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Showing posts from August, 2012

Poem of the Month: August

There's just barely time to get a poem in for this month, since I neglected to post one earlier.



Bath-Song

Sing hey!  For the bath at the close of the day

that washes the weary mud away

A loon is he that will not sing

O!  Water Hot is a noble thing!



O!  Sweet is the sound of the falling rain,

And the brook that leaps from hill to plain;

but better than rain or rippling streams

is Water Hot that smokes and steams.



O!  Water cold we may pour at need

down a thirsty throat and be glad indeed

but better is beer if drink we lack,

And Water Hot poured down the back.



O!  Water is fair that leaps on high

in a fountain white beneath the sky;

But never did fountain smell so sweet

as splashing Hot Water with my feet!



~J.R.R. Tolkien

Another Year Begun!

I have been woefully remiss about writing here over this past week or two.  However, I do have a good explanation – I arrived back at Christendom College and have just completed my first week of classes.  Because my brain is so exhausted after a long summer of little mental stimulus and now sudden bombardments of complicated philosophical reasoning, I have no ability to concoct an intelligent article or essay.

On the first day of class, when we get our syllabi, each professor generally provides a course goal, description, objectives, etc.  These serve as a thesis statement, essentially, for the rest of the semester.  Therefore, I thought that it might be amusing for you, my readers, to see what I will (hopefully!) be learning over the next few months.  Also, I have included the texts that we are using for each class.

Philosophy 201: Ethics

Required TextsBasic Works of Aristotle

Course Goal: To gain a better understanding of the end of human life and of what is involved in human moral b…

Day 9: Novena for the Feast of the Assumption; CCC on the Dogma

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Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, you received from God the power and command to crush the head of Satan. Therefore, we humbly beg of you, send forth the legions of Heaven, that under your command they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their pride, and hurl them back into the pit of hell. “Who is like unto God?”
     With firm confidence we present ourselves before you, our most loving Mother, afflicted and troubled as we are, and we beg you to let us understand the love you have for us by granting this petition, if it is according to the Will of God and profitable for our salvation: (mention your request).
     Good and tender Mother, you shall ever be our hope and the object of our love. Mother of God, send forth the Holy Angels to defend us and drive far from us the cruel foe.
Holy Angels and Archangels, defend and keep us.

For the Feast:  the excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on this dogma.
966   “Finally the Immacu…

Day 8: Novena for the Feast of the Assumption

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Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, you received from God the power and command to crush the head of satan. Therefore, we humbly beg of you, send forth the legions of Heaven, that under your command they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their pride, and hurl them back into the pit of hell. “Who is like unto God?”

     With firm confidence we present ourselves before you, our most loving Mother, afflicted and troubled as we are, and we beg you to let us understand the love you have for us by granting this petition, if it is according to the Will of God and profitable for our salvation: (mention your request).
     Good and tender Mother, you shall ever be our hope and the object of our love. Mother of God, send forth the Holy Angels to defend us and drive far from us the cruel foe.
Holy Angels and Archangels, defend and keep us.
[caption id="attachment_546" align="aligncenter" width="451"] Andrea del Sarto[…

Day 7: Novena for the Feast of the Assumption

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[caption id="attachment_542" align="aligncenter" width="346"] Nicholas Poussin[/caption]

Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, you received from God the power and command to crush the head of satan. Therefore, we humbly beg of you, send forth the legions of Heaven, that under your command they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their pride, and hurl them back into the pit of hell. “Who is like unto God?”

     With firm confidence we present ourselves before you, our most loving Mother, afflicted and troubled as we are, and we beg you to let us understand the love you have for us by granting this petition, if it is according to the Will of God and profitable for our salvation: (mention your request).
     Good and tender Mother, you shall ever be our hope and the object of our love. Mother of God, send forth the Holy Angels to defend us and drive far from us the cruel foe.
Holy Angels and Archangels, defend and…

Day 6: Novena for the Feast of the Assumption

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Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, you received from God the power and command to crush the head of satan. Therefore, we humbly beg of you, send forth the legions of Heaven, that under your command they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their pride, and hurl them back into the pit of hell. “Who is like unto God?”

     With firm confidence we present ourselves before you, our most loving Mother, afflicted and troubled as we are, and we beg you to let us understand the love you have for us by granting this petition, if it is according to the Will of God and profitable for our salvation: (mention your request).
     Good and tender Mother, you shall ever be our hope and the object of our love. Mother of God, send forth the Holy Angels to defend us and drive far from us the cruel foe.
Holy Angels and Archangels, defend and keep us.
[caption id="attachment_537" align="aligncenter" width="353"] Anthony Van Dyck[…

Day 5: Novena for the Feast of the Assumption

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Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, you received from God the power and command to crush the head of satan. Therefore, we humbly beg of you, send forth the legions of Heaven, that under your command they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their pride, and hurl them back into the pit of hell. “Who is like unto God?”

     With firm confidence we present ourselves before you, our most loving Mother, afflicted and troubled as we are, and we beg you to let us understand the love you have for us by granting this petition, if it is according to the Will of God and profitable for our salvation: (mention your request).
     Good and tender Mother, you shall ever be our hope and the object of our love. Mother of God, send forth the Holy Angels to defend us and drive far from us the cruel foe.
Holy Angels and Archangels, defend and keep us.
[caption id="attachment_534" align="aligncenter" width="353"] Tintoretto[/capt…

Day 4: Novena for the Feast of the Assumption

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[caption id="attachment_512" align="aligncenter" width="366"] Guido Reni[/caption]



Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, you received from God the power and command to crush the head of satan. Therefore, we humbly beg of you, send forth the legions of Heaven, that under your command they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their pride, and hurl them back into the pit of hell. “Who is like unto God?”

     With firm confidence we present ourselves before you, our most loving Mother, afflicted and troubled as we are, and we beg you to let us understand the love you have for us by granting this petition, if it is according to the Will of God and profitable for our salvation: (mention your request).
     Good and tender Mother, you shall ever be our hope and the object of our love. Mother of God, send forth the Holy Angels to defend us and drive far from us the cruel foe.
Holy Angels and Archangels, defend and keep …

Day 3: Novena for the Feast of the Assumption

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Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, you received from God the power and command to crush the head of satan. Therefore, we humbly beg of you, send forth the legions of Heaven, that under your command they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their pride, and hurl them back into the pit of hell. “Who is like unto God?”

     With firm confidence we present ourselves before you, our most loving Mother, afflicted and troubled as we are, and we beg you to let us understand the love you have for us by granting this petition, if it is according to the Will of God and profitable for our salvation: (mention your request).
     Good and tender Mother, you shall ever be our hope and the object of our love. Mother of God, send forth the Holy Angels to defend us and drive far from us the cruel foe.
Holy Angels and Archangels, defend and keep us.
[caption id="attachment_508" align="aligncenter" width="409"] Paolo Veronese[/c…

Day 2: Novena for the Feast of the Assumption

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First, selections from Pope Pius XII's Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus defining "ex cathedra" (from the chair of Peter) the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.  Note that since the Pope is defining something ex cathedra and relating to faith and morals, this declaration is INFALLIBLE.

He begins by saying that God is almighty and ever desirous of the good of mankind; then, rejoices that the faithful's devotion to Our Lady is ever growing; then, states that the Church's understanding of the priviledges granted to Our Lady grows always deeper...

3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has "when the fullness of time came"[2] put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony. And, although the Church has always recognized this su…

Day 1: Novena for the Feast of the Assumption

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In nine days, the Universal Church will celebrate with a great feast the Assumption of Our Lady, body and soul, into heaven.  More about the feast itself and the traditions surrounding it as it draws closer.  In the mean time, now is the day to begin a novena to Our Lady in honor of her Assumption.  I pray that she give me the strength to keep track of all my responsibilities in this coming school year - the major ones being my new job, and my role as secretary for the Legion of Mary praesidium on campus.  I've told her that I'll continue my services in the Legion if she helps me fill all of my scholastic and extra-curricular duties without burning myself out!

Found this novena on the EWTN website - there's another novena prayer there, if you prefer it.  I like the way this one is worded so powerfully - spiritual warfare has been on my mind since I heard a talk by Father Hollowell a few weeks ago.

Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, you received from God the…

Catechism of the Catholic Church: the Transfiguration

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[caption id="attachment_477" align="alignright" width="240"] Transfiguration by Lodovico Carracci[/caption]

Yesterday was the Feast of the Transfiguration!

A foretaste of the Kingdom: the Transfiguration
554      From the day Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Master “began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things... and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”290 Peter scorns this prediction, nor do the others understand it any better than he.291 In this context the mysterious episode of Jesus’ Transfiguration takes place on a high mountain,292 before three witnesses chosen by himself: Peter, James, and John. Jesus’ face and clothes become dazzling with light, and Moses and Elijah appear, speaking “of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.”293 A cloud covers him and a voice from heaven says: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”294 (697, 2600, 440)
555      For a…

First Medals for Switzerland!

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Two medals for my team, at last - gold in women's triathlon, and silver in men's tennis singles.

[caption id="attachment_466" align="alignleft" width="152"] Roger Federer[/caption]

Roger Federer - TennisBirthdate: 8/8/1981

Hometown: Basel, Switzerland

Height/Weight: 6'1"/187 lbs

Olympics: 2008, 2004, 2000

Has won a men's record 17 Grand Slam singles titles
Carried Swiss flag in Opening Ceremony of 2004 Olympics and 2008 Olympics (on his birthday)
Won Laureus World Sportsman of Year from 2004-07



[caption id="attachment_469" align="alignleft" width="152"] Nicola Spirig[/caption]

Nicola Spirig - Triathlon

Birthdate: 2/7/1982

Height/Weight: 5'5"/117lbs 

Hobbies: Snowboarding, reading, cycling, movies

Education: Law - University of Zurich, Zurich, SUI

Language(s) spoken: English, French, German

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Christ Descended Into Hell

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Paragraph 1. Christ Descended into Hell
632   The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479
633   Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” — Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek—because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.480 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:481 “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their…

Joseph Pearce: Shakespeare, The Hobbit, and the Apologetics of Beauty

This past weekend, I went book-shopping with a friend (the most blissful of activities) and picked up a copy of Joseph Pearce's Literary Converts.  More on that book later, I'll do a post on it just as soon as I've finished reading it!  Anyway, Pearce is a brilliant literature scholar, formerly at Ave Maria University but currently Visiting Fellow and writer in residence at Thomas More College in New Hampshire.  I ran across a wonderful interview of Pearce by InfoCatolica, a Spanish journal, translated into English at catholicexchange.com.  It's reposted here - I was going to cut it down, but there's too much wonderful stuff!

Also, the St. Austin Review, which he mentions, looks awesome.  I've called out with bold font a few of the parts where I bounced up and down and squealed in intellectual and nerdy joy!  Which, actually, I did throughout the whole interview...

Someday when I marry a millionare I'm going to buy ALL of this man's books!!!

Shakespeare, T…

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Hope

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Hope
1817    Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”84 “The Holy Spirit... he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.”85 (1024)
1818    The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity. (27)
1819 …

Catechism of the Catholic Church: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

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I. “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
232      Christians are baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”53 Before receiving the sacrament, they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son, and the Spirit: “I do.” “The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity.”54 (189, 1223)
233      Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their names,55 for there is only one God, the almighty Father, his only Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity.
234      The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith.”56 The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and …

Pro-Life Pop Star

I know nothing about this guy - had never heard of him before - but I was impressed by an article I read about him on Fox News.  Listen to this comment from Brad Fischetti:

“I grew up Catholic, and during the LFO days, at the beginning, I was definitely the one that led prayer for each show and always had a bible with me, but my life did not revolve around faith like it does today. I did reach a point where I lost my faith, that was the peak of LFO days, and it was a long journey back to it,” Fischetti said. “If you believe in God you have to believe in the devil, and believe there is a daily battle for your soul. I try my best today to live as a good a life as I possibly could.”



Fischetti is being blasted for his pro-life stance.  As the article below shows, he is well aware that he's in front of a media firing squad.  Yet he's willing to take a stand and deal with the consequences.  I may have to look this guy up!  Anyway, read the following.  The emphasis is my own.

 Brad Fisc…

An Argument for Children

I just found a quote that answers crisply and exactly one of the common arguments for abortion and birth control.  Here is a passage from Pilgrim's Inn by Elizabeth Goudge.

"...You want children, don't you?"
The suddenness of this question startled him so much that he answered with equal suddenness, "With my heart and body - far more desperately than I can tell you.  With my mind - no.  What sort of world is this to bring them into?  That's another consideration that's holding me back."
"A very cowardly consideration, dear.  A mere shirking of responsibility.  It's a heavy responsibility, of course, a double one, responsibility for the children themselves and responsibility for the world they must live in.  But I know of no better incentive for the building of a decent world than the possession of children who must live in the world you've built."

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Angels

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My new goal is over the next months, (as soon as I am done with my current spiritual reading, Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen) to read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church.  For a start, I figured I would post a little bit on this blog as often as I can.  Today, I present a paragraph from the CCC on a topic picked somewhat at random - here's the paragraph on the Angels. 

I. The Angels
The existence of angels—a truth of faith
328      The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition. (150)
Who are they?
329      St. Augustine says: “’Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit,’ from what they do, ‘angel.’”188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they “always …