Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Potshots at Peter are never nice. Is it me, or do we never hear anything positive from the Jesuits?
We hear plenty about their cynicism, distortion, failure and apparent self-aggrandizement, but what of their loyalty to their boss?
In the old days these soldiers were team players:
"SOLI DOMINO AC ECCLESIAE IPSIUS SPONSAE SUB ROMANO PONTIFICE CHRISTI IN TERRIS VICARIO SERVIRE."
FORM. INST., N. 1
Also, if you want to support vocations, then these are the people to give to:
"Et venient ab oriente et occidente et aquilone et austro, et accumbent in regno Dei."
Sunday, January 27, 2008
For Italians, it's a lovely family event (the season of festival before Lent). On these last few weekends before Ash Wednesday all the little kids wear colorful costumes and celebrate in the public squares with their parents. It would be nice if homeschooling parents could bring some of this Catholic culture back to the New World.
Yesterday, I made the mistake of forgetting and walking into the mix of it all in the central piazza of the resort town of Ladispoli, near Rome. All of the kids, each like a wild terrier, was trying their best to throw and spray paper and aerosol confetti on each other, on parents, etc. I wanted to slap each brat and take the confetti away.
I haven't watched TV since 1997, but having a nasty cold these past days I just turned on the TV tonight and watched some old 1940s/1950s cartoons of Donald Duck, Pluto, Tom and Jerry, etc. The devil never rests: these cartoons were really violent and not for kids - or adults. Like my own mother once taught me: "Kids don't need that kind of stress."
My roommate says boiled whisky is good for a bad cold. I tried some Catholic Jagermeister, but that didn't help (too much sugar as an l'amaro dolce).
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
"Two frequent temptations threaten prayer: lack of faith and acedia - a form of depression stemming from lax ascetical practice that leads to discouragement. "
"Another temptation, to which presumption opens the gate, is acedia. The spiritual writers understand by this a form of depression due to lax ascetical practice, decreasing vigilance, carelesness of heart. 'The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.' The greater the height, the harder the fall. Painful as discouragement is, it is the reverse of presumption. The humble are not surprised by their distress; it leads them to trust more, to hold fast in constancy."
Friday, January 18, 2008
It was 9:30 in the morning and raining. This monk had come from Assisi, in his rags and with no shoes, to pray amongst the students - whom he loved. So humbled by this I didn't even know what to do. So I, too, prayed in his company.
Can we have holiness (=witness) like this in the rest of the world?
The last Catholic university in Rome (if you don't count Sacro Cuore), outside of the pontifical university network, is the European Univeristy of Rome (see: http://www.unier.it/).
There is a reason for this: it is a new univeristy having been only just founded these past few years. And, it is operated by the Legionaries of Christ.
This university is already growing fast and has different faculties (such as law, history, etc.), a lovely green campus and a great location in suburban Rome.
Maria, Sede della Sapienza, prega per noi!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I brought along a pipe (toasted cavendish tobacco from Virginia) and a flask (whisky aged in white oak casks from Canada). And a rosary (I just got a nice Ukrainian one, of which soon they'll be a photo post).
As I hope everybody knows, the Christmas decorations can start to come down today (Baptism of the Lord). My dad once told me that when he was a kid (1940s), Christmas decorations at home went up only on Christmas Eve. I'm proud that many Catholics are returning to this sensus (do the average faithful still even know that Advent is a penitential season and thus the violet?).
At the Stazione San Pietro, the train station nearest to the Vatican, I asked an employee why this year, for the first time ever I was told, there was no Christmas manger scene or decorations set up for the holiday. The sad employee shared that this year she was sick and so unable, that her friend and only helper was unable to do it all alone and that "none of the other employees cared." My response was quick: "Lady, this is Rome and the next year you call me and we'll work together to keep this station Christian."
As one reads comments left on blogs, too, one cannot help but notice that perhaps most of these English-speakers who leave these comments don't even know to capitalize the "m" in the word Mass. Protestant America always taught us to write this word with a lower case "m," but I hope we can remind and instruct our youth that this word is to be written as "Mass."
At a party near Rome, too, I just met an elderly American who was a combat war veteran. He spoke of his being sent to the South Pacific in 1943. He had a fascinating story: born in Scotland, first came to the New World in 1937 via the Panama Canal and then joined the Marines in California. He shared that before battles everybody was in the tent to pray, while after the battle, few were in the chapel to pray. His question was, "Why?"
At another dinner party near Rome a Catholic father once shared this, too: "When we take our two-year old son to a Novus Ordo Missae, he knows it's play time. But when we take him to Holy Mass in the Classical rite, he acts completly different as even he can see that it's not play time, but serious prayer." So, shake your hips at the Novus Ordo or worship in the mystical climate of Catholic tradition? Let your kids answer that one for you...
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Before my first trip to Rome ten years ago I got a haircut. My kid brother had a better idea. He waited until he arrived in Urbe.
It's a cultural experience, and a little piece of Rome, to get your haircut here. I recommend my barber, Adriano. He's been a barber in Rome for 54 years in the old Rione Monti neighborhood!
Via Panisperna, 46
Friday, January 11, 2008
"Despite my opposition to the evils of communism, I have always loved Russia. The chalice I use every day in Holy Mass was used in St. Petersburg in its days of faith...The little tabernacle in my private chapel is a replica of a Russian church. Thus do I express my hopes for the ultimate conversion of Russia. Not in war, but in prayer must we trust that the land which once was known as Holy Russia may become again the wellspring whence a pure stream of Christianity may flow..."
-Treasure in Clay by Fulton J. Sheeen c. 1980
To give today, see here: http://www.vladmission.org/
Thursday, January 10, 2008
For those who enjoy The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described by Adrian Fortescue try this great read.
Omnia Avtem Honeste Et Secvndvm Ordinem Fiant.
-I Cor. XIV, 40.