My Apology, by Woody Allen
Note: Abe Foxman's discourse on tolerance reminded me of this very funny piece---SH
Of all the famous men who ever lived, the one I would most like to have been was Socrates. Not just because he was a great thinker, because I have been known to have some reasonably profound insights myself, although mine invariably revolve around a Swedish airline stewardess... No, the great appeal for me of this wisest of all Greeks was his courage in the face of death. His decision was not to abandon his principles, but rather to give his life to prove a point. I personally am not quite as fearless about dying and will, after any untoward noise such as a car backfiring, leap directly into the arms of the person I am conversing with. In the end Socrates' brave death gave his life authentic meaning; something my existence lacks totally, although it does possess a minimal relevance to the Internal Revenue Department. I must confess I have tried putting myself in this great philospher's sandals many times and no matter how often I do, I immediately wind up dozing off and having the following dream.
(The scene is my prison cell. I am usually sitting alone, working out some deep problem of rational thought like: Can an object be called a work of art if it can also be used to clean the stove? Presently I am visited by Agathon and Simmias.)
Agathon: Ah, my good friend and wise old sage, how go your days of confinement?
Allen: What can one say of confinement, Agathon? Only the body may be circumscribed. My mind roams freely, unfettered by the four walls and therefore in truth I ask, does confinement exist?...Read it all
--->Mark Shea is excited about having sent his first Tweet recently. Imagine...
A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Trappist were marooned on a desert island. They found a magic lamp, and after some discussion decided to rub it. Lo and behold, a genie appeared and offered them three wishes. They decided it was only fair that they could each have one wish. The Jezzie said he wanted to teach at the world's most famous university, and poof, he was gone! The Dominican wished to preach in the world's largest church, and poof, he was gone! Then the Trappist said, "Gee, I already got my wish!"
A Catholic boy and a Jewish boy were talking and the Catholic boy said, "My priest knows more than your rabbi." The Jewish boy said, "Of course he does, you tell him everything."
There are 3 fundamental truths about religion: Jews don't recognize Jesus as the Son of God, Protestants don't recognize the Pope as the Vicar of Christ, and Baptists don't recognize each other at the bar on Saturday nights.
A little boy was listening to a long and excessively boring sermon in church. Suddenly the red sanctuary lamp caught his eye. Tugging his father`s sleeve, he said, "Daddy, when the light turns green can we go?"
Man: Father, can you pray a novena for me to win an SUV raffle?
Capuchin Priest: Sure, but what's an SUV?
Man explains what an SUV is.
Capuchin: Oh no, that's not what novenas are for. I can't help you.
Man goes to a Dominican priest and makes the same request.
Dominican: Sure, but what's an SUV?
Man explains and gets the same answer.
Man goes to a Jesuit and makes the same request.
Jesuit: Sure, but what's a novena?
I knew a man once," said Bishop Sheen, "who as soon as he read that smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of cancer, determined right then and there to give up reading".
Mary of Nazareth: The Greatest Gift After the Greatest Gift
--->Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio: The Assumption of Mary - Today August 15.
SH: If Mary's relics were on earth, like all the extant relics of the saints and martyrs from earliest times, there would have been unparalleled pilgrimages and an unbroken tradition to them from the very earliest days of the church.
--->Grace, Original Sin, and Mary, Our Blessed Mother. The following two essays were written for our Protestant friends in the hopes of a better understanding of Catholic teaching and faith
--->Courageous Creativity, Rigorous Fidelity, and Ex Corde Ecclesiae: Reflections of a Student in An Age of Dissent by Brian Jones, with Marcus Toft
--->Jeff Mirus of Catholic Culture.org: Pauline Mass is Here to Stay.
Note: No real news there. But then he says "To assert that the mind of the Church is known from the work of Joseph Ratzinger in, say, 1990, [strongly criticizing aspects of the Pauline Mass] is no wiser than saying it can be known by his common theological opponent, Walter Kasper".
Now forgive me, but on the face of it this seems an odd statement. In 1990 Benedict was nothing less than Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the highest doctrinal congregation under the Holy Father, the former Holy Office. Thus his assessments were ecclesial in nature and hardly merely private scholarly opinions. And while he then and now certainly has always accepted the validity of the Novus Ordo---the Church, a priori, cannot promulgate invalid sacraments---his trenchant criticisms of the way it was concocted and then implemented throughout the world remain extremely relevant, more so now than ever as Pope Benedict XVI. Eamon Duffy, just this week said the obvious:
Joseph Ratzinger believes [note present tense--sh] the changes to the Mass that followed the Second Vatican Council signaled a rupture from what had gone before. As Pope, he has taken active steps to bring back elements that were lost and to restore a sense of continuityThat's strong language ["rupture...elements that were lost"], and it is well understood by almost everyone. Jeff's recommendations are otherwise reasonable in the main; but he seems in denial on some very important points.