{    Cnytr   }

{Monday, February 28, 2005  }

.:{If you ever doubted it before...}:.


...the media proves itself to be grossly stupid and anti-Catholic. I don't think I've had respect for the media in general for years.

Pope has willpower - but no 'living wll'

Even as the aged pope's body shuts down in the late stages of Parkinson's disease, his will to live—and to impose his will on the Roman Catholic faithful—remains as stubborn as ever. In the days before he was readmitted to the hospital because almost no air was able to pass through his inflamed larynx, the pope insisted on making public appearances. To the assembled crowd in St. Peter's Square he reiterated that the source of his authority is Saint Peter himself, "the rock," he proclaimed, on which Jesus Christ said "I will build my church...

[*insert usual tripe about JPII's upcoming book*]

Yet this same pontiff who continues to assert his will in the daily life of the church has given his doctors no instructions about how to sustain his life, or not, should he slip into a persistent coma. Could anyone—would anyone—pull the plug? And under what circumstances? "In 2,000 years of church history, it [has] never happened," says Marco Tosetti, the Vaticanologist for Italy's La Stampa newspaper. But medical technology has progressed enormously during the 26 years that John Paul has been in power. NEWSWEEK asked Dr. Proietti, whose specialty is anesthesiology, who will make the final decisions if the pontiff is no longer conscious and able to communicate. "We never asked ourselves this question," said Proietti. Having spent a generation imposing his will on the church, the ailing John Paul has yet to make known a living will to guide his doctors.


I ... I .... don't have anything to say to such tripe. :P
posted by Lauren, 8:17 PM | link | 3 comments

.:{This is funny because it's true}:.


You are 39% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.


You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!


Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!


You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com



Also, I get to be Kirsten Dunst.
posted by Lauren, 10:35 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{Dog bites man}:.


Italian likely to succeed Pope
posted by Lauren, 10:08 AM | link | 2 comments

{Sunday, February 27, 2005  }

.:{Joke}:.


Q: What never changes in a Jesuit mass?
A: The bread and wine.
posted by Lauren, 10:12 PM | link | 6 comments

.:{Book recommendation}:.




The men of East may spell the stars
And times and triumphs mark
But men signed of the cross of Christ
Go gaily in the dark
.
~The Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton ; the theme of the book (or, one of them)

One of my favorite books in 7th and 8th grade was Regina Doman's Snow White Rose Red: A Modern Fairy Tale -- now renamed to something else with the cover redesigned, but the old title and cover are more charming.

Set in modern-day New York, it's absolutely a must-read. Full excellent discourse (they talk about Chesterton) and philosophy on a reachable level, and just cool scenes and delightful characters, I give it my Cnytr stamp-of-approval.

I just stumbled across the website recently, where one can read the first chapter of the book.

It seems I've been unconsciously following Regina Doman's career -- she was at Steubenville with my oldest sister, did a comic strip for YOU! magazine (I used to love that when I was in 5th and 6th grade, even though it was for older kids... it was like Envoy Magazine for highschool students), she wrote the aforementioned book (which apparently has 1.5 sequels now), she lives in front-royal and co-owns Chesterton Productions with her husband. Martin Doman, who has, I think, the best of the Steubenville music in his Praying Twice CD (his song of St. Augustine is top-notch)is somehow related to her (brother? 10 kids in that family) and he looks kind of like my friend Jon L. His CD is also recommended.

Ahhh.... all this reminds me of junior high, in a good way.
posted by Lauren, 9:26 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Why the Pope's going to be fine}:.


"Mystic stone" says the Pope is all right.

ROME: A medieval legend has it that a column towering over the tomb of the second millennium's first Pope will start to sweat if one of his successors is nearing his end, but in what believers could see as a positive sign John Paul II's failing health has not changed the aspect of the marble structure....

As Roman Catholics were united in prayers for ailing John Paul II, the curious at the former papal residence were looking for signs of his state of health. "I believe it and then I don't, but it's hard to imagine that this piece of marble can sweat," said a young Spanish tourist who gave his name as Ignacio.


Technically it can, with boring stuff like temperature changes ... blahblahblah condensation somethingsomething... but the neglect to mention there's also supposed to be a rattling sound coming, not from some "mystic stone" (? I think this is a bad translation) but from JPII's tomb, which is in St. John Lateran's.

(No idea what the connection with Pope Sylvester II is supposed to be in that article...)

And another nice BBC article: Faithful cheer on ailing pontiff

"It's fantastic, I really feel as though he is going to pull through and be healthy," said Dana.

"It's because he knows we're all with him, praying for him,' says Lara, a 29-year-old shopkeeper....

"It doesn't matter that he can't speak," says Erminio, 72, who lives locally.

"Just to see him, to hear his silence and his suffering says more than a thousand words for me."



photo courtesy of Reuters

Pope makes appearance at window

In the message read by Sandri, who is the Vatican's deputy secretary of state, the Pope thanked the world for its concern.

"I am close to those of you gathered in St Peter's Square," the message said. "I thank you with affection and I feel spiritually close to you... I ask you to continue to accompany me, above all with your prayers."

Sandri told the faithful in St Peter's Square that the Pope, who is also afflicted by Parkinson's Disease, was "offering up his prayers and suffering for us and for the world".

Maria Grazia Barbero, an Italian woman in the square, needed no convincing of that.

"The Pope shows that a person can communicate through their heart and through their sufferings and not only by speaking. Christ said more by hanging on Cross than he did at any other moment," she said.

At the hospital, pilgrims chanted in Spanish "John Paul II, the whole world loves you" and Italians held up a sign saying "Don't ever give up".


Erratum: ("An error? What error?") See the comments section for a correction of how I goofed. :P
posted by Lauren, 8:46 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{*heart*ThePope*heart*}:.



The pope missed his weekly blessing for the first time in his 26-year pontificate on Sunday, but speaking through an aide, thanked the world for its concern over his health and asked the faithful to pray for him. Photo by Giampiero Sposito/Reuters

Pope Makes Surprise Appearance at Window

John Paul II! We love you!!!
posted by Lauren, 2:17 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Europeans and Americans}:.



Europeans -- sitting nicely and quietly in the upper room in the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nova in the room where St. Thomas Aquinas died


The quintessential dumb American thing to do.
After I took this picture, some guy came up to me and said "Do you have any idea how dumb you look?"
He was American.
Then he proceeded to do the same pose. ;)


Throughout my European travels this last fall semester, one of the more depressing aspects of it was the general anti-Bush and therefore somehow anti-American sentiment that seemed to be omnipresent. In general I found it better to keep my eyes open and my mouth shut and not ask questions unless I suspected I was being sold into slavery. The worst of the anti-American sentiment I met in a guy from Georgia on my train through Austria ("Do you know where my country is? Do you know anything about my country?" "Um, yes, sir..."), while the most surprising place I found pro-America (and more shockingly, pro-Bush) was a Scottish taxi cab driver in Glasgow. He was Catholic and Opus Dei and gave us holy cards of Bld. Jose Maria Escriva.

But I understand not all Europeans like that ... it's just sometimes hard to find it expressed en masse.

And so that's why articles such as this one from, of all places, the BBC are so heartening. (Hat tip: Fr. Bryce Sibley)

Being an ocean apart from such a culturally diverse place as Europe keeps us out of touch at times. A good percentage of Americans never set foot outside the country, but our country is so darn big it's not like we're xenophobic... just busy. In anywhere else the size of America, one would find totally different peoples with different languages, etc, yet we uniformly speak English and thus generally the people close to Canada know French and those close to Mexico know Spanish, but that's (for a large part) it, really. Once we get into the working world we forget the two years of highschool Latin and two semesters of beginning Spanish we took. It's not really practical, whereas in Europe, there are at least three dialects of the native language, plus the country next door speaks something else as does the country above you. If you don't know those languages, you're in a tight spot.

Given the global politics at the moment, English also happens to be the language. Sorry, Europe, but it's not practical. We do our best.

From our beginnings as an English colony we were, as Ben Franklin says in 1776, "a new race: rougher, simpler, more violent, more enterprising, less refined" and we still are, to a large extent. (I think the strangest thing I have ever seen is an Irishman eating french fries with his fork and spreading ketchup on them with his knife. I'm going to venture a guess that "finger-food" is a mostly American concept?) Sometimes our young nation comes off off as overly-simplistic, demanding and childish, whereas Europe to us can look sophistic and condescending. But the same such attitudes occur in all real families and they strive together to correct their own faults and look out for one another.

We're doin' our best. We may not always get it right, but we try.

...Thanks for everything America, says the article.

I know they say long distance relationships do not work out, but do not worry, my feelings will not change.

We love you, Europe -- thanks for being understanding.

*mwah*!
posted by Lauren, 2:10 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Random Quotes}:.


[Something like, if the pope goes, I go, said Lauren. And if I go, I take you with me.]

Zadok: But then we couldn't end up in heaven. It just works out that way. Unless you make a perfecft Act of Contrition. *pause* ... You'd do that just to spite me, wouldn't you?

(Yes, Zadok, just to spite you...)

At the brunch table this afternoon, it was established that, since God clearly speaks Latin, one has to know Latin to get into heaven. "But," said John, "I only know a little Latin. I can swear in Latin."

We wondered if one knowing only swear words in Latin could get in.
posted by Lauren, 12:51 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{How many novenas...?}:.


A man walked up to a Franciscan and Jesuit and asked, "How many novenas must you say to get a Mercedes Benz?"

The Franciscan asked, "What's a Mercedes Benz?"

The Jesuit asked, "What's a novena?"
posted by Lauren, 8:18 AM | link | 0 comments

{Saturday, February 26, 2005  }

.:{My computer is Calvinistic!}:.


Umberto Eco, famous author of The Name of the Rose (book's great, movie's terrible), talks about Macs vrs PCs:

The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counterreformist and has been influenced by the "ratio studiorum" of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory, it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach - if not the Kingdom of Heaven - the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: the essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.

DOS is Protestant, or even Calvinistic. It allows free interpretation of scripture, demands difficult personal decisions, imposes a subtle hermeneutics upon the user, and takes for granted the idea that not all can reach salvation. To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: a long way from the baroque community of revelers, the user is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment.

You may object that, with the passage to Windows, the DOS universe has come to resemble more closely the counterreformist tolerance of the Macintosh. It's true: Windows represents an Anglican-style schism, big ceremonies in the cathedral, but there is always the possibility of a return to DOS to change things in accordance with bizarre decisions.....

And machine code, which lies beneath both systems (or environments, if you prefer)? Ah, that is to do with the Old Testament, and is Talmudic and cabalistic.


Windows Haiku:

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death
No one hears your screams.
posted by Lauren, 10:26 PM | link | 4 comments

.:{Urgent Prayer Request}:.


All--

Please pray for my sister Stephanie and my brother-in-law Matt. Steph is 22 weeks pregnant with baby Zachary and she went into the hospital yesterday with premature contractions. We thought she'd be alright and able to go home today, but it's been 24 hours and she's still not really stable. Zachary seems to be doing fine, though.

Please keep my sister and her baby in your prayers!

~Lauren
posted by Lauren, 4:58 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{If the posting gets slim...}:.


...it's because I have two biology exams (one for lab, one for class), a Greek exam (killer!) and a Western Civ exam next week. The first two are on Monday and the next two are on Thursday.

Prayers are definitely appreciated!

In random interesting news -- the infamous Da Vinci Code is being turned into a movie. Behold, imdb.com.

So far, it seems they have Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou with Ron Howard directing.

Hmmmm... Ron Howard -- Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind?

O Catholics, gird up your loins... they shall question you and you shall declare to them ...

...it's really the Jesuits behind everything, not Opus Dei.
posted by Lauren, 3:14 PM | link | 0 comments

{Friday, February 25, 2005  }

.:{Return}:.




Return, says the Lord,
   I will not remain angry with you;
For I am merciful,
   I will not continue my wrath forever.
Return, rebellious children, says the Lord.
posted by Lauren, 3:00 PM | link | 0 comments

{Thursday, February 24, 2005  }

.:{60 Years Ago}:.


posted by Lauren, 11:32 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{STOP IT}:.


STOP IT, stop saying that. Yes the Pope is very sick. Yes it's very sad and whatnot and everybody has to go at some point, but stop saying it. Let's not kill the poor Pope before he's dead! He's not dead yet, and good! Pray, fast and make sacrifices for his health. Dude, don't give up just because he's 84.

And for goodness sake, you liberal media! Stop using the spotlight on the Pope as an excuse to criticize his position on gay marriage and women priests.

*frustrated*
posted by Lauren, 11:21 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Pope returns to hospital}:.


ABC News : Pope John Paul II Rushed to the Hospital After Suffering From a Relapse of the Flu.

This worries me.

Pray a lot.
posted by Lauren, 8:19 AM | link | 0 comments

{Wednesday, February 23, 2005  }

.:{Some cool feast days in February that I completely missed...}:.


February 8th; Saint Apollonia -- Virgin, deaconess (sans holy orders as they would have been) and Alexandrian martyr -- patron saint of dentists. "After her teeth were broken with pincers, she was given the choice of renouncing Christ or being burned alive; she lept onto the fire herself."

February 12th; Saint Julian the Hospitaller (and there is nothing more POD than the Templars and Hospitallers) -- Quasi-Oedipal: "A stag he was hunting predicted he would kill his own parents. Julian moved far away to avoid his parents, but they found him, and came to make a surprise visit. His wife gave them her and Julian's bed; Julian killed them, thinking they were his wife and another man. As penance, he and his wife travelled to Rome as pilgrims seeking absolution. On his way home, to continue his penance, he built a hospice beside a river, cared for the poor and sick, and rowed travellers across the river for free. Once, after having helped many, many travellers, Julian gave his own bed to a pilgrim leper who had nearly frozen to death. When they had him safely settled, the man suddenly revealed himself to be an angel. The visitor announced that Christ had accepted Julian's penance; the angel then disappeared. " Patron saint of fiddle-players, knights, murderers, jugglers and wandering musicians.

Now I know who to pray to if I ever become a murderer! I mean -- wandering musician!

February 16th; Saint Onesimus, the one mentioned in Paul's very short letter to Philemon. I wonder if this is the same Onesimus that Ignatious thought was so cool.

Zadok also once told me something cool about Onesimus' name and about the letter itself, but I've completely forgotten it.
posted by Lauren, 9:26 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{St. Polycarp, office of readings}:.




I'm surprised Penitens didn't blog in more detail about this, so I'll just have to help him out. ;)

A quick look at today's Office of Readings proper second reading for St. Polycarp will show you -- they don't make martyrs like they used to anymore:

And when the funeral pile was ready, Polycarp, laying aside all his garments, and loosing his girdle, sought also to take off his sandals,--a thing he was not accustomed to do, inasmuch as every one of the faithful was always eager who should first touch his skin. For, on account of his holy life, he was, even before his martyrdom, adorned with every kind of good. Immediately then they surrounded him with those substances which had been prepared for the funeral pile. But when they were about also to fix him with nails, he said, "Leave me as I am; for He that giveth me strength to endure the fire, will also enable me, without your securing me by nails, to remain without moving in the pile."

They did not nail him then, but simply bound him. And he, placing his hands behind him, and being bound like a distinguished ram [taken] out of a great flock for sacrifice, and prepared to be an acceptable burnt-offering unto God, looked up to heaven, and said, "O Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of Thee, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before thee, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Thy martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before Thee as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as Thou, the ever-truthful God, hast fore-ordained, hast revealed beforehand to me, and now hast fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen."

When he had pronounced this amen, and so finished his prayer, those who were appointed for the purpose kindled the fire. And as the flame blazed forth in great fury, we, to whom it was given to witness it, beheld a great miracle, and have been preserved that we might report to others what then took place. For the fire, shaping itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, encompassed as by a circle the body of the martyr. And he appeared within not like flesh which is burnt, but as bread that is baked, or as gold and silver glowing in a furnace. Moreover, we perceived such a sweet odour [coming from the pile], as if frankincense or some such precious spices had been smoking there.


(Taken from Newadvent.org.)

In other news, tomorrow's absolutely random and obscure Dominican saint of the day is Blessed Constantius of Fabriano, who joined the Dominican order at the age of 15. (Rock on!) He also cured his terminally ill little sister.

So, if I get terminally ill, either one of my sisters has to become a Dominican to cure me, or just one of my older seminarian brothers. *chucks something in the general direction of Rome*

More information on Bld. Constantius here.

I would translate the prayer more literally, but I'm lazy (and I have a midterm tomorrow), so here's the Latin

Deus, qui Beatum Constantium presbyterum, assiduae orationis et promovendae pacis studio, in populis gloriosum effecisti, eius nobis intercessione concede ut, per iustitiae semitas incedentes, pacem et gloriam assequamur. Per Dominum.
posted by Lauren, 9:05 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Strange and interesting Google find of the day}:.


Iiiiiiiinteresting.

When I'm not supposed to be studying for an Irish history midterm, I shall have to explore this:

Powers of Literature

(What??)

"I used to be old, fat, and sullen . . . before I discovered Powers of Literature!"

The instructor, Dr. Gutchess:

Powers of Literature is produced and supported by Gary Homer Gutchess. He provides free email help for this web course at: gutchess@englishare.net

Dr. Gutchess (Greek Goetes [meaning "sorcerer"], Italian Gucci, Swiss Goetchy, Dutch Goetchius, American Gutchess), has taught college English, practiced law, worked in politics, and managed business enterprises in the USA.

The sorcerer holds, among other degrees, a PhD in English (concentrations in medieval, Renaissance, and neoclassical literature) from the University of Notre Dame.

This entire self-paced course can be completed in almost no time with little or no comprehension!


Oooookay ...
posted by Lauren, 3:27 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Canada}:.


My dear Canadian Talmida,

The phrase "praeterea, censeo Canadam esse delendam" ["furthermore, I believe that Canada should be destroyed"], a twist on the boilerplate phrase of Cato the Elder who used to say it in (re: Carthage) at the end of every speech he gave regardless of topic, is merely a joke, playing upon the friendly rivalry between the US and Canada.

The comparison between Carthage and Canada is amusing because
1) Canada is hardly the world power that Carthage was*
2) Canada doesn't exactly pose a threat to America
3) They say "aboot" in Canada.

Also, it is a little-known legend that Sally Hemmings, the (in)famous mistress of Thomas Jefferson (cue: all Virginians roll eyes) was actually Canadian. And that she threw herself onto a funeral pyre after some long oration with really annoying Latin in it.

(Actually, book 4 is one of the books of that epic I actually like -- it's creepy)

The quote is something I overheard one day when I was walking back from Homer class. This to say how nerdy my school, the University of Dallas, actually is.

Furthermore, it's an excuse to use a cool and not-often-used Latin construction.

I hope you'll pardon me. You're the second Canadian to say something about it. But respondeo dicendum, with all due respect, it's just a joke. ;)

~~~
*(I like to steal a friend of mine's expression that, in the highschool of the world, the US is the big annoying jock and Canada is the little skinny nerdy kid)

Note: I'm still joking when I say that. *pats Canada on the head*
posted by Lauren, 11:52 AM | link | 3 comments

{Tuesday, February 22, 2005  }

.:{More stuff in foreign languages}:.


The script looks like the body of a virus-sent message, but it's got the entirety of The Lord of the Rings in English (as well as the Hobbit and Tolkien's Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knyght) on it.

Download the pages quickly before someone realizes what a huge violation of copyright that is and sues the guy.

Since the previous post was all morbid and death-related, allow me then to cheer you up with a lament for Boromir from The Two Towers:



Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows
The West Wind comes walking, and about the walls it goes.
'What news from the West, O wandering wind, do you bring to me tonight?
Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight?'
'I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey;
I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away
Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more.
The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of Denethor.'
'O Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar,
But you came not from the empty lands where no men are.'


From the mouths of the Sea the South Wind flies, from the sandhills and
the stones;
The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans.
'What news from the South, O sighing wind, do you bring to me at eve?
Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve.'
'Ask not of me where he doth dwell-so many bones there lie
On the white shores and the dark shores under the stormy sky;
So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing Sea.
Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!'
'O Boromir! Beyond the gate the seaward road runs south,
But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey sea's mouth.'


From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, and past the roaring
falls;
And clear and cold about the tower its loud horn calls.
'What news from the North, O mighty wind, do you bring to me today?
What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away.'
'Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought.
His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought.
His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest;
And Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, bore him upon its breast.'
'O Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze
To Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, until the end of days.'


posted by Lauren, 8:29 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{State of original nekkidness...}:.


Father Bryce has some profound thoughts on the matter.

As an asute commenter says, "Wow ... and here I thought that theology was something meant to be understood only by superior minds, priests and a few bookwormish nerds. How wrong have I been... now all makes sense to me."
posted by Lauren, 8:20 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{When I kick the bucket...}:.


Don't let anybody say I never left a last will and testament.

1. A full Requiem mass sung -- flip a coin for either Faure or Mozart.
2. A metropolitan, the priests from three diocese, an evil French Cardinal, the nearest congregation of Dominicans (sisters or brother -- preferably both) and the entire population of the Irish seminary in Rome to be in attendence with no less than 12 altar boys from every American state.
3. See Zadok's example of the proper use of the thurible
4. Burial in a church -- if not with a large funeral monument somewhere in the wall of Maria Sopra Minerva, hanging from the cieling will do.
5. Professional mourners.
6. A week of fasting declared.
7. The office of the dead said for three days in a row by every eldest son of every third family.
8. Burial in the habit.
9. Two portraits done of me, one in 19th century Italian style for holy cards, and the other Pre-Raphaelite to be hung above mantles.
10. An obituary like this one

(All my books go to Zadok and Penitens, except for the hollow one with my DVD of The Silence of the Lambs in it, I want that buried with me, along with a medieval manuscript.

Everything else gets sold on Ebay and the money donated to the Dominican House of Studies and the Petition to Bring Back the "Fireside Chat with the Rector" blog.)

It's true, nobody misses you till you're dead. I've never really read Otto-da-Fe, but if he can turn out an obituary like that I'll sift through the archives until Arthur Miller raises him on the third day. (Or was it Arthur Miller who is to rise on the third day?)
posted by Lauren, 7:52 PM | link | 3 comments

.:{Life is not in vain}:.


'He will not wake again,' said Denethor. 'Battle is vain. Why should we wish to live longer? Why should we not go to death side by side?'

'Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death,' answered Gandalf. 'And only the heathen kings, under the domination of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death.'
~The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King By J.R.R. Tolkien


24 more hours for Terry...
posted by Lauren, 4:59 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{More Cool Bishop Stuff}:.



From the Star Bulletin -- Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo; sent to me by Penitens. Does anything more need to be said here?

I think I am our new bishop's biggest fan.

(Also, I'm really really really behind the times ... this blossom of news articles that came out about him in, um, July...)
posted by Lauren, 2:38 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Fuzzy llama, funny llama, llama llama duck}:.


So someone surfed into Cnytr (this one) looking for the "patron saints of llamas February 20".

Hmmm. Nothing turns up on the radar. I wonder if Matt at the Shrine has anything.

(I wonder if he found the llama song.)
posted by Lauren, 7:28 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{VA is SO POD ... (How POD *IS* it?)}:.


Our. Bishop. Rocks.


Bp. DiLorenzo, probably doing something Cool


Servant of God, Frank Parater ... A Virginian


Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo signs the various documents to be sent to the Vatican after presiding at the closing session of the diocesan phase to advance the cause of canonization of Frank Parater. The sessions took place Feb. 7, the 85th anniversary of Frank Parater’s death at North American College in Rome where he was a seminarian for the Diocese of Richmond.He died at age 22 of complications from rheumatic fever. Subsequent to his death an Act of Oblation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was found in his effects and was received with admiration by his fellow seminarians at the North American College and by many others of that time, and was published in the L’Osservatore Romano. Bishop DiLorenzo will also mark the closing of the diocesan phase of this process, and the sending of the case to Rome on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the 5:15 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

Our bishop is awesome -- promoting the cause of a Virginian saint!

I also love finding older articles about him that just show how much he rocks ... quote,

"Orthodoxy is right teaching. Anything contrary to Catholic teaching will not fly. Don't expect anything about women's ordination in this diocese."

I ... like ... it.

Also, something that never happened under Bp. Sullivan, God bless him,

Members of several religious communities serving in the Diocese of Richmond gathered for Mass Feb. 2 at St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged in Richmond to observe the 8th World Day for Consecrated Life proclaimed by Pope John Paul II. Above, from left, are Sister Teresa of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Sister Catherine Joseph of the Nashville Dominicans, principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Newport News, and Sister Jeanne of the Little Sisters. Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, principal presider at the Mass, invited all the religious present to stand and renew their commitment which read: “In the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, I renew with all my heart my religious commitment to live my consecration in joy and fidelity to the Church and my congregation, today and forever, with the grace of God and Mary’s maternal protection.” There are eight members of the Nashville Dominicans serving in the Richmond diocese, with four each at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and St. Mary, Star of the Sea School in Hampton.

All of this from the latest Catholic Virginian for the Diocese of Richmond, VA.

You know why my diocese is so cool and getting better? Because we have ultra-POD Cistercians and Poor Clares praying for us ... I had no idea we had Poor Clares here ...

We have Dominicans in Norfolk and Visitation sisters in the Shenandoah valley as well, not to mention the Cisterican brother congregation of the Cistercian sisters.

I love it. VA is turning into a veritable haven of monasticism!
posted by Lauren, 12:03 AM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, February 21, 2005  }

.:{Motto!!!}:.


HAHAA!!! I just noticed the Smiling Frirar's motto on his blog --

Because a happy friar is an arguing friar.

Rock on, brother!!! ;D
posted by Lauren, 11:42 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{This seems like a story I read once...}:.


Japan moves to allow princess to take throne



...Japan’s royals are facing their most serious succession crisis in centuries. The current law bars women from ascending the Chrysanthemum Throne and no boy has been born to the imperial family since the 1960s.

Kyodo News quoted an unnamed government official as saying “Princess Aiko will go next” after her father, Crown Prince Naruhito, in line for the throne. The report gave no other details, and there was no answer late Monday the prime minister’s office.

Princess Aiko, 3, is the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako.


Pardon my girlyness and fondness for princessy things (real princess things and not those annoying fuzzy pillows teenaged girls buy at the mall that say "Princess" on them :P) ... but this is cool. [G] And what an adorable child is this 3-year-old! It's so delightful... like something from the Brothers Grimm, but Disney-fied. And it's set in Japan. And "The Chrysanthemum Throne" -- how gorgeous does that sound?

Okay, treating it with more seriousness...

A government panel of experts began debating an amendment to the law last month but is not due to reach a conclusion until later this year. Among the issues the expert panel must resolve are whether the first-born child — be it a boy or a girl — should be first in line to the throne or if the first-born male should take precedence.

This is interesting. Apparently seven other women monarchs have sat upon the throne, acting as only caretakers and not succeeded by their heirs.

The current crisis arose in part because the succession law drafted after World War II — part of legal changes redefining the emperor as a ceremonial leader — imposed the male-only rule.

The law has put enormous pressure on Masako to have a baby boy, so much so that she suffered a nervous breakdown in late 2003. The Harvard- and Oxford-educated former diplomat has been forced to spend much of the past year out of the public eye as she recuperates.


How sad! Unfortunately this seems to be the case in many Asian places, especially China where people are limited to one or two children. I can't imagine being in the public eye ... something over which one has no control whatever...

*gets all sentimental again* But, maybe a Japanese prince will come around when she's older and sweep her off her feet ...

(Warning, my geek socks are showing...)
posted by Lauren, 9:56 PM | link | 0 comments

{Sunday, February 20, 2005  }

.:{From an email}:.


Very cool thoughts on the below post from a knowledgeable reader.

Lauren,

It's worth noting that Jacob's nature in the OT is very sly: he tricks his father-in-law Laban (who deserves it), he wrestles a blessing out of the angel, and so on... He's just plain shrewd. And there's nothing wrong with that - our Lord asks us to be innocent as the dove and yet shrewd as a serpent. Some of the Church Fathers like to reflect on the Incarnation and Redemption as a giant cofidence trick played on the devil - Christ's divinity and innocence are like a fishhook, whilst his humanity and humility are like the bait. The devil swallows him on the cross and only when Christ goes to the underworld does Satan realise that he has been tricked and the gates of Hell are opened from inside.

See this page here

Also, Gregory of Nyssa (Great Cathechism) :

in order to secure that the ransom in our behalf might be easily accepted by him who required it, the, Deity was hidden under the veil of our nature, that so, as with ravenous fish (5), the hook of the Deity might be gulped down along with the bait of flesh, and thus, life being introduced into the house of death, and light shining in darkness, that which is diametrically opposed to light and life might vanish; for it is not in the nature of darkness to remain when light is present, or of death to exist when life is active. Let us, then, by way of summary take up the train of the arguments for the Gospel mystery, and thus complete our answer to those who question this Dispensation of God, and show them on what ground it is that the Deity by a personal intervention works out the salvation of man.
posted by Lauren, 6:52 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Well, duh!}:.


You scored as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Congratulations! You are obsessive-compulsive! You know nothing curbs images of mutilating your mother like a good counting/checking/washing ritual... wait, DID you forget to turn off the stove???

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

58%

Eating Disorders

50%

Unipolar Depression

42%

Borderline Personality Disorder

33%

Schizophrenia

25%

Antisocial Personality Disorder

17%

Which mental disorder do you have?
created with QuizFarm.com


ADD and OCD ... the two mental disorders I'm probably universally accused of having.

(Hat tip:the unipolilarly depressed Cacciaguida)

Update: Content advisory (language) -- somehow I missed that the first time through. Apologies.
posted by Lauren, 5:46 PM | link | 3 comments

.:{The Lysistrata Interview}:.


An interview for the UD Newspaper with Lauren - questions by Monica B.

Q. What were your objections to the play?

A: In the end, there was nothing or very little redeeming about it. So the women go on a sex strike for their sons at war with much content and bawdiness throughout, whereas at the end it quite seems, as Dr. Roper pointed out, that they forget about those sons.

I believe this play is more appropriately studied in a (graduate?) classroom. (see below)

Many of the students who went to Rome this fall were not as familiar with the classics as others. Since we attempted to solve the mysteries of the universe in class, few would be interested in doing as much with Aristophanes in our off-time, and a few of the verbal reactions I heard to it took most of the sexual content at face-value.

I am not suggesting that we utterly reject the play and/or the works of Aristophanes. Rather, the issue is the fact that a dramatic work is always performed in a particular context and sometimes the context makes the work in question unsuitable. For example, no one would bring a small child to a horror movie.


Q: Were you cast and then decided not to act [as many people were ~L]?

A: No, I did not try out for the play.


Q: What role do you think sexual humor should have in literature, drama, entertainment, etc?

A: I am not qualified to answer this question. But whatever its role, it is simply not good art to have it obscure the point of said media.


Q: Did you go see Lysistrata?

A: No. However it scandalized priests and professors.


Q: UD places a lot of valued in our classical heritage; what role do you see the classics having in a Catholic university? Are they contrary to our morals and principles?

A: The classics are most certainly not intrinsically contrary to our morals and principles. In the middle ages, celibate monks copied such manuscripts and preserved them in the long memory of Western tradition. However, they also copied manuscripts they condemned as well so as to know truth by negation -- knowing what it is not. Thomas Aquinas purged Aristotle from the errors of Averroes, some of whose arguments appear as jumping-off points for the respondeo dicendum of Aquinas. The (in)famous Ars Amatoria of Ovid probably influenced Bernard of Clairvaux in his Expisitio in Canticum Canticorum.


Q: How do you reconcile the sexual content of some many classics with Catholic morality?

A: Sexual content used specifically for the entertainment of a third party is pornographic. Clearly this is in opposition to morality, modesty and decency. However, not all sexual content is for the purpose of the entertainment of a third party. In Shakespeare's plays, there are times when his sexual innuendo is subtle enough to be missed completely by the simpler folk, yet it is (usually) placed there to make a particular point more poignant or as characterization. In the end, the point of the play cannot be boiled down to one or two comments.

In the Lysistrata, the play begins on a sexual note and ends on one, and throughout most graphic phrasing and dialogue and subjects is involved. While some may argue that sex is not the point of the play, there is so much explicit sexually-related content as to make it difficult if not impossible to ignore. We needn't be puritans, neither should we ignore the defects of the medium; a positive message does not redeem all.

I have not studied this play in depth, but because of its context it does not seem to me that it is appropriate for the stage as produced, acted and directed by undergraduates. It is more likely to have its serious points (if there are any -- and fully admit I am not qualified to make this decision on my own) overlooked for the sake of inappropriate humor.


Q: Generally, what do you see as the purpose of art, drama in particular?

[I'm not really qualified to answer this either, but I would point you toward the Pope's letter to artists from 1999.]
posted by Lauren, 9:32 AM | link | 0 comments

{Saturday, February 19, 2005  }

.:{The Transfiguration, Jacob, Esau and the Church}:.



The Transfiguration, by Beato Angelico, Convento S. Marco, Fireznze Italia

Let the sight of the grandeur of Jesus transfigured prepare us for the contemplation of the humiliation of His Passion.

Apparently for tomorrow in the old breviary, one of the readings used to be that of Jacob and Esau (Gen 27:1-29), something I've found puzzling since the days of my youth. In fact, I found, and still find, a lot of the OT puzzling (aside from Song of Songs, thanks to St. Bernard of Clairvaux and by the grace of God my own weirdness). However, I find that St. Augustine has an interesting illumination of the text in his Against Lying:

Touching Jacob, however, that which he did at his mother's bidding, so as to seem to deceive his father, if with diligence and in faith it be attended to, is no lie, but a mystery, The which if we shall call lies, all parables also, and figures designed for the signifying of any things soever, which are not to be taken according to their proper meaning, but in them is one thing to be understood from another, shall be said to be lies: which be far from us altogether. For he who thinks this, may also in regard of tropical expressions of which there are so many, bring in upon all of them this calumny; so that even metaphor, as it is called, that is, the usurped transferring of any word from its proper object to an object not proper, may at this rate be called a lie...

Yet true things, not false, are spoken; because true things, not false, are signified, whether by word or by deed; the things that are signified namely, those are the things spoken. They are accounted lies only because people do not understand that the true things which are signified are the things said, but believe that false things are the things said. To make this plainer by examples, attend to this very thing that Jacob did. With skins of the kids, no doubt, he did cover his limbs; if we seek the immediate cause, we shall account him to have lied; for he did this, that he might be thought to be the man he was not: but if this deed be referred to that for the signifying of which it was really done, by skins of the kids are signified sins; by him who covered himself therewith, He who bare not His own, but others' sins.

[This last, looser and more clearer translation taken from breviary.net (schismatic site -- no link)]
Therefore it is not possible to brand this perfectly true signification as false. Inasmuch as this signification was truth in symbolic action, it also was truth in so far as the same was put into words. Isaac asked Jacob, "Who art thou, my son?" Jacob answered, "I am Esau, thy first-born." Now if we interpret these words only of these twins, Jacob and Esau, it will be evident that it was a lie. But if it be interpreted of that for which these actions and words were written to shadow forth, we see that Christ is here signified in his mystical body the Church. Concerning the Church of the New Testament Christ himself spake to them of the Old Testament, saying: "Ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." And again: "They shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God : and, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last." Thus did the younger, to wit, the Church of the New Testament, take away the title and inheritance from the elder, to wit, the Church of the Old Testament, and succeed as the heir thereof.


....it makes so much more sense now!
posted by Lauren, 10:22 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Virginia}:.


Virginia is an interesting state.

There seems to be a heated debate ongoing as to whether it is, indeed, southern or not. Nevermind whatever side we took in the Civil War/War Between the States/Whatever, it's whether or not the character of the state reflects the primer-colored-car-in-the-front-yeard-on-blocks character of the rest of the South. 9 times out of 10, when you meet a Virginian, he'll specify from where, especially if it's from Northern Virginia. Northern Virginia has almost a completely different quality from the rest of Virginia. It's a lot of fun driving there and back, because from where I live, I take a lot of two-lane, curvy, windy back roads with gorgeous scenery. Fredericksburg seems to mark drastically the halfway point. Literally one moment one is driving through cow fields, while the next one is in the middle of the university-and-shopping-mall district before I-95. From then on, it's all traffic.

It's like that a bit in Richmond, too, yet it's far enough south that sweetly-accented young waitresses call you "hun" or "sweetie". It's got of an urban-south feel.

On the other hand, in the part of Virginia squished between West Virginia and South Carolina (the turkey's head -- from about Roanoke westward) is missing some of its teeth. Whereas the south of Virginia bordering on North Carolina ("Virgilina") still has some of the southern aristocracy left.

Our English roots show, as do our Irish roots -- there is a Bath county, a Kilmarknock and a Dublin in Virginia. A lot of horse farms (mostly with English roots) in south-central VA have been there for generations.

Yet a lot of out-of-state people flock to our larger cities and college towns. When I work in my dad's office and talk to the patients, I find a lot of them have moved to the area, and with them they bring their peculiar out-of-towner ways.

While I wasn't born in Virginia, I've lived here as long as I can remember and it's all I know. I've driven from one end to the other, I've visted many other states, and there's nowhere else I'd rather live, strict traffic laws and all!

All this to account for the reason I made "58% (Dixie); Barely into the Dixie category" on the Yankee or Dixie quiz. (Hat tip to Zadok, who, though not even American [he's Irish], is somehow more Dixie than I am; also to Fr. Tucker, who also despite being a NoVa-er is also more Dixie than I...)

According to this thing, my speech seems to reflect a generally eastern bias, but nothing terribly overly southern.

Interesting.

Eddie from Ohio, a group actually formed in VA when all members were at UVA (and who, incidently, have a gig tomorrow in Dallas!), wrote The Song about Virginia. With some, erm, scholarly changes, I think it should be adopted as our state song:

You think you'll find some mountains in western Colorado,
Fifty weeks of snowy peaks is where you're gonna be;
But, babe, the Rocky Mountains are gradually eroding --
The Hills of Coors are Blue Ridge wannabes.

A turkey on its belly, a chicken on its back
Anyway you look at it you'll find her on the map
She revels in the seasons and shakes hands with the North
She hugs the land of Dixie while dancing on the porch.

You think that autumns in New England are the greatest of them all
But give me sweet Virginia for the fireworks of fall!
The prettiest October in all the fifty states
Just drive up to the Skyline, park the car and wait.

So grow up, Colorado
Excuse me, Tennessee
If you don't mind, North Caroline,
It's where I wanna be.

When you're talking home you mean the Old Dominion
Just southeast of heaven to the surf and the hills
She is the best of Thirteen Sisters
And Thirty-seven more
Sweet, sweet Virginia always keeps an open door.

They're fiddling down in Galax, and picking up in Floyd,
And in the land of Patsy Cline there're songs you can't avoid
When you're Walking After Midnight, I Fall to Pieces, too
I'm Crazy back in baby's arms
With Sweet Dreams (Of You)

They're sailing down in Norfolk and skiing up in Bryce,
Climbing up the Devil's Stairs against ranger's advice
They're harvesting in Loudon to Shenandoah winds,
And in the land near Washington they're rooting for the Skins! (Fight for old DC!)

So grow up, Colorado
Excuse me, Tennessee
If you don't mind, North Caroline,
It's where I wanna be --

When you're talking home you mean the Old Dominion
Just southeast of heaven to the surf and the hills
She is the best of 13 sisters and 37 more,
Sweet sweet Virginia always keeps an open door.

Pack up your Impala, and make your move out west
Past the Blue Ridge Mountains, you'll find you passed the best
And when your dreams have ended where mountains are concerned
Me and Sweet Virginia will wait for your return.

When you're talking home ... etc



And for further enjoyment among the locals...

You Know You're From Virginia When...

* Speed limits are just suggestions. [It's called "back roads"...]
* You have at least two friends who have no idea what their relatives do...because its "top secret" government work
* Most of your senior class went to Mason, JMU, Tech, VCU or UVA
* When people ask where you're from, you tell them DC because its easier to explain
* You've never told someone you're from Virginia without putting "northern," "central," or "southern" in front of it (See above.)
* It's not actually tailgating unless your bumper is touching the car in front of you.
* You know yellow light means at least 5 more cars can get through. A red light means 2 more can.
* You actually know what the black boxes at stoplights are for. [and it's fun to use them to your advantage...]
* Despite the fact that Virginia fought for the south in the Civil War, you are not, under any circumstances, a "southerner"
* You are amused by visiting relatives who are actually excited to see Washington, DC [it really is hysterical...]
* You took a field trip to Williamsburg as a kid [Christmas as well]
* You are amazed when you go out of town and the people at McDonalds speak English
* You or someone in your family has a Smart Tag
* An inch of snow and you miss 3 days of school
* All the potholes just add a little excitement to your driving experience [It's only badish on Proffitt Rd!]
* Crown Victoria = undercover cop
* Subway is a fast food place. The transportation system is known as Metro, and only Metro. [GET IT RIGHT, people... ;)]
* They just tore down the old farm house across the street and put 12 new McMansions in its place
* For the cost of your house, you could own a small town in Iowa
* If you stay on the same road long enough, it will eventually have three new names. [There are four Glebe Roads in NoVa, none of which are connected]
* You have to dial the area code to call your neighbor
* "Vacation" means spending a day at King's Dominion or Busch Gardens.
* "Going to the River" means any stream with water. [ROFL!]
* You have never been served tea without the waitress asking "sweet or unsweetened?"
* Your favorite past time is telling West Virginia jokes. [What's four miles long and has only two teeth? The West Virginia unemployment line. How do you know the toothbrush was invented in West Virgina? Because anywhere else it would have been the "teethbrush"...]
* Anyone who can't trace his or her ancestry back to at least four generations in Virginia is an outsider.
* "Going to the beach" means anywhere from Ocean City to Virginia Beach to Myrtle Beach.
posted by Lauren, 9:34 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{A Coming of Age}:.


Girl scout cookies seem to come around only at a certain time of year. And it used to be that, ever since I was a kid, my mom would order cookies from the girl scouts and popcorn and Christmas trees from the boy scouts.

A few weeks ago, I got a knock on my door from one of the girls in my dorm who was selling girl scout cookies for her younger siblings. In a rare moment, I happened to have $6 in my pocket so I bought two boxes (to be fair to both kids).

And now they've come.

This has got to be some kind of coming-of-age thing. I've bought my own girl scout cookies. Wow.

And you know what -- it's after sundown on Saturday so I can eat them! Mwahahaaa, thin mints are no match for Lauren-on-the-weekend-before-a-midterm!!!
posted by Lauren, 7:35 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{*Ding* Round Three!}:.


Well, the issue of the Lysistrata is being brought up again. For the third time. The newspaper, seeking to stir up controversy, is running an article on it, and I've been interviewed -- via email. This is good because they have my *exact phrasing*. Also, I know the girl who interviewed me personally -- I helped her with her Latin a few times.

To remember what points were raised, I went back and re-read what I had posted before and, with the distance of time, I see I was a) not very academic, b) not very diplomatic. D'oh. Hopefully this time will be a bit better.

Once I run what I've written by the voice of reason, the other half of my brain, then I shall post it here. Eventually I'll probably type up and post the article/letters to the editor as well. Oy.

Notre Dame and that Jesuit school have problems with the Monologues... this is the University of Dallas' problem.
posted by Lauren, 2:26 PM | link | 0 comments

{Friday, February 18, 2005  }

.:{Beato Angelico}:.




God of eternal beauty, by your ineffable grace Fra Angelico studied and taught the mystery of your Word. With the help of his prayers may we be led at last to contemplate the radiance of your majesty face to face. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. [MOP 155]

I was shocked to discover that my lovely little Dominican breviary had nothing for today, the feast day of Blessed Fra Angelico, Dominican painter of the most famous Annunciation and dozens more besides. Called the "Angelic Painter", partially echoing St. Thomas Aquinas' title of the "Angelic Doctor": it is said that he does with painting what St. Thomas Aquinas does with words.

I had the very great fortune to visit the convent of San Marco three times (once it was closed, so it didn't count). One of those times, the most recent, myself my mother and Zadok met this wonderful little old priest named Fr. Reginaldo. He was wonderful and really funny as well as very knowledgeable about the convent and, upon showing us the famous Annunciation, told us that when Fra Angelico was painting it, he, overcome with love and reverence at painting the face of the Blessed Virgin at so holy a moment, painted with his eyes closed in prayer.

Truly beautiful and profoundly Dominican, Fra Angelico's paintings must be seen to be believed.

But short of that, you could click links and view jpgs. :P However, the small details of his more kaleidescopic works (i.e. his tryptich of The Last Judgment) are truly sweet, and almost nobody has a picture of his depiction of the marriage of Our Lady and St. Joseph.

But don't miss the frescoes in the cells of San Marco's,
Some details from various other frescoes,
The Madonna of the Shadows (notice the proximity of St. Lawrence -- baptismal name saint -- to St. Thomas Aquinas -- Third Order name saint and just favorite saint in general. ;)
Many more available on Olga's Gallery.

I'd stay but I have to run to class.

[Added -- Moniales, Disputations and Penitens have much better posts!]
posted by Lauren, 1:12 PM | link | 3 comments

{Thursday, February 17, 2005  }

.:{On Love, Seeking, Sehnsucht, and the Troubadours}:.




Submit to God; resist the devil and he will take flight. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you backsliders. Be humbled in the sight of the Lord and he will raise you on high.
~James 4:7-8 (the reading from Thursday's Evening Prayer)


So often in the spiritual life I think one forgets that we're human.

We are like an old cathedral, we are built of mortal stone yet breathed of God. We are not spiritual beings trapped in the vileness of a body like the gnostics would hold, nor are we only creatures of this life -- there is a union of body and soul, and we can't really be human without both.

And so we glorify God in our humanity, because it is the way we now how to glorify God. Furthermore, our humanity has been redeemed by the "sarkothenta", the enfleshing of Christ, Christ's being made man, fully man, with a human body and a human soul.

It is through the veil of our humanity that we know and see things, that we understand God. St. Bernard of Clairvaux most beautifully captured this in his Commentary on the Song of Songs, interpreting the most beautiful love poem of the Song of Songs as symbolic of the soul's union with God:

How I pray that a burning desire and a longing of heart may be aroused in me by these words, “Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth.” How great would be the grace released by the touch of those lips. I am no longer content with what Moses says, for he sounds to me like someone who cannot speak well. Isaiah is a man of unclean lips and Jeremiah a child who does not know how to speak. All the prophets are empty to me. But He, He of whom they speak, let him speak to me. Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth, whose gracious presence and eloquence of wonder causes a spring of living water to well up in me to eternal life.

Shall I not find that a richer grace is poured upon me from whom the Father has anointed with the oil of gladness more than all his companions, if he will deign to kiss me with the kisses of his mouth? His living and effective word is a kiss, not a meeting of the lips, which can sometimes be deceptive about the state of the heart, but a full infusion of joys, a revelation of secrets, a glorious and inseparable mingling of the light from above and the mind on which it is shed, which, when it is joined with God, is one spirit with him. It is with good reason then that I have nothing to do with dreams and visions, reject figures and mysteries, and even the beauty of angels seems tedious to me. For my Jesus outshines them so far in his beauty and loveliness. That is why I ask him, not any other, to kiss me with the kiss of his mouth.

The Bride although she is bold in many things, does not dare say, “Let him kiss me with his mouth,” for that is reserved for the Father alone. The kiss of the mouth is the Son in the Father and the Father in the Son. O happy kiss, this wonder of amazing self-humbling is not a mere meeting of the lips but the union of God with humanity in the Word who is Christ. But the Bride asks seemingly something less. “Let him kiss me,” she says, “with the kiss of his mouth.” The Bride receives her kiss not from the Bridegroom’s mouth, but from the kiss of his mouth. It satisfies her to receive the Bridegroom’s kiss even though it is not from his mouth. For she thinks it not a small or light thing to be kissed by the kiss, for that is nothing less than to be given the Holy Spirit. Surely if the Father kisses and the Son receives the kiss, it is appropriate to think of the kiss itself as the Holy Spirit, the imperturbable peace of the Father and the Son, their secure bond, their undivided love, their indivisible unity. So when the Bride asks for a kiss she begs to be flooded with this threefold mystery -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- as much as mortal flesh can bear.
*

*Most* beautiful is this excerpt of St. Bernard's -- and how relevant to us in our humanity.

We indeed are the objects of the Divine Love that would suffer all kinds of torments for us, the beloved. He the bridegroom and we the bride. The entirety of Salvation History is for the objects of salvation -- us men. The entirety of history and Salvation History is a story of passionate love for us.

But "what return to the Lord shall I offer for all His goodness to me? I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving" -- and that is the purpose of this Lenten season. That sacrifice we make -- a humbled, contrite heart through prayer and fasting -- is for that ultimate union with God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. We prepare ourselves for the kiss of His mouth.

But we must also remember our humanity isn't perfect. Our love seeks to be perfected but falls short in this life. The soul's marriage is even imperfect through our own sinfulness and our own weakness, and St. Augustine echoing St. Paul speaks of the dichotomy of willing the good (velle) and doing the good (posse) -- For I do not that good which I will: but the evil which I hate, that I do (Romans 7:15).

And the Song of Songs reflects this as well --

In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and found him not.
I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not.
The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth?


This may on our part very well reflect the saddest of all states, spiritual dryness. But notice that the seeker never gives up... and in the next verse, she says, When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that bore me. This reminds of "seek and you shall find..."

The spiritual dryness that especially seems to disappoint people in Lent is actually a time of great grace and trial. Our Lord and our God says to us, "blessed are they that have not seen and have believed." And so if nothing seems to be happening, we feel nothing, we nevertheless must continue to draw close to the Lord, as the beginning quote said. We are told to do such seeking as shown in the Song of Songs. Persevere.

The 12th century Troubadours, such as Bernart of Ventadorn, even have much to say on this subject, although from an even more human point of view (instead of speaking of the Divine in human terms like Bernard of Clairvaux does, they often speak of the human in Divine terms, yet it does not make it less relavent or true): "...he who does not know how to stay firm in love is hardly worthy of chivalrous. Love will be worth more than any other good, even if it causes you so much grief; for if it causes pain, it will compensate later on. A man can seldom have any real good without pain, but the joy always surpasses the weeping." Indeed, such an intense human longing, sehnsucht, especially when we cannot find him whom our soul loves, is terrible and painful. But though we are faithless, our Lord remains ever faithful. Though we may *feel* far away, we must persevere from the heart not only as lovers of Christ, but as his vassals --

"There is no use in singing if the song does not spring from the heart; and the song cannot spring from the heart if there is no true love there... may God never give me the strength not to desire love, even if I knew that I would never have anything from it, but that each day would bing me sorrow. At least I would always have a good heart, and I have much joy because I have a good heart and I strive hard....
I love and fear no one more than [Him]; and nothing would ever be a hardship if only it pleased my [Lord]!"


Yet returning to the seeking in the Song of Songs, it may also be read as Christ our Love's seeking of us. Though we are far from Christ, Lent is a time when he comes to seek us, like a bereft lover. Shall we disappoint him? Rather, we should cleanse our hands and purify our hearts! We are sinners, we are backsliders, how can we return Divine Love as we ought? Realizing this, we stand humbled before the Lord, but after our trial he will not leave our soul among the dead, nor let his beloved know decay!

St. Aelred of Rievaulx writes, "He who is more fair than all the sons of men offered his fair face to be spat upon by sinful men; he allowed those eyes that rule the universe to be blindfolded by wicked men; he bared his back to the scourges; he submitted that head which strikes terrors in principalities and powers to the sharpness of the thorns; he gave himself up to be mocked and reviled, and at the end endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, remaining always gentle, meek and full of peace...

Who could listen to that wonderful prayer, so full of warmth, of love, of unshakable serenity --
Father, forgive them... Is any gentleness, any love, lacking in this prayer?

Yet he put into it something more. It was not enough to pray for them: he wanted also to make excuses for them.
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. They are great sinners, yes, but they have little judgment ... they are nailing me the cross, but they do not know who it is that they are nailing to the cross... they think it is a lawbreaker, an impostor claiming to be God, a seducer of the people. I have hidden my face from them, and they do not recognize my glory; therefore, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

If someone wishes to love himself he must not allow himself to be corrupted by indulge his sinful nature. If he wishes to resist the prompting of his sinful nature he must enlarge the whole horizon of his love to contemplate the loving gentleness of the humanity of the Lord...

But if he wishes to prevent this fire of divine love from growing cold because of injuries received, let him keep the eyes of his soul always fixed on the serene patience of his beloved Lord and Savior.


"Why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou trouble me? Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance."

Our human weaknesses need not be a cause for despair. In our dryness and in our sadness Our Lord will seek us out. We too must persevere in seeking him, and prepare our soul for the union with the Beloved who humbled himself to share in our humanity. Let us remember this and let our humanity be a source of glorification and praise in loving God as we know how and as He has shown us in his own becoming flesh and his own dying for love of us.
___
*(Thanks to Pontifications [Anglican] for the full excerpt; I like that translation.)
posted by Lauren, 11:48 PM | link | 0 comments

{Tuesday, February 15, 2005  }

.:{That Film Review}:.


Well. On to something happier.

"A Short Film About Love" is, as I said, a film by Kieslowski originally from a series of 10 films called "The Decalogue" and it was an expansion of the sixth film in the series, "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery".

The two main characters are a woman in her mid-late 20's and the boy who lives in the apartment across from her who watches her through a telescope, Tomek. At this description, it sounds like a setting for some blatant film about voyeurism. But Tomek is decidedly not a voyeur. And the film establishes this early on.

The woman lives alone and has various encounters with men in her apartment. Tomek will not watch these, and even tries to protect her from them by, at one point, calling the gas company and reporting a leak in her apartment.

Most such peeping toms or others who do similar things (like, pornographers) don't care to get to know anything about the person on the other end -- it humanizes them too much, removing the possibility of said individual using them as an object. In contrast, Tomek very clearly actually loves her -- he finds excuses to see her, he talks to her and cares to know about her as a human being and as a person and, as seen above, exhibits protective behavior. All this is done, at first, from afar without her knowing.

But what's more interesting is their supernatural connection. There is one point where Tomek is wakened in the middle of the night. He looks through his telescope and sees the woman come in only to sit down at her table and sob uncontrollably. He wakes the old woman he lives with (his best friend's mother) to ask her, "why do people cry?"

"People cry for a lot of reasons," she says, "when they're angry or hurt ... or they cannot bear to live anymore." Responding to Tomek's further concern, she says: "once, [my son] had a toothache. He plugged in the iron, waited, and then held it to his shoulder. And he forgot his toothache."

The fascinating thing occurs in the next scene. Tomek takes a pair of scissors and, spreading his hand on his desk, stabs the scissors into the desk in the space between his fingers with increasing rapidity ... until he gets a cut. All for the sake of alleviating her pain in a supernatural way -- that is, a way beyond the natural -- so that he can bear her pain in a physical way. One recalls Galatians 6:2, Bear ye one another's burdens.

Eventually, Tomek feels compelled to tell her of his -- as a way of comfort. She is put off by this at first, but when Tomek comes to her door the next morning to deliver her milk, they talk. Eventually he tells her, "I love you", at which point she, who understands love as a physical thing, asks "what do you want?"
"Nothing," he replies.

He invites her out to ice cream. They talk. Again he tells her "I love you." The woman replies sardonically, denying that love exists.

She brings him back to her apartment, and for the third and ultimate time he tells her, "I love you."
"It's got nothing to do with love," she replies. She makes an attempt to seduce him to show him that real love doesn't exist. Thus the extent of her cynicism is revealed, as is the extent of Tomek's devotion to her.

The last we see of Tomek before the movie's point-of-view changes over to the woman's is Tomek calmly slitting his wrists. She remains unaware of this.

Yet from henceforward, the woman changes completely. She sends away her lover. Her prickly exterior is melted. She even dresses more modestly. A clear and complete change is effected in her.

At this point she gets a phonecall whereby the audience knows her name -- "Maria Magdalena," the voice addresses her.

From this, we note that the pivotal event of her change was Tomek's shedding of his blood for her(remembering how he thought his physical suffering could save her earlier).

One may rightly point out that Tomek is no Christ. No, he's not a direct parallel to Christ -- the odd telescope thing (which was originally intended for kicks, but by observing her he fell genuinely in love with her) precludes this. However, his love is salvific -- both of himself and of her; it is by his love that he becomes a Christ-figure. It purifies the both of them.

Some people rightly criticize those who look too hard for deeper meanings in films and whatnot. Respondeo dicendum
1) It's from a series called the Decalogue ... come on.
2) The point at which the audience discovers the woman's name to be Magda is clearly a turning point in the movie
3) If you ignore this aspect of the film, it's just as Weird Movie and the director obviously knows nothing of the pathology of voyeurs.

A review on IMDB calls it
"A laconic sentimental flick with little to offer save the psychodynamics of a pair of peculiar characters, this tale of strange bedfellows is very well done for what it is, which ain't much."

Respondeo dicendum, this person clearly misses the point. Again, the psychology of Tomek is presented deliberately backwards to make said point.

Dailygusto.com says, "Despite having the trappings of a suspense film, with its themes of voyeurism and thwarted affections, this truly is a love story, albeit an odd one. Tomek's feelings for Magda may be naive, and he may objectify her, but his love is genuine in its innocent, idealistic way."

Respondeo dicendum, again the person misses the backwards psychology. Furthermore, the point of the movie is made that Magda's return of Tomek's affection is accidental -- he is content to love her from afar without her knowing.

Furthermore, it has already been shown how Tomek does not objectify her. There is even a scene where he identifies himself with her in a very small way -- a small scene where he eats the same thing as she does at the same time.

Furthermore, real and genuine and innocent and idealistic love seeks the opposite of objectification. Otherwise one could have real and genuine and innocent and idealistic love for a tree and, in our fallen nature people would leave their spouses for trees and stuff. But it's clear that a tree is not a proper object of love, because, among other things, a tree cannot return love.

A site that sort of gets it better says the following:

"Moreover, Kieslowski's allusive use of thematic colors in his subsequent films, Three Colors: White and Three Colors: Red, to represent equality (White) and fraternity (Red), is similarly manifested in the film as Tomek reaches a figurative equality with Magda after the transformative, humiliating encounter, and Magda (whose birth name, uncoincidentally, is Maria Magdalena) finds redemption from her wanton past through her connection with Tomek."

Furthermore I've found a handful of other Christian sites that have picked up on this theme as well.

I'm trying to prove I'm not insane, here.

(As mentioned, this film is not for everyone. Some content there, the worst part of which is mentioned in the above link, is not visually seen but hinted at.)

I found this film absolutely fascinating, if not visually enthralling (it tends to be a bit understated on a visual level; I suspect that has something to do with it being Polish).

On the whole (and with the above caveat) I give it my Cnytr three thumbs up.

(I knew that third hand would come in useful one day ... )
posted by Lauren, 10:57 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{To All the Lay Faithful -- or, How Not To Be Not-POD}:.


Alright everybody.

I don't like it either. But come on.

When one wants to go to mass, one wants to go to mass and not the theatre. While sitting in mass, it *is* really annoying when the priest skirts lines and selectively ignores rubrics and does a lot of his own stuff.

Here at the University of Dallas Church of the Incarnation, we students are prone to hearing that a lot from our chaplain, God bless him. We were without a chaplain for a long time -- I believe Fr. JD (OP) was just made out chaplain last semester. For some reason, though we have a Dominican priory and a Cistercian abbey right here, nobody wants to or is able to be out chaplain. So it's kind of a big deal that we actually *have* a chaplain now.

Fr. JD doesn't seem to like subjunctives. He says "the Lord is with you" (rather than "The Lord be with you"). He uses a bit of inclusive language ("Almighty One" rather than "Almighty Father") -- it definitely could be worse. None of this crazy mother-goddes stuff, or "Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier"-ness. He's also fond of "a reading from the Good News according to (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)."

It definitely, definitely could be worse. I mean, the Dominican sisters in Houston are really pretty loopy. Anyone for T'ai Chi at their place in March?

We have mass. It is very generous of Fr. JD to be our chaplain. So someone who said the following at the prayers of the faithful today really ought to be drowned in the baptismal font:

"For all PRIESTS saying MASS that they may stick to all DIRECTIONS and RUBRICS and *NOT* rely on their OWN INVENTIONS. WE PRAY to the LORD." (emphasis his)

It was blatant, shocking. Everyone kind of paused and shuffled their feet a moment. Did he really just say that? It was so obviously and uncharitably aimed at Father, who is up on the altar right now. Who would have the nerve to say that??

And excuse me, sir, but you're not even a parishoner here. You have no right to come in and order around our priest in the middle of mass to a place that's not even your own. He's saying a valid mass. If he needs correction, one doesn't do it in front of everybody.

A priest is so obviously a layperson's superior. Can you be in persona Christi? Are you an alter Christus? When I hear about you being higher than the angels, I might consider paying attention to you.

Until then, sir, here's $5 -- go and buy yourself a clue.

It is not the place of a layperson to correct a validly ordained priest. Neither is it the place of a *decent* person to correct *any*body in front of other people -- corrections are made in private, unless you're in the military and are making an example of a person to humiliate them, because that's what it does.

If a priest is doing something blatantly wrong or strange and it's in one's own parish (if it isn't one's parish, why, it's not your problem -- leave it to the local bishop), the proper thing to do is to approach the priest privately and request clarification. Wouldn't it be terrible if one ratted on a priest you knew nothing about for something he didn't do?

If the priest explains it away and it's clearly against ... well, something (like, CANON LAW), it may be time to write a letter to the bishop.

That's part of the reason there's a hierarchy there, people. It's like in the Army. One doesn't go over the heads of one's superiors.

And they are superiors with clear authority. Even if they never wear their clerics and try as hard as they can to be laity or whatever, there's still that sacrament that they have and a lay person doesn't. If they're mean and nasty and terrible, whatever, one respects the rank. Again, like the Army. After all, we're the church militant. What does a unit do without a superior officer? It all a mell of a hess!

Apologies for the acerbic quality of the rant. The sheer tastelessness of this guy made me really angry, and it took all my willpower not to turn around and attack him in the middle of the prayers of the faithful, or to try to seek him out afterwards or something. :P Grrrrr...

A Prayer For Priests

O Jesus, Eternal Priest; keep all Your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart, where none may harm them. Keep unstained their anointed hands which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

Keep unsullied their lips purpled with Your Precious Blood. Keep pure and unearthly their hearts sealed with the sublime marks of Your glorious priesthood. Let Your holy love surround them and shield them from the world's contagion.

Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they have ministered to be their joy and consolation and in Heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown.

O Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us many holy priests.
Amen.

Tu es sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech
posted by Lauren, 9:55 PM | link | 7 comments

.:{Kevin DuBrow}:.



I am 37% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!


I'm so cool, you don't even know I'm cool!

Ex-card-on me ....
posted by Lauren, 4:51 PM | link | 1 comments

{Monday, February 14, 2005  }

.:{The Star Lover}:.


From Sir Philip Sydney's sonnet-sequence, Astrophil and Stella

1.

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe ;
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others' leaves to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting invention's stay ;
Invention, nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite,
Fool, said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write.

9.

Queen Virtue's court, which some call Stella's face,
Prepared by Nature's chiefest furniture,
Hath his front built of alabaster pure,
Gold is the covering of that stately place.
The door, by which sometimes comes forth her grace,
Red porphyr is, which lock of pearl makes sure;
Whose porches rich, which name of cheeks endure,
Marble, mixed red and white, do interlace.
The windows now, through which this heavenly guest
Looks over the world and can find nothing such
Which dare claim from those lights the name of best,
Of touch they are that without touch doth touch,
Which Cupid's self from Beauty's mine did draw:
Of touch they are, and poor I am their straw.

10.

Reason, in faith thou art well served, that still
Wouldst brabbling be with Sense and Love in me.
I rather wished thee climb the Muses' hill,
Or reach the fruit of Nature's choicest tree,
Or seek heaven's course or heaven's inside to see.
Why shouldst thou toil our thorny soil to till?
Leave Sense, and those which Sense's objects be:
Deal thou with powers of thoughts, leave Love to Will.
But thou wouldst needs fight both with Love and Sense,
With sword of Wit giving wounds of dispraise,
Till downright blows did foil thy cunning fence:
For, soon as they strake thee with Stella's rays,
Reason, thou kneeledst, and offeredst straight to prove
By reason good, good reason her to love.

20.

Fly, fly, my friends, I have my death wound, fly;
See there that boy, that murth'ring boy, I say,
Who, like a thief, hid in dark bush doth lie
Till bloody bullet get him wrongful prey.
So tyrant he no fitter place could spy,
Nor so fair level in so secret stay,
As that sweet black which veils the heav'nly eye:
There himself with his shot he close doth lay.
Poor passenger, pass now thereby I did,
And stayed, pleased with the prospect of the place,
While that black hue from me the bad guest hid;
But straight I saw motions of lightning grace,
And then descried the glist'ring of his dart;
But ere I could fly thence, it pierced my heart.
posted by Lauren, 4:11 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{What poetry form are you?}:.




I'm terza rima, and I talk and smile.
Where others lock their rhymes and thoughts away
I let mine out, and chatter all the while.

I'm rarely on my own - a wasted day
Is any day that's spent without a friend,
With nothing much to do or hear or say.

I like to be with people, and depend
On company for being entertained;
Which seems a good solution, in the end.
What Poetry Form Are You?


(How rockin' is THAT? Except for the author's terrible poetry, and the fact that it's completely wrong that I have to be with people -- I'm definitely a fairly reclusive person. But I'm Terza Rima-- dude, that's Dante's poetic form. Dante MADE that form. He also made the Italian languaege. Dante is simply amazing.

Apparently, if I weren't Terza Rima, I'd be blank verse, which is also a completely wrong description of self, but Shakespeare wrote a lot of blank verse, so I'm down with that, too...

But nonetheless, Charles Williams says that, since I am a woman, I am poetry...)

Also, movie review coming up as soon as class is over!!!

~~

Further note: Heroic couplets, being the only poetry form I cannot STAND, *would* be the description that fits self best. :P Or a ballad, which is another poetic form I don't like. :P

On Lauren's poetic good list:
Dante
Shakespeare
TS Eliot
Charles Williams
Sir Philip Sydney ("Fool" said my muse to me "look in thy heart and write!")
Thomas Aquinas
Bernard of Clairvaux
John Donne
(General Elizabethan-era)
Goethe (but only in German)

On Lauren's poetic bad list:
WORDSWORTH (aka "Wordswords" :P)
KEATS
SHELLEY
AUUGUUUUUUGH ROMANTIC POETS
Anything written between 1950 and present day
Anything in heroic couplets
Anything written by someone under the age of 25
Any original composition that appears on a blog/livejournal of someone who fails the above category ... etc etc etc

Remind me also to post about all the things I hate about Valentine's day. Oooh, usually I am the first to say "Happy St. Valentine's Day" -- indeed, the only other nationally-recognized Catholic day. Commericalized, but ... it's something.

Time for class now. :P
posted by Lauren, 1:40 PM | link | 5 comments

{Sunday, February 13, 2005  }

.:{Forthcoming Film Review}:.


A Forthcoming Film Review brought to you by the inComparable Cnytr:


Krótki film o milosci or
A Short Film About Love

From the Decalogue series. In Polish with English subtitles.

Pay *no* attention whatever to the summaries, because there is no way they will catch the subtle theological overtones rampant throughout this movie. Furthermore, the film is not for everyone (some content warning, although I missed it, I'm told it's there).

A redemption story about a woman named Magda, Maria Magda.

More once I get my homework done. (*Cannot concentrate on homework this weekend*)
posted by Lauren, 10:30 PM | link | 3 comments

.:{In other news ...}:.


... Our Lady is a Dominican.
posted by Lauren, 9:03 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Bologna today}:.



Bolognia, Tomb of St. Dominic

Today, all is well in Bologna. The birds are chirping. A nice breeze blows through the Northern Italian city. On this, the feast day of Bld. Jordan of Saxony, even though it is a Sunday, the Dominicans chant the "O Lumen" at the tomb of Our Holy Father.

*sob* I didn't get to go to Bologna whilst I was in Italy. Alas alas!

After all my nostalgia about Italy last night, I got a message on my recorder this morning after I returned from mass from said location from my sidekick. :P If I hadn't given up throwing really heavy books at mean people for Lent, he'd find a copy of the complete Liddell and Scott lodged between his eyes. :PPP

But instead, I can take this occasion to have an informative post about a place I've never been and know nothing about, yet is an occasion to freak out about Dominican stuff. Yay Dominican stuff! :D

Apparently people are fond of cutting off the heads of Dominicans once they're dead. In addition to St. Catherine of Siena (or "Headless Kate" as she is affectionately known by Matt over at Holy Whapping), apparently this reliquary is intended to house the head of St. Dominic.

This site, in Italian but easy to navigate (even if it looks like it was made by a two-year-old), has many pictures of the chapel, chiesa, that picture in the apse that I posted on my blog when talking about what St. Dominic looked like though I didn't know it was from Bologna because apparently it is (that's much too long of a parenthetical aside), and the vera effigis that Tom commented about in the same post.

Dominican iconography -- again, in Italian. Come oooonnn, Italian's not haaard! Anyway, it's got lots of pretty pictures!

Also, the image on this page describes Italy quite well....

Also, this is an astounding visual allegory of the battle of Lepanto.

Hmmm... their site seriously looks like they've been taking design lessons from The Cheat and Strong Bad.
posted by Lauren, 6:48 PM | link | 0 comments