I was wondering if i should go see the new Bond movie, Skyfall, or wait for the DVD. well... since the Vatican has given it's supernatural praise to this film I will go and see it on the BIG screen. Personally I can't remember such a glowing review of any secular movie from the "red hats".
My favorite review of the review was by Darren Franich
Can we get an 'Amen'? The Vatican loves 'Skyfall'
Providing further evidence that the modern Catholic Church ain’t your mama’s Catholic Church, the Vatican’s film critic has written a full-throated support of Skyfall, praising the film’s “adrenalin pumping action, amazing hyper-realistic chases, exotic locations, extremely beautiful Bond girls, the usual super villain, and the essential vodka martini” — all things much enjoyed by the population of the Vatican. (They took a vow of chastity… but nothing wrong with a little window-shopping, amiright boys?)
But it’s not all fun and games: Vatican film critic Gaetano Vallini praises how in Skyfall, James Bond is “less attracted to the pleasures of life, darker and more introspective… more human, even able to be moved and to cry.” You could say that Bond is experiencing a crushing sensation of guilt, which makes it impossible for him to experience joy in a meaningful way. If only there could be a whole belief system built on all-encompassing guilt!
The Skyfall review was actually just one of five Bond-related articles in this week’sL’Osservatore Romano, which also included a profile of Bond creator Ian Fleming, a retrospective of Bond music, and a think piece by Pope Benedict explaining that everyone is wrong about Timothy Dalton — he was just Daniel Craig 20 years before the world was ready for Daniel Craig. Just kidding, the Pope didn’t write that: He gave up on the series after You Only Live Twice.
"Speaking a few years ago to a group of priests, entirely outside of the current political debate, I was trying to express in overly dramatic fashion what the complete secularization of our society could bring. I was responding to a question and I never wrote down what I said, but the words were captured on somebody’s smart phone and have now gone viral on Wikipedia and elsewhere in the electronic communications world. I am (correctly) quoted as saying that I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. What is omitted from the reports is a final phrase I added about the bishop who follows a possibly martyred bishop: “His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” What I said is not “prophetic” but a way to force people to think outside of the usual categories that limit and sometimes poison both private and public discourse"
Francis Cardinal George
Public witness on issues of public concern is natural for
Catholics because we have a commitment to the common good and to the dignity of
each human person. Those two pillars — the common good and the dignity of every
human person — come right out of Scripture. They underpin all of Catholic
That includes politics. Politics is where the competing moral
visions of a society meet and struggle. And since a large majority of American
citizens are religious believers, it makes sense for people and communities of
faith to bring their faith into the public square.
As a result, if we believe
that a particular issue is gravely evil and damaging to society, then we have a
duty, not just a religious duty but also ademocraticduty, to
hold accountable the candidates who want to allow that evil. Failing to do so
is an abuse of responsibility on our part, because that’s where we exercise our
power as citizens most directly — in the voting booth.
The “separation of Church
and state” can never mean that religious believers should be silent about
legislative issues, the appointment of judges or public policy. It’s not the
job of the Church to sponsor political candidates. But it’svery muchthe job of the Church to guide Catholics to think and act in
accord with their faith.
So since this is an election year, here are a few simple points to
remember as we move toward November.
1. “Catholic” is a word that has real meaning. We don’t control or
invent that meaning as individuals. We inherit it from the Gospel and the
experience of the Church over the centuries. If we choose to call ourselves
Catholic, then that word has consequences for what we believe and how we
act. We can’t truthfully call ourselves “Catholic” and then behave as if
2. Being a Catholic is a
bit like being married. We have a relationship with the Church and with Jesus
Christ that’s similar to being a spouse. If a man says he loves his wife, his
wife will want to see the evidence in his fidelity. The same applies to our
relationship with God. If we say we’re Catholic, we need to show that by our
love for the Church and our fidelity to what she teaches and believes.
Otherwise we’re just fooling ourselves. God certainlywon’tbe fooled.
3. The Church is not a political organism. She has no interest in
partisanship because getting power or running governments is not what she’s
about, and the more closely she identifies herself with any single party, the
fewer people she can effectively reach.
4. Scripture and Catholic
public consequences because they guide us in how we should act in relation to
one another. Again, Catholic social action, including political action, is a
natural byproduct of the Church’s moral message. We can’t call ourselves
Catholic, and then simply stand by while immigrants get mistreated, or the poor
get robbed, or – even more fundamentally — unborn children get killed. If our
faith is real, then it will bear fruit in our public decisions and behaviors,
including our political choices.
5. Each of us needs to follow his or her own conscience. But
conscience doesn’t emerge miraculously from a vacuum. The way we get a healthy
conscience is by submitting it to God’s will; and the way we find God’s will is
by listening to the counsel of the Church and trying honestly to live in accord
with her guidance. If we find ourselves frequently disagreeing, as Catholics,
with the teaching of our own Church on serious matters, then it’s probably not
the Church that’s wrong. The problem is much more likely with us.
In the end, the heart of truly faithful citizenship is this: We’re
better citizens when we’re more faithful Catholics. The more authentically
Catholic we are in our lives, choices, actions and convictions, the more truly
we will contribute to the moral and political life of our nation.
I like food. Boom!, there I said it. I am willing to try new foods - as a matter of fact I was one of the first to try pizza on a stick. So this seemed right in my wheelhouse PBJ in a can cool...I was wrong.
Every generation, sandwich convenience takes a leap forward. Our grandparents saw the first drive-thru restaurant; our children will be the first to try McDonald's McRib I V Bag. For us, it's the Candwich: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a can.
"Kids Love It!" it says so right there on the can. This just proves my long-running theory: that kids are dumb.
Frat Boys chug the whole sandwich in one gulp.
The world's gone topsy-turvy. Somewhere, someone is drinking a Miller Lite out of a Ziploc bag.
The flavor is somewhere on the continuum between Play-Doh and Taxicab Air Freshener. But if traditional sandwich packaging never took up enough landfill space for your liking, this is the sandwich for you.
Yes, I know that we as bearded Catholics did not get that
way in a moment of passion but it is the passion for facial hair that keeps us here.
But to groom or not to groom that is the question whether 'tis nobler to let it
grow outrageous and free or to take up scissors to trim it and by grabbing the ends twist them. To comb, to sweep, to droop no more; and by a clip clip here and a dab dab there say we
end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks our mother's subject us to?
Any way if you manscape a new start-up, the BrooklynGrooming Company, specializes in pomades, beard oils, facial serums and
mustache wax all aimed at the tragically hip. The Red Hook Whiskers beard oil,
for instance features "mineral rich oils and up lifting herbs in a
non-comedgenic, vegan friendly formula".
The good news? economists have adjusted forecasts upward in
light of this new product line lessening unemployment, streangthing the GDP and showing the country
that the American hipster is willing to spend $50.00 on artistanal beard oil.
It is the Feast day of Teresa of Avila one of my favorite ladies
I am now at an age where this prayer makes big sense my favorite line is: “Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil”.
Thou knowest better than I myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking
I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from craving to
straighten out everybody’s affairs.
Make me thoughtful but not moody;
helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom,
it seems a pity not to use it all;
but Thou knowest, Lord,
that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;
give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains;
they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them
is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I dare not ask for improved memory,
but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person
is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places
and talents in unexpected people;
and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
- – - prayer by St. Teresa of Avila
She embodies the Chesterton attitude: “He is a sane man who can have tragedy in his heart and comedy in his head.”
For many weeks now I have been battling a low grade constant sadness.
Unable to fully name it I have been snapping at my child followed by quick apologies. I could not tell if I was avoiding my wife or she was avoiding me I did not give it enough thought to repair the rift. She probably thought it was just another of my blue funks that would pass once I started pushing pigment again.
I knew this was different. I was blaming it on overly busy schedule and the way to many funerals I
have had to attend of late. Each for an acquaintance that was younger than I. Then
I thought it was that my wife's and my car broke down in the same week followed
by a quick need for a plumbing repair. No that could not be it those are just
the normal low notes of my life the deep harmony to balance the joy.
It was not until this morning as I drove my wife to work in
my daughter's rickety old but drivable van, and shortly after I popped a James McMurtry casset tape
in I knew what it was. It was the corn. I said it aloud, "Honey it's the corn look the crop is just a mere shadow
"Yes. I know."
My little town is surrounded by fields of corn it colors all
my comings and goings from spring to the first snow. Something was wrong this
year. Normally in September the corn is 'as high as an elephant's eye' but now
it was shorter than me and it droops in an uninspired shade of yellow ocher looking like it should have been put on a suicide watch.
The farmers may only harvest half of what they normally
would, there will be no corn mazes for Halloween, or bundles of stately corn stalks anchored by pumpkins on my porch.
It was the edge of the Midwest drought
that hit us. It was not completely devastating but seriously harmful that made
the crop, the environment and my heart just plain miserable.
Soon what did grow will all be harvested and only the stalk stumps will remain and I
will lose this feeling.
But now that I know why I am having this small sorrow I can
offer it up.
I attended the Rochester (NY) Chesterton Conference September 29th. It's the ninth such conference hosted by the local Chesterton group, and it was one of the best attended ones I've been to. The picture below was taken as people were coming in after a break. Many of these empty seats were actually full.
The theme of the days was "History Matters," and we were treated to a number of fine presentations - all delivered with typical Chestertonian levity and wisdom.
Lou Horvath of the Rochester Chesterton Society served as emcee.
The day began with Christopher Check of Catholic Answers giving us a witty history of the Battle of Lepanto, and then dramatically recited Chesterton's Lepanto - from memory! He deserved the round of applause he received.
David Higbee of Rochester's St. Irenaeus Center then explored the implications of the appearance of Mary at Fatima. Fatima was a wake up call, he said, and suggested that maybe we still need to wake up. The path to heaven is a narrow one, he noted: "I pray more of us will wake up and pursue that narrow way."
After lunch, writer and editor Joseph Pearce was welcomed warmly, and not with the customary pretend abuse, which took him off guard. (The "abuse" is a running joke, which he always takes in good humor.) Once he recovered, he talked about the history of true England - Catholic England - dating back to Roman days.
And then there was Dale Ahlquist, who allegedly has something to do with the American G. K Chesterton Society - President or some such thing. Beside talking about the fish that got away, oh wait, different talk. Actually, Ahlquist talked about Arthur, The Most Famous King Not in History. Ahlquist pointed out how important Arthur has been celebrated throughout English history up until the modern era, and briefly analyzed the significance of Excalibur, the Round Table, and the Holy Grail. He brought Chesterton in, of course. He also humorously referred to the Dark Ages as the "unlettered interlude in history" (a couple of times, savoring the words).
But getting serious, he warned that the Dark Ages are returning. We are witnessing the return of an age of barbarians. But he also reminded us that the Church is the thing that brought us out of those first Dark Ages - and the Church remains.
Indeed, amid all the humor and the wit tossed about by the speakers and during conversations between talks and at lunch, there was a subcurrent of concern about the direction our nation and society are taking. A Dark Ages and a return of barbarians? Maybe.
Overall, a great conference. On a lighter not, after all my years of attending the conferences and entering the raffles, I finally won something: A wonderful Chesterton tee-shirt! And, of course, I bought some books. Plenty of fine reading awaits
And maybe some extra praying as the barbarians draw nearer.
This morning while showering a thought occurred to me.
Thoughts often occur to me while showering. I usually grow frustrated because I can't immediately write them down, and always feel that by the time I get to pen and paper I've lost that perfect wording that had come to me as water poured down upon my head. And, of course, shower-inspired ideas are open to being described as all wet.
Be that as it may, today something occurred to me about Hilaire Belloc.
Belloc is, of course, linked with G. K. Chesterton. I am a great fan of GKC. I own dozens of his books and collections of his newspaper essays. I read him regularly, often in sips, getting interrupted and having to mark my spot in whatever book or essay I'm reading. But I always come back, and eventually finish whatever I'm reading, enjoying the experience.
Not so with Belloc. I have tried to read him, but I can't seem to warm up to him, nor have I been able to finish many of his essays and books (except his poetry). As with Chesterton, I am often pulled away while sipping Belloc's prose. But unlike Chesterton, I often do not return to finish, or even feel a desire to do so.
I've wondered about that. Is there something amiss in me. (Okay, that's a given.) People I respect swear by Belloc. Why do I feel I'm more likely to swear at Belloc?
But as the water washed away the shampoo in my eyes this morning, that thought I alluded to earlier struck me.
Maybe I have a hard time warming up to Belloc because he reminds too much of me.
Belloc earned the nickname "Old Thunder" because of his combative style. Chesterton could argue, then make friends with his foes. I can imagine him heading off to the pub after a debate and tossing back a few with whomever he had recently been arguing. Belloc seemed more likely to argue and turn friends into foes. If he showed up in a pub where his foe was drinking, I could imagine Belloc getting a drink tossed in his face.
When if comes to arguing, I am like Belloc. I fight well, fiercely, unrelentingly. I'm like a dog that clamps my jaws on my opponent's argument and refuses to let go until my opponent gives up, flees, or dies. Along the way I antagonize, I enrage, I create bad blood with whomever I'm battling.
As a result, I've alienated friends. I've kept other people from becoming friends. I've ended up wearing out my welcome in many places.
And I get sworn at. (So far no drinks tossed in my face, though.)
I am not happy about this.
So when I read Belloc, maybe I see too much that reminds me of things I don't like about myself.
The first rule of economics is scarcity. The first rule of politics is to ignore the first rule of economics.
Which is basically why Chesterton and Belloc are told to shut up. We need to keep talking anyway. Just Saying
Bishop Nicholas Steno once again shows that religion hates science....no wait reverse that.
“Nicolas Steno was a Danish Renaissance man who believed in proving to himself long held beliefs and disgrading things shown to be false. This strong drive for the truth led him to become the founder of geology and laid the ground work for the development of archaeology and paleontology. His first major test was analyzing his Lutheran beliefs. When Steno reasoned that Catholicism was more grounded in traditional Christianity than Lutheranism Steno converted. He would study and follow his new faith all the way to becoming a bishop.
But geographers and other earth scientists better know Steno for his geological work. Later on Steno discovered rock strata were actually layers of rock which formed on top of each other over time. He stated the deeper one digs into the earth the older the material. Before Steno this was too much a leap for scientists to realize due to the general scientific disinterest in anything below the Earth's surface unless it was for alchemy. His discovery also ended the belief in an unchanging creationist Earth. Since then all science has agreed the Earth is dynamic.
Steno's anatomical studies focused at first on the muscular system and the nature of muscle contraction -for example, he used geometry to show that a contracting muscle changes its shape but not its volume.
However, in October 1666, two fishermen caught a huge shark near the town of Livorno, and Duke Ferdinand ordered its head to be sent to Steno. Steno dissected it and published his findings in 1667.
The figure above shows the figure published by Steno of the shark's head and teeth. While examining the teeth of the shark, Steno was struck by their resemblance to certain stony objects, called glossopetrae or "tongue stones," that were found in certain rocks. Ancient authorities, such as the Roman author Pliny the Elder, had suggested that these stones fell from the sky or from the moon. Others were of the opinion, also going back to ancient times, that fossils naturally grew in the rocks. Steno's contemporary Athanasius Kircher, for example, attributed fossils to a "lapidifying virtue diffused through the whole body of the geocosm." Steno, however, argued that glossopetrae looked like shark teeth because they were shark teeth, that had come from the mouths of once-living sharks, and come to be buried in mud or sand that was now dry land. There were differences in composition between glossopetrae
and living sharks' teeth, but Steno used the "corpuscular theory of matter", a forerunner of atomic theory,
to argue that fossils could be altered in chemical composition without changing their form.”
Oh yea, he also sold his bishop's cross and ring to help the poor.
Why yes I did go to Gilbert's house- you may envy me
now. Ok maybe not. Gilbert's house is privately owned so there was no walking
around the grounds. London has a Chesterton society that schedule several trips (they call them pilgrimages) to his house and grave sight however they were doing these the weekend before
and the weekend after I was there. So I had to find these sites on my own which
was no easy task. I had to take two subways to the end of the line and then
grab a bus. I then missed my stop by two towns. The driver was very kind and
gave me a transfer ticket back to Beaconsfield.
I can understand how Gilbert would get lost coming and going.
Once there I wondered around trying to get
directions to Gilbert's and Frances' house, I was ill prepared. I thought everyone would know but noooo. The first six people I asked had no
idea who I was talking about. I then went into the parish hall of St Mary's Church
and still all I got was, "Who?". I finally ran into a lady mopping the floor who knew. It was a short walk away.
As I took the corner of Grove Road I saw a sign,
"Chesterton Gardens", it was a dentist office. The next building was
his house. I did not stay there long because walking up and down the side walk
staring at this house even made me feel creepy.
I did have a beer at The Royal Standard Pub which I am
sure was a place where Gilbert graced more than once. I wish I had more time to wonder around
the town but the buses do not run late.
Interesting that, aside from the circle plaque
on GKC's house there is nothing in this town that says Chesterton was ever there.
Even several of the web sites dedicated to Beconsfield don't mention him yet there
is a larger than life statue of Sherlock Holms on Baker Street which draws more photo taking visitors than the Globe. Like the Rocky statue in Philly
One source of pride came from reading the London
Chesterton Societies page where I came across this:
Chesterton Society This must be the
world’s most successful Chesterton organization, and is to no small extent
responsible for the fact that Chesterton is taken very much more seriously in
the U.S. than in the land of his birth. In its present form the society is the
creation of Dale Ahlquist, whose larger than life personality is reflected by
this extrovert all-singing all-dancing website.
“Catholic values are not Chicago values.” – Chicago
Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Okay, that’s not what he really said. But it is in
effect what he said.
The actual quote is, “Chick-fil-A values are not
What prompted the remark were comments by the
president of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, in an interview in which he said, in
response to question, that he supports traditional marriage. He has made it
clear in separate statements that he opposes homosexual marriage.
Immediately the hyperbolic knee-jerkers accused him
of being homophobic, hating homosexuals, etc. Never mind that he was talking
about just marriage. He did not condemn homosexuals. He did not call them
monsters, or heterophobic, or haters. He did not call for them to be locked up,
or executed, or driven out of town. He did not call for them to be denied the
right to buy a home, or a car, or fast food. And his company does not refuse to
serve homosexual customers. Indeed, it may have some homosexual employees.
But he dared to disagree with them on this
And that led to Emanuel and others to stick their
political feet into the furor, and to threaten to block the opening of Chick-fil-A
restaurants in Chicago and Boston.
Now, Mr. Cathy’s stand on marriage also happens to
be the Catholic Church’s stand. In saying that Cathy’s values are not Chicago
values, Emanuel is in effect saying that the Church’s values are not Chicago
Given the values for which Chicago has a reputation,
I’d be more worried if the Church did begin to share Chicago values.
In the most recent Gilbert Magazine, Dale Ahlquist, he of seemingly infinite Chestertonian knowledge, wrote an editorial entitled, "Why I won't vote for Mitt Romney."
I was intrigued.
I can think of many reasons not to vote for Romney, and I was curious to see if his reasons jibed with ones that had occurred to me.
He threw a curve ball - sort of.
Ahlquist talked about his experience as a lobbyist in 1996 and witnessing the Republican machine in operation determining the 2000 nominee. He saw the same process in operation this time around.
So he views Romney as a product of the party machine, and not the real choice of the voters.
Okay, I can see that.
He also alluded to some of the reasons why I will not vote for Romney. The Republican Party tends to pay lip service to social values such as the pro-life position on abortion, but once it suckers in the social conservatives it fails to deliver. Even worse for folks in my neck of the woods (New York) many of our local Republican Party elected officials and candidates would be Democrats in most other states. Heck, I'm currently represented by a Catholic Republican Congressman who supports abortion!
The Republican Party is really about money, he contends, and I agree. Big Business, as he puts it. Of course, the alternative is Big Government (that other major party).
And, to be honest, given Romney's track record, I still don't know how sincere he is on the issues that are important to me - like the Right to Life.
Where I might stray from Ahlquist's position is that Romney is still slightly better that Obama on some significant issues, and if I had to chose, and if I lived in a state where my vote might actually count, I would reluctantly vote for him. Romney is more likely to change some policies, and to chose judges who might be more reasonable. I think. I hope. Of course, because of the Electoral College, my vote in New York doesn't matter. This state will give its Electoral votes to Obama no matter what happens in the next few months - unless they indict him, and even then he still might carry the state. So I don't have to vote for either of the machine-chosen major party candidates. I hear Santa Claus is running. Hmm..... But if I lived in a state like Ohio, I'd consider voting for Romney - sorry Dale. I don't want to see four more years of anti-life, anti-faith policies. Ahlquist says he will vote for neither Obama nor Romney, concluding: "I will not play this game anymore." I understand where he's coming from.
I'm just not there yet.
Any way I am headed off to London this weekend to visit my son and his family and want to take in some Chesterton sites. Any recommendations? I will also be doing some 'stand-up' when I am there in which i have found ways to use Chesterton quotes as punch lines for political humor - Beer and Bacon Party!
If there is a WAR ON WOMEN there is a truth that there will be some women that will be seen as “traitors” like Anne-Marie Slaughter who says there is a difference between Feminism and Femininity. It does not matter that she is telling the truth that women are not the same as men and that they have a unique roll to fulfill in the world.
“What she is basically saying is what the Church has been saying for years: yes women deserve to be in the house and the senate so to speak but they also should not have to deny who they are as women namely their unique design as life bearers in order to get ahead. The articles are another example of how truth is truth and eventually, no matter how hard we try to suppress it, it does come to the surface."
Whether she is aware of it or not she continually restates the position the church has taken for oh um centuries. here is just one example LETTER OF POPE JOHN PAUL II to Woman.
Sarcasm aside I don't think this is a War on Women but there is a war its a Female Civil War.
I know this is the kind of Quote that gets Chesterton in trouble yet it explains the core of the War. “It [feminism] is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands.”
"Well, to get this honest but unpleasant business over, the objection to the Suffragettes is not that they are Militant Suffragettes. On the contrary, it is that they are not militant enough. A revolution is a military thing; it has all the military virtues; one of which is that it comes to an end. Two parties fight with deadly weapons, but under certain rules of arbitrary honor; the party that wins becomes the government and proceeds to govern. The aim of civil war, like the aim of all war, is peace. Now the Suffragettes cannot raise civil war in this soldierly and decisive sense; first, because they are women; and, secondly, because they are very few women. But they can raise something else; which is altogether another pair of shoes. They do not create revolution; what they do create is anarchy; and the difference between these is not a question of violence, but a question of fruitfulness and finality. Revolution of its nature produces government; anarchy only produces more anarchy." read it here
It still amazes me that there is any honest discussion that anyone can 'have it all'. It is the kind of pursuit that will make you mad precisely because it is totally unattainable this side of the great divide.
"The most treacherous beard in history was that of Austrian Hans Steininger. It was more than two metres long and he kept it rolled and stowed in a leather pouch, but in 1567 he tripped over it while running from a fire, and perished.
One of the CIA's more insane attempts to destabilise Cuba was to put toxic thallium salts in the shoes of Fidel Castro to make his beard fall out."
When asked about the HHS mandate that free contraception would lead to free abortion everyone poo-pood the idea “No one is talking about making that step.” I heard a talking head say.
I snickered then knowing abortion is sometimes called after sex contraception. Also when the Government offers something for “free” they expect you to take advantage of that service - by force if necessary. They have to protect their phony baloney jobs - It is for the public good after all and pregnancy IS the monster of our time so grab your torches!!
"In reality there is not that big of a leap between government deciding to subsidize a behavior and government deciding to enforce that behavior by law". In a previous life this was a common saying: “The first one is free the next one will cost you.” (90% percent of those came back with cash).
I've looked all around
somethings been lost
and can't be found.
Dear St Anthony i pray
bring it back with out delay.
When I was coaching and one of my players was off their game, we said that prayer together. It worked.
or what grandma taught her daughters
find me a man
as fast as you can.
My Grand mother had a very personal relationship with the saints. There were several statues of her favorites around her house. She would talk to them and offer up novenas through them for certain things to happen. If after such a novena, to a particular saint, the thing she wanted did not happen she would show her disappointment in them by turning that saints statue upside down.
When we would visit her we could tell what kind of mood she would be in by how many statues were upside down.
Saint Anthony got a real work out in my Grandma's life time yet his statue was rarely upside down.
Yes, I am a big fan of
Matisse and have always loved the Chapelle du Rosaire. If I believed in a
bucket list visiting that chapel would be high on that list.
As an artist, that work
is a true inspiration to me being that Matisse began that work when he was 77
(it is his master piece) showing that is never too late and great work does not
always happen in the fire of youth.
I knew of Sister Jacques-Marie as an art
history footnote until seeing this film. Simply put without her this Chapel
would never have happened and her continued input was not a small one.
Of course she plays
down her role in true humility. She is a beautiful soul.
I loved her quote
"I was sickly and I decided that if I am only going to live half a life I
will live it to the fullest." For her living it to the fullest was to
become a nun.
I left the film with a
new appreciation of how God works in the lives of people to bring about the new
kingdom and to build up the body of Christ. I think that through Sister
Jacques-Marie Matisse died a good death. Sister also shows us what humility looks like.
In her obituary it
ends with "When Sister Jacques Marie's role in the creation of one of the
most important works of art in the 20th century was revealed by Barbara Freed
in this documentary, A Model for Matisse: The Story of the Vence Chapel (2003),
there were mischievous suggestions in the press that her relations with the
artist had been more than merely platonic. "I never really noticed whether
he was in love with me," she told an interviewer in 1992. "I was a
little like his granddaughter or his muse, but he was always a perfect gentleman.""
Why I include that
note is that a movie is now in the works, staring Al Pacino about Matisse and his
relationship with Monique Bourgeois (Sister Jacques-Marie). Maybe it's me but
Hollywood does not do facts well and not since The Bells of Saint Mary's they
certainly don't do agape love. I think they will go with the rumor and not the
facts which will certainly be a shame.
By now you have all seen The Avengers so I won't enter
another over the top review. However I will mention that one of things I liked
about the mechanics of this film was that there were no opening credits. I hate
that part of any film more than i hate overtures. Both are a waste of time and
are void of any artistic merit.
I was hoping that was going to become a trend and lo and
behold I went to see For Greater Glory and....no opening credits.
Anyway go see For Greater Glory not just cause of the no
opening credit thing but it really lives up to all the hype. Actually most
movies claiming to be a "Christian" movie have been either lame or
only slightly better than home movie quality. This film has the production
quality we have grown used to.
Yes, the pace of this film is not the usual for a war movie, however it is perfectly suited the story. What I have found interesting is that those critics that have panned this
film all have an anti-Christian bent using phrases like "martyr
melodrama" or "Scene after scene is either a referendum on devotion
or a display of brutality ". This film used faaaaar less blood than any
modern war movie and how do you show a war without brutality? If you remember the reviews of the Passion the
most often used phrase against that film was "Little more than blood
porn." Yet films like Saw are called edgy and Sam Peckinpah's The Wild
Bunch was called "...a bloody, high-body-count eulogy to the mythologized
Old West. Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western." And Kill Bill was called fearless film making.
Maybe its me but as I read the quotes from GKC, Zac mentions on the Prussians, I could not help but think of our current resident and his plans for Utopia through Tyranny...
“In other words, the Prussian Empire, with all its perfections and efficiencies, has one notable defect—that it is a dead thing. It does not draw its life from any primary human religion or poetry; it does not grow again from within. And being a dead thing, it suffers also from having no nerves to give warning or reaction; it reads no danger signals; it has no premonitions; about its own spiritual doom its sentinels are deaf and all its spies are blind.”
"In Cameroon, Africa, books are scarce--especially the good ones. Which means few Catholics have access to quality spiritual reading. Fr. Linus, who is studying at one of the Cameroon seminaries, explains:
"One of the key problems the Church in Cameroon is facing, as in many parts of Africa, is that Christians do not read. And if they do, it's very thin. Most know very little about the Catholic faith and the situation is worst among the young people."
But what if we could change that, patricularly in the seminaries? What if we could provide good Catholic books to every future-priest in the country?
Nice blurb about GK on the writers almanac where i found out his Father Brown mysteries later inspired Alfred Hitchcock.
Also, as I was on a recipe hunt, I came across a blog dedicated to cheese. The section dedicated to cheese poetry has the mast head : "The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese". They do not give credit to GKC and when they post...
SONNET TO A STILTON CHEESE
Stilton, thou shouldst be living at this hour And so thou art. Nor losest grace thereby; England has need of thee, and so have I— She is a Fen. Far as the eye can scour, League after grassy league from Lincoln tower To Stilton in the fields, she is a Fen. Yet this high cheese, by choice of fenland men, Like a tall green volcano rose in power.
Plain living and long drinking are no more, And pure religion reading 'Household Words', And sturdy manhood sitting still all day Shrink, like this cheese that crumbles to its core; While my digestion, like the House of Lords, The heaviest burdens on herself doth lay. ..... they list his name as W. K. Chesterton. I left a post asking for a correction pretending any one will listen to me.
If we are to make any headway in this culture war (during our life time) it is important to understand "the power of cool" as Victor Davis Hanson lays it down). This explains why some people can get away with certain misdeeds (sin) and others who commit the same deeds can not. Also how some are dismissed out of hand, shouted down, or bumper stickered blind because their views are not the cool MSM ones.
Now one would think the Pope is cool (I do) but the MSM thinks he's "cute" or 'adorable' but ultimately out of touch with the real world.
In a recent Facebook debate on Planned Parenthood one of my comments was responded to with a derisive "Next we will be talking about shooting moose from a helicopter". The 'cool kids' couldn't click Like fast enough.
One of the up sides of the current resident’s hostile distain
of the Catholic church is that the bishops have grown a pair.
They are seeing
the folly of 'go along to get along'. They have remembered that you cannot compromise
with the devil. So finally they are
saying "no" to those Catholics who think it is ok to slice and dice
babies from speaking at Catholic Schools. One such case is that Rep Bob Hagan has been uninvited to speak because of his pro child murder stance. The thing is
that Hagan just can't understand it he said, “I have fought for social justice
my entire life and today, I am one disappointed Catholic. After being invited
to give the commencement speech at Mercy Nursing School here in Youngstown, I
got a call telling me that the Bishop has overruled their invite and they have
rescinded the invitation because of some of the political positions I have
taken. I am saddened that the work that I have done to feed the poor, clothe
the naked, help cure the sick, and to bring an end to the death penalty has
fallen on deaf ears.”
So for him he believes that these goods outweigh the evil of
his support of the wholesale slaughter of children which he calls a political position.
He is not alone.
Interesting that we would vote for someone who does these
goods but actively maintains the okedness of the slicing and dicing of babies for the health of the mother but we would
never vote for someone who said it would be ok to slap your wife occasionally for the health of the marriage.
I pray for Rep Hagan that he may gain sight and I continue
to pray for the bishops that they stay strong.
"In almost every line that has been written, and in every sentence that has been spoken, there stands boldly out above every other expression a picture of sublime heroism that will be copied into the pages of history. And well it may, for it is deserving of that honor.
But when it is, mention should be made of one whom pens and tongues have almost forgotten in their accounts of this awful sea tragedy. Among those who safely reached the land again no one seems to have been aware of his presence on the ship, but we may hope that many who meet him in a blissful eternity will praise God that Father Thomas Byles was there to administer absolution unto them."