Thursday, October 14, 2010

Princess Turned Poor Clare Nun To Be Canonized

Blessed Camilla Battista da Varano Answered Vocational Call

By Carmen Elena Villa

ROME, OCT. 13, 2010 ( On Sunday, Benedict XVI will canonize Camilla da Varano, who left the life of a princess and multiple marriage proposals to become a Poor Clare nun at age 23.

The Pope will canonize her in St. Peter's Square together with five others.

Camilla was born in 1458 in a small city in central Italy, which today has around 40,000 inhabitants. Her father, Giulio Cesare de Varano, was the prince of Camerino. Thus she was introduced to, and educated in, the splendor of the court.

The postulator for her cause of canonization, Franciscan Father Giovangiuseppe Califano, explained to ZENIT that "in the Renaissance period lordly palaces were the center of politics, also of culture and mercantilism," and thus Camilla spent her youth in celebrations, dances and social life. She studied Latin, law, painting, dancing, and horseback riding...Read it all

--->Poor China, Wrong Again. Real ants offer no lessons in human moral conduct, says Deborah Gordon. Brave soldiers, dutiful factory workers: this is the stuff of our fictions, not insect behavior. "Understanding how ant colonies actually function means that we have to abandon explanations based on central control"

Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist

"Environmentalism, which in its raw, early form had no time for the encrusted, seized-up politics of left and right, has been sucked into the yawning, bottomless chasm of the 'progressive' left." A personal, twenty-year journey through the world’s wild places and the movements to protect them is also, for Paul Kingsnorth, an education in the limits of a project that has forgotten nature and lost its soul...

--->The Internet is changing. Money rules, and the moneymakers, as usual, say it's really what consumers choose.

--->Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World. "The British critic Norman Lebrecht has no counterpart in American cultural life. He is a polemicist whose field of play is high culture—classical music in particular; and his target audience is decidedly mainstream. He is a fascinating and infuriating figure, inexhaustibly opinionated, generally iconoclastic, sometimes brilliant, often tendentious, and frequently trivial. He has clashed prolifically with prominent musicians, scholars and music industry leaders; he has been denounced and his publisher was sued; and he has an eager audience which delights in his breezy, readable, and provocative books. Which is why his new book on Mahler must be taken seriously

--->[Larry] "Summers is unquestionably brilliant, as all who have dealt with him, including myself, quickly realize. And yet rarely has one individual embodied so much of what is wrong with economics, with academe, and indeed with the American economy...

--->Peter Hitchens: Lattes, beach barbecues (and dodging missiles) in the world's biggest prison camp
. "It is lunchtime in the world's biggest prison camp, and I am enjoying a rather good caffe latte in an elegant beachfront cafe. Later I will visit the sparkling new Gaza Mall, and then eat an excellent beef stroganoff in an elegant restaurant...

Then, worryingly soon after I left, the area was pulverised with high explosive [Yes?]. I don't know if the Israeli air force waited for me to leave, or just walloped the tunnels anyway. The Jewish state's grasp of basic public relations is notoriously bad. But the Israeli authorities certainly know I am here. I am one of only four people who crossed into the world's most misrepresented location this morning...Don't, please, accuse of me of complacency or denying the truth. I do not pretend to know everything about Gaza. I don't think it is a paradise, or remotely normal [after being nearly pulverized I should think not]. But I do know for certain what I saw and heard. There are dispiriting slums that should have been cleared decades ago, people living on the edge of subsistence. There is danger. And most of the people cannot get out. But (yes?) it is a lot more complicated...

Note: "...cannot get out" would be quite enough for me, thank you, even if there was McDonalds, Disney movies, a Catholic church freely attended and three virgins for every single man...

--->A World Without Books, eh? Sean O'Brien writes, Will we be able to read today’s e-books 20 or more years from now? I’ll show you why it’s absurd to hope so.

This is a picture of the Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas printed in 1663, 347 years ago. The book is easily readable, the typeset is a little archaic but not dramatically different from the font you are now reading. I have several other books in my home which are over 300 years old. I estimate these books will be readable for 300-400 more years before they are too fragile to be read.

Completed in 1274 this edition of the Summa was printed in 1663 and is readable 736 years after the book was written. Will that be true for most or even some e-books which never see paper? I would not take that bet...Many bloggers (in this case idiots--sh) are joyfully touting the end of bookstores, libraries, and paper books... (Flog the poor fools! Flog them good, but, er, non-violently! Anybody who trusts the Kindle and Google merchants is delirious, in day dreams)

---> September home foreclosures top 100,000 for first time...

--->Political Party Poopers. Americans for Choice: Under a law passed by the [NY] City Council today, new toilets will have to be high water efficient or "dual-flush," which allow users to choose between a high pressure flush for solid waste, and a low-pressure flush for liquid...But some fear the measures - which, in some cases add 50 percent to the cost of fixtures - would just throw money down the drain. And changing water fountains would also encourage the use of reusable water containers, thus saving the city millions in the cost of recycling plastic bottles, the study said.

Council Minority Leader James Oddo (R-Mid-Island), who voted against the water fountain and "toilet" bill, along with colleague Vincent Ignizio (R-South Shore), said some of the measures reach too far. "When does it stop? Does it stop when we micromanage every minute facet of our lives?"

And recall that recently NYC mayor Bloomberg, a very rich man, decreed that Food Stamp recipients must not be able to purchase soda with sugar lest they get fat; instead he evifdenty prefers monsanto's aspartame (marketed as "Nutrasweet," without regard for its well known dangers) for those out of work, the disabled, elderly and anyone else on Food Stamps. The nanny state works hand in hand with vested corporate interests.

--->Catholics Protest Pending Population Control Legislation in Philippines...

--->Why Germany Has It So Good -- and Why America Is Going Down the Drain. "When the casino seemed to be paying off, other countries also shifted in our direction, but when it broke, we didn't have the manufacturing and export base a country like Germany has to fall back on..."

--->Finally some good news: Historic Turnaround in Europe Preserves Conscience Rights By Terrence McKeegan, J.D. "A dramatic legislative reversal reaffirmed the conscience rights of medical professionals and institutions in Europe last week...Led by two politicians from Italy and Ireland, a coalition of legislators secured the passage of 29 amendments that transformed the resolution into one that upheld universally recognized rights to freedom of conscience.

---> Iraq, Afghanistan wars waste lives and money. By Memorial Day, $1 trillion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: $1 trillion we don’t have, can’t afford and had to borrow. [Now, how could that make sense?]

--->Top Ten Questions About Chile Mine Collapse

--->Rose Kennedy talks to Fr. Peyton of her faith and her reaction over the loss of three sons...

Note: I really have to work on my tendency to sarcasm. I dare not hope for it to go away over night, it's been so looooong a habit---I am reminded what a real writer, Evelyn Waugh, once said about himself to a woman who asked how he could be a Christian with a mouth like his, "...believe me, were it not for my religion, I would scarcely be a human being". Yup. When I see the news and culture sometimes...

--->MSNBC: 1 in 5 U.S. teens has serious mental disorder. Severe emotional, behavior disorders more common than physical disorders such as asthma, diabetes. Question: Is it really the teens who are "merely" mentally disordered, or is it, at least in some cases, an adaptive reaction to a schizoid culture?

--->Jill Stanek writes on The abortion nurse's daughter: Inside minds at the mill

The political-cultural hope lies, it seems to me, not in politics as such, certainly not in stirring or participating in violent revolution, but only in appealing to the consciences and hearts of those, our representatives, who, like all of us, were made in the image of God. Many of us track the political trends and realities (how can we not?), but only when men and women are persuaded of the futility of evil and to turn back to the Good can they and we avoid spiritual and cultural disaster. Joining that active call back to decency, built on solid, spiritual, foundations is the only activism I know or approve in the final analysis. When hearts change, politics change.

--->US subcritical nuclear test under fire in Nagasaki, Hiroshima. "I deeply deplore it because I had expected President Obama to take leadership in eliminating nuclear weapons," Nakamura said..."

CNN stays within propaganda parameters--->The Two North Koreas..., HT to Joshua Snyder for the previous report too

--->Prosecutors launch tax inquiry against Berlusconi. Italian prosecutors have launched an investigation against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for tax evasion linked to his Mediaset media empire, judicial sources said on Friday; for more on the man see The Grinning Nihilist of Italy.

--->Bob Woodward on "Obama's wars". Listen to audio or read transcript. Woodward implausibly I fear paints an Obama who wants out of war and yet who despite his own escalations on all fronts (old and new) is practically impotent to change his generals minds. But even Mr. Obama's Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, says we will be fighting for many years to come. Time will tell. Mr. Obama was the first President to ever reappoint a Secretary of Defense from an 'opposing' party. Gates was his choice.

Freedom in Christ: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength". ---Philippians 4:12-13
[This Post Last Updated: 10.15.10]

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