Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Here and There . . .

An irregular roundup of blogs, articles and commentary.
  • "Patristic Rosary Project", by Fr. Z (What does Prayer Really Say?) -- Because October is dedicated in a special way to the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, during the month I, as a dedicated patristiblogger, will work my way through the Mysteries of the Rosary offering some comments from the Fathers of the Church."

  • The Anchoress goes Stargazing with Merton:
    Spent some time stargazing last night, when I couldn’t sleep. No telescope, just the naked eye, a dark neighborhood and a willingness to wonder, and a bit of Thomas Merton, and it’s stayed with me all day - the sight of the stars, the early, wise writings of a monk. . . .
  • The Ressourcement Movement: Historical Context, by Michael Deem, guest-blogging on Cynthia Nielsen's Per Caritatem. Michael earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville and his Master of Arts in Historical Theology at Saint Louis University. He maintains two blogs: TheoPhenomenon (academic) and Evangelical Catholicism (personal), and plans to earn a Ph.D. in theology.

  • Michael Liccione on Magisterium and Private Judgment - from Pontifications:
    One of the great blessings of Pontifications has been the articles and numerous comments (2,162 of them, to be exact) of Dr Michael Liccione. Reading Mike’s contributions has been a true theological education for me.

    One of Mike’s favorite topics is ecclesial authority. I have read through his comments and copied into a pdf document those that address magisterium and private judgment. Even though separated from the thread context, I think you will find them enlightening.

  • In celebration of her feast day on October 15, Teresa Polk (Blog By The Sea) blogs a post "About St. Teresa of Avila":
    It is [long] for several reasons, the most obvious ones being that she is my favorite saint and my namesake. In addition to those, I had more that I wanted to say because of recent biographies that overemphasize her feminism and minimize the massive support that she had from many men during her lifetime. Another is a news report about a movie being made that overemphasizes her sex appeal, suggesting that the men who helped her were responding to her sexuality. Hopefully, in responding to those characterizations of her life, I have not overcompensated by overemphasizing something else. In any event, it is my view of my favorite saint.
    Carl Olson (Insight Scoop) blogs about the upcoming cinematic Assault on Saint Teresa of Avila, to which Teresa's post is a refreshing antidote.

  • "Without a Doubt" - The Way of the Fathers introduces us to Thomas the Apostle, "the man who did for the orient what Peter and Paul did for the occident."

  • The Art of Confession Rorate-Caeli provides a translation of an article by French Dominican Father Chery, O.P. Father Henri.

  • Catholic Psychology 101, by Patrick Morris. Friends of La Nef, on a topic that to my knowledge is little-discussed in Catholic blogland:
    Psychology is one of those topics that is often maligned in religious circles. I think that we as traditionalist Catholics are especially prone to bash psychology. A lot of this stems from the fact that there is, admittedly, a lot of bad psychology out there. Those of us who have taken a college or even high-school level psychology course know that there is a lot of the bad mixed in with what may be good.

    So, why have I as a Catholic writer decided to write on the topic of Psychology? . . .

  • Amy Welborn has a question:
    If one wanted to read a critical, objective examination of Islam's origins and the origins of the Koran, where would one go?

In Politics . . .

  • I've read and very much appreciated Fouad Ajami's Dream Palace of the Arabs. His new book, The Foreigner's Gift (Free Press, 2006), looks to be an equally illuminating look at the complexities of religious factions in pre/post-Saddam Iraq. Richard Nadler reviews for the Daily Dispatch:
    Ajami has produced less a history of Operation Iraqi Freedom than a psychological portrait of the cultures involved. America’s attempt to “defy gravity” – to establish a functioning democracy in the heart of the Arab world – has encountered three hard cultural facts: Sunni rejection, Kurdish acceptance, and Shi’ite reticence. Ajami clarifies each attitude through interviews, biographical portraits, and historical review.
  • Rednecks, White Power, and Blue States - Deep Thought takes on liberal prejudice and Southern stereotypes.

  • Is there blood on his hands? - The Case Against Kofi Annan Times UK Oct. 1, 2006:
    Srebrenica is rarely mentioned nowadays in Annan’s offices on the 38th floor of the UN secretariat building in New York. He steps down in December after a decade as secretary-general. His retirement will be marked by plaudits. But behind the honorifics and the accolades lies a darker story: of incompetence, mismanagement and worse. Annan was the head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) between March 1993 and December 1996. The Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 men and boys and the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda happened on his watch. In Bosnia and Rwanda, UN officials directed peacekeepers to stand back from the killing, their concern apparently to guard the UN’s status as a neutral observer. This was a shock to those who believed the UN was there to help them. . . .
    On a related note, from last year: Implosion: The Collapse of the United Nations, by Mary Jo Anderson. Crisis magazine, Oct 6, 2005.

On a lighter note . . .

  • Depressing, yet intriguingly cool -- Maps of War - Who has controlled the Middle East over the course of history? Pretty much everyone. Egyptians, Turks, Jews, Romans, Arabs, Greeks, Persians, Europeans...the list goes on. Who will control the Middle East today? That is a much bigger question. See 5,000 years of history in 90 seconds.
  • Rocco Palmo - probably the first member of "St. Blog's Parish' to be profiled on NPR's All Things Considered -- see Young Catholic Blogger Makes Waves, by Rachel Martin. Sept. 11, 2006.
  • Beer blessing:
    Bene+dic, Domine, creaturam istam cerevisae, quam ex adipe frumenti producere dignatus es: ut sit remedium salutare humano generi: et praesta per invocationem nominis tui sancti, ut, quicumque ex ea biberint, sanitatem corporis, et animae tutelam percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen

    Bless, O Lord, this creature beer, that Thou hast been pleased to bring forth from the sweetness of the grain: that it might be a salutary remedy for the human race: and grant by the invocation of Thy holy name, that, whosoever drinks of it may obtain health of body and a sure safeguard for the soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Translation by Fr. Ephraem Chifley, O.P. Courtesy of Michael Novak / First Things.

  • Avert Thine Eyes? Check out this provocative -- no pun intended -- post from DarwinCatholic on modesty:
    I've always been annoyed, as a man, by this line of argument -- and not primarily because I don't want to give up the occasional sight of a well-formed shoulder blade or clavicle. Rather, it annoys me to hear other men claim that we are, as a sex, so completely controlled by our baser instincts that upon seeing a women in a spaghetti strap dress, we cannot help but to wallow in a desire to seize her roughly and have our way with her.

    This isn't just a "I can hold my liquor so leave me alone and let me drink" kind of reaction. Rather, there is a certain kind of crassness, a debasement of all that is beautiful in the pursuit of avoiding lust, to which I believe many of us who are religious are prone to be tempted.

  • Jeff Miller (Curt Jester) links to an amusing piece by Cardinal Arinze on Liturgical Dance:
    I saw in one place -- I will not tell you where -- where they staged a dance during Mass, and that dance was offensive. It broke the rules of moral theology and modesty. Those who arranged it -- they should have had their heads washed with a bucket of holy water!

  • "You fixed the earth on its foundation, never to be moved. . . ." - From NASA, The Blue Marble" - the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date.

  • Pius XII Gone Wild!!!, Fumare:
    Recently released documents and photos from the Vatican archives shed new light on the Pontificate of Pius XII. The wartime pope often known for his stern countenance and regal bearing apparently had a wild side! For many years thought to be a hindrance for his cause for canonization, the Vatican jealously guarded these details lest the outside world know the "real" Papa Pacelli. Now for the first time, the world will know about the Pontiff's "secrets." Among the recent revelations are the following . . .

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