Please Pray for Fr. Neuhaus

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 \PM\.\Wed\.

Father Richard John Neuhaus, editor in chief of First Things, is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Jody Bottum has conveyed the following general message:

Please forgive this group email, but so many have asked after the health of Richard John Neuhaus that is seemed best to send out this single message to all our friends.

Fr. Neuhaus is in the hospital here in New York. Over Thanksgiving, he was diagnosed with a serious cancer. The long-term prognosis for this particular cancer is not good, but it is not hopeless, either, and there is a possibility that it will respond to the recommended out-patient chemotherapy.

Unfortunately, over Christmas, he was taken dangerously ill with what seems to be a systemic infection that has left him very weak. Entering the hospital the day after Christmas, he was sedated to lower an elevated heart rate and treatment was begun for the infection. Over the last few days, he has shown some signs of improvement, and there is a reasonable expectation that he will recover from this present illness—sufficiently, we hope, that he will be able to begin the chemotherapy for the cancer.

Fr. Neuhaus is not able at the moment to receive visitors or speak on the telephone or answer his mail, and he has requested that no flowers, candy, or other get-well presents be sent—just your prayers for his quick recovery. Further bulletins will be sent when there is news to report.

Fr. Neuhaus disclosed his condition in a post to First Things‘ “On The Square” earlier in December.


You know!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 \AM\.\Wed\.

A follow up to Tito’s post on Princess Caroline.  I have always been opposed to euthanasia, but I do think it is time to put out of its misery Princess Caroline’s bid for a bit part in the Obama revival of Camelot.


Soybeania Forever!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 \AM\.\Wed\.

nine-nations

Darwin’s post on the Russian professor who predicts the breakup of America, reminded me of an intriguing book I read decades ago, The Nine Nations of North America, by Joel Garreau.  It was fun to read although I thought that only three of the regions were close to being true nations:  Dixie, Mexamerica and Quebec.

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Atheist Praises Missionaries

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 \AM\.\Tue\.

kisubi-seminary

At one of the blogs I read regularly, Neo-Neocon, the proprietress has an excellent story highlighting the praise of Mathew Parris, a British atheist and writer, for the work of missionaries in Africa and the enormous positive spiritual changes which frequently occur in their converts.  I have long thought that the good work performed by missionaries around the globe, but especially in Africa, was the major overlooked story of the last century.  If I had to pick one development of the past century that will still be having a major impact a millennium hence, I would pick the fact that Africa is becoming a Christian continent.  As much of Europe is forgetting the Faith, and too many Americans are cold and indifferent, the message of Christ is meeting with cries of joy throughout Africa.  Perhaps some day Christian missionaries from Africa will light the fire of faith again in “darkest” Europe.


Thoughts on Israel’s war with Hamas

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 \AM\.\Tue\.

On December 27th, 2008, Israel launched a series of air strikes on Hamas training camps, headquarters, weapons storehouses, underground missile silos and command-and-control centers in Gaza — the start of an open-ended offensive to stem the increasing barrage of rocket-attacks that have plagued Southern Israel in the past months.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shaleb defended the operation:

“Israel is taking the necessary military action in order to protect its citizens from ongoing terrorist attacks originating from the Gaza Strip and carried out by Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” Shalev said, adding that Hamas “holds the sole responsibility for the latest events.”

Israel, she continued, “has exhausted all means and efforts to reach and maintain quiet and to respect the state of calm… Israel’s response is aimed solely against the terrorists and their infrastructures in the Gaza Strip. It is not intended against the civilian population. Israel is committed to prevent a humanitarian crisis.”

Shalev asserted that “No country would allow continuous rocketing of its civilian population without taking the necessary actions to stop it.”

Commenting on the three-day air assault by Israel on Hamas, Deal Hudson states “Bombing Gaza Won’t Make Israel Safer”. It’s a good post and, if anything, certainly jeopardizes Hudson’s standing as a member of the cabal of “Catholic neocons” beholden to Israel and the Republican Party (see Robert Sungenis and other tirades from the fringe-right). That said, I wish to register some thoughts in reaction, both to Hudson and our fellow critics at Vox Nova:

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Russian Professor Predicts Breakup of US in 2010

Monday, December 29, 2008 \AM\.\Mon\.

Depending on your temperament, you may be either amused or sobered by an article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal about Igor Panarin, a Russian academic and former KGB analyst who has been predicting since 1998 that the US will collapse via economic implosion followed by civil war during the spring of 2010.

us_future_map1

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Caroline Kennedy, The More “You Know”

Monday, December 29, 2008 \AM\.\Mon\.

Mrs. Caroline Kennedy is pining for the open Senate seat that is being vacated by Hillary Clinton and is battling the media perception of her entitlement.  Unfortunately Mrs. Kennedy doesn’t help her case with her constant use of you know in this interview.

(Biretta Tip: American Thinker)

UPDATED 12-30-08 A.D.

Caroline Says ‘You Know’ 142 Times– Toby Harnden, Telegraph

(Biretta Tip: Lucianne)


Obama’s Internship?

Monday, December 29, 2008 \AM\.\Mon\.

From the most dependable news source on the Internet, the Onion.  I missed this during the campaign for some reason.  Zapatero and Obama do seem to go together, and, as in the case of Obama and many Americans  in this country, many Spaniards are not convinced that Zapatero is good for Spain.  For the sake of the country, I hope it was one whale of an internship!

(Content advisory:  A bit of bi-partisan crudity at the very end.)


Napoleon on Christ?

Sunday, December 28, 2008 \AM\.\Sun\.

napoleon-defeated1christ-victorious

Napoleon purportedly made some remarkable statements about Christ while he was imprisoned on Saint Helena.  This one was supposedly made to General Bertrand:

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Three Kings

Saturday, December 27, 2008 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  A gently sung music video of  We Three Kings of Orient Are by Jennifer Avalon who has a website here.  A good article on the magi who came to worship the infant Jesus is here at the indispensable Catholic Encyclopedia.



Good King Wenceslas

Friday, December 26, 2008 \AM\.\Fri\.

The song Good King Wenceslas has entwined the names of a martyr king and the first of the glorious long line of martyrs, Saint Stephen.  The warmth of their faith is good to remember on a cold day.



On the Nativity

Thursday, December 25, 2008 \AM\.\Thu\.

pope-saint-leo-the-great

I. The Truths of the Incarnation Never Suffer from Being Repeated
The things which are connected with the mystery of to-day’s solemn feast are well known to you, dearly-beloved, and have frequently been heard: but as yonder visible light affords pleasure to eyes that are unimpaired, so to sound hearts does the Saviour’s nativity give eternal joy; and we must not keep silent about it, though we cannot treat of it as we ought.

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Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 \AM\.\Thu\.

"Nativity" Bernardino Fasolo - 1526

“Let every heart prepare Him room …”


A Proclamation

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 \PM\.\Wed\.

nativity

The twenty-fifth day of December.

  • In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world
    from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
  • the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
  • the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
  • the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses
    and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
  • the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;
  • in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
  • in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
  • the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
  • the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
  • the whole world being at peace,
  • in the sixth age of the world,
  • Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
    desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
    being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    and nine months having passed since his conception,
  • was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary,
    being made flesh.
  • The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

  • O Holy Night

    Wednesday, December 24, 2008 \PM\.\Wed\.

    For this Holy Night, O Holy Night sung by Renee Fleming.


    A Taste of Christmas

    Wednesday, December 24, 2008 \AM\.\Wed\.

    One of the things I love most about our country is that it is not a state built to give expression to a particular “nationality” in the sense that swept the world like an plague in the 19th and 20th centuries. Our country shares a set of political ideals and cultural touchstones, but it is also a glorious mix of different traditions which we, as a nation of immigrants, have brought with us and continued to develop here.

    In honor of which — and because it seemed to me that perhaps we could use a “getting to know each other” thread around here — I take the liberty of cross posting the following from my personal blog:

    The feast of the nativity of Our Lord has traditionally been a time for feasting and the gathering of family and friends. And since taste and smell are powerful hooks for memory, many of us have intense connections to various Christmas foods and drinks. The other holiday here in the US which is heavily food-centric is Thanksgiving, yet with a few familial variations, the Thanksgiving food palette is pretty well defined. Christmas food traditions, however, are pretty various.

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    Rise You That Sleep

    Wednesday, December 24, 2008 \AM\.\Wed\.

    saint-augustine

    “It is called the Lord’s birthday when the wisdom of God presented itself to us as an infant, and the Word of God without words uttered the flesh as its voice. And yet the hidden divinity was signified to the wise men by the evidence of the heavens, and announced to the shepherds by the voice of an angel. And so we celebrate this day every year with great solemnity, because on it was fulfilled the prophecy which said,

    Truth has sprung from the earth, and Justice has looked forth from heaven (Ps 84:12).

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    AntiChrist and Advent

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 \AM\.\Tue\.

    newman

    Antichrist and Advent, an odd combination?  Cardinal Newman didn’t think so before his conversion.  He preached a series of Advent sermons on the anti-Christ which were published in Tract 83 in 1838.  I have always been struck by this passage:

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    Torture in the News

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 \AM\.\Tue\.

    Practically buried in the news in the wake of the corruption scandal of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was the publication, on December 11, of a report by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.) — the culmination of an 18-month long investigation into the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody:

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    Preach the Gospel; If Necessary, Use Words…

    Monday, December 22, 2008 \PM\.\Mon\.

    Self-avowed atheist Penn Jillette of the Las Vegas show, Penn & Teller, is well known for his antipathy towards Christianity.  But something happened to him just recently in an encounter with a practicing Christian after one of his shows.  He had a profound experience that moved him and Mr. Jillette did not hesitate to post this experience on You Tube on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

    (Biretta Tip: The Anchoress via Kevin Knight)