Friday, February 23, 2007

Mahoney Takes First Place Award

Agnus Daily has transformed the pitiful and depressing state of Cardinal Mahoney's Archdiocese into a fictional news piece -- creating something we can at least chuckle about. There are moments when laughter is required, else we will go mad from all the madness. Sometimes it's good to have a good laugh at the madness His Eminence emanates.

LOS ANGELES, CA - The Center for Dance and Performaing Arts has bestowed it’s coveted “Best Proving Ground for Performance Experience Award” to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. This award typically goes to performing arts venues and other establishments that not only embrace modern art and dance, but also assist in developing the experience necessary to provide a springboard for employment in professional theater and media ...

“Sunday Mass provides an interesting challenge for me.” explains Sarah Connelly, an interpretive dancer at St. Xavier’s Parish, “Sometimes the pastor wants me to dance throughout the whole Mass. It’s hard finding innovative ways to translate things like ‘Theosis’, ‘Hypostatic Union’, and all of the Beatitudes into bodily motions, but somehow I find a way!”

Sunday, February 18, 2007

"Yes Lord, you know that I love you."

A reflection by St. Francis de Sales:

August 1
On this day, the feast of Saint Peter in Chains, it pleased our guardian angel to strike at our side and wake us up, giving us a loving attention to the presence of God and freeing us from all the bonds of self-love, so as to consecrate us decisively to divine love. How fortunate was Saint Peter when the Lord repeatedly asked him "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" [Jn 21:16] It was not that Jesus doubted that he did, but to have the great pleasure of hearing him say, repeat and protest that he loved Him. So we must either love or die, because he who does not love remains a dead person. (Letters 798; O. XV, p. 252)

Surely we can imagine Our Lord asking each of us the question he once asked Simon Peter. How pleasing then must it be for him to hear the same response uttered forth from our own heart, "Yes Lord, you know that I love you." May we say it often that he might have the pleasure of hearing it often.

"Yes Lord, you know that I love you."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

"Simon son of John, do you love me?"

Matthew 25:34-36

Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'

The Vicar of Christ receives a Japanese man afflicted with leprosy.

Friday, February 16, 2007


From Off the Record:

Hearing today's gospel (Mark 8:34ff), the following hard words of Jesus hit home:

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

For many contemporary Catholics, denying Jesus takes the form not of apostasy under duress but of "being ashamed" of him and his words -- not frequently, perhaps, but on those occasions when they are anxious not to appear uncouth or ignorant or in the grip of unfashionable moral hang-ups. Business luncheons, faculty receptions, museum benefit galas can by more subtle means accomplish what Tyburn and the Coliseum could not. When a Christian finds himself in the company of prosperous scoffers, it's hard, particularly with a manhattan or glass of chardonnay in hand, to interrupt the flow of elegant blasphemy, and it's all too easy to feign agreement by one's silence. In such circles, mention of the Son of Man -- i.e., positive, non-sarcastic mention -- is as unlovely as a brown tooth. Yet what Christian would have the honesty to admit that he kept quiet in such circumstances because he was ashamed of Jesus? It hurts to think about.

You can read Diogenes' full reflection here.

What he points out, I'm afraid, does not apply solely to those Catholics absorbed with worldly business. How often have I found myself experiencing pangs of guilt, for not having spoken up? How many useless and even blasphemous conversations will I have to answer for on the Last Day? Having breathed my last, will Our Lord be pleased to see me, or will his face be filled with sorrow and sadness? My greatest fear is to be yet another Christian who has loved him so little in return...

"Behold this heart which has loved men so much; and been loved so little in return."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Seventeenth Century prodigy Blaise Pascal, like Isaac Newton, is most often remembered for his astounding contributions to math and physics. Seldom, however, are either recalled for their contributions to philosophy and theology. But it was his Catholic faith, once abandonded, which consumed Pascal in his later years. This burning love for God and for souls compelled him to put to paper his Pensees -- his thoughts:

"Man is obviously made to think. It is his whole dignity and his whole merit; and his whole duty is to think as he ought. Now, the order of thought is to begin with self, and with its Author and its end."

"Now, of what does the world think? Never of this, but of dancing, playing the lute, singing, making verses, running at the ring, etc., fighting, making oneself king, without thinking what it is to be a king and what to be a man."


"Atheism shows strength of mind, but only to a certain degree."


"When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, the little space which I fill and even can see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I am ignorant and which know me not, I am frightened and am astonished at being here rather than there; for there is no reason why here rather than there, why now rather than then. Who has put me here? By whose order and direction have this place and time been allotted to me?"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My kind of bishop...

From Whispers:

According to Thavis via Vatican Radio, this year's Lenten retreat will fall to the archbishop-emeritus of Bologna, Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.

Cardinal Biffi was said to be a strong supporter of the pope in the conclave that elected him in 2005. The cardinal is well-known in Italy for his sometimes provocative statements; in 2000, he suggested that the Italian government should favor Catholic immigrants to offset the number of Muslim immigrants and protect Italy's "national identity."

Among other notable quotables from Biffi, a Milan native -- and Ambrose scholar -- who retired in 2004 yet remains papal elector for another 16 months: likening women's ordination to using Coke in lieu of altar wine; comparing the rainbow flag of Italy's peace movements to the banner of Arcigay, the country's flagship gay-rights group; and, most memorably, his Jubilee Year assertion that, as the BBC headlined it, the "Antichrist is a vegetarian."

Monday, February 12, 2007

More Seamless-Garbage

From the interview at California Catholic Daily:
Ed Cavagnaro: Of course, [Pro-abort Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi] has a big say in the direction of the country and the legislative agenda, certainly. Other than this issue [of abortion], what other issues do you feel that she should concentrate on? What is important to you as an archbishop?

Archbishop George Niederauer: I think all the issues are important. I think the life issues are important, like euthanasia, like abortion, but of course there is another life issue where you would find the side switching very quickly, and that is the death, -- the death penalty -- capital punishment. I think we would find ourselves in agreement with a whole different group of people who would be -- have a very similar but opposed opinion with regard to, well let’s say abortion. I think health care for everyone, I think is an important issue. I think affordable housing is an important issue. I think immigration reform. I think there is an hypocrisy, whereby we say, we send forth this message, as a country – I think we are anyway -- “Don’t you dare cross our borders but if you do we have a great job for you.” Something has to be done about that. Something has to be done about splitting up families. So that people can -- can try to support themselves and their families. Those are all, I think, issues. And I think an issue that is compelling to all of us right now is the war in Iraq.

We'll put aside the nonsense of equating affordable housing and immigration reform with abortion. For the sake of argument, let's give the good bishop (and anyone of like mind) some breathing room and assume the death penalty is just as deplorable as abortion (note: which it isn't).

In America last year, 53 criminals paid an early visit to their Maker via painless, lethal injection. During that same period of time, an estimated 1.31 million babies were tortured to death in their mothers' wombs. That's a ratio of 24,717:1 (babies:criminals).

So logic would dictate, just going off the numbers (again, wrongly assuming DP = Abortion), our time and effort should be correspondingly divided between the two.

In other words, every sixty seconds Niederauer uses to speak out against capital punishment, should be balanced with 412 hours of (non-stop) verbal opposition to abortion.

And every $100 spent by the USCCB on fighting the death penalty, should be balanced with $2.4 million fighting the war in the womb.

Memo to the USCCB: How about it?

Navy does "Hey Ya"

Somebody's gotta get this to Jamie Oakland...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lift High the Cross

Courtesy of The Cafeteria:

If you look closely you can see what passes for a crucifix in the diocese of Linz, Austria. I wasn't there, but twenty bucks says they were belting out the Austrian version of Sing Out, Earth and Skies.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

And The Word Was Made Flesh

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
‘Fiat,’ and lo! The Virgin conceives.
O Solitary Boast! Her own cross to carry,
A spirit rejoices, the first Christian believes.

Et Verbum caro factum est
O happy fault! O necessary sin,
Gaining for us Our Redeemer Blest!
Now softly, now gently, now cradled within.

In prostrate lie angels, homage paid the Divine;
An ox, an ass, dry straw, a manger.
Eternal might and glory to humility consign,
What joy! What sorrow - Love regarded a stranger.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Styrofoam Peanuts

I'm not sure how Diogenes manages to come up with such exceptional analogies time and again. But in describing the state of the American Church he has the benefit of matchless insight, and his prognoses are consistently dead-on. Today's commentary was triggered by the squishy response of San Francisco's Archbishop Niederauer to the question of denying Holy Communion to pro-abort politicians like Speaker of the House, Nancy Kill-osi (D, CA):

"So the faithful of San Francisco are saddled with another five years of leadership by dialogue -- the dialogue, i.e., their bishop always hopes will take place in the near future. The solution? There is none -- no fix from above, at any rate. Those committed Catholics stuck with bishops that are morally weightless, a variety of styrofoam peanuts, should move forward the pro-family and pro-life initiatives like an 18-wheeler, which will pull along some of the flakes of styrofoam in the vacuum created by its forward rush. By their own insistence they're not policemen, they're not gatekeepers, they're not watchdogs, they're not comfortable saying no, but they are successors of the apostles, after all, and make decorative appearances at weddings and funerals.

P.S. As church, we are opposed to spouse-abuse. "

To appreciate the full effect, you really need to read all of Diogenes' post here.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The People's Republic

With 1.3 billion people (1/5 of the world's population), a thriving economy, and a military of rapidly growing strength and technology, Red China continues to raise eyebrows and spark lively discussion.

Jeff Head has managed to capture a few pictures which document some of China's more recent military advancements.

Regina pacis, ora pro nobis...

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

"Tookie" Williams

Came upon a great link to Zombietime's entertaining coverage of a rally that took place outside of Tookie's prison on his day of execution, Dec. 12, 2005.

If you are unfamiliar with the legacy of Tookie, you can catch up quickly at Wikipedia, or, even quicker still, you can simply click here (Warning: Graphic photo).

Yet another expose of the far left-wing media bias.

Where are the news cameras when pro-lifers gather to routinely protest the execution of the innocent at abortion clinics all across the nation?

TV camera crews were a dime a dozen
at Tookie's Vigil.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Vineless Branches

Oh this is too much!

What a hoot. Diogenes (from Off the Record) has done it once again.