Thursday, August 31, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Ciao amici and meet Saint Dominic (he's from Spain)! I have always been so entertained by the lives of the saints! Read about his life and you will be ever so inspired. Once, an Italian Dominican exclaimed to me: "Well, didn't you know that orange trees were brought to Italy by Saint Dominic?!"
The galero was presented (until the updating era of the 1960s) in public consistory to every new cardinal. When the cardinal would die, it was carried before his coffin and then placed at the base of his bier during the funeral rites. Then, it was hung from his cathedral ceiling to denote that once a cardinal (now dead) once had jurisdiction there. The joke was that as soon as the hat would eventually drop to the floor some day, then the prelate would enter the heavenly kingdom!
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
I've always been a fan of the book, The Seven Storey Mountain, by Merton. I'd like to share this one line from the book: "How does it happen that even today a couple of ordinary French stonemasons, or a carpenter and his apprentice, can put up a dove-cote or a barn that has more architectural perfection than the piles of eclectic stupidity that grow up at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars on the campuses of American universities?"
Where did this phenomenon arrive from? Why this self-appointed task of Martin Luther (an archetype) to break from the one (Christ)endom? He felt bound by no corpus of history or the collective wisdom of the past or of the legacy of tradition. For him, the prescriptive codes of ancestral experience existed to be selectively followed or wholly rejected entirely - subject to his whim. On what grounds can this mortal, like the so many others, suddenly refashion the existing order?
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
When I see this building in Washington, D.C. I get so excited that I can almost hear in my head that music that we all love that's used to announce the Fox movietone!
Welcome to the Catholica Universitas Americae! This is the Centrum Nationale Culturae Catholicae! Caldwell Hall is where so many American theologians, philosophers and canonists have received their education!
My thoughts and prayers are always with the persecuted Church in China. Imagine being a faithful Catholic under the Communist fist? See the Kung Foundation: www.cardinalkungfoundation.org. I have met both Joseph and Agnes Kung and they are stellar warriors for Christ! May Cardinal Kung pray for us all!
FYI to tourists/pilgrims: don't ever be in a hurry to get anywhere while in Rome! Sometimes I feel like a walrus (marine mammal allied to the seals) while attempting to move nimbly through the streets of Rome as people don't get out of your way and sometimes you trip over the cobbles!
Monday, August 21, 2006
Today I feel rather proud as it's the Feast of Pope Saint Pius X, my Confirmation saint! When I was confirmed in A.D. 1992 by His Grace Robert Carlson, Auxiliary to the Archbishop of Saint Paul, I recall his delight in having a Pius X in the bunch! FYI: www.totuspius.blogspot.com.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Because Italy is surrounded by the sea, except in the North, and where, in that region there are large lakes and rivers, fish make up an important part of the diet, and the fish section of the menu offers a wide and varying array of fish and seafood dishes throughout the country! Renowned seafood can be caught and cooked by yourself once you have locals show you the ropes!
Everyone is a link in the chain! Remember the great quote from John Henry Cardinal Newman: "God created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another...I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught."
Today as with yesterday, one can still see the tension seen between morals and party platforms. Of course our job is to seek the Catholic moral framework when we vote in America as in Italy!
Once I heard an American eulogizing the Lodges of the Freemasons and so my reply was: "Well Jerry, look at the mighty Masonic holds in the Italy of today!" The doctrinaire constancy, anti-Catholic furies, reckless affections and chimerical plots of the Masons makes me want to barf! An Italian once pointed out to me that their dogmatic teaching can reasonably be called their own "theology."
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Have you ever been on a pilgrimage!? They're great! My Canadian friend asked me to invite all on the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Notre-Dame-du-Quebec (September 2, 3, 4, 2006: www.st-clementottawa.ca). This is a 62 mile trek to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Cape which will start in Saint-Joseph-de-Lanoraie (a town on the St. Lawrence River east of Montreal, near the place where St. Isaac Jogues and his companions fell into the hands of the Iroquois in a.D. 1642). Pilgrims follow in the footsteps of saints and martyrs in prayer, contemplation and cameraderie!
In Rome I got to know a Lebanese Christian really well. He was born in Beruit and now he's a seminarian living in Rome who has read the Qur'an and now with fright he often explains it. He shared this line with me: "Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever ye find them. Seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war." -Qur'an, Sura 9:5
Monday, August 14, 2006
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Welcome to the Italian spa world! Lucky for me I had connections at this resort, si? Here I am trying to be cool in my new 100% linen beach shirt that I bought from a vendor on the beach selling coconut! All that was on my mind at this pool was how soon I could take a ride on a "ketch" again (a fore-and-aft rigged vessel with mainmast and mizzenamst, etc.)...
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Every pilgrim or tourist to Italy does a lot of walking. But those who know me know of my marathon walks along the coast. When I'm bored, I sometimes walk for hours along the sea. With their being so little real estate development in Italy, one can enjoy the natural seashore even with cropland often bordering it!
Wow, cool motorboat! Do you seen the light on the back? The old guys take these boats out before dawn to catch fish!
An aqueous life in Italy is such a blessing! I was always aquatic as a kid while spending summers at our cabin in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. But, the sometimes transparent bluish green of the sea is better than any Wisconsin lake!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Can you see the "3M" on the black rubber? Being from the North Star state, Minnesota, I always find myself rather proud when I stumble upon one of these in the streets of Italy. I boast to my surprised friends: "Guess what?! These are from 3M - Minnesota Minning and Manufacturing - from my state!"
Yes, this is Rome: old and new (we're just sour because we wish Roma Beata had been spared of the '60s!). Actually, an expat friend of mine calls modern art in Rome "ratbite fever" (an infectious disease following the bite of a rat with ulceration, relapsing fever, rash, etc.)!
Nice Roman palazzo, eh? This is where the young Father Wojtyla lived from 1946 - 1948. He arrived at Rome's famed Stazione Termini on the train from Poland in the autumn of '46. The war had just ended and it was his first trip outside of Poland. Through the train windows he saw the war destruction even as Poland lay in ruins. So, while in Rome, he was a guest priest here at the Belgian College!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
I had to carry on with a circumspect manner even after seeing this totally cool hair! My own reaction was:"Ma, che bella!" With filial affection the bridegroom was so proud of this bizarrely juxtaposed hair style of his new bride! Only in Italy, friends!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Ah, life on the Mediterranean basin! It sure is nice to live in the Eastern Hemisphere! Our everyday routine: I watch as Pino catches octopi in the morning while his wife, Anna, cooks them in the late afternoon for dinner! La Magda cooks really well, too!
All of the sage counsel that I receive in hunting for octopi comes from this legend, Pino. He's been hunting sea creatures since the 1950s! A son of the port of Rome, Civitavecchia, he knows how to catch, clean and cook octopuses in "the" authentic Italian manner.
Like I sometimes quip to my parents: "Either I can make money and pursue an ulcer back home or vacation in Italy while earning myself a degree!" Their reply: "Is the beach an infringement on your studies?" I laugh: "I attend a preeminent Pontifical University of renown (I just hope I can get a job after!)!"