Friday Fun Moment: One Hit Wonders (and a digression)

I saw something in a TV segment while doing some chores in the Steam Pipe Distribution Center about the show hosts’ favorite “One Hit Wonders”.

You know what those are, right?  Some artist has one big hit and is virtually never heard from again.

So… what are yours?

Off the top of my head, I can think of…

And as a runner up, just because I heard it recently when I watched Kung Fu Panda:

Digression on Kung Fu Fighting.  I was once asked me via email what comic book character I most identified with.

Well… since my favorite as a kid was Superman, I’d have to say Superman.  After all, your Earth’s Yellow Sun has been pretty good to me.  But I can also absolve and consecrate. Take THAT, Superman!

That said, even though I didn’t grow up on the Marvel side of things – for the world is divided into Marvel people and DC people – I’d have to go with a combination of Wolverine and Po the Panda.

Wolverine, because someone quipped about me that I am the best at what I do, but what I do sometimes isn’t very nice.  Po, because I need to lose weight, I did Karate for years, I wear black and white, I have a thing for good Chinese food, I screw up massively all the time, the people I beat up aren’t really hurt, and, in the end, things seem to work out okay.

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Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

UPDATED: Of “rubber bullets”

ORIGINAL: Aug 19, 2014 @ 12:02

Something both funny and serious at the same time.

A HuffPo reporter at Ferguson, MO spotted some foam earplugs on the ground and thought they might be rubber bullets.  I think he was probably eager to report how the violent police officers using excessive force on the crowds were making matters worse.  That’s my guess, at least.  This was a HuffPo guy, after all.  To be fair, he did ask for a confirmation.   But, yes, I think his eagerness lead him astray.

Anyway, the Twittersphere went after this poor guy with some benign mocking.  You can find tweets HERE   Some of them are pretty funny, if you want a chuckle.

At the same time, in a more serious vein, I am amazed at how anti-gun folks (yes, I am making an assumption that the HuffPo guy is probably not on board with the 2nd Amendment… I hope I am wrong) are so ignorant about gun-issues.  That’s a problem, especially when they are reporters.

Moreover, you don’t have to be into guns to know what earplugs are. Right?

A sample of the Twitter reaction.  More HERE

UPDATE 22 August:

As a follow up, the legendary Jerry Miculek explores whether or not ear plugs can be fired as “rubber bullets”.  He even shows a real rubber bullet.  There is some good slow motion video.

 

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liberals, Lighter fare | Tagged , | 2 Comments

MANHATTAN, NYC 22 Aug & 12 Sept: PRAYER VIGIL FOR CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ, SYRIA

If you are anywhere near Manhattan…

I received this by email:

Tonight (August 22nd, 2014), after the 6pm traditional Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents, there will be another prayer vigil for the Christians in Iraq and Syria.

We already had one on Monday, August 11, 2014. You can read more about that vigil here in the Archdiocesan newspaper CATHOLIC NEW YORK:

There will be another one on Friday, September 12, 2014 after the 6pm Mass.

For tonight’s vigil and for the one on September 12th, there will be free buttons like the one you can see below, which will be worn in solidarity.

What better place to have a public rally on this matter than at a church called “Holy Innocents”?

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 4 Comments

USCCB Pres. Archbp. Kurtz comments on Obama Admin’s slithery new HHS mandate rules

The Obama Administration’s war on religion continues unabated.

From Catholic News Agency:

Obama administration announces new HHS mandate rules

Washington D.C., Aug 22, 2014 / 10:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Department of Health and Human Services issued on Friday new rules regarding its contraception mandate, after the Supreme Court ruled against its application to certain companies this summer.

The rules create a new way for non-profit groups to state their objections to the required coverage, prompting their insurance company to pay for their employees’ contraceptives. For closely held for-profit companies such as Hobby Lobby, the federal department said it is asking for ideas on how to extend the same accommodation being offered to non-profits.

Friday’s news rules deal with the federal contraception mandate – issued under the 2010 Affordable Care Act – which requires employers to offer health insurance covering contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions.

The mandate has been met with controversy since its introduction, leading to more than 300 lawsuits from individuals and groups who say that it forces them to violate their religious beliefs.

For non-profits, the newly-issued rules “lay out an additional way for organizations eligible for an accommodation to provide notice of their religious objection to providing coverage for contraceptive services,” the Health and Human Services department stated Aug. 22.

Previously, religious groups were instructed to sign a form voicing their objection to the coverage, which would authorize their insurer or a third-party administrator to pay for the products.

Many religious groups had objected to this arrangement, saying that it still required them to violate their religious beliefs by authorizing an outside organization to pay for the products they found to be immoral.

The new rule announced Friday allows these non-profit groups to notify the Department of Health and Human Services of their objections. The federal government will then contact insurers and third party administrators to provide the coverage.

The non-profit rule goes into effect immediately, although it is an “interim final rule,” meaning that it is open to comments from the public and has not yet been finalized. ["interim final rule"...]

Regarding closely held for-profits, such as Hobby Lobby, HHS said it is asking for comments on how it might extend to them “the same accommodation that is available to non-profit religious organizations.”

“The proposal seeks comment on how to define a closely held for-profit company and whether other steps might be appropriate to implement this policy.”

Friday’s announcement is the latest in a series of revisions to the controversial mandate. While the mandate includes a narrow religious exemption for houses of worship and their affiliated organizations, many faith-based groups – such as soup kitchens, hospitals and schools – do not qualify for the exemption because they are not affiliated with a specific house of worship.

[...]

Read the rest there.

Meanwhile, a reaction from the President of the USCCB, Archbp. Kurtz of Louisville.

Archbishop Kurtz Provides Initial Response To Revised HHS Mandate Regulations

Disappointed that regulation will not expand exemption, only modifies ‘accommodation’
Extending ‘accommodation’ to exempted businesses reduces religious freedom
More thorough study and detailed comments to come

WASHINGTON–Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is issuing an additional set of interim final rules to implement its requirement that health plans, including employer-sponsored plans, provide for sterilization, contraception, and drugs that can cause an abortion. In response, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), provided the following statement:

“The Administration is once again revising its regulations on the HHS mandate. We will study the regulations carefully and will provide more detailed comments at a later date. In keeping with our practice, we will evaluate the regulations according to the principles set forth in ‘United for Religious Freedom,’ a March 2012 statement of the USCCB Administrative Committee that was later affirmed unanimously by the body of bishops at the General Assembly of June 2012.

“On initial review of the government’s summary of the regulations, we note with disappointment that the regulations would not broaden the “religious employer” exemption to encompass all employers with sincerely held religious objections to the mandate. Instead, the regulations would only modify the “accommodation,” under which the mandate still applies and still requires provision of the objectionable coverage. Also, by proposing to extend the “accommodation” to the closely held for-profit employers that were wholly exempted by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hobby Lobby, the proposed regulations would effectively reduce, rather than expand, the scope of religious freedom.

Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, Religious Liberty, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ASK FATHER: Ways to improve celebration of Mass with Novus Ordo

From a reader:

We are trying to help make a very reverent Ordinary Form mass. Any suggestions?

We thought Ad Orientem and Sung Propers might be a good start! Any other suggestions?

Right off the bat, we can all improve our own participation at every Mass by being in the state of grace.  So, GO TO CONFESSION.

We have to start with ourselves.

Yes, you are on track with ad orientem worship.  For you new arrivals here, ad orientem, “facing toward the (liturgical) East”, places the priest and the congregation on the same side of the altar, so that they are both oriented in the same direction, “toward the Lord”.  The great liturgist Klaus Gamber considered that the turning about of altars (which Vatican II did NOT call for) was the single most damaging things done to Mass in the name of Conciliar “reform”.  With good catechesis, this can be accomplished.  It’s fruits are manifold.

Yes, you are on track with sung propers. We must use the actual prayers of Holy Mass, the propers, that is, those antiphons and so forth which are provided in the Roman Missal.

I also suggest

  • all male service in the sanctuary;
  • phasing out of Extraordinary Ministers of Communion where they are not truly needed;
  • the use of Gregorian chant and polyphony and the Latin language, as the Council did ask for;
  • inculcating a silent and recollected atmosphere before and after Mass;
  • elimination by teaching and invitation of Communion in the hand;
  • providing the opportunity and example of kneeling to receive Communion;
  • phasing out, through catechesis and preaching, of the community “group grope” sign of peace;
  • working with readers (if they are employed) to read well;
  • dressing in your Sunday best on Sunday, decent and respectful on weekdays;
  • women might wear chapel veils or mantillas;
  • bring the tabernacle back to the center of the church if He has been exiled;
  • bringing back traditional devotions in the church space outside of Mass (novenas, Exposition, Stations, Vespers, etc.).

Perhaps the most helpful thing, which might also bring about some of the points I list above, would be to provide funding for Father to go to a workshop to learn the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite.  The good canons at St. John Cantius in Chicago and the FSSP in Denton, NE, have effective workshops.

I’ll say this several ways, to get the point across.  The way Father says Mass is going to be a significant factor in the reverence of the people who attend.  The manner in which Father says Mass has a knock-on effect.  The priest’s ars celebrandi will have a lasting effect on the way people in the congregation participate.

Father’s own approach to his role must, per force, expand outward into everyone’s overarching perception of the sacred. Heightened awareness of the sacred will prompt recognition that there are sacred things, people, times and places.  A church is a sacred place. We must not behave in church in the same way we behave in our living room or at a public swimming pool.

If Father is a rube and celebrates Mass as if he were David Letterman, if the music is unworthy of a circus calliope, if the vestments, vessels, decorations, gestures betray the premise that what is being done there isn’t about the transcendent in contact with the human, but rather is all about the horizontal, the human merely, then… good luck with decorum and reverence in church!

If you want greater reverence, work on yourselves and then help Father to learn the older form.  My experience is that once a priest learns, or relearns, the traditional Roman Rite, his way of the Novus Ordo changes markedly.  He has a greater awareness of who he is as a priest at the altar.  That, in turn, has an effect on everyone involved.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, GO TO CONFESSION, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

A note to bloggers and to those who register

First, to registrants:

Because my registration form and combox are under constant assault by spammers, I use the “About You” field in the registration form to sort out potential problems.  Use that form and demonstrate that you aren’t a spammer.  It doesn’t take much.  Mentioning obvious Catholic things, such as your confirmation name, helps.  Also, I suggest that you do NOT use your email address as your username/handle.  Really.

Next, to bloggers:

Some time ago, I shifted the primary name of the blog from What Does The Prayer Really Say? – from the origin of this site as an archive and discussion place for columns I wrote in The Wanderer, simply to the more direct and descriptive Fr. Z’s Blog.  You can also use fatherzonline.com .

Bloggers: Please update your blog rolls?  I’d appreciate it.  And if I have any broken links to your places, let me know and I will mend them.

Thanks.

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RECENT POSTS and THANKS

First, help each other out with your prayers:

YOUR URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS

Also,

STUDENTS, PARENTS: Text Books, Back To School, and You

Next…

I am grateful to those of you who have been using my amazon search box and links that I post, whether in these USA or in the UK.  As a matter of fact, on the UK side of the pond, the revenue from those links is handled a little differently.  The credit my account with “gift card” amounts, which expire.  Thus, recently, I was able to send my friend Fr. Tim Finigan a couple items from his own wish list, and this on the eve of his having to leave his home and parish of some 17 years.  So, I thank you for helping me to brighten a fellow priests day.

Also, recently, I had a book drive project for seminarians of the Diocese of Madison.  HERE  During the annual gathering of the all the seminarians with Bp. Morlino (aka The Extraordinary Ordinary) I gave them a couple talks about the Extraordinary Form and, during discussion, found that some were lacking Joseph Ratzingers Spirit of the Liturgy.  I posted a request for a number of that book, through my own wish list, and BAMMO! the books were purchased for the guys within an hour.  So, I posted for a few more books and KABLAM! you did it again.  So, we were able to distribute some great books to these guys. THANKS TO YOU!

I hope you are all using the Mystic Monk Coffee link on the side bar.  You neeeeeeed coffeeeeee!  Buy coffee and help the Carmelites in Wyoming build their new digs.  They now have – I am not making this up - CHOCOLATE MINT coffee.  They also have, right now, their SUMMER BLEND.  I haven’t tried it, but I’ll bet that “It’s swell!”

Also, because I am concerned about your online security and identity theft, you might consider looking into LifeLock.  I have an affiliate program with them now.  I use it.  It is a good line of defense.  Be alert and be smart.

At last, some of you have sent items from my wish list, both the stuff list and the Kindle book list.  Thanks!  I have tried to include your initials on the sidebar along with those of people whose regular monthly donations (by subscription) and ad hoc donations come in.  It is my duty and pleasure to pray for my benefactors, which is what I consider all of you to be whether the donation is large or small, whether the item is a bigger purchase or less so.  Each and everything that arrives is a boost and encouragement and a real concrete help.  Thus, many and sincere thanks.  Also thanks to those who have, for one reason dropped out of the subscription donations and those new people who have signed up!

Lastly, I also appreciate email notes.  Here is one that came recently from a reader:

I’m an upcoming senior at Rutgers University and I would like to thank you for being my first exposure to the Extraordinary Form. I stumbled upon your blog last year while trying to find ways to be an effective CCD teacher and ever since then, my eyes have been opened! I’m an active member of my parish (lector, cantor, CCD teacher) but at the same time, I bring my friends and classmates to an EF at least once a month and they all love the reverence in it and we always learn something new and amazing each time. Basically, I just would like to thank you for being an awesome source of knowledge regarding the faith.

This is how it is done.  We each influence the sphere we have been placed in.  Thanks for passing along what you have found!

I am convinced, with Benedict XVI, that the crisis of identity in the Church is a crisis, first and foremost, of our sacred worship, our liturgy.  We have to revitalize our worship, in order to straighten out and revitalize every other aspect of our Catholic lives and also to present a coherent identity to the world.  The use of the Extraordinary Form will help us to do this.

Thank you to everyone who reads and engages.

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MOVIE – When The Game Stands Tall – ACTION ITEM!

When I was at the recent Napa Institute Conference, we were offered an early screening of the new movie with Jim Caviezel called When The Game Stands Tall.  I wrote at that time:

I saw an advance screening of a movie with Jim Caviezel,When The Game Stands Tall.  The name is a bit odd, but it explains itself along the way.  This is a new contribution to a well-established genre, the high school football movie.  It is based on a true story of Catholic De Lasalle Highschool, which had a football team winning streak of – I am not making this up – 151 games.

The coach’s desire was to bring out of all the boys a perfect effort, not necessarily a win, and, thereby, help them become men.

The movie is, in an over-arching way, formulaic – as true stories often are, you know.  Man remains the same, fallen and risen.  So, the winning team has a crisis they have to overcome and they find themselves along the way.  The coach has a crisis, and he has to figure out being both a coach and a husband and father.  There is a moment of truth (involving – yes – a football game).  Sound familiar?  It ought to.

But this movie does it well.  A while back I watched a similar movie, made by Evangelicals from a big church in Georgia (US not Asia).  Same basic common themes, but will overt Evangelical “Bible only” … well… thumping… and not a little prosperity Gospel stuff tossed in for good measure.   This new movie is not overtly Catholic.  Though it is at a Catholic Highschool, there is no cleric involved.  The only church scene is in a baptist church.  Scripture verses figure a couple times, and prominently and appropriately.  You see the players at prayer twice (I think) and, that, the Lord’s Prayer.   So, this is not in-your-face Catholcism.  But, the world-view in the movie seemed Catholic to me.

The concept of the team promoted by their coach seemed to be founded on sacrificial love: seek that which is good for the other, not just for oneself.  Make a perfect effort.

ACTION ITEM!  I hope that, [now that the release date as arrived], you will, in your parishes and groups, promote the film and even organize trips to the theater as groups to see it early in its release.

This would be great for a parish father/son event, for a trip to the movies with the parish’s altar boys, and young men.

We have seen some films, and pretty ones – all things considered – from Evangelicals, Facing The GiantsThey are trying to use this medium (film) to advance that which is dear to them.  Watching the credits of the Georgia football movie blew me away, as I saw dozens and dozens of people and organizations and businesses that contributed to the effort, which was, effectively, a parish initiative… to make a movie.  Get that?  Could your parish make a movie?

Here is the trailer for the new Caviezel film:

ALSO… see what I wrote about the new movie The Giver.  HERE

Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Linking Back, REVIEWS | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

WDTPRS 21st Ordinary Sunday: the smoke of Satan v. invisible love

Let’s look at the Collect for the upcoming 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time:

Deus, qui fidelium mentes unius efficis voluntatis, da populis tuis id amare quod praecipis, id desiderare quod promittis, ut, inter mundanas varietates, ibi nostra fixa sint corda, ubi vera sunt gaudia.

A master crafted this prayer.  In the 1962 Missale Romanum we use it on the 4th Sunday after Easter. It is also in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary.  Listen to those “eee”s produced by the Latin “i”. Savor those parallels.

Varietas means “difference, diversity, variety.”  It is commonly used to indicate “changeableness, fickleness, inconstancy.”  I like “vicissitude”.  The adjective mundanus is “of or belonging to the world”.

LITERAL RENDERING:

O God, who make the minds of the faithful to be of one will, grant unto Your people to love that thing which You command, to desire that which You promise, so that, amidst the vicissitudes of this world, our hearts may there be fixed where true joys are.

CURRENT ICEL (2011):

O God, who cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on that place where true gladness is found.

Let us revisit that id…quod. We can accurately say “love that which you command,” or “love what you command”, but that strikes me as vague.  Can we be more concrete and say “love the thing you command… desire the thing you promise”?

We are called to love and desire God’s will in concrete situations, in the details of life, especially when those details are little to our liking.  We must love God in this beggar, this annoying creep, not in beggars and creeps in general.  We must love Him in this act of fasting, this basket of laundry, this ICEL translation. I said it was a challenge!  We must not reduce God’s will to an abstraction or an ideal. “Thy will (voluntas) be done on earth as it is in heaven”… or so it has been said.

Lest we forget why we needed new translation….

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):

Father, help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world. In our desire for what you promise make us one in mind and heart.

Good riddance!  “Values”.  Very slippery.  Typical of the obsolete translation.

To my ear, “values” has a shifting, subjective starting point. In 1995 Gertude Himmelfarb wrote in The De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values that “it was not until the present century that morality became so thoroughly relativized that virtues ceased to be ‘virtues’ and became ‘values.’”

In this post-Christian, post-modern world, “values” seems to indicate little more than our own self-projection.

John Paul II taught about “values”, but in contradiction to the way “values” are commonly understood today.  For example, we read in Evangelium vitae 71 (emphasis added):

“It is urgently necessary, for the future of society and the development of a sound democracy, to rediscover those essential human and moral values which flow from the very truth of the human being and express and safeguard the dignity of the person: values which no individual, no majority, and no state can ever create, modify, or destroy, but must only acknowledge, respect, and promote.”

In his 1985 letter to young people Dilecti amici 4, John Paul II taught:

“Only God is the ultimate basis of all values…. in Him and Him alone all values have their first source and final completion… Without Him – without the reference to God – the whole world of created values remains as it were suspended in an absolute vacuum.”

Benedict XVI has spoken about the threats we face from the “dictatorship of relativism”, from the reduction of the supernatural to the natural, from caving in to “the world”.

Christ warned His Apostles about “the world”, saying said: “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil” (John 7:7).  He spoke about this world’s “prince” (John 12:31; 14:30 16:11).  St Paul wrote: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

If what “the world” offers gets priority over what God offers the world through His Holy Church, we produce the situation Paul VI described on 29 June 1972, the ninth anniversary of his coronation:

“Through some crack the smoke of Satan has entered into the temple of God.”

Our Collect today asks God to grant that His will be the basis of our “values” in concrete terms, not in mere good intentions or this world’s snares.

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Pope calls family of American journalist killed by Muslims

I wonder how many Imams have called the Foley family to express sorrow and to distance themselves from the Caliphate?

From ZENIT:

Pope Francis Calls Parents of James Foley

Pope Francis has called the parents of James Foley, the American journalist who was killed by the Islamic State (ISIS).

In an email to ZENIT, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Holy Father telephoned John and Diane Foley. Although no details were given as to what was said in the conversation, Fr. Lombardi confirmed that the “call took place [on Thursday] evening.

The world was horrified as a video surfaced of the journalist’s beheading at the hands of a terrorist from the Islamic State. According to the video, the murder was in retaliation to recent military action taken against ISIS.

ISIS currently has one known journalist, Steven Sotloff, still hostage and have threatened to murder him depending on US President Barack Obama’s next move.

During a press conference on his return flight from South Korea, Pope Francis emphasized that while an unjust aggressor, like ISIS, must be stopped, it must take a united effort among nations.

“One nation alone cannot judge how to stop an unjust aggressor,” he said. “After the Second World War there was the idea of the United Nations. It is there that this should be discussed. Is there an unjust aggressor? It would seem there is. How do we stop him? Only that, nothing more.”

Prayers are needed.

Posted in The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments