Saturday, September 30, 2006

Happy day, St. Jerome

If you've ever read the Vulgate, you owe this man a buck. No, really. You don't want the RIAA after you, do you?

To sum up, the Biblical knowledge of St. Jerome makes him rank first among ancient exegetes. In the first place, he was very careful as to the sources of his information. He required of the exegete a very extensive knowledge of sacred and profane history, and also of the linguistics and geography of Palestine. He never either categorically acknowledged or rejected the deuterocanonical books as part of the Canon of Scripture, and he repeatedly made use of them. On the inspiration, the existence of a spiritual meaning, and the freedom of the Bible from error, he holds the traditional doctrine. Possibly he has insisted more than others on the share which belongs to the sacred writer in his collaboration in the inspired work. His criticism is not without originality. The controversy with the Jews and with the Pagans had long since called the attention of the Christians to certain difficulties in the Bible. St. Jerome answers in various ways. Not to mention his answers to this or that difficulty, he appeals above all to the principle, that the original text of the Scriptures is the only one inspired and free from error. Therefore one must determine if the text, in which the difficulties arise, has not been altered by the copyist. Moreover, when the writers of the New Testament quoted the Old Testament, they did so not according to the letter but according to the spirit. There are many subtleties and even contradictions in the explanations Jerome offers, but we must bear in mind his evident sincerity. He does not try to cloak over his ignorance; he admits that there are many difficulties in the Bible; at times he seems quite embarrassed. Finally, he proclaims a principle, which, if recognized as legitimate, might serve to adjust the insufficiencies of his criticism. He asserts that in the Bible there is no material error due to the ignorance or the heedlessness of the sacred writer, but he adds: "It is usual for the sacred historian to conform himself to the generally accepted opinion of the masses in his time" (P.L., XXVI, 98; XXIV, 855).

Friday, September 29, 2006

I can however point you to some material Mark Shea has on torture

Not very pleasant, but well worth reading.

Yes, today is another feast day

That of Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, whom you owe much. A fine day for some reflection on the role of angels in our lives, no doubt. Sadly time is short with my new job :-(.

Feast Day - Blessed Scubilion Rousseau

(Okay so I meant to post this 48 hours ago... his feast day was September 27th. Better late than never.)

As a devout young man in his native village in Burgundy, Jean Bernard Rousseau was serving as a catechist when he was introduced to the Brothers, who had just opened a school in a nearby town. He entered the Paris novitiate in 1822. After ten years in elementary schools throughout France, Brother Scubilion left France in 1833 to dedicate the remaining thirty-four years of his life to the enslaved natives on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. Remembered as the "catechist of the slaves," he inaugurated evening classes for them, which were well attended, even after a long day of exhausting labor. He devised special programs and techniques, suited to their needs and abilities, in order to teach the essentials of Christian doctrine and morality, and prepare them to receive the sacraments. He won them over by his kindly manner and his respect for them. After the emancipation of the slaves in 1848, he continued to care for them and to help them adapt to their new life of freedom and responsibility. In the last years of his life, despite failing health, he assisted the local pastor in visiting the sick, winning over sinners, encouraging vocations, and even effecting what seemed to be miraculous cures. At his death he was venerated everywhere on the island as a saint.

Born in Annay la-Côte, France March 21, 1797
Entered the novitiate December 24, 1822
Died on the Island of Reunion April 13, 1867
Beatified May 2, 1989

Thursday, September 28, 2006

East goes West and West goes East???

Now I've heard it all-

First, it was Eastern Rite Catholocism... now it's


I've officially lost my ability to discern directions or to know which way to cross myself in church. I'm going to go back into hiding now.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I'm having trouble coming up with homework for my little CCD kiddies. I have them for an hour a week, and I really can't expect them to learn very much. How are they supposed to grow up to be upstanding Catholic citizens if they can't even give me a good definition of justice in a multiple choice question? The responsibility is a little overwhelming.

Not the best marital relationship

Jeanine F. Pirro, the Republican candidate for New York attorney general, said this afternoon that last year she asked an old friend, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik, to bug her family boat to determine if her husband was having an affair at a time when she was preparing to run for top political office.

Abuse of powers? Maybe. Weird? Def.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A refreshing article from Bill O'Reilly?

Say it ain't so! Sadly he's on to something in his attack on blind partisan attachments.

It is hard to imagine Rosie O'Donnell, for example, becoming disenchanted with the liberal agenda, no matter what. Somehow, I don't think Nancy Pelosi is going to reevaluate "taxing the rich," even if the country descended into a deep recession after more "progressive" tax laws were enacted. However, I could be wrong. And since I'm not a hyper-partisan, I can say that.

So let's start mocking all these hyper-partisans and begin to encourage critical thinking in America. It's much more interesting and it's far better for the country, because an acceptance of fact-based reality is crucial to solving problems.

Bill O'Reilly, I salute you! Not really. But still a good point.

Gandhi v. Islam?

While reading, I came across this interesting article pointing out that Gandhi was much harsher on Islam than the Pope ever was. Who knew?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sometimes violence seems like a good solution

Schism in DC? A bishop consecrating married bishops? Oh the humanity.

More on Kneeling

Because my pastor explained to me today that kneeling was merely a custom, and insisted that standing during the Eucharistic prayer could also be revential:

Standing during the eucharistic prayer at Mass in US dioceses is permitted "only on exceptional and extraordinary occasions ... and never on a regular basis," the US bishops' Committee on Liturgy said in its latest newsletter.

The committee's September newsletter, made public in mid-October, said "the only licit posture" during the eucharistic prayer is kneeling, unless Catholics "are prevented on occasion from kneeling due to 'health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason.'"

The newsletter was quoting from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. 2002 CNS Release

And in case you wanted to see it, here it is in the Roman Missal:

The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance chant, or while the priest approaches the altar, until the end of the Collect; for the Alleluia chant before the Gospel; while the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and the Prayer of the Faithful; from the invitation, Orate, fraters (Pray, brethren), before the prayer over the offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated below.

They should, however, sit while the readings before the Gospel and the responsorial Psalm are proclaimed and for the homily and while the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory is taking place; and, as circumstances allow, they may sit or kneel while the period of sacred silence after Communion is observed.

In the dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.53

With a view to a uniformity in gestures and postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the directions which the deacon, lay minister, or priest gives according to whatever is indicated in the Missal. GIRM

Alright, alright, I'll do it. I'll kneel at every mass, even if nobody else does. I'll pray that I stop being so fearful of going against the grain when I know I'm doing the right thing.

Friday, September 22, 2006


My domicile is changing and I'm without internet for the moment. Blogging will be light, and email responses will be slow.

And happy new year.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Call me a geek

My next project, if I get the time, will be to wire up an LCD to my computer so I can send data to it as I desire, say for certain classes of email, or my system temperature. Useful? No. Educational? Hopefully.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The world may be falling apart, but I can't resist a good racial commentary

Especially not of this caliber.

The Latinos were kind of likeable and hardworking if quiet, but those Asians — they were terrific. In fact, better yet, they were like me. They were laid-back and self-effacing. There was a journalist, a lawyer, a management consultant — just like my friends. One of them even went to Stanford four years after I did. And they won the first contest handily, even though their chicken was stolen by the white people. White people who probably didn't even eat the feet or eyeballs.

Err . . perhapsas caliber was the wrong word.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The scariest story I have seen in a long time

From TWA - about a nun shooting a priest, her lover, for seeing a married woman.

Quite frankly, I'm speachless.

Need a boost in your music?

How about the Priestie Boyz? I can't say that I'm a big fan of their music, but, well, any group of seminarians going by that name . . . it's difficult to resist purchasing their CD. They have some MP3s on their site to download so you can try before you buy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I try not to quote Wikipedia, but I can't resist

The Iraqi militia Jaish al-Mujahedin (Holy Warriors' Army) announced its intention to "destroy their cross in the heart of Rome… and to hit the Vatican."[44] A previously unknown Baghdad-based group, Kataab Ashbal Al Islam Al Salafi (Islamic Salafist Boy Scout Battalions) threatened to kill all Christians in Iraq if the Pope does not apologize to Mohammed in three days in front of the whole world.[45] A Supreme Islamic Courts Council of Somalia cleric has called for the Pope's assassination, urging Muslims to "hunt down the Pope for his barbaric statements."[46], another demanded that "whosoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim".[47]

Several organizations, such as Al-Qaeda and the Shura Council threatened in a joint statement: "you and the West will be defeated... God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the Mujahideen."[48]

All this in denial of a quote calling Islam violent.

Having some problems with Genesis?

Nachmanides, in his classic commentary, explains that the divine creation of the cosmos and everything within them so vastly supersedes mankind's experience and comprehension that the Torah could only outline the process of creation ex nihilo in the most abstract terms, applying terms like "higher waters" to represent the celestial spheres and "light" to describe the primordial spiritual radiance that is the source of all physical existence. The light of photons produced by the release of energy from the stellar fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium did indeed begin on the fourth day with the creation of our sun, but this was not the light of creation, merely a physical manifestation and a shallow reflection of the eternal light that makes both physical and spiritual illumination possible.

Maybe you're just reading the wrong commentaries.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Quote of the year

SOOOO I was teaching CCD today, trying to get the kids to define the word "Assumption". So I said, ok, so Easter happened, so how come we don't see Jesus on the news these days? One of the kids responded:

Because that would offend people who don't believe in him

Reflecting on that, I decided that it was in fact a true statement. Seeing Jesus on the news would offend a ton of people who don't believe in him.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I feel his pain

In the passage of the speech that has roused so much anger, the Pope was quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor, and the Pontiff "did not intend "to make that opinion is own in any way," the Secretary of State said. What the Pope intended, the Italian cardinal emphasized, was "a clear and radical rejection of the religious motivation for violence, from whatever side it may come."

Fr. Neuhaus was preaching at Columbia one Sunday after the last presidential election. During his homily, he mentioned that Bush had mentioned the freedom that the US brings to the world, but this is meaningless compared to the freedom that Christ brings.

We had several complaints that Neuhaus was endorsing Bush.

This despite the actual content of his sermon. Remember kids - quoting someone is not the same thing as being that person.

Friday, September 15, 2006

First rabbi ordained in Germany since 1942

A good sign, no?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Granny shakedown

Just a public service announcement - if you've bought something and it turns out to be pirated, you don't owe no one nothing. Especially not if you're a grandma.

That great bastion of religious tolerance

does not seem to want B16 in the country, or so says their top religious official, because he's a hater apparently. I feel as if the West said something like that it would result in a few bombs.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fascism at work

The State is God, we will use it as our instrument of reeducation.

Stillwell is warning government that the requirements will put parents into an untenable conflict over their duty to protect their children.

“A strict application would say the teacher can’t (allow children to opt out), and we know that’s not right,” Stilwell said. “All of this time, we have made accommodations for parents and students. (The ministry’s) not looking at the wider ramifications.”

Murray Corren called for the new K-12 curriculum to include, “Queer history and historical figures, the presence of positive queer role models -- past and present -- the contributions made by queers to various epochs, societies and civilizations and legal issues relating to (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) people, same-sex marriage and adoption.”

The development imposes yet another extraordinary exception from normal rules because it has been insisted upon by gay activists. Homosexual activists have won special exceptions from laws regarding public nudity, sexual solicitation, public sex acts, group sex in their so-called "bath houses", normal medical safeguards to contain the transmission of dangerous communicable diseases, the posting of sexually explicit billboards and much more. B.C. children are certain to be gradually desensitized by the across the board school curricula changes to become accepting of these practices and other aspects of the highly sexualized gay culture.
Corren objected that allowing parents to remove their children from the classes will defeat the whole object of the exercise.

"There's no point in us making the curriculum more queer-positive if people can take their kids out," Peter Corren told the Province yesterday. “This is the public education system. The School Act is quite clear ... religion does not play a role in what is taught. We just want the policy to be followed.”

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Optional parts of mass

Here is a list of things that are apparently optional or routinely left out of the mass at the two parishes I go to in Oakland:

1) Kneeling
2) The gospel proclamation
3) candles at the altar
4) The Sanctus
5) the washing of the priest's hands before consecration
6) the mixing of water with the wine
7) the use of unleavened (as opposed to leavened) bread
8) apparently if you don't like a reading or feel it is out-of-date by today's standards you can leave it out or replace it with on you like better

Squach help me here! I have to pick my battles. Which are the gravest offenses or which are genuinely optional?

Monday, September 11, 2006

On the subject of poor puns

So I'm reading The Antonian, the magazine of St. Anthony's Guild in East Rutheford, NJ. They have a prison ministry, and in an article about it, on page 6 of the September 2006 issue, I come across this line, describing the chaplain:

"While he's got a captive congregation . . ."

I'll leave the rest to the imagination.

Zenit ran an article here which is very interesting

Insofar as it's about approximately three SSPX members coming back to the Church. Now I certainly think that's a good thing. But . . . an article? Must be a slow news day. I mean, I'm blogging about it so I shouldn't talk. Hmm. End transmission.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday School

So today was my first day of teaching CCD, and I learned a few things. One, only half of your class is going to show up. Two, most of the people who show up aren't going to want to read, so you have to be ready for that. Three, an hour is a very long time for fourth graders to sit still. Yikes.

I have to regroup.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The system administrator song!

Finally, a song that explains how I feel.

"He fights to save your files, he might be there all day. But some times he presses Caps lock and just walks away"

Hat tip to Brett.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Kneeling in Oakland

I was a little astonished upon celebrating mass at my local parish in my new neighborhood to discover that at daily mass we don't kneel at all, but stood through the entire eucharistic prayer. I thought it was just this one church and tried another but had the same experience. What's going on in Oakland? I tried a third church that seemed more traditional (I made this judgment based on the fact that they still have adoration on Fridays) and finally found a congregation that kneeled at the appropriate times. Later I tried to kneel on my own back at my local parish, but it was very awkward being the only one and I forgot when to get back up. I had to jump up hastily to join hands for the Our Father and realized I had kneeled too long. It is all very confusing. So I did a quick Google search to ascertain when exactly one should kneel and stand. I found out that kneeling during mass is in a more perilous position that I had imagined:
Despite the pressure and controversy, more than a few bishops have recently made clear their support for kneeling during these parts of the Mass within their own dioceses in various ways, including public directives.

In some cases, kneelers have been re-installed in churches. That a growing number of bishops are restoring Eucharistic Adoration in their dioceses is further indication of their positive response to a crisis of belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and their recognition of the need to encourage reverence.

The wealth of biblical references to kneeling in prayer and adoration, both in the Old and New Testaments, are undoubtedly well known to these bishops. They also know that kneeling during public worship is a profound a part of Catholic culture and has been for at least the past millennium.

These bishops, along with countless Catholic believers, may hope that the revised Sacramentary, now being reviewed by the Holy See, will clearly reaffirm the tradition of kneeling as an expression of reverence and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and restore unity to Catholic practice.

Also check out this defense of kneelingby the same people.

So complicated, I just want to kneel in peace before the Real Presence of God, but I am afraid the priests will see me as a dissenter and antagonistic. Anyone else have this problem? I'm finding a lot that troubles me in the liturgy here and it is making me homesick for my home archdiocese of New York.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Please pray for Adam Mauro

He was a friend of mine, though one allegedly given to molesting minors. He died recently in a high speed car chase in SC, with a 14 year old boy in his car whom the local news alleges went missing from CT a few days ago. Sigh. I hope he was reconciled to his Maker and that one day we will meet again.

A lapse of understanding

A question posed on a local news forum:

Should all power lines be put underground to avoid future storm-related outages?

My response: Underground power lines aren't vulnerable to trees falling over, but they are vulnerable to flooding. Balancing act if you're close to the water.

The State grows important in its eyes

Five years ago, the Palmdale School District sent the survey to students in the first, third, and fifth grades (ages seven to ten) at Mesquite Elementary School. The survey, which was meant to measure children's exposure to early trauma, included ten questions about sex, asking the youngsters about such things as the frequency of "touching my private parts too much," "thinking about sex," "thinking about touching other people's private parts," and "having sex feelings in my body."

Seven parents brought suit against the school district, claiming their constitutional rights were violated. But in November 2005, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the lawsuit, claiming that parents relinquish their parental rights at the schoolhouse door. Ninth Circuit Judge Steven Reinhardt wrote that except for the Establishment and Treason Clauses, parents have no constitutional right to object to psychological sex surveys given to children as young as seven. According to Reinhardt -- who has been described as one of the most reversed judges in the country -- public schools have the right to administer sex instruction to any children, at any time and in any manner, notwithstanding the objections of their parents.

And how exactly did he come up with those two exceptions, I'd like to know? Besides I though the whole deal with schools in loco parentis was over. I guess that's selective.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What's really going on inside your computer

The .NET GC takes this one step further and pre-reserves a large table for anyone who might want to use .NET objects in the process (let's say a 64 seat table). And when anyone creates a .NET object, the GC ushers them to the next available seat on that table. Once in a while the usher will walk around the table to check if someone is done eating and ask them to leave, and then scoots the rest of the people down the table. Some people might be waiting on other people to finish up before they can leave (references), so they get to stay too. And some people may be really annoying and say, dude, i got a window seat, i am sooo not moving (pinned objects) which means that the rest of the people can't be scooted down towards the end of the table either.

Computers are easy. You just need the right analogy so you can see what's going on!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Too bad that Massachusetts can's switch over to OpenOffice

Turns out that no one wrote the accessibility part of the deal yet, so those with visual disabilities can't use it, or the proper file format.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Quote of the day

Please excuse me as I geek out.

Because Microsoft left it up to the Visual Basic programmers (ugh) to come up with this object, they chose to base it upon an IDispatch. In other words, the VTable for our object must start with the three IUnknown functions as all COM objects do (QueryInterface, AddRef, and Release), and then must be followed immediately with the four standard IDispatch functions (GetTypeInfoCount, GetTypeInfo, GetIDsOfNames, and Invoke). Our object must then have three more functions. In our IDL file, when we define the VTable (i.e., the interface) for this object we'll create, we must name these three extra functions Count, Item, and _NewEnum. In our actual VTable for the object, we can use any name we want for the pointers (although I'll stick to those names). Why? Because no one is ever going to directly call them. No one will ever even know that we're going to add these three functions to our VTable. These functions must be called only indirectly via the Invoke function of our object -- even if you're using a language like C that could have called them directly if only Microsoft's Visual Basic programmers had designed this to accommodate more powerful languages. That's the terrible price we all pay for letting Visual Basic programmers design this. Furthermore, in our IDL file, we must assign the ID DISPID_VALUE to the Item function, and DISPID_NEWENUM to the _NewEnum function. We must. The Count function can be assigned any positive number of our choosing for its ID. Does there appear to be any sense of consistency or logic to this whatsoever? No? Remember -- Visual Basic programmers.

Dawn Eden has found the coolest shirts ever

Check 'em out here. I think I may have to place an order.


Mitt Romney thinks that embryonic stem cell research is "Orwellian". It's statements like that which get me going. Politically, that is. I believe Andrew put it best when he described Mr. Romney as "scurrying back to the Right" with his election prospects looking better outside of Massachusetts than within.

And no, I usually don't read NewsMax.

Good morning blogdom

Sorry about the lack of posting yesterday, I had to take a blog day of rest due to various factors relating to exhaustion and Broadway shows. More programming to come . . .

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Now we kill people who might have cancer later in life

But of course, you can't win.

As Chad Kingsbury watches his daughter playing in the sandbox behind their suburban Chicago house, the thought that has flashed through his mind a million times in her two years of life comes again: Chloe will never be sick.

No offense, Mr. Kingsbury, but your daughter has a 100% chance of dying. No lie. She'll be dead one day. Just because you killed a bunch of your kids in invitro to make sure she doesn't get colon cancer doesn't mean she'll live forever, or even that she'll live a long time.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Cardinal Arinze Fanclub?

This is what the Curt Jester suggests. I think it's a fantabulous idea. Any takers?

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