Patrick Madrid: Is waterboarding a sin?
Patrick Madrid on torture
"It seems like a pretty clear cut kind of a open and shut type thing"
... This is also my gut reaction to it and where I struggle with talking to other Catholics. Query your non-Catholic friends who support waterboarding and ask if they think its torture. They don't seem to have the moral ambiguity on the matter that many Catholics do. They are at least willing to call a spade a spade.
If the Church didn't teach that torture was intrinsically evil then those who are confused about what torture is would all of the sudden find great clarity on its definition just like their pro-torture non-Catholic peers (especially regarding waterboarding).
It seems to me that only Catholics seem to be inflicted with a case of "whatistorturitis".
Marten de Vos - The Marriage at Cana
The second Luminous mystery
The fabulous wealth of the Vatican
Shortly after converting to Catholicism I was told be a friend that she could never convert to Catholicism because she couldn't reconcile its fabulous wealth with its mission to serve the poor.
It is not an objection that really gave me pause but it does for some people.
First off, the use of extravagant items in worship is not something that came about with Christ establishing the Church, nor did it come about during the time of Constantine. It can be documented in the Old Testament, requested by God himself.
Exodus 25:3-8 These are the contributions you shall accept from them: gold, silver and bronze; violet, purple and scarlet yarn; fine linen and goat hair; rams' skins dyed red, and tahash skins; acacia wood; oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; onyx stones and other gems for mounting on the ephod and the breastpiece. "They shall make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst." (read Exodus 25-31)
Furthermore, there is a reason for the use of this in worship. It aids the believer
* in understanding and in bridging the gap
** between him and God. IF art serves its purpose in this way then it helps to motivate people to do their part to uphold gospel values and take care of the poor. Second, it is a perfect refuge for someone, regardless of the troubles of their life to head into a church and experience an earthly interpretation of our future heavenly home. The riches of the Church are there for ALL to enjoy. The Church has carried down to this time priceless documents, works of art and music that would have been lost to the sands of time otherwise. To preserve classic works and history is a good (and expensive) thing to do. But what if the Church did sell all of its holdings and give it to the poor?
A similar objection was raised in Sacred Scripture in the following account
Mark 14:2-7 When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head. There were some who were indignant. "Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? It could have been sold for more than three hundred days' wages and the money given to the poor." They were infuriated with her. Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me. The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me.
I think this makes the point well, but lets go ahead and follow the idea of selling the riches of the Church. First off, the Church would have to be ABLE to sell off its holdings. Priceless works of art do not have an unlimited market. Second, the faithful would be putting their trust that those who receive them would care enough to preserve them over time as carefully as the Church has. Also, many of the holdings of the Church, especially in cities that have experienced rapid decline in certain areas leave the church with a lot of property that is more of a burden than a boon to its pocketbook. Finally, after selling these priceless works of art, the Church would likely be able to feed the poor for a short period of time. At that point the poor would still be with us, just as Christ stated in Mark. The riches of the Church, from which we all benefit, would be gone -- never to serve their purpose again as the Church intends.
Another common gripe in the thread of Church wealth lies in the charge that the Vatican has enormous amounts of wealth stashed away under the Vatican that no nation on earth could compete with. This is a myth all the way down to the hidden stashes of gold. Consider the following about the operating budget of the Vatican:
To put it bluntly, the Vatican is not rich. It has an annual operating budget of $260 million, which would not place it on any Top 500 list of major social institutions. To draw a comparison in the non-profit sector, Harvard University has an annual operating budget of a little over $1.3 billion, which means it could run the equivalent of five Vaticans every year and still have pocket change left over. The Holy See’s budget would qualify it as a mid-sized American Catholic college. It’s bigger than Loyola-Marymount in Los Angeles (annual budget of $150 million) or Saint Louis University ($174 million), but substantially less than the University of Notre Dame ($500 million). The total patrimony of the Holy See, meaning its property holdings (including some 30 buildings and 1,700 apartments in Rome), its investments, its stock portfolios and capital funds, and whatever it has storied up in a piggy bank for a rainy day, comes to roughly $770 million. This is substantial, but once again one has to apply a sense of scale. What the Holy See calls “patrimony” is roughly what American universities mean by an “endowment” – in other words, funds and other assets designed to support the institution if operating funds fall short. The University of Notre Dame has an endowment of $3.5 billion, meaning a total 4.5 times as great as the Vatican’s. But what of the some 18,000 artistic treasures in the Holy See, such as the Pietà, that don’t show up on these ledgers? From the Holy See’s point of view, these artworks are part of the artistic heritage of the world, and may never be sold or borrowed against. Michelangeo’s famous Pieta statue, the Sistine Chapel, or Raphael’s famous frescoes in the Apostolic Palace are thus listed at a value of 1 Euro each. In fact, those treasures amount to a net drain on the Holy See’s budget, because millions of Euros have to be allocated every year for maintenance and restoration. The moral of the story is that the image of the Vatican as a playground for “masters of the universe” just isn’t reality. This is, for the most part, not an island of exaggerated privilege, but a normal bureaucratic environment in which the church’s civil servants are ordinary men and women trying to do their jobs as best they can. (source)
In recent years the Vatican has even run a deficit. It also is important to note that many other dioceses in the world are cash poor and struggling to make ends meet to service the needs of its missions, hospitals and helping provide the sacraments to the faithful. If the Church were fabulously rich, it would not need to ask for contributions each week nor would it require planned giving in order to ensure ends meet.
So hopefully you can see that asking that the Church sell all of its belongings to help the poor would be similar to asking the United States government to liquidate the assets of Washington DC including the Smithsonian Institute in order to assist the poor. I don't see anyone arguing that during these trying times of budget deficits and economic uncertainly. People do not suggest that because it stands to reason, just as it does for the Church, that the effort would be a net loss for all of us.
See also Vatican Riches
* From an early post I made on this blog -- The awe-inspiring works of art within the halls of the great cathedrals inspire and the remind us that there is something greater than us. Pope John Paul II in his Letter to Artists mentions that some of the earliest forms of art were depictions of passages from Sacred Scripture and that "The 'beautiful' was thus wedded to the 'true', so that through art too souls might be lifted up from the world of the senses to the eternal."
** From a post I made about modern architecture -- I want the art to complete that leap for me. It is far less work on my part and I start the contemplative journey far closer to the goal than if I have to make the effort to "see" what is implied rather than what is.
Diego Velazquez - Coronation of the Virgin Mary
The fifth Glorious mystery
On the Duggar's and their 19th child
I read some scathing comments about the Duggar's today that were WAY out of line. May God bless them for enduring the type of vitriol I read about them.
Every time I tell someone how many kids I have I get a list of excuses as to why they are not having any more. I presume your reasons are justified before you speak a word ... Seriously I do (and all my readers should as well) ... That said, if it bothers you enough to tell me, then maybe that is something you should take up with God.
Families with lots of kids are a visible voice to the truth about our purpose.
Families with lots of kids undermine weak excuses for not having more children by demonstrating, often on meager means, that it is possible.
There is no doubt that the future belongs to those who have children -- especially those who have them in great numbers.
The small family model is unsustainable as a value. It will eventually be replaced by those with values that give precedence to having children.
links to one
posts by Sherry Weddell on the falling numbers coming out of RCIA classes.
She suggests that part of the problem
might have to do with the turn of the generational tide and the coming into their own of the Millennial generation.
Of course when I entered into the Church there were not piles of people from my generation there (Gen X). My generation and the one that follows is largely absent from Church. That said, some of the younger end of the Millenials are making up a good percentage of the increase in vocations we are seeing around here (and presumably in other dioceses).
What we may start losing in numbers we may gain back in fidelity to the Church.
Jen over at Conversion Diary has a knack for asking really great questions to bloggers out there. She asks What is your defining post?
This was tough for me ... My blog usually has four types of posts.
1. Me complaining
2. Me trying to capture those touching stories about my family
3. Conversion story / apologetics
4. An occasional funny oddity
I chose Let the little children come to me
.. while it might not define the majority of the content in my blog, it defines more what I wish my blog were like. My second place choice would have been Faith like a child
or Halloween - the conspiracy
to Happy Catholic
for reminding me ...
Fundamentals of Dogma, Harry Potter style
Nicolas Poussin - The Assumption of the Virgin
The fourth Glorious mystery
The third Glorious mystery
Potentially disturbing news on the parental rights front
has the scoop ...
But now, parents have to be on guard again. Seems some people want to force kids into the public school system despite having a demonstrably great homeschooling experience - and why? Because they don't like the parent's religion, and want to expose the kids to the very ideas that their parents are trying to protect them from.
Here's the part that really gets me:
The guardian ad litem involved in the case concluded, according to the court order, that the girl “appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith” and that the girl’s interests “would be best served by exposure to a public school setting” and “different points of view at a time when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief...in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”The girl is 10 years old. Since when are 10-year-olds asked to "critically evaluate multiple systems of belief"? Note the wording that the girl reflects the mother's "ridigity." In other words, to have a clear belief system is to be considered "rigid," and deserving of having your child taken out of your control and brainwashed by someone else. Frankly, I think it's the "guardian" that is rigid - bigoted, actually, against certain aspects of the girl's religion that he disagrees with.
All that said, I want to point out that there is a divorce in play here. Furthermore, the wants of the other parent likely have something to do with WHY they are pitting public schooling vs. homeschooling. It doesn't seem to me that this is a case where a child from an in-tact family is being randomly assaulted by the state for being "too rigid".
I STILL have problems with the reasoning cited here. I have said before, by discouraging the western tradition in favor of diversity, we will LOSE our western tradition. Authentic diversity requires the practice of our OWN faith and the acceptance of our OWN past before we can truly appreciate the legitimate differences of others.
10 Episcopal nuns in Archdiocese of Baltimore to join Catholic Church
I didn't even know the Episcopal Church had nuns ... well, they have ten less of them now.
Before deciding to enter the Catholic Church, the sisters had explored Episcopal splinter groups and other Christian denominations. Mother Christina noted that the sisters had independently contemplated joining the Catholic Church without the others knowing. When they found out that most of them were considering the same move, they took it as a sign from God and reached out to Archbishop O’Brien. Fr. Z
“This is very much the work of the Holy Spirit,” Mother Christina said.
The sisters acknowledged it hasn’t been easy leaving the Episcopal Church, for which they expressed great affection. Some of their friends have been hurt by their pending departure, they said.
“Some feel we are abandoning the fight to maintain orthodoxy,” said Sister Emily Ann Lindsey. “We’re not. We’re doing it in another realm right now.”
The sisters have spent much of the past year studying the documents of the Second Vatican Council. They said there were few theological stumbling blocks to entering the church, although some had initial difficulty with the concept of papal infallibility.
In addition to worshipping in the Latin rite, the sisters are expected to receive permission to attend Mass celebrated in the Anglican-use rite (FC: I am jealous) – a liturgy that adapts many of the prayers from the Episcopal tradition. Mother Christina said 10 archdiocesan priests, including Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden, have stepped forward to learn how to celebrate the Anglican-use Mass.
Nine consecutive blogging days?!?
I have blogged for nine consecutive days ... I think that is a record for me.
Garofalo - Ascension of Christ
The second Glorious mystery
A defense of the Sacrament of Marriage
Defense of Sacrament of Marriage ... First there are a few terms I want to define. Baltimore Catechism anyone?
136. Q. What is a Sacrament?
A. A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.
105. Q. What is sanctifying grace? -- AKA DIVINE GRACE
A. Sanctifying grace is that grace which makes the soul holy and pleasing to God.
110. Q. What is actual grace?
A. Actual grace is that help of God which enlightens our mind and moves our will to shun evil and do good.
Sacraments give or increase sanctifying grace ...
That marriage is a sacrament is raised to the level of a dogma of the faith by the Council of Trent - Canon I, Sess. XXIV (24) states "If any one shall say that matrimony is not truly and properly one of the Seven Sacraments of the Evangelical Law, instituted by Christ our Lord, but was invented in the Church by men
, and does not confer grace, let him be anathema."
This was in response to the reformers
Calvin in his "Institutions", IV (4), xix (19), 34, says:
"Lastly, there is matrimony, which all admit was instituted by God, though no one before the time of Gregory regarded it as a sacrament. What man in his sober senses could so regard it? God's ordinance is good and holy; so also are agriculture, architecture, shoemaking, hair-cutting legitimate ordinances of God, but they are not sacraments".
And Luther speaks in terms equally vigorous.
"No one indeed can deny that marriage is an external worldly thing, like clothes and food, house and home, subject to worldly authority, as shown by so many imperial laws governing it." -- "Von den Ehesachen" (p. 1)Proof from Scripture
"Not only is the sacramental character of matrimony without foundation in Scripture; but the very traditions, which claim such sacredness for it, are a mere jest"; the original edition of "De captivitate Babylonica"
"Marriage may therefore be a figure of Christ and the Church; it is, however, no Divinely instituted sacrament, but the invention of men in the Church, arising from ignorance of the subject." -- the original edition of "De captivitate Babylonica"
The classical scriptural text is from St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians where Christ declares that the relation between husband and wife should be of that between Christ and the Church.
I will read Ephesians 5:31-32 in the Douay-Rheims version to demonstrate
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church.
Still, this cannot be used as a definitive defense because the later, more technical meaning of the word did not come into play until centuries after this verse was penned. A more modern translation of the verse (NAB used by the USCCB)
For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.
Still we call sacraments "Divine mysteries" and from the emphasis we can infer that the importance of marriage is not to be considered lightly. Ludwig Ott in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma explains it as such.
"As the unification of Christ with the Church is a rich source of grace for the members of the Church, so marriage if it is to be a perfect image of the grace-conferring attachment of Christ with the Church, must not be an empty symbol, as it had been in the pre-Christian era but an efficacious (producing the result - i.e. real) sign of grace." -
or as the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia states:
"There would be no reason, therefore, why the Apostle should refer with such emphasis to Christian marriage as so great a sacrament, if the greatness of Christian marriage did not lie in the fact, that it is not a mere sign, but an efficacious sign of the life of grace. In fact, it would be entirely out of keeping with the economy of the New Testament if we possessed a sign of grace and salvation instituted by God which was only an empty sign, and not an efficacious (producing the result - i.e. real) one."
Now why would it be entirely out of keeping with the economy of the New Testament to possess a sign that was empty? As Jesus said in Matt 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." The Catholic faith is a sacramental faith, a point I will delve into momentarily, and our understanding of marriage draws very much from that fact. We as Catholics have an expectation that all types of grace present in the Old Testament, especially covenants, were fulfilled in the New Covenant as greater and more perfect. For example, baptism is "the new circumcision" which allows ALL to enter the New Covenant by the washing clean of our sins.
Col 2:11-12 In him 5 you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ. You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
As as the bread offered to the Israelites in the desert sustained them physically, the "Bread of Life", that is Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist will allow us "to live forever".
John 6:49-51 "Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
That Christ dignified marriage by returning it to the glory indicated in the first books of Sacred Scripture further indicates this perfection of marriage belongs to that of a sacrament.
Matt 19:4-12 Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, 4 saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?" He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate." They said to him, "Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?" He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, 7 whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery."
But you don't have to just take my word for it. To further underscore the doctrine that marriage is a sacrament, I would like to expound on a brief proof from Tradition, or as I like to say, from history -- Lets ask a few of the early church fathers.
The biggest key in demonstrating early acceptance of the sacramental nature of marriage is demonstrating its ability to confer Divine grace. The following elements belong to a sacrament:
- it must be a sacred religious rite instituted by Christ; (see Ignatius of Antoch, Tertullian)
- this rite must be a sign of interior sanctification; (see Eph 5)
- it must confer this interior sanctification or Divine grace; (Tertullian, Augustine)
- this effect of Divine grace must be produced, not only in conjunction with the respective religious act, but through it (it must continue). (Tertullian, Augustine)
Hence, whoever attributes these elements to Christian marriage, thereby declares it a true sacrament in the strict sense of the word.
* it must be a sacred religious rite instituted by Christ;
From the beginning the early fathers regarded marriage as a religious affair
St. Ignatius of Antioch (107 AD) "Letter to Polycarp 5" - "But it becomes both men and women who marry, to form their union with the approval of the bishop, that their marriage may be according to God, and not after their own lust. Let all things be done to the honour of God."
* this rite must be a sign of interior sanctification; -- back to Ephesians 5 where Paul spells out the image of Christ and the Church with respect to the husband and the wife.
* it must confer this interior sanctification or Divine grace; (Tertullian, Augustine)
* this effect of Divine grace must be produced, not only in conjunction with the respective religious act, but through it (it must continue)
As early as the second century we have the valuable testimony of Tertullian,when discussing a mixed marriage between Gentile (secular) matrimony Christian stating that matrimony enjoys "the partial sanction of divine grace"
If these things may happen to those women also who, having attained the faith while in (the state of) Gentile matrimony, continue in that state, still they are excused, as having been "apprehended by God" in these very circumstances; and they are bidden to persevere in their married state, and are sanctified, and have hope of "making a gain" held out to them. "If, then, a marriage of this kind (contracted before conversion) stands ratified before God, why should not (one contracted after conversion) too go prosperously forward, so as not to be thus harassed by pressures, and straits, and hindrances, and defilements, having already (as it has) the partial sanction of divine grace?" "Ad Uxorem", II, vii
But if Divine grace and its protection are, as Tertullian asserts, given with marriage, we have therein the distinctive moment which constitutes a religious action (already known for other reasons as a sign of Divine grace) an efficacious sign of grace, that is, a true Sacrament of the New Dispensation. It is only on this hypothesis that we can rightly understand another passage from the same work of
"How can we describe the happiness of those marriages which the Church ratifies, the sacrifice strengthens, the blessing seals, the angels publish, the Heavenly Father propitiously (graciously) beholds?" "Ad Uxorem" II, ix, in P.L., I, 1302
Again, as Pope Benedict stated, "....we have a positive idea to offer, that man and woman are made for each other, that the scale of sexuality, eros, agape, indicates the level of love and it's in this way that marriage develops, first of all, as a joyful and blessing-filled encounter between a man and a woman, and then the family, that guarantees continuity among generations and through which generations are reconciled to each other and even cultures can meet. ...."
Through here we have discussed testimony from the first two centuries. In the 4th century St. Augustine places marriage, which he names a sacrament, on the same level with Baptism and Holy Orders. Thus, as Baptism and Holy Orders are sacraments in the strict sense and are recognized as such by the Holy Doctor, he also considers the marriage of Christians a sacrament in the full and strict sense of the word. As an image of the bond between Christ and the Church is employed, and that we know that this unification of Christ and His Church is indissoluble we can further infer that marriage retains the same indissolubility.
"Among all people and all men the good that is secured by marriage consists in the offspring and in the chastity of married fidelity; but, in the case of God's people [the Christians], it consists moreover in the holiness of the sacrament, by reason of which it is forbidden, even after a separation has taken place, to marry another as long as the first partner lives . . . just as priests are ordained to draw together a Christian community, and even though no such community be formed, the Sacrament of Orders still abides in those ordained, or just as the Sacrament of the Lord, once it is conferred, abides even in one who is dismissed from his office on account of guilt, although in such a one it abides unto judgment." De bono conjugii - chap. xxiv in P.L., XL, 394
"Undoubtedly it belongs to the essence of this sacrament that, when man and wife are once united by marriage, this bond remains indissoluble throughout their lives. As long as both live, there remains a something attached to the marriage, which neither mutual separation nor union with a third can remove; in such cases, indeed, it remains for the aggravation of the guilt of their crime, not for the strengthening of the union. Just as the soul of an apostate, which was once similarly wedded unto Christ and now separates itself from Him, does not, in spite of its loss of faith, lose the Sacrament of Faith, which it has received in the waters of regeneration." De nuptiis et concupiscentia - (I, x, in P.L., XLIV, 420)
Pope Innocent I in a letter dated Jan 27, 417 AD declares a second marriage during the lifetime of the first partner invalid, and adds:
"Supported by the Catholic Faith, we declare that the true marriage is that which is originally founded on Divine grace." -- Letter to Probus (Ep. ix, in P.L., XX, 602)
So we see here, clear testimony from the fathers prior to the 4th century that marriage was, in kernel, regarded as a sacrament.
Beyond that we have greater testimony in the liturgical books of the churches both in communion with Rome and those separated from the earliest times:
In all these rituals and liturgical collections, marriage, contracted before the priest during the celebration of Mass, is accompanied by ceremonies and prayers similar to those used in connection with the other sacraments; in fact several of these rituals expressly call marriage a sacrament, and, because it is a "sacrament of the living", require contrition for sin and the reception of the Sacrament of Penance before marriage is contracted (cf. Martène, "De antiquis ecclesiæ ritibus", I, ix). But the venerable age, in fact the apostolicity, of the ecclesiastical tradition concerning marriage is still more clearly revealed by the circumstance that the rituals or liturgical books of the Oriental Churches and sects, even of those that separated from the Catholic Church in the first centuries, treat the contracting of marriage as a sacrament, and surround it with significant and impressive ceremonies and prayers. The Nestorians, Monophysites, Copts, Jacobites etc., all agree in this point (cf. J. S. Assemani, "Bibliotheca orientalis", III, i, 356; ii, 319 sqq.; Schelstrate, "Acta oriental. eccl.", I, 150 sqq.; Denzinger, "Ritus orientalium", I, 150 sqq.; II, 364 sqq.). The numerous prayers which are used throughout the ceremony refer to a special grace which is to be granted to the newly-married persons, and occasional commentaries show that this grace was regarded as sacramental. Thus, the Nestorian patriarch, Timotheus II, in his work "De septem causis sacramentorum" mentioned in Assemani (III, i, 579), deals with marriage among the other sacraments, and enumerates several religious ceremonies without which marriage is invalid. Evidently, therefore, he includes marriage among the sacraments, and considers the grace resulting from it a sacramental grace.The doctrine that marriage is a sacrament of the New Law has never been a matter of dispute between the Roman Catholic and any of the Oriental Churches separated from it -- a convincing proof that this doctrine has always been part of ecclesiastical tradition and is derived from the Apostles. pulled from a talk I gave on marriage some months ago which borrows heavily from Catholic Encyclopedia and Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma
Priests, religious and larger families
There is some anecdotal evidence to support the idea that priests and religious come from large families at a higher rate than small families. I bring this up because I heard a priest discussing vocations and one of the things he mentioned was that it was a sacrifice. For the priest or religious this is clear, but he further pointed out the difficulty it brings for the parents of the one accepting the call. Parents obviously want to see their children grow up and have children. I think of this myself even with having small children now. Fr. further stressed when talking about the external factors affecting those who answer the call is that of smaller families. It seems there is much greater pressure placed on those discerning from smaller families because in some cases this lessens or cuts off the possibility of grand children.
This got me to thinking. Larger families TEND to be more devout. In a culture that has sold its soul to avoiding children, doesn't it seem obvious that the newer priests are more zealous because they come from backgrounds where families often stress vocations and have less external pressure to carry on the family name than families with less children?
I see there was some wind damage in Shiner, TX today
Just as long as it didn't affect the beer we are on the same page ....
Is the Obama administration intending to fund the arts at the service of the state?
Anybody care to comment on this? This is piggybacking on the government is advertising post
I wrote earlier. The National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion?
Backed by the full weight of President Barack Obama’s call to service and the institutional weight of the NEA, the conference call was billed as an opportunity for those in the art community to inspire service in four key categories, and at the top of the list were “health care” and “energy and environment.” The service was to be attached to the President’s United We Serve campaign, a nationwide federal initiative to make service a way of life for all Americans.
It sounded, how should I phrase it…unusual, that the NEA would invite the art community to a meeting to discuss issues currently under vehement national debate. I decided to call in, and what I heard concerned me.
We were encouraged to bring the same sense of enthusiasm to these “focus areas” as we had brought to Obama’s presidential campaign, and we were encouraged to create art and art initiatives that brought awareness to these issues. Throughout the conversation, we were reminded of our ability as artists and art professionals to “shape the lives” of those around us. The now famous Obama “Hope” poster, created by artist Shepard Fairey and promoted by many of those on the phone call, and will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” song and music video were presented as shining examples of our group’s clear role in the election.
Obama has a strong arts agenda, we were told, and has been very supportive of both using and supporting the arts in creative ways to talk about the issues facing the country. We were “selected for a reason,” they told us. We had played a key role in the election and now Obama was putting out the call of service to help create change. We knew “how to make a stink,” and were encouraged to do so.
Throughout the conversation my inner dialogue was firing away questions so fast that the NRA would’ve been envious. Is this truly the role of the NEA? Is building a message distribution network, for matters other than increasing access to the arts and arts education, the role of the National Endowment for the Arts? Is providing the art community issues to address, especially those that are currently being vehemently debated nationally, a legitimate role for the NEA? I found it highly unlikely that this was in their original charter, so I checked.
Divine Mercy / Sacred Heart image
Another question for the gallery ... Is this image sufficient for a consecration/enshrinement/enthronement of our home to the Sacred Heart? It is a Divine Mercy image with a Sacred Heart in it.
I was asked whether this ceremony was being done for us by one of the Sacred Heart members or a priest. Our priest does it along with the Missionaries of Charity. Many of our friends have encouraged us to do this. We are supposed to pray a novena and then the priest and the sisters come out to our house for the ceremony. It seemed fairly straightforward although I must admit some confusion has arisen recently about what images are acceptable etc.
See St. Margaret Mary Alacoque - Sacred Heart - Vatican museum
for one of my favorite Sacred Heart images.
Peter Paul Rubens - The Resurrection of Christ
The first Glorious mystery
Still want to be a birther?
Francesco Albani - Baptism of Christ
The first Luminous mystery
William Holman Hunt - The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple
The fifth Joyful mystery
Philippe de Champaigne - The Presentation in the Temple
The fourth Joyful mystery
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Mercatornet does the heavy lifting on the absurdity of the Whole Foods boycott
so I don't have to
Yet the boycott doesn’t ring true to me. Beyond the obvious involvement of groups like Single Payer Action, an advocacy group that is pushing for a nationalisation of health care period, well beyond President Obama’s call for a government option, there is the insincere morality of those Whole Food shoppers who say they won’t frequent the store in the future.
The reasoning for the boycott is that John Mackey has political opinions that are right-wing, anti-union and obviously against true health care reform. Yet if shopping were all about lining up your own politics with the politics of a company CEO, then I would see many more men with ponytails and goatees cycling their way to Costco to pick up milk and organic, shade-grown, fair trade coffee beans (yes, they do sell them). A number of Costco stores in California and the American northwest are unionised and employees at non-union stores get the same wages and benefits as the unionised shops, including salaries of $40,000 or more, a large sum in retailing. It sounds like the type of employer those boycotting Whole Foods would want.
Costco co-founders Jeffrey Brotman and Jim Sinegal are not only donors to the Democratic Party, but have been linked to left-wing advocacy groups like MoveOn.org and America Coming Together. Yet I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that Costco’s customer base includes a large number of Republicans and very few of the die-hard liberals calling for an end to Whole Foods over the politics of their CEO.
Of course the amazing support that some
Republicans have recently shown for Whole Foods strikes me as similarly disingenuous. After all, Whole Foods supposedly supports Planned Parenthood (according to Life Decisions International
) and there is no doubt
what segment of the political spectrum Whole Foods typically panders to.
Mecatornet finishes up with
This incident is not only another example of the politicisation of food but of the growing partisan divide in America (and other countries); the divide Barack Obama was supposed to heal. How much longer can democracy survive if we cannot even have civil disagreements over how a political question should be solved?
And that there is 431 feet out of the park ....