A Catholic Blog for Lovers

A celebration of beauty, truth, and goodness, and, of course, love...and perhaps a little nastiness

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Monday, November 15, 2004

Leaving shortly for a few days in Lancaster county, PA. home of the "Pennsylvannia Dutch". I lived in Lancaster for a few years and liked much of it (and disliked some of it).

My twin sister, Peg, and her husband, Richard, are joining us. Eager to share some good and fun time together and to feast on the high comfort food of the Amish and Mennonites.

No word yet on my precious left behind items on Carnival. No idea even if they were recovered it not. It's not that I haven't tried, believe me. I grow less and less hopeful that I will ever see these items again.

And for those concerned about my physical condition lately (thanks, Susan, for your warm and encouging email, which I won't have time to reply to today), I will be seeing my main doctor this Thursday, God willing. Let's hope for the best.





2603 The evangelists have preserved two more explicit prayers offered by Christ during his public ministry. Each begins with thanksgiving. In the first, Jesus confesses the Father, acknowledges, and blesses him because he has hidden the mysteries of the Kingdom from those who think themselves learned and has revealed them to infants, the poor of the Beatitudes.[48] His exclamation, "Yes, Father!" expresses the depth of his heart, his adherence to the Father's "good pleasure," echoing his mother's Fiat at the time of his conception and prefiguring what he will say to the Father in his agony. The whole prayer of Jesus is contained in this loving adherence of his human heart, to the mystery of the will of the Father.[49]

2604 The second prayer, before the raising of Lazarus, is recorded by St. John.[50] Thanksgiving precedes the event: "Father, I thank you for having heard me," which implies that the Father always hears his petitions. Jesus immediately adds: "I know that you always hear me," which implies that Jesus, on his part, constantly made such petitions. Jesus' prayer, characterized by thanksgiving, reveals to us how to ask: before the gift is given, Jesus commits himself to the One who in giving gives himself. The Giver is more precious than the gift; he is the "treasure"; in him abides his Son's heart, ; the gift is given "as well."[51]

The priestly prayer of Jesus holds a unique place in the economy of salvation.[52] A meditation on it will conclude Section One. It reveals the ever present prayer of our High Priest and, at the same time, contains what he teaches us about our prayer to our Father, which will be developed in Section Two.

2605 When the hour had come for him to fulfill the Father's plan of love, Jesus allows a glimpse of the boundless depth of his filial prayer, not only before he freely delivered himself up ("Abba . . . not my will, but yours."),[53] but even in his last words on the Cross, where prayer and the gift of self are but one: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do";[54] "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise", "Woman, behold your son" - "Behold your mother";[56] "I thirst.";[57] "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?";[58] "It is finished";[59] "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!"[60] until the "loud cry" as he expires, giving up his spirit.[61]

2606 All the troubles, for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin and death, all the petitions and intercessions of salvation history are summed up in this cry of the incarnate Word. Here the Father accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them by raising his Son. Thus is fulfilled and brought to completion the drama of prayer in the economy of creation and salvation. The Psalter gives us the key to prayer in Christ. In the "today" of the Resurrection the Father says: "You are my Son, today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession."[62]

The Letter to the Hebrews expresses in dramatic terms how the prayer of Jesus accomplished the victory of salvation: "In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered, and being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him."[63]

Mini clash of civilizations

"The Netherlands has long been Europe's most permissive society — everything from window-shopping in Amsterdam for scantily clad hookers (50 to 80 Euros for 15 to 30 minutes) to hashish aroma in marijuana smoke-filled cafes. The government and the sex workers union protect some 30,000 women. The pimps are landlords and the aging prostitutes are quickly replaced with a steady influx from the former Soviet republics and East European countries.

A Dutch brothel chain is suing the government for failing to green-light the "Yum Yum Caviar Club" at Schiphol Airport "to cater to stressed travelers in transit." The government responded that plans for an airport bordello were on hold pending new building and space in the departure areas.

It was such Dutch tolerance, pragmatism and guilt about the country's colonial past that allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Muslim Indonesia (a Dutch colony from the 17th century until World War II) to flood into tiny Holland. Today, Muslims are a majority among children under 14 in the Netherlands' four largest cities..."

Today in Christian history

November 15, 1280: German theologian Albertus Magnus, teacher of Thomas Aquinas and defender of his theology (as well as a brilliant writer and spiritual master), dies at age 87. Declared a doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII proclaimed him the patron of natural scientists in 1941.

November 15, 1397: Thomas Parentuchelli, who would later take the name Nicholas V and is considered the best of the Renaissance popes, is born. As pope he led a blameless personal life, loved the new studies in arts and sciences, restored many ruined churches, and founded the Vatican Library.

November 15, 1791: Georgetown - the first Catholic men's university in the US, opens in Washington D.C.

November 15, 1885: Mwanga, ruler of Buganda (now part of Uganda), beheads recent Anglican convert and royal family member Joseph Mukasa. Mukasa opposed the massacring of Anglican missionary bishop James Hannington and his colleagues in October. The bloodbath continued through January 1887 as the ruler killed Mukasa's Christian pages and other Anglican and Catholic leaders.

Sunday, November 14, 2004
Anguished O'Malley explains fiscal crisis

In a dramatic plea for understanding, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley yesterday described his effort to close parishes as "personally repulsive to me," but he also urged Catholics to understand that the sweeping reorganization of the Boston Archdiocese is necessary because of the shrinking number of priests and a financial crisis he described as "much worse than most people realize."

Facing unprecedented unrest from local Catholics upset by his plan to close 83 of the 357 parishes in the beleaguered archdiocese, O'Malley drafted a 1,500-word letter of explanation and sent it yesterday to all parishes and to the news media. The letter is part of an intensified effort by O'Malley to secure support for the parish closings, which have already resulted in the shuttering of 47 churches this year but have also led to the takeover of eight parishes by angry laypeople, the arrest of one parishioner for trespassing, two civil lawsuits, and multiple canon law challenges..."


"I am appealing to all Catholics to be Catholics first. I know that we all have a great love for our parish and parish church, but our first love must be for Christ and the Body of Christ which is the Church. Closing parishes is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in forty years of religious life. I joined the monastery knowing that I would have to do difficult things for the rest of my life, but I never imagined I would have to be involved in anything so painful or so personally repulsive to me as this. At times I ask God to call me home and let someone else finish this job, but I keep waking up in the morning to face another day of reconfiguration. So when people ask why I am doing this, I can only say it is because I love the Church and want to give my life to the service of the Church. If difficult decisions are not made now, the mission of the Church will be seriously compromised in the future..."

Today in Christian history

November 14, 565: Roman Emperor Justinian dies at 82. During his reign, he reunited the Eastern and Western empires politically and religiously, erected several new basilicas in Constantinople, including the "Great Church" of Hagia Sophia, and created the Justinian Code, which greatly influenced the development of canon law in the Middle Ages.

November 14, 1180: Death of Saint Lawrence O'Toole, Archbishop of Dublin who brought peace among the Ostmen and the Irish factions in medieval times.

November 14,1550 - Pope Julius III, following in his predecessor's shoes, reopens the Council of Trent, taking a seat on this landmark Council.

November 14, 1990: British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge dies at 87. After editorial stints at the Manchester Guardian and Punch and years as a BBC commentator, the cynical and licentious Muggeridge quietly converted to Christianity. It was his reporting on Mother Teresa that first brought her to the public's attention. He and his wife Kitty were received into the Catholic Church in 1982.

November 14, 1996 - Death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, advocate of "The Common Ground" project. Bernadin was controversial: praised by some, harshly criticized by some. But almost all agree that he faced his own death with dignity, courage, and faith.

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