- The miracle of the sun, today in 1917. Not doctrine but noteworthy. "I am the lady of the rosary." Maybe the meaning is something along the line of "This time a dancing sun. Next time a well-aimed asteroid!" Sounds right according to the private revelation that's Catholic prophecy: the Warning, the Three Days' Darkness, etc. Unfortunately, the well-aimed asteroid is an over-the-top example of "kill them all and let God sort them out!" Plenty of biblical precedent. Note to the folks below: this church stuff is not a game.
- Menswear trends. I really can't tell if they're serious or if this is a Zoolander or Brüno-like parody. I was hoping for an article on the "Mad Men" effect but no. Maybe put "menswear" in sarcastic quotation marks. Clownish (No. 1 for example), effeminate (all those bracelets), and intentionally sloppy but still coming off like a try-hard, the antithesis of cool. What's with all the jackets that are too small? They match the trousers that are too small. Good catch. The too-small trousers might be homoerotic (women are turned on by power and respect, not such displays, like a girl in capri pants showing off her curves) but the jackets just look ridiculous. Saw a young man dressed like that the other night; who can take that seriously?
- Actors: what DON'T they know? “It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs.” The same people who sneered at Reagan take her seriously. Because it's really a Tutsi-vs.-Hutu civil war. Because the media of movies, TV, and the Internet are unnatural, we react as though attractive people who can appear up close and personal in many places at once have god-like superpowers (smarter than we are, etc.). OK, Gwyneth, since we're now out in the open about throwing democracy out the window, I'd welcome a Constantine, a Austrian Karl, or a Francisco Franco. Also a point against women's suffrage: "I don't like him; he doesn't have chariiiiisma!"
- Good Shepherd Jr. update: The Fellowship of Blessed John Henry Newman will be received into the church Nov. 2.
- Pathetic: the Anglo-Catholic case for staying and bitching. A Church of England "Catholic" tries to scare people out of leaving by pointing out what's wrong with the church; he doesn't get into it with other high episcopal churches. (Regular readers know I'm no EWTN Pollyanna or Baghdad Bob about the church. If something here is bad I'll tell you.) I get it that semi-congregationalism has a point (hedge against liberalism, building close communities) but this is Anglo-Catholic fussiness turned in on itself, away from the church. Spiritual PRIDE. No church is good enough for this special snowflake. An IDOL. Sectarian Protestantism where we don't belong. Sort of like "Sprockets" Dieter, a mopey Euro-kid: disillusionment is for the smart; happiness for idiots. No, thanks. Commentary.
- Speaking of which. I know he's making a funny but still:
SUNG TO THE TUNE “AURELIA”:
Our church is mighty spiky with smells and bells and chants,Back in the dark ages after Vatican II some high-church Catholics (the few, the tempted to be proud) fell for this. Thing is, almost all of these are good. But good things can become idols (MY taste, MY learning, MY hard work), monuments to self (the object of all fake religion), not God. (Gays are often narcissistic.) Once YOU'RE above the church, you've got a problem.
And Palestrina Masses that vex the Protestants.
O happy ones and holy who fall upon their knees
For Solemn Benediction and mid-week Rosaries.
Though with a scornful wonder men see our clergy, dressed
In rich brocaded vestments as slowly they process;
Yet saints their watch are keeping lest souls be set alight
Not by the Holy Ghost, but by incense taking flight.
Now we on earth have union with Lambeth, not with Rome,
Although the wags and cynics may question our true home;
But folk masses and bingo can’t possibly depose
The works of Byrd and Tallis, or Cranmer's stately prose.
[Here the Organist shall modulate.]
So let the organ thunder, sound fanfares “en chamade”;
Rejoice! For we are treading where many saints have trod;
Let peals ring from the spire, sing descants to high C,
Just don’t let your elation disrupt the liturgy.