Monday, April 22, 2013

Cort McMeel, RIP

 1971 AD - 2013 AD

Cort McMeel, writer, athlete, and irresistible, gregarious force, has died.   Cort leaves a wife and two young children.  He also leaves legions of friends and admirers.  Cort's novel, Short, is available here.  Not only is the novel very good, but Cort's bereft family will surely appreciate a purchase.

A tribute which conveys Cort's splendid exuberance here.
Another tribute to Cort here.

"He was a man, take him for all in all."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bravo, Boston!

National Anthem at first Boston Bruins home game since the bombing (h/t Drudge).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pope Francis passes wrinkly rocker test

Released more than 35 years ago

Patti Smith chatted with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square, and says she "liked him a lot."

Our Lord promised he would "draw all men" to himself, a phenomenon which seems to have gained force in these early days of  Francis's papacy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pope Francis on salvation

"Christ the Good Shepherd,"  Mausoleum of Galla Placida, Ravenna, ca. 425 AD

After two professor-popes, we have in Francis a pope who is a shepherd.  "Pastoral" is sometimes a code word for liberal, but Francis appears to be pastoral after the example of the original pastor bonus.

From Pope Francis's homily for today:

 “The Lord saves us by His love: not with a letter, nor with a decree, but with his love,” a love so great that it led him to send his Son, who, “became one of us, walked with us,” ... The Holy Father went on to explain that “salvation” means, “the recovery of that dignity, which we have lost,” the dignity of being children of God.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pope Francis - "Keep Quiet"

"All Saints,"  Vassily Kandinsky (1866 AD - 1944 AD)

From Pope Francis's homily today:

The Holy Father then outlined the correct behavior for a Christian. First, “do not judge anyone” because “the only Judge is the Lord.” Then “keep quiet” and if you have something to say, say it to the interested parties, to those “who can remedy the situation,” but “not to the entire neighborhood.”
“If, by the grace of the Holy Spirit – concluded Pope Francis – we succeed in never gossiping, it will be a great step forward” and “will do us all good”.

Pope Francis also spoke in favor of meekness.   Meekness and quiet - rare qualities indeed.

Somewhere between a fantasy and a fairy tale

See - they're actors!

Many find "Downton Abbey" fun to watch, but let's hope nobody believes its depiction of below stairs life to be remotely accurate.  Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith has more here.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pope Francis on the name of Jesus

"Holy Face,"  Georges Rouault (1871 AD - 1958 AD)

From a recent homily by Pope Francis (courtesy of John Thavis):

The pope related a story from his days as archbishop in Buenos Aires:
"A humble man works in the curia of Buenos Aires. He has worked there for 30 years, he is the father of eight children. Before he goes out, before going out to do the things that he must do, he always says, 'Jesus!' And I once asked him, 'Why do you always say 'Jesus'?'  'When I say' Jesus '- this humble man told me - I feel strong, I feel I can work, and I know that He is with me, that He keeps me safe.'”
The pope continued: “This man never studied theology, he only has the grace of baptism and the power of the Spirit. And this testimony did me a lot of good too, because it reminds us that in this world that offers us so many saviors, it is only the name of Jesus that saves.”

Friday, April 5, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

All roads lead home

 Volman is the one in the turtleneck and tie

Mark Volman, who first became famous as a member of "The Turtles," and later as the "Flo" in "Flo and Eddie" (having been legally barred from using "The Turtles" or even his own name in a musical context) has become a Christian.  Volman serves as assistant professor at Belmont University, a Christian college in Nashville, and he attends Harpeth Presbyterian Church in nearby Brentwood, Tennessee, where he volunteers as a Youth Advisor.   Volman's father was Jewish and his mother was Catholic, and he seems to have chosen a religion in between the two (for now, anyway.)

Dawn Eden (raised Jewish, now Catholic) has more here.

Volman and Howard Kaylan (former lead singer of the Turtles, as well as "Eddie" from "Flo and Eddie") explain here why everyone should think twice before becoming a rock star:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eucharistic Miracle in Buenos Aires investigated by then Cardinal Bergoglio

St. John Eudes (1601 AD - 1680 AD)

 From The Eponymous Flower:

A consecrated Host becomes flesh and blood

At seven o’clock in the evening on August 18, 1996, Fr. Alejandro Pezet was saying Holy Mass at a Catholic church in the commercial center of Buenos Aires. As he was finishing distributing Holy Communion, a woman came up to tell him that she had found a discarded host on a candleholder at the back of the church. On going to the spot indicated, Fr. Alejandro saw the defiled Host. Since he was unable to consume it, he placed it in a container of water and put it away in the tabernacle of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
On Monday, August 26, upon opening the tabernacle, he saw to his amazement that the Host had turned into a bloody substance. He informed Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who gave instructions that the Host be professionally photographed. The photos were taken on September 6. They clearly show that the Host, which had become a fragment of bloodied flesh, had grown significantly in size. For several years the Host remained in the tabernacle, the whole affair being kept a strict secret. Since the Host suffered no visible decomposition, Cardinal Bergoglio decided to have it scientifically analyzed.
On October 5, 1999, in the presence of the Cardinal’s representatives, Dr. Castanon took a sample of the bloody fragment and sent it to New York for analysis. Since he did not wish to prejudice the study, he purposely did not inform the team of scientists of its provenance. One of these scientists was Dr. Frederic Zugiba, [sic; actually, Frederick T. Zugibe, former Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, NY] the well-known cardiologist and forensic pathologist. He determined that the analyzed substance was real flesh and blood containing human DNA. Zugiba testified that, “the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart. It should be borne in mind that the left cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of white blood cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken. It is my contention that the heart was alive, since white blood cells die outside a living organism. They require a living organism to sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.”

By the way, the evening of August 18, when the discarded host was discovered, would have been the vigil of the feast of St. John Eudes, a great teacher of devotion to the Sacred Heart, who composed the Mass and Office propers for the first Feast of the Sacred Heart, and who at his canonization was proclaimed by Pope Leo XIII "Author of the Liturgical Worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Holy Heart of Mary".   

Monday, April 1, 2013

Conquest's laws and the NYT

Not just wrong, but also ignorant

Robert Conquest, the pre-eminent historian of Stalinist terror, proposed the following three laws of politics (as summarized by John Derbyshire):

"1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2. Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will
sooner or later become left-wing.
3. The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by
assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies."

If a law (if p, then q) is true, then its inverse (if not p, then not q) is also true.  The inverse of Conquest's first law would be something like "anyone who is not conservative about a subject must know that subject very poorly."  The NYT, which is wildly un-conservative on many subjects, and is particularly un-conservative on the subject of Christianity, today seemingly set out to demonstrate the truth of the inverse of Conquest's first law of politics with the following correction:

Correction: April 1, 2013

An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the Christian holiday of Easter. It is the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, not his resurrection into heaven.

(By the way, did you notice the part of the correction that still requires correction?)