It was on a Holy Wednesday, and all in the morning
When Judas betrayed our dear heavenly King.
And was not this a woeful thing,
And sweet Jesus, we'll call him by name.
the daily musings ...
of faith and culture, of life and love, of fun and games, of a song and dance man, who is keeping his day job.
It was on a Holy Wednesday, and all in the morning
It is known as “the liturgy of darkness”.
Signs was one of the most popular movies of 2002, starring Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, and Abigail Breslin. Producer Frank Marshall described it as being “about human emotions set in motion by a supernatural event.”
In contemplating the great literary works of the ages, we come to appreciate those of the Lord of All Ages.
Great as Shakespeare is, I never lose sleep over anything he said. He leaves my conscience alone. He is a tremendous virtuoso of language, but much of his beauty is bound to be lost in translation. (I apologize if this offends our German readers; Germans believe that Shakespeare in English was really just raw material for Schiller’s great translations.)
By the same token, nobody ever feels guilty about anything Plato or Aristotle said. They spoke important and lasting truths often enough, but never anything that disturbs us inwardly. We are never afraid to read them. We aren’t tempted to resist them as we are tempted to resist Christ. The sayings of Confucius and Mohammed haven’t carried over into alien cultures with anything like the force of Christ’s words. They may be very wise at times, or they wouldn’t have endured for many centuries; but still, they are only human.
But all this raises a question ... Yet [Christ] said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” And so far this certainly appears true ...
There are a number of stories on the back burners this week, just waiting for the right moment. Then again, there's Holy Week.
Someone once asked the late Msgr Ronald Knox, the great nineteenth-century English priest and convert from Anglicanism, what he thought of married priests in the Church of England. He replied that it was really none of his business.
The last time I checked, the Vatican was not a county commissioner's board in South Dakota ... So why does the media cover it like it's a legislative body answerable to the public? I doubt that they'd do the same thing if the Pentecostals were huddling in Springfield, Missouri, to debate the rules on speaking in tongues.
The Catholic Telegraph Photography Project is the work of Rick Barr, Multimedia Editor of The Catholic Telegraph of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, which is the oldest continuously-published Catholic diocesan newspaper in the United States. This project features items from the vast photo and illustrative archive of the periodical, giving the reader a glimpse into the rich Catholic heritage of one of the great cities of the Midwest. Our illustration at right, which appeared in the March 22, 1940 issue, is from a series that ran in the early- and mid-twentieth century entitled "Strange But True" by M J Murray. Click on the image for a closer look.
Have you ever been called a dork, a dweeb, a geek, or a nerd? Do the labels of your misspent youth still keep you up at night?
Father Thomas Rosica answers this question for us in contemplating the Scripture readings for this holiest of weeks in the Year of Grace.
The weather turned dreary in the Nation's capital today, and at some point I have to get in the frame of mind for Holy Week. But not yet.
Someone once asked Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, for what should a good Scout be prepared. He replied, "Anything." Closer to the present, an unnamed expert on emergency preparedness, author of a site known as "Code Name Insight" (www.codenameinsight.com), actually produced a list of 25 things to always have with you. (Click here.)
For today's edition of the usual Friday feature, we take advantage of our polka fetish from earlier this week, to focus on one of the burning issues of our time.
PHOTO: Ballard High School, Seattle, Washington
When she signed a consent form, Jill figured it meant her 15 year old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy.
“She took a pregnancy test at school at the teen health center,” she said. “Nowhere in this paperwork does it mention abortion or facilitating abortion.”
Jill says her daughter, a pro-life advocate, was given a pass, put in a taxi and sent off to have an abortion during school hours all without her family knowing.
T.J. Cosgrove of the King County Health Department, which administers the school-based programs for the health department, says it's always best if parents are involved in their children's health care, but don't always have a say.
“At any age in the state of Washington, an individual can consent to a termination of pregnancy,” he said.
VIDEO: "Weird Al" Yankovic appearing live at MTV's New Years Eve 1987 Party.
Time once again for our usual midday Wednesday feature.
... didn't stop yours truly from heading down the road to the capital city of the state of Maryland (and temporary capital of the United States from November, 1783, to June, 1784), to meet the lovely couple known in the blogosphere as "Darwin" and "Mrs Darwin" the co-authors of the weblog Darwin Catholic. Driving all the way from Austin, Texas, to visit family, they brought along their three cute little daughters, and their adorable eighteen-month-old son, Jack.
I like reading Slate. It's a well-done web-based magazine of liberal commentary, that doesn't engage in ad hominems against conservatives to make a point. (If an idea is worth considering, it doesn't have to.) They also have conservative writers on occasion. One story that interested me, was a list of "frequently asked questions" about the new health care reform bill. My interest was piqued by one question in particular:
The Virginia attorney general has promised to file a lawsuit against the federal government claiming that it can't compel Virginians to buy health insurance. His supporters say health care reform violates the 10th Amendment. Does it?
Probably not. The 10th Amendment states that "[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." The federal government, however, can claim two Constitutional justifications for mandating health care. One is the right to regulate interstate commerce, which includes any business that operates across state lines. (Even if not all health insurance companies operate in more than one state, Congress can still regulate them as long as that regulation is part of a comprehensive interstate scheme, according to the Supreme Court.) Congress also has the Constitutional right to tax. Just as Congress taxes polluting companies for imposing a burden on other people, it could tax Americans who don't buy health insurance for doing the same. As if to emphasize the point, the fine for not buying insurance is levied by the IRS.
We are heading toward the end of the Great Fast known in the western Church as Lent, as this Sunday we remember the entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem, and the fate that awaited him. It is as good a time as any to introduce this Mozarabic litany from the tenth century, the cry of the sinner who calls unto God to receive his mercy.
Today, in the wake of the passage of the health care reform bill, we are submitting for consideration, the entire address last night, of Congressman John Boehner, Republican from Ohio and House Minority Leader, also a graduate of Cincinnati Moeller High School (Go Crusaders!). Be advised, he uses the "H" word a few times, and gets booed by some ruffians who will never have to live with the decision they would impose on the rest of us.
Over the weekend, the most pro-choice President in history, made a deal with a pro-life Democrat, that he would sign an executive order maintaining the status quo on restricting funding for abortions. Well, it's safe to say that our pro-life Democrat is pro-life no more. The Susan B Anthony list announced that our wheeler-dealer is losing his "Defender of Life" Award. (He didn't get it yet, so he doesn't have to mail it back.) And as of last night, proponents of the health care legislation had the votes they needed.
One night in 1989 there was a phone call. A priest was trying to reach an attorney in Louisiana. How or why, I don't know, but what he got instead was me in Virginia. "You have the wrong number, Father, but I know about you, and you're work. I just wanna say, keep standing up to those bishops." His response was matter of fact, if not downright adamant: "I'm just telling them the truth."
“Judica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta: ab homine iniquo et doloso eripe me: quia tu es Deus meus et fortitudo mea.”
November [of 2008] showed us that 40 years of American Catholic complacency and poor formation are bearing exactly the fruit we should have expected. Or to put it more discreetly, the November elections confirmed a trend, rather than created a new moment, in American culture ...
Some Catholics in both political parties are deeply troubled by these issues. But too many Catholics just don’t really care. That’s the truth of it. If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or immigrants, or the unborn child. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste each other’s time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow ‘balanced out’ or excused by three other good social policies ...
We need to stop over-counting our numbers, our influence, our institutions and our resources, because they’re not real. We can’t talk about following St Paul and converting our culture until we sober up and get honest about what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. We need to stop lying to each other, to ourselves and to God by claiming to “personally oppose” some homicidal evil — but then allowing it to be legal at the same time.
In order to bring you up to date on the current health care reform bill being debated in Congress as this is written, we found this video clip produced by the National Republican Congressional Committee. We here at mwbh don't like to use something so obviously partisan. But it's concise, and it's hilarious, so we'll give it a pass.
As a practicing physician I have major concerns with the health care bill before Congress. I actually have read the bill and am shocked by the brazenness of the government's proposed involvement in the patient-physician relationship. The very idea that the government will dictate and ration patient care is dangerous and certainly not helpful in designing a health care system that works for all. Every physician I work with agrees that we need to fix our health care system, but the proposed bills currently making their way through congress will be a disaster if passed.
I ask you respectfully and as a patriotic American to look at the following troubling lines that I have read in the bill. You cannot possibly believe that these proposals are in the best interests of the country and our fellow citizens.
Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that the Govt will audit books of all employers that self-insure!!
Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill: THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.
Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!
Page 42 of HC Bill: The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You have no choice!
Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise.
Page 58 HC Bill: Govt will have real-time access to individuals' finances & a 'National ID Health card' will be issued! (Papers please!)
Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24: Govt will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer. (Time for more cash and carry)
Page 65 Sec 164: Is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations: (ACORN).
Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the 'Exchange.'
Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans -- The Govt will ration your health care!
Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services. (Translation: illegal aliens.)
Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt will use groups (i.e. ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan.
Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. (AARP members - your health care WILL be rationed!)
Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill: Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. (No choice.)
Page 124 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt monopoly.
Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/American Medical Association - The Govt will tell YOU what salary you can make.
Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan. (NO choice!)
Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part-time employees AND their families. (Employees shouldn't get excited about this as employers will be forced to reduce its work force, benefits, and wages/salaries to cover such a huge expense.)
Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option will pay 8% tax on all payroll! (See the last comment in parenthesis.)
Page 150 Lines 9-13: A business with payroll between $251K & $401K who doesn't provide public option will pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.
Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.
Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.) (Like always)
Page 195 HC Bill: Officers & employees of the GOVT HC Admin. will have access to ALL Americans' finances and personal records. (I guess so they can 'deduct' their fees)
Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." (Yes, it really says that!) ( a 'fee' instead)
Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill: Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors. (Low-income and the poor are affected)
Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill: Doctors: It doesn't matter what specialty you have trained yourself in -- you will all be paid the same! (Just TRY to tell me that's not Socialism!)
Page 253 Line 10-18: The Govt sets the value of a doctor's time, profession, judgment, etc. (Literally-- the value of humans.)
Page 265 Sec 1131: The Govt mandates and controls productivity for "private" HC industries.
Page 268 Sec 1141: The federal Govt regulates the rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs.
Page 272 SEC. 1145: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS - Cancer patients - welcome to rationing!
Page 280 Sec 1151: The Govt will penalize hospitals for whatever the Govt deems preventable (i.e...re-admissions).
Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors: If you treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission -- the Govt will penalize you.
Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. (The Govt tells doctors what and how much they can own!)
Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion. (The Govt is mandating that hospitals cannot expand.)
Page 321 2-13: Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input is required. (Can you say ACORN?)
Page 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339: The Govt mandates establishment of outcome-based measures. (HC the way they want -- rationing.)
Page 341 Lines 3-9: The Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc. (Forcing people into the Govt plan)
Page 354 Sec 1177: The Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of 'special needs people!' Unbelievable!
Page 379 Sec 1191: The Govt creates more bureaucracy via a "Tele-Health Advisory Committee." (Can you say HC by phone?)
Page 425 Lines 4-12: The Govt mandates "Advance-Care Planning Consult." (Think senior citizens end-of-life patients.)
Page 425 Lines 17-19: The Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. (And it's mandatory!)
Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3: The Govt provides an "approved" list of end-of-life resources; guiding you in death. (Also called 'assisted suicide.') (Sounds like Soylent Green to me.)
Page 427 Lines 15-24: The Govt mandates a program for orders on "end-of-life." (The Govt has a say in how your life ends!)
Page 429 Lines 1-9: An "advanced-care planning consultant" will be used frequently as a patient's health deteriorates.
Page 429 Lines 10-12: An "advanced care consultation" may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. (AN ORDER TO DIE FROM THE GOVERNMENT?!?)
Page 429 Lines 13-25: The GOVT will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order. (I wouldn't want to stand before God after getting paid for THAT job!)
Page 430 Lines 11-15: The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end-of-life! (Again -- no choice!)
Page 469: Community-Based Home Medical Services = Non-Profit Organizations. Hello? ACORN Medical Services here!?!)
Page 489 Sec 1308: The Govt will cover marriage and family therapy. (Which means Govt will insert itself into your marriage even.)
Page 494-498: Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services.
Senator I guarantee that I personally will do everything possible to inform patients and my fellow physicians about the dangers of the proposed bills you and your colleagues are debating.
Furthermore, if you vote for a bill that enforces socialized medicine on the country and destroys the doctor-patient relationship, I will do everything in my power to make sure you lose your job in the next election.
Stephen E. Fraser, MD
... can have unintended consequences when confronted on a national scale. Syndicated columnist Patrick Buchanan cites the recent history of parochial interests as an impediment to national unity.
Ethnonationalism, that relentless drive of peoples to secede and dwell apart, to establish their own nation-state, where their faith is predominant, their language spoken, their heroes and history revered, and they rule to the exclusion of all others, is rampant.
In China, Tibetans fight assimilation and the mass migration of Han Chinese into what was their country, as do the Uighurs in the west who dream of an East Turkestan breaking away and taking its place among the nations of the world.
In speaking of the rising tribalism abroad, Schlesinger added, "The ethnic upsurge in America, far from being unique, partakes of the global fever."
Indeed, separatism and secessionism seem to be in the air.
The mainstream media is full of instances where remarks are taken out of context. Since this has been dubbed an acceptable form of journalism by the intelligentsia, let's run with that for the moment. Take the usual self-absorbed banter and complaining and what-not, that you are likely to hear from political leaders, and combine it into a statement along the lines of a now-defunct TV situation comedy, one devoted to self-absorbed banter and complaining and what-not. The result is courtesy of the YouTube channel for “Politizoid”. Given the current top news stories of late, it was the least we could do for this week's Friday Afternoon Moment of Whimsy.
Today, the western Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary, and foster-father of the Christ Child.
My last trip by air was in the summer of 2003, to Ohio, from there to Seattle, and back to Ohio, all in a two-week period. I actually drove to the airport a day in advance, showed them my travel-size guitar at the counter, and specifically asked them if it was okay for carry-on. They said okay, and indeed it all turned out okay, as my guitar fit easily into the overhead compartment.
Basically, here's what happened: United Airlines baggage handlers recklessly damaged his $3,500 Taylor guitar and then the company refused to pay for repairs. After exhausting his options with United, he told them he would write three songs and put them on YouTube. Reportedly, he was told, "Good luck with that one, pal."
The first has eight million views, one million of which happened in the first week of release. He was quickly contacted by United with an offer of compensation in hopes of his pulling the video. Reportedly, he replied, "Good luck with that one, pal."
There is no anxiety quite like that of the guitar player as he or she approaches the gate and prepares to board a plane ... The purpose of this piece is to share some tips and observations that can make you a major leaguer when it comes to getting your ax on board.
I was going to wait on this, but NBC News and the National Catholic Reporter can't seem to help themselves today, in spreading drivel that has already been authoritatively refuted. A segment of this video clip, from today's edition of Gloria.tv News, is enough to set the record straight.
Germany: Journalists have used a sex-abuse case in the Munich archdiocese in order to form a direct link to Pope Benedict XVI. But emerging details of the case show that the future Pontiff was not involved in appointing the accused molester to do parish work. The priest in question belonged to the Essen diocese, when he was first accused of sexual misconduct in 1980. At the time then-Cardinal Ratzinger was Archbishop of Munich. He approved the priest’s transfer to Munich. The journalist did however not report the crucial fact that this transfer did not imply parish work but entrance into a counseling program in Munich. The priest was given a parish assignment in September 1982 - 7 months after Cardinal Ratzinger had left to Rome to become the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Anima Christi was my favorite prayer as a little boy, about second or third grade, the one I always turned to after receiving Communion.
Longtime readers of man with black hat have read most of this before, but we have some new people in our audience.