Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Happy Julian-date feast day of St Onuphrius, Eastern Orthodox. In plain English, the exotic name Onuphrius becomes... Humphrey!

Rationalize with lies
Ilana Mercer debunks hawks' post-war justifications

Samer al-Batal is on a long trip home to the Middle East where he will be incommunicado online most of the time (though embattled Iraqis are finding the Internet a godsend now), so today I'm improvising. Have a safe trip, Samer, and looking forward to your return to Canada and this blog.

From today (lots of good stuff) and the New York Press
On US election-fixing in other countries
by Matt Taibbi

by Mark Alessio
Good article from last year that explains how George Harrison (the only born Roman Catholic Beatle, BTW) was an apostate and hypocritical about it. I do like a lot of his music (I have and listen to All Things Must Pass on beat-up vinyl), and the sincerity and bits of truth in his Hare Krishna-derived acquired faith, but understand why others think his songs are dreary, and factoring out my pro-George bias can agree with Joe Sobran's assessment: nice guy, competent musician but (except for a few brilliant songs that deservedly are pop standards now) overall a mediocre songwriter. Seemed a little ungrateful to the Beatles too — if he hadn’t been playing guitar for John Lennon and Paul McCartney all those years nobody would have known or cared about his own music.

Lines of his that apply to US politics and the world scene today:

Watch out now
Take care, beware the greedy leaders
Who take you where you should not go
While weeping atlas cedars
They just want to grow
Beware of darkness.

Funny how all the ex-Beatles (except maybe Lennon) stopped being considered hip around 1974 - just before their recording contract as Beatles would have run out anyway.

Ripping apart an apostate’s* screed
*To secularism

As a Roman Catholic seminary dropout, I’ve watched the ongoing pedophilia scandals and the church’s equivocal response with sadness but not surprise.

Most of these crimes weren't pædophile in nature - they were g-a-y.

This is, after all, Catholicism’s Enron, where insiders knew all along what was going on and wondered when the rest of the world would notice — or care.

True. A stopped clock is right twice a day.

I grew up Catholic in California, a sure-fire recipe for schizophrenia. I would attend mass every morning, then spend the rest of the day flirting with the ’60s trinity of temptations — sex, drugs and rock and roll.

As somebody who's done a lot of self-help reading and who has dated someone who happened to be a psychologist, I want to point out that this is a misuse of the word schizophrenia. The disorder involves visual and auditory hallucinations and unclear thinking, not 'split personality'. BTW, the clinical name for multiple personalities, which does exist, is 'dissociative identity disorder'.

On one hand, there were the “Secularists,” men who believed, as I did, that the best way to make our faith relevant was to make it contemporary. They protested the war, manned soup kitchens and maintained friendships with the opposite sex. They accepted the challenge of resisting the temptations of the present with very little support from a church moored in the past.

Like a lot of liberal types he is setting up an opposition that is false: liberal = charitable and friendly; conservative = not. Read the lives of Dorothy Day, Catherine de Hueck Doherty or the young Trevor Huddleston. One can be 100% orthodox and traditional and protest a war (I have marched twice this year), man a soup kitchen and, if one isn't trying out a celibate vocation, keep company with the other sex. In fact, one's orthodoxy can and should be the foundation of one's activism, as it was for the people I just mentioned.

Outnumbering the Secularists were those I called “Refugees,” men wholly at home in the church’s cloisters. They were socially awkward and uncomfortable with modern culture—boys in a hurry to become middle-aged men. While the Secularists drank beer and listened to the Stones, the Refugees sipped sherry and listened to classical music.

I'm definitely a Refugee without apology; this is a good description of young fogeyhood. Here the writer is again trying to slam orthodoxy by identifying it with somebody's weaknesses.

A Christian should be 'uncomfortable with modern culture' ’cos a lot of it is wrong.

And the Stones are way overrated. They haven't done anything I've really liked since Brian Jones was still with them, and even with that material they're far from my favorite band. Sorry! IMO Ray Davies wrote better songs.

For them, the priesthood was more a career than a calling.

LOL, I love liberals - they're so nonjudgemental and never stereotype people. Not!

While my Jesuit friends were doing the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius—a monthlong meditation to deepen their relationship with Christ — their Protestant counterparts were studying marriage counseling and learning how to run an after-school rec center.

False opposition: these things aren't mutually exclusive. He might have flunked logic in seminary. The game he is playing is 'orthodoxy is pietistic escapism; I live in the real world'. No sale.

About today's Roman Rite saint
St William
From an e-mail from Chuck Sampair

As he was Italian, he really was called Guglielmo.

Abbot, died 1142.

Saint William of Monte Vergine, born in Vercelli, a city of Lombardy, lost
his father and mother in his infancy and was brought up by a relative in
great sentiments of piety. At fifteen years of age, having an earnest desire
to lead a penitential life, he left his native region and made a long and
austere pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin founded by Saint James at
Saragossa. He would have made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but God made
known to him that he was calling him to a solitary life, and he retired into
the kingdom of Naples. There he chose for his abode an uninhabited mountain,
and lived in perpetual contemplation and the exercises of rigorous
penitential austerities.

After a miracle of healing wrought by his prayers, he was discovered and his
contemplation interrupted, so he decided to move to another mountain, where
he built a very beautiful church in honor of Our Lady. With several former
secular priests who joined him there, in 1119 he began the establishment of
the Congregation of Monte Vergine, or Mount of the Virgin. This site is
between Nola and Benevento in the same kingdom of Naples. These sons of Our
Lady lived in great austerity. Seeing the progress in holiness of the good
religious being formed there, the devil sowed division and criticism; but
God drew good from the evil when Saint William went elsewhere and founded
several more monasteries, both for men and women, in various places in the
kingdom of Naples. He assisted the king of Naples, who greatly venerated
him, to practice all the Christian virtues of a worthy sovereign, and the
king in gratitude had a house of the Order built at Salerno opposite his
palace, to have him near him more often.

When Saint William died on the 25th of June, 1142, he had not yet written a
Rule for his religious; his second successor, Robert, fearing the
dissolution of a community without constitutions, placed them under that of
Saint Benedict, and is regarded as the first abbot of the Benedictine
Congregation of Monte-Vergine. A portrait of the Virgin venerated there has
been an unfailing source of holy compunction; pilgrims continue to visit it.

Sources: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin
(Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 7; Little Pictorial Lives of the
, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints, and other
sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Spiritual Bouquet: The Son of man has not come to be served but to serve.
St. Matthew 20:28


At Beroca (in Syria), the birthday of St. Sosipater, (Sopater) who was a
disciple of the Apostle St. Paul.

At Rome, St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, (put to death) with twenty-two other

At Alexandria, St. Gallicanus, martyr. He was a man of consular rank who had
received triumphal honors, and was dear to the Emperor Constantine. He was
converted to the Christian faith by SS. John and Paul. After becoming a
Christian, he went to Ostia with St. Hilarinus, and devoted himself to the
relief of the poor and to the service of the sick. The report of this went
abroad into all the world. Many came there from all parts to see a man who
had once been a patrician and a consul now washing the feet of the poor,
preparing their table, pouring water over their hands, ministering carefully
to the sick, and performing other works of piety. He was afterward driven
into exile by Julian the Apostate, and returned to Alexandria. There he was
ordered by the judge Rautianus to offer sacrifice; when he refused to do so,
he was put to the sword and became a martyr to Christ.

At Sybapolis in Mesopotamia, St. Febronia, virgin and martyr. In the
persecution of Diocletian and while Lysimachus was governor, Febronia, for
defending her faith and chastity, was first beaten with rods. She was then
tortured on the rack, her body mangled with iron combs and burned with fire.
Her teeth were knocked out, her feet were cut off and she was otherwise
mutilated; finally, her head was cut off. Thus, adorned by jewels of many
sufferings, she left this world for her heavenly Spouse.

At Reggio, St. Prosper of Aquitaine, bishop of that city. He was famous for
learning and piety, and strove mightily against the Pelagians in defence of
the Catholic faith.

At Turin, the birthday of St. Maximus, bishop and confessor, for learning
and holiness.

In Holland, St. Adalbert, confessor, who was a disciple of St. Willibrord. +

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