Monday, June 30, 2008

All wet

In my younger days, I loved fish and fishing, and not just fishing in Idaho's wonderful waters, but keeping them in aquariums as well. From 1973 to 1977, I owned and operated an aquarium shop, where the 75+ aquariums and a pond held the mundane to the exotic; from guppies, goldfish and the lovely and delicate neon tetra, to saltwater fish, arawanas, and the massive arapaima gigas (one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world); my arawana and arapaima shared a 250 gallon home-made tank with an immense black pacu, plecostomus, and amazon catfish. the arawana ate goldfish, but the arapaima ate just about anything; goldfish, koi, dead rats... it was about 30" long when it died, seemed to have choked on a overly large goldfish. I sold the aquarium shop not long after that.

anyway, I've not thought about that for a long time, but I had told my son as a child about the arapaima, and I don't think he really believed me. Last week excitedly on the phone he told me about seeing one at the National Zoo; an eight foot long one!

The picture my son took on his cell phone, while not bad, doesn't quite capture the "scale" of the arapaima.

so I found this picture... it does.

See why I had a desire to go fishing for one of these? But I never did. A whole new line of fishing opened up while I was fishing instead.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tu es petrus

Click to play

From the Christus rex web site, sung by the Brazilian Benedictine monks.

In the parish bulletin today

The following item is in the parish bulletin this weekend at Our Lady of the Valley, Caldwell.

I know, it's small; double click it for a big version you can actually read.

Do you see?

Last weekend at the LPC meeting in Oakland, Fr Emmerich Vogt gave a presentation to the group, and I'd like to see if I can recapture some of it to share with you.

He opened with a picture of St. Lucy which he said he'd bought at a flea market.

She holds in her hand a pair of eyes because as punishment for not worshiping the emperor, her eyes were gouged out. You might also remember that when Delilia learned Sampson's secret and his hair was cut off, gouging out his eyes was the first calamity to befall him.

We today recoil with horror at this; and that is because we live in a world that has been 'civilized' by Jesus Christ. Such a punishment was a common occurance in the ancient world, but it no longer is because Christ has changed the world. Even an atheist would recoil from such a punishment, but he probably would fail to realize that his repugnance to such barbaric practices are the result of the Christian civilization he was born and raised in, rather than anything intrinsic to himself.

Regarding the civilizing influence exerted by Jesus Christ on culture, Father, who was a chaplain to Bl. Theresa of Calcutta for 20 years, spoke of the example of leper colonies; there are no athiest leper colonies; in fact, there are and have only been Christian leper colonies; he said that when the sisters opened one in Yemen, because the sisters would not wear the most extreme head coverings, assassins were hired by an affronted man, and they were all shot.

Because God is Love, the purpose of evangelical efforts like this, is to bring love to those who do not know love at all. Thus the work is for the salvation of the soul by showing God's love in a way that can be recognized and appreciated at a very simple and human level. The response to love from some, is and always has been, hatred and even murder.

Now, Father pointed out that for the most part, the world has a great affection for the corporal works of mercy; the world loves Mother Theresa and St. Francis. However, the spiritual works of mercy are a whole other ball game; instructing the ignorant, correcting the errant; these are harder tasks and unwelcome by a world that wishes to exclude the Lord our God from everthing. But this is the Dominican way, and one cannot set aside the faith in order to win the approval of those without the faith; one can bring love to them, but love really cannot exist without truth, as did St. Dominic who sought to restore lost souls to the faith for their salvation.

Because the world does not wish to hear, and has closed it's collective ears and minds and hearts, Father offered this chilling observation; he said that it is his opinion that we will see the punishment meeted out on St. Lucy happening again in our lifetime. Just as so many are unmoved by abortion, they will soon be unmoved by such things as Christian civilization continues slipping away. Think not? Abortion was once the horror that gouging out eyes remains; for now.

This is too short a recounting and I appologize for that, but the memory is too weak. Next time, I'll bring a recorder (if I remember).

Justice be what, now?

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


Mercy is the effusion of the sovereign Good who communicates His goodness to creatures; justice is zeal defending the rights of that sovereign Good who ought to be loved above all things. In this sense, justice intervenes when the creature tramples on God's rights and offends Him instead of loving and honoring Him. The punishment of the sinner is the fruit of justice, but at the same time it is the fruit of mercy, for "whom the Lord loveth, He chastizeth" (Prov 3:12). God does not punish a sinner in order to destroy him but to convert him. In this life the means used by divine justice are always directed by mercy, insofar as their purpose is always to put the sinner in such conditions as to profit by the divine mercy. Therefore, God is always merciful even when He punishes; His chastisements are not merely punishments, but they are also, and above all, remedies to cure our souls from sin, except in the case of those who refuse to be converted.

In our spiritual life, mercy and justice are continually alternating and intertwining. God's mercy offers us His divine friendship; but, in justice, He cannot receive as an intimate friend anyone who retains the slightest attachment to sin and imperfection. Therefore He subjects us to purifying trials for a twofold purpose: to make us atone for our faults - which is the aim of justice - and to destroy in us the last roots of sin that we may be disposed for union with God - ant this is the aim of mercy. Hence, we must accept our trials humbly, realizing that we deserve them. We must accept them with zeal and a love for justice, wishing to avenge in ourselves God's rights, rights which we too often forget and ignore. We ought to accept them too with love, for every trial is a great mercy on the part of God, who wants us to advance n the way of sanctity.

Too often the "Social Justice" movement thinks in terms of a world without God; in which case the first casualties will be justice and mercy.

in the above piece, it does well to remember that "atone" is a two word contraction of "at one." To become "at one" with God is what "atonement" is all about. The often referred to "dignity of man" is not anything that is in man by nature or of his own doing, but the dignity of man is his supernatural vocation to be "at one" with God; a vocation that begins at conception.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Free turkey offer!

Cardinal Arinze with some interesting thoughts, and an offer!

In addition, on the lighter side, Fr. Finigan's got a few YouTube postings that are very clever, check it out.

Hat tip to Fr. Finigan, The Hermeneutic of Continuity

Thursday, June 26, 2008

sore back...

...lugging this in from the mail:

but all is good; this will make a nice addition to the Chapter House library!

I know it's available online, but there is something so much nicer about reclining with a real book, instead of a glowing screen.


The blog of Fra' Lawrence Lew, O.P. (Paul Lew), Contemplata aliis Tradere, has this image as a background:

This reminds me of the mosaic floors in the holy land; and something that perhaps we could do on that massive floor at the chapter house.

Hat tip to Bro Lew; love the clever adaptation of the famous Fra Angelico clip!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

From the priory

copied from a leaflet handed out before dinner in the cloister:


It is a Dominican custom to pray for our dead brethren each evening. Derived from a former practice of burying the dead beneath the cloister walkway, we pray in the cloister at the refectory (dining hall) entrance. The Prior normally leads the prayer.

De profundis

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.

   Let your ears be attentive
   to my voice in supplication.

If you, O Lord, mark our iniquities,
Lord, who would survive?

   But with you is forgiveness
   that you may be revered.

I trust in the Lord,
my soul trusts in his word.

   My soul waits for the Lord,
   more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

more than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the Lord.

   For with the Lord is kindness,
   and with him is plenteous redemption.

And he will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.

Prior: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
All: And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Prior: From the gates of hell,
All: rescue their souls, O Lord.

Prior: The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you.

Prior: Let us Pray:
O God, Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of your servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that they may obtain, by our loving prayers, the forgiveness which they have always desired, through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen

Prayer for Dominican Vocations

Prior: Lord Jesus,

All: Moved by the urgent need of priests, religious, and apostles, and following your recommendation to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers to work for he salvation of souls, we implore you, through the intercession of your most holy Mother Mary, Virgin Immaculate and Queen of the most holy Rosary, and also through the intercession of Dominic, the holy Patriarch, to increase the number of the Friars Preachers.
   Obtain for your Order faithful followers of its religious traditions, numerous apostles after the heart of their blessed father Dominic, holy and zealous for the salvation of souls. Amen.
Adapted from a prayer by Bl. Hyacinth Marie Cormier

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A traveler's view

hat tip to Will Gross, who took the picture from the Washington Monument yesterday

One Idahoan went to DC and experienced an expanded sense of his country;
his dad went to Oakland an experienced an expanded sense of his Order.

God be praised.

Putting down the dog

Since Vatican II, in the Dominicans there has been a movement informed by the thinking of Hans Kung and articulated in the 1970s by Edward Schillebeeckx. This movement has sought to remake the Order into a new image; one different from the past and more "relevant" to the present; a present which is now a part of the irrelevant past. This was an undercurrent of the different pulls experienced in the Third Order/Dominican Laity today.

this picture was just too good not to use in this context.

Vatican II called for religious institutes to return to the original charism of the founder, not destroying what was left of it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Leaning to sing a new song

Quite a number of years ago, I watched a program on how birds learn to sing. What struck me and has stayed with me, is the observation that the basic form of each bird's song is ingrained. The birds when young produce a motly babble of sound, but if you record it on a sonogram, you will see the outline of the song that the adult bird sings; it is by constantly hearing and imitating the parents that the young bird learns to sing. Once this song is learned it is fixed (except for the Canary and Starling, which can continue to learn new song). If the baby bird is removed from the nest, it will not hear the adult song, and it will retain the collection of unrefind sound; recognizable on the sonogram as the bird's adult song, but not very recognizable or attractive to us who would rather hear the finished thing; this is but one problem when birds are taken from the nest and raised by people.

Why do I bring this up? This reflection is a result of meditation on the presentation Fr. Emmerich Vogt gave at the Lay Provincial Council meeting.

You see, God made us in His image, and God is Love, Truth, Beauty, Justice, Mercy; all things which we are born to be conformed to the image of. Thus, even if a child never sees love, or truth, or beauty, or justice, these will provide an inescapable draw on him; he will love something, he will prefer what he believes is true to what he believes is false, he will be drawn to beauty in one form or another, and there will be a sense of justice he will live under. These things, even if very poorly modeled by his parents and appearing to be so much less than what they should be, will still echo a bit of He who is, such that if we could apply a "spiritual sonogram" we would see in the pattern where the likeness exists. Thus, the soul of good will, confronted with the of preaching the gospel, sees at last Jesus Christ, that pattern to shape his song which he has lacked; for we are more like the canary than the cowbird, able to learn new song, even if we seem to be more like the dull and destructive cowbird.

Now preaching the Love, the Truth, the Beauty and Justice the Mercy of Jesus Christ, serves as a beacon to the one of good will, but it also is rejected by the one whose will is opposed to grace. This one will not only reject the preaching, but will turn to the other preachers of the world who say what appeals to the disordered will, and this individual, capable of the beauty of singing like the canary, instead learns to make the disordered squawks of the starling. Yet, As God makes all things work unto good for those who love Him, even this, in the mystery of grace, will turn.

Thus, as we meet someone where he is, as St. Paul said (I make myself all things to all men, that some might be saved), we do not abandon Jesus to be accepted by them, but offer Jesus primarily through His attributes of love (seeking the good of the other), beauty (presenting a clean heart and pure mind), truth (not denying Christ or the deposit of the faith and teaching of the church), justice (rendering what is due) and mercy (going beyond the requirements of simple justice).

Oh, it's a "new song" because it is not the song we sing from birth, but one we must learn, a song not sought by the world, a song considered worthless, which is why the psalmist said:

“see how the wicked prowl on every side, while the worthless are prized highly by the sons of men” - Ps. 12 (Grail translation, Liturgy of the Hours)

For the sons of men are those reborn in baptism, they hold of high value that which the worldlings consider worthless.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

LPC at the priory; new officers

In today's gospel, the Lord tells us not to fear the world, to shout from the rooftops what we have heard from Him, fearing not the world, but our Father only. This is the spirit which St. Dominic lived apostolicly, and which his lay brethren have assisted for since 1250. This work is passed on and this weekend, at the level of the Lay Provincial Council, it was placed into good hands, hands and hearts, like St. Dominic, that live and breath with our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the choir in the chapel at St. Albert's Priory where we held our meetings; actually, the meetings were in the classroom of the School of Applied Theology, which is part of Union Theological Seminary but is not associated with the priory, they rent space. The chapel is lovely!

Thanks be to God.

This shows about half the chapter representatives in the choir Sat evening for installation of the new officers and promoters:

Here we see the new officers being sworn in.

Dionysus Flora (St. Joseph, San Jose CA), new promoter for Formation, Denise Harvey (Queen of Angles, Los Angeles CA), vice president, Tony Galati (Holy Rosary, Portland OR), president, John Keenan, (Bl. Margaret of Castello, Boise ID) promoter for justice and care of creation.

Tony Galati thanking outgoing LPC president Karen Woods for all her service.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

From the priory...

Today I remembered the camera, and as John was the Rep and I was the "observer," I had fun "observing!" Is John having fun yet?

This is Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P., who is the Provincial Promoter of the (Dominican) Laity; Father yesterday started us with an awesome meditation on the charism of St. Dominic and why we do what we do (for the salvation of souls and the glory of God!) and why it is important not to get distracted by, well, distractions!

On of the tasks of the meeting is for the chapter representatives to report on their chapter' it's health, what it's doing for it's formation, and it's apostolic activities (see above!). This is Denise from the Queen of Angles chapter in Los Angles; if you've seen the HOLYWOOD sign on the hill, they meet at the Dominican convent directly below that sign. in other words, in the heartland of evil. Passionate about apostolate? Oh yeah!

This is Karen Woods, outgoing LPC President, introducing Fr. Emmerich Vogt, Prior Provincial of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus. Father was chaplain to Mother Theresa for 20 years, and teaches the 12 steps. Can this man ever speak and convey a message (see above)!

One item of business was the election of a new LPC president, vice president, treasurer, and the appointment of a new justice promoter and formation promoter. This was something that needed prayer and consideration and here are a few rep's gathered in the grotto to pray a rosary.

The grotto is a lovely oasis in Oakland. Those who have seen it understand what I mean.

But it's late, almost midnight by Boise time and I've been up since 5am, so I need to fold my tent and I will continue this tomorrow, as I can hardly see straight anymore. God bless,!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lay Provincial Council meeting

Today marked the opening of the Dominican Lay Provincial Council meeting for the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus (Western Province) at St. Albert's Priory in Oakland. I forgot the camera, so will have to take a few snaps tomorrow, but remembered late to grab one a few minutes ago: this one captures John with some of the delegates who are still going strong!

Those cups make it look so, well, dry. the bottles on the corner table give it away. Yes, things are familiar in this scene!
Fr. Vincent Serpa this morning started by reminding us that "It's all about Jesus, centered on Good Friday" - and if that is not central to what you are doing, then you need to look very hard at if you really are being Dominican.

John gave a 30 minute presentation on the connection between the Dominican Social Justice web sites and such abominations as "the new cosmology" and the "earth charter."

as the saying goes, Know Jesus, know peace; no Jesus, no peace.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Work out your salvation... (Philippians 2:12b)

Fr. Speekman, Homilies and Reflections from Australia, posts on the rapid filling up of accomodations (no room at the inn?) for WYD, which is in 26 days.

Father wisely counsels:
We'd better make sure we do a better job booking our accommodation with the heavenly landlord.

you have the ticket; here's one of the best scratch manuals

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Apples & ...

Yesterday I wrote comparing the prize of heaven with a lottery, a prize which requires a little effort, which with more effort even increases.

Yet, there are those who would not only not do the minimum, but turn in the ticket in exchange for a mess of pottage, as Essau did.

Is this a good idea? The apostate one-time Dominican, Matthew Fox, certainly thinks so; he writes drivel like this so-called new cosmology, set implacably over and against the wisdom of Holy Scriptures, the Fathers, Doctors, and Traditions of the Church:

All flesh is holy, including the flesh of the universe, the flesh of the earth and its systems and human flesh – for they are one flesh deriving from the very same origin in the original fireball.

huh? Let's see where the light really shines:

"All the beauty of (creation), compared with the infinite beauty of God, is the height of deformity... All the goodness of the creatures of the world, in comparison with the infinite goodness of God, may be described as wickedness... Therefore, the soul that sets it’s heart on the good things of this world is supremely evil in the eyes of God. And, as deformity cannot attain to beauty and as wickedness comprehends not goodness, even so, such a soul cannot be united to God who is supreme goodness and beauty" St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mt Carmel I, 4,4)

I sometimes think folks like Fox in seminary slept through or never read any doctrine, preferring to malign a false straw-man. anyway, St John of the Cross does not say creation is deformed or wicked, he is making a point about the contrast between the creature and creator, a point which seems entirely lost on Fox, who it seems would prefer to revel in the illicit sexual pleasures of the flesh, apparently finding virtue to difficulty and needing a justification to abandon it.

Be not deceived, says the Apostle, God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. for he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall he reap corruption. (Gal 6:7) It would be a mockery of God to live in contempt of his laws, and afterward to reap remuneration and eternal glory. But God is not mocked. What we sow in this life, we reap in the next. For him who sows the forbidden pleasures of the flesh, nothing remains but corruption, misery, and eternal death.

Beloved Christian, what is said for others is also applicable to you. Tell me: if you were at the point of death, (abandoned) by the physicians, deprived of your senses, and in your last agony, with what fervor would you ask of God another month or week to settle the accounts of your conscience! God at present gives you this time: thank him for it, and apply an immediate remedy to the evil you have done; adopt all the means of finding yourself the grace of God when death comes; for then there will be no more time to acquire his friendship.
St. Alphonsus De Liguroi, Preparation for Death, p 76.

The boundary lines are drawn. Underlying one side is the insidious voice of the tempter and destroyer through his proxies, at the other, the insistant voice of the savior through his saints. These are the two roots we seek to identify when we examine the "signs of the times," so that we understand that upon which we stand.

so, get scratching!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Full scratch!

Suppose you got a special lottery ticket that had a special property...

A lotto ticket that it was a guaranteed winner, and each scratch off earned you more winnings! Would you be content to scratch only one box, and only win $1? why stop there, when you know that the second will give you $4, the third $100, the fourth, $10,000, etc, up to unimaginable wealth? But, we all know, there are no tickets like that. Or are there?

What is worth far more than unimaginable wealth, if not eternal life and the eternal beatitude of heaven? And this ticket is not only available to all, but doesn't even have to be paid for by you because the Giver has already done so?

Yet, why do so many approach this great gift, as though absolutely the minimum is all that they desire? CS Lewis recommended 'enlightened greed,' so go for it, scratch a few more off on the holy road to God who has promised the reward of merit to those who love Him!


From Santiago Chiva (Granada, España), La opinión de un ciudadano

Las infecciones de transmisión sexual no dejan de aumentar

OK, I don't read Spanish, but his point is clear... Thank you!

The Voice of the Faithful in New Jersey stands in "Solidarity" with those not so faithful.

VOTFNJ Responds to the Roman Catholic Church’s Decree that Automatically Excommunicates Women Ordained to the Priesthood

In response to the Decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) against Women's Ordination, we the members of Voice of the Faithful New Jersey support the following statement issued by CORPUS – National Association for an Inclusive Ministry.
Priesthood serves the People of God by bringing healing and hope through sacramental celebration and pastoral care. It is God’s People who must discern their leaders and it is the bishops of the Church who are called to validate this in the normal course of events. When that validation is withheld for reasons which have nothing substantial to do with ministry, then the baptized community must call bishops to respect biblical norms and Gospel imperatives.
The life of a community and of the Eucharist cannot be held hostage to Church policies which undermine them. A baptized community has a human and evangelical right to community, pastoral care and Eucharistic celebration.
For these reasons, CORPUS stands in solidarity with those ordained women who followed their calling and were selected for priesthood when bishops rejected them. When rejection is based on weak theological reasons and on a refusal to dialogue with or hear these women, then the community must act against what is sees as an injustice, indeed discrimination, and behavior which Christ could not endorse.
To excommunicate all these women, “latae sententiae”, automatically, without a hearing and due process, is the mark of a frightened and absolutist leadership. No democracy or humane government in the world employs its harshest penalty automatically against its citizens, without due process, redress, appeal, open courtrooms, judicial restraint and equity.
It astonishes us that a Church we love can act in so desperate and destructive a manner. We, therefore, in the conviction that the future church will find this action shameful and unworthy, stand in solidarity with our sisters who seek to serve God’s People and are treated as criminals.
They are branded as sinners to be excluded from the very sacramental life of the Church which their ordination was intended to make more abundantly available. Irony is too weak a word to describe this; tragedy is a more accurate description.
In addition, we offer the following points:1. The Papal Commission on the ordination of women found no biblical justification for the exclusion of women from Holy Orders.
2. The National Review Board set up by the bishops in Dallas in 2002, made clear that the “clerical culture” of the Roman Catholic Church was a root cause of the sex abuse phenomenon. The ordination of women and of a married priesthood would help reform that culture.
3. History informs us that ordained women ministered to their faith communities in the early Church and throughout the first millennium.
4. As the faithful we have a responsibility in Church law to express our needs to our pastors. The Holy Spirit has spoken to women among us. They have courageously responded. We know from our historical experience that silence implies consent. Catholic theology and tradition teach that an unjust law must be resisted and that a dubious law need not be obeyed.We believe the elements above are in accord with all the goals of VOTF.- END - [From a press release].

Monday, June 16, 2008

Catholic Radio: Non-event

Unfortunately, the scheduled beginning of broadcasting did not occur on Saturday; on Friday the current owner declined to sign the agreement which would have permitted broadcasting on the current owner's license. If the issue can be worked out, broadcasting will begin; otherwise, after the sale is completed in July.

For further information:

Salt & Light
P.O. Box 714
Boise, ID 83701

Friday, June 13, 2008

Because so many seem to have forgotten...

65. For this reason We deplore and condemn the pernicious error of those who dream of an imaginary Church, a kind of society that finds its origin and growth in charity, to which, somewhat contemptuously, they oppose another, which they call juridical. But this distinction which they introduce is false: for they fail to understand that the reason which led our Divine Redeemer to give to the community of man He founded the constitution of a Society, perfect of its kind and containing all the juridical and social elements - namely, that He might perpetuate on earth the saving work of Redemption,[123] - was also the reason why He willed it to be enriched with the heavenly gifts of the Paraclete. The Eternal Father indeed willed it to be the "kingdom of the Son of his predilection;"[124] but it was to be a real kingdom in which all believers should make Him the entire offering of their intellect and will,[125] and humbly and obediently model themselves on Him, Who for our sake "was made obedient unto death."[126] There can, then, be no real opposition or conflict between the invisible mission of the Holy spirit and the juridical commission of Ruler and Teacher received from Christ, since they mutually complement and perfect each other - as do the body and soul in man - and proceed from our one Redeemer who not only said as He breathed on the Apostles "Receive ye the Holy Spirit,"[127] but also clearly commanded: "As the Father hath sent me, I also send you;"[128] and again: "He that heareth you, heareth me."[129]

66. And if at times there appears in the Church something that indicates the weakness of our human nature, it should not be attributed to her juridical constitution, but rather to that regrettable inclination to evil found in each individual, which its Divine Founder permits even at times in the most exalted members of His Mystical Body, for the purpose of testing the virtue of the Shepherds no less than of the flocks, and that all may increase the merit of their Christian faith. For, as We said above, Christ did not wish to exclude sinners from His Church; hence if some of her members are suffering from spiritual maladies, that is no reason why we should lessen our love for the Church, but rather a reason why we should increase our devotion to her members. Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary grace through which with inexhaustible fecundity,[130] she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors. But it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall, weak or wounded. In their name she prays to God daily: "Forgive us our trespasses;" and with the brave heart of a mother she applies herself at once to the work of nursing them back to spiritual health. When, therefore, we call the Body of Jesus Christ "mystical," the very meaning of the word conveys a solemn warning. It is a warning that echoes in these words of St. Leo: "Recognize, O Christian, your dignity, and being made a sharer of the divine nature go not back to your former worthlessness along the way of unseemly conduct. Keep in mind of what Head and of what Body you are a member."[131]

Pius XII, Mystici Corporis

Constitutional aside

Hat tip to Southern Appeal

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And the walls came tumblin' down

Today the Office of Readings is the fall of Jericho; a remarkable chronicle of God's victory and, as the second reading shows is, a marvelous prefigurement of the redemption in Jesus Christ.

contined within it is also a little lesson for those who thing the bible to be a simple book to understand:

"Now shout, for the LORD has given you the city and everything in it. It is under the LORD'S ban. Only the harlot Rahab and all who are in the house with her are to be spared, because she hid the messengers we sent. But be careful not to take, in your greed, anything that is under the ban; else you will bring upon the camp of Israel this ban and the misery of it. All silver and gold, and the articles of bronze or iron, are sacred to the LORD. They shall be put in the treasury of the LORD." As the horns blew, the people began to shout. When they heard the signal horn, they raised a tremendous shout. The wall collapsed, and the people stormed the city in a frontal attack and took it. They observed the ban by putting to the sword all living creatures in the city: men and women, young and old, as well as oxen, sheep and asses. Joshua directed the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the harlot's house and bring out the woman with all her kin, as you swore to her you would do." The spies entered and brought out Rahab, with her father, mother, brothers, and all her kin. Her entire family they led forth and placed them outside the camp of Israel.
Joshua 6:16-23

Did you catch that?
Spare Rahab and her family;
All living creatures put to the sword (and killed);
Rahab and her family are brought out.

Now, the lesson here is that the biblical language does not use the word "All" in the same way we do; to us, "all living creature" would mean "every single living creature." Yet, clearly, if it meant this, then we would have a contradiction beyond solving, because Rahab and her family would be dead. No, rather, the biblical sense of "all" is different than ours; all means not each and every one, but one or more of each and every kind.

Hat tip to St. Augustine.

Sometime I picture God, the primary author of the Holy Scriptures, saying: "I don't get no respect."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Holy Cows: Isn’t it time the Church found God?

From the Telegraph:

This week Holy Cows makes the case that the Church of England should stop blaming the government for secularizing society and favouring other religions. Instead, it should look in the mirror – it has been actively sabotaging itself for some time.

hat tip to Paul

On the Gospel of St. John; Mike Lee

Mike Lee, who is attending the International Theological Institute in Austria, and has returned home for a short time, will be reflecting and speaking on the Gospel of St. John at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Caldwell, Idaho. He will speak tonight, Wednesday, June 11, 2008 and Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. It will be a very special presentation and you are invited to attend. The church is located at 1155 Linden in Caldwell, Idaho.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I just noticed I have had the wrong date for our next meeting on the sidebar... The third Saturday is June 21, not the 15th!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Catholic Radio coming to Boise

Last night if you had turned your dial to KSXL AM 890 between 6-9PM, you would have heard the inaugural broadcast of Salt and Light radio, which will begin broadcasting next Sunday during daylight hours, and, if all goes well, broadcasting Catholic content radio 24/7 by early August.

With the blessings of Bishop Michael Driscoll and the Diocese of Boise, this lay led apostolate will begin with EWTN and Catholic Answers programming in English and Spanish, and later will branch into locally produced programming.

Last night, Keith Pettyjohn, President of Salt and Light Radio, kicked off the station with an event at the home of Bill and MaryLou Molitor; here Keith is introducing Salt and Light Radio:

Keith was followed by Tony Galati, general manager of KBVM Catholic Radio of Portland, who told about some of the tremendous experiences of grace he has seen with Catholic Radio:

Tony was followed by Rod Fazzari, owner and operator of KHSS Catholic Radio of Walla Walla, who told of single handedly starting a Catholic Radio station as a way to share the faith he had grown up with and "rediscovered."

The three were posing for a publicity picture, and I'm not sure what the joke was, but perhaps from the two "in the know" to the new kid on the block. Good natured all around!

Of course, Tony is special to Idaho Dominicans, as he is also a member of the Dominican Third Order; and more than that, is an officer of the Lay Provincial Council, which is meeting at St. Alberts Priory in Oakland, California, in two weeks, to discuss issues of concern to the Dominican laity. So I managed to convince Tony that he should mix business with business with pleasure and come to Chapter House for a visit!

For further information:

Salt & Light
P.O. Box 714
Boise, ID 83701

Friday, June 06, 2008

Taking a stroll in ancient Rome...

to the tomb of St. Peter? well, not as impossible as you might think!

Pilgrims at the Tomb of Peter. As in Ancient Rome

Ten meters beneath the Vatican basilica, it is possible to walk the same path that led to the tomb of the apostle, among rows of Roman tombs that have emerged, intact, from the excavations. The latest restoration was presented just a few days ago. A marvel of art, history, faith

by Sandro Magister


Touched for a Lifetime

Anytime a person attends a wedding Mass or an ordination, something touches that person that is beyond telling and beyond the senses. Of course, it is the presence of the Holy Spirit. This was so last evening, 5 June 2008, at the Ordination of six men that entered the priesthood last evening at St. John's Cathedral in Boise, Idaho. It was magnificent. From the beginning, it was incredible with the Cathedral Choir's renditions of various and classical pieces throughout the Mass and Ordination. The ordinations, the Mass, the music, and faithful, and the humble submission of these men to service for all of us the laity.

The commitment of these young men to their vocation, and their heartfelt thankfulness to God was quite real and evident. I am so thankful myself that these men and their brother priests have committed their lives, time, energy, and intelligence to be a blessing to the Church in Idaho. There are many honorable, able, and holy priests here in Idaho. Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

5 people meme

Therese at Aussie Coffee Shop tagged me with the "5 people meme" - which once I started, was harder than it looked. well, I tried...

"If you could meet and have a deep conversation with any five people on earth, living or dead, from any time period, who would they be?" (Explaining why is optional.)

Name five people from each of the following categories:
Saints, Those in the Process of Being Canonized, Heroes from your native country, Authors/Writers, celebrities.

Five Saints:

1. Mary, mother of God
2. St. Dominic
3. St. Francis
4. St. Peter
5. St. Vincent Ferrer

Those in the Process of Being Canonized:

1. Bl. Margaret of Castello
2. Bl. Carino (well, technically not in process)
3. Martyrs, Any…

Five U.S. Heroes:

1. My mother
2. James Cardinal Gibbons
3. Abp. Chaput
4. Bp. Finn
5. Fr. Mark Gross(*)

Five Authors/Writers:

1. St. John
2. St. Matthew
3. St. Luke
4. St. Paul
5. St. James

Five Celebrities:

1. drawing a blank here…

Tag Five People:

this one was hard to do, so if you want to do it, knock yourself out!

(*) #5 in this category would have been Bp. Vasa, but… been there and done that! Fr. Mark Gross distinguished himself in the Civil War for his service to Confederate POWs in Washington DC.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Evening at Chapter House

Gayle just sent these pictures; Is she trying to make me feel remiss for not spending enough time out at the Chapter House?

sigh, it's working...


Fr. Finigan at The Hermeneutic of Continuity has a link up to a new Vatican document:

Fr. Finigan offers this quote of the Holy Father from the document:

“Our obedience is a believing with the Church, a thinking and speaking with the Church, serving through her. What Jesus predicted to Peter also always applies: ‘You will be taken where you do not want to go'. This letting oneself be guided where one does not want to be led is an essential element of our serving and precisely that which makes us free”
A well timed document for our upcoming discussions at the meeting of the Dominican Lay Provincial Council, only three weeks away.

Thank you, Fr. Finigan, for providing this link and quote!

Good dog – bad dog; a speculation

This is a speculative walkabout which was inspired by things recently said by a young man; It's not all that well formed, so I hope it's not too confusing; I repeat that it's speculation!

Jealousy is generally regarded as a particularly unattractive vice, and at times can certainly be so. But is Jealousy categorically and always a vice, an occasion of sin, as some things are, always and every where? Before responding in the affirmative, it’s perhaps worth the time to remember a few things:

I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous [Ex 20:5]
Adore not any strange god. The Lord his name is
jealous, he is a jealous God.[Ex 34:14]
For I am the Lord thy God, a jealous God [Dt 5:9]
Because the Lord thy God is a jealous God [Dt 6:15]
Thus saith the Lord of hosts: I have been jealous for
Sion with a great jealousy, and with a great indignation
have I been jealous for her. [Zach 8:2]
I think it safe to say that we have all been schooled in the bad aspects of jealousy, but perhaps we are a bit weak on the good aspects of jealousy.

What got me started on this was a consideration of God and his children, compared to children and parents.

The child, when born, is completely dependent on the parents (mother in particular), for every need; can make those needs known, and have them satisfied. The child grows in a relationship where love is given by the mother, and received by the child, in a relationship that to the child, is all but exclusive. The child is becoming a jealous lover, in the worst sense of the word, while the mother and father are learning to be a jealous lovers in the best sense of the word; they must give of themselves to each other and to another; a love that if pure, is not diminished by a third person, but expanded by it. The child, however, on becoming aware that there are others in the life of the parents, others whom receive from his beloved that which he wants all to himself, is hurt. This hurt, that the beloved must be shared, usually translates itself into behaviors which punish the perceived malefactors, be they parents or siblings; those others who receive what is desired for the self.

If we consider for a moment again, God’s jealousy, we can remind ourselves of something very important; that infinite love God has for us is not a sentimental love, it does nothing for God; it is charity; God wills our good. And our good is best obtained if we love God in return, for God’s sake, not for what we receive from God (which is mercenary love). God’s love for one individual, or all individuals, does not diminish God’s love for any other individual; it is complete and entire, just as Jesus is complete and entire, body, blood, soul, and divinity, in each and every Eucharist, and particle thereof. If you keep this in mind, one easily can see why a jealous God is not angered by our love for our neighbor for His sake; this love redounds to Him. However, a love for created things for their own sake; this arouses the jealousy of God.

So I am speculating that it is when love moves from the essentially sensual (ie: sentimental/feeling) self-directed mode (amo), to the essentially spiritual (ie: willing), other-directed mode (caritas), that the self-interested aspects of jealousy fall away, replaced by the medicinal aspects of jealousy which so mark God’s providence. The self-directed jealousy has as it’s goal to hurt the offending party (ie: malice); the other-directed jealousy has as it’s goal the correction of the offending party (ie: charity), to return them to a right relationship for their own sake.

Back to children; in a way, parents are gods to children. Earthly fatherhood is but an echo of our Heavenly Father, and while children are jealous lovers like the gods of ancient Greece and Rome, it befalls to the parents to live a life which, as Mary says “magnifies the Lord,” that the children can at least see what they have set before them as a goal. If they never see anything in their parents but the petty tyranny of the gods of Greece and Rome, their path will be all the more difficult. We do not despair, however, because with God, all things are possible.

The title is from the old story about interior conflict; which dog wins? the one you feed. Put on Christ, you can't loose.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Over the last 35 years, the citizens of the United States have witnessed unprecedented historical events. With a masterfully-worded defense, a well-guarded political bully, an alliance with the media, a facetiously reasoned propaganda, and a hyperbolic assault on society at large, the abortion movement and conspiracy that helped legalize the killing of kids in our society ignore scientific truth and kill the innocent with lies and arrogance of presumption and power. Calling it “choice” or “pro-choice” or by any number of appellations, in the final analysis it only means the literal murder and dismemberment of children in the womb.
The children’s crime? Just to exist. Their legal dilemma? They have not passed through the portal of the womb. Do they look different? No. Children in the womb look like anybody else at their development in life. Yet, with all the rhetoric, euphemisms, and yada, yada, yada of the movement to kill kids in the womb results in death.
For all their words and actions purportedly to defend women, women's rights, and efforts to bind up their claims with the injustices suffered by other truly oppressed people, this movement in the end has lead to the killing of millions of kids that were not yet born.
You can call it pro-choice. You can call it a women’s right [to kill kids]. You can call it reproductive freedom or other distracting and feces-ious monikers, but in the end, it is nothing more than killing of children—innocent and free, choice-less and blind.
Isn’t it time? It is truly time to stop the killing of kids in the womb.