Monthly Archives: May 2006

Hey! More TOAD news! Well… frog news.

I am sure all of you, and especially fellow patristicist Mike Aquilina watch the blog Laudator Temporis Acti. But if you didn’t get it today, do check out his messgae on frogs which the author called after the famous line from the play by Aristophanes.

In the meantime, I wish you all a good day with a hearty chorus of Brekekekex koax koax. Continue reading

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A link was fixed

I fixed a link to an audio clip of His Holiness speaking in Latin to a group of students during his Regina Caeli address a couple weeks back. Sorry about that. I hope it works for you now. Continue reading

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Tuesday of the 6th Week of Easter

Every once in a while when I need a break, I hop the train and zip up to Orvieto, famous for its white wine and glorious cathedral decorated on the outside with carvings by Maitani. (There is also a really good restaurant I like there.) In the cathedral there is a chapel with frescos painted by Signorelli. One of them depicts the resurrection. Perfect 33 year olds are literally crawling, pushing, drawing themselves up from out of a totally blank, flat, white surface. The white plain represents how matter, even prime matter, is “zeroed out” until it receives its characteristics and properties by a form, which in the case of human beings is the soul. You can see that at first they are skelatal and sort of transparent. Their bones take form and then flesh is added. They seem also to be nearly asleep at first and then they wake up and look around, amazed. One fellow is helping another drawing by pulling him out by his arms. Perhaps they had been friends. There are some rather courtly skeletons elegantly processing in from the right who are yet to be enfleshed. Their illium blades are slightly cocked in that stylish renaissance angle so typical of the era. What I think is happening with some skeletons coming out the the prime matter and some sauntering in is that some of us will need an “extreme makeover”, since our mortal remains will have been entirely consumed into other substances. Some, howver, will still have their bones and the makeover won’t be quite so complete. Above, mighty angels blow trumpets, now in this direction, now in that direction. The newly risen acknowledge them with upraised arms, listening to their call. To our modern eye the expressions on their faces might seem at first to look like boredom. We must remember the convention in painting of the era that the expression represents serene detachment and control of the appetites, peace of soul undisturbed by the impulses of our lower nature due to the wounds in our souls from original sin and bad habits. In the resurrection, these will all be healed. Continue reading

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Where would Dante place spammers?

I wonder where Il Poeta would have put spammers in the Inferno.
I recently put some spam catching plugins into the software running this blog and they are saving me a great deal of work.  However, I do have my drawbridge … Continue reading

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Coadjutor curiosity

While I am pondering the subject, here is a super informal poll:

How do you pronounce “coadjutor”?

Do you say A) “coádjutor” or B) “coadjútor”?
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The theories about Maciel are legion…

…but let me throw this out there for your consideration.
After thinking about the declaration concerning the public ministry of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Rev. Fr. Marciel Maciel Degollado, I had an idea this weekend out in … Continue reading

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St. Peter’s at night… really simple

I got back from a little day trip up to Tuscany last night and the air here in Rome, as it happens on Sundays, was esepcially clear. Here is the Basilica and … well… fireworks are not necessary. Continue reading

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Monday in the 6th Week of Easter

COLLECT: Concede, misericors Deus, ut, quod paschalibus exsequimur institutis, fructiferum nobis omni tempore sentiamus.
This prayer was not in any previous edition of the Missale Romanum, but it is to be found, exactly as is, in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary. … Continue reading

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Repetita iuvant: something from a recent WDTPRS column

I got an e-mail from a distinguished person who sometimes is kind enough to check in on this blog. He expressed approval of a commentary I made in my WDTPRS article for the 6th Sunday of Easter.  Given the recently … Continue reading

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6th Sunday of Easter: Post Communion

There are many ways we can render some of these words and thus tease out nuances of meanings. I am glad I don’t have to produce in WDTPRS a liturgically final version. I can be both terse and literal or, when I wish, a little wordy. So, once again I remind you that sacramentum and mysterium are intimately interconnected in liturgical language. This is why I usually say “sacramental mystery” and not just “sacrament”. For fortitudo I choose “strengthening power” instead of simple “strength” so I can involve the concept of a virtue. At the moment the priest is raising this prayer heavenward the Host is intimately, even physically, within us, within our pectus! Therefore, when I get to nostris pectoribus, while I stick here with “souls” I would rather write, “hearts, minds and wills” so as to elaborate the depth of the word pectus and give a larger view of all the dimensions affected by a good reception of Communion.

After investigating these prayers each week, having all the various nuances and wrinkles of meaning of the vocabulary fresh in my mind, I begin to hear more than just the bare words. There is a great deal going on in each Latin prayer, friends. But the task of translating these orations so that they are beautiful, memorable, accurate and concise is daunting in the extreme. The people entrusted with this Herculean task need the support of prayers and positive comments when they have been successful.

We should arise from our Communion simultaneously as gentle as doves before our neighbor, as clever as serpents before the workings of the world, and as indomitable as lions in the face of the evil one (described also as a lion seeking to devour us – 1 Peter 5:8), ready to do battle against every kind of evil attack. When receiving Communion and in the subsequent period of thanksgiving, have an explicit intention, with the help of Mary, to ask God for the virtue of fortitude and the increase of that homonymous gift of the Holy Spirit. A Christian’s choice: lion or gerbil? Continue reading

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CDWDS to USCCB… Come in, USCCB… Come in….

A letter of His Eminence Francis Card. Arinze to His Excellency Bishop Skylstad.  My emphasis:

2 May 2006
The Most Reverend William Skylstad Bishop of Spokane President, United States Conference of Catholic BishopsProt. n. 499/06/L
Your Excellency,
With reference to the conversation … Continue reading

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An ecclesiastical obiter

By way of an obiter dictum it occurred to me opportune to make an observation about some ecclesiastical appointments I heard about recently.  
Every once in a while a sequence of moves gives me the sense that something is … Continue reading

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From the year the City was pickled.. er um…. founded

In the grand Church of St. Augustine here in Roma, the attentive visitor will notice and read the inscription on the tomb of Onofrio Panvinio (1529 Verona – 1568 Palermo), Augustinian and scholar, admire (?) his countenance, … Continue reading

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Saturday of the 5th Week of Easter

Do you see the connection to Thursday’s and Friday’s prayer? Thursday we also had justification language and yesterday we had in aptari the concept of being made fit, or suitable, or disposed for something. Latin capax in the first place concerns the physical volume of something, but by extension it is “capacious, susceptible, capable of, good, able, apt, fit for”. Here, capax has to do with the ability to receive something. In juridical language capax applies to the ability to inherit. Keep in mind that we are, in Christ, made by spiritual adoption co-heirs. In Christian texts capax comes to mean “capable” or “disposed” to receive spiritual realities, such as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or sacraments. Even today capax is used when conferring a sacrament provisionally on someone. For example, if a priest does not know for sure if a person has been validly baptized, he will confer the sacrament provisionally by saying, “si capax es, ego te baptizo… if you are capable (of receiving the sacrament) I baptize you…”. Continue reading

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A funeral which was just plain normal

I attended today the funeral of H.E. Mons. Raffaello Funghini (R.I.P!), who had been the Dean of the Rota here in Roma, and with whom I lived.   He worked in the ambient of the Church’s juridical arm for nearly 50 … Continue reading

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