He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III



Thursday, July 31, 2008

Caste Issue

I sympathize with Arturo's revulsion against castes.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Before The Fast

I've commented a few times on Fr. Stephen's blog here, here and here. The richness of his topics is bedazzling.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Condo Flippers Are Cheering

The residential real estate bailout is waiting for W's signature. Speculators in real estate and mortgage securities and the risk-management failures at Fannie and Freddie are in porcine heaven.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Marvelously Hypothetical

Today I had the privilege of listening to a bunch--a whole bunch--of masses composed by Josquin Des Prez, a Flemish Renaissance composer. Liturgically, his music is analogous to the best science fiction--a brilliantly wonderful hypothesis.

When I describe it as a hypothesis, I mean that despite the best efforts of our ecumenists, there's no reality there.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ex Opere Operato

This is what a mechanistic sacrament produces.

Russian Royal Family

If any of you are uncomfortable with Orthodoxy's glorification of Czar Nicholas II and his family owing to your republican political leanings, run to Gabriel's important posting on the Royal Martyrs. It's not about politics, after all.

I'd be remiss without mentioning Father Stephen's recounting of the remarkable appearance of the Royal Family to some non-Orthodox during a car accident. I've linked to this posting previously.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ensouled?

Religious vehemence about human sexuality often produces little light. Accordingly, the atheistic clinicians may have an advantage here.

Gabriel hosted a genteel discussion of Old Rome's Humanae Vitae, where I posted a comment intended to get us back to the basics about our fundamental ignorance about the nature of ensoulment.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dolor, Pianto, E Penitenza

Pain, Lamentations, And Penitence

This is the song of the death procession, which made its debut in Florence's Carnival in 1511. It was innovative and not especially appropriate given its somberness in the midst of a festive atmosphere. I came across its performance by the Huelgas Ensemble while I was studying the annihilation of the Cathars in the Albigensian Crusade.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Comedic Value Of Catholic Social Theory

Nothing makes a well-intentioned bishop look like an imbecile faster than his pontificating on issues related to political economy. That's my nutshell view of Catholic Social Theory.

Reality agrees with my disparagement. Hey, don't take my word for it. Take a gander at this hilarious news item.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More Squabbling

I decided to act like our leaders and engage in a little squabbling of my own. Gabriel and I have voiced our disagreements previously about Orthodoxy's pastoral approach to human sexuality. In short, I prefer the Orthodox approach.

For a third time, I voiced my support for the Squabbling of the Patriarchs.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Virtue Of Squabbling

Moscow and Constantinople are squabbling again. Rather, I should say that they haven't stopped.

One dispute is about the EP's visit to the Ukraine. By the way, the Church in Ukraine is involved in its own controversy, of course, with a couple of schismatic churches as well as the Unia.

Another dispute concerns New Rome's primacy in Orthodoxy. Third Rome appears to believe in its superiority as defender of the Orthodox Faith over Constantinople.

I like the drama. Vehement defense of divergent views within the Church is healthy...and it's a clear sign that Orthodoxy isn't ossified.

Can You Dig It?

Two Fathers perform in a Russian rock festival.

Statecraft

The Wall Street Journal printed this quote from President Calvin Coolidge:

Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people.

The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.


In my view, anything said by Coolidge or his Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon, is worthy of consideration.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Global Warming As Hysteria?

Bret Stephens' latest piece on global warming in the Wall Street Journal is worth reading.

Critters

Fr. Stephen considers the non-human aspects of creation. After my usual commentary on human society, I briefly proposed the role of animals as agents of God's providence.

If my proposition is correct, then another question follows: are animals willing providential agents?