Monday, May 30, 2011

Are You Ready to Die?

While waiting to receive Communion at Mass, a thought struck me.  If I was ready to receive the Eucharist, then I was ready to die.  The Church teaches that one must be in a state of grace to be eligible for Communion and that all who die in a state of grace are saved.  This truth is at once comforting and grave.  When we examine our conscience before Mass, we are asking ourselves if we are prepared for immediate death and judgement.   Every time we walk forward to enter into the Mystical Body of Christ, we judge ourselves to be worthy by grace both for the Sacrament and for Heaven.  This should be cause for great joy and a serious look at our own souls.

Memorial Day

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pope Gregory X on the Jews

From the EWTN Online Library:

1272, Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, extends greetings and the apostolic benediction to the beloved sons in Christ, the faithful Christians, to those here now and to those in the future.

Even as it is not allowed to the Jews in their assemblies presumptuously to undertake for themselves more than that which is permitted them by law, even so they ought not to suffer any disadvantage in those [privileges] which have been granted them.

Although they prefer to persist in their stubbornness rather than to recognize the words of their prophets and the mysteries of the Scriptures, and thus to arrive at a knowledge of Christian faith and salvation; nevertheless, inasmuch as they have made an appeal for our protection and help, we therefore admit their petition and offer them the shield of our protection through the clemency of Christian piety. In so doing we follow in the footsteps of our predecessors of blessed memory, the popes of Rome—Calixtus, Eugene, Alexander, Clement, Innocent, and Honorius.

We decree moreover that no Christian shall compel them or any one of their group to come to baptism unwillingly. But if any one of them shall take refuge of his own accord with Christians, because of conviction, then, after his intention will have been manifest, he shall be made a Christian without any intrigue. For, indeed, that person who is known to have come to Christian baptism not freely, but unwillingly, is not believed to posses the Christian faith.

Moreover no Christian shall presume to seize, imprison, wound, torture, mutilate, kill or inflict violence on them; furthermore no one shall presume, except by judicial action of the authorities of the country, to change the good customs in the land where they live for the purpose of taking their money or goods from them or from others.

In addition, no one shall disturb them in any way during the celebration of their festivals, whether by day or by night, with clubs or stones or anything else. Also no one shall exact any compulsory service of them unless it be that which they have been accustomed to render in previous times.

Inasmuch as the Jews are not able to bear witness against the Christians, we decree furthermore that the testimony of Christians against Jews shall not be valid unless there is among these Christians some Jew who is there for the purpose of offering testimony.

Since it happens occasionally that some Christians lose their children, the Jews are accused by their enemies of secretly carrying off and killing these same Christian children and of making sacrifices of the heart and blood of these very children. It happens, too, that the parents of these very children, or some other Christian enemies of these Jews, secretly hide these very children in order that they may be able to injure these Jews, and in order that they may be able to extort from them a certain amount of money by redeeming them from their straits.

And most falsely do these Christians claim that the Jews have secretly and furtively carried away these children and killed them, and that the Jews offer sacrifices from the heart and the blood of these children, since their law in this matter precisely and expressly forbids Jews to sacrifice, eat, or drink the blood, or to eat the flesh of animals having claws. This has been demonstrated many times at our court by Jews converted to the Christian faith: nevertheless very many Jews are often seized and detained unjustly because of this.

We decree, therefore, that Christians need not be obeyed against Jews in a case or situation of this type, and we order that Jews seized under such a silly pretext be freed from imprisonment, and that they shall not be arrested henceforth on such a miserable pretext, unless—which we do not believe—they be caught in the commission of the crime. We decree that no Christian shall stir up anything new against them, but that they should be maintained in that status and position in which they were in the time of our predecessors, from antiquity till now.

We decree in order to stop the wickedness and avarice of bad men, that no one shall dare to devastate or to destroy a cemetery of the Jews or to dig up human bodies for the sake of getting money.  Moreover, if any one, after having known the content of this decree, should—which we hope will not happen—attempt audaciously to act contrary to it, then let him suffer punishment in his rank and position, or let him be punished by the penalty of excommunication, unless he makes amends for his boldness by proper recompense. Moreover, we wish that only those Jews who have not attempted to contrive anything toward the destruction of the Christian faith be fortified by support of such protection.

Given at Orvieto by the hand of the Magister John Lectator, vice-chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, on the 7th of October, in the first indiction, in the year 1272 of the divine incarnation, in the first year of the pontificate of our master, the Pope Gregory X.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Rent is too Damn Conspiratorial

The Priory of Sion, the Catholic secret society that guards the bloodline of Jesus and sends albino assassin monks after Tom Hanks, was registered in France declaring itself to be an "organization for the defense of the rights and the freedom of affordable housing."  Hey.  That reminds me of this guy:

You know what this means?  Jimmy McMillan is a member of the Priory of Sion, the most powerful secret organization in history!  McMillian has declared that he will run for President in 2012 and with the Priory behind him, he's sure to be elected.  Prepare for a Catholic theocracy administered through the Priory of Sion.  The Justice Department will burn heretics, the IRS will collect payment for indulgences, and the army will go on a Crusade to conquer Israel.  It won't be all bad though.  Rent will be really low.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pro Life Search Engine

I have been using ProLife Internet for years and I highly recommend it.  The site employs the Google search engine and uses ad revenue to fight abortion.  You can make PLI your homepage and even put it in your toolbar.  Check it out!

Keynes vs Hayek

The economist Mario Rizzo likes to say, "The great debate is still Keynes versus Hayek.  All else is footnote."  Thanks to the modern technologies of time travel and YouTube, we can now witness the great debate in the form of an epic rap battle.

Part I

Part II

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Final Nail in Newt's Coffin

It is not looking good for Newt Gingrich and his presidential campaign.  Gingrich has a long history of marital infidelity, is only slightly more conservative than Leon Trotsky, and not a single person in the country with the possible exception of Mrs. Gingrich actually likes the guy.  Now, we can be certain that Newt Gingrich will fail in his quest for the Republican nomination.  According to NY Daily News,
Newt Gingrich has been outed as an ABBA fan.  The Republican firebrand is such a fan of the sugary Swedish songsters that his cell phone ringtone is the group's hit "Dancing Queen." Gingrich also thinks "Mamma Mia," a movie starring Meryl Streep that features the tune, is "amazing."
"It's just fun," he said. "When they do 'Dancing Queen' in the movie, I just think it's a great sequence. I love that sequence -- the energy, the excitement."
Gingrich's secret passion for ABBA was revealed when his cell phone suddenly rang during a campaign stop in Iowa, where he has been trying to launch a presidential campaign.
"Dancing Queen," Gingrich sheepishly admitted, is his ringtone.
"My wife warned me this would happen," he said, referring to third wife, Calista.
If that's not a deal breaker for Republican voters, the party is doomed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Don't Sniff the Antlers

Lance Morrow writing in Smithsonian Magazine,
Around the year 1330, a poet and Buddhist monk named Kenko wrote Essays in Idleness (Tsurezuregusa)—an eccentric, sedate and gemlike assemblage of his thoughts on life, death, weather, manners, aesthetics, nature, drinking, conversational bores, sex, house design, the beauties of understatement and imperfection.
One or two of his essays are purely informational (not to say weird).  One of my favorites is essay 49, which reads in its entirety: “You should never put the new antlers of a deer to your nose and smell them. They have little insects that crawl into the nose and devour the brain.”
I'm not so sure about Kenko's advice.  I just sniffed the antlers of the whitetail mount on my wall and my brain is perfectly finasdkfjasekjfiojsspaasokihph

Sean Writes a Book

My comrade in blogging and Benedictine classmate Sean McGuire is writing a book.  Titled, The Kingdom: The Quest, Sean's novel will be part one of a fantasy trilogy.  This is from the first post on his production blog: 
For now, here are the basics. The Kingdom: The Quest tells of Arman, a timid young man, who discovers three things from an old man. First, Arman is the heir of a royal dynasty that is no longer supposed to exist. Second, an ancient enemy has returned who is also no longer supposed to exist. Third, the old man is no man at all. He is Menemaeus, defender of Arman’s world, and he wants Arman to ride out as a herald to warn everyone about the enemy, the Nameless One.
Arman accepts, and throws himself into a madness that he could never have imagined, not in his worst nightmares. Are you ready to watch a world fall apart?
The novel will be self-published on October 20, 2011.  Sean is one of the most gifted writers I know and I cannot wait to see what he produces.  Be sure to check out his production blog and remember to buy  
The Quest, this October!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hell's Grannies

This should be my last post until finals are over.
Detroit News reports:
A group of older women, wearing hats of various colors and shapes, have stolen money and credit cards from distracted shoppers in four counties, police said Thursday.
Dubbed the Mad Hatters by police, the women then use the stolen checks and credit cards to receive money from banks and merchandise from retailers, said the Sterling Heights Police Department.
Their ill-gotten bounty may approach $500,000, police Lt. Luke Riley said.
He surmised that the genial appearance of the perpetrators is helping them pull off the caper.
Shoppers, banks and retailers tend not to suspect that the grandmotherly woman in a floppy white hat standing in front of them is a cold-hearted crook.
"That's the reason they've been able to get away with it," Riley said.
Life imitates Monty Python:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Pope is a Marshwiggle

"Very likely, what with enemies, and mountains, and rivers to cross, and losing our way, and next to nothing to eat, and sore feet, we’ll hardly notice the weather." -Puddleglum

My family members sometimes call me Puddleglum, after the Marshwiggle character in The Silver Chair, a book in the Chronicles of Narnia.  Marshwiggles are swamp dwelling Narnian pessimists who spend their time fishing and forecasting misery.  I am called Puddleglum because my family thinks I'm being overly pessimistic when I tell them that we're all doomed.  However, there are those who share my pessimistic outlook.  In his interview with Peter Seewald titled God and the World, the Holy Father, then a Cardinal said, "Nowadays nothing seems less tolerated than what people call pessimism-and which is often in fact just realism."  Ratzinger then predicts that the Church will shrink and declares Europe to be a lost cause.  I feel somewhat vindicated by the knowledge that like me, the Pope is a Marshwiggle.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You Might Be a Homeschooler If...

Very funny!  As a former homeschooler I can tell you that the video exaggerates.  Somewhat.

H/T: Mark Shea

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is Dead

May God have mercy on him and his victims.  My feelings are those of Fr. Erik Richtseig as he expressed them in the CMR combox: "Grim satisfaction."