{    Cnytr   }

{Thursday, March 31, 2005  }

.:{Terri Schiavo is Dead}:.

Requiem aeternam dona eae, Domine... et lux perpetua luceat eae. Requiescat in pace, Amen.

Michael Schiavo ... "you are a villain; I jest not: I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you."

They've done it. They've killed her. Her blood is upon us and upon our children. They've legally allowed a man to murder his wife. The courts and corrupt judges have turned a blind eye to basic ethics again. And now we have this on our heads.

God have mercy on us all.
posted by Lauren, 1:56 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{But I thought ...}:.

...that we had to get the heck out of here?
posted by Lauren, 1:55 AM | link | 2 comments

.:{You mean ...???}:.


posted by Lauren, 1:54 AM | link | 2 comments

.:{Professionalism in European News}:.

...Usually, to speak of such thing is to seek for slithy toves -- it doesn't exist. And I'm the kind of person who (wants to) believe in fairies. Of course, many European (or at least Italian) news publications are professedly biased, and don't seek for the objectivity that many American publications pretend to have (though the AP hardly ever adheres to its own code, at least they have one, and one written).

Incidentally, in Zadok's absence, here is the cute animal picture from the Corriere... you know you missed it.

Anyway, I totally forgot what I was going to say when I started this post, but now I have enough written that I can't just erase it.

The long and the short of what I was going to say revolved around this article from the Irish times going on (and on) about cars (*shoves "Consumer Reports" their way*). It's the sort of thing that should have been filed under... well, something else. They're not afraid to start sentences with "and", though. I like it.

However, you'll note the last sentence -- "down with that sort of thing". Deliberate Father Ted reference. This phrase (and the accompanying "careful now") have been absorbed into Irish (and English??) phraseology (they seem to have become the standard protesting slogans) such that they're able to be utilized in "professional" reporting. I find this interesting. Even though in America, "d'oh" has made it into the dictionary, one doesn't hear it on the news.

So either it's really unprofessional (though the article itself is sort of loose itself in being called an "article" and not an "opinion" or "editorial" piece), or Father Ted really is that much of a phenomenon.

("Once more, Dougal, these cows are small, but those cows out there are *far away*...")

Speaking of European newscasting, though it's opinion and not news, here you will find an extremely rare article by Michael Grove as found on the Times Online (UK) about Terri Schiavo. I'd have to rate it as one of the finest pieces of overseas journalistic (in the broad sense) writing that I've seen in at least a year. Compelling and well-written and, shockingly enough, professional, even for an editorial piece.

That guy should get a raise.

posted by Lauren, 1:17 AM | link | 1 comments

{Wednesday, March 30, 2005  }

.:{Cute quote by a seminarian}:.

They say that a healthy appetite in the seminary is the sign of a good vocation. Ed was apparently born to be a priest. He's in the seminary now ...

Lauren: How's the seminary treating you? :)
Ed: It's treating me too well. Except for the food.
Ed: all carbohydrates. So I'm getting fat!
Ed: but on the brighter side, that's more of me to get ordained! and if your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, why not make it a basilica!
posted by Lauren, 3:25 PM | link | 1 comments

{Tuesday, March 29, 2005  }



Apologies ... got back to Dallas last night from break, and it's been a bit busy.

However I do have some tidbits for you -- reflections on the saints, Dominicanity, the question "why/how does Christ's death save us", and Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy.

But I have to translate that last one, so I don't know when it'll be through. My first experience with St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Latin, and I've lost my Latin dictionary and I'm doing this in my "spare time"; for that matter it's competing with the latest receieved-from-Netflix installment of "Father Ted" ("usless priest can't say mass!"). Yeah, we'll see how long this lasts.

Stay tuned!
posted by Lauren, 11:17 PM | link | 0 comments

{Sunday, March 27, 2005  }

.:{Guess who's baaaaack...}:.

...my favorite blog ever, risen with the Risen Lord.
posted by Lauren, 10:32 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{Laetare! Alleluia!!!}:.

The One who has become your husband is your Maker;
his name is the Lord of hosts;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
called God of all the earth.
The Lord calls you back,
like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
a wife married in youth and then cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great tenderness I will take you back.
In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
I hid my face from you;
but with enduring love I take pity on you,
says the Lord, your redeemer.
This is for me like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah
should never again deluge the earth;
so I have sworn not to be angry with you,
or to rebuke you.
Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
my love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled,
I lay your pavements in carnelians,
and your foundations in sapphires;
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of carbuncles,
and all your walls of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
In justice shall you be established,
far from the fear of oppression,
where destruction cannot come near you.

posted by Lauren, 1:55 AM | link | 2 comments

{Saturday, March 26, 2005  }

.:{My flesh also shall rest in hope}:.

Today is Holy Saturday... despite the vigil this evening, thought to be the saddest day of the church year, even sadder than Good Friday because Christ has been crucified, has perished and is buried and today it would seem we are totally without him.

At one point throughout the Triduum, the Lamentations of Jeremiah were read, and Holy Saturday's readings and antiphons express the garment-wrending mournfulness of the day.

HETH. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
HETH. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
HETH. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
TETH. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
TETH. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
TETH. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
YODH. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
YODH. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.
YODH. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God.

R. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter : he was afflicted, and opened not his mouth : he was given over to die, * That he might make his people to live.
V. He poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors.
R. That he might make his people to live.

ALEPH. How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.
BETH. The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!
GHIMEL. Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: but the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.
DALETH. The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.
HE. They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.
VAU. For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God.

R. Arise, O Jerusalem, and lay aside thy garments of joy and gladness : gird thee with sackcloth, and bow down in ashes : * For in thee hath been slain the Saviour of Israel.
V. Let tears run down like a river, day and night : let not the apple of thine eye cease.
R. For in thee hath been slain the Saviour of Israel.

Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach. Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens. We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows. We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold unto us. Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest. We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread. Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities. Servants have ruled over us: there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand. We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness. Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine. They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God.

R. Lament like a virgin, O my people : cry and howl, O ye shepherds, in sackcloth and ashes : * For the day of the Lord is at hand, a great day, and exceeding bitter.
V. Gird yourselves and lament, ye priests : howl, ye ministers of the altar : cast up ashes upon you.
R. For the day of the Lord is at hand, a great day, and exceeding bitter.
R. Lament like a virgin, O my people : cry and howl, O ye shepherds, in sackcloth and ashes : * For the day of the Lord is at hand, a great day, and exceeding bitter.

posted by Lauren, 8:55 AM | link | 1 comments

.:{Tertia Die Vigile}:.

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday: The Lord's Descent into Hell
(Originally written in Greek; this is my favorite reading of the whole church year, and I've been looking forward to posting it for as long; behold its influence on the prayer of vassalage)

"What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam's son.

The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: 'My Lord be with you all.' And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.

‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.

'See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.

`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.

‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

"The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages."
posted by Lauren, 1:21 AM | link | 0 comments

{Friday, March 25, 2005  }

.:{O Sacred Head}:.

O sacred head ill-usèd,
By reed and bramble scarred,
That idle blows have bruisèd,
And mocking lips have marred,
How dimmed that eye so tender,
How wan those cheeks appear,
How overcast that splendour,
That angel hosts revere!

Thy face is drawn with anguish,
That once did love display.
In death's grip thou dost languish,
Thy strenght is drained away.
O thou who bore this burden,
Who felt this bitter pain,
It was for sinners' pardon,
Which thou alone couldst gain.

In this thy sacred passion
O that some share had I!
O may the cross's fashion,
O'erlook me when I die!
For those dear pains that rack thee,
A sinner's thanks receive;
O, lest in death I lack thee,
A sinner's care relieve.

Since death must be my ending
In that dread hour of need,
My friendless cause befriending,
Lord, to my rescue speed;
Theyself, dear Jesus, trace me
That passage to the grave,
And from Thy cross embrace me
With arms outstretched to save.

13th Century
Translated Msgr Ronald A Knox (1888-1957)
posted by Lauren, 10:32 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{An OP responds to an OP}:.

From an Amy Welborne post which links to (unfortunately) another OP in the Fr. O'Rourke camp, Br. Francis de Sales responds something that's been in the back of my mind that I didn't think I could articulate or draw out --

"Please bear with me here. . .

On this, the day that we celebrate the institution of the Holy Eucharist--the Body and Blood of the God-man given up in love for us--and, of the institution of the priesthood by our Lord Jesus, perhaps there is particular relevance in these words of St. Paul:

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. (Col 1:24)

For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Cor 1:5)

I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less? (2 Cor 12:15)

We Catholics often seem to take too little notice of the close relationship between the following two beautiful realities of our faith: 1) the fact of our being constituted by Christ as a family of brothers and sisters (those now on earth together with those in heaven or purgatory) through His Passion and Resurrection which is made effective in us via baptism into Him (i.e. the Communion of Saints); and 2) the reality that by sharing in the Cross of Christ through our sufferings, we can become closer to Him, and, closer to each other--through our mutual participation, by grace, in each other's salvation. (i.e. redemptive suffering)

The Communion of Saints and redemptive suffering are two aspects of our faith that are deeply intertwined. Consider this in relation to Terri Schiavo.

The dignity of the human person is so great, that Jesus Christ has invited us to enter right into His greatest and most incredible act of love for us--His self-offering in the blessed Cross. He wants us to be there with Him, in this great love for one another. Not because suffering in itself is good, but because as sons of Adam, our fallen hearts need the cleansing fire of the cross (either now, or later) to be purified of selfishness. Nothing but pure, unstained, utterly real and sincere love is good enough for the human heart to carry into eternity. That's how special we are to God.

Here is something no one of us could possibly know for sure unless Terri Schiavo were dead (I don't care how expert the doctor is who claims otherwise--he ain't God): whether or not in her soul she can still make a free, human act of self-offering in love on behalf of others. And if she can (only God knows)--is this "useless"? I think not!

Don't we still value (or, even believe in) the value of redemptive suffering?

No, we don't go out looking for suffering or trying to artificially create it for ourselves. But if (or, rather, when) life brings the cross into our lives--can we no longer ask the Holy Spirit to give us the grace to offer it in love for others, and to allow it to teach us to love more like Jesus--from the great selflessness of a suffering heart?

I say this because in the disgustingly presumptuous talk of Terri's presumed inability to do anything worthwhile of her own will, I think we make a hasty conclusion that we have no business making--that Terri has no freedom of will to act within her spirit to unite her sufferings with Jesus on behalf of others. How do we know she can't do this??? Only God knows.

To end Terri's life is to deny her the opportunity that may indeed be very real for her, of becoming, in the hidden mystery of her soul's relationship to God, a great saint! God may want to help her by His grace, . . . to help her to pray, pray, enlarging her spiritual heart, that she might ever more fully and freely, spiritually place the suffering of her damaged body upon the altars of every Mass in love for the whole world.

I can't imagine the hubris of any human being that would presume, by deliberately killing her, to take away this potential work of God in His suffering child. It is His business what He does in the depths of a suffering soul. Are we to deny Him the possibility of this work of love? We don't want to think about it any more in our so-comfortable and convenient lives, but is it not yet true what someone said, that it is by the cross that our Father in heaven forms our misshapen souls into glorious works of eternal beauty?"

(Then he adds)

"A few highly pertinent quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbours. Though often unconscious collaborators with God's will, they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions, their prayers and their sufferings. They then fully become "God's fellow workers" and co-workers for his kingdom. (no. 307)

The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the "one mediator between God and men". But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, "the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery" is offered to all men. (no. 618)

By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion. (no. 1505)

[A]n act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator (no. 2277)
posted by Lauren, 9:17 AM | link | 0 comments

{Thursday, March 24, 2005  }

.:{Pange Lingua}:.

ange, lingua, gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
quem in mundi pretium
fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit Gentium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus
ex intacta Virgine,
et in mundo conversatus,
sparso verbi semine,
sui moras incolatus
miro clausit ordine.

In supremae nocte coenae
recumbens cum fratribus
observata lege plene
cibis in legalibus,
cibum turbae duodenae
se dat suis manibus.

Verbum caro, panem verum
verbo carnem efficit:
fitque sanguis Christi merum,
et si sensus deficit,
ad firmandum cor sincerum
sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
veneremur cernui:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui:
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
laus et jubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio:
procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.

Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory,
of His flesh the mystery sing;
of the Blood, all price exceeding,
shed by our immortal King,
destined, for the world's redemption,
from a noble womb to spring.

Of a pure and spotless Virgin
born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
then He closed in solemn order
wondrously His life of woe.

On the night of that Last Supper,
seated with His chosen band,
He the Pascal victim eating,
first fulfills the Law's command;
then as Food to His Apostles
gives Himself with His own hand.

Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
by His word to Flesh He turns;
wine into His Blood He changes;
what though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
faith her lesson quickly learns.

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble sense fail.

To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honor, blessing,
might and endless majesty.


(An HTML conversion of the Pange Lingua I have hanging up on my wall; download it in .doc format)

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

.:{Catholic Teaching and Terri Schiavo}:.

Proposition: That the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube is and was immoral and directly contrary to Catholic teaching and the dignity of the person.

Br. Andy over at The Smiling Friar blog has a post on the current Terri Schiavo situation based on an argument by Fr. O'Rourke, OP. Far be it from me to correct a priest, but being a novice, I can pull rank on a student brother. ;)

There is some erroneous information at work. The first being signified by:

please don't tell me she is responsive, the medical professionals have examined her and they are all saying the same things: most of her brain is literally gone and replaced by spinal fluid.

Not quite. A medical professional examined her years ago, and since then (even before the whole case went ape) other professionals have had reasonable reason to doubt the diagnoses.
Secondly, if most of her brain were gone she would not be able to respond to the world or breathe on her own. In fact most of her brain is not gone. Earlier this week Old Oligarch posted this link from a doctor analyzing Terri Schiavo's 1996 CT scan -- she hasn't had anything since because Michael Schiavo has denied it her, therefore throwing doubt on her actual condition because the initial diagnosis has little or no supporting evidence. The interesting part which O.O also posts is the following (emphasis original):


Terri Schiavo is clearly brain damaged though there is 0 evidence for her being brain dead. A brain dead person is incapable of response to outside stimuli.

Therefore, there is obviously reasonable doubt as to Terri's case.

Because of this, it follows that if there is doubt as to whether or not there is life in a person (in the brain, in the womb), one MUST default in favor of life. Because you just don't know, and human life can't hang on the balance of a guess. That is immoral. If you guess wrong, you've killed somebody.

This is a fairly simple ethical principle (Thomistic, too, I think).

The principle of double-effect does not apply here.

This is reason number one why it would be immoral to kill Terri Schiavo by removing her feeding tube... or rather leaving it out.

Continuing --

If a person cannot think, then they cannot pray. So why prolong her life in a state where she is not cognative?

L'Osservatore Roman responded earlier this week:

"Who can, before God and humanity, pretend with impunity to claim such a right? Who — and on the basis of which criteria — can establish to whom the 'privilege' to live should be given? Who can judge the dignity and sacredness of the life of a human being, made in the image and likeness of God? Who can decide to pull the plug as if we were talking about a broken or out of order household appliance?"

What you've essentially argued here is euthenasia -- a third party deciding the "quality of life" for another individual and then terminating life based upon their own decisions. This is also clearly immoral, and to argue otherwise is to argue as a non-Catholic.

Secondly, as it has been shown above, there is no evidence that she is not cognitive.

Thirdly, even a person in a vegitative state is a person (as Fr. O'Rourke grants) and a person has undeniable dignity; as Elio Sgreccia (Vice President of the Pontifical Academy for Life) points out in an article discussing PVS,

Man is a unitary but at the same time a compound being; his components are the spiritual soul and the material body and as such he is defined as a "person."

In classical, medieval and also modern philosophy, reference is made to the material body and the spiritual soul, but today in the biomedical sciences, and in particular in the neurosciences, the terms "mind" and "brain" are more frequently employed.

These two modalities are not equivalent because whereas the phrase "body-soul" refers to the concreteness of the individual being, to substance, to being, the phrase "mind-body" refers to function and is thus reductive. One can think that the mind does not express its function in the fetus or in the child or in the sleeping person, but this does not mean that these individuals do not have a spiritual soul...

In the living human being there are not different kinds of souls: one vegetative, one sensory, and one rational; instead, the rational soul is responsible for all the functions. Thus the personal being is unitary in the sense that the self invests the whole of the corporeal existence. Even when rationality is impeded this does not mean that the rational soul is not present in a person who is still biologically alive.

He also points out Thomas Aquinas on the issue of the soul in Prima Pars q. 76 a. III-IV

Based on this, Sgreccia concludes:

To come to our question and our case, if we adopt this unitary anthropology the body in a persistent vegetative state, which has vitality at the level of an organism, albeit of a merely vegetative nature, is united to the rational soul, the only soul that makes the body living.

The Friar continues,

This is a person who will not eat or drink on her own. Her brain will not tell her mouth to chew or her hands to open a box of Mac and Cheese. Now that is a little off the point, a baby cannot do this either, but a baby will some day. Terri won't...

There are certain elderly people who also cannot properly eat or drink on their own. This would likewise, in this logic, be reason to terminate them. It wouldn't, I think, be too far of a leap to see an implicit connection with personhood and the ability to feed oneself, thereby arguing that Terri Schiavo is not a person and can be euthenized, but neither are babies but they shouldn't be aborted because they have the potentiality of growing into a person.

A November 2003 CNS article quotes Bishop Vasa of Baker, Oregon --

“The Catholic Church teaches that hydration and nutrition are simply water and food. These must always be provided as long as the food or water itself or the method of delivery is not unduly burdensome to the patient,” he said. “There does not appear to be any indication from Terri that the provision or the method of provision of food and water is burdensome to her.

“To treat her as if she were already dead is cruel and inhumane. To treat her as if she is dying is likewise ludicrous,” said the bishop in a message to Terri’s parents, Mary and Bob Schindler. Bishop Vasa said her parents’ love and battle to keep her alive tell “the world that Terri has great worth.”

“Terri is alive. She is kept alive by the same things that keep me alive – food, water, air. Her disability deprives her of the ability to ingest these things; it does not deprive her of the ability to digest them,” he continued. “She may well die in the future from an inability to digest food but it would be murder to cause her death by denying her the food she still has the ability to digest and which continues to provide for her a definite benefit – life itself.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says --

2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.
2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.
2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

No one can deny that the giving of food and water is ordinary; even in hospitals the feeding tube procedure is routine and ordinary, given even to the elderly.

Therefore the position you argue is clearly in accord with the pro-euthenasia and therefore un-Catholic.

Br. Andy continues,

...they are just allowing her to pass away in a manner that is in line with her broken body.

Seeing as we have proved that giving food and water is not extraodinary means, this has already been shown to be false.

I guess in the long run, I am formulating my ideas soley on the fact that if I were in her position, I would prefer to be allowed to go to God. The Order will make sure that this happens, which I am grateful for.

Two very wrong things -- The Order won't, and you ended a sentence with a preposition.

I say let Terri enter into eternity, don't we as Catholics believe that is better anyway?

Via natural means, yes. But Augustine notes this several times under several different circumstances, that it is not permissible to kill oneself or someone else due to dishonor, sin, or hope of the next life.

We have already established that the denying food and water to Terri Schiavo is immoral, therefore her death would be unnatural and, since it is voluntarily caused, immoral.

I am just a friar who likes to argue!

Yes, and my mother did always say that I should have been a lawyer.

I had rather hoped that, given your affinity for arguing, the post was merely a way to prompt a spirited argument since the case is quite clear. Unfortunately now I see this is not the case.

I may post later on the Fr. O'Rourke article.

See also Zadok on the issue.

...In conclusion: QED.
posted by Lauren, 9:42 AM | link | 6 comments

{Wednesday, March 23, 2005  }

.:{Lysistrata -- take one million}:.

Declining to comment at the moment, but the following is the UD News article on the Lysistrata as complained about numerous times on this blog.

Controversial play evokes protest
By Monica B./Contributing Writer
Published: Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Objections to the 2004 fall Rome play Lysistrata may hinder its production on the Irving campus this semester. Despite the protests, sophomore Demarest Thompson, director of the play, wants to produce the play on campus. Lysistrata, by Greek playwright Aristophanes, takes place during the Peloponnesian War.
The Greek women, tired of the conflict and the continued absence of the men, agree to refrain from sexual activity until the men make peace.
Controversy first erupted last summer when Thompson announced Lysistrata was going to be the fall Rome play.
"One student wrote an e-mail [protesting the play] to me, the Rome department, and the drama department," Thompson said.
Thompson, who selected the play with the approval of the drama department and Dr. William Frank, academic dean of the Rome campus, said she believed the objections were about the sexual content of the play.
"I guess the original controversy before I got to Rome was because it's a play with a lot of sexual innuendos, and people felt it was not appropriate for a Catholic university," she said.
The student's e-mail objecting to Lysistrata called the play "pornographic in nature" and "in no way in accord with the Catholic identity" of UD.
Dr. David Davies, English department chair, responded to the student's objections, saying Lysistrata was preserved for centuries by Catholic monks; "evidently they and the Church did not think that these works should be ignored, lost, or expunged."
Davies said the play has been part of the Literary Traditions III syllabus in the past and is currently on the syllabus for Tragedy and Comedy, implying the English department faculty and university administration give at least tacit approval to the play.

English department responds
Thompson said she did not ask Davies to write a response to the student's e-mail.
"He responded to the student directly and sent me a copy. His response was on his own initiative; I didn't ask him to," she said.

Resignation of original cast
Controversy continued in Rome when many students originally cast for the play quit after they read the script.
Thompson said many cast members quit after the first read-through because they were not comfortable saying the lines on stage, and they did not think the play was appropriate.
"Part of the controversy may have been because the translation I used (Nicholas Rudall) was pretty blunt.
"With some translations, it's harder to understand the jokes because the language is elegant, but I wanted people to get the humor.
"Another reason I used this translation is that, unlike some translations, it doesn't use the F-word," she said.

Reasons for protest
One student, who asked to be identified as Fall Romer, said he did not want to support a play that was as sexually explicit as Lysistrata.
"My friends suggested I try out for the play, so I decided I'd try it. The lines we were reading at auditions had pretty explicit innuendos.
"I had a bad feeling from there. I didn't want to have that on my mind every day. It's hard enough to keep a pure mind.
"You have to take everything with a grain of salt in the world, but I didn't want to act in a play that blunt," he said.
Other students agreed. A student who asked to remain anonymous said in an e-mail the difficulty of separating the play from one's daily life prompted her to quit after being cast.
"I think students should not have to immerse themselves in the type of mentality that Lysistrata can evoke.
"I think it is difficult, if not impossible-and especially for young people-to enter the mindset of these characters that are crudely obsessed with sex and keep one's thoughts pure," she said.
Sophomore Lauren B. objected in an e-mail to the explicit sexuality.
"Sexual content used explicitly for the entertainment of a third party is pornographic. Clearly this is in opposition to morality, modestly, and decency.
"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," she said.
Thompson said she was surprised by the controversy but respects these students who objected to Lysistrata.
"I was surprised by the letter and by the cast quitting; we read the play in Theater Arts I.
"I'm not upset or angry about the controversy and objections; everyone has a right to his own opinion.
"Those objecting are trying to be good Christians, and I respect that," she said.

Purging the script
Sophomore Claire Romano, who was stage manager for Lysistrata, said Thompson made an effort to eliminate unnecessary bawdiness.
"In Rome, Demarest sat down with Dr. Frank and tried to cut the raunchy sex jokes that could be cut while still keeping the message of the play," she said.
Anonymous agreed, and said Thompson was a very good director.
"Demarest, Claire, and all the people who participated put a lot of effort into the production.
"Demarest had an idea of the noble themes in the play, and I think that and her love of drama led her to be a very conscientious director," she said.
Thompson said after the initial cuts she relied on the actors to indicate what further cuts might be necessary.
"If anyone was uncomfortable with the lines, I wanted them to talk with me about it," she said.

Message of the play
Thompson said she believed the message of the play is important and applicable to modernity.
"I really liked the message of the play that the women were really tired of the war and thought it was pointless.
"It reminds us that war has a terrible cost and that we must seriously consider whether war is worth the cost before going to war.
"I did not intend the play as a statement against the war in Iraq; I support the war," she said.
Romano said she believes the play also teaches an applicable lesson about men and women's sexuality.
"We live in a society where sex rules everything, and men think with the wrong part of the anatomy.
"The play shows it is not just men, but women as well, who think with the wrong part of the anatomy.
"We as a people think with the wrong part of the anatomy. We are both at fault and must deal with the problem," she said.

Upset priests
Thompson said some priests who were visiting campus went to see the play and walked out, but no students complained to her.
Romano said one of the priests wrote a letter objecting to the play.
"A priest from the North American College in Rome wrote a letter saying art should be virtuous and teach a lesson, should give us morals to live by. He said this play showed men and women being driven by the appetitive," she said.
Despite the objections, Thompson hopes to produce Lysistrata here on the Irving campus.
"I want people to see the controversy. I also want my parents and the actors' parents to be able to see it," she said.

Drama department support
Thompson said Lysistrata, if produced in Irving, would be an independent student production.
"The drama department would not be able to help us with costumes or technical support, but we have their full support and encouragement.
"[Patrick] Kelly, [drama department chair], advised me that the sound is not very good in the Orpheion and suggested I look for an indoor location to perform. I will be looking at Lynch Auditorium and the art history building as possible alternatives," she said.


I think my favorite part of the article is how monks = The Church, and how they took the least balanced part of the interview and attributed only that to me.
(Fr. Mike's letter is here)

Also how they totally ignored the issue of context.
posted by Lauren, 9:55 AM | link | 1 comments

.:{I Win}:.

Zadok thinks he has the monopoly on Spanish Holy Week penitents, but -- I win.
posted by Lauren, 9:28 AM | link | 0 comments

{Tuesday, March 22, 2005  }

.:{Foreign take on the Schiavo case}:.

Right now, at approximately 10:20pm Tuesday March 22nd, when one does a Google news search for "Schiavo", the top headline results are --

Judge Declines to Order Feeding in Schiavo's Case - nytimes.com
Schiavo's parents turn to appeals court - ndtv.com
Parents of Terri Schiavo appeal judge ruling - CTV news Canada.
A tug-of-war on the issue of life - USA Today

The British take on the situation?

Bush defied in right-to-die case - Guardian UK

This is not a political thing, it's about saving a woman's life!
posted by Lauren, 11:16 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Support a poor college student}:.

Because I am a nerd, I've started my own Cafe Press Shop, just for the heck of it, and because I've always wanted a stein that says "Never trust a skinny Dominican" on it.

If you feel so inclined, do. I'm really broke. Really.
posted by Lauren, 11:00 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Why I Don't Believe Michael Schiavo}:.

From Ragged Edges,

Hat tip to Zorak.
posted by Lauren, 7:43 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{14th amendment rights}:.

Fr. Rob notes that Terri Schiavo's 14th amendment rights are being violated.
posted by Lauren, 5:48 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Help stop the madness}:.

This email was sent to me by a Third Order Dominican from the Province of St. Joseph, also asking us to note the numbers below for the White House, Jeb Bush, and Florida legislators.

Florida Law:

765.309 Mercy killing or euthanasia not authorized;

(1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone,authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying.

A judge cannot nullify law!

Federal Law

Title 28 35.130(e)(2) Nothing in the Act or this part authorizes the representative or guardian of an individual with a disability to decline food, water, medical treatment, or medical services for that individual.



Contact the Talk Radio Show Hosts about Michael's Lies
(get them to spread the word of Michael's lies!)
Call FL Senators
Schiavo's life worth extraordinary effort
The Slow, Horrible Death of Terri Schiavo

Please fax to Jeb Bush.

Governor Jeb Bush
(850) 488-4441
Fax 850-487-0801

Please fax to Pres Bush:

Federal Law

Title 28 35.130(e)(2) Nothing in the Act or this part authorizes the representative or guardian of an individual with a disability to decline food, water, medical treatment, or medical services for that individual.

President Bush

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461


Note from Ron Panzer: We have to get the truth out about Michael's lies about Terri. Please email blast the following talk show hosts till they "get it." They get millions of emails, but if we all email them MANY times over and over again for today, maybe the truth will come out about Michael contradicting himself. Email the following short message to Greta Van Susteren, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh.

Message to be sent with Subject line:

"MICHAEL SCHIAVO ADMITS HE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TERRI WANTED (false basis of court ruling to kill her)"

body of message:

Michael admitted on Larry King Live that he didn't know what Terri wanted. His lie about Terri's wishes is the basis of the court's approval of euthanizing Terri. See Larry King Transcript:

CNN LARRY KING LIVE March 18, 2005


Larry King: Do you understand how [the family] feel[s]?

M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court.
We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want...

Sean Hannity

Greta VanSusteran
and her blog:

Michael Savage at:

Laura Ingraham at:
(web email available)

Rush Limbaugh at:
and fax at: 212-563-9166

The nine key people's name, addresses, fax and phone numbers can be found here.

Terri's life is worth extraordinary effort!
posted by Lauren, 5:28 PM | link | 0 comments


Inter vestíbulum et altáre plorábunt sacerdotes, ministri Dómini, et dicent : Parce, Dómine, parce pópulo tuo : et ne des hereditátem tuam in oppróbrium, ut dominéntur eis natiónes.

Penitens has done it again.
posted by Lauren, 11:47 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{Just for fun}:.

Les cérémonies de la messe basse en 35 cartes postales -- (The low mass on 35 postcards?)

Where one can get such delightful if not elegant photos of the Tridentine rite such as the following:

Préparation à la sacristie

And now to show I in no way support the schismatic traditionalist movements, Mass at St. Peter's with the Pope.

Good Friday last year.

The Pope carries his cross.

And last but not least...

posted by Lauren, 11:25 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{Eram quasi agnus}:.

We will hear this again on Holy Thursday, slightly different, in the versicle and responsory.

Et ego quasi agnus mansuetus, qui portátur ad víctimam : et non cognóvi quia cogitavérunt super me consília, dicéntes : Mittámus lignum in panem ejus, et eradámus eum de terra vivéntium, et nomen ejus non memorétur ámplius.

"But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered."

Or the versicle --

R. Eram quasi agnus ínnocens : ductus sum ad immolándum, et nesciébam : consílium fecérunt inimíci mei advérsum me, dicéntes : * Veníte, mittámus lignum in panem ejus, et eradámus eum de terra vivéntium.
V. Omnes inimíci mei advérsum me cogitábant mala mihi : verbum iníquum mandavérunt advérsum me, dicéntes.
R. Veníte, mittámus lignum in panem ejus, et eradámus eum de terra vivéntium.

R. Behold, I was like an innocent lamb ; I was led to the sacrifice, and I knew not that mine enemies had devised devices against me, saying : * Come let us put poison into his bread, and let us cut him off from the land of the living.
V. All mine enemies devised my hurt against me, they plotted together to do me evil, saying.
R. Come let us put poison into his bread, and let us cut him off from the land of the living.

From this site there is a link to a PDF, NWC, or MIDI version of Thomas Luis de Victoria's setting of the latter. (Along with some of the other Maundy Thursday responses, our collegium used to sing this; or rather, they still do, I just don't sing with them anymore, eheu!)

Ecce agnus Dei in a mosaic of San Vitale of Ravenna, a veritable "catechesis of the Eucharist".

And if this or this doesn't say "innocens"...
posted by Lauren, 10:37 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{Old breviary readings for Holy Week}:.

All this week, the readings were, in the past, taken from Jeremiah, and there was no readings from the Church Fathers. It's quite powerful. And so behold, though for lack of time I shan't post the Latin:

What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest. The Lord called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. For the Lord of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal. And the Lord hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings. But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. But, O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.


R. For thy sake have I suffered reproach, O Lord God of Israel, and shame hath covered my face ; I am become a stranger unto my brethren, even an alien unto my mother's children : * For the zeal of thine house hath consumed me.
V. Draw night unto my soul, and redeem it ; deliver me, because of mine enemies.
R. For the zeal of thine house hath consumed me.

I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it. Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour. Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.
posted by Lauren, 8:42 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{Judge won't order feeding tube reinsertion}:.


TAMPA, Fla. Mar 22, 2005 — A federal judge on Tuesday refused to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, denying an emergency request from the brain-damaged woman's parents.

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore said the 41-year-old woman's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, had not established a "substantial likelihood of success" at trial on the merits of their arguments.

Whittemore wrote that Terri Schiavo's "life and liberty interests" had been protected by Florida courts. Despite "these difficult and time strained circumstances," he wrote, "this court is constrained to apply the law to the issues before it."

Rex Sparklin, an attorney with the law firm representing Terri Schiavo's parents, said lawyers were immediately appealing to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to "save Terri's life." That court was already considering an appeal on whether Terri Schiavo's right to due process had been violated.

Bobby Schindler, Terri Schiavo's brother, said his family was crushed by the decision. "To have to see my parents go through this is absolutely barbaric," he told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday. "I'd love for these judges to sit in a room and see this happening as well."

Once again a clear ethical circumstance totally bypassed for precedence of law (there is no precedence in this case). Apparently Atlanta is seeking to file an appeal.

"America, America, God mend thine every flaw" the song melodiously pleads. Save us from errors of freedom without responsibility and of liberty of conscience:

"Yes, life is sacred," Felos said, contending that restarting artificial feedings would be against Schiavo's wishes. "So is liberty, particularly in this country."

However it is also clear that "liberty" does not mean "doing whatever you want". I do not have the right or liberty to steal someone's car. It may be my "pursuit of happiness", but it is illegal. And as mentioned before, neither do I have the right to commit suicide. The government "walking all over my personal life" or whatever the heck it is Michael Schiavo says? God forbid.

Today is Terri's fourth day without food or water. This is not a peaceful or natural death, nor is it a painless one; Fr. Rob Johansen, a friend of the Schiavo family and covering everything closely, has the "exit protocol" posted on his site.

I suggest a fast with Terri.
posted by Lauren, 7:47 AM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, March 21, 2005  }

.:{Terri Schiavo}:.

Look, in re people falsely calling the Terri Schiavo issue a right-to-die thing, respondeo dicendum -- suicide? Why is suicide illegal? Don't I have the right to jump off a building or hang myself in prison if I feel I want to end my life? No? Hmmm... I don't understand.

Furthermore, don't I have a right to starve this orphaned, peasant, abandoned 2-year-old child? Fine in every other respect, but needs food to stay alive. Let's let him die in peace.

Terri Schiavo is not dying. She's conscious but brain-damaged.

People with anorexia have something wrong in the head; I don't know if you can rightly call them "brain-damaged". Anorexic patients are treated in hospitals.

I wonder if some kind of mass hunger strike would frighten people enough to wake up and smell the coffee of Terri Schiavo's case. Fasting, in any case, can help.

This is probably preaching to the choir, but the whole thing makes me so mad.

I'll end with a very laudable Bush quote:

"The case of Terri Schiavo raises complex issues," he said. "Yet in instances like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life. Those who live at the mercy of others deserve our special care and concern."
posted by Lauren, 11:08 AM | link | 0 comments

{Sunday, March 20, 2005  }



Sometimes bloglines will draw attention to old posts which have been modified. If it suddenly starts saying I've been posting by the trillions, ignore it. I've been moving some old (stupid, senior-year-of-highschool) posts to another blog (yet leaving some for good measure).

In other and more interesting news, I love it when Penitens posts like this.

I've been dying to post about some of the Liturgy stuff today (the introit for today included the phrase "deliver me from the mouth of the lion, and from the unicorn"), but as I have a biology exam tomorrow to which I have not paid enough attention, it is probably wiser if I do not. Maybe tomorrow.

Prayers appreciated for said exam, however.

Have a happy and Holy Week!
posted by Lauren, 8:03 PM | link | 1 comments

{Saturday, March 19, 2005  }

.:{Vocations still thrive}:.

...in a place that votes some ridiculously high percentage Democratic (86%?) every election.

Behold, the Seminarians of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.

Here we have a couple of NAC guys, a former commander of the US Navy, the retired Bank of America vice-president who was formerly in permanent diaconate formation, two guys who apparently survived George Washington University, a bunch of immigrants (Ecuador, Poland, Spain, Japan, India, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico -- just to name a few), a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, construction workers, alumni of Notre Dame and CUA who somehow managed to pay off their debt in a short amount of time and an alumnus from my current school (University of Dallas!).

There are 60 in all.

The average age is 32.

There is one guy there who is one year older than I am -- 21; there's one guy who is about 7 years younger than my dad -- 45.

I'd say that's quite a spread. Quite wonderful! No-holds-barred!

I'd say pass out the diocesan info to people you may know who are interested in the priesthood.

Perhaps the married man is interested in the permanent diaconate. The requirements for this are as follows:

* Age: 30-62 at time of application.
* Status: A Roman Catholic, married or single, of sound moral character, mature faith and possessing a sense of vocation to service.
* Family: If married, a partner in a stable marriage.
* Has actively taken part in parish life.
* Recommendation of his pastor.

(I have an uncle who is a permanent deacon... he baptized me; indeed, everyone in our family. He also gave me my first Holy Communion and he's been one the altar at every one of the weddings in our familiy if he himself hasn't presided.)

Perhaps one is more academically inclined... seeking at least an MA.

There's always The Dominican House of Studies, where they still require Greek and Latin.

If today you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.
posted by Lauren, 1:16 PM | link | 0 comments

{Friday, March 18, 2005  }

.:{It was all that ouzo in Greece}:.

Plus maybe the fact that my dad is a connoisseur-wannabe and that I've dated a bartender (he became one after we started dating).

Besides, wine is dignified and less treated with abuse (when I have observed my colleagues going to bars, they get the Hard Stuff). Wine also requires a certain amount of education which I've picked up by osmosis via pater meus.

Otherwise, I really should not know this. [G]

Hat tip: a blog full of Catholic priests, Catholic Ragemonkey.

(Thing #11 that Cnytr has done that her readers probably haven't: I've gone out drinking with a bunch of priests. [G])


Congratulations! You're 100 proof, with specific scores in beer (40) , wine (100), and liquor (69).

All right...you're getting into the harder stuff. A good martini, a Mai
Tai or straight shots of hard liquor is what you're into.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 10% on proof
You scored higher than 86% on beer index
You scored higher than 94% on wine index
You scored higher than 90% on liquor index
Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid
posted by Lauren, 6:29 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Now *this* is motivation}:.

posted by Lauren, 6:07 PM | link | 0 comments

{Thursday, March 17, 2005  }

.:{One little bit more...}:.

Penitens' other excellent blog "Towards Contemplation" with the nicely-handled accusative in the subdomain name ("contemplationem") has the entirety of St. Patrick's "The Deer's Cry", the most well-known part being "The Breastplate of St. Patrick."
posted by Lauren, 7:25 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Why Irish music is cool}:.

An American Apology

I wonder if I freak out my Irish friends with my enthusiasm for Irish music. I've been hooked since I was 12 years old. My family visited Ireland before my oldest sister got married; we rented a car in Dublin and made a clockwise circle, cutting back across to Dublin once we hit Galway which is basically the same latitude. Somwhere in between Youghal and Cork, said sister bought a cheesy tape manufactured for tourists of Irish music. It lacked, thank goodness, "The Irish Washerwoman" and had instead both "Whiskey in the Jar" and "The Limerick Rake", which are still my favorite singable Irish tunes; I maintain "The Limerick Rake" has a superior melody.

I picked up the fiddle for a bit and learned Irish traditional tunes the traditional way. They're fairly simple but have so much room for complexity of ornamentation and rhythm. The best part about this sort of Irish traditional music is that there's no one person, group, or anything identified with it -- it's the whole of Ireland's. Some people think "The Chieftains", but they didn't make up the stuff, and they aren't even the best performers of it; those who are are usually little-known and local.

But what's even fun about the singable stuff is that it's still part of a living tradition. I sang "Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair" for some people in Scotland, and one in my audience piped up wistfully, "my mother used to sing that to me when I was a kid."

They're real songs about real places -- "real people" is dubious, but ... why not? I found out recently that "Newcastlewest" from "The Limerick Rake" is a real place, to which a friend responded "I've got cousins there." Wow. My parents and a priest-friend went to Ireland (without me!!!) this past summer. One day my mother called me from Tralee. "Tralee??" I said, "as in, 'The Rose of'?" Because of Irish history class, I have a map of Ireland taped to my wall. Occasionally I'll stare at it to familiarize myself with the geography, and there are times when I start to see a familiar name -- a real place! Athenry (as in "The Fields of"!) is just east of Galway, Carrickfergus is there in Co. Monaghan.

I suppose it's because so often one hears of this or that famous place that no longer exists. But not so in Ireland -- random places are immortalized in song, and people still live there and have for generations. There are even songs about still-existant families (including my own last name, which is an Irish surname!) because there's very little intermarrying among the Irish in Ireland; since the Vikings, they seem to have developed a knack for assimilating people. [G] Being so used to the American melting pot, I find it nearly incomprehensible that my Irish college friends are Irish and nothing else for centuries.

The disadvantage from having such a young nation of ours is that, aside from the questionable category of ghost stories or urban legends, we don't have our own sort of oral or musical tradition. And that's why I find Irish music fascinating. (And Irish-American music annoying)

Now, that should be it for the day. I hope the real Irish I know will forgive me, an ignorant American, for posting so extensively about their stuff (I'm kind of paranoid about stepping on toes... I'm sure they don't mind, but I'm still paranoid anyway. [G] If I get anything wrong, I welcome correction).
posted by Lauren, 5:04 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Irish history and recent news}:.

Not only is today, in Ireland, a holy day of obligation (or HDO for short, as an OP friend of mine likes to call them), but it's a day for the Irish (and Irish-Americans) to go hooah over their history. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of Ireland's sad history is widely studied in the states nowadays, even though a few of our own presidents at the time subsequent to the Scots-Irish emigration in the 19th century were themselves Scots-Irish and had a great effect on the formation of the morality of the US (Andrew Jackson, for example, was of Scots-Irish descent: his family came from Ulster).

Some of the silly St. Patrick's day stuff (i.e. green beer) was started by Americans (to our credit, though, it gave us the song "Erin gra mo chroi"). The "wearing of the green" today may or may not precede the song of the same name:

O Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that going round?
The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground;
St. Patrick's Day no more we'll keep, his colours can't be seen,
For there's a bloody law against the wearing of the green.
I met with Napper Tandy and he took me by the hand,
And he said, "How's poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?"
She's the most distressful counterie that ever yet was seen,
And they're hanging men and women for the wearing of the green.

Then since the colour we must wear is England's cruel red,
Sure Ireland's sons will ne'er forget the blood that they have shed.
You may take a shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod,
It will take root and flourish there though underfoot it's trod.
When law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow,
And when the leaves in summer-time their verdure dare not show,
Then will I change the colour that I wear in my caubeen
But 'till that day, please God, I'll stick to wearing of the green.

But if at last our colour should be torn from Ireland's heart,
Our sons with shame and sorrow from this dear old isle will part;
I've heard a whisper of a land that lies beyond the sea
Where rich and poor stand equal in the light of freedom's day.
O Erin, must we leave you driven by a tyrant's hand?
Must we ask a mother's blessing from a strange and distant land?
Where the cruel cross of England shall nevermore be seen,
And where, please God, we'll live and die still wearing of the green!

Eventually wearing green became a sign of Irish nationalism and separatism. According to various websites of the history of the song, the English identified this with rebellion and terrorism and began executing the Irish who would wear green. On the other end of the scale, the unionists of the region of Ulster (most of which is now the six counties of Northern Ireland: Derry, Antrim, Down, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Armagh) would wear orange. And so the tradition carries over into America of wearing green not only because shamrocks are green and Ireland is green and some Irish seminarian's hair is green, but also for the Irish free state.

However there's a modern flip side to this by some mostly young, largely dumb Americans who generally don't know better to hear these sorts of things and sympathize too much with the modern reactionary left-wing non-moderates... aka Sinn Feinn. This is the danger of lack of history.

It just so happened that here at UD, "Irish History" counts, this semester, towards a Medieval and Renaissance studies program here which I am taking in conjunction with my classics major; therefore, I've been fortunate enough to learn it formally. Fascinating stuff. I had given it some independant study when I was younger, but I had tried to look at it in terms of modern Irish politics and was all confused. [G] Currently there are at least four splinter-IRA groups.

Today in Irish history class, we were supposed to talk about the battle of the Boyne (1690) -- one of the nastiest Protestant/English victories; a terrible topic for the day, and it probably makes the Irish Madonna of Gyor cry -- but instead Dr. S went off on a very long rant against extremism ("It's not an anti-IRA rant, it's an anti-extremism rant" he assured us, going off on extreme leftist Ian Paisley as well).

It seems a major step has been taken in US-Irish relations especially as regards to the Irish political party Sinn Fein headed by Gerry Adams, which in reality is the other side of the IRA coin. The IRA was behind the Northern Ireland bank robbery of Dec 20th and the murder of unionist Robert McCartney which, although there was upwards of 60 people present, nobody seems to have seen anything --

Ms Groogan insisted that she saw nothing. She said: "I got to the bar about 10pm that Sunday. I was there for a short while. There was a commotion in the bar but I witnessed nothing and left shortly after 11pm. I have given a full statement to my solicitor."

Of course nobody saw anything. The IRA are thugs and they'll break your kneecaps if one talks. Though some may deny it, it's bad enough that even Sen. Kennedy, Sinn Fein's strongest US supporter, is giving them the snub and others are calling for the disbanding of the IRA, to which a feigning-innocent Adams says he can't.

It's a mess.

Laudably, it seems President Bush is taking some positive steps against Sinn Fein and for peace in Northern Ireland by leaving out Adams and his Sinn Fein thugs from the white house St. Patrick's Day shindig. And further, the bereaved McCartney sisters, taking their life in their hands, are attending.

Irish politics, as one may imagine, is a touchy subject for most Americans... it's difficult to understand full ramifications of Things when one is not involved with it or hasn't grown up with a background in the history and politics.

This is a case for showing that both history and current events are vitally important.

It's also a disclaimer to post rebel(ish) songs like "A Nation Once Again" and "Brennan on the Moor"! [G]

(Being paranoid about getting this stuff wrong, I fully welcome corrections.)
posted by Lauren, 3:56 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{More on St. Patrick and Ireland}:.

Massively elaborate cross from the Lindesfarne gospel, c. 700

This book, The Wearing of the Green: A History of St. Patrick's Day, I have admittedly not read, but it looks interesting.

Switching gears...

Factually, solidly, historically speaking, the following account from Nennius' History of the Britons tells us almost nothing, but ... who cares? When Ireland sinks into the sea, we've only got seven years left.

One thing to note -- the Latin name for the Irish is Scoti, but these are emphatically *not* the Scots. So when you see "Scots" think "Irish".

In those days Saint Patrick was a captive among the Scots. His master’s name was Milcho, to whom he was a swineherd for seven years. When he had attained the age of seventeen he gave him his liberty. By the divine impulse, he applied himself to reading of the Scriptures, and afterwards went to Rome; where, replenished with the Holy Spirit, he continued a great while, studying the sacred mysteries of those writings...

Saint Patrick taught the gospel in foreign nations for the space of forty years. Endued with apostolical powers, he gave sight to the blind, cleaned the lepers, gave hearing to the deaf, cast out devils, raised nine from the dead, redeemed many captives of both sexes at his own charge, and set them free in the name of the Holy Trinity... and, in one day baptized seven kings, who were the seven sons of Amalgaid.

He continued fasting forty days and nights, on the summit of the mountain Eli, that is Cruachan-Aichle; and preferred three petitions to God for the Irish, that had embraced the faith. The Scots say, the first was, that he would receive every repenting sinner, even at the latest extremity of life; the second, that they should never be exterminated by barbarians; and the third, that as Ireland will be overflowed with water, seven years before the coming of our Lord to judge the quick and the dead, the crimes of the people might be washed away through his intercession, and their souls purified on the last day. He gave the people his benediction from the upper part of the mountain, and going up higher, that he might pray for them; and that if it pleased God, he might see the effects of his labours, there appeared to him an innumerable flock of birds of many colours, signifying the number of holy persons of both sexes of the Irish nation, who should come to him as their apostle at the day of judgment, to be presented before the tribunal of Christ. After a life spent in the active exertion of good to mankind, St. Patrick, in a healthy old age, passed from this world to the Lord, and changing this life for a better, with the saints and elect of God he rejoices forevermore.

Saint Patrick resembled Moses in four particulars. The angel spoke to him in the burning bush. He fasted forty days and forty nights upon the mountain. He attained the period of one hundred and twenty years. No one knows his spulchre, nor where he was buried; sixteen years he was in captivity. In his twenty-fifth year, he was consecrated bishop by Saint Matheus, and he was eighty-five years the apostle of the Irish.

An oft-seen motif of Irish monks pulling each others' beards; aptly called "beard-pullers"

Irish monastic representation of Adam and Eve (L) and Cain and Abel (R); both of these images from Muiredach's cross in Co. Louth (the county just below Armagh which, until St. Malachy went to Rome in the 12th century, was the only see
posted by Lauren, 2:51 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{St. Patrick}:.

Happy St. Patrick's day to all! If you're not wearing green consider yourself pinched. Also elbowed, kicked and thrown into the Shannon.

Look past the green beer, lreprechauns, four-leaf clovers which are not shamrocks, and all those other things that are along the lines of those headbands with glitter-sprayed shamrocks coming off of them like antennae. Instead, go read about Irish monasticism -- the coolest form of monasticism ever which most unfortunately no longer exists -- in which the monks would daily (not weekly like the Benedictines) be required to recite the whole psalter. Huzzah.

In the meantime, enjoy the Confession of St. Patrick and marvel in his brilliance.

Also note that he tended sheep.

And further for your edification, the old breviary's office of readings on the life of St. Patrick, taken partly from the confession, partly from tradition and partly from ... some ... other ... source.

Patrick, called the Apostle of Ireland, was born in Great Britain [this is sort of debateable ~L]. The name of his father was Calphurnius, and that of his mother Conchessa. She is said to have been a relation of St. Martin, Bishop of Tours. When Patrick was a youth, he was several times taken prisoner by savages, and while being in their hands he was employed as a shepherd, he already shewed marks of his saintliness to come. His spirit was filled with faith, and love, and fear of God, so that he would rise before the light, in snow, and frost, and rain, to make his prayers to God, being accustomed to address God in prayer an hundred times every day, and an hundred times every night. After being rescued from his third captivity, he was placed among the clergy, and for a long time exercised himself in sacred learning. To this end, he travelled with much labour, through Gaul, Italy, and the islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea, but at last being called of God to work for the salvation of the Irish, and having received from the Blessed Pope Celestine a commission to preach the Gospel, and likewise being consecrated a Bishop, he betook himself to Ireland.

In the discharge of his calling it is a marvel with how many evils, with how many sufferings and labours, and with how many adversaries the Apostolic Patrick had to bear. Nevertheless, by the goodness of God, that island, which had up to that time been given over to the serving of idols, was, through the preaching of Patrick, so wrought on that she soon brought the fruit which won her the name of the Island of Saints. Patrick caused many of her people to be born again by the washing of regeneration ; he ordained many Bishops and clerks ; he decreed rules for virgins and widows living in continency. By the authority of the Bishop of Rome he established the See of Armagh as the Primatial See of all Ireland, and enriched the Church with relicks of the Saints brought from Rome. Patrick, moreover, was so eminently adored with heavenly visions, with the gift of prophecy, and with great signs and wonders from God, that the fame of him spread itself abroad more and more, day by day.

Besides that which came upon him daily, the care of all the Churches of Ireland, he never suffered his spirit to weary in constant prayer. They say that it was his custom to repeat every day the whole Book of Psalms, together with Songs and Hymns, and two hundred Prayers ; that he bent his knees to God in worship three hundred times every day, and that he made on himself the sign of the Cross an hundred times at each of the Seven Hours of the Church Service. He divided the night into three portions ; during the first he repeated the first hundred Psalms, and bent his knees two hundred times ; during the second he remained plunged in cold water, with heart, eyes, and hands lifted up to heaven, and in that state repeated the remaining fifty Psalms ; during the third he took his short rest, lying upon a bare stone. He was a great practiser of lowliness, and, after the pattern of the Apostle, he always continued to work with his own hands. At last he fell asleep in the Lord in extreme old age, refreshed with the Divine Mysteries, worn out with unceasing care for the Churches, and glorious both in word and work. His body is buried in Down in Ulster. He passed away in the fifth century after the giving of salvation by Christ.

St. Patrick's "tomb" in Down Cathedral.

Deus, qui ad prædicandam géntibus glóriam tuam beátum Patrícium Confessórem atque Pontificem mittere dignatus es : ejus meritis et intercessióne concede ; ut, quæ nobis agenda præcipis, te miserante, adimplere possimus. Per Dóminum.

(More to come later)

And only slightly randomly --
A Nation Once Again

When boyhood's fire was in my blood
I read of ancient freemen,
For Greece and Rome who bravely stood,
Three hundred men and three men;
And then I prayed I yet might see
Our fetters rent in twain,
And Ireland. long a province, be
A Nation once again!

A nation once again
A nation once again
And Ireland, long a province, be
A Nation once again!

And from that time, through wildest woe,
That hope has shown a far light,
Nor could love's brightest summer glow
Outshine that solemn starlight;
It seemed to watch above my head
In forum, field and fame,
Its angel voice sang round my bed,
A Nation once again.

It whisper'd too, that freedom's ark,
And service high and holy,
Would be profaned by feeling dark
And passions vain or lowly;
For, Freedom comes from God's right hand,
And needs a godly train;
And righteous men must make our land
A nation once again!
posted by Lauren, 7:52 AM | link | 0 comments

{Wednesday, March 16, 2005  }

.:{The next "Man of Constant Sorrow"}:.

My friends --

Allow me to introduce you to the best bluegrass song ever, aside from "Man of Constant Sorrow" by the Soggy Bottom Boys.

Behold, Nuthin Fancy and their song "I Met My Baby in the Porta John Line"; you can listen to a piece of it here and admire the banjo.

When I was in Scotland, they were singing me their songs -- local ones, even! -- and then they turned to me (who had just sung them an Irish song that I knew) and said "sing us one of your songs!"

Uhhhh. Americans don't really *have* songs like the Scots and Irish have songs. Heheheheh. I wonder what they would have done had I sung them "I Met My Baby" etc. ;D

A plug for the rest of the album from cybergrass.com --

Nothin' Fancy (from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia [WOOHOO! ~L]) celebrates its first decade together with an album that is particularly an excellent showcase of mandolinist Michael Andes' songwriting and lead vocal talents. Several members of this group were in a band calling themselves The East Coast Bluegrass Band which formed in 1986 and won the East Coast Bluegrass Band championship in Crimora, VA. Nothin' Fancy now hosts two annual bluegrass festivals where they always play a crowd favorite novelty number that closes this album, "I Met My Baby In The Porta Jon Line.” Nothin' Fancy's first album for Pinecastle Records (“Once Upon A Road”) was released in 2002.


Nothin' Fancy has a smooth contemporary style that appeals to those who aren't ready for a full-blown high lonesome sound. Their music is well-executed, and increased emphasis on originality is noteworthy. Continued albums like “Reflections” will solidly hold them a place as one of the more engaging and dynamic acts on the current contemporary bluegrass scene.

Has "O Brother Where Art Thou?" taught you nothing? Bluegrass, my friends, is where its at!

(By the way, if you liked "Down by the River" in the baptism scene, Alison Krauss [and her band Union Station blahblahblah] is also an excellent vocal talent who deserves a separate post to herself...)
posted by Lauren, 11:22 PM | link | 0 comments


Washboards still exist, and Dominican nuns use them. But not in a liturgical context.
posted by Lauren, 9:22 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Papal hymn}:.

Of course it makes sense that such a thing exists, yet I was unaware of the existence of Long Live the Pope before Shrine of the Holy Whapping posted about it.

Rock. On.

If only I had seen more stuff with Swiss Guards when I was in Rome...
posted by Lauren, 9:19 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{A typical day at Cnytr}:.

Tea, anyone?
posted by Lauren, 6:00 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Frank Parater case moving forward}:.

From the Diocesan paper "The Catholic Virginian" --

Diocese Sends Frank Parater Case to Rome

The documents seeking the canonization of Frank Parater will be sent to Rome to the Vatican Congregation of Saints. The Congregation will review them and then make a recommendation to the Pope.

“This is an earthly process which must be confirmed by Heaven, the granting of a miracle for beatification and another for canonization,” Father Duarte said.

“Now he invites us to carry out that missionary ideal of the Church here in our native place,” he continued. “By renewing our spirituality, centered on the Eucharist and the love of the Heart of Christ, may we be inflamed with the love of God and share it in our homes, families, places of work and community.”

Pray for the beatification of Servant of God, Frank Parater, and pray for the church in Virginia!
posted by Lauren, 5:33 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Dominicans in Poland!}:.

If anyone ever doubts that the church in Poland is doing well, I present a picture of a bunch of Polish Dominicans I stumbled across recently.

In fact, have fun going through all of them!

Some highlights:
The church
Lookit all of them!!!
Glooooooria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto..
Those choir stalls...!
The alterpiece and ... Dominican stoles!!
More Dominican stoles! (Breathe, Lauren, just breathe in and out ... )
Not quite the same thing as the venia
Young vocations! Cappas!!! Does it get any better? I submit that it canNOT! (Slight inside joke)
Procession 1
Procession 2
Procession 3 -- with cappas.

(The Dominican Third Order congress this summer is going to be fun! ;D )

And -- from a different set of pictures -- aren't these Cracow nuns just lovely?

If you're a Catholic in Poland, Go. Now. Become a Dominican. I'm going to move to Poland.

St. Hyacinth, pray for us!

posted by Lauren, 9:52 AM | link | 6 comments

.:{The Dominican Family in the Province of St. Joseph - 3op.org}:.

Some of the brethren praying for the souls of the deceased at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC; home also of the Fra Angelico third order pro-chapter

Question: How is a Dominican tertiary any more a part of the Dominican Order than any one else who attends a church staffed by Dominican friars, and who study Dominican spirituality?

Answer: The Third Order is part of the Dominican Order because in receiving a person into the Novitiate the Dominican Order makes them a member of the Order. From the beginning of the Order of Preachers, there have always be lay people who associated themselves with the Friars. Some were called to a great involvement in the living out of Dominican spirituality and these were received into our Third Order, whose first Rule was approved in 1285 by
the Master of the Order. The tertiary make a Profession to the Master of the Order himself at the end of that first year. This Profession is one of a promise to live according to the Rule of the Third Order of Saint Dominic.

That is certainly a much greater reality than those who happen to attend a Dominican parish or school.

Fr. James M. Sullivan, OP
Third Order Promoter

This is from the Province of St. Joseph's Third Order Dominican website, 3op.org.

For the inquiring mind, the site has a section on the four pillars of the Dominican life (prayer, study, community, apostolate), the history, mission, devotions and path of formation.

To see in what good company the Dominican is, they also have a list of our saints and blesseds.

For anyone in the Province of St. Joseph (MD, DC, VA, NC, OH, KY, NJ, PA, NY, CT, MA, ME, RI or VT), feel free to find a chapter near you.

Already a member of the Order? See what's going on in the province -- subscribe to our eLumen newsletter. Next month I assume the duties of general editor, and currently I'm writing a very short series on blogs for each one. So if you don't want me to write scathing, nasty things about your blog -- er, haha! Just kidding. ;)

Furthermore, 3op.org has a bookstore, ensuring that I will be broke for the rest of my life. (As Erasmus said, "When I have a little money, I buy books; when I have a little more, I buy food and clothes.")

If one is looking for Dominican book recommendations, I recommend, um, the only one I've read -- the Life of St. Dominic by Augusta Theodosia Drane. Furthermore, they have Chesterton's "Dumb Ox", the oft-linked "Lives of the Brethren", the very essential "Nine Ways of Prayer", "On the Beginnings of the Order of Preachers" by the successor of our Holy Father Dominic, Bld. Jordan of Saxony (I haven't read this either, but it sounds cool; primary sources usually are); they also have various medals, prints, postcards, rosaries (cord), scapulars and a ... St. Dominic paperweight??? Wow. That's almost as cool as that huge bronze bust of St. Thomas Aquinas that I saw in Rome in the Santa Sabina bookstore!

Unfortunately the 3op catalogue doesn't have this, but I would also recommend "Dominican Saints" by Dominican Novices, put out by TAN books. It's a little sugary and a bit out of date, but it's a good collection of the lives of some of our more renowned saints.

posted by Lauren, 8:30 AM | link | 1 comments