31 January 2014

Thought of the day

It is hard to pray for those we disagree with...yet as always we must persevere in doing so.

The Divine Liturgy epistle from Weds.

James 3:11-4:6 From the DRB


  Doth a fountain send forth, out of the same hole, sweet and bitter water? [12] Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear grapes; or the vine, figs? So neither can the salt water yield sweet. [13]Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew, by a good conversation, his work in the meekness of wisdom. [14] But if you have bitter zeal, and there be contentions in your hearts; glory not, and be not liars against the truth. [15] For this is not wisdom, descending from above: but earthly, sensual, devilish.
[16] For where envying and contention is, there is inconstancy, and every evil work. [17] But the wisdom, that is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation. [18] And the fruit of justice is sown in peace, to them that make peace. Doth a fountain send forth, out of the same hole, sweet and bitter water? 
 From whence are wars and contentions among you? Are they not hence, from your concupiscences, which war in your members? [2] You covet, and have not: you kill, and envy, and can not obtain. You contend and war, and you have not, because you ask not. [3] You ask, and receive not; because you ask amiss: that you may consume it on your concupiscences. [4]Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God. [5] Or do you think that the scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the spirit covet which dwelleth in you?
[6] But he giveth greater grace. Wherefore he saith: God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble
I was singing the epistle and somethings came to mind…in particular in verse 3 (I don't dare quote the NAB, which was the translation used in the Liturgy): You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss: that you may consume it on your concupiscences. 
As we know from the catechism, concupiscence is the tendency towards sin, or an intense human desire.
We often times put ourselves first, when we're asking for things in prayer. I know I tend to fall into this trap too. So often we often ask, Why doesn't God answer our prayers…and often times the answer given is that God answers all prayers, and in His will, this is most certainly true, but perhaps, also we asked for something that will confirm us in our weaknesses? (Think of, I really want that 105' flat screen ;)….or I want car x)…God in His infinite Wisdom, knows our weaknesses and He will not confirm us in our weaknesses, as He wants us to get closer to Him…and confirming us in our weaknesses will not do such. 
Perhaps the questions we should ask when praying are:
1. Does what I'm asking for lead me closer to Him? If yes, ask in prayer…if NOT, don't. 
2. Am I seeking to do my own will or God's? Of course the latter isn't given with some lightbulb moment with unicorns and dancing rainbows. 
Another thing that came to my mind during the singing of the Epistle: in verse 6 "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. "
Pride is of course a major form of idolatry, and all of us can fall into it. It comes in its various forms. I can tell you for myself, I'm one of the most self-determined people on the face of the planet….often times there are times when I should break myself and seek help, but I refuse because I do not want the help. (I of course am trying to fix this, but it's rather difficult)…giving grace to the humble. But of course humility is not merely a public display. Humility is the recognition that everything is God's first, yours last. (if at all). As I've mentioned before on this blog it'd be a false sense of humility to place one's own preferences ahead of one's duties. Something that comes to mind is the letter Pope Benedict XVI sent to the Bishops involving the removing of the excommunications of the SSPX Bishops. His grace is most certainly a free gift, we must certainly choose to accept it. 
Upon doing some self reflecting, I can see situations where I've done the exact opposite of humility. It's quite tempting to want to go in and change things right away. (In certain situations it's absolutely necessary)….It's more humble to work with someone you disagree with than overtake them with might. The questions to think on humility are: 
1. Do we recognize our gifts as from God, or from our own so called merits?
2. Are there situations where we exalt ourselves and our own preferences rather than working within what is given?
I pray that all of us are able to grow in both our prayer life and our humility in our daily lives and actions. 
Pax Vobis 

29 January 2014

Thought of the day

No matter how much people pester their attempt to make homosexuality normal, it will never be so. And by no means are you an exemption Disney.

28 January 2014

Thought of the day

I guess kittens do love their humans after all. Tatyana came back after I came from the store....of course here's how she apologizes, but nonetheless, she is still grounded and under strict supervision


27 January 2014

There is such temptation

To give up when things go wrong, or when every little thing goes south. I'm generally not very open with my personal life on this blog, seeing as my life is personal and I'd rather you not know about it. It's also been said, people can't pray for what they don't know, so this is true too...

1) My adorable kitty, the lovely Tatyana has gone missing...:(, and I hope that she comes home soon. (And if you're playing with her St Francis, not funny, not funny at all dude, you do not take away a man's cat :D)...so please pray for her safe return to her human. Her human absolutely misses her.


2) Being part time means that things are not guaranteed. Such is the situation now. So do pray for something to come up. Alas, I'm not the government and can't print my way to happiness.

3) Another situation I'd also like you to pray for is something that I really don't want to discuss, but will perhaps on another date.

Thought of the day

Sometimes it's the simple things that bring back a smile...

26 January 2014

Troparion for the 36th Su after Pentecost

Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad, for the Lord has shown the might of His arm. By His death, the Lord has trampled Death, He has become the first-born on of the dead. He has delivered us from the death of Hades, and has granted great mercy to the world.

Music here

24 January 2014

Thought of the day

One of the hardest things to do is swallow our pride and put faith in God that our needs will be cared for in His will.

Apparently, Yesterday was handwriting day

Via Adrienne

Yes, kids should have to learn Cursive...Here's a sample of my own

23 January 2014

In search for Truth

Once we had millions of Evangelists

I say the Old Mass for a variety of reason, many aesthetic, some spiritual but the ultimate reason is one of justice. It isn't simply a matter of 'What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too', it is deeper than that. It hits at the very heart of the what the Church is about, what Christ is about. 
I am glads my friend Fr Hunwicke has had the courage to put his finger on what the issue really is, it is about 'Truth'. Justice and Truth are partners. Fr Hunwicke dares to say:
Summorum pontificumconfirmed juridically that the Latin Church had lived for some four decades under the dominion of a lie. The Vetus Ordo had not been lawfully prohibited. Much persecution of devout priests and layfolk that took place during those decades is therefore now seen to have been vis sine lege. For this so long to have been so true with regard to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which lies at the heart of the Church's life, argues a profound illness deep within the Latin Church. And the Big Lie was reinforced by multitudes of Little Lies ... that the Council mandated reordered Sanctuaries ... that the Council mandated exclusive use of the vernacular ... The de facto situation created by the Big Lie and the Little Lies combined ought not to be regarded as normative. Its questionable parentage must give it a degree of provisionality, even (perhaps especially) to those who find it comfortable to live with. The onslaught upon the Franciscans of the Immaculate suggests that there are those, high in the Church's administration, who have still internalised neither the juridical findings of Summorum pontificum nor its pastoral call for harmony.
Christians cannot compromise with Truth, we cannot live with Untruth or compromise with it, there can be no co-mixture with Truth and Lies, we are either searching for the Truth and exalting it or crucifying it:
Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
Earlier in the same Gospel he had said:
I am the Way, the Truth and Life. 
We cannot compromise with the Truth, if we are to be taken seriously as witnesses to the Truth. We cannot compromise with the Truth if we are to be credible witnesses.  There can be no worthwhile evangelisation unless it begins and ends in Truth and unless the evangelisers are believable. Personally, I believe that the 'misson' of the Second Vatican Council was to find a way to express the Truth in the modern world, however in the interpretation of the Council's teaching a fracture was introduced between the Church's practice and prayer, and the Church's belief. The fracture meant the Church lost its credibility, hence our churches emptied. We became seen as 'hypocritical'. We lost the sense of  'noble simplicity' which comes from the basic premise of the Catholic Church that Jesus Christ is God, God founded the Church and promises to be with it until the end of time, hence you can -and must- trust the Catholic Church, the Church ceased to be immediately intelligible, the greater Truth was obscured by lesser truths. 

In practice it meant that theology, and everything else, including liturgy, became the realm of the specialist, for example the Missal might say 'the priest turns to the people' but the specialist tells us that the priest is already facing the people, so really the plain meaning of the text means something other than it says. The same of course happens with scripture, Jesus says ..., and the Tradition and practice of the Church has always understood him to have  meant.... but the the specialist says something totally different. Take for example salvation and the necessity of Baptism and Holy Communion, or the inviolability of marriage and the impossibility of re-marriage after divorce, Jesus says one thing and Cardinal Maradiaga tells Abp Mueller to 'lighten up'.
We once had millions of Evangelists, now we have few, if any. Evangelism and catechesis have become the function of the specialist. The great problem is that grandmother sitting at the kitchen fire with her grandchildren could no longer be trusted to pass on the faith she had received from her grandmother. The Faith, the Truth, is no longer clear, no longer the possession of the ordinary holy believer in the pew but is something handed down from the specialist Cardinal or Archbishop or Pope or theologian. It should be the possession of all Catholic Christians and therefore must be certain, unchangeable and rooted, above all it must be obviously True. The Truth cannot be recognised in an institution where lies are normal, or where jargon or obscurity replaces ordinary speech.
True Evangelisation can only be achieved by a radical commitment to the Truth.

Thought of the day

In our greatest trials comes our deepest test of faith. Do we place our trust in the material, or the supernatural? The quote of St Teresa of Avila comes to mind "God, if you treat your friends like this, no wonder you have so many enemies."

22 January 2014

Thought of the day

On this the anniversary of Roe v Wade...let us remember that it is a poverty that a child must die so that a person can live as they wish, and that children are not commodities or goods. They have dignity beyond how much it costs to raise them.

19 January 2014

Thought of the day

The difficult thing about rejection isn't necessarily the rejection per se, it's getting back up, realizing that  the particular situation was not going to be right for whatever reason.

17 January 2014

Thought of the day

There is such a thing as false humility. In these situations people forcefully make themselves into something that they're not. Humility first comes from recognizing that the gifts you have are not your own, they come from God, and then using those gifts for His glory. Humility does not mean rejecting gifts and not using things that have been given to you.

16 January 2014

The Principle: a discussion part I

If you remember, I did a quick promotion of The Principle discussion that would be happening on ChurchMillitant.TV. Because I do not think it fair to write entire essays on blog comments, I have chosen to discuss a bit of my thoughts here. Bear in mind my background is physics, and I can comment a bit more on the subject than most.

First we need to start with what the coparnican principle states, and what it does not state.

def: Copernican principle: states that the Earth is not in a central, specially favored position in the universe

Of course this theory is named after Copernicus (a Catholic priest), but Copernicus did not really advocate this theory as I am presenting it to you now. (As with a lot of things named after scientists)....

As presented as such, there are problems that wouldn't be apparent to the naked eye.


  • It would seem to deny the uniqueness of the earth as Revelation has revealed to us.
  • It would seem to deny the role of man in the universe.
  • If we take this view, it would also seem to reduce the role of earth in the role of heaven and earth.
  • and various problems, that I'm afraid I do not have the time or capacity to address :p
I want to address the 2nd part of this principle as stated above first. 

That the earth is not in a specially located position in the universe. 

If you ever have the misfortune of being stuck in one of my physics classes, there are about 6 things I really expect my students to have memorized (from these 6 things, all other principles can be derived or deduced), they are as follows: 

  • Newton's Laws of Motion 
  • Law of Conservation of Energy
  • Law of Conservation of Momentum
  • 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (disorder form)
  • The difference between magnetic and electric fields and their "creation"
  • the difference between an object and a body
I'll elaborate only on a couple of points.

a. Newton's Laws of motion....The laws of motion for the most part describe motion that occurs in the universe....(at speeds much less than the speed of light)...the natural tendency of a body is to travel in a straight line (1st law), acceleration of a body is directly proportional to the force (cause) and inversely proportional to its mass (resistance or inertia) (2nd Law) and two bodies exert forces equal and opposite on each other (3rd law).

When we think of motion in a circle, there must be a force to maintain it, otherwise it will travel in a straight line. This is a very important point for anything that would have the potential to travel in a circle. In this case, orbits....The circle being the perfect 2D shape, and the sphere being the perfect 3D shape it's something to consider. The symmetry between the two shapes, I can talk about in a later blog post...but for now, all you need to know is that the two are related, a sphere being a collection of circles. (or as defined often in texts: from the center, equal radii vectors spanning in 360 degrees)

b. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (disorder form)

Entropy is a measure of disorder...and 2nd law of thermodynamics (no, the 1st law is the one where you don't talk about the first law of thermodynamics)...states: Entropy of an isolated system never decreases.

For those of you wondering with entropy is: Entropy is the ratio of the transfer of thermal energy (heat, Q) to the temperature absolute (T)...or as a mathematical equation S = dQ/dT....but since I'm far too lazy to teach you math, and I'd much rather teach you physics....entropy is a measure of disorder....In otherwords, as I increase the temperature, things tend to break apart.

I'll connect the dots together later...this is probably going to take 4 or 5 entries to talk about :), I'll continue next week...



Charity...

Sometimes demands that we do things that we don't wish to do. It doesn't mean being nice all the time. It most certainly doesn't mean being a push over. Charity is the highest form of love (agape)..the Love that God has for us. Love that is unconditional. Charity demands sometimes correcting people of their errors, or pointing them in the right direction. Charity demands that we not be indifferent towards things, and most certainly charity demands that we  this:

 Cardinal Burke at a protest for gay marriage bill in Italy (Goes to show that love of the Liturgy is not opposed to public action, and love of the poor)

But it most certainly does not demand that we do this: Cardinal O'Malley at a protestant service (oops, I mean so called eccumenical gathering) receiving a blessing of some kind...Religious indifferentism....and he's apart of G8...Господи помилуй!


Thought of the day

The Gospel of Nice (TM) has gotten us nowhere. It will continue to get us no where. If one aims for the LCD, one will never reach the maximum level in holiness.

15 January 2014

What I learned Weds # 2 I think

I had been intending to join my friend Emmy, and her what I've learned Weds, but I've been extremely lazy at blogging, and since I'm even lazier to change the icon to a guy kneeling, I won't :p

Thus here we go:

1) Cats do have hearts. In spite of them thinking that they rule the universe (and let's not get it twisted, they do)...just look at this cute kitty :)...after 3 weeks of not seeing me, and being cat sit by a friend of mine, here's what I come to :)


2) In the Byzantine Liturgy, there are multiple ways of celebrating it. In the Russian tradition they sing the troparia (plural of troparian) of both the Sunday proper and of the Saint that is being celebrated each Sunday. Like Last Sunday they sung the psalm for both the Sunday after Theophany and St Tatyana. In the Ruthenian Byzantine tradition, they do not do this, with the exception of solemn feast days.






3) For those of you that know me, IRL, know my trust of people is extremely thin. It has nothing to do with this post actually. The third is that, I'm actually better at Russian than I thought, and I'm making fewer mistakes....the un-announced big announcement will come later. Do keep praying for me :)

Until next time

Pax Vobis

Thought of the day

I've heard it said that cat's do not have hearts, utter lies!

14 January 2014

Thought of the day

I've been burned by everyone I've ever had romantic feelings for. That doesn't mean I need to give up. It doesn't mean to stop trying. The sea of rejection can't be allowed to consume the heart entirely.

12 January 2014

St Tatyana of Rome

From the Church bulletin at St Andrew's in El Segundo

On the 12th of January, the Afterfeast of the Theophany, we commemorate the martyr Tatyana of Rome and those who suffered with her. Saint Tatyana was a Roman whose parents were from the nobility. She was a Christian and a deaconess in the church. The Emperor at that time, Alexander, , was wavering and indecisive in his faith, for he kept the statues of Christ. Apollo, Abraham, and Orpheus in his palace. His assistance took it upon themselves to persecute the Christians without waiting for orders from him. When they brought out the virgin Tatyana for torture, she prayed to God for her torturers. They behold four angels standing around the Saint, and eight of them fell to the ground and professed belief in Christ, for which they were also tortured and slain. Other tormentors continued their savagery on Tatyana or days, placing her in a dungeon each night. The next day, by God's grace, she appeared before them completely healed. Finally, Tatyana and her father were led out together and both were beheaded in about the year 225.

In Russia this is often known as day of the student (she's a patroness of students'). This is also my dad's birthday, as well as my cat's feast day :)

08 January 2014

Thought of the day

Doing the right thing doesn't always feel great, sometimes it's the most difficult thing to do

BXVI vs Francis and The game of what does the Pope really mean...

Honestly, I've had it, and that's being semi-compassionate...I'm sure feathers are going to be ruffled but that's alright....

Let us begin...

1. Is it absolutely necessary that we interpret EVERYTHING the Holy Father says as orthodox? The dogma of infallibility is very specific for a reason...

From the 1st Vatican council:

9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.

The condition for this is clear:

  • The Pope must be teaching ALL of the Faithful, in his capacity
  • must be on a matter of faith and morals
The extension being anything that does not fit this condition does not fall under the infallibility guarantee. That is to say 99.999999% of what the Pope says could be classified as fallible. the 0.000001% infallible. 

Oh the chaos that would ensue if the Pope were infallible on every little detail, I don't even wish to think about such things. 

There have been several attempts at mental gymnastics, so much so, one might think that they're undertaking supernatural abilities to convert statements into something tangible. 

That is to say it's very possible in the vast majority of the actions of the Holy Father that he'll say something that doesn't correlate to the Faith. Does it mean he's evil and the anti-Christ? Absolutely not!! It's rather simple, as a private theologian, or even a local teacher, he has the ability to make mistakes, or even commit heresies...The important thing to remember about the Pope is that he can't DEFINE a doctrine that's heretical for belief. We've had more than our fair share of heretical Popes, but none of them have defined dogma that is heretical.

To translate, if something sounds slightly off, there's no need to transform it into something that it clearly isn't. I think it would be a bit too much to call the Pope a heretic (does anyone really think that during the 60's that the Faith was taught properly to the clergy?) 

The excuses that are made:

a. It's a matter of translation, the Holy Father does not speak English natively.

This is a point, and a good one to consider, it simply means the process of information and expression is different. That said, this excuse doesn't hold....One can translate expressions faithfully and there still be a problem. There are times when this is a legitimate excuse as we've seen with Evangelii Gaudium in the excuse of a translation of "por si mismo" as "inevitably" instead of "by itself." When there's a deliberate mis-translation of particular words, this does change the meaning, and often it's best to give the benefit of the doubt to the original wording. This is why it was proper for those to defend the Holy Father in this case. The original wording did not convey what was being expressed in the translation and a benefit of the doubt should always be given to our dear Holy Father. (Thus it can properly be said that the Pope, even though he doesn't have a full grasp of economics, that he doesn't condemn capitalism as is, but simply points out the obvious...any economic system does not work without moral people).....That said, what happens when the original language is the problem in the first place? Since the Holy Father's first language is Spanish, I'm using his Spanish texts as the originals from which the others are derived from...This is from his Angelus address on June 2nd, 2013...

Emphasis mine:

Jesus’ outlook is very different; it is dictated by his union with the Father and his compassion for the people, that mercifulness of Jesus for us all. Jesus senses our problems, he senses our weaknesses, he senses our needs. Looking at those five loaves, Jesus thinks: this is Providence! From this small amount, God can make it suffice for everyone. Jesus trusts in the heavenly Father without reserve; he knows that for him everything is possible. Thus he tells his disciples to have the people sit down in groups of 50 — this is not merely coincidental, for it means that they are no longer a crowd but become communities nourished by God’s bread. Jesus then takes those loaves and fish, looks up to heaven, recites the blessing — the reference to the Eucharist is clear — and breaks them and gives them to the disciples who distribute them... and the loaves and fish do not run out, they do not run out! This is the miracle: rather than a multiplication it is a sharing, inspired by faith and prayer. Everyone eats and some is left over: it is the sign of Jesus, the Bread of God for humanity.

To hear of the Holy Father using the same "the miracle in the feeding was the sharing, and not the actual multiplication of the loaves is discouraging and makes me think of all the wishy washy sermons I've heard...(As an Eastern priest told me, the miracle actually happened, it was the multiplication, but getting the Jews at that time to share was a miracle too)....This time around it isn't an issue of language, it's an issue of something completely wrong. But you'll notice he doesn't deny the miracle, but rather re-defines the miracle that takes place.

You see here two different situations of language, one where the language was manipulated, in the other language wasn't manipulated. (The intention behind manipulation, who am I to judge? :p)...Each having its own consequences, one where people get riled up over something that wasn't meant, the other where people have an absolute right to be upset.

I'm sorry, but the miracle not being the multiplication of the loaves is at heterodox at best, and heretical at worst. There's no twisting this statement into something orthodox, when it isn't. As I tell my students all the time whether in written communication or verbal communication, be sure to get all of your points across clearly and with distinction and clarity. Do not make me have to search for meaning within your works. (Bear in mind, I'm a physics and math teacher, so the double implication thing doesn't apply)...If it takes a panel of experts and they're confused, one ought to re-consider how one is communicating their points across. No matter what language one is communicating in, one should always seek to be clear and precise and ambiguities should be avoided whenever possible. And lest anyone think I'm ripping on the new regime, if we remember the whole Pope Benedict XVI situation with the condom comments, the only major difference between these situations, there was no way to take Pope Benedict XVI as intending something different than the Faith of Christ Jesus as everyone knew exactly where he stood and for the most part Pope Francis is still a mystery to us.

b. He's new

Fine, fine, yes, he's new, but that doesn't excuse anything...One gets a grace period to learn their job, but after a while that wears off. Ignorance does not excuse anyone.

c. He's from South America

Okay, and what? Just because someone is from somewhere else doesn't mean we excuse them from not being clear. It's one thing making mistakes in communication, that happens often enough, everyone does it. It's another thing to not try and fix those mistakes to get better at communication. Now I happen to be fluent in Spanish and can tell you while situation a does happen from time to time, it really is a matter of word choice, sometimes things are really said in such a way that one goes, huh?

d. He knows what he's doing, he's doing it on purpose...

If he's causing confusion on purpose, or telling people what they wish to hear, wouldn't that make him manipulating of people to get a point across? In someways like a politician. We're supposed to teach the Truth in season and out of season, whether people wish to hear it or whether they don't. Obviously one should recognize one's audience, but that does not mean watering down truth too. For me it's cause to concern when the biggest known enemies of the Faith are rejoicing (if Cardinal Mahony is doing backflips...there's a problem) over various statements (or the lack of statements)....And while he does say he's a son of the Church, with all of these various confusing statements, it's almost as if he's trying to displace himself....(I'm a Son of the Church, but...*insert confusing or ambiguous statement here*) Now I tend to think that the Holy Father is above this type of working style and that he communicates exactly what he means (not very well, but does so). When things are faithful, they're faithful, when they're wrong, they're wrong. As I've stated earlier, I think it's a bit too much to call the Holy Father a heretic with all of his various statements (I truly think he's naïve to most everything, and he's said so himself)....And while I'm on this point, the insults (neatly organized here)...have to stop. Whether it's intentional or not, insults are beneath everyone and people should not do them....So no, I would not think our Holy Father is manipulating the left and right, I simply think that the Holy Father speaks un-restrained, and this is a huge problem.

2) Two different philosophies between Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis...does it mean that they're an antithesis between them?

a. Attitude towards the office of the Papacy

Pope Francis by ditching the symbols that have come with the office, for better or for worse is making it more about himself, than he ever would have by wearing the symbols of the papacy. Pope Francis by not living in the Papal "palace" is using more energy than he would by living in the papal palace alone. While I don't believe that Pope Francis is evil by ditching the symbols, I do believe that he's unintentionally communicating the opposite message that he wishes to communicate. (Other words, a false humility)....Doesn't mean that Pope Francis isn't humble, just in this regard, not so much

Compared to Pope Benedict XVI who used all the symbols (except the tiara) as a service to all of us. The catechism of beauty (something I'm a fan of) because beauty points to Beauty itself. He wore the various symbols of the office perhaps in one sense out of obligation (an ISTJ characteristic...I know, I am one :p), but never was it about personality of Pope Benedict XVI (though I'm sure that he did like the vestment choices....anything is an improvement over Marini I). A true sense of humility towards the office (recognizing it is not about one's own personal taste, likes and dislikes)...

Over time perhaps this may end up not being so, but from what I've seen, the absolute distain for the symbols of the office point to me a disdain of the office. It is not the person of the pope. The Pope is the vicar of Christ and quite frankly, should look like it.

b. Attitudes towards the Liturgy

Pope Francis seems to be Liturgically indifferent at best, but at worst a distain for particulars of the Liturgy. Now to be fair, Pope Francis does follow the book and doesn't ab lib. However, the vestment choices, and Holy Thursday have been epic failures at various points. The Liturgy is not a place to impose one's personality...and again to be fair, the Pope keeps himself out of it. Since I have seen videos of the Holy Father genuflecting before, I assume the reason he doesn't genuflect is because it'd be a chore to do so without some type of aid. (Granted if he needed help to kneel, I think a kneeler should be provided to help him)...if he wants to bow, he should offer the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom or St Basil ;)....granted he wouldn't be able to do that because all the parts are sung. (having one lung and all)...By choosing the non-ornate vestments, while not in of itself evil or horrible...it kind of means we're not giving to God our best. We should give him the most beautiful that we have, not because God per se needs it, but out of our love for Him, and for justice.

Pope Benedict XVI was a servant of the Liturgy as well and made himself disappear (It was when he was Cardinal Ratzinger offering the Papal funeral Liturgy of Pope JPII which got me to go back to Mass after a few years of absence) Order and beauty are attractive, and worked on little sinner that is me. Everything was for His glory and not for our glory. The pope endured much (Marini I) but after Marini I was fired, we really got to see the beauty of the Liturgy come out. The Liturgy was the spear of the New Evangelization, after all, how can we bring Christ to people if the Christ we encounter during the Liturgy is veiled by abuses and various other problems? He knew that if our Liturgy wasn't right everything else would falter on through. Thanks be to God he gave us Summorum Pontificum, while some say it was an act of tolerance (and to some degree that's true), really it's a matter of justice...an issue I've spoken of before.

There are similarities between the two as well, both have echoed concern about the poor, and our occasional idolatry of the various economic systems. Both mentioned love of neighbor. Both of them called us to the Magisterium. Both have excommunicated disobedient priests. And various other things. But do not let their similarities overshadow the differences between the two. It doesn't mean Pope Francis is evil or horrible, it simply means that the two are different, and there's no need to try and transform Pope Francis into Pope Benedict XVI and vise versa. It's okay for each person to stand on their own without help from one another.

But of course, let us pray for our Holy Father Francis, and our emeritus Benedict XVI...




07 January 2014

The Principle: The Movie...


As a physicist, although astro-physics wasn't my field of study....I must say this is intriguing, I'll have some thoughts on it later.

Hoping in things of this world...

Is not a good idea. Temporal things well are temporary, they go away. Doesn't matter what they are, whether it's a job, marriage, research, whatever, these things are all temporary as in the sense that once one dies, they're gone.

Since it's the new year of course it is popular to make new years' resolutions. The reason people fail is not because of any bad intention, but they do not ask for the graces as to fulfill various tasks. That is to say on our own, we can't do anything, but with God's grace all things are possible.

While most certainly all things that we do are not dictate commands by the Holy Spirit (actually, I'd make an argument that the vast majority of things that we do are not commanded by the Holy Spirit)...we totally have free will....Certainly the Holy Spirit wants us to get to heaven.

By putting supernatural faith in things of this world, we make idols out of them, and as thus become material worshipers instead of worshipping the Trinity. We can put natural faith, as natural faith is necessary to function in society.....

But always remember, Faith in God first, Hope in the Holy Trinity, and God will never let you down.

Thought of the day

Today is Russian Christmas :)...so once again...Merry Christmas :)

05 January 2014

Thought of the day

No, it is not Epiphany today, no matter what the USCCB tells you...it's not 11 days of Christmas, it's 12 ;)...therefore, Dec 25 to Jan 6...makes 12 days...enough with the transfer of Liturgical days...how about extra days of Obligation, we can use them...more glories of Byzantium, they don't do this :D

04 January 2014

Thought of the day

Things require cooperation with His grace, cooperation being the key word.

03 January 2014

New Year's supposed Resolutions

In the Faith

1) To continue in my "self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagian" (TM) ways.
2) To use recited and un-creative prayers as much as possible.
3) To avail myself more into Eastern Spirituality (Christian that is).

For the blog

1) To give weekly reflections on "Faith, Hope, and Charity"
2) To continue with the thoughts of the day
3) To give more reflections on common core and various other education movements

In service to others

1) You don't need to know what random acts I plan to do ;)....


Thought of the day

Господи Иисусе Христе Сыне Божий помилуй мя грешнаго! (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner)

Happy New Year!!

I wish all of you a most blessed New Year, may this year be filled for all of you with health, peace, and growth in your Faith in Christ Jesus and His Church.