Lee family by the Friends of Mike Lee. that is, if I haven't already missed it. (MIKE!? help!)

Here's what it looked like when I made it back from putting the YARD SALE sign on the street corner. I put up the sign and it was as if invisible traffic control officers were diverting traffic onto my street, even while I was putting it up!

Sold almost $300 in mostly $1 and $2 lot sales, moved a lot of stuff and took a very full trailer load to Meridian for the Lee sale. Glad this task is done!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Public execution; alive and well in the USA

St. Francis de Sales taught in Introduction to the Devout Life that our life exists in three levels; the life of the body, the life of the soul, and the life in society.

Thou shalt not commit murder is a commandment that can be broken in three ways; to unjustly deprive the body of life is the first but not the only way to commit murder. If one is the cause of the commission of a mortal sin, one has killed the soul, a far greater evil than the unjust killing of the body, as it deprives one of eternal life. The third form of murder is the killing of one's social life by revealing the hidden sins of a man, thus depriving him of his good name and social standing.

That is what we here in Idaho have witnessed these last couple of days. The truth is as the truth is in the matter, but sadly, we have still been forced to watch a public execution.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Amerio on Hell

Romano Amerio, in Iota Unum, has some interesting things to say about Hell and post Vatican II Catholic thought on the subject. This is the end of the book; the Last Things. some interesting thoughts:

Chapter XLI
313. The triumph of justice. Hell.

Jacques Maritain’s denial of hell in his posthumous work Approches sans entraves[10] is more worthy of consideration; he maintains that Satan will finally be pardoned and consigned, by the prayer of Christ, to the natural happiness of Limbo, together with infants who died without baptism.[11]

Kark Rahner maintains that the denial of the eternity of punishment and the assertion of universal salvation are a new development due to Vatican II, and constitute a milestone for the faith of the Church.

These are the fantasies entertained by Victor Hugo in his La Fin de Satan. Following in his footsteps Maritain says: “One day all the inhabitants of Hell…all the reprobate will be pardoned.” (Op. cit., p. 30. )

314. Defense of Hell.

Abbadie’s acute observation is relevant here. Self-love finds nothing disproportionate about eternal happiness, but eternal punishment disgusts it. Why so, he asks, if not because self-love likes to deceive itself?

If one may risk a metaphor, the condition of the lost should be thought of as being not so much an agony, as an infinitely long day of dimness and somber boredom.[18]

316. Hell as pure justice

If all things will return happily to God, by an apocatastasis of an Originest sort, then after the passage of a sufficiently long time, virginity and prostitution will come to the same thing and the past action of all human beings will be of absolutely no importance, given that what we care about is not what we were, but what we ultimately will be for the rest of eternity. The permanent reality of heaven and hell means that even though the whole temporal order, and the sequence of events that occurs within it, will be gone at the end of the world, the values of right and wrong cannot be done away with. True, the good exists unchangeably in God; but if moral goodness were not also woven into or stamped upon the order of the world as well, then the whole content of time would not alter the final state of things, and might therefore just as well not have existed. Justice, no less than mercy, is a good that must be conserved forever. The Jew from Auschwitz remains in eternity the Jew who was in Auschwitz, and the executioner Eichmann remains in eternity the executioner Eichmann. Hell is the difference between the one and the other; it is the preservation of the moral distinction between them, and thus of their moral natures. The only thing that can be destroyed is guilt, which is wiped out by forgiveness and which comes about through God’s mercy and mans repentance, but not without that repentance.

[10] J. Maritain, Approches sans entraves, “Unshackled Approachs,” Paris 1974.
[11] Whatever degree of happiness unbaptized infants who die in original sin enjoy, they are still subject to the penalty attaching to original sin, namely absence of the Beatific Vision, and they are thus in hell, but with merely negative penalty. See […] the teaching of Innocent III in 1201 and Pius VI in 1794.
[18] St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that hell is compatible with verying degress of real though imperfect natural happiness: Cf. De malo, 5, 3, and the commentary on the Sentences, II, d.33,q.2,a.2

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blessed St. Rose of Lima feast day

In honor of the Americas' first saint, the finest flower of the new world, I'm reposting this link to the book on the life of St. Rose of Lima, first published in 1671, the year of St. Rose's canonization (and available online via the link on the navigation sidebar of this blog under "Books", or click picture). The quote is the last paragraph of the last chapter; it underscores a point that is as apropos today as it has ever been.

May St. Rose bring you blessings!

The Brief of Clement IX, for the beatification of S. Rose, is dated 12th of February, 1668; and she was canonized three years later, 1671, by Clement X, who appointed the 30th of August for her feast. Thus solemnly has the Church of God set the seal of Her unerring approval upon that series of wonders, that endless chain of miracles, which, reaching from her cradle to her grave, make up the life of this American virgin. There was never a time and never a land, which and where it was more needful for the daughters of the Church to learn how to make for themselves a cloister in the world, than England and America in the present age; and it is precisely this lesson which the life of S. Rose conveys. Amidst so much that is false and hollow, heartless and unreal, how beautiful before Almighty God would be the child-like simplicity of this Virgin of the South, copied even faintly in the lives of our Catholic country-women! For it is this simplicity which was her fairest ornament: indeed, so completely child-like was she herself, and so child-like the wonders with which her Divine Spouse encircled her, that in reading her Life it seems hardly ever to strike us that she was any thing but a little girl. It is as though she grew no older, but remained still the baby, cradled in the arms of Jesus, as when the vermilion rose bloomed miraculously on her little face when three months old. Let us also thank Almighty God in the fervent simplicity of our faith for the seal His Church has set upon these authentic wonders; wonders not lost in dubious antiquity, but adequately proved in the face of modern criticism so short a time age; and remembering that this bold exhibition of the marvelous is by no less an authority that the Catholic Church presented to our veneration and our love, let us take it like awe-struck children, as a page from the lost chronicles of Eden, and strive to unlearn that bold timidity with which we have too often been inclined to court favor where we shall never get it, and to avoid sneers which are to us an heritage and vouchers of our truths, by smiling with the profane, and doubting with the skeptical. For one of the faithful to try to look as like an unbeliever as he can, is a sight which never won a soul to Christ, or gained for the Church the esteem of an opponent. Rose of Lima is now raised upon the altars of the Church by the decree of her canonization; she is a Catholic Saint; no sneer of man can wither the marvelous blooming of her leaves; but he will find a thorn who shall dare to handle roughly this sweet mysterious Rose which S. Dominic planted in the garden of his Master.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Outstanding commentary by Fr. Schall SJ

A fascinating and insightful article by Fr. James Schall SJ quoted by Fr. Z (What Does The Prayer Really Say?)

Fr. James Schall SJ, on the Motu Proprio

In conclusion, I think that the words cited from Benedict in the beginning from Summorum Pontificum strike best at what I want to say here. The concern of the Supreme Pontiffs is that the Church of Christ offers "a worthy worship to the Divine Majesty." It is offered first "to the praise and glory of His name" and secondly "to the benefit of the all His Holy Church." When he promulgated this motu proprio, this is what the Holy Father had in mind. He intended precisely to "benefit" the Church, but one can only do this if we "glorify" God as God Himself has directed us.

this is an outstanding article.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


The Divine Office for Sunday, August 19, 2007, includes a reading from a Homily on the Gospel of St. Matthew by St. John Chyrsostom. In that reading, the saint talks of the Apostles and their mission as noted by Christ into the whole world. It is not just one city or region, but the Apostles were to go into the whole world. As St. John Chrysostom states, the “whole world is in a miserable state.” Christ told the Apostles, says the saint, that You are the salt of the earth, “indicating that all mankind has lost its savour and has been corrupted by sin. Therefore, he requires of [the Apostles] those virtues which are especially useful and even necessary if they are to bear the burdens of many.” And in a statement reflective of Christ’s words to the Apostles, St. Chrysostom addresses all Christians, (with a particular meaning to lay people in the Order of Preachers), stating,

For the man who is kindly, modest, merciful and just will not keep his good works to himself but will see to it that these admirable fountains send out their streams for the good of others. Again, the man who is clean of heart, a peacemaker and ardent for truth will order his life so as to contribute to the common good.

These qualities are surely of a good friend—even our great Friend who ascended into Heaven.

The monthly meeting on August 19, 2007 included about 17 people not including three delightful children who attended with their parents. Several members of our Chapter were missing. Because many people were missing—and after all it is summertime—we decided to read and discuss in colloquy a piece on Friendship as expounded in Fr. Henri Lacordaire, O.P.’s 1859 famous and extraordinarily beautiful work, “Life of Saint Mary Magdalene” (translated from the French).

That work can be found at:

Fr. Lacordaire speaks of the friendship of Our Lord with the family at Bethany, namely, Lazarus, Martha, and, of course, Mary Magdalene. Chapter One of Fr. Lacordaire’s small but relevant work, speaks on the Friendship of Christ stating, “Friendship is the most perfect of human emotions, because it is the most free, the most pure and the most profound.” He describes the friendship of Holy David and Jonathan, the son of Saul, as follows:

It is also that of the virtues of youth. When a young man, helped by this all-powerful grace that comes from Christ, controls his passions under the rule of chastity, he experiences in his heart an expansion in proportion to the constraints of his senses, and the need to love, that is the basis of our nature, is born in him in a naïve ardour that leads him to overflow into a soul like hers, fervent and contained. He does not look for long in vain for its appearance. It offers itself to him naturally, as every plant grows from the soil that best suits it. Sympathy is only refused to him who does not inspire it and he inspires it who carries in himself the generous ferment. Every pure heart possesses it, and as a consequence, every pure heart draws toward it, at no matter what age. But how much more so during youth. How much more when the face is adorned with all the graces that soften, and when virtue illuminates it with that other beauty that pleases God himself! Thus appeared David to Jonathan the day when David entered Saul’s tent, holding the giant’s head in his right hand, and when interrogated by the king as to his origins, he answered him: “I am the son of your servant Isaiah of Bethlehem.” Immediately, say the Scriptures, the soul of Jonathan attached itself to that of David, and Jonathan loved him as he loved his own soul. Only a while before, David was looking after his father’s flock, Jonathan was on the threshold of a throne, and in an instant the distance between them was abolished; the shepherd and the prince made no more, according to the very words of Scripture, than one soul. It was because in this young man still pale from the weakness of childhood, and nevertheless holding in his virile hand the bloody head of a vanquished enemy, Jonathan had recognized a hero, and because David, in seeing the son of his king leaning towards him, without any jealousy over his victory and without any pride of caste, recognized in this generous movement a heart capable of loving, and worthy in consequence of being loved.

This Christian love—so well expressed by Lacordaire—is found in Christ. As noted by Fr. Lacordaire, “Jesus Christ loved souls, and he has transmitted this love to us, which is the very basis of Christianity. No true Christian, no living Christian, can be without a fragment of this love that circulates in our veins like the very blood of Christ. From the moment we love, whether it be in youth or in middle age, as a father or as a husband, as a son or as a friend, we want to save the soul we love, that is to say, give it, at the price of our own life, truth in the faith, virtue in grace, peace in redemption. God at last, God known, God loved, God served, there is that love of souls that adds itself to all the others, and which, far from destroying them, exalts and transforms them until it makes of them something divine, however mortal they be in themselves.” While Fr. Lacordaire’s prose is beautiful, it is so very relevant to us today when we ponder the dear appellation to be called a “friend” by Our Lord. To fall in love with a God, Our God, is to fall in love with a Friend. A Friend!

After we completed the scripted reading (Introduction and Chapter One) of Fr. Lacordaire’s work, we turned to a secular writer, who wrote longingly and beautifully on friendship. In a real way, this ancient writer knew some of the attributes of Christian love and friendship before even Christ appeared on earth. His name was Cicero (106 B.C. – 43 B.C.), senator, consul, augur, philosopher, orator, and lawyer. It is not often that we, as Dominicans, third order all, turn to a secular, and a truly a pagan, source. Yet, Cicero, it is said, came to believe in the one true God. He also came to believe that this God is the God of all. Cicero had only his natural talents and intelligence to figure this Truth, but he was a monotheist in the end.

Cicero had witnessed the dramatic downfall of the Roman Republic and saw the first Emperor, Gaius Julius Caesar, become ruler of Rome. Cicero’s concern was for the Republic but the idea of the “old” Roman and the Republic were dying with his generation. Cicero only outlived Caesar one year after Caesar was killed on the Ides of March, 44 B.C. in the Roman Senate. Cicero lost his head because he lost favor with young Octavian. Nevertheless, during his time here on earth, Cicero wrote a piece on friendship. And in some ways, his words ring True to this day. He said the greatest of all things,

is virtue, virtue, which both creates and preserves friendship. On it depends harmony of interest, permanence, fidelity. When Virtue has reared her head and shewn the light of her countenance, and seen and recognized the same light in another, she gravitates towards it, and in her turn welcomes that which the other has to shew; and from it springs up a flame which you may call love or friendship as you please.

[On Friendship, para. 27, Marcus Tullius Cicero (See, below)]. Read these sweet words, and think of Christ. When Cicero speaks of the loss of his dear friend, Scipio, (as described below) we can think of our Lord, that His sweet virtues, sacrifices, and hopes have garnered for us a sure place with Him in Paradise, if we but have Faith and obey His Commandments. (See, Romans 1:5; and, 1 John 2:3).

Cicero speaks of the tenuous life here in on earth:

But in view of the instability and perishableness of mortal things, we should be continually on the look-out for some to love and by whom to be loved; for if we lose affection and kindliness from our life, we lose all that gives it charm.

Cicero ends his tome on Friendship about his dear friend Scipio, who lives on in the virtue of that man whom he loved. What a greater Friend we have in the ever living Jesus Christ. Read on carefully:

For me, indeed, though torn away by a sudden stroke, Scipio still lives and ever will live. For it was the virtue of the man that I loved, and that has not suffered death. And it is not my eyes only, because I had all my life a personal experience of it, that never lose sight of it: it will shine to posterity also with undimmed glory. No one will ever cherish a nobler ambition or a loftier hope without thinking his memory and his image the best to put before his eyes. I declare that of all the blessings which either fortune or nature has bestowed upon me I know none to compare with Scipio's friendship. In it I found sympathy in public, counsel in private business; in it too a means of spending my leisure with unalloyed delight. Never, to the best of my knowledge, did I offend him even in the most trivial point; never did I hear a word from him I could have wished unsaid. We had one house, one table, one style of living; and not only were we together on foreign service, but in our tours also and country sojourns. Why speak of our eagerness to be ever gaining some knowledge, to be ever learning something, on which we spent all our leisure hours far from the gaze of the world? If the recollection and memory of these things had perished with the man, I could not possibly have endured the regret for one so closely united with me in life and affection. But these things have not perished; they are rather fed and strengthened by reflexion and memory. Even supposing me to have been entirely bereft of them, still my time of life of itself brings me no small consolation: for I cannot have much longer now to bear this regret; and everything that is brief ought to be endurable, however severe.

For Cicero, his point is simple, “For it was the virtue of the man that I loved, and that has not suffered death.” In a real way, how true this is, as if it is virtue that we treasure in our hearts, how a great a treasure we will have in Heaven. As he also says, Cicero could not have endured the regret of the loss of his friend without knowledge, reflexion and memory. How true for us in the memory of our own friends, relationships, and especially in memory of Christ, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, when He truly shows—each and every time when we attend Mass in His memory—that He is our True Friend.

Finally, Cicero gives sage advice to each of us, when he says in closing his work On Friendship,

This is all I had to say on friendship. One piece of advice on parting. Make up your minds to this: Virtue (without which friendship is impossible) is first; but next to it, and to it alone, the greatest of all things is Friendship.

Cicero reminds us of our relationship with our friends, in that being virtuous, friendship and relationship with others persons is possible. In the Holy Scriptures, St. John reminds us, that if we wish to know Christ, we must obey His Commandments. [1 John 2:3]. To obey His Commandments is to be virtuous and to know Him is to be His friend.

John C. Keenan, J.D., O.P.L.

[On Friendship:].

Monday, August 20, 2007

Without a care

Not a care in the world

oddly, that phrase entered my consciousness this morning on my way to work, but with an understanding totally different than the phrase is typically taken to mean. Perhaps it was the reading this morning from St. Gregory the Great in the Divine Office, coupled with the reading from Divine Intimacy (on Prudence), but the understanding which presented itself went something like this:

James (4:4b) says, Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world becometh an enemy of God. The detachment that spiritual writers speak of that is neccessary for sanctity, a detached charity which considers God first in all things, eliminates worldly cares which distract us from God. The expression, to be without a care in the world, is usuall applied to one who abandons more or less completely the natural virtue of prudence; and yet when prudence is supernaturalized, one could apply the phrase as well.

I just read Anita's 6th installment of the story of Blessed Margaret of Castello at V-for Victory, and it does seem to me that Bl. Margaret could be said in this way to have had "not a care in the world."

I recognize that symantically, the saint is still in the world and has cares; but consider that, just as our Lord said "Not as the world loves" we can say the saint cares "not as the world cares." The height of worldly imprudence produces the fool without a care, the height of heavenly prudence produces what St. Paul called "a fool for Christ."

Prayer Requests

Please pray for our bishop, the Very Rev. Michael Driscoll, who is scheduled for back surgery this week.

Please pray for Pete Simon who had a stroke and is in a coma. For complete recovery, and for comfort for his family, especially Cheryl.

Salt of the earth

From the Office of Readings, Sunday, 20th week in ordinary time:
From a homily on Matthew by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop

You are the salt of the earth. It is not for your own sake, he says, but for the world's sake that the word is entrusted to you. I am not sending you into tow cities only or ten or twenty, not to a single nation, as I sent the prophets of old, but across land and sea, to the whole world. And that world is in a miserable state. For when he says: You are the salt of the earth, he is indicating that all mankind has lost its savor and had been corrupted by sin. Therefore, he requires of these men those virtues which are especially useful and even necessary if they ae to bear the burdens of many. For the man who is kindly, modest, merciful and just will not keep his good works to himself but will see to it that these admirable fountains send out streams for the good of others. Again, the man who is clean of heart, a peacemaker and ardent for truth will order his life so as to contribute to the common good.

Do not think, he says, that you are destined for easy struggles or unimportant tasks. You are the salt of the earth. What do these words imply? Did the disciples restore what had already turned rotten? Not at all. Salt cannot help what is already corrupted. That is not what they did. But what had first been renewed and freed from corruption and then turned over to them, they salted and preserved in the newness the Lord had bestowed. It took the power of Christ to free men from the corruption caused by sin; it was the task fo the apostles though strenuous labor to keep that corruption from returning.

Have you noticed how, bit by bit, Christ shows them to be superior to the prophets? He says they are to be teachers not simply for Palestine, but for the whole world. Do not be suprised, then, he says, that I address you apart from the others and involve you in such a dangerous enterprise. Consider the numerous and extensive cities, peoples and nations I will be sending you to bovern. For this reason I would have you make others prudent, as well as being prudent yourselves. For unless you can do that, you will not be able to sustain even yourselves.

If others lose their savor, then your ministry will help them regain it. But if you yourselves suffer that loss, you will drag others down with you. Therefore, the greater the undertakings put into your hands, the more zealous you must be. For this reason he says: But if the salt becomes tasteless, how can its flavor be restored? it is good for nothing now, but to be thrown out and trampled by men's feet.

When they hear the words: When they curse you and persecute you and accuse you of every evil, they may be afraid to come forward. Therefore he says: "Unless you are prepared for that sort of thing, it is in vain that I have chosen you. curses shall necessarily be your lot but they shall not harm you and will simply be a testimony to your constancy. If through fear, however, you fail to show the forcefullness your mission demands, your lot will be much worsd, for all speak evil of you and despise you. That is what being trampled by men's feet means."

Then he passes on to a more exalted comparison: You are the light of the world. Once again, "of the world": not of one nation or twenty cities, but of the whole world. The light he means is an intelligible light, far superior to the rays of the sun we see, just as the salt is a spiritual salt. First salt, then light, so that you may learn how profitable sharp words may be and how useful serious doctrine. Such teaching holds in check and prevents dissipation; it leads to virtue and sharpens the mind's eye. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do men light a lamp and put it under a basket. Here again he is urging them to a careful manner of life and teaching them to be watchful, for they live under the eyes of all and have the whole world for the arena of their struggles.

From the Office of Readings, Monday, 20th week in ordinary time:
From the Moral Reflection on Job by Saint Gregory the Great, pope.

Holy men beset by tribulation must endure the assaults of those who use violence and verbal attacks. the former they resist with the shield of patience, but against the latter they launch the sharp arrows of true doctrine. In both types of fighting they win the day through the wonderful arts that virtue bestows, for with wisdom they teach the wayward while showing a corageous contempt for outward hostility; the straying sheep they set on the right path by their teaching; the attacker they suffer and overcome. For they have nothing but patient scorn for the enemy who moves against them, but they sympathize with their weaker fellows and bring them back to the safe way, opposing the former lest they lead others astray and fearing for the latter lest they completely lose sight of the truly upright life.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Touching God

The unseen God, being spirit, remains unseen and untouched by human eyes and hands, while God incarnate, Jesus, has made him known, seen, and touched. We remember the touching scene:

20:27. Then he said to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither and
see my hands. And bring hither the hand and put it into my
side. And be not faithless, but believing.

20:28. Thomas answered and said to him: My Lord and my God.

20:29. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me,
Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not
seen and have believed.

In this life, the only opportunity we have to touch God corporally is the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, do we touch as Thomas did, touching the ordinary appearance, proclaiming the Divinity, like Thomas?

Did He do this so that we, to whom touch is such a part of a relationship, would behold that which we could not hold? Must He say to us, like the Magdalen that early morning, do not touch me? For when we lift up our hearts to the Lord, the heart, seat of understanding and reason, we remember that He said I am the way, the truth, and the life. Perhaps you have heard it argued that it is not important what particulars of belief we hold, but that we have a personal relationship with the Lord. Can you have a relationship without some level of 'touching?' The relationship of Jesus and Church is symbolized in marriage, but we all know that the closest relationships of friendship involve a touching of hearts, and that communion of hearts, to borrow the old expression, "to know you is to love you." Why learn doctrine, dogma? Because "to know you is to love you." Knowledge, a gift of the Holy Spirit, is not a lifeless thing, no; it is to "touch God" at the level of the spiritual faculties of the soul, for to have the knowledge that is true is to touch Truth, and understanding, the companion gift of the Holy Spirit, is to embrace Truth.

bit of an incoherent ramble here, but that's the hammer that came down, so there it is; May the Lord bless your weekend.


Received this today and am going to make a shameless plug on behalf of the Lee family (Mike is studying at the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria).


What: Yard Sale to Benefit the Lee Family
When: Sep 7-8, Friday & Saturday, Starting at 7:00am
Where: 1327 N. Rutledge Ave , Meridian , ID 83642 (888-7006)
(Between Ten Mile & Linder off of Cherry Lane in Meridian)
Food: Refreshments will be for sale as well (yum!)

How you can help:

Bring your gently used items to 1327 N. Rutledge Ave, Meridian , ID 83642 (888-7006) between Aug 20 and Sep 4 to be sold at the yard sale. You know you have stuff. You know that it is taking up valuable space. Do yourself a favor and drop it off at Lori's house. Place items in front of the garage doors.
Volunteer to help sort, price, and work the sale. Contact Lori Newkirk (888-7006) or All ages and abilities are welcome.

Shop, shop, shop! Tell your friends, neighbors, family, church buddies, coffee klatsch - everyone!

This will be a great sale - pass the word (and this email) to everyone who might be interested.

Would you like a poster to place at work, school, club, etc? We would love to email one to you. Contact Hope Ryan or 475-4594. Available in MSWord, MSPublisher, & PDF - indicate what format you'd like. 8.5x11


Thursday, August 16, 2007

prayer request just in

Karen Woods OPL forwards this note regarding the earthquake in Peru:

I wrote to ask fr Brian about the situation in Lima after the devastating earthquake, especially news of our brothers and sisters there. Brian is socius for Latin America and normally lives and works in Peru. He is a son of the Southern US Province. This is his reply:

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Brian Pierce"

Hi Karen. I happen to be in the States right now. The family of one of my Dominican brothers in Lima (Alfredo) lives right in the part hardest hit. His family's house has collapsed. Alfredo has traveled to be with them and help. I have heard from my community in Lima. They are OK. All phone lines are down in the whole country. Thanks for the prayers. I know that money will be needed in hundreds of places. The bishop of Ica (hardest hit area, which includes Pisco and Chincha) is a Peruvian Dominican. I suspect we Dominicans will be collecting money to help the people of his diocese (where one of the churches in Pisco collapsed full of people -- yesterday being a big feast day, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary). If your community or any others you know want to take up a collection, I will gladly see it gets to the right folks.

Thanks again for your concern,
Brian J. Pierce, OP

Sue Stone also reports:

A friend of mine, Fano, is on vacation Peru...haven't heard anything about her yet. I think she was on a tour. Appreciate any prayers for her and her group.

Thy will be done...

This just in from Lay Dominican members of the chapter, Bill and Ruth, who write:

Robertson soap opera update...
Have been dreaming of my mini-vacation for literally months. Five days was all I asked. Was finally going to see Northern Idaho. NOT.

Supposed to leave Wednesday. Monday I got the trailer cleaned and packed. Monday night Bill stepped back to let the dog in through the screen door and stepped off the porch. Two broken ribs. Doctor has ordered complete rest and no travel for one week.

Well there's always next year.

People say the Lord should let them know what He wants. In my case it seems like He often yells at us; we are the ones who don't listen.

I plan a trip.
Bill injures his foot.
I still plan a trip.
I get put in the hospital.
I am determined. I WILL go on the trip.
James pulls his back. Trips to the chiropractor, extra demands, the kids desperate.
Barbie breaks a tooth. Take her to the clinic so she can get advanced student work.
Bill goes to get the trailer. Two flat tires. Two hours of intense work on his part to get it fixed.
I clean and pack the trailer.
Bill falls off the front porch and breaks two ribs.
Ok, God, I got it. You are desperately trying to protect us from something on that trip. We are not supposed to go. Thank you.
I wanted a big red ball for my birthday and got it. I tried to play with my big red ball. My big red ball bounced into the street and you won't let me go there. I may pout and cry, like all children, but I do understand.


After several days of being out with a cold which hit me rather hard, I'm finally on the mend. Life is good, and interesting... in checking my emails, my son-in-law sent me the following:


old but still good, turn up volume..............................

How many times have you wondered how strong those cement barriers are that you see in front of military base entrances????

"From time to time someone asks me what the concrete barriers are in front of controlled and secure buildings. When I tell them that the barriers will stop Traffic, even trucks, from approaching the secure building I usually get a look of disbelief. I've been looking for some footage like this to prove my point. In this test, the following parameters were used.

Read them and then watch the film Clip."
**Truck = 65,000 lbs.**
**Speed = 50 mph**
**Kinetic Energy = 5.5 MILLION ft. lbs.** **Stopped in 24 inches !!!**

E. L. D., E.I.T.
Assistant Traffic Engineer
County Highway District

now, if only we could do that at the microscopic scale to the cold virus before it breaks into the cells!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


DIVINE INTIMACY, by Fr Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

In the face of an act which is blameworthy in itself, we are evidently not obliged to consider it good; nevertheless, we must excuse the intention of the one who committed it and not simply attribute it to a perverse will. “If our neighbor’s acts had one hundred facets, we should see only the best one; and then, if the act is blameworthy, we should at least excuse the intention” (St. Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Belated Feast of St. Dominic link

Tom at League of Warm & Fuzzy Traditionalists
has posted in honor of St. Dominic:
Nothing says lovin like heretics in the oven

OK, that's a bit different...

this picture is captioned: Dominc presiding over an Auto de fe

It's a work of Pedro Berruguete ; it doesn't carry St. Dominic in the title, as do his other depictions of the saint. Although I'm not familiar with the work in particular, it was painted approximately 280 years after the saint's death. If I recall, I don't believe there is any historical or tradition of such a thing, and Wikipedia, that great source of reliable information, places this caption under the same painting:

Representation of an Auto de fe, (1475).
The painting is inaccurate: even though burning at the stake occurred in some cases, it never took place during this religious ritual.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has a much better article under Inquisition, which includes:

Officially it was not the Church that sentenced unrepenting heretics to death, more particularly to the stake. As legate of the Roman Church even Gregory IV never went further than the penal ordinances of Innocent III required, nor ever inflicted a punishment more severe than excommunication. Not until four years after the commencement of his pontificate did he admit the opinion, then prevalent among legists, that heresy should be punished with death, seeing that it was confessedly no less serious an offence than high treason. Nevertheless he continued to insist on the exclusive right of the Church to decide in authentic manner in matters of heresy; at the same time it was not her office to pronounce sentence of death. The Church, thenceforth, expelled from her bosom the impenitent heretic, whereupon the state took over the duty of his temporal punishment

the point being that the auto-da-fé is a historical artifact from sometime after St. Dominic's day.

It's interesting that the crime of heresy, admitted at one time to be worse than high treason, but now considered inconsequential, has been followed with a similar view of the crime of high treason. The "just-do-it" age of Nike has given way to... whatever.

A great cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1)

gazing heavenward with unburdened eye
at wisp and feather, light trace of gold
in west's late evening sky
always watching, ever present
formless wonder, shapes unrepeated
of waters from earth so given
by sun lifted, by sun are seen
only being what has been received
and only seen by light not owned
but received, imparted, and sent along
o promise made, so long ago
that one so desired would be so found
as to be seen as now appearing
on wisp and feather, light trace of gold
light from light, as we have been told
bringing the rain that brings life to earth
that only to dust we might not return
for there lives one who feeds on dust
hearts to soar, rise up to thee
in truth where they are meant to be
One is True, Truth is One,
witness bright with Truth's own light
pray Truth send Love's guiding grace
to make our hearts one with Thee
who art Three in One
now and for eternity.

Fr. Bart de la Torre O.P., reporting from Mexicali

10 VIII 07

Dear Lay Dominicans,

This summer I am staying in Mexicali and postponing my vacation so I can be here for the youth during the hot months. I was hoping to have a team of lay ministers to run a summer youth program, but one characteristic of this mission is the small number of dependable, committed Catholics. A few say they would like to help, but then their first enthusiasm quickly wanes, or family or personal problems due to poverty intervene. So, though I have been kept busy, it is not with supervising a youth ministry.
Our pastor, Fr. David Bello, O.P., after much struggle, was able to put together a team to teach religion to teens that want to receive baptism, first communion and/or confirmation. Parents here do not force their teens to religion class. The teens come on their own. About a third drop out, again usually because of the consequences of poverty.
This teen program is intense. They meet for 10 weeks, Tues. through Fri., from 6 to 9:15 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. If they miss any two sessions, they are dropped. As part of the teaching team, I have been given three nights to teach Church history (try covering 658 yrs. of history each night!), and four nights to teach apologetics. So my stay through the summer has not been in vain even if not being used as I had originally hoped.
Our parish covers the well populated northeast section of Mexicali, and extends some eight miles east beyond the city into sparsely inhabited savannah and very dry desert. Occasionally I am asked to help out at other, older parishing within the city limits. In comparison, I can see the truth of Fr. David´s observation, that we are the most unchurched parish of Mexicali. Well, we are still very much a mission, after all, even though the practice of the faith in our mission boundaries, I am told by the people, is much higher than before we Dominicans arrived in 1996. Since then we have built a parish church and three chapels strung along our territory. The people also tell how before the permanent presense of the Church through the arrival of the Dominicans, there was much violence by gangs against people passing through their neighborhood. People say that these turf battles were erased by the fact that the same friars visited every neighborhood, and people had to cross others’ neighborhoods to get to Mass.
What I notice in the other parishes is larger numbers at Mass and a higher percentage of people receiving communion, as well as more lay ministries and lay ministers. The are also somewhat more affluent than our people.
Together with the poverty of our people comes a low level not only of education but of appreciation for education. One of our three priests here, Fr. Carmen Mele, O.P., recently at a daily Mass, attende by about 10 adults and the 30 teens from our summer pre-sacrament program, asked what day of the week was the Lord’s Day, and no one knew.
To understand Church history one must have an idea of world geography. Our teens could not distinguish between a continent, a country and a city. One expressed the notion that Pheonix was in Los Angeles. They could not tell me in what city Jesus was born. When I asked what was Jerusalem, after a long silence, one girl suggested it was a small village, though not sure where.
I have seen the public middle school and high school text books, and they are excellent and full of important information, but the lackof appreciation among the poor for the value of an education leaves them without a motive to read, to study or to retain what they hear. When I ask questions about our class the day before, I am greated by blank stares on all but three students, who always have answers. I encourage the others not to be brain dead. Remember, these are teens who are not forced by their parents but want to be there! It will take some generations of slow, upward growth for the people of our mission to fulfill St. Dominic’s ideal of being informed Catholics who will “be ready always with an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in [them].” (1 Pet. 5:15) Our role here as Dominican missionaries is to keep nurturing that gradual growth.

Thanking you for your prayers,
Fr. Bart, O.P.

Sophia update

Just in case you haven't been following the updates at CaringBridge:

I found this picture rather irresistable!
God in his mercy is amazing.

"...and through His Wounds we were healed." (Isaias 53:5)

If you haven’t read today’s Office of Reading, from St. Augustine on St. Lawrence, it is here:
A sermon preached by St Augustine on the feast day of St Laurence; He administered the sacred chalice of Christ's blood :

This reading is wonderful, in that it strongly reminds us of the solemn fact that to follow Christ is to travel the road of suffering, and there is no other path than that of the cross. This reading makes an allusion to St. Augustine’s essay which is the second reading in the Office of the Dead (Office of Readings); if you haven’t read it, do so! (I’m not aware of this reading being on the net, so if anyone knows where… pass it along, please?).

What is fundamental to this road of suffering, but is not touched on in the reading, is that there are two types of suffering, physical (that which affects the body) and moral (that which affects the soul). The physical side of suffering is pretty straight forward, but moral suffering is a little harder to get wrapped around. Moral suffering, seems intimately tied to “I don’t get my will” – it can be united with the suffering of Christ when our will is aligned with His Will, yet how many of us freely enter into suffering for our own will? Trouble is (and always has been) in understanding the Will of God, which is expressed as His “Signified Will” and His “Will of Good Pleasure.” His Signified Will is that which He has commanded explicitly and directly, and his “Will of Good Pleasure” is that which He has permitted. As nothing can occur which God does not will, all evil (that which is opposed to the signified Will of God) is permitted by His Will of good pleasure, even though it is not Willed directly.

All of this is in part the basis for the Catholic religious’ tradition of submission to authority which treats the commands of the one in authority as though they originated from the very lips of God Himself. I will set aside delegation of authority (Christ gave explicit authority to a church hierarchy, not the hierarchy of religious orders, which are constructs freely entered into), and while “all authority comes from God,” wielding His authority does not automatically translate to expressing His Signified Will. No, it would seem that one of the more sublime goals of the spiritual life is to so internalize the reality that God is in charge, and that all that He permits (which is everything that happens), fits to a piece for the greatest possible good for us and for our neighbor. This translates outside the reigious order to the world around us as well. So in answer to the exasperated question, “why does God permit all this suffering?” I have been known to say “It is all for you. When will you will turn to Him and stop opposing Him?” Why would I say such an odd thing? Because we may each of us consider that all the convulsion of this world has been permitted for nothing more than our salvation, as though each of us, was the only one to be saved. I believe that is why the greatest of the saints have looked upon the suffering of the world, and united their suffering with Christ in the one ocean of suffering which pierced our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, and hear Him say, “I did this for you, and you would not.” Let us deposit our tears here.

I will admit that my mind and heart and soul have a hard time getting wrapped around this and expressing it, so I heartily recommend you read the work of one far more eloquent than I, at The Holy Wounds Apostolate.

May we learn the joy of suffering.

Hat tip to Anita.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Feast of St. Dominic (Wed on EWTN)

Wednesday, Aug. 8 is the feast of St. Dominic.

Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P., Promoter of the Laity for the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus, will preach the homily at the EWTN mass that day (check your local schedule). Also, at 5PM PDT, Fr. Serpa will be talking about St. Dominic on "EWTN Live" with Fr. Mitch Pacwa.

updated: Aug 8

Over at The New Roving Medievalist, Jeff has put up a number of "Dominicana" photos. Here's the cell at Bologna, where St. Dominic died:

Nice, Jeff! thank you.
Hat tip to Anita at V-For Victory

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hail to the Queen?

Humorous comment in response to the article:

St. Thomas More Society of San Diego rescinds invitation to “womanpriest”

Posted Friday, August 03, 2007 9:02 AM By Judith M.
I know how Ms. Via feels. I'm the Queen of England, and I can't figure out why I keep being excluded from state events. I was crowned by my pet terrier, fair and square! Why won't they recognize my authority?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

nostalgia moment

prompted by Anita's comment about coloring with felt pens...

Space agency shows off imagery
by churning out prints
that are longer than a bus (AP)

Kris Capraro rolls up a photograph that was taken by the Opportunity rover on Mars and printed at the Image Processing Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Today’s technology is a far cry from 1965, when scientists actually used crayons to color tiny strips of paper to create Mars photos. Their crayon color choices were based on long strings of digits representing the 21 pictures transmitted by Mariner 4.

Ha! by 1978 when I started working in image processing, using the NASA ILIAC supercomputer at Moffett Field, California (which we connected to by a 150 baud acoustic coupler modem), we had wide carriage printers and felt tip pens! We could print 7 foot strips of 14" wide paper, color them (earned $4.25/hr to breath felt pen fumes for hours), and then hang them on the wall taped together side by side, to "see" our pictures!"

By 1983 I'd been writing GIS and image processing software based on JPL's VICAR (Video Image Communications and Retrieval), an IBM 350 mainframe programming environment, and converting them to 16bit minicomputer code with primitive line printer and dumb terminal graphics. A bit of a prima-donna in that geekish world, I was hired by the Multi-Mission Image Processing (MIPL) division at JPL in 1983, my "Mecca." my playground became:

to this "Mecca" I moved to do my part to bring about "1984", and I was known at work as the "Famous Potato" because of my Idaho plates on my 1961 Fiat 1200 sedan that I commuted to work in.

(Hey, that's the best picture I could find!)

Anyway, I did my (miniscule) part to bring image display, the PIXEL, into your life, (a dubious addition to your life?) I hope I don't have to spend too much time in purgatory for it...

And 1984? well, that project is still underway, we've all brought it much closer to completion, albeit behind schedule.

hat tip to A Brief History of ‘Pixel’
(hey, I still have ref#52!)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Devotions to St. Dominic

Anita at V for Victory is posting the Novena to St. Dominic taken from a little booklet titled "Devotions to Saint Dominic." Anita also scanned it, and it's now on the chapter website. I have added a link to it at the right under "some more links." It's huge at 25mb (it's a scanned image PDF). This one may need to go on my book transcribing project list, (as it won't take to many downloads to kill our monthly bandwidth quota!

However, if interested, download away, and we'll cope. :)