Tuesday, September 17, 2002

By the way, there appears to have been a counter-counterrevolution over at Radio Free HMS. Rest assured that the interloper Pawlak will be undone.
Little Crosses

In the fall of 1996, I had a revelation.

I was working at a school in Maryland that was planning on hosting its first-ever Fall Festival, and the weather was iffy. All week the forecast for Saturday morning vacillated between pretty good and pouring rain. So, on Friday afternoon, we decided to set it up for the outdoor venue, but I was in charge of getting the weather very early Saturday and making a decision on whether to move everything inside or not..

Of course, Saturday broke wet and cold, with a steady rain and the probability of a break only after our Festival was open. So at O-dark-thirty, I started making calls to get the crew there to move things and headed off to school myself. As it turned out, I was the first person there, and had no keys to unlock the gym, so I just started moving chairs and small tables over by the entrance.

After about 10 minutes of this, and just before anyone else arrived, the revelation hit: I was going to be working outdoors in a downpour for the next hour or two, in less-than-adequate rain gear. I was going to get soaked.

Up until that point, I had been hunching my shoulders against the weather, and muttering to myself about the foolishness of this: would it not have been better to set things up *inside* and move them *outside* if the weather looked good? Was the wishful thinking of my colleagues about the weather really *my* problem?

But with the realization that no amount of complaining or trying to stay dry was in fact going to keep me from getting soaked, I took off my sodden jacket and my foul mood, and decided to enjoy the rain. By the time coffee and donuts had arrived, I was having a ball. In all honesty, that particular October Day may have been the best day of all in that job.

Please don't think me glib. I know that many crosses are very much harder to bear than getting soaked. But sometimes the recognition of inevitability changes the way we perceive what is happening, and makes the bearing less of a burden. Of course, sometimes it doesn't. But so many of the things that hinder our spiritual lives are at the rainy-Saturday-rearranging-furniture end of the spectrum, and just because they aren't the most seriours or the worst things that happen to us, doesn't mean we shouldn't look for ways to deal with them. At that time I did not know that I had adopted an attitude of patience and charity, temperance and fortitude. It just seemed like the thing to do.
Mixed Metaphor Alert!

Here's a good rule of thumb: if the thought of praying for someone makes you cringe, turn away in disgust, or generally react with fits, that's the person you most need to pray for. Anyone who brings on an allergic reaction like that is causing you to tie up your spirit on matters best left to the Spirit, and only prayer can unclog the drain.
Have you signed the really cool Guestmap over there, on the right? Have you "told-a-friend" about Kairos?
Lift High the Cross

Refrain

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.


Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine.

Refrain

Each newborn servant of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of Him Who died.

Refrain

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised, draw the world to Thee.

Refrain

So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory.

Refrain
Tuesday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Mrs. Kairos Guy's student and the rest of the student's family. For the Palestinian students whose school was bombed today. For the medical students in Florida. For Dean. For Adam E, who was hurt in a serious fall. For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better. For Karl K. For the people of Zimbabwe and the prisoners of the Lao Gai. For Dylan's friend out west. For the President, the Pope, and all national and religious leaders. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.
Have you signed the really cool Guestmap over there, on the right? Have you "told-a-friend" about Kairos?

Monday, September 16, 2002

And now a word from our Sponsor

Actually, just a brief thank you. Sometime on Saturday, Kairos received its 10,000th visitor. Now, I know 10,000 hits represents a good week for Mark Shea or Kathy Shaidle, and it took Kairos 4 months to get there (partially thanks to the number of times Kathy and Mark have linked to me!), but I am still very pleased with the results. Many of you come every day (and one poor, deluded fellow blogger from Florida visits my page way more often than is justified either by the quality or the quantity of my posts!) and others come once every few days or weeks. If there is a small way in which the writing here helps you get through life, then praise be to God. This page is as much for my own edification as anything else: I often don't know what I mean until I get to the end of an essay, and then I have to go back and fix the beginning. Thank you for putting up with my randomness, emailing me petitions, commenting with good questions and great critiques, and generally helping me muddle through life a little less blindly than before I started this. And thank you most of all for the continuing prayers for Mrs. Kairos Guy.

Now, go use the "tell-a-friend" on the right!

Peace,
Brian
A lot of people keep suggesting...

...what a "national treasure" Amy Welborn is. Well, I won't dispute it. But I will ask why no one ever suggests that Eve Tushnet is one, too. So, consider it suggested. If you are looking for a snarky, young, but deeply-grounded-in-serious-philosophy take on just about any national or political issue with moral import, she's your girl.
A busy day for additional prayers...

Please keep Dean and Mrs. Dean from Heal Your Church Website in your prayers: they have suffered a miscarriage.
Attention North Shore Residents

If you might have the ability to assist a family of four that needs shelter in the Greater Lawrence area, please contact me via email. One of Mrs. K's students has hit a very rough patch, and we are trying to find them some help. Suggestions for places to look or community resources would be appreciated, as would prayers for the kids and their mom.
Please keep in your prayers those medical students whose arrest freaked everyone out. Whether they did the horribly stupid thing they are accused of or not, they are likely to be suffering miserably for some time to come. The worst thing they appear to have done is dumb in the extreme, but it is entirely possible that they and their accuser are telling the truth, as anyone who's ever tried to eavesdrop in a crowded restaurant must candidly acknowledge. One thinks one hears something, but really, one's hearing center has merely assembled random fragments into what one expected to hear. And bless the men for understanding that the police have a job to do, and were responding in the only manner permitted them under the circumstances.
A Blessed Yom Kippur

A blessed and peaceful Day of Atonement to you. It never yet has harmed a Christian's soul to recognize and celebrate a Jewish Holiday, done in the right Spirit. And today is an excellent day for offering up your own sins again to God, and performing an act of atonement. Become again "at one" with the Spirit of God by prayer and some penitential act--a fast, a gift of charity, a volunteer effort. There is something especially sacred in doing so on a day set aside for that purpose for thousands of years. Don't miss out.
Psalm 16

1 Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.
2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, "Thou art my Lord; my goodness extendeth not to Thee,
3 but to the saints that are on the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight."
4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied, that hasten after another god; their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names upon my lips.
5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; Thou maintainest my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
7 I will bless the LORD who hath given me counsel; my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.
11 Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Monday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Adam E, who was hurt in a serious fall. For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better. For Karl K. For the people of Zimbabwe and the prisoners of the Lao Gai. For Dylan's friend out west. For the President, the Pope, and all national and religious leaders. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Do not underestimate this statement in the President's speech yesterday:

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown.

This is a reference to the case of Michael Scott Speicher, first US casualty in the Air War in 1991. This is of enormous significance, both for Speicher's family, and in establishing a casus belli.
Peter Nixon has some comments about the Pope's prayer of forgiveness for the terrorists. Go read them, and then come back and read this response.


One problem for many people is they forget that "and forget" is appended to "forgive" because there is nothing fundamental to forgiveness that requires forgetting. They are two separate acts. And forgiveness does not preclude punishment: hence the penance at the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I can freely offer forgiveness of Osama and still desire his punishment-by-daisy-cutter--especially since he has not repented of his sins. I can forgive a murderer and still hope his death sentence is carried out (if I believe in capital punishment) because that is what justice commands--true, retributive justice, that is, which is really the essential kind. (CS Lewis has a tremendous essay on this subject in "God in the Dock" that I've been emaning to blog for a few weeks. Perhaps this weekend.)

There is nothing strange in this; it has been the belief of Christians for many centuries. What is an aberration is the modern disconnect between forgiveness and penance. If I steal $1 million and go to a priest to confess, he will forgive me, instruct me to return the money, and to turn myself over to the authorities. I will still have to be punished by civil authority, even after the sin has been wiped clean from my soul. In fact, as a truly repentant Christian, I ought to *desire* to be punished by civil authority.

Additionally, as you touched on, if the America author means that I have no ability to forgive a person who has not harmed me, then he is correct. Only Christ can forgive the sins of a second party against a third. But that literal truth does not excuse me from adopting a forgiving attitude towards those who have sinned and repented, for I *can* otherwise surely still hold the second's sins to the third against the second. (Sorry, that's confusing, but I think you will understand if you read it slowly.)

There really is no alternative to forgiving the terrorists. But they still must be punished, and perhaps killed, to meet the demands of justice, and it is not Christian at all to suggest otherwise.
Language matters

Would it be possible to ask that, collectively, we stop referring to the baby boomers as “an idealistic generation” as if that were a good thing?

So much of what has gone wrong with America’s ability to lead in the world stems from the substitution of “ideals” for “virtue,” as in the replacement of “Justice” with “peace.” Ideals in and of themselves have little or no moral value. “Peace” cannot be understood as either good or bad without modification: “just” or “unjust;” whereas justice either is, or is not.

The inability of America’s political elite to articulate a case against Iraq clearly originates here. A war with Iraq might or might not be the best way to ensure the existence of justice, both at the level of nation-states, and on the ground in Iraq among that wretched country’s citizens. The president has done an acceptable job articulating a case for war, but that case has been almost entirely about uncertain threats and unclear probabilities. The counterargument has been almost exclusively about the slippery ideal of “peace.” The raging back and forth in the blogosphere has used a lot of ill-understood and poorly articulated language about “just wars,” but few people have actually spoken about Justice itself.

The real, mortal peril of replacing Virtue with Ideal is the separation of means from ends, with all that implies. A person for whom the state of being known as “Peace” becomes not only a virtue, but the dominant virtue, will find himself supporting increasingly immoral policies and actions in the name of “peace.” This is, in fact, how “pro-life” activists become assassins. The protection of unborn children becomes an end unto itself, divorced from the virtues that make it essential, with the consequence that any means useful to the fulfillment of the mission becomes legitimate. “It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.”

The same problems prevail in nearly every Ideal foisted on society by the boomers. “Tolerance” and “diversity” and “equality.” These are not statements of moral worth but states of being. There is in fact no more fascist state of being than that of equality, for it is the easiest state to impose: the equality of worthlessness, the nullity of individuals against the State. It is the entropic condition to which all purely Idealistic movements must decay.

Peace has no moral value. The preservation of human life has no moral value. Equality has no moral value. None of these states of being possess the tiniest bit of moral weight without the adjectives we unconsciously and silently supply when we conceive them. But, thanks to those who have destroyed as hypocrisy the language of virtue, and divorced it from the reality of states of being, we have lost the ability to cry “Stop!” when the logic of the Ideal runs afoul of the morality that bore it. “Why” and “how” are matters of virtue.

[By the way, lest the reader think the Boomers are being blamed for this: they are not. The Boomers merely perfected and came to personify a movement that began in the so-called “Enlightenment,” took visible shape in 19th Century nihilism, and found respectable academic homes in such early 20th century ideologies as logical positivism and materialism. But the Boomers are the first generation in modern times to convert the vocabulary of the disgruntled fringe into national policy.]
Psalm 118

1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever!
2 Let Israel now say that His mercy endureth for ever.
3 Let the house of Aaron now say that His mercy endureth for ever.
4 Let them that fear the LORD now say that His mercy endureth for ever.
5 I called upon the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me, and set me in an ample place.
6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do unto me?
7 The LORD taketh my part among them that help me; therefore shall I see what I desire upon them that hate me.
8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
...

13 Thou hast thrust sorely at me that I might fall, but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and song, and has become my salvation.
15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous; the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
16 The right hand of the LO
Friday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better. For Karl K, and for me, (as I am in a very similar circumstance to Karl). For the people of Zimbabwe and the prisoners of the Lao Gai. For Dylan's friend out west. For the repose of the soul of Evelyn C. For the President, the Pope, and all national and religious leaders. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Query

Does the suppression of religion equal the oppression of religion?

That is, does the fact that fear of offending people's areligious sentiments prevented my school's Head from mentioning prayer as a possibility for people visiting the chapel mean that religion is oppressed there? I am undecided. Arguments on the subject are invited.
Blegging

If any of my readers are really, really wealthy and want to help me avoid a near-constant sin, they should purchase me the unabridged OED. I covet it shamelessly.
It looks like Bob Kerrey has been reading Kairos. Still think you're keeping "better company" than me, Pop Daddy?
On the Nature of Good and Evil

It was common in the days and months following September 11 last year, to speak of some good that had “come out of” the terror attacks. Now, if speakers who said that meant it in a literal sense—“emerged from” or “escaped unharmed”—then they are of course correct. “The gates of Hell shall not prevail” against good.

But if they meant it in the usual sense, a Pollyanna-ish belief that even evil can create a good, then they are quite mistaken. There is only one Creator, and he reserves the power of creation to Himself. This is not a petty semantic distinction. It is a fundamental statement about the nature of the universe, and understanding or failing to understand it can make the difference between yielding to evil or conquering it.

It is basic to a Christian understanding of the universe that Creation is inherently good, but it is also fallen. The fall does not make Creation bad, for nothing could change the essential nature of Creation, but the fall does allow Creation to be used in corrupt ways. (Misunderstanding this fact has led many people to suppose that outward appearances are indicative of a person’s internal nature. But in truth the corruption of people happens at the level of the soul, and need not leave any physical mark on the body.)

The Devil, being a fallen creature, and not the Creator, cannot create. He cannot make so much as a single atom. (Thus, all his promises cannot but be empty. He has quite literally nothing to offer.) But he can use that which already exists for his own ends, and by virtue of the physical and metaphysical laws of the universe, even offer the illusion of creation to a mind unaware of the distinction. But all his works must use as their tools the essentially good things produced by the Creator.

Thus, the marvel of safe air transport becomes a crude weapon. The virtuous desire of an airline captain to save the life of a crew member becomes the bar that pries him from his cockpit. The selflessness of a fireman leads him too high in a building to escape its collapse. The list is as long as the list of the dead, and of those who sought to help them.

What evil on a grand scale sometimes does, however, is reveal its true nature, because to be grandly evil it often requires grand good as its tool, or as its counterpoint. “I never understood how evil evil can be,” said one of the firemen in the CBS 9/11 special.

The great evil that has befallen our Church shows the same thing, even though the grand evil of the present scandal is not the product of grand goods, but venal ones. The laudable desire of bishops to protect Christ’s pilgrim church on earth was used as a tool to allow the defilement of the innocent. But who can doubt that heroic virtue, a virtue that might otherwise have gone unnoted, will ultimately be the Creator’s tool for setting things right?

And in the meanwhile, many goods that had been obscured are once again cast into stark relief by the terrible light of the Light-bearer. It is ever so much easier to be humble about being Catholic today than it was a year ago, just as it is very much harder to look down on cops and firemen and EMTs.
Thursday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better. For Karl K, and for me, (as I am in a very similar circumstance to Karl). For the people of Zimbabwe and the prisoners of the Lao Gai. For Dylan's friend out west. For the repose of the soul of Evelyn C. For the President, the Pope, and all national and religious leaders. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.
America, the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain;
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

A few random thoughts

I work at a private school. During second period (at 9:15 instead of a more appropriate time) we had an all school assembly. Our Head of School gave a speech that, as usual, could not resist the temptation of the first person singular pronoun, and referred to CS Lewis as "the philosopher and author of the Chronicles of Narnia." We were informed that the chapel would be open all day for "quiet reflection" and then we processed silently to the two trees the students planted last fall. There, another member of the staff sang, in a beautiful voice with rich tones, a song I have never heard before, that was utterly vapid, at least so far as the occasion went. Teachers here are always talking about "teachable moments" but somehow, it seems that we missed a tremendous one today.

This is not a school with a religious affiliation, and we have a substantial number of foreign students. But none of that would seem to prevent "prayer" being mentioned as a possibility for the faithful, or a hymn or tasteful patriotic song such as "America, the Beautiful" being presented, while non-religious and non-American students stand by in respectful silence.

* * *

The Washington Post has a headline: "How Should We Feel Today?" I don't know about you, but the WaPo is not the place from which I take my emotional or spiritual cues.

* * *

Is there a connection between the death of good rhetoric and the emphasizing of emotion in the public sphere? Where is the inspiring oratory? The memorable phrase? "Let's roll" is powerful not for what it says, but the context in which it was spoken. Last night the President's really good line about failed ideologies and lies was replayed, and I thought, "what a good explanation that was," but this morning I still can't recite the line, even approximately.

Perhaps the dearth of Ciceros and Platos, Shuberts and Beethovens is a function of a complacent society, rather than emoting-as-national-pastime, but it is frustrating.

* * *

Please don't wallow today. Go serve meals at a soup kitchen, or make a donation to a charity that provides treatment for the mentally ill. Clean out your closet and give the leftovers to St. Vincent de Paul. Victory over the darkness will not come on the battlefield (however necessary the battle) but in our hearts. "If today you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your heart" says the Psalmist. Today, please don't wait to hear the voice of the Lord;go be it.
I suspect this song was sung at many memorial services last fall. It is not a hymn, but it is a fitting way to remember those who gave their lives.

The Parting Glass

Of all the money that e'er I spent
I've spent it in good company
And all the harm that ever I did
Alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
To memory now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades that e'er I had
They're sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They'd wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be with you all
Kairos will be observing a morning of silence.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

You are entirely welcome to disagree with me about the justice or rightness of the coming war. But please don't cite Vatican Foreign Ministry staff as moral authority for your cause. See, French Cardinals who work there have a really good record on picking the right guys to back in the Middle East. Take a look at this photo, for instance.... The fellow in the robes on the left is that Vatican envoy to Israel. Now, maybe Arafat is a good guy and all, but is this really the right behavior for an envoy from a third party, while terrorists are holding hostages at the Church of the Holy Spulchre?? So, please don't tell me that now another French Cardinal--apparently unaware taht the UN decided in 1998 that force was justified--has any bearing on the rightness or wrongness of American foreign policy.
Giving up

No, no, I'm not giving up blogging. In fact, I may be going poor--er, pro--down the road, but more on that another time.

The "giving up" here referred to is more literal: what do we give in an upward direction to God?

There are two kinds of giving up in this sense. The first is giving of our suffering: handing over our crosses and asking Christ to carry the weight with us. "I can't do this alone, Lord, so I'm going to put success into your hands."

The second kind is what we sacrifice of our selves. There's the old joke about Augustine, that he would pray "Make me chaste, Lord, but not yet." But the joke is actually a misquotation. What Augustine actually wrote was that he would pray for the virtue of chastity, but later realized that there had been a voice quietly amending "but not yet" to those prayers. This is the kind of "giving up" I am concerned with here.

It is very easy to look at myself and say "I don't like my temper and I sin when I yield to it." It is very easy to want to be cleansed of the petty dishonesties that seem to plague me. Who, after all, wants to hang around with a person who finds an excuse for everything?

But my possessions. Hmm, you mean I really have to sunder an attachment to them? Or my sexuality? Or my lust for power? Or my need for...whatever.

The point is simply this: being serious about being a Christian does not just mean giving up the things you don't like about yourself. I have a suspicion, after all, that my temper is not going to be something I need to answer too strenuously for. I hate it, and I try to reject it, however often I fail.

Being serious about being a Christian, if it means anything, has to mean giving up the stuff you *do* like. The "camel through the eye of the needle" is not just a story of unloading wealth, but of shedding whatever baggage we would rather not set by the side of the road.
Tuesday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better. For Karl K, and for me, (as I am in a very similar circumstance to Karl). For the people of Zimbabwe and the prisoners of the Lao Gai. For Dylan's mom and a friend out west. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Now I KNOW they make these things up!

The Onion | Horoscopes Gemini: (May 21—June 21)
You will be the first person in almost three millennia whom the gods see fit to punish for an astounding lack of hubris.


That may be the one thinking I *won't* be punished for. Just count the number of first person pronouns on this blog!!
Looking for my take on war? Look here, here, and here.
I have read two interesting books recently, neither of which has anything to do with religion. But both give a curious reflection of the culture. “Alone across the Sea” by Peter Nichols, tells of the author’s sailing single-handed across the Atlantic, from England to Maine, to sell his sailboat after a divorce. “Catch Me If You Can” is the story of Frank Abagnale, an enormously successful con man.

Both Nichols and Abagnale seem to be fairly reflective sorts, who evaluate their motives and failings pretty regularly. But peculiarly, neither one seems to be especially concerned by what they find. Nichols describes an incident from his twenties where he planned to smuggle several tons of hashish into the US, but only seems to regret the part where he chickened out, not the part where he was PLANNING TO SMUGGLE DRUGS. Abagnale stole millions of dollars, dozens of cars and was a common fornicator, but is curiously unapologetic. He even seems proud of his “code of ethics” which prevented him from fleecing individuals directly (though how his escapade with a number of college girls as faux flight attendants squares with that I do not know).

To be fair to Abagnale, I should say that I have about a dozen pages left in his book, so maybe he saved it all up for the end. But there is a prideful arrogance about him that both explains why he was so successful as a con man and grates on the reader. He mentions many times that he “is a Catholic” but one wonders exactly how he defines that term. Ordinarily, a Catholic criminal who has (to all appearances) “gone straight” would be expected to present at least a measure of regret.

To be fair to Nichols, I should add that he seems to have some awareness of how his personal failings contributed to the failure of his marriage, and he does seem to regret it. But he too is strangely unaware of the incongruity of his actions and his attitudes towards them, existing in a kind of amoral vacuum from which only the glorious “I” can escape.

Having criticized the content of both books, let me conclude by saying that both are entertaining and well-conceived books. Nichols uses journals abandoned by his ex as a backdrop for his Atlantic crossing to great effect, and his account of the last days afloat are vivid. Abagnale possesses a kind of charm, in spite of his arrogance, that keeps the reader engaged. And a handful of his felonies (though fewer than he himself would probably tally) really do seem to target people one cannot help but root against. It is as disappointing to admit as to discover a tendency towards schadenfreude in oneself.
Monday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better. For the people of Zimbabwe and the prisoners of the Lao Gai. For Dylan's mom and a friend out west. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.
Our God, Our Help in Ages Past

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
“Return, ye sons of men:”
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in following years.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Like flowery fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
Lie withering ere ‘tis night.

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Saturday, September 07, 2002

We in the blogosphere can argue all we want about whether the coming war will be just or not, but the fact is, war appears to be coming. With that in mind, I would like to suggest to the White House that the first troops into Baghdad should be the 1st Afghanistan Volunteer Battalion. It seems fitting.
Let slip the blogs of war

Victor Lams, whom I like very much, has issued a challenge to those of us who favor war: Put up or shut up. Now, don't get hung up on the tone--Victor has said he's not feeling well, and the blog is somewhat less temperate on the subject than he actually feels. But I think he and all those who say this (generally about wars *they* don't believe in) are completely, utterly wrong. (See here for my reasoning on why the coming war is a just war. Come to think of it, scroll around some, too, as I have posted various bits and pieces on that. I will get off the war for a while very soon, and get back to topics on daily life, but this is important, and their are too many lukewarm pacifists dominating the blogwaves right now.)

First, my bonafides: I failed a DoD physical in 1992 for various (minor) reasons, but enough sadly to keep me from fighting drug smugglers in the Carib in the USCG. So, I tried to put up, and the armed forces told me to shut up. That's actually kind of embarassing, which is why I won't say anything more about it, but I just wanted you to know I at least tried, and stand to lose several good friends in any prolonged violent conflict.

But even though I'm sympathetic to the point (otherwise, I wouldn't have felt compelled to put that last paragraph in), I don't think it actually holds water. It would be one thing to support the war but Run Off To Canada (the *other* ROTC) when your draft number is called. But that is not the same thing as failing to volunteer for a task that you think needs doing. Acting as a deterrent to direct aggression, for instance, is probably a mission for the military Victor supports (judging solely from his blog) but he never volunteered to patrol the GIUK gap on a 688-class submarine. Carrying a rifle in the DMZ in Korea is challenging, risky service that most Americans think is moral and just, but so far, many people who support it haven't volunteered for that either.

Forget the military. I think it a good idea to arrest violent criminals and put out fires, but I have never seriously considered being either a cop or a policeman. If I suggest that what is needed is for cops to get more aggressive arresting criminals, will the "put up or shut up" folks tell me to become a cop or else just live with the crime? Hardly.

My point is, you need not volunteer to fight a particular conflict to think it just or worth doing. The conflict is objectively just, or it is not, and my willingness to participate has very little to do with it. It may have a lot to do with how loudly I will declare *political* support of it, but the alliance between morally correct and politically feasible is tenuous. The question is not, "would you volunteer?" but "would you run away?" And if you would run away from fighting in a particular conflict, then, I agree, you really should stuff your piehole and sit down about it. But not because that makes the conflict unjust, simply because cowardice is unseemly, and loud cowardice especially so.
Psalm 11

1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.
3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
Saturday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better. For the people of Zimbabwe and the prisoners of the Lao Gai. For Dylan's mom and a friend out west. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses, and those carried away by scandal. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.

Friday, September 06, 2002

George Schultz has a much more detailed litany of Iraq's wrongdoing than I gave yesterday. The only thing necessary for those who doubt whether this amounts to a just cause is to trust Thomas Aquinas. Why is this so hard to understand?

Secondly, a just cause is required, namely that those who are attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some fault. Wherefore Augustine says (QQ. in Hept., qu. x, super Jos.): "A just war is wont to be described as one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects, or to restore what it has seized unjustly." Summa Theologica, Q. 40.
Peggy Noonan really is something, some days.
Don't ask...

...why I'm posting this. Sometimes I am enigmatic. It's part of the whole "Kairos Guy oeuvre."

This was found in the pro picks in the Washington Post this am.

Dallas (-8) at Houston: Big doin's at Crawford, Tex., for this one. The Leader of the Free World orders in a large pizza and Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia comes over with the family. Prince Bandar thinks David Carr is going to be the real deal. Pick: Texans.

[To give everybody time to get good and lathered up about my coming out in favor of converting Saddam into a smoking hole in the ground, I won't be posting much else until fairly late in the day.]

Thursday, September 05, 2002

A just war

Over at HMS Blog, a discussion has begun on the justice of a probable war with Iraq. Some of my comments can be found over there, in the form of a note to Greg. I would suggest you head there first, and read up on the conversation, and then come back here for my take. Most of what is below is from an email to Greg that he may wind up posting (so sorry if it's redundant).

For an excellent primer on the development of the Just War Theory, go here. It's written by a Marine Corps Lt. Col. who is also a theologian. He has been recalled to active duty, by the way, so please keep him in your prayers.

Okay, here goes. Forget al Qaida. That's a red herring. (Actually, it's not, but the case for war does not hinge on it.)

1) Iraq attacks Americans weekly, at least 150 times this calendar year alone. It fires missiles at American pilots patrolling the no-fly zones. Those zones were imposed by the *United Nations* at the end of Iraq's most recent external aggression (one of a number of cases since Hussein took power). They are there to protect Iraq's citizenry from its government, and to keep Iraq's military away from its international borders, which it will surely cross again as it has at least 3 times since 1984.

2) Strict controls on Iraq's exports and imports were imposed by the *United Nations* at the cessation of hostilities (not, mind you, in a peace treaty, but under an armistice). One of the conditions for the removal of those sanctions was Iraq allowing complete and unfettered access to UN Weapons Inspectors, so that they could certify Iraq had dismantled its WMD program.

3) Explicit in the Resolutions authorizing the weapons inspections was the promise that force would be used by the coalition if Iraq hindered the inspections process. Iraq threw out the inspectors in 1998.

Now, just because Bill Clinton was more worried about reclaiming Congress in the mid-term elections than about the WMD program in Iraq, does not mean we suddenly have no moral or legal authority to blast the crap out of Saddam's armed forces.

The fact is, if you are looking for a case where there is not a just war, it is in the present state of low-level conflict. We are not using proportionate force at the moment. ("Proportionate" by the way does not in this case mean "proportionate to what they did to us." It means "appropriate to achieving the military objective in the least destructive manner possible," or "Don't blow up any more than you have to, but don't blow up less either." Many sensible people understand that sudden, overwhelming force is often in fact much less destructive than prolonged, incremental conflict. Think of Kosovo versus Rolling Thunder and you'll understand what I mean. This notion that al Qaida killed 2,800 people on 9/11, but if we kill 2,801 then we are no longer fighting a just war is deliberate obfuscation on the part of its proponents. Absolute figures have no bearing on whether or not a war is "proportionate.")

The reason we continue at the "bomb a SAM battery here, bomb a battery there" approach is partly because of all the arm-chair theologians who run around arguing about "just war theories" from their seats in Congress and their internet pulpits. I mean no personal disrespect to Greg or anyone else, but there is a very strong case to be made in international law as well as moral law that *failing* to act against Iraq is the immoral course.

The Catholic Bishops are using a version of the just-war theory that conflates general principles with narrow rules imposed by the treating of Westphalia, in part because countries were using legalistic narrowing of the general principles to call unjust wars just. Now, they may be good rules, but they are rules written in response to the Thirty Years War, designed in part to prevent a reccurrence of that War. As such, they are subject to revision in time and place in a way that the general princples are not. The general principles (what I would call the "universal truths" of the just war theory) are "legitimate authority"--acting as a sovereign state, not a private army; "just cause"--which classically was understood not only to involve self-defense but punishment of evil; and "right intention"--the decision to punish the evil appropriately, and to wind up in a better situation after the war than before.

The US government--acting, I might add, under the legal authority of numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions which have been in palce for more than a decade--is a "legitimate authority." "Just cause" in this case consists of any number of things, from violation of SC Resolutions (a just cause deriving from a "legitimate authority") as well as international aggression (in the form of the Gulf War as well as support of al Qaida) and punishment of the evil of using chemical and possibly biological weapons on its own citizens. The litany of evil here is so long it has perhaps numbed people into thinking that his obvious evil is not cause enough, but Aquinas would have no beef with it. And "right intention" in this case would be the intention to kill Saddam and erase his regime from the face of the earth. Until we went and got all humanistic in our thinking, we used to understand that, as a matter of man's law--the kind states are Divinely ordained to enforce--Saddam *deserves* to die, and in the Christian tradition a legitimate authority is justified by Divine sanction in depriving him of his life in retribution for his crimes.

The Bishops' document has to be understood in the context of possible global nuclear war. When it was written, non-state actors like al Qaida were marginal threats to international security. A nuclear exchange between the US and USSR over, say, missiles in Cuba, was the context for the document. Until the Bishops are prepared to reexamine their thinking in the context of non-state actors subverting entire nations for their own ends (there is no argument among serious people that Afghnistan had been since the Cole bombing a wholly-owned subsidiary of al Qaida, until we liberated it) and are prepared to examine that the primary threats to nation-states at the moment resemble those more of the 13th century than the 20th, I believe following their rules on "just war" is equivalent to following their 19th century teachings on slavery.

Thus I can only work from the general principles worked out by Augustine and Aquinas, before the peculiar circumstances of 1648 made rulers acknowledge that man needs little laws when he won't follow the big ones. We haven't exactly been following the big ones in this case, but it's not too late.

Let me just climb into my asbestos suit here...okay...let the flames begin.
Today is Little Kairos Jr.'s first day of school. so my yet incomplete magnum opus will not be done until late today or sometime tomorrow. Check back this evening.
Christian! Seek Not Yet Repose

Christian! seek not yet repose,
Hear thy guardian angel say;
Thou art in the midst of foes;
“Watch and pray.”

Principalities and powers,
Mustering their unseen array,
Wait for thy unguarded hours;
“Watch and pray.”

Gird thy heavenly armor on,
Wear it ever night and day;
Ambushed lies the evil one;
“Watch and pray.”

Hear the victors who o’ercame;
Still they mark each warrior’s way;
All with one clear voice exclaim,
“Watch and pray.”

Hear, above all, hear thy Lord,
Him thou lovest to obey;
Hide within thy heart His Word,
“Watch and pray.”

Watch, as if on that alone
Hung the issue of the day;
Pray that help may be sent down;
“Watch and pray.”
Thursday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Little Kairos Jr. on his first day of real school. For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better. For the people of Zimbabwe and the prisoners of the Lao Gai. For the survivors of the labor day tornado. For Zenaida Flores, Fr WJW, and Fr RWB. For Dylan's Hospital chaplain. For Dylan's mom. For the repose of the soul of the young woman from East Boston, recently slain. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses, and those carried away by scandal. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Wondering more about why I boycott Chinese made products to the maximum extent possible? Check out theLaogai Research Foundation.
Every time I read an article on biotechnology, I want to yell at the scientists involved. They all seem to have forgotten Arthur Clarke's hypothesis that any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic, and so conclude that their own technology is magic. How else to explain the continuous reductionism of "how" transmogrifying into "why?" Little children play this game to the exasperation of any nearby adult (and to the child's own delight) when they reply to every response with "why?" An incomplete thought on a tired day...
Wednesday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better. For Dave's friend Paul, who is back at work. For the survivors of the labor day tornado. For Zenaida Flores, Fr WJW, and Fr RWB. For Dylan's Hospital chaplain. For Dylan's mom. For the repose of the soul of the young woman from East Boston, recently slain. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses, and those carried away by scandal. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Sarah's continuing recovery. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.
Today's Hymn is a video of King's College Choir, performing "The Truth From Above." For mere Anglicans, these guys are pretty good. [For those whose "teasing meter" is set on "thick as a brick" today, that was a joke.]

The Truth From Above

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Is there a medicine for people who are both agoraphobic and claustraphobic? 'Cause I think I might need that. (Pop Daddy, any suggestions? I know I made fun of you last week, but this week I need helllllllpppppp!)
Please keep the people of Ladysmith, Wisconsin who have survived the Labor Day tornado in your intentions, as they will need much in the coming days.
The passages that keeps on giving

Sometimes--far less often, probably, than is ideal--God speaks to us in a way that sticks with a person long after the moment has passed. There is a moment in 1st Kings, when Elijah goes to the mountaintop, which I call once again to your attention:

"Then He said, 'Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.' And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

"So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'"

Compare that with this passage from the Screwtape Letters:

“Music and silence -- how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell…no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise -- Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless and virile. Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples and impossible desires. We will make that whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end."

Is there time in your life when the noise is quietened and the still small voice can speak to you? There is not nearly enough in mine…
Would you believe: Tuesday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better.

For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Dave's friend Paul, who is back at work. For Zenaida Flores, Fr WJW, and Fr RWB. For Dylan's Hospital chaplain. For Dylan's mom. For the repose of the soul of the young woman from East Boston, recently slain. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses, and those carried away by scandal. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Sarah's continuing recovery. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.
Today's hymn is an African American spiritual. If anyone knows where to get a good recording of it, please let me know...

There Is a Balm in Gilead

Refrain

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.


Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.

Refrain

If you can’t preach like Peter,
If you can’t pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.

Refrain
Do you like what you find at Kairos? Make a donation. (And thanks to Disputations for a really excellent idea. Want to know what's so excellent? Then click on the link. It's not what you think.)

Monday, September 02, 2002

Please add Dylan's mother to your intentions--she has a mystery ailment.
Bob Update

"Bob" and I concluded the conversation we started back at the beginning of the month. As you may recall, he and I were arguing about the concept of the Magisterium, with me defending it (a funny position for me indeed, if you knew me in my private life!) and Bob attempting to prove that the Magisterium's authority is self-referential and so non-existant.

I briefly terminated the conversation when I was accused of falling into the Arian heresy, after I asserted that Jesus was God in response to Bob's question "why did Jesus not need a 'truth detector' even though he was fully human?" I got extraordinarily frustrated with the accusation of heresy, because I felt that Bob was simply waiting for me to assert something about Jesus' divinity so he could lob that grenade, and so I dropped the conversation. (I am not saying Bob was waiting to do this; I am saying that was what it felt like at that moment.)

In spite of the churlish manner I used to dismiss the conversation, Bob very kindly offered his good wishes and prayers when Mrs. Kairos Guy took so suddenly and seriously ill. So I tried to renew my patience and charity (as limited as they are) and continue the conversation, and we ended it on a much more amicable note, though still in strenuous disagreement.

Unfortunately, Bob has ended it in an illustration of exactly why Jesus did leave us a Magisterium. He wrote:
You are quite right to notice that individul interpretation of
revelation is often likely to lead people astray. It is risky. William Blake
wrote that, "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom" but he was
overly optimistic. Most often it leads to depravity, degradtion, and
disintegration.

But the safer road, the less risky path of received and conventional
wisdom leads us to the plateau of Nowhere. It's got a fairly nice view, it's
a bit elevated above the plain, and receives the rain first - but it's like
a mesa in the sky - a trap with no exit. A pretty prison and secure place.


I don't quite know what to do with that. The term "received" here seems to be the teensiest bit perjorative, but in the context of the Roman Church it can only mean received from God, which is no prison but instead the only true liberation.

In the end, I think Bob has fallen into one of those errors that the Devil always sends into the world in pairs--the extremes of belief--while he supposes I have fallen to the opposite.

The Magisterium is the repository of Sacred Tradition, the lens through which Scripture and revelation come into clearest focus. But, because it is a human institution, it is flawed, and the lens does not always show clearly. The errors therefore lie in either total surrender to the Magisterium--the pretense that because it is divinely ordained and inspired it cannot commit error--or in complete emphasis on the flaws--the view that it is really only "a guidebook" (to use Bob's word). Falling into the first error can certainly lead one into sin, either directly (think of the ownership of slaves by clergy in the antebellum South) or indirectly, by the adoption of a Phariseeic mentality. The second error is the eternal human failing of pride. *I* know best. God has chosen to reveal *to me* the Truth he has kept hidden from His People for two thousand years.

The difficult course between the errors is hard because it does not offer the comforts of certainty. When is it safest to deviate from Magisterial pronouncement? When is it safest to yield personal belief to sacred tradition? The virtues of wisdom and humility in tandem are required to steer this path. One needs to learn *how* to dispute Tradition in addition to *why.*

UPDATE: I should add, before anyone gets the wrong idea, that Bob was more specific in his assertion of the Arian Heresy than I have detailed here. I still think he was not only wrong about me, but somewhat misconstruing the heresy, but I don't want to be using my blog to misstate his views.
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!

Alleluia! sing to Jesus! His the scepter, His the throne.
Alleluia! His the triumph, His the victory alone.
Hark! the songs of peaceful Zion thunder like a mighty flood.
Jesus out of every nation has redeemed us by His blood.

Alleluia! not as orphans are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us, faith believes, nor questions how;
Though the cloud from sight received Him when the forty days were o’er
Shall our hearts forget His promise, “I am with you evermore”?

Alleluia! bread of angels, Thou on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia! here the sinful flee to Thee from day to day:
Intercessor, Friend of sinners, Earth’s Redeemer, plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia! King eternal, Thee the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary, Earth Thy footstool, heav’n Thy throne:
Thou within the veil hast entered, robed in flesh our great High Priest;
Thou on earth both priest and victim in the Eucharistic feast.

Friday, August 30, 2002

Request for Help

Are there any readers out there who can help me obtain a copy of any of the "Socratic Digest" publications, produced by the Oxford Socratic Club in the middle 20th Century? (I possess "God in the Dock" and have all that material. I'm looking for the actual publications, or even reproductions of them. Any condition is fine, so long as they are legible.) Thank you!
This is extremely cool. Last night, someone accessed my page from Europe, and had it translated into French. Did you know that "Pop Daddy" translates into "papa de bruit" en francais? Somehow, I'm thinking that Emily Stimpson is liking that little bit of knowledge right now...
I was in the grocery store, jsut picking up a few things. When I got to the eggs, I just stood there and stared blankly ffor a few minutes. Every egg carton said "Best if used by 9/11" and it was all I could do to just hold it together. A year later, and egg cartons can make me tear up.....
Fr. Jim has answered the call, and posted a catechitical (catechetical? catechatical?) bit on the Kiss of Peace in the Mass. Now if only people outside of St. Blog's could be made to hear this stuff, we could really get something going....
I lied to my son yesterday

I told my little boy a lie, as we were practicing fielding grounders yesterday. He keeps doing the classic little kid thing of trying so hard to look like a major leaguer (in this case, Nomar Garciaparra) that he becomes oblivious to what the ball is actually doing. I told him that if he is worried about "looking good" he will bever actually "be good," and that the only real way to look good was to be good first. I'm hoping by the time they study Bill Clinton in his social studies class that he will understand I was trying to teach him a larger life lesson, and that sometimes literal truth must yield to metaphysical truth.

[I would have linked to Nomar on the Sox's web page, but I'm so angry at the prospect of a strike that I refuse to generate even a trickle of traffic for any of the greedy jerks involved. All you Yankee fans out there, stick a sock in it. Christian charity doesn't extend to you, for you have allied yourselves publicly with the Enemy. I have come back to baseball in a passionate way this year after two decades of apostasy. To have that damaged now is deeply upsetting. Congress should revoke baseball's antitrust exemption if the players and owners don't want to keep the troops entertained. And perhaps we can have a special one-time draft--if the players don't think an average salary of $2 million is sufficient, perhaps $18,000 and food stamps while digging out the caves of Tora Bora will help them see the light.And don't tell me "it will never happen with George Bush as president." A) He has particular incentive as a former owner to distance himself; and, B) Congress can pass veto-proof legislation.]
It may be a hopeful sign

...or it may be a sign of my bad taste, but I have started to find an old joke about the Jesuits funny again. As they say (contra Disputations' suggestion that Dominicans serve the best food), "if this is poverty, then bring on chastity!"
I'd like to point out, to all you skeptics out there, that my idea of luring in hapless people by posting the phrase "unusual sexual positions" appears to be bearing, er, fruits. Last night, someone stumbled across my page by searching for "intimate birthday party ideas for husband." Welcome, Ma'am, and please grab a pew, but remember, jumping out of a donut after the 10:30 is frowned upon.
Dost Thou Truly Seek Renown

Dost thou truly seek renown
Christ His glory sharing?
Wouldst thou win the heavenly crown
Victor’s meed declaring?
Tread the path the Savior trod,
Look upon the crown of God,
See what He is wearing.

This the King of Heaven bore
In that sore contending;
This His sacred temples wore,
Honor to it lending;
In this helm He faced the foe,
On the rood He laid him low,
Satan’s kingdom ending.

Christ upon the tree of scorn,
In salvation’s hour,
Turned to gold those pricks of thorn
By His Passion’s power;
So on sinners, who had earned
Endless death, from sin returned,
Endless blessings shower.

When in death’s embrace we lie,
Then, good Lord, be near us;
With Thy presence fortify,
And with victory cheer us;
Turn our erring hearts to Thee,
That we crowned for ay may be:
O good Jesu, hear us!
Friday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is getting better.

For Fr. Jim's cousin Tom. For Dave's friend Paul, who is much improved. For Zenaida Flores, Fr WJW, and Fr RWB. For Dylan's Hospital chaplain. For the repose of the soul of the young woman from East Boston, recently slain. For those who minister in inner cities, that they may help bring about peace. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses, and those carried away by scandal. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption. For Sarah's continuing recovery. For Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael and the anonymous ones as well.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Am I the only reader of my blog that is excited that we get not one, but TWO, "CSI" premieres in the next few weeks?
But one last thought...

One last thought. Greg Popcak ("Pop Daddy" to us in the know) thinks we should all shake hands before Mass.

It will come as no surprise, therefore, to realize that Greg is a psychotherapist, and therefore not qualified to speak on what we should or should not like. My friend at Disputations calls the idea that we should like it "cant." I disagree. It is "Kant." Forced handshaking and forced handholding (as well as the priests who badger people to sitting up front) are signs that people are universalizing their maxims again. "It is good (for me) to shake hands before Mass/hold hands/sit up front; therefore everyone must shake hands."

Those of us at the INTP end of the scale need at least 3 empty seats in every direction to be able to focus on the Liturgy, and not worry about people invading our personal space. We don't talk to people on planes or trains, and "working the room" is about as painful an experience as you can imagine. Leave us alone. You don't make us more Christian by doing this. Only more agoraphobic.
Light blogging today. JB is spending some good time with little Kairos Jr. today, just having some fun. We're heading to the barber shop for a "real" haircut soon--not one of those embarrassing "Mommy, you're pulling too hard!" ones. Be sure to read the comments on my "Mad the my Church" post. It sounds like I am far from alone in this frustration.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

I need to apologize to my Episcopal brothers. Somehow, someone doing a search for "episcopal blather" wound up here. Mea culpa.
So, a group of people have died and are met by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. After he processes their admission into the Kingdom, he offers to take them on a tour, which all gratefully accept.

"On your left, you will see the Baptist section," he shouts. "It's kind of loud from all the dance music they can finally enjoy!"

"Ahead, on your right, you'll find the heavenly Temple of Israel. Please note how closely the ancient architects were able to recreate it in Jerusalem."

And the tour continues, showing many different neighborhoods, until finally St. Peter begins to whisper. "Now, just around this corner please be quiet, because we are approaching the Catholic section, and they sometimes think they are the only ones up here."
Alright, this morning I am mad at my Church. My anger has nothing to do with improper (or worse) sexual behavior, nor with bishops who cover it up. It has nothing to do with a Pope who might have handled these things differently.

No, I am mad because my Church (at least in the parishes I have attended in Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia) does not appear to know or care about what distinguishes it from other Christian communities, other than “the Pope.” Now, having "the Pope" is a good thing, to be sure, but if that's the only real difference between Catholicism and other faiths, I'm going to go join one that stops bugging me in the bedroom.

I confess to having attended very few Protestant services of any type, but the ones I have attended do seem to me superficially very similar to their Catholic equivalents. But there are things going on in the Mass that just aren’t happening at the Protestant equivalent, as an honest Protestant will admit. (Though that same honest Protestant may feel compelled to throw in the word “superstition” depending on his brand.)

The problem is, most Catholics and some priests are hopelessly ignorant of just what these things are. We go to Church, we mumble through some half-memorized prayers, we stand in line and get the wafer, and we duck out as quickly afterwards as possible.

This is not just the fault of the laity, though. We’ve never been told any better. Raise your hand if you can explain what happens when the priest prays over the bread without using any words longer than 3 syllables. (Those of you dialing in from Steubenville—you know who you are—put your hands down.) If you do in fact know, only keep your hand up if you’ve ever had it explained in a homily, or in a special lecture at your church; grad students in theology don’t count.

I think one reason Evangelical converts remain so evangelical even within the Church is they knew the Catholic faith better from the outside than most of us cradle Catholics do from the inside. They heard from their pastors about all the errors that Rome teaches; having now acknowledged the Truth of popish teachings, they want to share that knowledge.

This is sadly not true of most of the priests I have known—even the very good ones. Fr. Jim has made an attempt, by explaining the vestments on his blog, and I hope he will do the same with the structure of the liturgy (or, more properly, liturgies) but that is insufficient. CCD when I attended it was a sad pathetic joke, dealing mostly with “Children’s Bible” stories and lame attempts at forced memorization of prayers, without any real explanation of them. I never laid eyes on a catechism until my mother pulled out her childhood copy of the old Baltimore version.

I’m not suggesting reimplementing the old, memorized question and answer method. I don’t think that’s too much better, though at least it does give you some pat answers to give heretics now and again. But you shouldn’t have to enroll in Franciscan U’s graduate theology program to learn this stuff either. The Church should be teaching this as a matter of course to her corpus.

Here are a few concrete suggestions, for you to take to your Pastor or DRE (if you have a non-radical-lesbian or “Voice of the Feckless” DRE):

1) Invite students in the “Mass Class” at the local seminary to come and do their class in your parish hall some evening, or after noon Mass some time.
2) Ask for homilies explaining the Faith. Yes, I know homilies ought to relate to the readings, but this is important, and surely better than another tape of the Cardinal rattling the collection plate for the Annual Appeal.
3) Help develop a monthly “Catechism for Adults” class. Model it on the RCIA program.
4) “Theology on Tap.” My former parish had this occasional program where some of the guys would go out for beer and theological discussions. Why not make it more directed?
5) Start a book club dedicated to reading some good, lively and accessible works on the basics of the faith.

Those of us in our 20s, 30s, and 40s, have been, on the whole, very poorly served by the generations before us. They replaced a hard, unfeeling style with felt banners and guitars, but forgot to hang onto the substance. If we are going to raise children of real faith (my wife and I both work in high schools, and faithful Catholic children are increasingly rare) we have to know it ourselves. If you want to make a constructive demand of your church in this time of difficulty, demand that your parish teach what the Roman Catholic faith actually means.

If Voice of the Faithful wants a motto, how about “Teach the Faith; Change the Church!” A syllogism is so much more Catholic than a slogan, isn’t it?
Wednesday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is slowly getting better.

For Dave's friend Paul, who is much improved. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For victims of bombings in Israel. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For a just peace wherever fighting prevails. For S, her mother and her family. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses, and those carried away by scandal. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption, Sarah, Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael, Megan and the anonymous ones as well.
Give Thanks

O give thanks, give thanks unto the Lord,
For He is good, and His mercy endureth forever.
To Him which led His people through the wilderness,
For He is good, and His mercy endureth forever.
He turnèd the wilderness into a standing water,
And dry ground into water springs.
Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees,
Say to them that are of a fearful heart,
Be strong, fear not, behold your God will come with a recompense.
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened
And the ears of the deaf, of the deaf unstoppèd.
And a highway shall be there,
And it shall be callèd the way, the way of holiness,
The unclean shall not pass over it,
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But the redeemèd of the Lord shall walk therein;
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion,
To Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads,
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Deceptive Advertising

So I'm posting this, to see how many "google" hits I can generate by typing the phrase "unusual sexual positions" on my page. This is a shameless attempt to lure loose people into the parish hall of St. Blog's, where, with luck, they will find help.

:-)
Allow me to link to victor lams, who has to be the mentalest member of St. Blog's. (Which makes him very welcome on my page.)
The Cardinal

I don't claim to know the Pope's motivation in (supposedly) turning down Bernard Cardinal Law's resignation, any more than I claim to know Law's motive for offering it in secret. And I most certainly do not want to put any sort of Oprah-esque feel good spin on the fact that Law is still the Archbishop of my diocese.

But for all of you who have been blogging angrily about these facts (or ranting in bars, or calling the "David Brudnoy Show"), allow me to ask: have you considered how much harder the testimony and media attention is on the "current" Cardinal than it would be on the "former" Cardinal? If Law resigned and were sent to some monastery to live out his days, he would give his testimony, then slip into a van and drive off to New Hampshire, untroubled by telephones and televisions, ignoring all requests for interviews, and sleeping without the need to look for cameras outside his bedroom.

As it now stands, he still preaches public masses, still presides over one of the most prominent Catholic dioceses in the country, and must deal with the daily public scorn of the chattering classes whose attentions he once sought. For a Pope whose principal concern is the redemption of souls, which would have been the better course to take: the institutionally-sound public firing, or the personally-redemptive public agonistes?

To Rod Dreher and all those whose anger has boiled over: perhaps the man who brought down European communism knows precisely what he is doing. If you really want to do something about Cardinal Law, pray for him. Don't pray spitefully that he be removed, pray that he, like all people, receives Christ's mercy and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The madder you are, the more you need to pray *for* him, not about him. Pray also that the Holy Father is guided by the Holy Spirit to serve the true interests of the Church. And pray that healing for all of us will come in God's own time.
With Grateful Heart My Thanks I Bring

With grateful heart my thanks I bring,
Before the great Thy praise I sing;
I worship in Thy holy place
And praise Thee for Thy truth and grace;
For truth and grace together shine
In Thy most holy Word divine,
In Thy most holy Word divine.

I cried to Thee and Thou didst save,
Thy Word of grace new courage gave;
The kings of earth shall thank Thee, Lord,
For they have heard Thy wondrous Word;
Yea, they shall come with songs of praise,
For great and glorious are Thy ways,
For great and glorious are Thy ways.

O Lord, enthroned in glory bright,
Thou reignest in the heavenly height;
The proud in vain Thy favor seek,
But Thou hast mercy for the meek;
Through trouble though my pathway be,
Thou wilt retrieve and strengthen me,
Thou wilt retrieve and strengthen me.

Thou wilt stretch forth Thy mighty arm
To save me when my foes alarm;
The work Thou hast for me begun
Shall by Thy grace be fully done;
Forever mercy dwells with Thee;
O Lord, my Maker, think on me,
O Lord, my Maker, think on me.
Monday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is slowly getting better.

For Dave's friend Paul, who is much improved. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For victims of bombings in Israel. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For a just peace wherever fighting prevails. For S, her mother and her family. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption, Sarah, Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael, Megan and the anonymous ones as well.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

Please keep Timothy Michael Dolan in your intentions. He's being installed as Archbishop of Milwaukee this week.

Friday, August 23, 2002

[Boy, I *was* tired this morning. I accidentally posted this on Radio Free HMS!]

Why I don't totally hate post-modernism

CS Lewis often wrote how much easier it was to convert a pagan than a nominal but lapsed Christian. Well, I agree, and that's why I don't totally hate post-modernism. (Since I'm tired and have made 14 typos already this morning, I will call it PM from here on out, though I normally I abhor the practice of "initializing.")

Yes, of course it is evil, denying as it does not only particular truth, but the power of truth itself. It denies that there is Truth, and, when it feels compelled to speak a truth, it does so with ironic distance, always attributing it to some interesting but erroneous character or author. I also know I'm being lazy and lumping in a lot of seemingly distinct schools of thought into the general title of PM. Logical Positivism, Structuralism, even to some extent Marxism. But they all share this common dependence on and contempt for history. They all believe in the power of the intellect to overthrow the ideologies of the past.

And PM is the worst, because it uses the power of the intellect to deny its power to do any of these things. And that's why I don't totally hate it. It is self-negating.

The danger in it, of course, lies in the famous Chesterton line that a man who believes in nothing will believe in anything. But that's also the opportunity. An honest postmodernist can only forestall the inevitable, not prevent it. At some point he must come to examine his philosophy that says "there is no truth but I will it so" and declare that truth, too, null and void. And when he does, he will hopefully find a Christian or a Jew standing nearby to rush into the vaccum in his heart.

Bazarov, the protagonist of Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons," is a nihilist doctor in Russia in the mid 19th Century. He and his companion run around blithely denying everything, having fun drinking and arguing with the friend's uncle. Until Lady Odintsova arrives, and then Bazarov falls in love. Even as he struggles to deny the feelings, and declare them mere chemical reactions in his brain of no true meaning, he is overcome by the power and reality of this emotion. Sadly, because he is surrounded by nihilists and those who profess belief but do not possess it, he is overcome. He dies of a probable suicide, deliberately exposing himself to cholera to treat a patient.

It is our job to find the PMs and befriend them, so that when the crisis comes, we are there to help them.
Far Be Sorrow, Tears, and Sighing

Far be sorrow, tears and sighing!
Waves are calming, storms are dying,
Moses hath o’erpassed the sea,
Israel’s captive hosts are free;
Life by death slew death and saved us,
In His blood the Lamb hath saved us,
Clothing us with victory.

Jesus Christ from death has risen,
Lo! His Godhead bursts the prison,
While His Manhood passes free,
Vanquishing our misery.
Rise we free from condemnation;
Through our God’s humiliation,
Ours is now the victory.

Vain the foe’s despair and madness!
See the dayspring of our gladness!
Slaves no more of Satan we;
Children, by the Son set free;
Rise, for life with death has striven,
All the snares of hell are riven,
Rise and claim the victory.
Friday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is slowly getting better.

For Dave's friend Paul, who wound up losing a kidney in his surgery. For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For victims of bombings in Israel. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For a just peace wherever fighting prevails. For S, her mother and her family. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses. For mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption, Sarah, Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael, Megan and the anonymous ones as well.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Found this at Dappled Things today:

I'm Just an Old Lump of Coal -- ... but I'm gonna be a diamond some day: Now, for a few thousand dollars, you too can have the carbon in your cremated remains subjected to intense pressure and heat and transformed into a brilliant diamond.

... "We're building on the simple fact that all living creatures are carbon-based and diamonds are carbon-based," said Greg Herro, head of LifeGem Memorials. The blue diamonds are the answer to people who think a tombstone or an urn full of ashes is not personal enough. And they are portable, Herro said. ...


Great, now I'm going to get nervous every time Sally calls me her "diamond in the rough."

[I can only imagine the Mafia types lining up to have this done to their enemies. There are so many sick, wrong things with this.]
Additional prayer request

For Paul, who is having kidney surgery today.
A few randomish thoughts today.

I wrote about marriage and marital obedience a few weeks ago. One more thought on that. Any husband who uses the power of Ephesians for his own comfort has abused the power. The purpose of saying “the husband is the head of the family” (and please note, I did not in fact say that) is not so Daddy can get what he wants. If you are entrusted with authority, use it carefully. It is there for you to make decisions about the good of the FAMILY, not the DADDY.
One of the things the Church teaches about marriage is that the husband and wife form a spiritual bond, that is unbreakable in a valid marriage (and never formed in an invalid one). This sometimes seems high metaphysical mumbo jumbo to me. On the other hand, Sally and I routinely send and receive “messages” to each other. I will be at the store, and think “Boy, those muffins look tasty today,” and buy half a dozen. When I get home, Sally will ask “Did you get my ‘message’ to buy muffins?” Or I will think “Ooh, tomorrow is street-cleaning day. Sally needs to park on the other side of the street.” When she gets home she will tell me she remembered about the time I was thinking that. You can call this whatever you want, but it happens often enough that I have to think there’s something to all this teaching. Imagine that.


There are a number of members of “St. Blog’s” who have been extraordinarily stand-up people over the past few weeks. I will be thanking them more specifically and publicly in a few more weeks, when the uncertainties of the moment have crystallized. But you know who you are, and Sally and I are tremendously grateful to you.


In matters of sexual teachings I am perhaps at my least orthodox as a Catholic. This will not be a blog that takes most of those issues on, because I have gotten to my heterdoxy the hard way, by study, prayer and thought, and I don’t want to give anyone a short cut to that. (In spite of a few brief flings with controversy at the outset of “Kairos” I now think that what I do best here is stay out of controversial subjects and try instead to explain complicated ones simply.) But let me say this about most sexual heterodoxy: Stop it. Those who deny for their own convenience the truth that there is absolute truth about sexuality would reduce us to animals. The Judeo-Christian tradition is about elevating mere flesh and bone, and acknowledging a power to be more than smart reptiles. If you start running around suggesting that our sexuality doesn’t count, then you are going to have to make exceptions in other areas, and pretty soon we’re all just monkeys again. And I can think of no more pathetic state for humanity than that.


O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
Thursday Intentions

If you have someone you would like to add, please email me.

For Mrs. Kairos Guy, who is slowly getting better.

For all children who have fallen victim to violence, for the safety of all who are endangered or missing. For the Church in Boston. For persons with same-sex attraction who aspire to live the Christian life and those, of all inclinations, whom unchastity hinders. For artists. For Sarah E-Pression.For Chris and his wife, in training for the law and NFP. For my wife's cousin Sue. For those who kill themselves and the people they leave behind. For victims of bombings in Israel. For John Paul II. For Alicia, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. For a just peace wherever fighting prevails. For S, her mother and her family. For Bill L.'s mother, father, and daughter, who shares something in common with me. For Eugene D. For those who need strength to bear their crosses. For Fr. Jim's cousin, mothers who choose life, especially those who choose adoption, Karin, Elizabeth, Sarah, Randy, Deb, Roger, Corey, Michael, Megan and the anonymous ones as well.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

So, Mark Shea declared a revolution over at HMS Blog yesterday, and I told him his revolution was boring. Now he's issued some blogwas against me, so I have decided to establish "Radio Free HMS" as a counterrevolutionary force, protecting good against eeeeeevil. Kind of a "blog in exile." Come on over to check it out. If you are a blogger known to me who would like to post over there, send me an email and I will give you privileges.

VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!

Er, La COUNTERrevolucion!