On the Nativity

Thursday, December 25, AD 2008


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.

Continue reading...

A Proclamation

Wednesday, December 24, AD 2008


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.
  • Continue reading...

    Rise You That Sleep

    Wednesday, December 24, AD 2008


    “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).

    Continue reading...

    2 Responses to Rise You That Sleep

    • How awesome and wonderful. Born to a young woman probably of high school freshman age. And her husband, 18 or 19. In a stable at the equivalent of a no-tell motel in a backwater Roman province. Destined to become a Sign of Contradiction. Let not your hearts be troubled this date. Let us celebrate the birth of the Son of the Most High God. A most blessed Christmas to one and all and thanks for letting me rant on most of this blog this year.

    • Throughout my life Gerard I have always found that Christ gives me a reason to smile no matter how bleak the events of the day. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family, and thank you for gracing the combox of this blog with your insightful comments.

    One Response to AntiChrist and Advent

    Politicians. Little Tin Gods on Wheels.

    Monday, December 22, AD 2008

    Since the bad joke who happens to be the governor of my state is apparently fond of quoting Kipling, the title to this post is also from Kipling who had very little use for most politicians.  A variant of the great poem “If” , much more fitting for Blagojevich, is provided by Claudia Rosett here.

    Blagojevich, Chicago’s curse to the state of Illinois, might be more careful in the choice of poets he quotes.  Kipling did not think much of the Windy City.

    Continue reading...

    4 Responses to Politicians. Little Tin Gods on Wheels.

    • He should have quoted Roger Water’s (Pink Floyd) If. A number of appropriate “ifs” there.

      Particularly fond of:

      If I were a rule, I would bend


      And if I go insane,
      Will you still let me join in with the game?

    • Blago is now in Gift That Keeps On Giving Dept. Consider his bluster last week and harrumph I’m Hanging Tough. Now new stuff from the Chicago Trib on major fundraiser who scarfed up cash for his enemies- like Ms. Madigan the State AG and daughter of State House Speaker who hates Blago’s intestines. Then I read in my Philly Inquirer Sunday- all right, I read it on-line- that major local youth group sponsored by Congressperson Chaka Fattah under FBI scrutiny. Sorry you’re feeling kinda glum this Christmas season, Don. I’m in ho ho ho mode.

    • “Sorry you’re feeling kinda glum this Christmas season, Don. I’m in ho ho ho mode.”

      Glad to hear that Gerard. No actually I rarely allow politics to effect my personal mood. Living in Illinois I long ago learned that most politicians are good for only comedy relief.

    • Pingback: Illinois Deserves a Medal! « The American Catholic

    3 Responses to Veni Emmanuel

    2 Responses to Special Election Now!

    • More fun than this heart can stand. Where I hear the voice of the esteemed H.L. Mencken, Sage of Baltimore. Who loved democracy much as a drama critic enjoys a first-rate stage production. What a grand stage. What a wonderful cast of characters. Even our beloved Shakespeare would be hard-pressed to create characters on the order of the unpopular governor; the fighting prosecutor- an archetype in U.S. of A. politics; the state AG; HER father, Speaker of State House and blood enemy of the unpopular governor; of course, numerous members of House of Jackson; Hizzoner Da Mare; all manner of other hustlers, activists, and the like; with the President Elect- that’s what it said on the sign, in the background. And his Chief Of Staff Elect, who may be into it up to his eyeballs. Fire up the popcorn machine. Make sure the cola dispenser has enough syrup. Hope And Change will just have to wait. As the Broadway song noted, “Tragedy tomorrow- comedy tonight.”

    • Pingback: Illinois Deserves a Medal! « The American Catholic

    Pride of Peoria

    Thursday, December 18, AD 2008

    “A Paris reporter asked TV-Comedian Milton Berle how he felt about the Bishop Fulton Sheen program which is on a competing channel with his own show. Said Berle: “We’re known as Uncle Miltie and Uncle Fultie now. It doesn’t make any difference if we’re in competition. It’s a pleasure to have him opposite me. After all, we’re both using old material.”

    Continue reading...

    2 Responses to Pride of Peoria

    • He wrote the book. Literally. Too far ahead of his time. After his departure from teevee, the lights went out on its use by orthodox Catholics. Of course, coincided with GoGo60s, hootenanny Masses, academics spouting any nonsense they please. Along comes a cloistered nun in Alabama who gets into the cable game around the same time as CNN and ESPN. Wow amazing use of teevee to educate and inspire the faithful. If the Good Bishop were alive he’s use internet, ipods and mp3 as tools. Or stuff still in R&D labs. That same Alabama-based network of course has the good sense to rerun the Good Bishop’s programs. Where they are still fresh and timely. Everything old is new again.

    • Pingback: What’s His Line? « The American Catholic

    24 Responses to The War on Joe the Plumber-Update

    Planned Parenthood Indiana – Oops!

    Wednesday, December 17, AD 2008

    Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has a good article regarding the investigation launched by the Indiana Attorney General of Planned Parenthood of Indiana.  Thanks to the intrepid Lila Rose, and her colleague Jackie Stollar, the long standing flouting by Planned Parenthood of mandatory reporting laws regarding sexual abuse is now coming to the surface.  Ms. Rose and her associates are to be congratulated for coming up with a clever tactic, and having the courage and initiative to implement it, to combat Murder, Inc.  Bravo!  It is precisely this type of energy and novel thinking that the pro-life cause needs.

    Continue reading...

    7 Responses to Planned Parenthood Indiana – Oops!

    One Response to Mere Divisions

    • I have always liked that introduction. I ran across this description of Lewis’s views on the Reformation the other day by Lewis biographer Alan Jacobs, and thought it was interesting:

      In his great work of literary history, Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century, Lewis devotes a passage to what he describes, with a certain savageness, as “that whole tragic farce which we call the history of the Reformation.” For Lewis, the issues that divided Catholics and Protestants, that led to bloodshed all over Europe and to a seemingly permanent division of Christians from one another, “could have been fruitfully debated only between mature and saintly disputants in close privacy and at boundless leisure.” Instead, thanks to the prevalence of that recent invention the printing press, and to the intolerance of many of the combatants, deep and subtle questions found their way into the popular press and were immediately transformed into caricatures and cheap slogans. After that there was no hope of peaceful reconciliation.

    Feel Better?

    Monday, December 15, AD 2008

    Not really.  This  New York Times article contends that my home state of Illinois is not the most corrupt state in the Union.  However I note that two of the three methods by which they obtain their rankings focus on convictions.  In a truly corrupt state,  convictions might lag because the engines of law enforcement are often part of the problem.  Based upon spending my entire life in Illinois, except for three years, I believe FBI Agent Robert Grant is correct,  if Illinois is not the most corrupt state, it is a strong competitor for the title.

    Update I:  Lisa Madigan,  Attorney General of the State of Illinois, is attempting today to have the Illinois Supreme Court strip Blagojevich of his powers as Governor.  I agree with this article that her brief is extremely weak and would draw a “C” as the effort of a first year law student.  At any rate I doubt if the Illinois Supreme Court will step into this briar patch.  If the House acts swiftly to impeach him, Blagojevich may resign, but I do not think anything short of this will work.  To add to the banana republic quality that is part and parcel of current Illinois politics, Lisa Madigan is the daughter of Michael Madigan speaker of the House who has a long-standing blood feud with Blagojevich.  Lisa Madigan herself has long been thought to be hungering to be Governor.  Illinois politics frequently consists now of hereditary political fiefdoms that are passed down through the generations.  We have the reality of a largely feudal political system with none of the entertaining trappings.

    Update II:  As usual, John Kass of the Tribune  has a brilliant column on the  farce that is Illinois politics.

    Update III:  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has an excellent  look  at the behind the scenes machinations of this mess.  I wholeheartedly agree with his conclusion:  “Calling this sewer “The Land of Lincoln” is a bad joke.  If Illinois voters aren’t inclined to make the kind of necessary changes, can they change the license plates to read, “The Land of Capone”?  It’s certainly a more accurate description.”

    Continue reading...

    5 Responses to Feel Better?

    • Hugely entertaining. Blessed be God that there is a political columnist for a Dying Dead Tree Journal chronicling this mess like Mr. Kass. Clearly channeling the spirit of Mike Royko of blessed memory. The equivalent of Howie Carr- of Boston Herald and afternoons on WRKO- to People’s Republic Of Taxachusetts. By my view, Blago no nuttier than any other testosterone and ambition fueled pol. Our PA Gov. Fast Eddie Rendell has hottempered moments and no one questions his sanity. Then the twist of State AG La Madigan offspring of blood enemy Speaker Madigan. Hope and Change clearly on display. Let the show roll on.

    • Gosh…If only Wyoming politics were this exciting. Our claim to corruption runs more to the “most of our legislators are ranchers and thus pass bills accordingly”. Our claim to insanity is more along the lines of “we only meet for three months of the year, so we have to pass legislation through rapidly, thus increasing our burden for next year when we have to pass legislation to fix the problems from rapidly passing legislation through the previous year”.

      I guess we also had something with Rep. Cubin, given that we kept electing her despite all her broken promises. One of the professors in my department groused about how Wyoming only elects Republicans to the House and Senate, claiming that one day he would run a dog as a Republican contender to one our three federal seats, just to see if the dog won.

    • Having lived in both Downstate Illinois and the Chicagoland, there really are two states of Illinois. You have Chicagoland Illinois and Downstate Illinois. Springfield, the state capital, is located in Downstate, but is really a colony of Chicagoland. Most of Downstate Illinois is fairly rural, with lots of farms and small towns, like much of the Midwest. Chicagoland Illinois is, well, Chicago with all the corruption and politics that go along with it. Needless to say, Chicagoland pretty much controls the political process in Illinois due to the population differences between the two regions. I’m sure a lot of the Downstaters are completely unsurprised by the news regarding Gov. Blagojevich.

    • Ryan: At least Wyoming’s legislature meets every year. The Montana Legislature only meets every other year, unless there’s an emergency that has to be taken care of immediately. Nothing like legislators trying to plan two years in advance.

    • Pingback: Illinois Deserves a Medal! « The American Catholic

    One Response to Why the Incarnation?

    • There is yet a better answer among the Fathers, in my opinion: that God, being life, imparts life to all he touches; and that by becoming man, he touched everlasting death, thereby transforming it into eternal life.

      I prefer this response because of its brevity, elegance, transcendence, and profound simplicity.

      But by all means, please do read St. Athanasius. He’s a top-notch theologian Saint by any standard.

    Avery Cardinal Dulles, R.I.P.

    Friday, December 12, AD 2008

    “I was irresistibly prompted to go out into the open air … The slush of melting snow formed a deep mud along the banks of the River Charles, which I followed down toward Boston … As I wandered aimlessly, something impelled me to look contemplatively at a young tree. On its frail, supple branches were young buds … While my eye rested on them, the thought came to me suddenly, with all the strength and novelty of a revelation, that these little buds in their innocence and meekness followed a rule, a law of which I as yet knew nothing … That night, for the first time in years, I prayed.”

    Continue reading...

    3 Responses to Avery Cardinal Dulles, R.I.P.


    Friday, December 12, AD 2008


    It is usually a bad sign when a President’s Chief of Staff is ducking questions.  To all those outside the Land of Lincoln, welcome to Chicago politics 101!

    Update I: I think Emanuel may be an ex-chief of staff even before he becomes chief of staff if this story pans out.

    Update II:   More detail as to the contacts between Blagojevich and Emanuel as to the Senate seat.

    Continue reading...

    5 Responses to Hmmm

    • That news link seems inactive, there’s no story.

    • Joy unspeakable from this end. The whole Chi-Town affair gets ever messier. Was Rahm the now legendary Advisor B monitored by the Feds? Just as Jesse Jackson Jr. was Candidate Number 5? Hope and Change mired in the cesspool that is Illinois politics? I know not if God is Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. I do understand that He has a humongous sense of humor. Now Colin Powell urging the GOP to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh- aka Living Symbol for Conservative Movement. How hilarious. When I hear him, I hear the D.C. Mafia. Such like David Rodham Gergen, Margaret Carlson, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, David Broder, Name Another Insider. Insidious as the Chicago Mafia. Ha ha to them all.

    • Of course, in respect to the charity due to all human beings, while we can speculate on “might”, we should wait on further information before making judgments. We’ve seen too many cases tried in the media already, with the right as guilty as the left in a number of cases (though I personally believe the left has tried people in the media far more often). I think it is still premature to muse loudly about the possible connection between Rahm and Adviser B, and that we should all calmly wait until more becomes known.

    • I’m with Ryan on this one. Reserving judgment until more facts become available…

    • Yep – I’m for reserving judgment as well, but boy this does not look good – even if Obama and team come out clean.

      Kind of reminds me of Rudy at the RNC saying Obama “immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.” It unfortunately does make you wonder how much Obama immersed himself in those.

      I’m not an Obama supporter in the least, but I hope he and his staff do come out clean. This is the last thing we need as a country right now.