Saturday, October 16, 2004

A Short Respite

Mary and I will be off to Ireland shortly so this place will probably not be updated for a couple of weeks. If I can find an internet cafe or something similar I will see if I can post something.

I am (mostly) packed. I still need to do a bit of adjusting to make sure the pipes are ready to travel.

And,yes, this means I will not only miss the World Series but the rest of the play-offs. A friend has promised to tape the games, so don't tell me how they came out!

In the meantime, you might want to check this site occasionally. It shows O'Connell bridge from the south side looking across toward the GPO. The bemused looking Californian waving at the camera will be me.

Sta Teresa de Jesus

Yesterday was the feast day of Our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Jesus. I missed mentioning anything about her on the day; a wedding and a funeral kept me away from this keyboard all day. (They weren't exactly at the ends of the earth, but considering Friday traffic patterns, it was the functional equivalent.)

Once again, the old Catholic Enclyclopaedia gives us one of the best summaries of her life on the web. It is by the learned and saintly friar, fr. Benedict Zimmerman, O.C.D. The Order's own page on our foundress' life can be found here.

Avila: The Walled City

This photo and more pictures of Avila and places associated with St. Teresa can be found here.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Rash Judgement, Calumny, and Detraction of the Week

This week's award appears to go to Australia. I quote from the "Portrait of the Week" section of The Spectator (not, alas, on line):

In the Australian election campaign, Mr Mark Latham, the leader of the opposition, called the cabinet 'a conga-line of suck holes'.

I have no idea what that means. But it can't be good.

The Double Con

The latest number of The Spectator - or at least the last one I've received - contains William Oddie's thoughts on the proposed de novo English translation of the Missal that is currently making the rounds of our episcopal masters for their approval. You can find it here.

In his article Oddie points out that at about the same time that the ICEL was mistranslating the sacred liturgy into bad English for the Catholic Church the Anglican Church, in which he was then a clergyman, was enduring similar - often identical - linguistic abuse. He makes this comment:

For this, and all the other reductionist mistranslations, we blamed the RCs. It was all a matter of ecumenical agreement, we were told, quite accurately as it turned out: the translations by ICEL (the Catholic Church’s International Commission on English in the Liturgy) were in general adopted by Anglicans.

Fascinating. Because we blamed the Protestants since we, too, were told this linguistic atrocity was necessary for ecumenical purposes.

As nifty a double con as ever was.

I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.

Which is to say that the Yankees last night continued their blitzkrieg through the American League, winning the second game against the Red Sox.

I really wanted to see this match-up, but I was hoping for a different outcome. The Twins/Yankees series looked to be a difficult moral dilemma at first. In order to have a Sox/Yankees playoff, New York needed to beat the Twins. But, of course, one cannot actually cheer for the Yankees under the sound Catholic principal that one may not perform an evil deed in order that good may come of it. In the end, though, it turned out not to be a problem. The habitus of virtue triumphed. Many years of cheering for whoever was playing the Yankees stood me in good stead and I just naturally followed the path of virtue and sought after a Twins victory. In vain, as it happens. But it is not necessary to succeed, only to be faithful. So we have a Red Sox/Yankees match-up after all.

And tomorrow the battle is joined again. This time, though, in Fenway and not in the House that Ruth Built. So perhaps things are looking up.

Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?

Derrida Deconstructs

The papers and not a few bloggers have mentioned Jacques Derrida's recent death. And "deconstruction" has had a look-in as a consequence. Don't expect an explanation here; too big words for me.

But this essay, however, should do the trick. It may be all you ever need to know about deconstruction. It is, in fact, a short how-to course for any budding English literature professors. Should save hours of reading and a fortune in Cliff's Notes.

Against all expectations. . .

. . .the "debates" have actually caused a voter to change his mind. Me. With no enthusiasm whatsoever and with a certain amount of misgiving I had decided to vote for Mr. Bush assuming at least that we would have decent, i.e., pro-life, nominees for the vacancies on the various federal courts. And then last night there was this:

MR. SCHIEFFER: Mr. President, I want to go back to something Senator Kerry said earlier tonight and ask a follow-up of my own. He said -- and this will be a new question to you -- he said that you had never said whether you would like to overturn Roe v. Wade. So I'd ask you directly. Would you like to?

PRESIDENT BUSH: What he's asking me is, will I have a litmus test for my judges? And the answer is no, I will not have a litmus test. I will pick judges who will interpret the Constitution, but I'll have no litmus test.

[The full text of the debate can be found at the L.A. Times' website here.]

He avoids answering the question on Roe v. Wade and refuses point blank to commit himself to appointing pro-life judges. There is now no reason whatsoever to vote for the Stupid Party. At least for president.

The website for the Constitution Party makes it seem a more than acceptable choice. If it turns out not to be, the "President" slot on the ballot will be returned without a mark.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Another Ruthless Political Ploy

"Our Lady of Victory commonly celebrated as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary"

from Abbot Gueranger's "The Liturgical Year":

Soliman II, the greatest of the Sultans, taking advantage of the confusion caused in the west by Luther, had filled the sixteenth century with terror by his exploits. He left to his son, Selim II, the prospect of being able at length to carry out the ambition of his race: to subjugate Rome and Vienna, the Pope and the emperor, to the power of the crescent. The Turkish fleet had already mastered the greater part of the Mediterranean, and was threatening Italy, when, on October 7, 1571, it came into action, in the Gulf of Lepanto, with the pontifical galleys supported by the fleets of Spain and Venice. It was Sunday; throughout the world the confraternities of the rosary were engaged in their work of intercession. Supernaturally enlightened, St. Pius V watched from the Vatican the battle undertaken by the leader he had chosen, Don John of Austria, against the three hundred vessels of Islam. The illustrious Pontiff, whose life’s work was now completed, did not survive to celebrate the anniversary of the triumph; but he perpetuated the memory of it by an annual commemoration of our Lady of Victory. His successor, Gregory XIII, altered this title to our Lady of the rosary, and appointed the first Sunday of October for the new feast, authorizing its celebration in those churches which possessed an altar under that invocation.

A century and a half later, this limited concession was made general. As Innocent XI, in memory of the deliverance of Vienna [from the Mohammedans] by Sobieski, had extended the feast of the most holy name of Mary to the whole Church; so, in 1716, Clement XI inscribed the feast of the rosary on the universal calendar, in gratitude for the victory [over Islam] gained by Prince Eugene at Peterwardein, on August 5, under the auspices of our Lady of the snow. This victory was followed by the raising of the siege of Corfu and completed a year later by the taking of Belgrade.

Magnificat antiphon:

Beata Mater et intacta Virgo, gloriosa Regina mundi, sentiant omnes tuum juvamen quicumque celebrant tuam sanctissimi rosarii solemnitatem.

"Blessed Mother and unspotted Virgin, glorious Queen of the world, may all experience thine aid, who celebrate thy solemnity of the most holy rosary."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

How to Tell When You Are Far Too Absorbed With Politics

You actually watch a Vice Presidential debate. Cactus Jack Garner's famous opinion of that office was given over half a century ago. Nothing has changed to make it less accurate.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

More on Michael Davies

Paul Likoudis has a fine tribute to Michael Davies in this week's Wanderer. The Wanderer puts few of their articles on line but this one can be found here. Especially notable since The Wanderer was not always so charitable to Mr. Davies.

The Traditional Rite in Kentucky

The Diocese of Covington in Kentucky is now to have a weekly celebration of the traditional Roman Rite Mass. And in the cathedral, no less. The announcement is here.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Tantrums, revisted

Relatively interesting article in the Times yesterday morning on the recent tantrums of Milton Bradley of the Dodgers and Jose Guillen of the Angels. It's here. (Usual warning re: The Times. The article is free for 7 days and then you'll have to fork over two or three dollars to read it.)

But the best part is the side bar you'll find by scrolling to the bottom of that page:

The Fight Club

Some of the most infamous baseball altercations involving fans and major leaguers:

• Ty Cobb jumps into stands,1912: Yankee fans heckle Detroit's Cobb daily until he loses his temper, jumps into stands and punches a fan, who had little defense since he had only one hand. Cobb was suspended but was back on the field in a week.

• Babe Ruth chases fan in stands, 1922: Fans boo Ruth after he was called out trying to stretch a single into a double and was ejected for complaining about the call. Ruth mocked the crowd with a bow before a fan called him a "bleeping" bum. Ruth jumped on the dugout roof and chased the heckler, who ran away. Ruth returned to the dugout roof and yelled to the stands: "Come on down and fight! Anyone who wants to fight, come down on the field! Ah, you're all alike, you're all yellow!" Ruth was given a short suspension and a $200 fine.

Just a sample; there's more at the link. (They must have been spoiled for choice in deciding which Ty Cobb tantrum to relate.)

St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

Or St. Therese of Lisieux, or The Little Flower, or "The Greatest Saint of Modern Times" as Pope Pius XI called her. However she's called, it's her feast day today in the new rite and in the Carmelite calendar.

EWTN put up a nice site for her centenary in 1997, giving a novena, some pictures, selections from her writings, and a short biography. EWTN hasn't kept a link on their front page and it is a bit difficult to find. But it is still on line. You can find it here.

The town of Lisieux has a website here dedicated to places associated with Therese. Of particular interest are pictures of her home, Les Buissonnets here.

And the movie of her life is released today. . .

Speaking of Fantasy and Hallucination. . .

Doug Krikorian in this morning's PT muses about the possibility of a cross-town series: Angels vs. Dodgers. Causes one to wonder what they're putting in the coffee pot down at the Press Telegram.

Still . . . .it is baseball . . .it ain't over 'til it's over.

Debate Impressions

. . . from someone who couldn't stand to watch the whole thing:


Facile speaker, fluent, a voice with rich tones but with nothing of his own to say. Gives the impression of trying to say precisely what his focus groups have told him most people want to hear on each topic. The archetypal empty suit.

Enough already about what Bush should've done and he would've done. Much of what he says is correct. Much of it Bush would probably agree with if he were allowed to say so. But this election is about who's to be president in 2004-2008 not 2000-2004. What happens next is what needs to be elaborated. By the way vowing "to hasten the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and speed its reconstruction by drawing the nation's estranged allies together at an international summit he would convene as president" is not a plan; it's an hallucination.


Very poor speaker, which I'm sure surprises no one. Voice is too high pitched, full of verbal pauses, hesitations, and phrasings that are not quite right. I find it kind of endearing. It comes across as sincerity. The smooth-as-a-chocolate-milkshake Kerry comes across as hollow. (Not to say empty calories, to continue the metaphor.) But George has got to find someone to help him drop the smirk; it is really annoying.

And I have the same complaint that I had with Kerry: what happens now? Staying the course and being resolute isn't a plan. It assumes a plan but it isn't one itself. And don't tell me democratizing Iraq is a plan. At best it's a goal; at worst it's a fantasy.

But then I didn't watch it all. Maybe all the best bits were on last. In any event, I taped the Angel game that morning and watched that instead. They lost. Those two guys running for president isn't bad enough; I also have to worry about starting pitchers who were already having trouble and now seem to be collapsing in their new four man rotation.

[For a less flippant and much more incisive view of the presidential proceedings last night, visit here and continue reading into the first four paragraphs of Friday's entry.]