Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Liturgy of the Hours and a Idea For A Retreat House should Spread

I think I share a a problem that most Christians have. That problem is keeping up a regular and productive prayer life. A prayer life that leaves me open to hearing God's voice and for me to converse with him. The rich treasury of Christ's Church as always provides the answer. That answer is the Liturgy of the Hours.

The Liturgy of the Hours(also called sometimes the Divine Office) is the pretty much the official prayer of the Church. It is quite ancient. The Church has been really trying to encourage the faithful to pray it. It is ironic but it seems the ones that are picking it lately are evangelicals and those other non Catholics. The Anglicans have always had a strong divine office tradition.

The Liturgy of the Hours is focused chiefly around the Psalms. The two hinges of the Hours revolves around the Morning Prayer and the Evening Prayer. The various other prayers during the day are great and especially the Office of Readings. But it is morning and evening prayer that are of the most importance.

When I was a new convert I had difficulty getting into the liturgy of the hours. This has a little to do with still adjusting to a liturgical life. However much of it had to do with my reaction to the Psalms. The Psalms are prayers and in fact are Liturgical prayers. But they are often some blunt converstions with God. I think at that point I had not "lived " enough out of my sheltered experience to appreciate the Psalms and have them speak to me. Needless to say, that has changed quite a bit for me since those early years as a new Catholic. I have had great ups and downs and now I realize why these prayers have been said by Christians since the beginning.

There is a retreat House here in the United States thats whole focus is the Liturgy of the Hours. It is fact their special mission. That place is called the The St Thomas House of Prayer. It is located in Pennsylvania. I am really struck by this place and what they do. One might ask if can succeed in Pennsylvania why not elsewhere.

I am not going to try to reinvent the wheel as to explaining the Liturgy of the Hours when they have done it so nicely. Here are a few pages to go look at their site.

Check out this page to get an overview of the Liturgy of the Hours and what the Church teaches about it.

To see a time frame of how the Hours are usually prayed go here.

Don't want to go out and buy the one volume or four volume set of the Hours. Go here and print out the complete hours for the day. Need Adobe.

The Liturgy of the Hours and how to pray it is often intimidating for new comers. The first key is to relax. God is more concerned that you are trying to reach out than you get everything right at first. I highly recommend you go here and get the excellent free materials on the Liturgy of the Hours. The file Discovering Prayer is great.

I might start posting on my prayer life and the liturgy of the hours. I shall also share what other insights Catholics and even what some non Catholics have as we are praying it togther. The great thing about the Liturgy of the Hours is that we are all praying the same prayers and following the same Church year together. It truly is praying as Church.

Watch An Alabama Quarterback Get Creamed and Other LSU Football News

There are certain great moments in Life. The birth of child, your first kiss, being a grandparent, and especially watching Alabama Quarterback John Parker Wilson getting just pummeled at Tiger Stadium. Lets go back to a great moment last year.

Ah the TV sports guy's reaction is priceless. Good Times!!!

Here is the daily LSU News

There was a lot of talk about the the big women's only Football 101 at LSU that was held last week. 650 women showed up and had a day that thier husbands and boyfriends can only dream about. Here is a News video of the fun.

LSU football gets two more commitments

The Tiger Stop Blog has several good post. First he tell us MIke VI is coming from Indiana. He also has some thoughts on our latest recruits that have committed here.

I shall be updating this post during the day as more LSU news comes available. I will find some stories over Lunch.

If the US Government Established A National Holiday For A Catholic Saint

I would have to think the honor would go to Ignatius of Loyola whose memorial is celebrated today by the Church. The Influence of the Order he founded on the United States and the World for that matter is immense. I think the St Francis and the Fransicans are the only ones that come close. The name Jesuit was used by opponents of the order. Now the order proclaims that name with Pride.

Jesuits have been in the United States since the very beginning. They were some of its earlier explorers. The sheer number of people they have educated in this country from young Children to College students is beyond belief. In my small corner of the World, the Jesuits came and offered a education to people that included the haves and have nots all in the same classroom,. Some of these "have nots" Catholics and non Catholics are now some of the leading lights of the community. Amazing to think that was duplicated in so many places.

Here are just a few famous Jesuits in American History

Jacques Marquette, French explorer of the Mississippi area

John Carroll (priest), first bishop of the United States and founder of Georgetown University

Gabriel Richard, co-founder of University of Michigan, "second founder" of Detroit, first congressional representative from Michigan (then a territory, not yet a state)
Thomas Ewing Sherman, son of a US Civil War Union Army Major General William T. Sherman (Father Sherman is buried in Grand Couteau Louisiana)

Michael J. McGivney, Founder of the Knights of Columbus

John Courtney Murray, American theologian (credited with the drafting of the Second Vatican Council Declaration on Religious Freedom)

John M. Corridan, labor activist and "waterfront priest," his story inspired the classic film On the Waterfront.

Edmund A. Walsh, founder of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

Anthony Kohlmann, early Catholic priest in New York whose decision not to testify established American precedent for "priest-penitent privilege" or "clergy confidentiality" in law

The Jesuits are a part of the fabric of American society in so many ways. Yet because they gave their lives to serving to the Christ and his Church they produced no descendants to remember their memory and talk about their exploits. That is up for us to do because in many ways we are their children. This American experience was typical and was repeated all over the world.

I have not even got into Loyola's spiritual exercises that have brought so many people closer to their Lord.

Ignatius of Loyola -Pray For Us

A Quick Look At the Louisiana Catholic Blogs

The Brown Pelican Society have a lot of good posts this morning. Here are a few of the them.
First there is a incredible story about a Alabama woman and how her life was saved by ADULT stem cells.

Abortion Centers Misuse Heart Drug Digoxin to Do "Partial-Birth" Abortions.

First Female President of India Calls for End of Selective Abortion.

Lots more at his site.

Travis at Catholic Tube has updated his site with more some videos. Here are two dealing with the Theology of the Body here and here.

The Power and Authority of the Early Popes

A Catholic Convert that has the The God Fearin' Forum blog has a excellent post on this subject. It is a good introduction to the subject. There is a article he mentions I plan to go into a great deal more. That is a very informative piece called >"Why Doesn't the Pope Do Something About 'Bad' Bishops?" from This Rock magazine.

I intend to hit that issue of Bishops from a more postive standpoint. I think we Catholics need to a refresher course on Bishop and the holy office and divine mandatethat it is. It is tempting for us very Orthodox Catholics to just focus on the Bishop of Rome. During the last 30 years like the Christians during the Arian crisis some had no choice. The Bishop is more than the CEO or business manager of a Diocese. When I look at diocese that have no shortage of vocations the key seems to be the Bishop. It is not the Bishop "business expertise" or mangerial skill that is causing such abundance of people open to God's call. Often I find that the Holiness and the Spirtuality of the Bishop himself spreads to his Diocese. More later on this topic.

Governor Huckabee on CNN

I am going to be doing a political post later on a person that could/might be a big factor in the Republicans winning if the cards fall right. She is creating some buzz.

Right now I wanted to highlight CNN's interview with Huckabee. Huckabee appeared on CNN where he debated the issues with Democrat 08 hopeful Bill Richardson. Maritime Sentry has a link to the transcript ans his impressions.

I hare his same conclusions. I am starting to sense that Huckabee is putting himself in the position to break to the first tier.

A little Tiger Rag to Start out the Day(playing with Youtube)

Let us start this Tuesday right. College Football is in the air!!!!

It is not like being at LSU in Tiger Stadium but it still gives me chills. This is The Band from Tigerland marching on the field pregame. View is from the sidelines and this is a night game from 2005

I shall be putting up a couple of LSU Youtubes Video greats a day till the KIckoff against Mississippi State.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Prayers For The Chief Justice of the United States

Saint Thomas More

Chief Justice Stevens has suffered some type of seizure according to the news. Just saw that it appear he will be ok soI am sure it is not serious. However let us try to remember to offer a prayer up this public servant and only the third I believe Catholic Chief Justice of the United States that he does not have a more serious condition.

We give these people hell as they serve. Doesn't hurt to pray for their health on occasion.

Collect From the memoral of St Thomas More(June 22)
Father, you confirm the true faithwith the crown of martyrdom.
May the prayers of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More
give us the courage to proclaim our faith
by the witness of our lives.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.

Hell Just Froze Over- New York Times Say We can Win In Iraq

I almost fainted. It should be remembered that the people included in that "WE" are the Iraqi people.

AJ has the link and his comments.

Pope Benedict the Pope of Peace?

Whispers in the Loggia has a reputation of being a Catholic blogger in the know. He is widely read by a whole much of people. Some very important. He kinda of created some controversy recently with giving a summary of the Summorum Pontificum while it was still under Papal embargo. Oh well I wasn't offended :)

He has a flurry of post today including this very interesting and in depth one on the Pope and World Youth Day in Australia.

However most of the post today have to deal with Pope Benedict and his view of War and his vision of Peace. All are worth a read. The Holy See and people that cover it have strongly hinted that the Pope is going to write some sort of encyclical on Peace and War.

Now the reaction of Catholics will be predictable. Sadly many will not be aware of it or read it. But for those that notice these things there will be two camps. The so called "conservative" camp that will downplay it and act like these are just suggestions and can't he just talk about the Virgin Mary and the Mass . Then there will be the "progressive" camp that will proclaim that the Pope has made absolute Pacifism a Catholic doctrine and lets slash aircraft carrier funding and look he is talking about the evil United States. I suspect that the Pope will give no easy answers but try to explore a World that is on the verge of a Nuclear arms race in the middle East in light of the Gospel and what should be our response.

I have no doubt that both sides in the future will treat whatever comes in a "Bumper Sticker" mentality and the media will play along gleefully. But I hope that faithful Catholics can resist that mentality. I saw as to the immigration debate Catholics on both sides misrepresented the Church's view and ignored what they didn't like. That goes for the "delete the border"/ We can't deport anyone crowd to the Hardline "lets deport them all big and small crowd". It was not our finest hour

That being said take time to the read these two very interesting posts-
Benedict, Pope of Peace


King in the Castel

The Always Fun Filioque Debate

Michael Joseph is one of the regular posters over at Vox Nova. I enjoy his zeal a lot even though I disagree with some of his posts. Especially those post and comments about horrid right wing nationalist Catholics sacrificing their Catholicism on the Altar of Mars :) .

However he is one smart cookie. He has a nice post on the The Semantics of the Filioque that is pretty good . I am probally going to start a category on this. There has been an huge amount of time spent by Catholic bloggers engaging Eastern Orthodox bloggers on this issue the past year. Catholic bloggers have had no choice because some Orthodox bloggers have been very aggressive on this subject as well as numerous others "controversies".

Once I start digging into these Catholic/Eastern Orthodox controversies whether it be the Filioque, or Divine Energies versus Absolute Divine Simplicty, or Original sin I find that it appears that our approaches often compliment each other. That is they are not in opposition.

This brings to mind the comments of John Paul the II that said the Orthodox are the second lung of the Church. Many Orthodox bloggers(NOT ALL) hate that term by the way. Oh well.
I shall try to touch on this some. It is important because some converts to Orthodoxy really go after Catholics on this issue and others. I also think that the reconcilation of West and the East is one of the most important goals we should have. I am of the mind that if this tragic split had not occured the Reformation as we know it would not have had happened

I am no expert in this realm and to be honest my head starts hurting pretty fast once I dive into it. Perhaps using this blog we can make some progress on that.

Catholic Apologetics and the "Latin Mass"

I am pretty sure that the Mass of John Paul XXIII will not be the mass that is my main avenue of prayer and communion with Christ and the whole Blessed Trinity. I welcome it though and looking forward to having it as a part of my spiritual life as a Catholic.

I do think thought that every Catholic, regardless of if they attend the "latin mass" , needs to start to get familar with the basics of this liturgy. Non Catholics will start asking a whole new set of questions. Anti Catholics will no doubt try to use certain myths about the Classical Roman mass against Christ's Church.

What prompted me to think about this was this post at the The BOB CATHOLIC Show blog. In that post a Schismatic Catholic priest says that Pope Benedict's claim that as he puts it "The two Masses are NOT two expressions of the same Roman Rite. This is not even a half-truth. It is simply completely false."

Of course I have been saying that it is. However, I am not sure I am at this point that I could give an adequate clear explanation of why that is.

This form of the Latin rite as well as the beautiful and sacred liturgies of the Eastern rite Catholics are all part of our Catholic Patrimony. A patrimony that should be embraced and defended and explained.

I shall be a on the look out for a good Apologetic resource for the "latin Mass" that will be helpful for those Catholics that are not familar with it.

I think a immediate Resource is Father's Z's blog, What Does the Prayer Really Say, that is on my blogroll. He is sane, clear and has a lot of humor. Also he knows that the heck he is talking about.

I am going to start getting a list together of sane and truly Catholic blogs that focus on this. Some(not all) sites that I run across that focus solely on the traditional mass are to put it bluntly wacko. In fact I am not at all comfortable with all that is on their sites and they just further sterotypes. That is not the case with most however. Still one should be careful. Any site that has as its agenda the bashing of Mass of Paul the VI(the new Mass) is not one I shall be including.

Great Story About LSU's New Walk On Quarterback

To Tech Fans out there, I shall be putting up some Louisiana Tech Football stuff up soon. ULM fans keep waiting :). Even though ULM( University of Louisiana at Monroe) has this stud Freshman Kicker I have a interest in. So I might be commenting on him and of course when yall play the evil Nick Satan in Bama. I might post some stuff about Uh la la(ULL) in the future too.

I have added a new LSU sports blog to my links. That is The Tiger Stop. He posts everyday about and has some good stuff.

This post has a great story about our new walk on quarterback from Colorado. How inspiring. Also it shows again that Les Miles pays off for LSU in many ways. All I got to say is that a certain quarterback(not Matt Flynn) on our roster better keep his nose clean. With the the new Freshman QB from Texas we are getting and this guy LES might have alternatives.

A Louisiana Catholic Blogger Roundup For Monday

Full Circle Blog has several good posts. For instance ,He has a very informative one on how the Doctrine of "The Bible Alone" does not make any sense.

Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks who is hosting this home schooling event in Abbeville next month has a interesting post up. Her post focuses on a priest that asked Benedict if it was bad that sometimes he wanted to play Soccer rather than go to Eucharistic adoration. I thought Pope Benedict's answer was great and insightful for all of us.

Father Ryan from the Diocese of Alexandria has several good post up. Check out his post with the hilarious You Tube Video of Natural Family Planning Versus Contraception.

Today he has a post reminding us the "pill" is not everything it seems.

The Brown Pelican Society has two post of note up this morning. Here is one talking about Catholic ID and the American College Experience. The Brown Pelican has also a post up regarding The Holy See Responds to Questions about the Church by Archbishop Burke.

From The Recamier had a post yesterday on Saint Martha and other historical tidbits.

Travis who runs the invaluable resource Catholic Tube has a new vid up.

Fr. Victor Brown’s Catholic Daily Message has this post today that talks about the first reading of Mass and how it relates to a conversation he had with the Sr. Briege McKenna, an Irish nun who has the gift of healing.

If you know of any Louisiana Catholic Bloggers that touch on the faith on Occasion let me know

The Enigma of Fred Thompson and An Opportunity for Huckabee?

Blogger Kevin Tracy has post on both these subjects.

In his post on the The Fred Thompson Enigma, he ponders why there is so much buzz about him. I often wonder the same. Fred Thompson might be the best thing since sliced bread, but I have not seen it yet. It appears to me that people are coming down to earth a tad and know he now must prove himself

His other post regards the You Tube Republican debate coming up in September. It appears as of this moment that Giuliani and Romney plan to skip it. I would not put that ins stone yet and I would be advising them to change their mind. Both men ,especially Romney, I don't think can afford to skip it at this point. That being said I agree with Kevin. This is a great opportunity for Huckabee to shine. I think the Youtube dynamic will create a similar buzz for the Republicans and should have decent ratings.

LSU Running Back Jacob Hester Just Got Married

The Shreveport Times has the entire Wedding Announcement here. Jacob Hester married Amanda Katharine Tilley. Hester if you remember proposed to this cute 20 year old thing moments after LSU beat Arkansas last year in War Memorial Stadium. Of interest to LSU fans, besides the fact that the new Mrs Hester wore a exquisite gown of candlelight Italian matte satin by Mori Lee. A satin banding enhanced the sweetheart neckline of the strapless basque bodice which was ornate with platinum floral embroidery embellished with rhinestones and silver and crystal rocailles, are the groomsman.

Hester has as his Groomsman LSU Quarterback Matt Flynn, Fullback Shawn Jordan, and as Honorary Groomsman University of Southern California Quarterback (USC) John David Booty.

I bet that was a fun couple of days with Booty and Flynn in town and going out together to all the wedding events. I would love to have been a fly on the wall as the two quarterbacks that many picked to be facing each other in the National Championship got together for probally the first time. I hope Booty gave Flynn some advice about being a QB that has not had a lot of game time and coming in and replacing a high profile quarterback. I bet that was a big photo to get at the reception

Feel free to send all pics and videos of the Hester Bachlor party exploits to me :). If they involve Booty I swear I will not sell them to LA Gossip sites :)

Is the Virgin Mary the Answer to Islam?

I have to admit I am enjoying running into the writings of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. He was of course way before my time so I am sort of rediscovering him for myself. It seems that in the United States he was the Catholic version of Billy Graham back then.

Father Joe over at his blog has a thought provoking piece that Sheen did back on the 1950's on Islam. I too have always thought it was interesting that the Virgin Mary in the early 20th century appeared in a Village that has the same name as Mohammed's daughter. I always assumed that Moslems gave this name to the village when they controlled it. However that is not the case. Sheen points out as to the village:"the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima. A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Catholic faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima."

As Sheen said in that article ,"Nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details. "

Read the whole Sheen article. Perhaps Russia was not the only place to be converted.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


The paper of record for the United States, the all Holy Ever Sacred New York Times(may blessings be upon it) ,has a piece on the "latin Mass" on the Editoral page.

One can tell by the title that it was not going to be very "pro" Summorum Pontificum.

Father Z as usual has his great and insightful commentary that cuts through the BS.

Apologia for the Fathers - A Defense of the Early Church Fathers

I have already made the calls that no way am I going to work tomorrow. Hopefully I will be back up to snuff by Tuesday. However before I go nap for a couple of hours(medicine making me sleepy) I saw this interesting piece by a Orthodox Blogger defending the Early Church Fathers.

In his first paragraph he states:
Christ is in our midst!
There are some in this day and age who calumniate and malign the holy Fathers of the Church, in an attempt to deny the doctrine they preached as truly Apostolic. This criticism may range from the mild, that the Fathers were “erroneously influenced,” to the truly sinister accusations, such as that the Fathers were pagans, conspirators, and so on. It is a dangerous error to so lightly dismiss the early Christian writers, as, if their teachings truly reflect the Tradition of the Apostles, then many professed followers of Christ are in serious error as to their faith and worshop.
A close study of the Fathers, and examination of the arguments against their instruction, will swiftly reveal the error of those who protest their Tradition. Let us, then, examine the merits of the Fathers and the fallacies of their detractors

I think it is a pretty good short read. The fact is that the re discovery of the Church Fathers by many Christians have got many taking another look at what it means to be Christian and what is Church. The internet is playing a huge role in this. Some have said "well look they are all wrong and it just shows the Church of Christ went off the rails right away". SO PLEASE QUIT TALKING ABOUT THINGS SUCH AS REAL PRESENCE, BISHOPS, PRIESTHOOD, SACRAMENTS, and other Popish things.

Oh well they are not going away. This is a good piece to read in case you encounter the above reaction.

Cardinal Martini says of the Latin Mass: 'I love it but I will never celebrate it'

In a effort to make this blog a friendly place for all people, I shall now move(for today) from the controversial world of politics to the non controversial world of Catholicism :).

The influential Cardinal Martini , God Bless him, always it seems to have a habit of saying "non controversal things".

It appears he has decided to comment on the Latin Mass/Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum developments. I find this on page 12o of the News about Benedict section of the Ratiznger forum. This is from apparently today's Sunday supplement of the Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. Here is a summary as reported bya person on the forum. As of now I have not been able to find the online version . I have put the poster's personal thoughts and interactions with the piece in italics as they are at the forum.

Cardinal Martini says of the Latin Mass: 'I love it but I will never celebrate it'

VATICAN CITY - "I feel very much linked to the pre-Conciliar Mass and to the Latin of my First Communion and the first 35 years of my faith, but I will not celebrate it."

This, in summary, is what Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini writes in the Sunday supplement of Il Sole 24 Ore on the subject of the traditional Mass granted new explicit recognition as a valid rite of the Church through Pope Benedict XVI's recent Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

The emeritus Archbishop of Milan, after describing at length his love of Latin liturgy and his experiences with it, lists three reasons for choosing not to say the traditional Mass ever again:

1) Because "I believe that with Vatican-II, a very good step was taken forward towards the understanding of the liturgy and its ability to nourish in us the Word of God, which it offers in much more abundant measure than the old rite." And if there have been abuses, "I don't think this has happened among us' [Italians?], although 'abusus non tollit usum' and "one must acknowledge that for many people the reformed liturgy has been a source of internal rejuvenation and spiritual nourishment."

2) "I cannot help feel the sense of 'being closed in' that emanated from the ensemble of that type of Christian life as it was lived then [pre-Conciliarly], in which it was an effort for the faithful to find an atmosphere of freedom and responsibility... to experience first-hand the faith that St. Paul spoke about". "I am very grateful to the Council because it opened doors and windows to a Christian life that is happier and humanly more livable." [How? By allowing open liturgical license?]

3) "While I admire the immense benevolence of the Pope who wants to allow everyone to worship God in both the old and new forms, I have seen as a bishop the importance of communion in the form of liturgical prayer which expresses in one language only the adherence of everyone to the highest mysteries."

"I trust in the good sense of our people, who will understand how each bishop already finds it difficult enough to provide the Eucharist to everyone and cannot easily multiple celebrations nor conjure out of nowhere ordained ministers capable of meeting individual demands.' [Hold it, Your Eminence! The bishop, starting September 14, has nothing to do with these 'individual demands'. It's between the 'individuals' and their priests, and I am sure, yes, both 'individuals' and priests will use their common sense.]

Cardinal Martini says that 'a valid contribution' of the Motu Proprio is "the ecumenical willingness to confront everyone, which makes us hope for a future of dialog among those who search for God sincerely."

I shall try to find a online version of this. Warning I don't speak Italian so don't expect me to translate it if I find it.

I am awaiting too see if Father Z becomes aware of it and comments on this at his blog. That should be fun. I would check in there too.

Governor Huckabee to be on CNN tomorrow and Also My Thoughts about Jack Cafferty

Governor Mike Huckabee will be the Guest on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with anchor Wolf Blitzer at 4:00 p.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. CT to discuss presidential politics and other topics. Be sure to Check it out if you can.

By the way speaking of the Situation Room. Does anyone, whether they are Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal , or Moderate ,really enjoy this guy on the situation room that gives his two cents every 20 minutes.

I sometimes get the sense that Wolf Blitizer is not too thrilled that he has to banter with the sort of unoffical Situation Room sidekick. I know I wish he didn't have too. Now some people really like Cafferty. These fans have a whole web site devoted to the project of having CNN give him his own show. They have a online web petiton too as you can see. The web site started in July 2006 and so far they have received 1,294 signatures. Way to Go. I wish them success. I hereby suggest a 3 am spot on CNN headline news would do just fine.

I was recently watching a movie that came out in the 70's that got a lot of acclaim and had a lot of well known actors in it. It was called Network. It was about a News Network that got real outrageous to get ratings. Anyway there was a guy that went crazy on the air and instead of firing him they kept him on because he was getting great ratings. His Signature line was to look and into the TV camera and scream:

I am Mad as Hell and I am Not Going to Take THIS Anymore!!!!!!

As soon as saw that I went "Oh my God that is Jack Cafferty!!!!". However. Jack Cafferty is often mad about just certain things. Those things are mainly George Bush, Republicans, Conservatives, and did I mention George Bush and Republicans.

For all Cafferty fans please do not be offended. I in no way officially represent the Huckabee campaign and I am sure that this "respected" journalist will not be interviewing the Governor tomorrow. Of course if Cafferty did want to interview the Honorable Governor , I am sure Huckabee would do it. HUckabee reaches out to ALL just as he will as President.

Just trying to figure out the appeal and why he is on a timeslot where serious news is supposed to be discussed. If CNN doesn't want to be like FOX why do they have him on?

Hillary Clinton Must like the British Comedy 'Yes Minister"

Every year during the pledge drive for Louisiana Public Broadcasting, I ask them to put on their schedule again the BBC comedy called Yes Minister that later became Yes Prime Minister.

The whole show revolves around a elected British politician named Jim Hacker that is a Cabinet Minister. However what makes the show funny is he is always at war with Sir Humphrey who represents the British Civil Service. What is hilarious about the show and yet so true is the aims of the politicans and the the aims of the civil service are always at odds. We find the Civil Service is often making policy and not the politicans, By the way this dynamic is also why I am fearful of term limits.

Anyway in this vein Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee for President, in her latest pronouncement, has stated she would like to create a National Service Academy to train public servants!!! Like our Military Academies it will be all free. ". AJ over at the Statra Sphere Blog has the article and offers some thoughts on this "exciting" news.

There is nothing wrong with these programs. In my state of Louisiana LSU, Nicholls St, and Loyola have public adminstration programs. They do serve a purpose. But a National Academy? Waste of money and very bad idea. Also a very Democrat like idea. Also they do something like this in France which again shows that this is a disaster waiting to happen.

New Catholic Blog I am Adding- The Canterbury Tales

I really enjoy the Canterbury Tales blog by Taylor Marshall. His post are always interesting, clear, and insightful. He touches also some things regarding the Catholic faith that I think gives him a niche in a way. First there is his background.

He has an extremely interesting background that makes him a blessed asset to the Catholic blogsphere. He was raised in the Presbyterian Church in the USA and was active in it. I think Catholics sometimes miss that Presbyterians and especially Calvinist are really some of the most intellectual heavy weights of the Protestant tradition. He often picks up on some important trends happening in his former Christian community that Catholics should be aware of and epsecially those in apologetics. Mr Marshall , like many Converts to the Catholic faith, did not come directly to Rome. He became a Anglican. In fact he was a Anglican Priest. He later converted to the Catholic faith. He is now assistant director at the Catholic Information Center in Washington DC. He and his family shall soon be moving to the Dallas area where he shall be obtaining a Ph.D. at the University of Dallas in the fall. The University of Dallas is a wonderful Catholic School by the way.

Let me highlight a few post that I think are real interesting.

He really hits on a subject that strangely is getting no notice in the Catholic blogsphere. That is the Federal Vision debate in the Presbyterian Church. For Louisiana folks, you might be interested to know that a leading church and one of the leader of "Federal Vision" comes out of the Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church in Monroe Louisiana. In fact sometimes "Federal Vision" is called the Auburn Church Movement. These folks should be engaged because as he points out some as they continue their journey will be open to Catholicism. Go to these post to learn more:

The Catholic Prespective on the Federal Vision-

Another PCA convert to Catholicism Discusses the Federal Vision Debate-

Federal Vision Loses, Zwinglians Win: PCA-GA 2007-

He touches on a lot of interesting topics. What is the difference between the Vatican and the Holy See? They even have two web sites. Go here to find out.

In the Gulf Coast Area and Want to Go To a Homeschooling Event Cajun Style?

I notice that one of the people on my blogroll is having a special event. Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks, who is also a author and writer of note, is holding a two day Home School Family Weekend
August 10-12, 2007 Abbeville, LA. Help spread the word. Here is her post that gives all the information. I shall be adding this to my Louisiana Catholic events for August that can be found at the top left of my blog.

Sunday Posting

Again the computer and tv will be my weekend companion today. I called up the pharmacist this morning at his house and said I had to have something now. He opened up the store for me. There are benefits of living in small towns.

If you live in a small town make the pharmacist your best friend. Don't go to the big chains either. I was shocked when I moved to a bigger city for college for the first time. What do you mean I have to go a doctor first and get this prescription thing? Just give me a antibotic I am not getting painkillers for goodness sake I was thinking.

Anyway look for some post since I am staying home from Mass and other things today to see if I can whoop this.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Going to Rome and want The Pope To Notice You? Bring A Cat!!

The Pope's love of cats and especially the vast homeless cat population is well known. I am suprised the Vatican has not become feline paradise yet.

The above is in front of Saint Ursula in the neighboring town of Vigo where the Pope was spending his vacation. SMART PARENTS!!! I read a newspaper account of this here on the Ratiznger forum( a must to visit everyday) and also that Altar boys and other children from a Nursey School were singing "Always with the Pope, to the death."

What a song. We should teach it in CCD. Some how I think I have missed it in the Glory and Praise hymnal.

To end up this Papal group of posts, I found this wonderful story also on the Forum that shows the humor of the Holy Father and his goodness. We are truly blessed. Christ never promised that the all our Pop's would be Saints, or be able to explain his message in terms we can understand, or they would be joyful. Some have not. We have one though now that has all those qualities and so much more.

Radio Vatican's Amedeo Lomonaco interviewed a couple of persons the Pope spoke to during his lakeside stroll:

Marcello De Deppo came across the Pope in the vicinity of the little church of Our Lady of Health: "I had gone for my customary walk by the lake, cetainly not expecting to see the Pope! Then, suddenly I saw a man dressed in white walking in my direction. 'Oh goodness, could it be the Pope?' I thought. I was about 50 meters away, so I stepped out to the side of the road, and I instinctively clasped my hands together in front of me.

"Then he saw me, and started to approach me. I heard his secretary tell the security escort, 'It's all right.' So I went forward to meet him and I said, 'The Lord has made this possible!' and he answered, 'Divine Providence is great.' "It was an indescribable emotion for me, because I also happen to be a very religious man. I thought of all that I had read before about unexpected meetings with a Pope. And here it had happened to me. I was truly very moved. All night, I could think of nothing else but the Pope."

Lot of great pics and other stories on that page.

Pope Benedict Compares the Years after Vatican II to the Chaos After Council of Nicea

Update- Here is the Full transcript of the entire Question and Answer Session

As I mentioned earlier Pope Benedict had quite an question and answer session with 400 priests.

I am not sure if a full transcript of the entire event is available but reporters were there. One of the questions had to do with the aftermath of the Council of Vatican II. The Pope's answer is worth printing in full. This can be found on this page of the Ratizger Forum.

All Against All:
The Postconciliar Period
Recounted by Ratzinger, Theologian and Pope

The period following Vatican II reminds Benedict XVI of the "total chaos" after the Council of Nicaea, the first in history. But from that stormy Council emerged the "Credo."
And today? Here is the pope’s response to the priests of Belluno, Feltre, and Treviso

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, July 27, 2007 – Like two summers ago in Aosta, again this year Benedict XVI, during his vacation in the Alps, wanted to meet with the local priests and respond to their questions.

He did so on the morning of Tuesday, July 24, in Auronzo di Cadore, in the church of Santa Giustina Martire, against the backdrop of the Dolomite mountains.

The pope responded spontaneously to ten questions on a wide variety of issues.

For example, in relation to the growing presence of non-Christian immigrants in Italy and Europe, he explained how to reconcile the proclamation of the Gospel and dialogue with the other religions, beginning from “agreement on the fundamental values expressed in the ten commandments, summed up in love of neighbor and love of God.”

In regard to divorced and remarried Catholics, he urged first of all that couples be prepared for a “natural marriage, according to the Creator,” freeing them from the current idea according to which “it is normal to get married, divorce, and remarry, and no one thinks that this goes against human nature.” And in the case of a failed marriage, he encouraged that the divorced persons be made to feel that they are always “loved by Christ and members of the Church, even if they are in a difficult situation.”

On the clash between creationism and evolutionism, “as if these were mutually exclusive alternatives,” he explained that “this contrast is absurd, because on the one hand there is much scientific evidence in support of evolution,” but on the other hand “the doctrine of evolution does not respond to the great question: From where does everything come?” And he recommended a rereading of his lecture in Regensburg, so that “reason might be opened further.”

But the most interesting response was the last of the ten. To a priest who told him about his disappointment with the many dreams that were awakened in him by Vatican Council II but then vanished, Benedict XVI replied by recounting his own experience and his own views of the Council and the period after it: the initial enthusiasm, the tension between those who interpreted the true “spirit” of the Council as a sort of cultural revolution and those who instead reacted against the Council itself, the historic upheavals of 1968 and 1989, the Church’s ability to move forward, in spite of everything, along the right path, in silence and humility...

Here follows the complete transcript of Benedict XVI’s response on the Council and its aftermath:

"We had such great hopes,
but things proved to be more difficult..."

by Benedict XVI

I, too, lived through Vatican Council II, coming to Saint Peter’s Basilica with great enthusiasm and seeing how new doors were opening. It really seemed to be the new Pentecost, in which the Church would once again be able to convince humanity. After the Church’s withdrawal from the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it seemed that the Church and the world were coming together again, and that there was a rebirth of a Christian world and of a Church of the world and truly open to the world.

We had such great hopes, but in reality things proved to be more difficult. Nonetheless, it is still true that the great legacy of the Council, which opened a new road, is a “magna carta” of the Church’s path, very essential and fundamental.

But why did this happen? I would like to begin with an historical observation. The periods following a council are almost always very difficult. After the great Council of Nicaea – which is, for us, truly the foundation of our faith, in fact we confess the faith as formulated at Nicaea – there was not the birth of a situation of reconciliation and unity, as hoped by Constantine, the promoter of the great Council, but a genuinely chaotic situation of a battle of all against all.

In his book on the Holy Spirit, saint Basil compares the Church’s situation after the Council of Nicaea to a nighttime naval battle, in which no one recognizes another, but everyone is pitted against everyone else. It really was a situation of total chaos: this is how saint Basil paints in vivid colors the drama of the period following the Council of Nicaea.

50 years later, for the first Council of Constantinople, the emperor invited saint Gregory Nazianzen to participate in the council, and saint Gregory responded: No, I will not come, because I understand these things, I know that all of the Councils give rise to nothing but confusion and fighting, so I will not come. And he didn’t go.

So it is not now, in retrospect, such a great surprise how difficult it was at first for all of us to digest the Council, this great message. To imbue this into the life of the Church, to receive it, such that it becomes the Church’s life, to assimilate it into the various realities of the Church is a form of suffering, and it is only in suffering that growth is realized. To grow is always to suffer as well, because it means leaving one condition and passing to another.

And we must note that there were two great historic upheavals in the concrete context of the postconciliar period.

The first is the convulsion of 1968, the beginning – or explosion, I dare say – of the great cultural crisis of the West. The postwar generation had ended, a generation that, after seeing all the destruction and horror of war, of combat, and witnessing the drama of the great ideologies that had actually led people toward the precipice of war, had discovered the Christian roots of Europe and had begun to rebuild Europe with these great inspirations. But with the end of this generation there were also seen all of the failures, the gaps in this reconstruction, the great misery in the world, and so began the explosion of the crisis of Western culture, what I would call a cultural revolution that wants to change everything radically. It says: In two thousand years of Christianity, we have not created a better world; we must begin again from nothing, in an absolutely new way. Marxism seems to be the scientific formula for creating, at last, the new world.

In this – let us say – serious, great clash between the new, healthy modernity desired by the Council and the crisis of modernity, everything becomes difficult, like after the first Council of Nicaea.

One side was of the opinion that this cultural revolution was what the Council had wanted. It identified this new Marxist cultural revolution with the will of the Council. It said: This is the Council; in the letter the texts are still a bit antiquated, but behind the written words is this “spirit,” this is the will of the Council, this is what we must do. And on the other side, naturally, was the reaction: you are destroying the Church. The – let us say – absolute reaction against the Council, anticonciliarity, and – let us say – the timid, humble search to realize the true spirit of the Council. And as a proverb says: “If a tree falls it makes a lot of noise, but if a forest grows no one hears a thing,” during these great noises of mistaken progressivism and absolute anticonciliarism, there grew very quietly, with much suffering and with many losses in its construction, a new cultural passageway, the way of the Church.

And then came the second upheaval in 1989, the fall of the communist regimes. But the response was not a return to the faith, as one perhaps might have expected; it was not the rediscovery that the Church, with the authentic Council, had provided the response. The response was, instead, total skepticism, so-called post-modernity. Nothing is true; everyone must decide on his own how to live. There was the affirmation of materialism, of a blind pseudo-rationalistic skepticism that ends in drugs, that ends in all these problems that we know, and the pathways to faith are again closed, because the faith is so simple, so evident: no, nothing is true; truth is intolerant, we cannot take that road.

So: in these contexts of two cultural ruptures, the first being the cultural revolution of 1968 and the second the fall into nihilism after 1989, the Church sets out with humility upon its path, between the passions of the world and the glory of the Lord.

Along this road, we must grow with patience and we must now, in a new way, learn what it means to renounce triumphalism.

The Council had said that triumphalism must be renounced – thinking of the Baroque, of all these great cultures of the Church. It was said: Let’s begin in a new, modern way. But another triumphalism had grown, that of thinking: We will do things now, we have found the way, and on it we find the new world.

But the humility of the Cross, of the Crucified One, excludes precisely this triumphalism as well. We must renounce the triumphalism according to which the great Church of the future is truly being born now. The Church of Christ is always humble, and for this very reason it is great and joyful.

It seems very important to me that we can now see with open eyes how much that was positive also grew following the Council: in the renewal of the liturgy, in the synods – Roman synods, universal synods, diocesan synods – in the parish structures, in collaboration, in the new responsibility of laypeople, in intercultural and intercontinental shared responsibility, in a new experience of the Church’s catholicity, of the unanimity that grows in humility, and nonetheless is the true hope of the world.

And thus it seems to me that we must rediscover the great heritage of the Council, which is not a “spirit” reconstructed behind the texts, but the great conciliar texts themselves, reread today with the experiences that we have had and that have born fruit in so many movements, in so many new religious communities. I arrived in Brazil knowing how the sects are expanding, and how the Catholic Church seems a bit sclerotic; but once I arrived, I saw that almost every day in Brazil a new religious community is born, a new movement is born, and it is not only the sects that are growing. The Church is growing with new realities full of vitality, which do not show up in the statistics – this is a false hope; statistics are not our divinity – but they grow within souls and create the joy of faith, they create the presence of the Gospel, and thus also create true development in the world and society.

Thus it seems to me that we must learn the great humility of the Crucified One, of a Church that is always humble and always opposed by the great economic powers, military powers, etc. But we must also learn, together with this humility, the true triumphalism of the Catholicism that grows in all ages. There also grows today the presence of the Crucified One raised from the dead, who has and preserves his wounds. He is wounded, but it is in just in this way that he renews the world, giving his breath which also renews the Church in spite of all of our poverty. In this combination of the humility of the Cross and the joy of the risen Lord, who in the Council has given us a great road marker, we can go forward joyously and full of hope

There is a lot here to meditate on. I think Catholics are just like everyone else. We all think the World revolves around us and the times we live in are the most important in World history. Why do we do that? Because we are living in it. Thus we don't see the big picture that Pope Benedict sees only so well. Much to think about here. Again a lesson to see the big scope of history and especially Salvation History and not to react rashly.

Pope Benedict's Very Interesting Question and Answer Session with 400 priests

It appears Popes ,like Presidents and Prime Ministers , really don't have typical vacations. I bet that like President Bush,or Prime Minister Howard or someone in their position, what they have to deal with on a average day of a vacation would have us stressed beyond belief.

Being a Pope appears to be the same. The Pope is in the middle of his three week vaction right now in Italy. However it appears to have a lot of events and engagements in it. Also he is going to be working on his book and perhaps starting to work on a new encyclical. Sipping Drinks by the pool in Cancun this is not.

One of these events was a question and answer session with 400 priests that sounds quite interesting. We are getting bit and pieces of what was talked about. Here John Allen talks about how the Pope links Natural Law and the environment. This Catholic News Agency reports that the Pope talked about the debate btween evolution and natural design(The Pope calls it Creationism) here.

It seems like a very interesting question and answer session. If there is a full transcipt available I shall post it.

Update- I have found a full english Transcript

Woman Ordination and More Horrible News Reporting

I was going through my blogroll and stopped in at a blog I like to visit. That is the Aussie blog The BOB CATHOLIC Show He had this post with pictures and all of some women ordination service with very Catholic overtones. This is of course wrong where ever it occurs but part of me thought at first read that well at least it is happeng far away in Australia and not here. Well I was wrong. This is occuring in Santa Barbara California!!!! Also is that a regular Catholic Church in that picture? It doesn't give a name but this should be investigated.

Go to his blog for the whole post. Let me point out the reporting in the article is horrible. Reading it you would think this is some legitmate or tolerated group in Catholcism. The report claims that some legitimate real Bishops have been involved secretly!!! Let us pray for those men's souls that is not true.

I converted to Catholicism while I was in college. At that time campus ministry was full of people that were going against Church teaching and arguing for woman ordination. I mean arguing all the time. At retreats, at workshops, at student gatherings, and often liturgies this topic was constantly brought up. It almost felt like someone trying to indoctrinate me with Mao's little red book. This was in pretty conservative Louisiana. I hate to think what it was like elsewhere. Hopefully it is not like that today.

Peter Kreeft wrote an excellent article in Crisis magazine years ago about the whole issue of woman ordination to the priesthood and how it is a impossibility. I am sad to say I have never been able to find a copy of that on the Web. However in his new book The Philosophy of Jesus he hits on this a tad.

HE says:
Alone among the ancient gods, the Jewish God was always "He," never "She" (or "It" or "They" or Hermaphrodite). For "She" symbolized something immanent, while "He" was transcendent. "She" was the Womb of all things, the cosmic Mother, but "He" was other than Mother Earth. He created the earth, and He came into it from without, as a man comes into a woman. he impregnated nonbeing with being, darkness with light, dead matter with life, history with miracles, minds with revelations, His chosen people with prophets, and souls with salvation. He was transcendent.

That is why only Judaism, of all ancient religions, had no goddesses and no priestesses. For priests are representatives and symbols of gods. Priests mediate not only Man to God but also God to Man. Women can represent Man to God as well as men can, for women are equally human, valuable, good, and pious. But women cannot represent this God to Man, for Gos is not our Mother but our Father. Earth is our Mother

I might try to hit on this subject again in a more detailed apologetics way.


Thankfully this did not take a place at a Catholic Church. See comment 1 and after that visit his blog. He has a interesting post on the early Church Fathers.

LSU has Their New Tiger- ALL HAIL MIKE THE VI !!!!

(THe Old Mike- Mike V- Gone but not Forgotten)

The Posts this morning seem to be having sort of a Louisiana theme but they shall become more attunted to a broader audience as we progress. That being said is not all the World focused on our Tiger search?

LSU fans love their tigers and I suspect the world does too. I mean would anyone in Alabama care if Auburn's Chicken died?Speaking of Mascots, since Alabama has spent one trillion dollars to hire Nick Satan I am sure they will spend money soon for some 3 ton Elephant they can bring out on the field. That would be rather cool. Especially if it went on a wild rampage all of sudden during the 3rd quarter toward the Alabama bench.

We all mourn the passing of Mike V whose memorial page is here. I have been trying to find out what we did with Mike V. Did we bury him or scather his ashes at the holy Mecca of Tiger Stadium? Did Les Miles and other coaches gather their teams one night and engage in a Holy Communion like meal of Mike ? Who knows but I am curious. Anyway on the future.

The Baton Rouge Advocate reported today:
LSU has a new tiger selected, which will officially become Mike VI after it has been on campus for two weeks in August, LSU officials confirmed today.

“We have identified a tiger,” said Ginger Guttner, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine spokeswoman, “and plans are under way to transfer that tiger to LSU sometime in August.”

Because there are still health and safety issues to work out until the new tiger has been cleared on campus, Guttner said LSU will not release any more details about the tiger’s age, whereabouts or origin.

“Once the tiger is here and gone through a (two-week) quarantine will it be formally introduced,” Guttner said. “And only then will it become Mike VI.”

A tiger’s arrival in August would bring the mascot on campus in time for the home football opener scheduled for Sept. 8.

Mike V died in May of renal failure at age 17

The paper did not mention it but it is highly suspected it is a Tiger Cub. At least that has been what the word is out of the LSU Vet Center and powers that be at LSU. MIke V was also a Cub when he was brought to LSU. That has a lot of benefits of course. Like with Mike V, children and others will get to pet Mike and of course he will just be adorable in a fercious LSU tiger way.

Now PETA and those nuts will not be happy as they have been protesting this all along. Perhaps the whole VICK dogfighting thing will distract them. I suspect not. However, if they show up to protest at the LSU/Virgina Tech Game that shall just add to the fun. I don't think they know what environment they shall be getting into though if they come. IT gives the LSU chant Tigerbait all sort of new meaning.
At least maybe some of these nude protesters will show up. Al in all sounds like a good time.

For those that are concerned that LSU is mistreating our tigers go here to LSU response to PETA.

Better yet go the offical Mike Web page and view the multi million dollar paradise we built for our mascot. Goodness once Mike VI gets there you can see he how is doing live on webcam on that site.

A Priest Responds Again to Commentary About the "Latin Mass" in the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

Father Carville of the Diocese of Baton Rouge raised some eyebrows in his column on the "Latin Mass" and the whole issuance of the Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict. The newspaper column that ran in the Diocese of Baton Rouge newspaper can be accessed here or can be found at the paper itself in the July 18th edition on page 4 in this downloadable pdf file.

Father Ryan is from the neighboring Diocese of ALexandria Louisiana. He also blogs at Thoughts & Ruminations from Fr. Ryan . Father Ryan has decided to go through the column itself and give his observations and responses in more detail.

It is a good piece and I think his points brings up valid observations and clears up certain myths.

The Altar-ation Continues in Lake Charles

Some more pics of how a ordinary Church that has very Post Vatican II architecture can be made suitable for celebration of the Classical Roman Mass. This via the Lake Charles Latin Mass Society which is in my Louisiana Cathoilic link section.

Posting On a Saturday and this darn Cough

I expect the tv and the computer will be my companion today so expects some posts. I have got this nasty ,tireseome, respiratory, coughing, hacking, and congested illness. It is wearing me out

Several people up here in North Louisiana I know have it. I am not sure if it came from some place or it is because of the weather up here. This summer has been the wettest summer that I can ever remember. Usually it is drought time up here.I am looking at the TV right now and we have more rain coming!!!

Anyway stay tuned. I am not sure my Bush and Catholcism post will be done today. Last night I was too drained to do it and just nodded off while watching The Godfather for the 1 millionth time on the Bravo channel.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A slew of guys being Ordained in South Carolina Tonight

What joyful news. Whispers in the Loggia bring us this story about the Mass Ordination tonight in South Carolina.

Let us pray we start seeing this nationwide soon and on a more uniform scale.

Here is a story on one of those young men that will enter the priesthood tonight.

Louisiana State Captial to Move to Shreveport!!!

Find out more about this shocking proposal coming from Bobby Jindal's Opposition at Bobby Jindal Is Good!

Outrage in D.C.- NO One From Louisiana on 50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill LIST!!!!!!

There must be an investigation. Yes the Hill's top 50 most Beautiful is out. Tee 50 most beautiful have a very democrat feel to them this year. NANCY PELOSI IS NUMBER 4. Good grief. Could not have Senator Mary Landrieu given her a run for hermoney?

Let me say as for hotness on the Hill it appears the lowly interns were not included in this list. Sad. Now MOST of these people are pretty decent looking but these are the top 50?

Now I know our offical Louisiana delegation is not exactly studly. I suppose if Senator Vitter was in the running he discreetly bowed out.

However it is true that Congressman Baker doesn't scream Jack Bauer or that Congressman McCrery is not going to be on the cover of People. Still we got some good looking people on staff up there.

Sadly another sign of Louisiana's lack of influence in the Halls of Congress.

Update- There are two people from Arkansas on the list.- Enough Said

Catholics Tune Into CNN at 8:00 pm, ET/ 7:00 pm Central

on Friday July 27, Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League will appear on CNN
to discuss religion and politics

An Very Interesting Interview with the Pope's Private Secretary

(Monsignor Georg Gaenswein , private secretary of the Pope on Right)

Tip of the hat to The Brown Pelican Society that alerted me to this interview and the newspaper article about it. The media is picking up on the statements he made about Islam but there is a lot more in it. A guy at my football board alerted me that The Cafeteria is Closed blog had a English translation of the entire interview from the South German Newspaper.

Here are a few excerpts but be sure to check the whole thing out. It is quite a insightful interview.

PS: Nobody thought that after a "millennium Pope" like Karol Wojtyla a successor could be successful this quickly. Now, everything has changed. Not only that Benedict XVI. draws twice as many people. That his books are printed by the millions. Pope Ratzinger is viewed as one of the most important thinkers of our time. And, as opposed to his predecessor, he's rarely criticized. What does he have that others don't ?

MG: With being Pope there comes a greater accessibility, a greater sphere of influence and a greater power of assertion. Someone very familiar with the goings-on in Rome said during the Bavaria trip last fall, "John Paul II. opened the hearts of the people. Benedict XVI. fills them." There is a lot of truth in that. The Pope reaches the hearts of the people, he speaks to them, but he doesn't speak of himself, he speaks of Jesus Christ, of God, and that in a descriptive, understandable and convincing manner. That is what people are looking for. Benedict XVI. gives them spiritual nourishment.

PS: Towards the end of the Era Wojtyla, a lot of things remained unfinished.

MG: It's an open secret that Pope John Paul II. didn't look much after the Roman Curia. That's not a criticism but simply a fact. The current Pope worked in the most important position of the Curia for 23 years. He knows it like no one else. That's an unparalleled experience and a huge advantage.

PS: A Pope can have trouble with the Curia ?

MG: A look at history says yes, that can happen. A weak spot in this context is certainly indiscretion. There are always "porous" spots when it comes to appointments, work on documents, disciplinary measures etc. That's not only irritating, it also means the danger that it is done on purpose, to a certain purpose which can cause troubles. Another point: wherever there is, like in the Curia, an international staff, there are different mentalities, styles of work, views, tempos and personalities that meet. Sometimes that can create friction.

PS: The Pope writes all important texts himself, including the speech in Regensburg with the controversial quote from a historical book on a dispute with Muslims. Why did nobody edit the text?

MG: I find the Regensburg speech, as it was given, to be prophetic.

PS: Was the shock great when the angry attacks from the Islamic world became known ?

MG: We only heard of the crude reactions after we'd gotten back to Rome from Bavaria. It was a big surprise, to the Pope as well. The mighty trouble had started due to newspaper reports which had taken one quote out of context and presented it as the Pope's personal opinion.

PS: In Islam, where it is in charge of state and society, human rights are being constantly violated. ("kicked with feet") The persecution of Christians has increased drastically. The President of Iran announced again that the countdown to the destruction of Israel had begun. Is the condept of a real dialog with Islam not a bit too naive?

MG: The attempts at Islamization of the West cannot be put aside. The danger for the identity of Europe that is connected to it must not be ignored for reasons of a wrongly understood respect. The Catholic sides sees it very clearly and talks about it. Especially the Regensburg speech should counter a certain naivete ("blue-eyedness"). One thing has to be pointed out - there is no Islam as such, no voice that ties all Muslims together and leads them. There are many different currents, often at war with each other, up to extremists that claim the Koran for their actions and go to work with guns. On an institutional level, he Holy See tries to make contacts and lead dialogs via the Papal Council for Interreligious Dialog.

Les Miles Speaks At SEC Media Days

LSU Coach Les Miles has just finished speaking at the SEC media days. Here is the transcript of his remarks and the press conference. Also included are the remarks of Defensive Lineman Glenn Dorsey , and Wide Receiver Early Doucet.

Was George Bush the "first" Catholic President?

That is going to be the subject of a post I shall have on this blog tomorrow. I have spent a couple of days tracking down info and finding speeches that I have remembered Bush giving over the years.

Like segments of the Republican base, Catholic Americans often don't appreciate what they have in George Bush. Often they get Seventy percent of what they want and then spit it back in his face as insufficent. We are in fact spoiled to a large degree. However, the realization of what we had might come into sharp focus depending on who gets into the White House in 08.

The post will be not a cheerleading post for the Republican party either. The sad fact is that more politically "progressive" Catholics failed to appreciate the opportunties he gave and is still giving us. I hope first to set the record straight about Bush. Some of the things I am seeing coming from "conservative" religious blogs are insane and just wrong. Second, I hope we see looking back the opportunities we missed so we don't miss them in the future.

Please Keep this Guy and his Family in your prayers

One of the people that just happens to be from a town I spent many years in is need of prayers. What a tough situation. I do believe in the power of prayer and I know he and his grandmother would appreciate it.


Good Grief. Please go to Maritime Sentry where all the details are at. I encourage all people to write and call. I intend to that later today.

I think the "arts" are so in the dark about their audience. This anti Catholicism and slamming the Church is so tired and worn out. It is not original any more. It nevers occurs to these folks to see how widely successful movies and dramas are that treat religion and faith in a serious way when they are tried and done with talent. . Look at the Movie The Apostle that starred and was directed by Robert Duval. It treated people of faith in a serious way and was a hit. Yet he had to beg money to get it produced. Still Hollywood has not learn their lesson.

As the post points out there is a reason why Catholcism is attacked with such zeal still. I agree with what is proposed as the reason.

By the way keep checking out this particular blog for updates on the Huckabee for President campaign as well as the other links I have under that topic.

A few Louisiana Catholic Blogs and Sites to Look at

Fr. Victor Brown’s Catholic Daily Message is becoming quite a treat to visit. Even though the good father is in Texas now he will always be a Louisiana guy I bet. He has a post up on the Feast of St James the Greater(my Patron Saint) that we celebrated few days ago. I hate to say it but the day passed without me realizing it. I so much would have liked to have gone to mass on that day. If I had been praying my Liturgy of the Hours like I should have that would not have been a problem. Anyway he also hits on the Church'es recent clarification on what is the "Church" and talks about Apostolic succession.

Catholic Tube has a nice vid up by an Catholic Apologist that debunks the Catholics treat Mary as God myth.

Full Circle has a several good post up. This one is about the Sacraments and especially marriage. I want to point something out as to his observations. He comes from the Episcopal Church tradition. How often have I heard that Episcopals and Catholics basically believe the same things. Well of course that is nonsense. Don't get me wrong there is a lot I respect about the Episcopal Church. In fact I find that we are often have a common vocabulary and even outlook at times. But his post just show that yes there are substantial differences.

Before I swam the Tiber, the first exposure I had to Liturgy and any sort of "Catholic" tradition was at a Episcopal Church and through my very devout Episcopal neighbors. I can still remember the night I went with them to Church . It was Holy Week. I went all week with them to services. Something special happened that week and it was the first part of my journey that led me to the Catholic Church .

I would like to point out this part of what Full Circle said :
I found that whether or not we believed the contents of the "39 Articles" was really up to us. I could hold a sacramental belief about marriage. I further found this difference in belief also included our beliefs on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist which we found differed in the church from actual belief in the Catholic doctrine all the way to those who believed it no more than bread and wine.To me this was even more bothersome. The Eucharist either IS or it IS NOT Christ.

That is so true. My neighbors had a very Catholic/Orthodox understanding of the Real Presence. In fact if one goes to a service chances are that everyone is kneeling at the altar rail in a devout manner to receive. Thus to the Catholic looking on it appears that everone is agreement. However, like Full Circle, I came to realize that one could have a full range of belief from Catholic to basically baptist as to that. I found that disturbing. A wife of a Priest told me that her husband was doing nothing special on the altar. Wow!!! In Louisiana I tend to believe that the majority have a more real presence Catholic view. But what if I went to Arkansas or Kansas? I have to say the discovery that one could have several different views and it was all ok pretty much put a dead end for me going down the Anglican road at that point. Note at that point, I had not decided if something was happening or not. But I recognized it as too important for it to be so sort of so up in the air.

For instance every Episcopal Church I have been too has open communion. That basically means that if you are baptized you are invited to take communion. However what if a person is in serious sin? Do Episcopals believe that one is eating and drinking damnation upon oneself if they receive the body and blood in a unworthy state like St. Paul teaches? Should they not be aware of what they may be receiving? President George Bush is now a Methodist. However he is a regular communicant at St John's Episcopal Church right across from the White House. Does he have a Methodist view or a more High Church Anglican view of what he is receiving? When the Priest says to President Bush "The Body of Christ" and "Blood of Christ" and he answers AMEN what is he amening too? Amen means it is so or So be it; truly . Does it matter? I think it does.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Catholics and the Voting Booth over at Pax Nova.

There have been a interesting flurry of posts by a conservative more republicanish Catholic voice and a more liberal democratish Catholic Voice over at the Pax Nova site. They are taking each other on in a charitiable way.

Go Check them out. These are the post in order of appearance

Did Fred Thompson Formally Cooperate in Evil? by a more "liberal" Catholic poster

On Fred Thompson and making excuses for the Democratic Party a response by the "conservative Catholic poster

On Voting and Making Excuses for the Republican Party - A response to the response by team Liberal Catholic

"Sound theological basis for saying that Catholics cannot vote for a pro-abortion candidate (when there is a prolife alternative)" The lastest response from the "conservative" side.

I know some get into a fit over there if they are referenced as "conservative" or "liberal" or "Left" or "right. They prefer to be just people with a authentic Catholic vision and view. Well Amen to that. However it does get complicated about that that is as can be seen in this series of excellent post. So I shall use the label when I think it is appropriate.

Update- A Further Response
Response to Alexham, Again

Can We Consider That We Are Winning The War Against Terror?

I know to some that thought is just too farfetched or inconceivable to even think about. For many sadly such a possibility interferes with their politics and the spin they wish to conduct for the upcoming Presidential race. Also, if one goes down this route one might to have to give some kudos to the supposed Unholy Trinity of Bush/Blair/Howard and the other nations that have the same outlook.

We live in a World where prominent politicians announced a major military action is a failure when it is just barely a couple of weeks old. But this is nothing new. Let us just look at the aspect of al Qaeda and particually Al Qaeda in Iraq. In November 2006-Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters on Wednesday that she feels it is "sad" that President Bush continues to blame Iraqi insurgent violence on al Qaeda. Well of course we knew this was BS. We sort of got the hint because there were so many reports like this that kept referring to dead non Iraqi AQ folks. Now we find that a senior captured AL Qaeda terrorist has admitted that some followers have been duped into following the direction of foreign leaders and not native born Iraqis.

We Learn:

"During interrogations, Mashadani admitted that the Islamic State of Iraq was merely a puppet front group established by al Qaeda in order to put an Iraqi face on the insurgency. Mashadani cofounded the Islamic State of Iraq with al-Masri in 2006. “The Islamic State of Iraq is a ‘front’ organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within AQI in an attempt to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of AQI,” said Brig. Gen Bergner. "

Oh well. So much for the expertise of Nancy Pelosi and company. Everyday Iraqis of course knew were were fighting AQ in Iraq. That is why people that were fighting us have now joined sides with the "American Tribe". This is of course all lost among many of our leaders in the District of Columbia. I for one would have taken Bin Laden at his word when he said way back when it was reported that Bin Laden was shifiting his resources to Iraq.

So are we winning? First we need to acknowledge that this is a war also for hearts and minds. The President has always refused to play Bin Laden's game. A game that sadly some "conservatives" wish to play too. That is make this a war between all those that are Moslem and those that are not. That is the vision that Bind Laden(if he is even alive) and his followers dream about. Big Lizards in his must read post called World Moslems: Jihad Is Like So Ten Minutes Ago takes a look at that incredible poll that was just done. Basically Worldwide we are finding that support among Moslems for Bin Laden and Suicide bombings has taken a nose dive.

THe Moslem World has seen first hand the evil that this group represents. They have seen that up close and personal in Iraq. The story of how AQ commited this evil massacre of this village of innocent women ,children , and men is just one example. Things are not going well. The promised Spring offensive in Afghanistan by AQ never got off the ground. in fact they took heavy casualities.

The Strata Sphere blog is correct when he is saying watch Pakistan right now. The groundwork ofr what we are about to do there has been laid by the administration for months.

There are challenges. I have no doubt that AQ in need of a much need shot in the arm is going to attack the US mainland. There have been just too many indications that the White House and Pentagon know it is coming. The latest warning about being on the look out for terrorist dry runs on airplanes is just one small example. It is coming and we need to prepare ourselves. Hopefully we can stop it. However, there is a element of luck in stopping these attacks from happening. It is not all skill and intelligence. That is why it is called luck. Just like in gambling that the luck fails to show. That is just statistics.

Iran will continue to be a problem. A problem that will have to be dealt with. A nuclear armed Iran is something I hate to even fanthom. In fact it cannot be allowed to happen. Besides their Nuclear ambitions their continued spread of terror from Lebanon to Palestine has to be stoppped. Thankfully, I think many Arab Countries are coming to that conclusion also.

So are we winning? We are least holding our own and showing great strides against one facet of this war. There shall be others. This will not be over in time for the Presidential election. Islamic extremist seem to have this habit of not carrying about America's limited attention span or the supposed need to move on.

Great New Catholic Apologetic Resource- Catholic Tube

There is a new Catholic Site I am adding to the Apologetic section of my links It is called Catholic Tube. It is the You Tube but with a A Catholic focus. His link section is great and he touches a lot on Apologetics.

This site is run by the blogger from Diocese of Lafayette A Catholic Boudreaux. It appears he was involved with bringing youth from his Parish to Steubenville on the Bayou. Louisiana is blessed to have two of these important Steubenville events that is aimed toward youth. The other ia Steubenville South that is held in Alexandria.

Priest Receives the Purple Heart. Catholics in the Military, and Being a Altar Server with A Gun

Like many of of our service people, what an inspiration. Check out his story at here at the Deacon's Bench Blog. If your priest is doing this important work in the Guard or the Reserve please support him. So find out more about our Catholic Men and Women in the military go here to ArchDiocese for the Military Services.

This is a great site that gives ways we can support our Catholics in Uniform. I am putting this one on my blog links.

At the above site one can find this account from just last week from a Priest in Fallujah. The picture you see above is of Senior Airman Steven Drew, a chaplain assistant, as he prepares for a service at the chapel here. The assistants prepare the chapel for services, are liaisons for the chaplains and provide force protection for them. Priest and and other Ministers cannot carry guns. The guy above not only helps the Priests in all he does but is in charge of protecting him. In other words he is the guy that shoots if they come under attack. I have read several stories about these men and women that have this important job. I bet they have some stories to tell. Pray for them also as they do their important work.

Various countires make sure that the needs and Catholic witness are served in the military. Here is the Australian Diocese for those brave men and women.

This is probally going to be a pet project of mine for this blog. There are people serving at faraway airforce bases and on Carrier groups far from the usual Catholic resources who need to be ministered too. The workers are few. We need to pray that they increase. I is also important to remember that this ministry does not just occur on the front Lines of Iraq or Afghanistan. If you have a Military Base in your community there is important work being done there as to the Catholic faith. Let us support that.

Huckabee Update -Iowa Campaigning and Straw Poll Predictions

Kevin Tracy over at his blog has a great post on the important Iowa Straw poll that is coming up. He has a real good understanding of this event so check it out.

Louisiana Catholic Events In August-Update

Check out the Catholic Events link for August. I am still updating it as I am coming across events of note. August is generally a slow month for alot of events becuase the month is so busy with people getting vacations in, getting the kids back to school, and the other assorted things that happen. But there are some special events happeningthis month. I shall hopefully have it in a more complete form by Saturday . But it shall be updated throughout the month. If you know of any events lets me know.

Some Highlights in the Clarion Herald of New Orleans

The new edition of the Clarion Herald of the ArchDiocese of New Orleans has been released. It is on PDF and available for download here. It is a tad slow to download but worth it. Just start downloading and go fix dinner or lunch. Here are a few articles of interest.

On page 3 they have a nice article on the Latin Mass Tradition at St Patrick's Church on Camp Street.. I thought this was insightful quote from the priest in response to the priest having his back to the people thing. Father Klores stated:
“I have a priest uncle who was in Gen.
Patton’s Army in World War II,” Father Klores
said. “He used to tell me how the troops loved
Patton because, unlike most generals who
stayed behind the lines, he was at the front with
his pearl-handled pistol and jodhpurs saying,
‘Follow me.’ I don’t think you’d fi nd a soldier
in that Army who was upset that Gen. Patton
had his back to the troops. (In the Mass of the
1962 Roman Missal) we’re all going in the same
direction to meet the Lord

Nice. Good article.

In fact this is one of several postive articles on the Classical Roman Mass. There is another article on page 5 about a family that attends St Patricks and active in the latin Mass. However their main experence with Latin is with the Novus Ordo Mass that is done at St Patricks also.

There is a interesting rundown of the Jesuit Priests celebrating their jubliee, A Catholic woman that is living with MD, and some nice photos of the new Cupola at Notre Dame Seminary. Check out the whole thing