{    Cnytr   }

{Tuesday, March 27, 2007  }

.:{Somebody grab some peanut butter}:.

This has got to be ... one of the coolest news stories of the year:

NY Bus Converted into Oven for Matzos.
posted by Lauren, 11:12 AM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, March 26, 2007  }

.:{C.S. Lewis on Latin and a Review of Eamon Duffey}:.

The former can be found here. An excerpt:

"They tell me that one should never try to learn Spanish and Italian at the same time. The fact that they are so alike of course helps one a bit over the meanings of words (but Latin would help you almost equally for both) but it makes confusion in one's mind about grammar and idioms—in the end one makes a horrid soup out of both... By they way good easy Latin reading to keep one's Latin up with is the New Testament in Latin. Any Roman Catholic bookshop will have one: say you want a copy of the "Vulgate New Testament." Acts goes specially well in Latin" (72, Letters to Children, Dorsett & Mead).

This ... was my problem. I grew up speaking Spanish. I learned Latin, and it was hard. Then I learned Italian and Latin, and the Italian was easy. I forgot the Spanish.

"Soup" or "soupy mess" are good adjectives for that sort of thing.

Furthermore, a classmate of mine has written a review of our "textbook", Eamon Duffey's Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes.

For the record, I mentioned this to a very good Dominican medievalist and UVA professor at my home parish who waved it away as a "glorified coffee-table book." I find this description to be pretty much accurate. It's head-bangingly frustrating for serious medievalists (as Jason and I may flatter ourselves to be) to attempt to read. I say "attempt to read" as it assumes the thing can be read. For the record, Duffey takes a stance on the oft-posted-about Gregory VII contrary to history, posterity, and anybody with two braincells. The text is also so rife with bias and opinion as to be scarcely considered history. AND the video series, I would like to add, claims falsely that the Crusaders thought the Pope to be the sole arbiter of salvation.

Does he read primary-source texts? We certainly don't in this foolish class of ours. Please, do not ever read this book or watch the video series. It is worse than the History Channel on the Grail.
posted by Lauren, 3:31 PM | link | 6 comments

.:{It looks well here, don't you think?}:.

Stolen from the oft-cranky and therefore somewhat cool Roving Medievalist.
posted by Lauren, 3:29 PM | link | 2 comments

{Saturday, March 24, 2007  }


This is a Dominican friend of mine.

He went as a Jesuit for Halloween this year.

Yeah, that's about the scariest thing I could think of, too.

I left the following comment on facebook:

I was with a clerical friend of mine for Halloween in Rome one year. We were on our way to hear Mozart's Requiem; I was wearing a white shirt, black pants, and a Dominican cross. I lamented to him it was the first time I had ever not acknowledged Halloween.
"What, that isn't a costume?" he said.
I glared at him. "Fine," I said, "I'm a Dominican," thinking of my status in the Third Order.
"A liberal Dominican!"
I balked. "What!!"
"Well," he said, "you want to scare people, don't you?"
posted by Lauren, 9:49 PM | link | 1 comments

{Thursday, March 22, 2007  }

.:{Housewifery and the "Culture of Life"}:.

I must admit that lately, my goals and ideals for my own life have changed a bit. Being a bit burnt-out from school (oh! the respite of senioritis!) and being forced to think about what comes next after (God willing) graduation this May, I have visions of the 50s housewife in apron, heels, pearls, and a plate of fresh, hot brownies going through my head. Even were I by myself, years of living in small, confined spaces leaves me yearning for a place I can call "my own", so long as I pay the ridiculously expensive rent every month and don't make too many holes in the walls. The practicalities (and, I think, lost arts) of cooking, cleaning and sewing seem too deliciously non-academic and non-PC to resist (my favorite thing, these days, is to be told to get back in the kitchen).

Many times these days I have submitted many an unwilling ear to my musings not only on housewifery, but more broadly to womanhood and motherhood. Most especially to motherhood, I think: how can one consider womanhood without it? Furthermore, while philosophers may puzzle over the problems of the universals and metaphysicians over being -- I myself had these sorts of days -- the unsolveable, and therefore brain-teasingly fascinating, question seems to be "how the heck does one raise kids and have them not be little axe-murderers?"

Childhood and children are delightful little mysteries I'm coming to appreciate more and more. I realized this one day in the Barnes and Noble in Georgetown when I was looking for some "brain break" literature. I searched and searched among the fiction section, but was distrustful of all I saw. But on my way out, I saw two children's books, one hitherto unknown and one recommended to me previously by others. In all honesty, they are more educational and engaging than anything I've read this semester (with the exception, perhaps, of some auxiliary texts to our Ovid class.. the rest of my classes this semester are fulfilling freshman requirements, are a waste of my time, and bore me to tears). In the same vein, the oft-mentioned Theology Grad Student and self have been reading The Little Prince, which I find terribly sweet and very often insightful -- something that could be found delightful by children and interesting to adults. And it's probably what's going to have me learning French for grad school later, rather than German.

Children! They're amazing little things. There's something about Housewifery that's so intrinsically culture-of-life. I feel like my JPII Institute housemates would be proud of me.

As I was searching through the online edition of the Washington post today, as I do every day, I came across some links that caught my eye. One which always does is Kim O'Donnell's cooking blog, though there were two listed under "parenting" that caught my eye: College Kids: Aware of Work-Life Realities? (hmmm, am I?) and 1 or 17 -- or Somewhere in the Middle.

Now on a strictly non-Catholic level, the following had to draw a raised eyebrow:

My first instinct when I started watching the Duggars was to dislike them. After all, who in their right mind would willingly have as many kids as God gives them?

What?? What in the -- what's wrong with that? And the comments only continue in this vein:

I also really didn't want to like the Duggars, and they still kind of freak me out. It seems like they're stealing thier older kids' childhoods by making them be, in effect, substitute parents (they have a "buddy system," where each older kid is responsible for meeting the daily needs of a younger child (feeding, getting dressed, etc.)). Plus, they're drumming traditional gender roles into those kids -- the girls all want to be housewives just like mommy.

As Mark Shea often says, "Show me a culture that despises virginity and I'll show you a culture that hates children."

This also comes at an interesting time -- for the first time in my life I've actually read Humanae Vitae and puzzled over puzzling parts of it with various budding theologian friends. One conclusion I have right away drawn is that many of the Latin translations are terrible, though understandably so as the Latin itself is odd.

But what I've been drawing from my own reflections on womanhood and motherhood and various other contributions that have been stewing around in my head is that having children is not about becoming parents: it's about having children. That is to say, parenting, like so many other things in life, is not about you. Housewifery, too, is not about you. If it were, why bother with the dust atop the running boards and why worry about overcooking the pasta? It seems to be to be about other people -- being presentable, having a presentable dwelling, and caring for an/other people/(persons). A properly-ordered notion of self-sacrifice is what I think it's all about (in a little way), which is probably why it's so odious to so many people.

So if we're going to treat children like pets -- this years addition to the yuppie lifestyle -- of course we'd be appalled at having too many of the little knee-biters running around. I wouldn't want to have as many dogs or cats as possible, but children are little people, and people have dignity.

Except if you dress them all in matching sweaters, ylech. NO dignity there.

Now excuse me, my Shrimp Fra Diavolo has reclaimed my attention.

(Side note: People, come on. It's impossible to raise children as tabulae rasae. They're little sponges. If they don't learn about religion, faith, traditional gender role from you etc, they'll learn it from t.v., Aunt May, your mom, etc.)
posted by Lauren, 1:15 PM | link | 4 comments

.:{Dominicans at the March for Life}:.

By the way, something I've been requested to post on my blog, but have been waiting until I got in the habit of writing more such that hopefully people will be in the habit of reading more ...

our Dominicans at the March for Life this year. Many good interviews, and you get to see Dominicans in *cappas*!

Please enjoy and feel free to explore the rest of the blog.

Hey ... I ran into that group from St. Patrick's walking around CUA.

Please, note, too, if you weren't there, that there was snow ("Of course there was snow, it was the March for Life" said someone I know). I would like to point out that it had been warm before that point. About two days before the march, the temp dropped. The day before, it snowed. :P

I'm just now watching the video myself. I went to Fr. Stephen Alcott's ordination and I haven't seen him in years. (Hi, Fr. Stephen!) And just now one of my old parish priests (Fr. Thomas Blau) walked behind Fr. Nicanor (whom I do not know but have heard much about). And he later speaks of the zeal of the Campus Ministry of Providence College.

And aside from Lauren's personal connection with the Dominicans, there are also some excellent interviews, for example Br. Dominic's speaking of how the March affects people in the Supreme Court.
posted by Lauren, 9:42 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{Who says Scripture isn't funny?}:.

I had a most interesting experience yesterday.

During Lent, CUA campus ministry offers adoration for a number of hours during the day. I had signed up the hour immediately following my Wednesday evening class. It makes the day longer, but altogether more satisfying. It's nice to sit and chat with Jesus face-to-face like that.

As I sat in the stillness of a tangible silence, I was piously engaged in reading my breviary: I had saved the Office of Readings specifically for this hour.

But shortly after beginning the first reading, I raised my fist to my mouth and had to bite down, hard, to keep from bursting out into peals of helpless laughter. I was with a theology grad student, and as he gave me a quizzical what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you? look, I pointed at the passage I was reading, running my finger along the lines slowly so he could read it at just the right pace. I saw his eyebrows rise. We looked at each other. "Is this for real?" I mouthed, "this is hilarious!"

I'm sure at that point the other people in the chapel wanted to kill us. But here, reproduced for you, is what the church in her wisdom has chosen for the first reading of the office of readings of the Wednesday of the fourth week of Lent:

The foreign elements among them were so greedy for meat that even the Israelites lamented again, “Would that we had meat for food! We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt, and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now we are famished; we see nothing before us but this manna.”

When Moses heard the people, family after family, crying at the entrance of their tents, so that the Lord became very angry, he was grieved. “Why do you treat your servant so badly?” Moses asked the Lord. “Why are you so displeased with me that you burden me with all this people/ was it I who conceived all this people? or was it I who gave them birth, that you tell me to carry them at my bosom, like a foster father carrying an infant, to the land you have promised under oath to their fathers? Where can I get meat to give to all this people? For they are crying to me, ‘Give us meat for our food.’ I cannot carry all this people by myself, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer face this distress.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Assemble for me seventy of the elders of Israel, men you know for true elders and authorities among the people, and bring them to the meeting tent. When they are in place beside you, I will come down and speak with you there. I will also the some of the spirit that is on you and will bestow it on them , that they may share the burden of the people with you. You will then not have to bear it by yourself.

“To the people, however, you shall say: Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, when you shall have meat to eat. For in the hearing of the Lord you have cried ‘Would that we had meat for food! Oh, how well off we were in Egypt!’ Therefore the Lord will give you meat for food, and you will eat it, not for one day, or two days, or give, or ten, or twenty days, but for a whole month – until it comes out of your very nostrils and becomes loathsome to you. For you have spurned the Lord who is in your midst, and in his presence you have wailed, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’”

But Moses said, “The people around me include six hundred thousand soldiers; yet you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month.’ Can enough sheep and cattle be slaughtered for them? If all the fish of the sea were caught for them, would they have enough?” The Lord answered Moses, “Is this beyond the Lord’s reach? You shall see now whether or not what I have promised takes place.”

So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. Gathering seventy elders of the people, he had them stand around the tent. The Lord then came down in the cloud and spoke to him. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, he bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.

Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also, and they prophesied in the camp. So, when a young man quickly told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp,” Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses’ aide, said, “Moses, my lord, stop them.” But Moses answered him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!” Then Moses retired to the camp, along with the elders of Israel.
posted by Lauren, 9:08 AM | link | 1 comments

{Thursday, March 15, 2007  }

.:{A real domestic goddess}:.

Move over, Martha Stewart, I have found the *real* domestic goddess.

Having recommended her literature in a previous post (a book which is now available in audio drama, which is neat because I spend more and more time on the road ... though I would have preferred a straight Books-On-Tapelike reading, myself), I now find myself recommending Regina Doman's blog, House Art Journal.

One post I must recommend right away as a "Yes, that's the way to do it!" -- Luxury.
posted by Lauren, 10:16 PM | link | 0 comments

{Friday, March 09, 2007  }

.:{From my earlier holidays}:.

Over the Christmas break, I spent/wasted a lot of time in New York City. The good thing about this was that I had a lot of time to spent at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters.

Remind me to gush about the Cloisters later.

But in the meantime, I figured I'd post about this statue. Funnily enough, it was in the same room as Washington crossing the Delaware, but it drew my attention first and held it the longest, though possibly because I have little to no taste for American painting for whatever reason.

This is a young Indian girl contemplating Christianity. I find there to be something supremely graceful about her, and her pose and expression are all very contemplative. And I do love how all the mysteries of Christianity are summed up in the small cross she's holding in her hands. The gracefulness of her quiet moment of contemplation contrasts with the hard road which awaits her.

Besides, it's just a purdy statue.

Next (maybe tomorrow) from the Yale museum of Art (also visited over the holidays), the Greek Slave.
posted by Lauren, 8:40 AM | link | 0 comments

{Thursday, March 08, 2007  }

.:{Why I Can't Get My Thesis Done}:.

I felt a funeral, in my brain,
and mourners to and fro
Kept treading- treading- till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through-

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a drum-
Kept beating- beating- till I thought
My Mind was going numb-

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same boots of Lead, again,
Then Space- began to toll,

As all the heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and silence, some strange Race
Wrecked, solitary, here-

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down-
And hit a world, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing- then -
~Emily Dickenson
posted by Lauren, 10:46 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Shakespeare and the Beatles: O how it warms the soul...}:.

Referenced before in this Cnyterial post, we now have the glories of Youtube to fill in the Shakesperian blanks.

An exceedingly felicitous way to improve a crappy day. Thank you, Youtube.

Hat-tip: Dawn Eden, who has the best puns in the world. I love that woman.

posted by Lauren, 5:28 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{A burning question of mine...}:.

Could cannoli be an expression of Donatism? I'm thinking specifically of St. Augustine's analogy of the priest as a conduit, like a pipe, carrying water whether the conduit be of lead or of gold.

(Also, reference?)
posted by Lauren, 4:57 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{It's always neat to see something familiar in the news from Headquarters...}:.

Many interesting things in today's Vatican Information Service email:


VATICAN CITY, MAR 8, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Lleida, Spain, presented by Bishop Francesc-Xavier Ciuraneta Aymi, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Bishop Antonio Jose Cavaco Carrilho, auxiliary of Porto, Portugal, as bishop of Funchal (area 800, population 282,000, Catholics 270,000, priests 104, permanent deacons 2, religious 289), Portugal. He succeeds Bishop Teodoro de Faria, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue: Cardinals Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX, patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, Lebanon; Archbishops Paulino Lukundu Loro M.C.C.I., of Juba, Sudan; Murphy Nicholas Xavier Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Archbishop Fouad Twal, coadjutor to the patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins; Bishops Antoine Audo S.J., of Alep, Beroea, Halab, Syria; John Bosco Panya Kritcharoen of Ratchaburi, Thailand; Bishop Warnakulasurya Wadumestrige Devasritha Valence Mendis of Chilaw, Sri Lanka; Bosco Lin Chi-nan of Tainan, Taiwan; Paul Bemile of Wa, Ghana; Rene-Marie Ehuzu C.I.M., of Abomey, Benin; Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco, Mexico; Pierre Tran Dinh Tu of Phu Cuong, Vietnam; George Dodo of Zaria, Nigeria; William Francis Murphy of Rockville Centre, U.S.A.; Paul Yemboaro Ouedraogo of Fada N'Gourma, Burkina Faso; Guy Harpigny of Tournai, Belgium, and Bishop Botros Fahim Awad Hanna, curial bishop of the patriarchate of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt.

- Appointed Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier O.F.M., archbishop of Durban, South Africa, as a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, David D'Avray, professor of medieval history at University College, London, England, and Nelson Hubert Minnich, professor of Church history at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., U.S.A.

- Appointed Fr. Giovanni Paolo Zedda of the clergy of the diocese of Ales-Terralba, Italy, vicar forane and pastor of the parish of "Santa Chiara" in San Gavino Monreale, as bishop of Iglesias (area 1,678, population 145,600, Catholics 145,000, priests 89, permanent deacons 2, religious 74), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Ingurtosu, Italy in 1947 and ordained a priest in 1971. He succeeds Bishop Tarciso Pillolla, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

posted by Lauren, 4:55 PM | link | 0 comments