{    Cnytr   }

{Sunday, February 29, 2004  }

Just wrote a paper for Lit Trad. I'm in love with the subject, so I thought I would share...

In Charles Williams’ essay on “The Re-Assertion of Beatrice” from his larger work The Figure of Beatrice, he writes, occasionally veiled in obscure phrasing and ideas, about the relevance of the last three cantos of the Purgatorio and of the figure of Beatrice herself. Indeed, she need not be limited to Dante’s beloved as the literal level of his writings would have us think, nor other traditional allegorical interpretations of her such as Grace, Mary, Theology, Wisdom, etc. Williams several times asserts that she is an image of one’s beloved; this forms the basis of his interpretation of this passage in Dante.

Williams begins by drawing some of the more traditional interpretations into his own. First, he points to Vergil’s stupor at the beginning of the “slow exhibition of [Beatrice’s] greatness”. Then, reminding his reader of Vergil as Poetry – or here, more specifically, Imagination – he asserts that “the opening of the Paradises [at the vision of one’s beloved, assumed] is above our common imagination.” Beatrice reflects the Beatific Vision, which cannot, in itself, be completely comprehended by any mortal.

Making the strangeness of the pageant of Beatrice relevant to us, Williams says that love is sometimes as baffling and occasionally strange. If we keep ourselves faithful – not only to our beloved, but all that he or she represents, such as Wisdom and Grace – there may be a moment in which “a new highness appears in the beloved”: a new example in him or her for us to follow, a new understanding of Truth and Grace. It can be any aspect of the beloved which will reveal it to us; says Williams: “a forehead, a gesture, a word will emerge suddenly out of custom and ‘the light of the common day’.” But to understand this, the lover must be in the state of grace and ready for this kind of contemplation. And so the beloved encourages the lover, since the beloved is an image and a bearer of grace.

In his awe and wonder at the proceedings before him, Dante turns to Vergil. “To delay with a one’s masculine friend is not so strange,” as Williams charmingly reminds us. Yet Vergil and all that he stands for – i.e. our human faculties and “everything which might support [our] humanity” – is insufficient and invisible in the comprehension of heavenly things, which, in their exaltedness, come as such a shock to our humanity.

Next, Williams addresses Beatrice’s rebuke of Dante, which might present a problem in the minds of those reading this as an allegory of beloved to lover. The rebuke can be read in two ways: one too poetic, one too human; if Beatrice is read as either, she no longer has any strict relevance to us. In XXX.73-75, Beatrice seems almost far too lofty; certainly at this point is the narrative, we have seen very little of her, and do not yet know whether she is here still an image of the beloved, or even of the human Beatrice herself, and not an untouchable and unapproachable being. On the other hand, it may conversely seem that “the divine creature is suffering from a re-action; she had saved Dante and now she rounds on him”, as Williams says. This is, of course, not entirely true. Williams asserts that both views are, on their own, false; yet Beatrice is nevertheless understood in both, and neither of them should be wholly rejected. Salvation is Beatrice’s concern, and true Love longs for the salvation of the beloved. Love will not excuse the faults that stand in the way of that salvation. “From the point of sanctity at which Beatrice [the beloved] is standing, any sin … would be spoken of as she speaks.”

From that, it again may seem that Beatrice is too divinely portrayed to be human. But Williams points out that, as great a poet as Dante is, this work cannot be all-encompassing, and the issue of Beatrice’s own salvation is not of immediate concern: the poem treats Beatrice’s effect on Dante, not vice-versa. “Dante’s spiritual movement is the pattern of hers; reverse the names and it holds.” Also, Dante is communicating all this poetically, and therefore not wholly literally. Says Williams, “I doubt whether Dante was as ignorant of the way a real woman feels as most of the spiritualizers will have him.”

Though he has spoken thus about “spiritualizers”, Williams continues, stating that such is the virtue of the beloved that the four natural virtues (the four dancing girls) are her handmaids, and the three theological virtues (the three purple girls) will help the lover to see more clearly the image of Christ in his beloved. Dante makes this explicit when he writes about the image of the two-natured Griffin – obviously an image of Christ – mirrored in her eyes. Then the theological virtues cause the beloved to show herself in glory to the contrite and sanctified lover, unveiled by faith; a reflection of heaven. In this vision, says Williams, “the great doctrines are exposed”: wisdom is found in and through her, and the lover ascends with her to Paradise.

In this essay, Williams sets forth an astoundingly beautiful “Romantic Theology”, and makes Dante poignantly relevant. Indeed, the reader often wonders how something so beautiful as what Dante writes could not be. The essay comes from a work titled The Figure of Beatrice, so it should not surprise the reader that this essay focuses mostly on Beatrice and her relation to Dante, sometimes to the detriment of other themes or images in the last three cantos of the Purgatorio. However, Williams captures and analyzes almost everything relating to Beatrice, hardly leaving anything out. Occasionally, Williams becomes so enraptured with the beauty of the things he sees in Dante that he forgets to explain loaded phrases and sometimes baffling paragraphs, such as one dedicated to the actual “re-assertion” of Beatrice.

In amusing contrast to Dante’s tight structure, Williams’ essay flows on almost amorphously, sometimes with very few threads of relevance between paragraphs; sidetracks often help to obscure the point of his essay. And while he references Dante’s Italian continuously, it ceases to aid or be of any use to the reader at the frequency with which he employs it. These things often cause the reader to have to wade before he can discern Williams’ actual focus.

If one has the energy and patience to pick through Williams’ obscurities, structurelessness, and numerous Italian references, one finds the greatest of rewards in his beautiful and novel yet not unsurprising interpretation of these last few cantos of the Purgatorio.
posted by Lauren, 11:25 PM | link

{Friday, February 27, 2004  }

Random question. At the end of Hamlet's "to be or not to be" soliloquy of act 3 scene 1, he ends when he senses Ophelia coming. He says,

"Soft you now, the fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered."

That's a cool line.

What does it mean?
posted by Lauren, 2:11 PM | link


Having just gotten off the phone with my Latin teacher Dr. Frat, I have the SHOCKED feelling that he likes me. And with Dr. Frat, this is shocking indeed. I cannot read him at all, and he can be rather curt in class -- to everybody. He's eccentric and hysterical and he cracks me up and I swear he looks like Edgar Allen Poe, but I think the man is brilliant. I do so love the Medieval Latin class this semester, even if it is, as Dr. Frat says, the "see Spot run" of Latin. I got the impression that I made enough of an idiot of myself last semester to earn the lofty contempt of Dr. F, but perhaps I was wrong.

He said, "I think you should stay at UD.... I really think you should stay at UD. I'll write you a long response."

Oh, but there is one thing I hadn't considered -- perhaps it's the school he's concerned about: Catholic U isn't considered one of the most orthodox Catholic schools in America. Then again, neither is UD, but it's certainly probably much more orthodox than Catholic U -- or parts of it, at least. Ostensibly, one of my friends has a heretical theology teacher this semester, and this isn't the first I've heard of that happening. Also, Campus Ministry is terrible. Ash Wednesday mass was almost deplorable. A very patient, kind, loving, and "tolerant" Catholic friend of mine, Eric Lewis, concluded that it was probably the worst mass he'd ever been to. And for Ash Wednesday, that's pretty darn sad.

Yes, that must be it, it's the orthodoxy of the school about which he's concerned.
posted by Lauren, 1:38 PM | link

Listening to the song as I do Greek reminds me of how much I like it. A song that reuinted the Beatles, after the death of John Lennon. This song was one of the tapes John was carrying when he was shot on Dec 8th 1980, "Real Love":

Real Love Lyrics

All my little plans and schemes
Lost like some forgotten dream
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Just like little girls and boys
Playing with their little toys
Seems like all they really were doing
Was waiting for you

Don't need to be alone
No need to be alone

It's real love
It's real, yes it's real love
It's real

From this moment on I know
Exactly where my life will go
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for love

Don't need to be afraid
No need to be afraid

It's real love
It's real, yes it's real love
It's real

Thought I'd been in love before,
But in my heart I wanted more
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Don't need to be alone
No need to be alone

It's real love
Yes it's real, yes it's real love
It's real, yes it's real love...

One reason I like it is because it's a real love song, and it expresses real love. Just think, it could be about an encounter with Christ. "Thought I'd been in love before, but in my heart I wanted more. Seems like all I really was doing was waiting for you." Does that not echo St. Augustine's "Too late have I loved thee, O beauty so ancient and so new... And behold! Thou wert within and I without, and it was without that I sought thee. Thou wert with me, and I was not with thee. Those creatures held me far from thee which, were they not in thee, were not all. Thou didst call, thou didst cry, thou didst break in upon my deafness; thou didst gleam forth, thou didst shine out; thou didst banish my blindness; thou didst send forth thy fragrance, and I drew breath and yearned for thee; I tasted and still hunger and thirst; thou didst touch me, and I was on flame to find thy peace" and "our hearts are restless until they repose in thee."

I find this much more plausible than one song I tried earlier. But still, perhaps there is not no truth in it ... but I will put it here so that you can laugh at me. "The Word" from Rubber Soul:

Say the Word and you'll be free
Say the Word and be like me
Say the Word I'm thinking of
Have you heard? The Word is Love
It's so fine, it's sunshine,
It's the word -- Love

In the beginning, I misunderstood
But now I've got it: the Word is good!

Spread the Word and you'll be free
Spread the Word and be like me
Spread the Word I'm thinking of
Have you heard? The Word is Love
It's so fine, it's sunshine,
It's the word -- Love

Everywhere I go, I hear it said
In the good and the bad books that I have read

Say the Word and you'll be free
Say the Word and be like me
Say the Word I'm thinking of
Have you heard? The Word is Love
It's so fine, it's sunshine,
It's the word -- Love

Now that I know what I feel must be right,
I'm here to show everybody the light

Give the Word a chance to say
That the Word is the the Way
It's the Word I'm thinking of
And the only Word is Love
It's so fine, it's sunshine,
It's the word -- Love

Say the Word -- Love
Say the Word -- Love
Say the Word -- Love
Say the Word -- Love

Now look at that and think "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word God" from John 1:1 and "God is love" (1 Jn 4:8) and "the Truth shall set you free" (John 8:32), and one cannot deny that God, the Word, is Truth. And if the Truth will set you free, God, the Word, Love, will set you Free. And Mt 4:16 about "those who dwell in darkness have seen a great light", and about John the Baptist to testify to the light (also in John 1)... tell me you don't this this is an utterly Christian song!

In fact, I remember I emailed that to my magister sapientissime, John Esposito, and he wrote back

"Lauren --

That is cool; I hadn't thought of it. I should have [G] we may probably ignore the alternate & cynical drug-sale interpretations ("the Word"?).

Plotinus and the Neo-Platonists had already/independently developed a proto-Christian concept of the Logos, attractively and eerily similar to John's; for which reason, among others, Abelard considered Plato practically a Christian -- for which identification (along with his overstrict analogy drawn between the Platonic Trinity and the Christian Trinity) Bernard and the Council of Soissons condemned his works. Actually his works were never officially pronounced heretical -- and Pope Innocent III (I think) officially declared them orthodox, I believe fairly soon before Abelard's death. But I have mentioned this already; I am only rambling.

Indeed, we may all be quite sure that Lennon&McCartney, those remarkably well-educated philosophers, were thinking of Plotinus [G]

But seriously -- it doesn't entirely matter. Taking 'the Word', in this song, as the Second Person.."Say the Word and you'll be free"..Perhaps an echo of the notion (promulgated by Augustine and Aquinas, and probably many others) that the act of Creation was itself a kind of act of Understanding (cf. the Thomistic theory of the Trinity)? No, probably not; something more like, "Proclaim the Word" evangelically -- or that is too literal. But it was the Father Who, as it were, 'said' the Word (perhaps by loving Him), which act brought all things into existence...

That is too deep; that is Trinitarian theology, an attempt. Poetically, then: possibly: "Say the Word and be like me" ~= "sub-create and, insofar, you shall resemble me, the sub-creator, the artist who has written this song".

It does not much matter that Lennon meant nothing of the sort. [G]

-- John"

And, FYI, It really doesn't matter that that wasn't Lennon's intent ... so there.
posted by Lauren, 1:29 PM | link | 0 comments

Disputations' reflection on Wednesday's fast are really darn good. Especially for someone I know who gets grouchy when he doesn't eat.

Also, one of the comments was pretty good:

"Our rector said in his sermon that fasting is about "emptying," and our emptyness provides a sort of vacuum which is filled by the presence of God... Makes me think how full of myself I am most of the time."

Very true.

I feel bad ... all I did at dinner on Wednesday was complain about how starvingly hungry I was. I need to learn to shut up. A vow of silence might be good for me.

I have recently been reading over my recent posts, and I've decided that stream-of-consciousness postings only make me sound like an idiot. In the future, I am working on a more refined method of expression when possible.
posted by Lauren, 9:47 AM | link | 0 comments

{Thursday, February 26, 2004  }

I've been talking with Aeb lately and the other night we were discussing the Catholic view of contraception. I brought up NFP as the acceptable way of spacing births, and Abe said that this was inconsistent, and like a Catholic way of birth control. I had been confronted with this before -- several times, in fact -- but keep forgetting how to respond. I sent an email off to Mrs. Laird, and she responded today. I got it between Politics and Psychology (hence its place in my narrative). I'm posting it here because it's just so good (and some of the stuff -- like personal stories -- she's had published and in much more detail, so I'm not afraid of putting it here):

Subject: Re: Your questions

Dear Lauren,

How nice to hear from you! I hardly have time to get to the computer when I am home, so I am responding from work. We are all fine - Mike did well in wrestling last weekend - came in 3rd at the state tournament and is off to Nationals today. We all saw "The Passion...." on Tues nite. AWESOME! and we all want to see it again - hard to absorb everything, but it is absolutely incredible.

Have been swamped at work - many many new clients keeping us busy.

As for your questions: I assume that your friend agrees that we are made in the image and likeness of God; to know how we should act, we turn to God...and God loves. Therefore, we are called to love - to give for the good of another. We should use things, but love people. As human persons, we express ourselves in and thru the body. That means that we should not alter in any way a part of ourselves that is fuctioning normally.

As married couples, we are called to complete self-donation in marriage - that is what love is - complete self-donation. Which means that when we engage in the marital embrace (intercourse), we must give ourselves completely. Each and every act of intercourse must be open to life. That is not to say that the intent each time must be to conceive; however, if one uses a condom, foam, diaphragm, withdrawal, etc., the act is not open to life and the couple are not performing a love act - e.g., they are holding back or interfering with the completion of what should be an act of love. In other words, they are using each other and not loving. In addition, this is very unsatisfying, especially for the woman.

Such actions are equivalent to saying, "I love you for better, but not for the imagined worse of parenthood," or "I love you, except for your fertility, so I must hold back or ask you to change that part of yourself..." In other words, it is using one's spouse rather than loving him/her.

The beauty of Natural Family Planning (NFP)/fertility awareness is that there are no barriers between the couple; no blame about contraceptive "failure" (a pregnancy). The couple learn the wife's fertility signs together and decide together when they can be open to a child and when they need to postpone a pregnancy. The periods of abstinence become periods of real romance and affection as the couple remains intimate - but in a non-genital way. It is much like building up for the wedding night all over again - refreshing and exciting. That's why the divorce rate among couple who use a natural means of birth regulation is less than 5%. In addition, it is over 99% effective in telling the couple when the wife is fertile and when she is not. The decision is theirs as to whether or not they feel a need to abstain in any given cycle (abstaining only on the fertile days - a few days a month).

The Holy Father believes that even if a couple initially uses NFP for selfish reasons, that will not last because they will be led toward virtue. They will begin to question why they are abstaining, and this together with the respect that is there just by not using devices and gadgets, will cause them to re-think their situation - often leading to more children by desire. This is what happened to us (otherwise, Jon would never have been born)! We fell into the contraceptive trap when first married, and it almost led to divorce. A friend told me about NFP, and I decided that I wouldn't use anything else. All hell broke loose in our marriage as a result and we fought for 3 months. Eventually, however, we did acknowledge that we loved oneanother and began to study and practice NFP. IT completely turned our relationship around and caused us to look at our first two children as "love with a name." After a few years of using it only to prevent pregnancy, we began to question ourselves and realized that we really desired more children. By the grace of God, we had Brandee, Jon and Mike. Actually wanted more than that, but I just didn't get pregnant every time I wanted to (imagine that, God was in charge after all).

Sorry, I got a bit carried away. Hope this helps your friend. The bottom line is that any barrier to the marital act hurts the marriage - it's a rejection of the other and a withholding of love.

Love ya,
Mrs. Laird


Isn't that beautiful? Especially the part about how the periods of abstinence are like building up for the wedding night all over again. That's awesome. What with that, and the references to her children ("without it Jon would never have been born" is enough for NFP to be the absolute gospel truth for me ... along with the fact that Mrs Laird said it) really drove that home, and I walked to psychology class in a state of amazement.

Also, adrenaline rush, Abe freaked me out this evening. We were talking about West Point. He's like "You've already done this and this and this and this and you're the daughter of an active-duty military LTC who was in active duty for more than 8 years? You've automatically got a nomination! All you need is a PT test AND YOU CAN GET IN THIS SUMMER." "I'm like AHHHHH, what????"

But ... I haven't sent my transcripts yet, nor have I gotten the packet thing from the Candidate Questionnaire, nor am I *ready* to take that PT test. But I have had the DODMERB. Abe's going to be a year ahead of me. Assuming I apply/get accepted/go (and that's a HUGE assumption, HUGE. I really don't think they would want me).

whew. Don't do that to me, Aeb.

So that was my evening. I'm exhausted.
posted by Lauren, 11:57 PM | link

Oh yeah, detail about today coming later.
posted by Lauren, 9:53 PM | link | 0 comments

Sitting in the midst of an 11'X11' white cinder-block room with florescent lighting; looks like a bomb exploded in here (midterms!), sitting on a side-turned guitar case, easting cafeteria food in a take-home box from two days ago, reading the paper draped over my unmade bed, hair a mess, wearing BDU pants (translate: really baggy camo cargo pants) and BDU t-shirt (translate: extremely fitted; brown).

Yeah.... I'm a college student.
posted by Lauren, 9:52 PM | link | 0 comments

{Wednesday, February 25, 2004  }

Hmmm... opord email from my SQL:

"We are reinacting the Battle of Gettysburg [via a "Risk"-like setup, I think]. MS I's and II's with select MS IV's are the Army of the Potomac (North). The MS III's and select MS IV's are are the Army of Northern Virginia (South)." Usuall uniform (BDUs), usual place...

But tell me, doesn't that seem a little weighted? Upperclassmen being the army of the South? Isn't the Army of the Potomac supposed to win the battle of Gettysburg?

"General Lee... I have no men!"

Gaaah, I want to watch that movie again. One of the RAs looks almost exactly like Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. In fact, when I can't immediately recall his name (brain-freeze), he's "Chamberlain." Sometimes he's Chamberlain even when I can recall his name.

Wish I had time to pick up "Killer Angels" again...

Ah yes, the best darn ground Buford had seen all day...

Gotta get that high ground, you know ...

Darn I really hope Alice is going to want to go to Gettysburg over break.
posted by Lauren, 4:02 PM | link | 0 comments

Memento homo quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

Remember, o man, that thou art dust, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Also, read the post of Disputations on Almsgiving, Fasting (television doesn't count!), and Prayer.

Go to Mass, wretched soul.
posted by Lauren, 12:18 PM | link | 0 comments

{Tuesday, February 24, 2004  }

I'm sorry, but I have this song REALLY lodged in my head right now ...

I was alone, I took a ride
I didn't know what I would find there
Another road where maybe I
Could see another kind of mind there

Oooh, then I suddenly see you
Ooooh, did I tell you I need you
Every single day of my life?

You didn't run, you didn't lie
You knew I wanted just to hold you
And had you gone, you knew in time
We'd meet again for I had told you

Oooh, you were meant to be near me
Oooh, and I want you to hear me
Say we'll be together every day

Got to get you into my life

What can I do? What can I be?
When I'm with you I want to stay there
If I am true I'll never leave
And if I do I know the way there

Ooh, then I suddenly see you
Ooh, did I tell you I need you
Every single way of my life?

Got to get you into my life!

Got to get you into my life

I was alone I took a ride
I didn't know what I would find there
Another road where maybe I could see
Another kind of mind there

And suddenly I see you
Did I tell you I need you ....

~Got to Get You Into my Life by Lennon/McCartney from the Beatles Revolver album

And just because it's the next song on Revolver....

Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream [ahhhh!!! doesn't that sound nive right now?]
It is not dying,
It is not dying...

"Tomorrow Never Knows" is a psyyyyycho-cool song

posted by Lauren, 4:56 PM | link | 0 comments

Yay! You all must have been praying for me because I think the politics exam went well -- but keep praying! Prayers can work retroactively.

Also, psychology class was cancelled. I hope it's not something to do with Dr. Novinsky's little boy -- he was sick last week. But...! Now I have Time. Time to sleep! Time to clean my room! Time to listen to "Got To Get You Into My Life"! Or ... Time to clean my room as I listen to "Got To Get You Into My Life" on endless repeat and THEN sleep.

but right now I'm blogging, and digging through our psychology site. For some reason, Dr. Novinski has Shakespeare.org linked ... oooh, wait, I know why. We were talking about the various exercises the troop does in letting the language shape the acting, etc. To get rid of Mike's preconcieved ideas of the phrase "to be or not to be" (and we discussed the phonetics of that phrase on a very experiential and subconscious level -- yes, both at once), we sat him down and someone would say a phrase with "to" (i.e. "I am coming to your house") and he would repeat the word "to" after it (of course for "be", I, in my Class As that day, piped up with "Be all that you can be"...). Etc.

So from their website, I have a perfect image that describes (not depicts) Beatrice from my favorite comedy, "Much Ado About Nothing":

Also, an amazing picture from "King Lear" that captures the last entrance of Lear onstage, with his "howl! howl! howl!" :

King Lear was the first Shakespeare play I ever saw performed. It was beautiful. I cried. I think I was 12 or 13 years old at the time.

Come, my friend, learn about classical conditioning and operant learning via Sniffy the virtual rat...
posted by Lauren, 12:54 PM | link | 0 comments

Say a prayer for me ... I definitely didn't get enough studying done for Politics (I'm sharing a book with someone and I didn't finish with it before the person(s) needed it). Also, I'm exhausted. After psych today I'm going to come back here and totally crash until Latin at 5. But I could really use those prayers -- even ones after the fact work!
posted by Lauren, 9:06 AM | link | 0 comments

Another excellent Disputations post....

Necessary words reconsidered

Christine comments below on the "Use words if necessary" aphorism:
I come from a Protestant background in which--in my own experience--too much emphasis was placed on preaching and not enough on living out the Gospel. That's why when I became a Catholic, I found the aphorism (which you find so irritating) so refreshing. The fact is, people in this country have heard the gospel to death--they know that Jesus died for them, and sadly, they do not care. There is such a thing as talking too much, i.e., preaching without discernment to anything that will move, when it is clear the recipient of your communication will not be moved by words but rather by witnessing your actions. In my own experience I have seen more repentance and conversion through love lived out consistently in my life rather than through preaching news these people have already heard a thousand times.
Christine's experience has been in what could be called a "Franciscan environment," where everyone knows the truth and no one acts on it. This is what St. Francis saw in 13th Century Italy.

But there's also a "Dominican environment," in which people don't even know the truth. This is what St. Dominic saw in 13th Century France.

I think most places where the Gospel has been preached have a mixed environment. Even those familiar with the Gospel don't know the fullness of truth contained, and most of us don't fully live the truth we do know.

The end for which a preacher acts is the salvation of those to whom he preaches. Working backwards from this end, the preacher should give them a reason to live the truth that leads to salvation, by his own example of living it; he should give them the truth that leads to salvation, by his preaching; and he should give them a reason to listen to him preach, by his own example as someone worth listening to.

(What makes someone worth listening to depends on what the people who would listen value. St. Dominic used to practice what I've heard called "holy hypocrisy," quenching his thirst and removing his shoes before entering an Albigensian town, since the Albigensians valued the asceticism of their own leaders. Nowadays, equanimity and joy are in short enough supply to be highly valued, while asceticism is so rare as to be suspect.)

Since the Church is a union of persons, in practice the person who is worth listening to doesn't have to be the one who does the [explicit] preaching. My enthusiasm might be enough to bring someone to listen to a preacher he's never met. The Body of Christ is corporate; most of us don't need to be evangelizer, godparent, confirmation sponsor, and spiritual advisor to everyone we meet.

Being personally inclined to sloth, I can't help but hear the "use words if necessary" saying as an excuse for not preaching, an aggrandizement of social manners, as though being polite amounts to preaching Christ and Him Crucified. Christine, though, has put her finger on its real value, as a check to those who would preach without concern for the other things necessary for that preaching to bear fruit.

I find that idea more congenially, if less Franciscanly, expressed in the words, "Shut up and love."
posted by Lauren, 2:45 AM | link | 0 comments

Ohhh, trapsin' along, trapsin' trapsin' along, when a email got stuck in my eye...

I just drew a picture of Homsar as a modestly hot girl on Meagan's board and she wrote "Flamethrowers that shoot chocolate hundred dollar bills!" on my board.


And, I gave her my end of our bet -- TECHNOCHOCOLATE. I.e. I gave her a bag of chocolate, and we're going to have a mini-glowstick rave in her room singing the Technochocolate song and then we're going to play Risk and watch "Cadet Kelley".

TECHNOCHOCOLATE dum-chh-dum-chh-dum-chh... (click "Technochocolate on the screen at the end" -- that's what we're going to do).
posted by Lauren, 2:29 AM | link | 0 comments

This absolutely turns my stomach...

The first time I ever heard the name "Paris H1lton" was briefly and accidentally when I was creating an anti-spam (read: anti-p0rn) filter for my mom's inbox. Her name appeared in the subject line of every other email. Reuters recently printed a story about her in such a video with the headline "Paris H1lton 'directed' sex video - court filing".

The story I shall place before you, edited, for the same reasons that I am borrowing l33t: I do not want my blog to show up in conjunction with these things on a google search. Also, I find it more in the interest of preserving the innocense (as much as possible) of my blog-readers. Also, the story lists the sites where the video is available -- this is unacceptable, and I think the people at Reuters should be shot.

... change of plans. I can't, in good conscience, even post the edited form of the article. Suffice to say, this video was, indeed, "directed" (disturbing thing #1), and that the main point of the conflict is who gets to make money off of it.

I have one thing to say to that. P0rn destroys women. And girls, if you've ever caught or suspected a gentleman friend of it, help him STOP. How it affects a relationship (but only click if you suspect, cos it ain't watered down. Nothing on that site is, though it is a very good site with Catholic origins).

Inviolata, integra, et casta es Maria, quae es effecta fulgida caeli porta. O Mater alma Christi carissima, suscipe pia laudum praeconia...
posted by Lauren, 1:26 AM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, February 23, 2004  }

Help! I've a fallen nature and I can't get up!

"We go straight to Jesus and through his network of tried and true saints as our subcontracted intercessors."

From The Curt Jester
posted by Lauren, 10:43 PM | link | 0 comments

If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.
posted by Lauren, 7:36 PM | link | 0 comments

An even older article, but still adds to the Aura.

(under the heading "Starting at Home")
posted by Lauren, 6:58 PM | link | 0 comments

'99 or '00 article about Mr. Laird. This is, of course, old. Cindy is not with the Daughters of St. Paul, Jon's in college (add to the resume "having been at West Point for two years), Michael's a ... junior, also applying to West Point, and Brandi is not a novice anymore ... er, I think ... she's very very close to making her full profession. I forget what that stage is called. When I met her, she was wearing a white veil. Now she has her black veil, and I think her full profession is in a year and a half.

Tell me that's not an impressive family. You can't.
posted by Lauren, 6:56 PM | link | 0 comments

So ... maybe I'm in a meditative mood because I don't want to study politics for my exam TOMORROW. But nonetheless. (I should subtitle this blog: "What I do when I don't want to do my homework." Thus, the reason I post 50 times a day.)

But heck.

I woke up this morning, feeling like I was hit by a MACK TRUCK. I'm guessing it was because I was so darn tired, because I didn't get any extra sleep this weekend. Rather, I got less sleep this weekend than I do on a normal day, and I never made up for it. I hit the snooze button a million times before I realized it was probably in the better interest of my mental and physical health to write Dr. W-W an email asking her pardon for not being in Lit Trad because I felt like roadkill. She wrote me a cute email back. It started, "Shame on that Mack truck. Apologies for tardiness to Paradise accepted; we won't make you wait thirty times your lifetime on the cornice of the Late." [L]

It started raining like a son of a gun shortly before Greek class. I mean cats and dogs. Fortunately, since I had been in my room all day I had access to an umbrella. As I was walking into Carpenter Hall, I saw Amy and Alicia, standing under the edge of the overhanging and looking a bit intimidated. I offered them my umbrella on the condition that one of them bring it back to me after class was over so that I could use it (they both live in my dorm). This they did, and they seemed grateful to have my umbrella. Thus, I trapsed into Greek class and proclaimed myself miraculous, being able to dodge between the raindrops, for behold, I did walk in the rain and did not become soaked. [G]

Then I was walking back, and the sky looked really cool. It had stopped raining, and the clouds were very textured, and looked rather like a loosely-woven cotten blanket. I remember when I was a kid and I would build those little forts out of blankets and chairs and whatnot -- it was something like that. It especially looked like a blanket, because there were small areas where the clouds looked like they were draped over something ... the sky had different depths, it almost seemed. It was cool. I was trying to think where I had seen that before, because it reminded me of something. It reminded me a lot of New York and Ireland. I don't know why New York, but I definitely remember seeing sky like that in Ireland. It rains there a lot, of course (though we were there on 10 exceptionally clear days), and I remember seeing that around Kilkenny. The most beautiful rain and grey sky I've ever seen has been in Ireland. Everywhere else it's kind of nasty and gross, but there, while I'm sure it would seem to become nasty and gross after weeks and weeks of it, it was gorgeous. The pewter-grey contrasted with the brilliant molten-green of the grass, which was green from this perpetual watering.

I only like Texas when it reminds me of somewhere else. I think I like Texas when it rains and the sky is textured-cloudy, not straight grey or straight white overcast.

Sigh. I miss Mr. and Mrs. Laird. I've occasionally called up Mrs. Laird and talked to her on the phone for a bit ... actually I haven't done that this semester yet ... I was hoping maybe I could just drop in and say hello, or hang out with them and Cindy and Mike for a bit ... I really miss the Lairds when I'm in TX. Although I see Jon occasionally, I don't get to see his family at all. And I really really miss them. More than my own family at times. [L] They're really sweet (and sometimes very crazy!), though Mr. and Mrs. Laird -- especially Mr. Laird -- used to scare me to death. It's just difficult to get used to his sense of humor sometimes (which is often very dry), and often difficult to perceive when he's being humorous at all. Slowly but surely I've gotten over my uptightness around him and will admit when I don't know what the heck he's talking about, or crack jokes at my own expense off of comments he makes, or generally just respond...

Jon and both Mr. and Mrs. Laird have declared Mrs. Laird are a lot alike, and well... we just get along! [G] They head the Family Life Office and Project Rachel, so they certainly never lack for interesting topics. One thing I will admit that used to irk me (and I know I've expressed this to Jon): Mr. Laird does a lot of stuff with the bishop. And the Arlington Dioscese is a Very Good Dioscese, comparatively speaking (I mean, none of them are perfect...). I come from the Richmond dioscese, which, until recently, was headed by a liberal bishop (I'm not afraid to say "liberal", because he was truly -- permitted the Latin Mass, the Tridentine Mass, and all sorts of wonky/heretical violations of the regular [Novus Ordo in a non-condemnatory sense] Mass). Yes, there are problems in my dioscese. Certainly we're not as good as the Arlington dioscese... but we're working on it. We're going to get a new bishop soon (bishop Sullivan retired), and things will get better. However, it seemed to me (and I'm sure he didn't mean it) that Mr. Laird would say an awful lot of negative things about the dioscese of Richmond, and it used to bother me a lot because it seemed (and it just seemed, I'm sure he didn't mean it) that he would dwell on it a bit much. A sensitive topic of conversation, you know. But he's stopped doing that or I've gotten used to it. Either way, Mr. Laird Rocks.

Mr. Laird, within the family, is also a fascinating phenomenon. As an outside observer, I've noticed that all the Lairds (speaking in the microcosm of Mr. and Mrs Laird and their five kids) put him on a pedestal. I noticed this before I ever met the family proper -- Rob, the first L I met, was my youth group minister when I was a wee thing in jr. high school. I remember when he would tell stories about his family on long trips, such as the drive from Staunton to Atlanta, GA for a Steubenville retreat (ha, we had to go to Atlanta to find Steubenville, which is in OH). Or even from ... DC and around (*trying to remember various trips*). When he talked about his dad, he talked about The Smartest Guy in the World (however, he amusingly in the same breath mentioned the terrible haircuts he used to give... [L]). On the drive up to Atlantic City last year, I remember Mrs. Laird talking about how smart her husband is, and generally putting him on a pedestal, which shouldn't be but is surprising after how long they've been married (i.e. I know mom is very, very aware of all dad's faults... not saying Mrs. Laird is not aware of Mr. Lairds faults, but nonetheless he's on a pedestal in her eyes). Jon has a bit more of a more normal(?) (for lack of a better phrase) perspective on his dad, but still is aware of what an amazing person his dad is. And Michael and Mr. Laird do a ton of baseball stuff together, and while Michael doesn't talk to me a lot (not because he's unfriendly, I like to listen to him talk to other people, mostly; not to say I brush him aside! you know what I mean), he and his dad often talk baseball at the dinner table. It will occasionally draw to mind the stereotypical baseball father-son relationship ("stereotypical" not in a bad sense). I haven't talked to Sr. Marie Celine (once Brandee) or Cindy enough to hear how they talk about their dad. But still. I sort of forgot where I was going with this paragraph.

One thing, though, I remember over Christmas break when I spent some time with their family, I got complimented more than once by Mr. Laird. This sounds like a big-headed thing to mention, but indeed it is not. I remember when this happened, especially at a compliment on my appearance (I mean just a simple "you look nice today"), when Mr. Laird was out of the room or out of hearing, Mrs. Laird and Jon were like, "Lauren, Mr. Laird complimented you! That's a HUGE DEAL! He does not give compliments lightly." I felt like a million bucks that day. [G] I find it strange to think that people as smart and awesome as the Lairds not only tolerate me, but they seem to like me. In fact, Jon tells me that they do like me. For all the world, I can't think of why, but I am, of course, happy that they do, since I hold them in the highest esteem (as you might have noticed). [L] You know, it's funny. When it comes to the preference of Jon, my initial reaction is "of course Jon likes me! What's not to like?", and when it comes to the "preference" of the Lairds (meaning Mr. and Mrs.), I think "what?? Why on earth would they do a thing like that?" [G] That's kind of funny.

You know what would be really embarrassing? If any of the Lairds did a google search and found my blog, and this entry. Fortunately, there are enough "Lairds" to keep them busy for a while ... also, I've said nothing I'll regret -- only complimentary things. I love that family.


I've heard the phrase "if you hate yourself, how can you love your neighbor?" and I've never really fully realized what it meant until just now. If you truly love someone, you become so much a part of them and they a part of you that you might almost feel like a homogenous mixture. If you hate what your friend loves (providing it's a good love with a right object), you do not truly love your friend, and if your friend is a true friend, he loves you. Hmmm... on a larger scale, this is true with God, and I think this is the way that Fr. Groeshel explains it: we ought not to hate ourselves because God loves us, and if you do not love what God loves, you do not love God. We have worth in God's eyes and he made us for himself.

Interesting. Suddenly a dozen inexpressible thoughts pop to mind.
posted by Lauren, 6:16 PM | link

Call me crazy... this is the second country song I've heard that reminds me of Shakespeare. There was one that reminded me of Hamlet's letter to Ophelia ("Doubt thou the stars are fire / Doubt thou the sun doth move / Doubt Truth to be a liar / But never doubt I love"), and this reminds me of the sonnet "When my loves swears that she is made of truth"; it seems to employ the same ideas and the same puns:

(a piece of "I'd Be Lying" by Chris Cagle)

And if I told you that I loved you
and I put no one else above you,
I'd be lying.
And if I said you're the one for me
and I never set you free,
I'd be lying.
And if I somehow found the strength
to knock on your front door
and tell you face to face
I won't hurt you anymore.

I'd be lying next to you tonight.
Holding on with my whole life.
Right back where I belong.
Looking deep into your eyes
If I could swallow my pride
and put myself in your shoes
and tell you that I understand
why you feel the way you do.
Then baby, I'd be lying...
I'd be lying next to you.


compare with "When my love swears that she is made of truth" by William Shakespeare:

When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearnèd in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told.
   Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
   And in our faults by lies we flattered be.


Certainly they both have different focuses -- Cagle's song being, of course, the more optimistic. However, there is still that certain amount of doubt left by the two meanings of "I'd be lying".... "o love's best habit is in seeming trust", as Shakespeare says. "I lie with her and she with me" -- lie in what sense? In Cagle's song, is the guy really meaning lying next to his love physically, or lying with his words? Shakespeare's sonnet definitely means both, while Cagle's leaves the door open some more. But that doubt...

Mind you, I am in no way placing Cagle on the level of Shakespeare. I just thought the similarities interesting.
posted by Lauren, 2:17 PM | link | 0 comments

From the Curt Jester...

posted by Lauren, 12:41 PM | link | 0 comments

{Sunday, February 22, 2004  }

Ahhh... perfect illustration of a SAMI ... it's Joe Bear!!!

(CDT Fenton ruuuules...)
posted by Lauren, 7:59 PM | link | 0 comments

You know, while I'm sitting here avoiding homework, I may as well finish up the events of Saturday.

In my exceedingly brief and exceedingly boring narrative, I had gotten to ROTC and was told I needed to be upstairs. So I went up there and sat around with some other cadets and just taaaaaalked for a little bit, waiting for whoever it was who ran the show. I sat next to McD, and was commenting that his shoes looked pretty bad, and that's kind of hard to do. "I know," he said, "I spent the better part of last night shining them, but they still look like this." "How did you shine them?" "With Kiwi." "[L] Well there's your problem, you can shine these (plastic) shoes with Windex. Real easy." "Oh." [L]

Some other boring stuff happened -- i.e. people went in and out -- but then MAJ B came in with whomever it was we were waiting for, and CDT 1LT K\, and they organized us by our individual details, and we went downstairs and grabbed some stuff and brought it over to the place where the reception was and set it up. Funnily enough, the reception came before the actual ceremony.

So we picked up a bit -- there was an event the night before nobody had yet cleaned up after -- and set up for the reception. I was assigned to the shorter punchbowl, with the silver cups with the names, distinguishments, and years at UTA of various corps alumni. The cup-detail people were really smart and set them up in alphabetical order for me, so when people came looking for their cup, I could find it right away for them. But at first, I just stood and waited, mostly. And stood, and stood, and stood... smiled, said hello, and stood. There was one guy who was a friend of the family of one of the people being inducted into the Hall of Honor that day. I don't remember what his name was, but no matter how hard I tried, I could tell that I was boring him exceedingly. Well, he was trying to tell me a bunch of negative things about the military. And he would say to people "can you believe that this pipsqueak wants to go into the Army?" (indicating me). This, I must admit, was not altogether pleasant to hear.

I had a whole year of that from my family -- sisters especially. Also, when I said I didn't go to this school (indicating UTA), he said "what highschool do you go to?" Grrrr.... I know I look young, and I look small, but that's just ... obnoxious. It's like asking a non-pregnant woman when her baby's due. So I'm kind of glad I was boring him, because he eventually left me alone.

Then I met a bunch of random people who came up for their cups -- most of them very nice, especially one older gentleman. He was always smiling, and was very, very sweet! I heard a few stories from them -- very few, because they would turn around every so often and run into someone they knew once but had not seen in a long time, and of course that (rightly) took precedence over me.

I was relieved once or twice by CDT C, but -- even though I was glad to sit down because those shoes, not being the most supportive in the world, were making my hips and knees ache from standing so long -- I was really looking forward to going back to my post and meeting and talking to some more people. Even though I didn't talk so much (it was a day for listening), it was fun just to watch people.

Eventually the reception got started with remarks and reminiscings on various things -- mostly on a particular march. This particular march was made by sixteen cadets in February of 1960, the first year (I believe) that ROTC cadets from UTA (Then Arlington State College) went to advance camp (the camp that all ROTC cadets are required to complete between their junior and senior years). These cadets marched 160 miles in 100+ degree heat, from Arlington to Ft. Hood, TX, in five and a half days!

In a story on the back page of the UTA magazine, ret. COL Joel Ward comments, "the grueling yet rewarding march to Ft. Hood gave me confidence in combat when under hostile fire in Vietnam. Hip deep in rice-paddy water, my radioman wounded, I had the confidence to know that I could carry him and his radio to safety. Without the experience of the march, we both might not be here today. I can never repay those officers and sergeants who molded us into what each of us became. I will be eternally grateful. I am sure others feel the same."

That is ... amazing. I didn't find out the whole story until later, but wow!

In addition to remarks about the march, there was a toast to the fallen corpsmembers, and Taps was played... and that was beautiful.

Eventually, everyone moved into the rosebud theatre for the induction ceremony and a other events, but I was left behind with the other details to help clean up and stuff. Eventually I got put on artwork guard duty. This involved... guarding art. Sitting in one spot. It was not intellectually stimulating, but I was happy to be off my feet for a while. And considering the way guard duties are usually done -- formally, at least -- I was ve-he-hery happy to be doing guard duty sitting down. Mom and dad -- who showed up at the reception and got to see me in Class As and mingle with some of the older corpsmembers! -- were getting a bit antsy, since we were kind of waiting around. Fortunately, one of the OICs, noticing that my parents were with me, sent us on to the Rosebud theatre after finding someone to relieve me, and we caught the end of "I Am a Maverick." This involved various cadets dressed in period garb marching onto the stage while CDT L read the following:

I am a Maverick. I trace my heritage through the century and have left a legacy of blood and sacrifice. I have studied many disciplines and laid the foundation in the art of leadership and the science of warfare. To fascists and tyrants I am the future deterrent; to the oppressed I am the savior awaiting the opportunity to set them free I am a Maverick ... follow me.

I staked my claim in 1902, I learned the lessons of San Juan Hill and marched and drilled on the Texas plains. I amn the origin of the legacy; I was the first to train, the first to fight, and the first to fight. I am a Maverick ... follow me.

I bore new colors in 1917; Grubbs Vocational College was where Mavericks called home. I was the first to face the horrors of Global Conflict, leading men over the top, and crushing the Kaiser at the Marne. It was I who penetrated the Hindenburg line. I am a Maverick ... follow me.

North Texas Agricultural College replaced my colors in 1923. College Hall was my home as the campus expanded and grew. I drilled and sweated on the parade field waiting for the next call. The message was received when Pearl Harbor fell victim to the Japanese. It was my turn to right the wrong ... fascist tyranny must fall. I am a Maverick ... follow me.

From North Africa to Sicily, I bled, I fought, I won. Anzio thinned my ranks but my resolve was thickene. On Normandy's beaches I broke the Atlantic Wall and planted my flag, penetrated the hedgerows, pushed out the Bulge, and crossed the Rhine at Remagen.

In the Pacific, I fought the enemy to the death, from island to island. I tamed the jungle and cleared the cames. Okinawa, Tarawa, and Iwo Jima were where I could be found. I cleared the skies and raided Tokyo until the Rising Sun could rise no more. I am a Maverick... follow me.

I was a veteren on the GI Bill when Arlington State College received my allegiance. My training continued... the Jodies continued to spread our name through the land. In College Hall the call came once more ... in Korea. It was there that I fought on the frozen paddies, flew MIG alley, landed at Inchon, and scaled Heartbreak Ridge. I threw out communism and pushed the Reds back North. I am a Maverick... follow me.

The conflict in Southeast Asia was brewing when the UTA banner was unfurled. During Vietnam I stood and served, while others fled or turned away. It was I that fought the longest war and watched a generation of Mavericks hardened in the crucible of Southeast Asia. From Quand Tri to Da Nang, I fought in the paddies, the jungle, and the sky. My blood bought the oppressed a decade of freedom. I am a Maverick ... follow me.

I became the leader of a Volunteer Army and watched the draft disappear. I studied and trained. I saved the students in Grenada, deposed the dictator of Panama, and saw the Communist Empire fall. I am a Maverick ... follow me.

With the cold war ended many said I was no longer needed. Iraqi agression confirmed my necessity. I drew the line in the sand, freed the oppressed, and destroyed the aggressor in 100 hours. The quickest victory in modern war is mine. I am a Maverick ... follow me.

The end of the century bears new dreams, new hopes, and new threats. I conduct new missions, I feed the masses and protect the weak. I understand duty, maintain my honor, and respect my heritage. Because where leaders go and leaders fight, you will find me there. I am a Maverick ... follow me.

Once again freedom is threatened. Once again I am called upon to leave my home, family and friends to battle terrorism and tyranny. I am a Maverick ... follow me.

I understand duty, maintain my honor, and respect my heritage, because where leaders go and leaders fight you will find me there. I am a Maverick ... follow me.

Even though I only caught the end of that, I found it really impressive made me think a lot. And then came the awards ceremony ... distinguishment after distinguishment heaped and heaped upon these four corps alumni, but the most impressive of all was one guy who was inducted posthumously; his son and daughter were there to accept the award, and his son talked about his father and how he did lots of charity work and quoted his father in saying, (basically) "what's important is that the deed get done, not the recognition after the fact."

Then the UTA band played a "Salute to the Services Medley", and when each service's song was played, the members were to stand up. I was extremely proud to stand up at "The Cassions Go Rolling Along" next to veterans and cadets alike, wearing the uniform.

And then they retired the colors and then it was over.

Meeting the corps alumni and hearing their stories, reading about the marchers, and seeing the "I am a Maverick" made me really think. Now I'm a part of that heritage. Whether or not I stay all four years (and I hope to), I am nevertheless a member of the corps of cadets, next to those marchers, next to those who have fought and died. What am I going to do with that? How I can I further this tradition? I feel very much a part of this legacy, even if I don't go to UTA, even if I have no formal committment to it. I ... can't quite express what I'm thinking. But I feel very honored to have been a part of that day.

Since mom and dad and I had all gotten up early, mom and dad went back to the hotel room to take a nap. I was intending on taking a nap, but instead I went back to my dorm room and called up Monica and she came over and we watched Black Hawk Down.

Speaking of a sobering day.

I need to sit down with Jon and watch the movie and have him explain a lot of it to me (Monica was turning to me every two seconds and asking about things... some of them I knew but most of them I didn't). But ... that is an amazing movie. It's not the tear-jerker that We Were Soldiers is -- you can barely tell what's going on half the time -- but it's very sobering, especially seeing the situation. Urban warfare in an arid climate -- smacks of Iraq. And both Monica and I have friends in the active duty Army, and one of her friends is an Airborne Ranger, like some of the soldiers in the movie.

The rest of the day after that really wasn't important. Saturday was an Important Event because of those two things, but mostly because I have learned a lot about the legacy of the Mavericks, and I can really appreciate that now, I think.

posted by Lauren, 7:51 PM | link

HOLY COW, we've now got ROGER CLEMENS???? (I'm really behind in baseball news, sans that stupid A-Rod trade. I think I have now lost all respect for the man. All of it. Also, now the Rangers probably STINK.)

But yaaaaaaaaay Oswalt!!! Roy Oswalt and Wade Miller are my *favorite* dudes in baseball. They also happen both to be pitchers for the Houston Astros. I would rather like to go to Houston one day and watch an Astros game. I can't wait for regular baseball season to start up again! Hopefully, on the minimal tv channells in O'Connell, we'll be able to pick up on a few of them. I used to do my Greek homework watching baseball. Of course, that's when I just had H&Q sentences to translate.

Oh no!!! Did H&Q go out of print? Eheu! O tempora! O mores!
posted by Lauren, 6:37 PM | link | 0 comments

LOL! I lied, this quote from CDT Fenton (up at USMA)'s blog is just too good not to post. But first -- SAMI -- "Saturday Morning(AM) Inspection", all members of the Cadet Wing stand in their rooms at parade rest while squadron, group, and wing staffs inspect rooms for an hour. Usually involves staying up all Friday night waxing and buffing floors and organizing the pens in your desk and the uniforms in your closet -- EVERYTHING. White-glove test. Big pain in the backside, everybody hates SAMI.... even though I think the concept is great! Having your room extra-clean every now and then? Haaha-- please don't kill me, O West Pointers, I am kidding... the white glove inspections maaaa-ha-hajorly stinks)

"The Toby Keith concert was awesome. It was the best one I've been to here so far, of course the only other ones I've only seen here are Dave Matthews and OAR. The Sunday we get back from Spring Break John Mayer is coming here and having a concert. Adam and I went and got tickets for that one as well. A few songs into the concert tonight Toby took a break between songs and announced the best news of the night. He told he talked to the Supe and SAMI is canceled tomorrow. Every cadet in there started yelling at the top of their lungs, jumping up and down, giving high fives to each other, hugging each other, and had the biggest grins on their faces. I was no exception to that. It made my night, not that the concert alone didn't make it. I think the civilians, as well as Toby and the rest of the band, were a bit lost as to why we went crazy wild. I think Toby won over the hearts of the whole corps tonight by telling us the news of no SAMI. "

It is better to give than to recieve -- the sign over the USMA plebe boxing ring declares this.
posted by Lauren, 12:58 AM | link | 0 comments

Alas, I am not, as I previously thought, going to have the time tonight to finish that blog entry. Collegium gets up early tomorrow to sing, and it's already way past my bedtime. However I will finish it before the weekend is out (i.e. before tomorrow evening).

Thus I leave you at the most boring part of the story. ;) I promise it gets interesting later. I predict I will wax poetic.

So until then, goodnight, as Ophelia says, sweet ladies! Goodnight, ladies! Goodnight! Goodnight! (Come, my carriage!)
posted by Lauren, 12:45 AM | link | 0 comments

{Saturday, February 21, 2004  }

So ... I'll start with today, because today, I think, was a really Important day. I may go back and blog Thursday and Friday, but probably not.

First of all -- mom was scheduled to come into town on Friday. Surprise surprise -- mom AND dad came in! :D It was a wonderful surprise to see dad there! I was really happy, I've been dying for both of them to see me in uniform being a cadet.

This morning was the Hall of Honor ceremony, in which alumni of the corps of cadets, having become highly distinguished in some manner, are recognized by ... umm... the current corps. Actually, I'm still unclear on a lot of things, and most of it was from what I gathered by observation today. Alls I know is that I volunteered to assist with it, and I was extremely proud to do so today.

So I rose today at 0-dark-thirty, says dad (aka 0530) and I was ready exactly one hour later, which was five minutes later than I ought to have been. I showered, dressed in my Class As, and met Stephen down in the Madonna parking lot (God bless the man, rising at ungodly [for him] hours to tote me 20 mins over to campus). He drove me over to the usual, and out I hopped, straightening my uniform as much as I could before going to be totally confused.

Having no idea where to go, I went downstairs beause I saw people walking down there. I went down there, but I didn't find my OIC (CDT Vines -- I swear that guy reminds me of Abe) or anyone who would really know where I was supposed to be. I think I randomly, foolishly pulled aside a member of the cadre -- or it could have been someone high-ranking in the CDT chain-of-command, I don't remember -- and I was told to go upstairs.

Sorry for the short blog entry but I have to go -- I'll finish this tonight before I go to bed.
posted by Lauren, 10:16 PM | link | 0 comments

If you haven't received an email from me about what's going on, email me* and I'll send it to you.

Also, random side note: I have a us.army.mil email address. ;) But don't email me there, because I can't forward it to my POP mail accounts, and I don't check any kind of webmail with regularity.

*note: this is not my regular email account; it's my less personal softhome account. If you know my normal email address, use that and I'll respond much quicker.
posted by Lauren, 9:52 PM | link | 0 comments

I have much more respect for my Corps now than I did before today. That's not to say that I didn't have any or had little respect for it before, but my understanding and appreciation for it is much broader and deeper. More to come later.

Hello, Cadre.
posted by Lauren, 9:27 PM | link | 0 comments

{Friday, February 20, 2004  }

In the meantime, a bunch of quizzes. A BUNCH:

John Paul II
You are Pope John Paul II. You are a force to be
reckoned with.

Which Twentieth Century Pope Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

You are Ahme!

Which Beatles Film Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Ok, that's kind of really lame if you don't know the Beatles... but if you've seen "Help", you know it's Really Funny. I can say no more.)

I am 55% British, just like
Hugh Grant
Thought you drive a British sports car you are most likely to have a blowout in LA.

Take the Brit Quiz at

Quiz written by Daz

I am 8% evil. Probably because I said that I am "damn hot".

ama e fai quel che vuoi
everyone loves you, and you love everyone first,
and ask questions later! you're italian and
proud of it. you love wine, and beauty, and if
poked hard enough, you might admit to loving
the proud intellectual history of your country
as well.

what foreign language are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

che vera! [L]

Which Founding Father Are You?

And I was certain I was going to be John Adams, what with the way I answered some of those questions... ("The worst sin for someone else to commit is to be wilfully stupid; the worst sin for me to commit is to be WRONG [L])

posted by Lauren, 12:17 PM | link | 0 comments

Friends, Romans, Countrymen,

if I have your email, expect a short email as to why I did not update yesterday, and may hold off on updates in the future.

If I don't have your email and you want to know, email me at EvilOlivE@softhome.net .

Thank you,

posted by Lauren, 8:50 AM | link | 0 comments

{Wednesday, February 18, 2004  }

Poor Tom at Disputations, not all of us can be repenting beleivers (I find it funny that he's with the heretics [G]).
posted by Lauren, 12:36 PM | link | 0 comments

Happy feast of Blessed John da Fiesole, better known as Beato Angelico (as the Italians call him), or Fra Angelico (like the liquer). One of my all-time favorite paintings is a detail from "The Mocking of Christ", it's just a close-up of St. Dominic reading. The Coronation of the Virgin was on the holy card of the first mass of a Dominican friend of mine when he was ordained. I don't know what St. Francis and St. Benedict are doing on there, but there's St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Dominic, St. Peter Martyr, and someone I don't know. Speaking of St. Peter Martyr, I wish the image of St. Peter Martyr enjoining silence would have been hung somewhere prominent last night ... *blinkysquintytired*

Beato Angelico's Annunciation and Noli mi Tangere are also very famous. Beato Angelico also began to paint "The Last Judgement" in that church in Orvieto (to my knowledge, there's only one), but for whatever reason, didn't finish. However, his protege Signorelli took over and finished most of it. He even painted himself and his teacher off in one corner observing the events. I wish I could find a decent picture of that, but I can't..

In the meantime, happy feast day to Tom of Disputations.


posted by Lauren, 9:47 AM | link | 0 comments


Ok, so it's Jenny's last night here. They were being loud. REALLY, REALLY, REALLY loud. Like, laughing, SHOUTING, talking in full voice in the hall. I was thinking "aww, it's alright, it's Jenny's last night, I have to get up in half an hour anyway..." well then they didn't stop. Then I looked at the clock.

It was 3:20am.


*heads will roll*
posted by Lauren, 4:28 AM | link | 0 comments

Humble blog-reader, most earnestly do I beg, beseech, and implore you to read the Purgatorio of Dante. If you want to know what Love is, if you want to know how to Love and Who your Beloved is, read it! Especially the last three cantos. I can't finish them ... they're really too profound and too beautiful for me to absorb all at once. But I would so like to post some bits of it with my reflections on it (not that they're anything great or important, but I just ... like to reflect on it ...)

Beatrice appears in canto 30 and ... *chills* it's amazing. If you've ever seen the movie Moulin Rouge, you know that Satine has a darn cool entrance. Well. Beatrice beats hers 100-fold. The setting is the earthly Paradise (Eden) at the top of Mount Purgatory, through which Dante has now passed. There is a chariot with a gryphon (an image of Christ, since the gryphon has two natures and one being). Suddenly, one of the group of prophets stops to sing "Veni, sponsa, de Libano" (Come, bride, from Lebanon) three times, and others follow, and above the chariot rises a hundred spirits all shouting "Benedictus qui venis" ("Blessed is he who comes" "then, / tossing a rain of flowers in the air, Manibus, O, date lila plenis!" ("O give us lillies with full hands") and then Dante says:

"Sometimes, as day approaches, I have seen
   all of the eastern sky a glow of rose,
   the rest of heaven beautifully clear,

the sun's face rising in a misty veil
   of tempering vapors that allow the eye
   to look straight at it for a longer time:

even so, within a nebula of flowers
   that flowed upward from angels' hands and then
   poured down, covering all the chariot,

appeared a lady -- over her white veil
   an olive crown and, under ger green cloak,
   her gown, the color of eternal flame.

And instantly -- though many years had passed
   since last I stood trembling before her eyes,
   captured by adoration, stunned by awe --

my soul, that could not see her perfectly,
   still felt, succumbing to her mystery
and power, the strength of its enduring love."

Beatrice, ah Beatrice! Heavenly, beautiful and pure Beatrice. Beatrice is not only Beatrice herself, Dante's love and Christ-bearer, but also an image of Theology, of Mary herself, and of Wisdom and Grace (but not natural Reason -- that's Vergil, who at this moment is nowhere to be found).

But then, in the next few lines, what happens? Beatrice sternly rebukes Dante, and for the first time in the whole Commedia addresses him by his name. And she reminds him of all the times he strayed from her, in wasting his talents upon earth, allowing bad seeds to grow within his soul, and when Beatrice died, being in sight of her no longer, Dante forgot her; "...through the bounty of God's grace, / raining vapors born so high above / they cannot be discerned by human sight, / was this man endowed, potentially, / in my early youth -- had he allowed his gifts / to bloom, he would have reaped abundantly." Thus Theology reminds the soul of the Gifts with which we are endowed, and which we too often waste. And too often we turn from Mary, from Wisdom, from the things that are not material which we canot see. "There was a time," says Theology, "my countenance sufficed, / as I let him look into my young eyes / for guidance on the straight path to his goal." Yet this has a literal level, too. The literal level of Beatrice saying "hey! You forgot about me when I was no longer in your sight."

She says, "I prayed that inspiration come to him / through dreams and other means: in vain I tried / to call him back, so little did he care...

In your journey of desire for me,
   leading you toward that Good beyond which naught
   exists to which a man's heart may aspire,

what pitfalls did ou find, what chains stretched out
   across your path, that you felt you were forced
   to abandon every hope of going on?

And what appealed to you, what did you find
   so promising in all those other things
   that made you feel obligated to spend your time

in courting them?" I heaved a bitter sigh,
   and barely found the voice to answer her;
   my lips, with difficulty, shaped the words.

Weeping, I said: "Those things with their false joys,
   offered me by the world, lef me astray
when I no longer saw your countenence."

How just, we see, is love, is the beloved, is Theology, is Mary, striving to perfect the object of their love, seeking for them and helping them to seek their highest good. And how difficult it is for us, mired down by the things of this world, to be always faithful, yet in the presence of Purity and Wisdom we will confess.

(By the way, all the more beautiful is the way Charles Williams sets forth a practical and accessible way of Love, based upon some later lines in the Purgatorio... one looks at one's beloved and sees Beatrice/Mary/Theology/Christ's-clear-image-in-the-Beloved. Literally.)

Skipping a bit ...

Then I turned my unsure eyes once more,
   I saw Beatrice faced the beast [the gryphon-Christ]
   who in two natures is one single being.

Though she was veiled and on the other shore,
   lovelier now, she seemed, than when alive
   on earth, when she was loveliest of all.

I felt the stabbing pain of my remorse:
   what I had loved the most of all the things
   that were not she, I hated now the most.

And then Dante faints (as Dante is wont to do sometimes) by his guilt, and he wakes in Beatrice's arms in the waters of the Lethe (the river of the waters of forgetfullness, which cleanse the memory of evi; the river of Euone restores the memory of good deeds), and while Asperges me is sung, she dips him in the waters and allows him to drink of it. And when he forgets his evil deeds and passions, he is able to look more deeply into the eyes of Beatrice, and he says:

A thousand yearning flames of my desire
   held my eyes fixed upon those brilliant eyes
   that held the gryphon fixed within their range.

Like sunlight in a mirror, shining back,
   I saw the twofold creature in her eyes,
   reflecting its two natures, separately.

This is what Romantic Love is ... seeing Christ perfectly reflected in the beloved, as Dante, once cleansed, can do. Real Love demands the perfection of the one who loves before this is possible to see. But even in our great imperfections we can still love and see, but to a much lesser degree. It is that image seen in the beloved that makes us love him -- one loves for Christ within him, rather than his own innate ability to be loved. (I wish I were Dante, or Charles Williams... they both understood and explained it so beautifully... or John Esposito, come to think of it ... he has a pretty darn good grasp of this himself)

I wish I had time and mental energy to reflect more. It's so marvallously gorgeously beautiful. I encourage you to read the whole Commedia. Ahhhh...

I read, and was bowled over by, the Purgatorio when I was a sophomore in highschool. I wrote, what are for me, fairly extensive notes to myself in my Mark Musa translation, because I didn't want to forget a single thought that occured to me when I read it for the first time. It's written as a conscious imitaiton of scripture, with multiple levels: a literal, a political, a moral, and a theological. There is so much depth to everything.

The last few things i have marked out in this book are a few stanzas, and for two of them I found and copied the Italian under the last line. Thus, if I can read my own handwriting...

[Dante addressing Beatrice in her role as Wisdom]:

"O luce, o gloria della dente umana,
   che acqua e questa che qui si dispiega
   da un principio e se da se lontana?"

("O light, O glory of the human race,
   what is this water pouring from one source,
   and then dividing self from self?")

(I don't know why that particularly caught my eye ... possibly the address, and the fact that Beatrice/one's beloved is Wisdom and that Dante can address her as "O light, O glory of the human race")

Then, speaking of Beatrice:

Come anima gentil, che non fa scusa
   ma fa sua voglia della voglia altrui
   tosto che e per segna fuor dischusa

(Then, gracious as she was, without demur,
   submitting her own will to another's will,
   once this was made apparent by a sign,

[continuing without Italian]

the lovely lady took me by the hand,
   and said to Statius as she moved ahead
   with queenly modesty: "And you come too.")

Ah! How sweet and Beautiful is Beatrice! (And how sweet is Mary, and how beautiful is Wisdom) Everyone, especially everyone who Loves, should seek to imitate her.

The last stanza, describing the newly-purified soul:

From those holiest waters I returned
   to her reborn, a tree renewed, in bloom
   with newborn foliage, immaculate,

eager to rise, now ready for the stars.

Just take your first impression from that. From that I gather baptism, rebirth, resurrection, imitation of Christ, imitation of Mary, philosophy, the new Eden/Jerusalem, etcetcetcetc.

Isn't it absolutely thrilling, beautiful, Divine? I hope you think so. I can do little to expound upon the beauty that's already there. Go read it! It's wonderful Lenten reading, the Purgatorio.

By the way, tomorrow is the feast of Blessed John da Fiesole, also affectionately known and Bd. Fra Angelico, my favoritest painter, and next-to-favoritist Dominican in all the world.
posted by Lauren, 12:20 AM | link | 0 comments

{Tuesday, February 17, 2004  }

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is not a big deal to other people, I'm sure... but GUESS WHAT!!!!!!!!

I ran TWO MILES, STRAIGHT, WITHOUT STOPPING -- IN LESS THAN MY APFT TIME-GOAL! I ran 2 miles in 18:18! Yes, that's barely over 60% ... but still! I have achieved my goal -- and I can set the bar higher, and higher, and higher! And now I know I can do it! I even sped up towards the end of my run... I was just tired of running, but not fatigued, per se. I'll bet I could have even run farther. I'll bet. HA! I can do it. This is so cool.

Now I just have to get my pushups up to speed! I did 40 sit-ups, which is 15 off my goal, but I'm getting better. Those I can do every day. However, again, my pushup count still fluctuates. I don't do those every day, but every other day. If I do them every day, I tend to get worse.

I can do the two-mile run. Ha. I can. Wow. I jumped that mental hurdle!!!! Huzzah!!!

After the workout, Amy and I usually stop into the chapel to say a little hello at the (St. Thomas Aquinas) Eucharistic chapel to "curtsy to Jesus", as Amy says (she's so adorable), and I felt like ... whatever it is that St. Paul says about running the race. All I have running through my head is a cheesy Steubenville song that's sort of like that, "Press On"

As for me I will press on
And run in the race
With my eyes fixed on Jesus
Who inspires and perfects my grace,
I will fight the good fight
With all my heart and soul
Till the day that I'm with Jesus,
The day I'm finally home --
The day that I have won the crown.

St. Paul says it better. I don't really like that song.

Ok I'm going to go shower now and read some Dante. And maybe actually eat dinner.

Hello Mr. Narcoleptic, are you alive out there? *hasn't heard from you in a few days and is beginning to wonder if things are alright*
posted by Lauren, 9:17 PM | link | 0 comments

I can't advocate the site where I got this [has really bad links, don't go there], but they occasionally have contests with a theme and people Photoshop an image and make it funny and one theme was "Terrorism Through the Ages", and the presentation just makes me laugh ...


and and

to continue

THIS IS WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING! No, seriously, I'm just kidding...

I am a Medievalist at heart...

posted by Lauren, 5:51 PM | link | 0 comments

Technochocolate dum-chh-dum-chh-dum-chh-dum-chh...

Oops, gotta go -- it's the Thnikkaman!
posted by Lauren, 10:22 AM | link | 0 comments

I won't post this one, because the link actually works:
The Academic's 23rd Psalm.
posted by Lauren, 9:36 AM | link | 0 comments

Ha. HAHA. HAHAHAHAHA. Ok. Another HolyWhapping song parody. It's just TOO FUNNY! Also, it applies both to our Pope and to a Hokie of the same name:

First there was Trogdor the Burninator .......but are you ready for John Paul the Evangelizer? (Warning: Song Parody Ahead)

Jon Paul is a man.........he is a holy man...........yeah he is just a great man,
But he is still JON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!! JON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!
Evangelizing the Protestants,
Evangelizing the Muslims,
Evangelizing the schismatics and the liberal churches!, liberal churches!
And John Paul comes in the Springtime!
posted by Lauren, 9:27 AM | link | 0 comments

A view of Christ-in-the-beloved, the beloved seen explicitly as an imago Dei, a poem by Charles Williams on his first meeting with his wife:

Where did you meet you love, young man,
   Where did you meet your love?
"I met my love in a noisy room
   With a carven roof above."

What did you say to your love, young man,
   With all your mother wit?
"'Hot it is!' or 'How do you do?'
   And there was an end of it!"

Who was beside you then, young man,
   Who was beside you then?
"Gaspar, Melchior, Balthazar,
   And a crowd of shepherd-men."

What did you say to them, young man,
   Silently, through the din?
"Princes, when ye come in to her,
   I pray you, lead me in."

(from To Michal from Serge: Letters from Charles Williams to his Wife, Florence, 1939-1945)
posted by Lauren, 12:12 AM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, February 16, 2004  }

This is a little late, but still... everybody always complains about the Halmark-ness of Valentine's day. Consider that Valentine's day was originally St Valentine's day (I still refer to it as such), and then you have an (almost) universally acknowledged and celebrated holiday. Those who refer to it as "singles awareness day" could look upon it as something other than a day to express love for one's significant other. Why not extend that to just "the beloved", thus "The Beloved" is Christ, and so do something nice for Christ. Send him some flowers and chocolates (haha). Or better yet, express your love for Christ by expressing love for his Image in another person, a good way to do this is through holy-card-type Valentines.

If people want to be really stringent and claim there was no St. Valentine or Valentinius, there was, at least, a Pope Valentine -- our 100th pope. From Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Pope Valentine

Date of birth unknown; died about October, 827. Valentine was by birth was Roman, belonging to the Via Lata district. While still a youth he entered the service of the Church. His biographer in the "Liber pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, II, 71-2) praises his piety and purity of morals, which won him the favour of Paschal I (817-24). Paschal ordained him at the Lateran palace, and placed him as archdeacon at the head of the Roman diaconate. Valentine retained his influential position during the pontificate of Eugene II (824-7), and after Eugene's death (27 August, 827) was unanimously elected his successor by the clergy, nobles, and people of Rome. The election had taken place at the Lateran whence the entire company proceeded to Sancta Maria Maggiore, where Valentine was tarrying in prayer. He was led to the Lateran basilica and placed upon the papal throne. After this, probably on the succeeding Sunday, he was consecrated bishop at St. Peter's, and then enthroned as pope. No information has been preserved of his brief reign, he died after he had occupied the papal see forty days according to the Liber pontificalis", and barely a month according to the testimony of the "Annales" of Einhard (ad an. 827).

So eat those chocolates, watch those sappy movies, kiss your significant other (chastely), and go to Mass.

And send me some flowers.
posted by Lauren, 2:52 PM | link | 0 comments

I am doing work. Serious.

Fr. Bryce Sibley Continues to Exercise His Unique Charism of Strangeness by Finding Stuff Like This

posted by Lauren, 1:20 PM | link | 0 comments

(I threw out two Shakespeare quotes this morning and nobody got it. These are my kind of people)
posted by Lauren, 12:11 PM | link | 0 comments

(Catholic Rap: 53 Beads on a String)
posted by Lauren, 12:04 PM | link | 0 comments

Holy cow... just ... dig through that site, Holy Whapping. It's now officially my favorite site, EVER. Sorry, Tom, it tops Disputations. [G] They parody homestarrunner stuff with Catholic blogs, it's just TOO funny.... ONE MORE POST I'm stealing then I'm GOING to go ...

Tuesday, July 22

In the spirit of Strong Bad, the Shrine reaches out to Fr. Bryce Sibley (Warning:Song Parodies Ahead)

And I will never ever ever ever ever write a blog about Sibley............and I will never ever ever ever ever write a blog about Sibley................and I will never ever ever ever ever write a blog about Sibley..........I freakin' read Sibley.............I freakin' read Sibley..............I freakin' read Sibley!

In an even more desperate plea for attention, we direct this ripoff of Everybody to the Limit to everyone who hasn't yet linked to us:

I said
Come on, St. Blog's
I said come on, St. Blog's
Everybody to the linking; everybody to the linking
Everybody, come on, St. Blog's

I said
Come on, St. Blog's
I said come on, St. Blog's
Everybody to the linking; who's that? Mike's to the limit
Everybody, come on, St. Blog's

Come on, St. Blog's. I see you jockin' me. Tryin' to play like you read me.

I'm like
Come on, St. Blog's
I said come on, St. Blog's
Everybody to the linkin; Mark Shea is to the limit
Everybody, come on, St. Blog's

I said
Ooh ah, St. Blog's
I said ooh ah, S-S-S-a-a-ain't BLog's
I said who's that Sa-a-a-a-a-a-int Blog's
I said who is that Saint Blo-o-o-og's?

I don't know who it is
But it probably is St. Blog's
I asked my friend Dom, I asked my friend Jim, they said it was St. Blog's!

I said
Come on, St. Blog's I said come on, St. Blog's
Push it to the linking; say, me; I'm to the linking,
Everybody, come on, St. Blog's!

Man, St. Blog's. You're just making yourself look worse, ya know? You know, everybody's just gonna feel sorry for you. I mean, I do.
(last line is derived from song and does not represent actual non-parody opinion of author)
posted by Lauren, 12:01 PM | link | 0 comments

Also, I can't help myself from stealing this off Shrine of the Holy Whapping:

We've linked to Teen Girl Squad...... but are you ready for TEEN NUN SQUAD?

Starring........The Dominican (Denim Skirt!), the Franciscan (Humble!), the Carmelite (Intense!), and the Polyester One (Few vocations!)

Dominican: Hey gals, let's go look SO GOOD in our habits!
Franciscan: Word!
Carmelite: (sends a letter saying Word!)
Dominican (to polyester one): why don't you go to the mall and look at pantsuits?
Polyester One: Okay! (thinks: maybe if I dress like a man, they'll make me a priest!)
Cardinal Ratzinger: censured!
(Trying on habits)
Dominican: This cappa: so good or no good?
Franciscan: So good! (from Our Lady of Sorrows to Easter, at least) How do you like my summer habit?
(Puts on white habit, black veil)
Dominican: No good! (not for your Order, anyway)
Franciscan: How about this one
(puts on brown habit)
Dominican: So good!
Carmelite: (writes letter) does this wedding dress look good for my vestition?
Dominican and Franciscan: So good!
(leave store; Dominican and Franciscan see Polyester One)
Franciscan: she looks censured or ORTHODOX!
Polyester One: I'm becoming a Sister of Life!
Dominican and Franciscan: That blue habit looks SO GOOD!
Carmelite (writes): I feel the indwelling of Jesus in my soul.........oh, that he would take me now so that I could sit forever by His left ankle.
All Three: SO GOOD!
Look for future adventures of TEEN NUN SQUAD!
posted by Lauren, 11:53 AM | link | 0 comments

Ok two more and then I have to go do Geek homework. Er, Greek homework...

...you tell people, "pray while in Rome, God will hear you better."
...you have a Catholic action figure of some sort, such as Pope Innocent III or Jesus (bonus points if you routinely build churches out of legos)
posted by Lauren, 11:52 AM | link | 0 comments

More! These courtesy of Jon(athan) Paul(us) (I) the Wise:

You know you're a Catholic Nerd when...
...people always ask about the little bump in your back where your Five-Fold scapular hangs.
...three of your siblings entered the religious life.
...your mom works for your dad, your dad works for the bishop, and you volunteer for all three of them.
...your financial advisor chides you for "wasting" 10% of your income.
...your entire primary and secondary education was at the hands of nuns.
...you memorized the Baltimore Catechism. Backwards. (*groans* I remember doing that. Yes, backwards. [G])
...your first reaction before looking for a lost item is to pray to St. Anthony.
...you work out to Gregorian Chant. (That... is a good idea)
...your name is John Paul, and you name your son John Paul II. (This is a brilliant idea [EG])
...you have a Vatican City flag in or outside your house.
...your favorite name brand wine is St. Rita, and your favorite name brand liqueur is Benedictine.
...your home page is www.vatican.va or www.catholicculture.org (or newadvent.org.
...you read Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma over, and over, and over...
...you keep a Code of Canon Law in your bathroom, next to the Summa. (Show me where you have an unabridged copy of the Summa and I will show you a jealous Lauren)
...you use Hans Kung's The Catholic Church as your dartboard.
...you're always dropping holy cards out of your Liturgy of the Hours and other spiritual reading.
...you keep a copy of the Handbook onf Indulgences and find every opportunity to use it.
...you know the significance of the year 1274.
...you can name all the ecumenical councils.

a few from me:

...you have pets named after obscure saints, philosopher-saints or saints with otherwise-difficult-to-pronounce names.
...you randomly throw liturgical Latin phrases around in everyday discourse, usually drawing blank looks from the non-nerds. (Bonus nerd points if you occasionally think in Latin)
...you know two dead languages, both of which have only real significance in the Church. And you're not a theology major.
...you have a chapel in your house. Seriously.
...your mom gathers relics like some people gather dust.
...you've been to Rome.
...you've been to Rome more than once. (Bonus points if you've met the Pope and/or been to a Papal Mass. Double points if more than once)
...you've been to Rome on a pleasure trip, and not for WYD.
...you wonder why people vacation anywhere but Rome.
...Rome is the world.
...you move to Rome.

(Rome sweet home, baby...)
posted by Lauren, 11:26 AM | link | 0 comments