Friday, December 16, 2011

Orestes Brownson and the twin evils of Capitalism & Socialism

The following quote is from Orestes Brownson, quoted by Michael Greaney at Just Third Way blog.

"Communion with God through Creation and Incarnation is religion, distinctively taken, which binds man to God as his first cause, and carries him onward to God as his final cause; communion through the material world is expressed by the word property; and communion with God through humanity is society. Religion, society, property, are the three terms that embrace the whole of man's life, and express the essential means and conditions of his existence, his development, and his perfection, or the fulfillment of his existence, the attainment of the end for which he is created."
Michael has a multipost series on Brownsen and the mistaken view that the only options are Capitalism or Socialism. you can start the series here.

Brownson is on my reading list but hasn't floated to the top yet.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

From Steve Ray

Vietnamese Father of 50 Babies – all saved from abortion
by Steve Ray on December 13, 2011

This man is a modern day hero. Watch the video to see his incredible story. When asked why he has saved all these babies from abortion and adopted them he said, “I am a Catholic!”

With over 7,000 graves of the unborn in his backyard he and his wife hold vigil for their little souls. This is a man and women who live their faith and make huge sacrifices for the unborn. Wait until you see the beautiful living babies who who have been slaughtered. Wait until you see his yard full of gravestones.

Saints still live among us. Living martyrs. Holy men and women who love God and others more than themselves.

Click to watch the report

Monday, December 12, 2011

St Albert, peace, and Dominicans

The following quote is from "St Albert the Great" by Kevin Vost:

Albert was a consummate peacemaker among men because peace, like joy, is an effect that flows from charity, an infused virtue with which Albert was abundantly blessed. Peace is a concordance or harmony of desires among persons. When those persons’ desires are not fully just and their thoughts are not focused on good and honorable ends, peace will not last long. [Albert] knew well that true peace was only possible among good men, and that is why his greatest peacemaking efforts were performed not in the settlement of sundry disputes but through his teaching and preaching: by making men good .

This reflects a thought I have long harbored, and I think brings out what I believe to be the serious error espoused by those Dominicans who seek political solutions through political means, neglecting and even denigrating the preaching mission, which some have even called "useless" (in personal communications).

I will even offer this additional thought; the lack of peace the ends in war is the terminal symptom of the failure to preach; because of our fallen nature we will not fall far from the nature family tree (Cain) but will fall far from our adopted family tree (of Life).

St Albert well understood that men journeying together towards heaven live in a harmony not found amoung men journeying any other direction.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

How to Preach A Very Bad Homily

This is actually rather priceless! From the blog of the Eastern Province:
How to Preach A Very Bad Homily, Fr Basil Cole, O.P., gave the following talk at a conference to the priests of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul....
read it here

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Peter Kreeft answers the question, "Can a Catholic be a Liberal?"

This interesting report is by Doug Erickson in the Wisconsin State Jornal, as reported by Fr Z here. I'll just snip a bit here...

There is no middle ground to Kreeft. It would be silly and redundant to him, for instance, to call someone a “pro-life Catholic.” You cannot be anything but against abortion to be a Catholic, Kreeft said.

“To be a Catholic is to take the whole deal,” he told the crowd.

Kreeft said several definitions of a liberal can and should fit Catholics, including “someone who is generous and unselfish” and “someone who highly values liberty and freedom.”

On abortion, Kreeft contended Catholics are the “true liberals,” because a liberal wants to extend liberty to the oppressed, and “the unborn are the most oppressed,” he said.

Kreeft said these Catholic advisers “told the Kennedys how they could get away with murder.” Kreeft then made one of his boldest comments of the evening, suggesting the theologians who first convinced Democratic politicians they could support abortion rights and remain Catholic did more damage to the Catholic Church than pedophile priests.

“These were wicked people. These were dishonest people. These were people who, frankly, loved power more than they loved God,” Kreeft said. “Sorry, that’s just the way it is. In fact, I’d say these were even worse than the child molesters — though the immediate damage they did was not as obvious — because they did it deliberately, it wasn’t a sin of weakness. Sins of power are worse than sins of weakness. Cold, calculating sins — that’s straight from the devil.”
Read the full article here

Some strong words. First I am glad to see that the primier Social Justice issue is being called out; the bulk of purported social justice advocates these days seem to have no interest in the lives of the unborn, demonstrating a very inadequate understanding of justice and the hierarchy of value that necessarily attaches there-to.

It is the strong condemnation of dissident theologians which I believe is remarkable - a bit of straight talk the likes of which is rarely heard. Then to put it in perspective by stating that it caused more damage than pedophile priests; amazing. He's right, of course.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

From Frederick Faber


O Lord! my heart is sick
Of this perpetually lapsing time,
So slow in grief, in joy so quick,
Yet ever casting shadows so sublime:
Time of all creatures is least like to Thee,
And yet it is our share of Thine eternity.

O change and time are storms
For lives so thin and frail as ours;
For change the works of grace deforms
With love that soils, and help that over powers;
And time is strong, and, like some chafing sea,
It seems to fret the shores of Thine eternity.

Weak, weak, forever weak!
We cannot hold what we possess;
Youth cannot find, age will not seek,
O weakness is the heart’s worst weakness:
But weakest hearts can lift their thoughts to Thee;
It makes us strong to think of Thine eternity.

Thou hadst no youth, great God,
An Unbeginning End Thou art;
Thy glory in itself abode,
And still abides in its own tranquil heart:
No age can heap its outward years on Thee:
Dear God! Thou art Thyself Thine own eternity!

Without an end or bound
Thy life lies all outspread in light;
Our lives feel The life all around,
Making our weakness strong, our darkness bright;
Yet is it neither wilderness nor sea,
But the calm gladness of a full eternity.

Oh Thou art very great
To set Thyself so far above!
But we partake of Thine estate,
Established in Thy strength and in Thy love:
That love hath made eternal room for me
In the sweet vastness of its own eternity.

Oh Thou art very meek
To overshade Thy creatures thus!
Thy grandeur is the shade we seek:
To be eternal is Thy use to us:
Ah Blessed God! What joy it is to me
To lose all thought of self in Thine eternity.

Self-wearied, Lord! I come;
For I have lived my life too fast:
Now that years bring me nearer home
Grace must be slowly used to make it last;
When my heart beats too quick I think of Thee,
And of the leisure of Thy long eternity.

Farwell, vain joys of earth!
Farewell, all love that is not His!
Dear God! Be Thou my only mirth,
Thy magesty my single timid bliss!
Oh in the bosom of eternity
Thou does not weary of Thyself, nor we of Thee!

Faber's Hymns, Frederick Faber, 1875

Friday, December 02, 2011

Silent Night

Soon we'll be singing that old favorite "Silent Night", a hymn to remind us of that anticipation of awaiting our Savior's humble entrance into our world. Yet, we come to church and await Him in a manner bereft of silence.

We so need to recover what is meant by "active participation" (actuosa participatio). What is it? It didn't spring immaculate and virginally from Vatican II, but already had a long history in the liturgical renewal.

"In order that the faithful may more actively participate in the sacred liturgy, let them be once again made to sing Gregorian Chant as a congregation." Pius X, motu proprio Tra Le Solicitudini

How did Vatican II expect "active participation" to be brought about? "Therefore, pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it by means of the necessary instruction in all their pastoral work." Vatican Council II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 14

Surprise, surprise! The Fathers of Vatican II told the pastors that they should teach us Gregorian Chant so we could sing the mass as a congregation. I'm still waiting...

The quotes are from a wonderful article: The Mass of Vatican II | Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Got off the train in the wrong city.

The old high altar in Boise's Cathedral of St John the Evangelist has long puzzled many people for it's two flanking pillars, each topped with what appears to be a jar, or a vase.

The explanation is that the altar was built by a company that at the same time built the high altar for Salt Lake City's Cathedral of the Madeleine. Both were shipped west on the same train, but Boise's was unloaded in Salt Lake City, and theirs went to Boise! Hence, Boise's high altar has the "alabastar jar of costly spikenard" motif to remind us of Mary Magdalene's unself-conscious and generous anointing of our Lord before his death.

The high altar that was built for the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Boise, was installed in the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City. It apparently fell victim to a post Vatican II wreckovation, I understand it was destroyed. It has, however, survived in photographic evidence (picture is from 1909).

So Boise, here's what we missed:

This copyrighted picture is from Utah State History collections, here

PS: Not only did Utah loose the high altar, even the stained glass windows behind the altar are gone, as this current picture attests:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Third Edition of the Roman Missal

Here's an interesting little video from the Corpus Christi Watershed folks. It addresses the form of the mass, particularly the replacement of the Introit with a hymn...

2011 GIRM 48. This chant is sung alternately by the choir and the people or similarly by a cantor and the people, or entirely by the people, or by the choir alone. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, there are four options for the Entrance Chant: (1) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Gradual Romanum, as set to music there or in another setting; (2) the antiphon and Psalm of the Graduate Simplex for the liturgical time; (3) a chant from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) another liturgical chant that is suited to the sacred action, the day, or the time of year, similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.

And of course, while we're at it, ccwatershed also has a new hymnal, the Vatican II Hymnal:

The Dominicans at St Albert Priory (and the Eastern Province) have chosen the New Edition of the St Michael Hymnal:

I'm pleased to see these fine efforts, but somehow I expect that I'll be subject to slight variations of the sameold-sameold instead of what the Church is asking for...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First Sunday of Advent

From the Fr Pius Pietrzyk OP of the Eastern Dominican Province, posting on Preacher's Sketchbook for First Sunday of Advent:

Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year

We find that this mystery of the coming, or Advent, of Jesus is at once simple and threefold. It is simple, for it is the one same Son of God that is coining; it is threefold, because He comes at three different times and in three different ways. ‘In the first coming,’ says St. Bernard, ‘He comes in the flesh and in weakness; in the second, He comes in spirit and in power; in the third, He comes in glory and in majesty; and the second coming is the means whereby we pass from the first to the third.’

This, then, is the mystery of Advent. Let us now listen to the explanation of this threefold visit of Christ, given to us by Peter of Blois, in his third Sermon de Adventu: ‘There are three comings of our Lord; the first in the flesh, the second in the soul, the third at the judgement. The first was at midnight, according to those words of the Gospel: At midnight there was a cry made, Lo the Bridegroom cometh! But this first coming is long since past, for Christ has been seen on the earth and has conversed among men. We are now in the second coming, provided only we are such as that He may thus come to us; for He has said that if we love him, He will come unto us and will take up His abode with us. So that this second coming is full of uncertainty to us; for who, save the Spirit of God, knows them that are of God? They that are raised out of themselves by the desire of heavenly things, know indeed when He comes; but whence He cometh, or whither He goeth, they know not. As for the third coming, it is most certain that it will be, most uncertain when it will be; for nothing is more sure than death, and nothing less sure than the hour of death. When they shall say, peace and security, says the apostle, then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape. So that the first coming was humble and hidden, the second is mysterious and full of love, the third will be majestic and terrible. In His first coming, Christ was judged by men unjustly; in His second, He renders us just by His grace; in His third, He will judge all things with justice. In His first, a lamb; in His last, a lion; in the one between the two, the tenderest of friends.’

The above is a well written reminder that the Lord who came amoung us a Bethlehem and died for our salvation on the cross, has kept his promise to "be with us always". Now is the time to make friends with Him. When He comes in judgment, that time will be past.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Truth Be Told issue #19 - Newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

The 19th issue of "Truth Be Told," the newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus has been posted to the web.

The newsletter is available for download at the provincial web page here:

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Benedict XVI on "We are Church"

The Holy Father made a reference to the "we are church" dissident movement in a speach to seminarians in Germany.

22-25 SEPTEMBER 2011

St Charles Borromeo Seminary Chapel, Freiburg im Breisgau
Saturday, 24 September 2011

Personally being with Christ, with the living God, is one thing: another is that we can only ever believe within the “we”. I sometimes say that Saint Paul wrote: “Faith comes from hearing” – not from reading. It needs reading as well, but it comes from hearing, that is to say from the living word, addressed to me by the other, whom I can hear, addressed to me by the Church throughout the ages, from her contemporary word, spoken to me the priests, bishops and my fellow believers. Faith must include a “you” and it must include a “we”. And it is very important to practise this mutual support, to learn how to accept the other as the other in his otherness, and to learn that he has to support me in my otherness, in order to become “we”, so that we can also build community in the parish, calling people into the community of the word, and journeying with one another towards the living God. This requires the very particular “we” that is the seminary, and also the parish, but it also requires us always to look beyond the particular, limited “we” towards the great “we” that is the Church of all times and places: it requires that we do not make ourselves the sole criterion. When we say: “We are Church” – well, it is true: that is what we are, we are not just anybody. But the “we” is more extensive than the group that asserts those words. The “we” is the whole community of believers, today and in all times and places. And so I always say: within the community of believers, yes, there is as it were the voice of the valid majority, but there can never be a majority against the apostles or against the saints: that would be a false majority. We are Church: let us be Church, let us be Church precisely by opening ourselves and stepping outside ourselves and being Church with others.

Contextual article by Sandro Magister at Chiesa Online is here
the Holy Father's full text is here

November Chapter meeting

The November Chapter meeting will be held at St Paul Newman Center, BSU, instead of in Caldwell. It also will start earlier, at 9:30AM Saturday, Nov 19, 2011. Fr Vincent Kelber OP will be with us, and it is planned that he will offer mass at approximately 10AM in the chapel.

there will be a Thanksgiving potluck meal, turkey provided! Sides should be coordinated with Stephanie DeNinno - ssdeninno [at dog]

So I said...

I know. I said I don't spend a lot of time looking at Chant and Music sites, but sometimes they find me anyway! This one is worth passing along, it's the Liturgy of the Hours set to Gregorian Chant.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

All Souls of the Dominican Order

For those who have gone ahead of us in the Order, we celebrate All Dominican Souls day today. May we join you in the heavenly chorus!

Monday, November 07, 2011

All Saints of the Dominican Order

From the Provincial web site,

All Saints of the Dominican Order
Feast for the Order

Today we faithfully remember "those who have gone before us in the family of Saint Dominic and who offer us the example of their way of life, their company in the communion of saints, and the help of their intercession. By this celebration may we be moved to imitate them and be strengthened in the spirit of our vocation." [LCO, nn. 16, 67]

God, source of all holiness, you have enriched your Church with many gifts in the saints of the Order of Preachers. By following their example may we come to enjoy their company forever in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Fr. Vincent Benoit, O.P.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Cool find

I found this over at Dominican Liturgy blog in a post titled Dominican Prayers on the iPhone

Behold the golden dawn arise;
The paling night forsakes the skies:
Those shades that hid the world from view,
And us to dangerous error drew.

May this new day be calmly passed,
May we keep pure while it shall last:
Nor let our lips from truth depart,
Nor dark designs engage the heart.

So may the day speed on; the tongue
No falsehood know, the hands no wrong:
Our eyes from wanton gaze refrain,
o guilt our guarded bodies stain.

For God all-seeing from on high
Surveys us with a watchful eye:
Each day our every act he knows
From early dawn to evening’s close.

All laud to God the Father be;
All praise, eternal Son, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete. Amen.

Melody: Old 100th L.M.
Music: Louis Bourgeois, 1500-1561
Text: Sol ecce surgit igneus, eleventhth century Anglo Saxon
Translation: John M. Neale, 1818-1866
No, I don't have an iPhone, but I do love Old 100th!

I'll also confess that I spend almost no time on the music and liturgy blogs, I get too depressed. I used to, but it's like window shopping when you have no money; you want but you can't have, and the intense beauty drives one a bit nutters with desire because it has been banished and demonized in this part of the world, where it is preferred to sing(sic) music(sic) set to "I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weener" and suchlike. OK, some are nice campfire songs, but I don't see a campfire when I look at the candles on the altar...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: recommendation of a global financial authority

A couple days ago the  Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace issued a position paper recommending, as a solution to the world's financial problems, what some would attribute as "more of the cause." The Document, titled: "TOWARDS REFORMING THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL AND MONETARY SYSTEMS IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL PUBLIC AUTHORITY", can be read here.

The paper, which doesn't seem to have an attribution of authorship, and certainly does not bear the imprimatur of the church, much less the Holy Father, has been written about by more competent authors than me, so I'll let you find those articles on your own and form your own opinions. What strikes me as a layman, is that the Vatican, with it's scandal-plagued Vatican Bank, would offer suggestions of this nature when it has clearly demonstrated deficiency in this department; a department that it seems lies outside the competence of the Church. From a moral standpoint, if the world had embraced Christ and lived a devout faith, there would be no financial crisis, right? given fallen human nature, there will always be crisis of one sort or another, as man seeks to assert his will over his fellow man, rather than serve his neighbor as one created in the image of God.

So it seems to this financially-challenged mind, that a document that suggests that to make things right, the world needs to live as though the fruits of charity were present and could be counted upon, without ever mentioning the name of Jesus, from whom all charity flows, has missed the mission statement:

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” [Mt 28:18ff]

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Chrysostom on Withholding Communion

Leon Suprenaut has started blogging for the Diocese of Kansas City, Kansas. here's an interesting post he put up!

Today is the feast of St. John Chrysostom, the famous Bishop of Constantinople at the turn of the fifth century. He was given the title “Chrysostom, which means “golden mouthed,” because of his eloquent sermons. He’s also known as a doctor of the Church because of his timeless, orthodox teaching.

In his book Luminous Mysteries, Scripture scholar Tim Gray quotes at length from St. John Chrysostom’s homily “On the Institution of the Eucharist,” which I reprint below. I think you’ll agree that it’s quite instructive on the controversial subject of the sacred minister’s duty to withhold Communion from a notorious sinner:

“I speak not only to the communicant, but also I say to the priest who ministers the Sacrament: Distribute this gift with much care. There is no small punishment for you, if being conscious of any wickedness in any man, you allow him to partake of the banquet of the table: ‘Shall I not now require his blood at your hand?’ (2 Sam. 4:11). If some public figure, or some wealthy person who is unworthy, presents himself to receive Holy Communion, forbid him. The authority that you have is greater than his. Consider if your task were to guard a clean spring of water for a flock, and you saw a sheep approach with mire on its mouth–you would not allow it to stoop down and pollute the stream. You are now entrusted with a spring, not of water, but of blood and of spirit. If you see someone having sin in his heart (which is far more grievous than earth and mire), coming to receive the Eucharist, are you not concerned? Do you try to prevent him? What excuse can you have, if you do not?

“God has honored you with the dignity of priesthoood, that you might discern these things. This is not to say that you should go about clothed in a white and shining vestment; but this is your office; this, your safety;
this your whole crown.

“You ask how you should know which individual is unworthy to receive? I am speaking here not of some unknown sinner, but of a notorious one. If someone who is not a disciple, through ignorance, comes to Communion, do not be afraid to forbid him. Fear God, not man. If you fear man, you will be scorned and laughed at even by him; but if you fear God, you will be an object of respect even to men. But if you cannot do it, bring that sinner to me, for I will not allow anyone to dare do these things. I would give up my life rather
than give the Lord’s Blood to the unworthy.

“If, however, a sinful person receives Communion, and you did not know his character, you are not to blame, however. I say the things above concerning only those who sin openly. For if we amend these, God will speedily reveal to us the unknown also; but if we let these flagrant abuses continue, how can we expect Him to make manifest those that are hidden? I say these things, not to repel sinners or cut them off, but I say it in order that we may bring them to repentance, and bring them back, so that we may take care of them. For thus we shall both please God and lead many to receive worthily. And for our own diligence, and for our care for others, we will receive a great reward. May we attain that reward by the grace and love that God gives to man through Our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, world without end. Amen.”


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A day...

Today was my second day back at work after being off for three weeks due to pneumonia. Glad to say I'm improving but not quite all there yet!

Today I received a reminder that yesterday marked the 1 year anniversary of the passing of Deanette Pease OPL, whom I met at Lourdes last year while on pilgrimage. Deanette had taken Bl Margaret of Castello's name as her Dominican profession name. While Lourdes did not cure Deanette's cancer, it certainly helped her prepare to meet that part of our family which has gone before us. Ann, who took Deanette on pilgrimage, found my email and contacted me today.

If that wasn't enough for the day, when I got home there was a package from Italy waiting for me. Last month I had written the Dominican Nuns in Italy and requested a first class relic of Bl Margaret for our chapter house and shrine at Homedale. I was told by more than one person it was unlikely that they would send it. Maybe its the prayers of Deanette, Gwen, Jim, Janet, and all our lay Dominican family on the other side?

here's a bit more of a close up.

Yes, the genuine article. Now, I just need to find someone to translate the rather long letter in Italian!

Br Corwin Low OP of the Dominican Studentate was kind enough to translate the letter for me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Truth Be Told issue #18 - Newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

The 18th issue of "Truth Be Told," the newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus has been posted to the web.

The newsletter is available for download at the provincial web page here:

This issue completes the third year of publication of Truth Be Told! Although it will probably never attain 100% original content, I am pleased by the steady increase of original material appearing in these pages.

There is a new feature on the website where the newsletter is posted. Previously, the same version of the newsletter appeared there as I send subscribers by email. Now, the version available on the web for download is a higher resolution, printer-ready edition that is about 300% larger in size, and the smaller email version is also availble through a link. We have done this so that people who want to print a clearer, sharper copy can do so. The emailed version is intentionally smaller and optimal for online reading, as well as for downloading over a slower connection speed.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Liturgiam Authenticam - Trailer

New movie from the Dominicans at Kindly Light

This probably won't be playing at your local multiplex, but it ought to play at your parish!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Index of Forbidden Songs

Fr Eric Richtsteig has posted a series of delightful entries at his blog Orthometer. He's made a list of bad music which should be banned. Way to go!

Index of Forbidden Songs (Gather Part III)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Gather Part II)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Gather Part I)


Index of Forbidden Songs (Music Issue, Part IX)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Music Issue, Part VIII)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Music Issue, Part VII)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Music Issue, Part VI)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Music Issue, Part V)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Music Issue, Part IV)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Music Issue, Part III)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Music Issue, Part II)
Index of Forbidden Songs (Music Issue, Part I)

However, it would appear that the only banned music is Gregorian Chant, Latin hymns, and polyphony. Yeah, the crap is easier to sing, I will grant that. however a diet of peanut butter sandwiches, french fries, and coke tends to weigh one down with bloat. we've effectively banished beauty and truth, and distorted love, justice, and mercy. Is it any wonder that we fail to respect and obey God who is Beauty, Truth, Love, Justice, and Mercy?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book: The Search for the Historical Francis, A Penitent from Assisi

I haven’t written much for a while, but that is not to say that I haven’t been busy!

This last weekend I traveled to California, for the 40th reunion of my high school class of 1971. Because I graduated a year early in 1970 I did not receive an invitation, but I went at the suggestion of a childhood friend whom I’d lost track of for nearly 30 years, who invited me to rejoin my original class. The event was very interesting. I spent over 5 hours on my feet talking to people I hadn’t seen in over 40 years. Oh, old creaky memories!

I had planned to stay at St Albert Priory in Oakland, and it just so happened that the Corpus Christi lay Dominican chapter was holding a retreat this weekend, and they graciously allowed me to join them. I must say it was a wonderful retreat, and it made the trip much more fulfilling. I have to say it was quite a contrast, the worldly and the other-worldly.

The retreat featured two presentations by Fr Augustine Thompson O.P. Father gave two presentations. The first was based on his book “Cities of God: The Religion of the Italian Communes, 1125-1325.” I’d heard a version of this presentation last year at the Lay Provincial Council meeting, but it has grown since then and it was really delightful. I will definitely have to buy the book!

However, it was the second presentation that really got my attention. It built on the first, and included a bit of an advance on Father’s next book (due out March, 2012, in honor of the conversion of St Clare). The presentation title was “The Search for the Historical Francis, A Penitent from Assisi.” A bit of a humorous play on “the search for the historical Jesus” in the title notwithstanding, it was a fascinating presentation which brought to light some of the current research. In the last ten years, there have been 220 biographies of St Francis published, all of which dress up and present the same standard version of Francis, which, it turns out, is a bit of a Santa Claus to St Nicholas! Well, not quite that bad, but pretty bad. This book will knock a few socks off, and instead of the standard initial printing of 2,000 copies, the publisher is planning a first edition run of 10,000 copies! I will get one, you may want to too!

What was so delightful about Fr Thompson’s presentation is that he comes across as a historian who is like a kid in a candy store, reveling in the rich flavors of nuggets of history mined from the various new sources unearthed in the last decade.

I'm looking forward to a fascinating read next March!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Holy Father Benedict and the removal of Bishop Morris of Toowoomba

There is a petition to support Benedict XVI's action in the resignation of Bishop Morris of Toowoomba, Australia. Click image below to add your support!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Blessed St Dominic Day!

Please remember that today, Monday, August 8, 2011, is the Solemnity of St. Dominic, the day we celebrate his death and entrance into Heaven. At 7PM we will gather at the day Chapel at Holy Apostles at the corner of Meridian Road and Chinden Blvd in Meridian for prayer. We will be praying the Evening Prayer and the Office of the Dead for those who have gone before us in the friendship of God. We will gather briefly thereafter for coffee or other refreshments. Thank you.

John Keenan, O.P.(Lay)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Utopia of Usurers?

From the Social Credit list, the following comment:

I think it is fairly easy for most people to understand that all credit money comes into existence as a debt to some operator within the financial system. This is true, by definition, and some 97% of monies in the system is credit money. The crux of the matter is that the debt system, controlled by private financiers, is simply a tool for controlling the population at large by putting most everybody in a position of dependence on the financiers by way of debt.

The fundamental understanding that needs to dawn upon people is that this is a form of abuse because people are made to borrow, at interest, what they already own.

How long has it been since the Church last addressed the question of Usury? (ON USURY AND OTHER DISHONEST PROFIT. Vix Pervenit. Encyclical of Pope Benedict XIV promulgated on November 1, 1745)

In the intervening centuries, that which we borrow has changed. It is now credit instead of the capital which was the subject of Vix Prevenit; which that that the collection of reasonable interest on capital borrowing was deemed to not be usury. Does this hold for credit, though? When I, or a nation, borrows and what transacts is not transfer of capital but entries into legers, a very useful legal fiction, but a fiction none the less, is it not usury to demand more of the fiction in return? Especially if the fiction is backed by the "full good faith of the nation" which is the common stock of us all, as the quote above states?

This is not a question I can answer, but I wish the Church would offer guidance in this.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

800 years young

The Dominican Order is approaching its 800th anniversary, which is only 5 years from now. What has been a key to this life in the spirit? certainly one aspect has been adapting to the times without being absorbed by the thinking of the times. Br Corwin Low has made an exquisite commentary in the picture below, which is from his blog Cantate Domino. read it here

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mary Magdalene, Patroness of the Dominicans

From the Friars of the Eastern Province:

In this video series Fr. Dominic Legge, O.P. explains why Mary Magdalene was chosen as a patroness of the Dominican Order.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

There's even some DaVinci Code (remember that?) thrown in!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Priests, religious, and lay faithful asked to offer sacrifices and prayers for the health of the Apostolic Nuncio

From the Friars of the Eastern Province:

July 26, 2011 - Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, has been placed on assisted ventilation after complications following a delicate surgery. The Apostolic Nunciature and the Nuncio's family kindly ask that Bishops, priests, religious, and lay faithful offer sacrifices and prayers for the health of the Apostolic Nuncio.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Truth Be Told issue #17 - Newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

The 17th issue of "Truth Be Told," the newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus has been posted to the web.

The newsletter is available for download at the provincial web page here:

This issue was released late due to holding it for the results of the Lay Provincial Council meeting held at St Albert Priory July 8-9.  I expected two extra pages and got about 10 instead! Lots of good stuff, including new original material. My thanks to all the authors, especially Jim Likoudis, who will be a regular contributor for some time to come.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mike Lee - graduated, ordained, home

Mike Lee and family are due in Boise today.

Five years ago Mike Lee took his family to Austria to work on his doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Institute. On June 11th Mike receiving his diploma from Cardinal Schönborn.

What Mike hadn't plan on was falling in love with the Byzantine Divine Liturgy and Eastern spirituality. No, when he left behind youth ministry and Life Teen masses, I seriously doubt he would have guessed that five years later he would be ordined to the deaconate on May 8th of this year by Bishop John Kudrick.

It is my understanding the Mike's goal is to be ordained to the priesthood, and to that end after a brief visit in Idaho, he travels to Ohio on Aug 4. I hope you all have the chance to bump into Mike and bid him your best!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Retreat wrapup

The Blessed Margaret of Castello Chapter would like to thank Thelma Prisco OCDS for joining us today on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to speak to us on contemplative prayer and about the local Secular Discalced Carmelite group.

The pictures show our group quietly and attentively listening to Thelma. We know how to behave when needed, but the retreat also included that seemingly ubiquitous Dominican 'tradition' of eating and good company and discussion over meals. The last diehards are still at the Chapter House as I write, and will finally break up tomorrow; having been at it since Friday evening, when we started with a beautiful votive Mass of the Precious Blood in the Extrordinary Form at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Caldwell (I didn't take pictures, too busy with the chant!). Stephanie DeNinno and Carolyn Reese both did the consecration to the Precious Blood, which was beautiful. Followed by dinner at Mr V's in Caldwell, it was a late evening for all!

Good company, good food, sacraments, divine office, and serious discussion makes a well rounded event!

Friday, July 15, 2011


On August 8, 2011, after 7:00 p.m., at the day Chapel at Holy Apostles Catholic Church in Meridian, Idaho (SW corner of Meridian Road and Chinden Blvd), the Dominican Laity will join in the Liturgy of the Hours and Rosary in celebration of St. Dominic's Feast Day. The Dominicans will also say the "Office of the Dead" for those who have earlier departed in the friendship of God. Please join us. We will meet for a meal after the prayer time.

Saints Bonaventure and Aquinas

The following is a delightful offering for today, the feast of St Bonaventure.

The Crucifix is a Book

I remember having read, under this title, a beautiful story in “Christian Perfection;” it relates to St Bonaventure. At the time when he was in great repute, teaching theology in Paris, and attraction general esteem and admiration by his works, St Thomas Aquinas went one day to see him, and requested him to show him what books he used for his studies. Then St Bonaventure, conducting him to his little chamber, showed him some very common books that were on his table. But St Thomas gave him to understand that he desired to see the other books from which he derived so many marvelous things. The Saint then showed him a small oratory, with nothing in it but a crucifix: “There, Father,” said he, “is all my other books; this is the principal one from which I draw all I teach, and all I write. Yes, it is by throwing myself at the foot of that crucifix, and begging of Him whose image it bears, the enlightenment of my doubts, and assisting at Mass, that I have made more progress in the sciences, and have gained more true fights than I should have done by the reading of any books whatsoever.” You did not expect this, that whilst men study much and know but little, the Saints content themselves with this crucifix, and attain to this most sublime genius.

Catholic Gems and Pearls, Rev J. Phelan, 1900

Thursday, July 07, 2011

July Retreat


The 7th Annual Mary Magdalene retreat at the Dominican Chapter House in Homedale will be on the subject of Contemplation in the Dominican and Carmelite traditions. We are blessed to have Thelma Prisco OCDS to speak to us about the Carmelite tradition, as well as the Secular Carmelite community in the Treasure Valley.

The retreat begins with Mass at 9:00 AM at the Chapter House, followed by breakfast (provided). The morning presentation will be on the Dominican tradition, and the afternoon presentation on the Carmelite tradition (lunch provided). Expect it to be very "interactive" with discussion. There will be a Holy Hour (3-4PM) and the retreat will close with Mass at 5:00 PM, followed by BBQ dinner (Please bring a salad, chips, or cookies to share both for the lunch and the BBQ dinner). Please call Stephanie (850-9688) for a count.

There is also an optional Friday evening mass as well. This will be at Our Lady of the Valley in Caldwell at 7 PM on July 15. It will be a Missa Cantata Votive Mass of the Precious Blood in the Extraordinary Form. Stephanie and Carolyn will do the Consecration to the Precious Blood. Dinner to follow at a local establishment TBD.

Directions to Chapter House in Homedale:(Map)
You can email me at for further information (at "mgross at integrity dot com").

My apologies for the late notice!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Discussion on Vatican II

The following is an excellent analysis on Sandro Magister's Chiesa Online.

A proposal for the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican II


by Enrico Maria Radaelli

Third question: If we deny the infallibility of the doctrinal developments of the Council that depart from previous doctrines of the faith or close to the faith, won't we weaken the power of the continuist thesis?

Of course you weaken it, dear Fr. Cavalcoli, and even more: you annihilate it. And you strengthen the opposite thesis, as it should be, that there is no continuity.

No rupture, but also no continuity. So what then? The way out is suggested by Romano Amerio (1905-1997) with what the author of "Iota Unum" calls "the law of the historical preservation of the Church," revisited on page 41 of my book, according to which "the Church would not be lost in the case that it did not 'match' the truth, but in the case that it 'lost' the truth." And when does the Church not match the truth? When it forgets its teachings, or confuses them, muddies them, mixes them up, as has happened (not for the first time, and not for the last) from the Council until today. And when would it lose the truth? (In the conditional: it has been seen that it cannot in any way lose it.) Only if it struck it with anathema, or if vice versa it dogmatized a false doctrine, things that could be done by the pope and only by the pope, if (in the metaphysically impossible hypothesis that) his dogmatizing and anathematizing lips were not supernaturally bound by the two aforementioned oaths of Our Lord. I would insist on this point, which seems decisive to me.

read this fascinating article here

Friday, June 24, 2011

Receiving communion kneeling

A recent post discussed the disturbing situation where a person was denied communion for kneeling to receive it and then dressed down after mass. Today Fr Z has a post on this topic. This Advent there is a new translation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), which says:


… The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, March 25, 2004, no. 91).

It should be noted that the GIRM hasn't changed, rather the translation with USA norms has changed. Fascinating.

read the full article here:
What Does GIRM 160 for the USA Really Say?

Friday, June 17, 2011


On Friday, June 17th, 2011, the high school principal at Fair Haven Union High School in Vermont said “We are absolutely strong supporters of free speech” but prohibited a valedictorian from giving his talk about God at commencement. How little the principal understands First Amendment jurisprudence. Yet, his ignorance rules the students and their lives.

The relevant text of the First Amendment states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press . . . "

What is known as the “establishment clause;” it derives from the early colonial period when the many commonwealths established and supported (with taxpayers’ money) an official state church. After the United States was formed, the commonwealths eventually abandoned this practice, with Massachusetts being the last to do so in 1833.

The latter clause in the First Amendment prohibits any restriction on the “free exercise” of religion. After the 14th Amendment was passed, the First Amendment prohibition against the establishment of religion and free exercise was eventually enforced against each state as well as the federal government.

With this background, it is baffling to see a high school principal censor a valedictorian from giving his speech to his fellow students at his high school commencement, while on one hand roundly lauding free speech and on the other stating “federal law limits the kind of religious speech that’s permitted at a commencement at a public high school.” Really? No. More on that below.

The Founding Fathers would have found such an interpretation of the First Amendment bizarre. After all, “free exercise” means precisely that. Also, the valedictorian is not representing or giving the testimony on the state’s behalf; but his own. Here is one part of his censored speech:

"I have peace and can finally enjoy every moment God has given me, good or bad. I wouldn't be standing before you without the blessings God has given me through my tough situations. He is the reason I am the man I am today, made new through Jesus death on the cross."

Does this look like the testimony of the state or the school? Obviously not. It is the valedictorian’s words. With such censorship based on flimsy legal science, our society suffers at the hands of the fearful and witless officials. Without good reason, they stress over lawsuits, religious minorities, political correctness, excellence and the ACLU; but not God. Any mention of His Name or His work in a person’s life, or even a symbol like a Cross is quickly and unceremoniously swatted out of the public eye.

Yet, with all this cowardly fear, what is free speech? If anything, it is the ability to speak about issues that matter, including God, civility, hope, honor and life whether agreeable or not. It gives us the opportunity to seek the truth, to inquire, to challenge, and (like it or not) to offend.

In a nutshell, here is what the Supreme Court said about this issue:

"[T]here is a "crucial difference" between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses protect. We think that secondary school students are mature enough and are likely to understand that a school does not endorse or support student speech that it merely permits on a nondiscriminatory basis .... The proposition that schools do not endorse everything they fail to censor is not complicated."

Bd. of Educ. of Westside Comm. Sch. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226, 250 (1990). The school administers cannot censor because it isn’t politically correct or it tends to offend some. The First Amendment prohibition against establishment of a religion binds the school administrators—not the valedictorian in this case. The views belong to the student not the school.

In the end, the valedictorian honored the school officials because, as he said, one is “supposed to respect [the school’s] authority.” It is debatable whether the valedictorian in this case is obligated to obey his higher authorities [Romans 13] or to obey God rather than men. [Acts 5:29]; but one thing is clear that this valedictorian respected the school principal. Yet, I confess a hope, which we all can do, that all such students will resist the perceived duty to conform to authority which is based on a fearful, confused and politically-correct mind.

It helps to know the truth about the law, so that honest men and women of good will may bring God and His principles back to the public square without fear that it is an “establishment of religion.” However, isn’t it ironic that those who fear such public expression of a religious mind will trample all over the “free exercise” of religion to prohibit free speech about religion and religious principles?

What do they fear?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clear thinking v. confused thinking

The Psychopathology of “Sex Reassignment Surgery”: Assessing its Medical, Psychological and Ethical Appropriateness
published in The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly
Moral Issues in Major Surgery
Spring 2009
Richard Fitzgibbons, Philip Sutton, and Dale O’Leary

AbstractIs it ethical to perform a surgery whose purpose is to make a male look like a female or a female to appear male? Is it medically appropriate? Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) violates basic medical and ethical principles and is therefore not ethically or medically appropriate. (1) SRS mutilates a healthy, non-diseased body. To perform surgery on healthy body involves unnecessary risks; therefore, SRS violates the principle “primum non nocere (first, do no harm).” (2) Candidates for SRS may believe that they are trapped in the bodies of the wrong sex and therefore desire, or more accurately demand SRS; however, this belief is generated by a disordered perception of self. Such a fixed, irrational belief is appropriately described as a delusion. SRS, therefore, is a “category mistake”—it offers a surgical solution for psychological problems such as a failure to accept the goodness of one’s masculinity or femininity, lack of secure attachment relationships in childhood with same sex peers or a parent, self-rejection, untreated gender identity disorder, addiction to masturbation and fantasy, poor body image, excessive anger, severe psychopathology in a parent, etc. (3) SRS does not accomplish what it claims to accomplish. It does not change a person’s sex; therefore, it provides no true benefit. (4) SRS is a "permanent," effectively unchangeable, and often unsatisfying surgical attempt to change what may be only a temporary (i.e., psychothepeutically changeable) psychological/psychiatric condition.
the entire article may be read here

hat tip to the C-Fam Friday Fax (link)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Living in the moment

A gem from "All Men Have a Special Vocation" in "Spiritual Conferences" by Fr. Frederick William Faber

But the surest method of arriving at a knowledge of God's eternal purposes about us is to be found in the right use of the present moment. We must esteem our present grace, and rest in it, and with tranquil assiduity correspond to it. Our present grace is the most infallible will of God. It is a revelation from God, which almost always brings its own authoritative interpretation along with it. What we want for our sanctification is not merely grace, but the right grace, the right grace at the right time and in the right place. God's will does not come to us in the whole, but in fragments, and generally in small fragments. It is our business to piece it together, and to live it into one orderly vocation. Like a lantern in the night, grace gives light around our feet, a circle of light just wide enough to prevent our stumbling. But then we must look at our feet. If we strain our eyes into the gloom ahead of us, we shall stumble in spite of the lantern: nay sometimes we shall even stumble because of it, its shadows move so suddenly, and with such unwieldy strides. Our present grace is also the one least beset with delusions, and we can act safely upon it, although perhaps not comfortably, even when we do not see how it matches with what has just gone before, or how it can fit into any conceivable future which our circumstances will allow. The hours are like slaves which follow each other, bringing fuel to the furnace. Each hour comes with some little (censored) of God's will fastened upon its back. If we thus esteem our present grace, we shall begin to understand God's purposes. It seems an easy thing to do, and yet it cannot really be easy because so few do it. One man is always pulling the past to pieces, while another man is marching with his head erect into the uncertain future, disdainful of the present. Strange to say, intentions are more exciting than actions, and therefore more attractive. For safety and for swiftness, for clear light and successful labour, there is nothing like the present. Practically speaking, the moment that is flying holds more eternity than all our past, and the future holds none at all, and only becomes capable of holding any, as it is manufactured piecemeal into the present. The spiritual direction of multitudes of men consists of nothing but keeping them to this; and it is one of those unlikely works which has the misfortune of being seldom successful, even though it is indispensable, and on the whole least successful, where most indispensable.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Fall 2012 Idaho Dominican Colloquium: Social Doctrine of the Church.

On May 27, 1537, Pope Paul III issued his encyclical entitled Sublimus Dei that addressed the Church’s social doctrine with regard to the Indians in the New World. Indeed, the Americas were a new country with peoples not yet seen or experienced by the Christian realm. They were called “Indians.” The Pope concisely and unambiguously stated the Church’s position on the new peoples in the New World. He made three points: (1) “that the Indians are truly men and that they are not only capable of understanding the Catholic Faith but . . . they desire exceedingly to receive it[;]: (2) that even though the Indians live “outside the faith of Jesus Christ; [ ] that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property[;]” (3) that the Indians should not be “any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect[;]” and, (4) that the “Indians and other peoples should be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ by preaching the word of God and by the example of good and holy living.”

This early expression of the Holy Gospel and the Church’s social doctrine finds that the Christians should respect and permit the Indians to enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property and that any enslavement would be nullified. He urged Christians to convert the Indians by their holy example.

The history books are brimming with examples of sorrowful stories and events where the American Indian was not treated rightly per the papal instructions--before and after they were conquered. The one thing that impresses me is the papal admonition warned Christians to respect the Indians as fellow human beings and their respective and equal rights to liberty and to property. They were not to be enslaved. As human beings, the rights to liberty and to property were necessary to the independence and honor of the Indians and to the economic freedom to provide for themselves and their families.

The focus here is on social justice, the ability of men and women to be free, to own property, and to enjoy the fruits of labor, and to provide in charity for the less fortunate in their respective communities. These principles are no different today in the modern world of the 21st Century. Human dignity demands that life be respected, that law regard no difference between humans regardless, among other things, of their ethnic, racial, or economic background, and that liberty is key to that human dignity; and laws that are grounded in liberty and the natural law and that no man is above the law.

The concept of “Social Justice” is a big subject but the social doctrine of the Catholic Church is based on the wise counsel of Jesus Christ and His Church and not on the ideologies and political platforms of this World. It is toward the end of justice, adhering to what is good and right, and with the goal of ordered liberty, and freedom under law, that the Blessed Margaret of Castello Chapter of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, dedicates its coming Idaho Dominican Colloquium on the Social Doctrine of the Church in the Fall of 2012. The exact date and place will be announced at a later date.

What is a Colloquium? The term “colloquium” is a conference or seminar in which a particular subject or topic is discussed. Unlike many a conference or seminar in which people simply listen to guest speakers, a colloquium invites dialog and discussion among many people. This Colloquium will focus on the social doctrine of the Catholic Church and its effect upon Idaho and the modern world.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Fr Boniface Willard OP - First mass at his home parish

The Idaho Dominican laity turned out in force to assist at the first home mass of Fr Boniface Willard OP on Saturday, June 4. There was a long line to receive blessings, and a wonderful potluck dinner afterward.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The ordination of Fathers Boniface Willard OP and Mark Francis Manzano took place Saturday, May 28 at St Theresa parish in Oakland California.

It was nice to see so many Dominicans, and Sisters from different congregations, including the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist (Sacramento)

The interior of St Theresa; much concrete!

Procession starts...

...and at the rear, The Bishop,

His Excellency Anthony Fisher OP of Parramatta, Australia.

The calling of Brothers Boniface and Mark Francis. Note, "calling" to the priesthood is an act of the Bishop, not an interior disposition!


Promises and prayers and litany of the saints...

The laying of hands; apostolic continuity!

Blessings from all the other priests, and there were many!

Including Fr. Andrew Szymakowski

The newly vested priests receiving of the chalice and paten from the Bishop

First blessings given by the new priests: (R to L) Fr Reginal Martin OP, prior of St Alberts, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP, and Fr Mark Padrez OP, Prior Provincial of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus (Western Dominican Province)

Oh, yeah! party!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jesus and Barabbas

Although I purchased this book quite some time ago, its taken being confined to bed with the flu to start reading it. I must admit that reading in the introduction about "historical criticism" and the important contribution of protestant and irreligious scholars, sort of gave me a negative response; until I read that such leads down the wrong path without being conducted in the full context of faith and the Holy Scripture as a unitary expression of the Holy Spirit.

Although I'll return to work tomorrow, and my reading will slow down as a result (I'm about half way through the book), there have been a couple delightful insights which I was pleased to discover. The first was the Holy Father's heavy use of Jacob Neusner's A Rabbi Talks with Jesus, in order to place the Sermon on the Mount in the deep context of Jewish faith, as the expression of the New Law from the New Moses on the new Sinai. So, there's another book for my reading backlog [I just ordered one].

The second is a little linguistic surprise which was so obvious yet I'd never read or heard it before. Let's go back to the Praetorium, where Pontius Pilate is asking the mob who to release, Jesus, your king, or Barabbas, robber & murderer (sometimes rendered "revolutionary"). Turns out "robber" in the context of 1st century Greek is infused with the meaning of a "resistance fighter" and it was in this context that Barrabas had committed murder. It is even stated that historical evidence shows he was the leader of yet another resistance movement intent on driving out the Romans, a secular "messiah" who will save Israel and restore the kingdom.

With that, look at the name: Bar Abbas = Son of the Father. Add to this an observation from Origen that prior to the third century, approximately half of the codexes in circulation name him "Jesus Barabbas."

The choice before the mob, was a savior who promised to drive out the Romans and restore the kingdom, and a Savior who promised suffering and claimed the Kingdom was already present. The Holy Father brings up Barabbas in the context of the third temptation of Jesus; "bow to me, and I will give you all the kingdoms..." This temptation remains with us today, doesn't it? In this light, I am more inclined to be understanding and join our Lord in saying "forgive them Father, they know not what they do."

It is good to reflect on which Jesus we are asking for...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May Meeting

Well, the May meeting is over! We held this one at St Paul's Student Center, BSU, for the second time in a row. This time we were able to use the lower loung, which is where we met for the first 8 years. So it was sort of like a homecoming.

We were a little late getting the web telecast started, aplogies for that! Matt Keenan worked hard to do a professional job and we are very grateful.

We were very pleased to be joined by Father Andrew Szymakowski of the Baker Diocese.

Presentations by Anita, Mike, Phil (looking very professorial here), Stephanie and Carolyn were all very good.

Remarkably, the peanut gallery was relatively quiet this meeting. Perhaps Paul put the fear in all of us...

John and Matt kept the video going as best they could, but bandwith was being sucked up somehere else and had a negative impact on our ability to stream the content.

To all who watched, thank you. To Matt Keenan, a special thanks, and stay tuned next month to do it again; this time from Our Lady of the Valley, Caldwell, on June 18!