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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Did You Hear the Fanfare for March 14th? You Should Have!

Pope Pius XI
March 14th was the 81st anniversary of Mit Brennender Sorge, Pope Pius XI's encyclical on Nazism. He wrote it in 1937, four years after Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany. That same year, 1933, Hitler was raised to dictator; the Reich initiated the burnings to purge works that reflected an "unGerman spirit"including books by Helen Keller, Jack London, and Ernest Hemingway; construction of Dachau was completed; eugenic sterilization laws were passed and the Vatican signed a Concordat trying to protect the rights of the Church and the Catholic faithful.

Hitler, of course, never intended to keep any of the agreements of the Concordat, a reminder of another tyrant and another Concordat between Napoleon and the Vatican in the 19th century. Hitler was simply one more game-playing tyrant who wanted to suppress intervention by the Church in his political affairs, and the Church was his major opponent. Hitler, a baptized Catholic who hadn't practiced the faith since childhood, was creating his own religion, a combination of teutonic paganism with new age-type spirituality that incorporated distorted elements of Christianity like the "naming ceremony" for babies born in the "Lebensborns" which were essentially brothels for Nazi officers. Hitler saw himself as the Lord and Master of the super race, even manipulating the birth of "perfect" Aryans.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Is Anyone at the Vatican a Truth Teller? More on the Benedict Letter and Pope Francis' Theology

The gates of hell will never
prevail against the Church!
Omigoodness! The plot gets thicker and thicker. Those Vatican communicators really know how to lay it on so thick you need a sharp knife to cut through it.

Sandro Magister has the latest on what was left out by Msgr. Vigano when he quoted Benedict's letter declining to comment on the eleven volumes about the theology of Pope Francis. You can read the entire article here, but if you just want the quick and dirty version here it is:
The reason adopted by Benedict XVI in the final lines of his letter - we are told by an incontrovertible source - is the presence among the authors of those eleven booklets of two German theologians, and one in particular, Peter H√ľnermann, who was an implacable critic both of John Paul II and of Joseph Ratzinger himself as theologian and as pope.

If you hear this greeting today: "The Top of the Morning To You!"

The response is..."And the Rest of the Day to Yourself!"
St. Patrick's Day trivia:

  • The first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in New York's Manhattan in 1762 when a group of Irish soldiers in the British army gathered and paraded down Broadway to celebrate the day.
  • “Erin go bragh” means "Ireland forever!"
  • The St. Patrick's day celebration in Chicago includes dumping a secret "dye" into the Chicago River turning a portion green.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Should We Arm the Teachers?

Meditating on My Pencil and the Desire to Be among the Sharpest in the Box!

Let's all aim to be the
sharpest pencils we can be!
I'm using a pencil to make notes today. It looked fine when I picked it up, nice and sharp and ready to use. But when I put it to paper I realized the graphite was not in the pencil's center. (Must be made in China!) On one side the graphite seemed to have a nice point that should write well. But on the other side the wooden sheath went all the way to the tip. So my pencil will only write on one side. And even that deteriorates quickly as the graphite wears down and the wood hits the paper. Frustrating!

That faulty pencil got me thinking about centering. The Oxford definition defines centering as "placed or situated in the center." Hmm...I was taught you should never use the word being defined in the definition. does a little better in that respect defining it as " equidistant from all bordering or adjacent areas." When used to describe a person, being "centered" means "to be well balanced and confident and serene."

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Really! Is Everything Realeased by the Vatican Put through the Spin Machine?

UPDATE: From Steve Skojec - Personal Thoughts on the Benedict Correspondence

We've all been hearing how heartily Pope Emeritus Benedict endorsed the theological writings of Pope Francis. He's a brilliant theologian don't you know?

Well, it now appears that the famous Benedict letter was doctored, that Pope Benedict hasn't read Pope Francis' works, and that the Vatican wasn't satisfied with the kind words he DID say, so they just conveniently put a fake spin on the letter.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

To Pope Francis on his Fifth Anniversary from Eccles is Saved!

Pope Francis celebrated his fifth anniversary as pope on March 13th and, perhaps in recognition, a film is coming out this May called Pope Francis - A Man of His Word. There doesn't appear to be anything facetious about the title, but I have to confess it got me thinking.

Let's see....Pope Francis is a man of his word, but which words? He contradicts himself so often, following him is like watching the ball in a tennis match:

  • Pope Francis, during the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, called for his clergy to be open and transparent and not be afraid to express their views. And yet, how many YEARS has it been since concerned cardinals asked a few questions that required a yes or no answer? And got NO answer! Is that the transparency the pope meant?

Discoveries Arabs Never Made

Islam's contribution to world culture in 1915
*See end note about this picture
The title of this post was going to be "The Culture of the West vs that of Islam". But then I thought: Culture? Islam has a culture"?

Saying "the culture of the West versus the culture of Islam suggests two cultures put on the same level, as if they were two parallel entities. Two realities of equal weight and value." (Oriana Fallaci)

In her book,
 The Rage and the Pride, famously known as "a sermon to the West", Oriana Fallaci says, "Behind our Western culture there is Homer, there is Pheidias, there is Socrates, there is Plato, there is Aristotle, there is Archimedes. There is ancient Greece with its divine sculpture and architecture and poetry and philosophy, with its principle of democracy. 

"There is Ancient Rome with all its grandeur, its universality, its concept of the Law, its palaces, its amphitheaters its aqueducts, its streets built all over the then known world. There is Jesus who died on the cross to teach us the concept of love and justice. There is also a Church...there is Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raffello, Lorenzo il Magnifico...There is also Erasmus, and Montaigne and Thomas More and Cartesius.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

One of Our Favorite Lenten Activities: Making Pretzels and Praying the Pretzel Prayer

Four little visitors came for the afternoon and it is always a challenge on a windy chilly day to think of creative indoor activities. I got out the bags of colored home-made play dough and the cookie cutters which kept everyone busy for some time. Rolling snakes made me remember one of our favorite Lenten projects -- making pretzels like little praying arms. Fortunately I had a package of yeast (slightly out of date) but it was active enough.

While the children finished playing with play dough, I made the real dough for the pretzels. Then they all pulled up chairs to the counter (after hand-washing, of course) and we shaped the pretzels, baked them, said the pretzel prayer and ate them with honey and/or mustard. Since I didn't take any pictures, I refer you to a post from 2016 with the prayer and the recipe at my Grandma blog. This activity is always a big hit so I hope you try it with your kids or grandkids! Since the oldest granddaughter gave up sweets for Lent this was a much better activity than the old grandma staple of baking cookies!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Morning Meandering: "Climate Change" and other Stuff

  • False prophets on the left keep blathering: Just thinking....we should all be dead by now. Paul Ehrlich, the bug scientist who predicted in the 1960s that overpopulation would kill us all by starvation is still spouting nonsense and people are still dumb enough to give him a platform including the Vatican. And then there's Al Gore whose silly movie, An Inconvenient Truth, claimed Miami and Manhattan would be underwater by now. Of course, they aren't, but that hasn't kept him from continuing to impersonate Chicken Little with a stupid sequel that is filled with errors and junk science. Just go home, Al, and take Paul with you! Let's listen to a real climate scientist, Roy Spencer.