Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The End of the World As We Know It?

I really enjoy nuclear physics and at one time wanted to get into particle physics. In fact, before I became a theology major, I was on the path to nuclear physics. I even helped my professor do some nuclear experiments to study the structure of the Ce-142 and Nd-144. Admittedly, I didn't understand much about the "IBM model," but it sure sounds cool to say you helped with research in the Interacting Boson Model and the shell model of the N=84 isotones.

The actual experiment was kind of cool. Getting to play with one of those van de graaff generators. You know the one where you put you hand on the ball and it makes your hair stand on end:

Well, imagine having a van de graaff generater that was two stories tall! We used it to shoot protons into a block of something I can't remember. But the protons would collide with the substance and shoot neutrons of a specific energy at the sample (either Ce-142 or Nd-144). The neutron would hit the nucleus of the atom and transfer some of it's energy to the nucleus of the sample, making it go to a higher energy level. It would then decay, releasing a photon. We would measure this photon's energy and be able to use that data to see various energy levels. My job was to help babysit the experiement, then crunch numbers and do computer analysis to find the energy levels as accurately as possible. It was pretty cool how you could predict some things just by the data. Anyway, science has always interested me.

So why the title to this post?

I came across a documentary on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

I love the "frightful" opening squence of the video. Will it destroy the world?

I guess there has been concern. In looking at the LHC web page, if you look at the public web pages of CERN and it's description of the LHC, tucked at the end of the pages is a page that deals with the "safety concerns."

Are LHC collisions safe?
Microscopic black holes will not eat you...
Massive black holes are created in the Universe by the collapse of massive stars, which contain enormous amounts of gravitational energy that pulls in surrounding matter. The gravitational pull of a black hole is related to the amount of matter or energy it contains – the less there is, the weaker the pull. Some physicists suggest that microscopic black holes could be produced in the collisions at the LHC. However, these would only be created with the energies of the colliding particles (equivalent to the energies of mosquitoes), so no microscopic black holes produced inside the LHC could generate a strong enough gravitational force to pull in surrounding matter.

If the LHC can produce microscopic black holes, cosmic rays of much higher energies would already have produced many more. Since the Earth is still here, there is no reason to believe that collisions inside the LHC are harmful.

They even point out other articles that deal with this from other experiments:

Review of Speculative "Disaster Scenarios" at RHIC (pdf file)

The video is a pretty good video about the purpose of the LHC at CERN and the physics behind it. It also gives a very good overview of the relationship between cosmology and particle physics; two seemingly opposite areas of physics: study of the whole universe and study of the basic building blocks that make it up.

There's also some interesting video of just one of the detectors on the LHC the Atlas detector (sort of a crash course in particle physics ... pun intended ... "crash" course ... super collider ... nevermind)

I can't embed these particular videos, but you can see the videos on youtube:

The ATLAS Experiment - Mapping the Secrets of the Universe 1

The ATLAS Experiment - Mapping the Secrets of the Universe 2

It looks like the November 2007 date has been pushed back, so I think the LHC won't go online until 2008. Still, interesting stuff.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Of Blenders and Shredders

For some reason the Blendtech videos have been pretty popular on youtube. I admit that the blenders are pretty amazing in their power to blend things up. I keep wondering what the heck people are eating or drinking that they would need a blender that can liquify golf balls or cell phones! Impressive, yet I was disappoined when they didn't do the crobar. The only really cool one was the lightsticks IMHO:

(you homeschool friends don't try these things at home:

I was more impressed with the SSI corporation's machines. They can tear up engine blocks:

and even a VW bug:

Wouldn't that be a cool job. "Yeah, I test industrial shredders by coming up with things to tear up inside them.

Thanks to Fr. Erik Richsteig at the Orthometer for the Hippie link.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Get ready for August 2nd.

Just as a reminder so you can prepare early by getting to confession this weekend:

August 2nd is the day of the "Portiuncula Indulgence." You can read more about it and the requirements for obtaining the plenary indulgence here:

August 2nd - "Portiuncula Indulgence"


17th Sunday Per Annum Comparison of Prayers

So here's an update on the Comparison of Prayers. Only some tiny tweaks were made:

17th Sunday Per Annum (Ordinary Time)

Collect (Opening Prayer)

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Protéctor in te sperántium, Deus, sine quo nihil est válidum, nihil sanctum, multíplica super nos misericórdiam tuam, ut, te rectóre, te duce, sic bonis transeúntibus nunc utámur, ut iam possímus inhærére mansúris.
Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia saécula sæculórum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. God our Father and protector, without you nothing is holy, nothing has value. Guide us to everlasting life by helping us to use wisely the blessings you have given to the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. O God, Protector of those who hope in You, without Whom nothing is powerful, nothing is holy, increase Your mercy upon us, so that, with You as Ruler, with You as Leader, we may presently use the goods which pass away, so that we will indeed be able to cling to those which will last.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Prayer Over the Gifts

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Súscipe, quaésumus, Dómine, múnera, quæ tibi de tua largitáte deférimus, ut hæc sacrosáncta mystéria, grátiæ tuæ operánte virtúte, et præséntis vitæ nos conversatióne sanctíficent, et ad gáudia sempitérna perdúcant.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Lord, receive these offerings chosen from your many gifts. May these mysteries make us holy and lead us to eternal joy.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Receive, we beseech You, O Lord, these offerings, which we bring to You from Your abundance, so that these most sacred Mysteries, by the powerful working of Your grace, may both sanctify us by conversion of this present life, and may lead us to the everlasting joys.
Through Christ our Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Súmpsimus, Dómine, divínum sacraméntum, passiónis Fílii tui memoriále perpétuum; tríbue, quaésumus, ut ad nostram salútem hoc munus profíciat, quod ineffábili nobis caritáte ipse donávit.
Qui vivit et regnat in saécula sæculórum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Lord, we receive the sacrament which celebrates the memory of the death and resurrection of Christ your Son. May this gift bring us closer to our eternal salvation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. O Lord, we have taken part in this Divine Sacrament, the perpetual Memorial of the Passion of Your Son; grant, we beseech You, that this Gift, which He Himself has given to us in His ineffable love, may aid our salvation.
He Who lives and reigns forever and ever.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Michael Moore and Lord of the Rings

Speaking of Michael Moore, how would he treat the Lord of the Rings?

Fellowship 9/11

(Thanks to ronny for originally pointing this out to me.)


Is Ronald McDonald really trying to kill me?

No, he's just trying to steal from me by trying to nickel and dime me.

Had a goofy little experience at McDonalds today. I found it interesting given all the hoopla about McDonalds and health, especially around the time Morgan Spurlock's "Supersize Me" was released.

As a side note, the movie was actually pretty good. I sort of expected some bleeding heart liberal truth bending attack on the fast food industry like you'd get from Michael Moore. Yet, this did not go in the direction of a Michael Moore flick. The gimmick of the flick is the 30 days of nothing but McDonalds. But rather than it being a war on fast food companies, it really just calls people to realize that we have to take responsibility for ourselves and can't rely on corporate America to look out for our best intrests when they are trying to look out for their own (profit). It just shows corporate America for what it really is: business and making money. That in and of itself is not evil, it's just the nature of business. A company cannot survive if it does not make money. It's also a good little motivator to help you think about your diet.

Anyway, with all the media McFlurry (pun intended), one of the "results" was that supposedly McDonalds would not longer have a "supersize" option. Well, that's not really what happened. They just took away "supersize" and instead made all their combos have options of small, medium, or large. Or some weird "upgrade" thing for only a few cents more! So, really just getting the large or upgrade, you get the "supersize." This actually helps them, because they can post the price of the smaller combo so it looks cheaper, then you upgrade it and pay more anyway. Almost a hidden cost, yet you asked for it.

So I just ordered the combo, I didn't say "supersize," or "large" or anything like that. And it is supposedly McDonald's policy to not even offer to upgrade anymore. So when I pull around and see the lady is about to hand me the ginormous 55 gallon drum of diet coke that comes with the large combo (and the price was more than advertised even with tax), I have to ask her what size I was about to get. She told me large. Interesting. So, I told her I had only wanted the medium, she "downsized it" for me and gave me back the difference. Of course who would really expect McDonalds to suddenly care about all that stuff. Overall, they just want my money. (Had they been "smart" they would have given me the large combo anyway and just given me back the difference, that would have had a much more likely result in repeat business which would have been greater than the little difference they "saved" by downgrading my combo.)

Now, I realize that McDonalds is not healthy. Their main value is that they are convenient. That's really the only reason I ever go there. I rarely have a craving for McDonalds, and unless the french fries are done just right, I never think "I'm Lovin' It" while I'm eating it. [gasp!] (I must be growing up!)

Now to just get over my love of Starbucks hazelnut lattes.


Latin Ambassador

Whew! Just got back from being an amassador for the Latin Mass ("Novus Ordo"). I helped chant some of the Mass and serve as well. The Mass went well, there was a nice turnout for a weekday Mass and quite a cross section of the parish, young and old alike. And all the people I talked with would like to have more Masses in Latin. So, I'd say it was a success.

Now, I must get to bed, I am exhausted after spending about 5 hours on the road today ... er ... yesterday ... um ... I don't know what day it is anymore. Good night.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thanks for the prayers.

Thank you for your prayers. The abbot I mentioned Monday is fine. Turns out it was a false alarm, so he is back on his feet and doing well.

But please keep the prior who is battling cancer at the other monastery in your prayers.


Commemoration of Saint Christopher

"Saint Christopher" by Titian

Today is also the Commemoration of Saint Christopher. He is still a Saint contrary to what some people think. I wrote all about it last year:

Happy Name's Day To Me!



Speaking of Saint James, how cool is this? As a sacristan, this thing just really gets my liturgical geekyness going! At Santiago de Compostela in Spain, at the basilica where Saint James' relics are, they have a huge thurible (botafumeiro) that they swing across the enitre sanctuary! It takes about ten men to hang on to the rope to swing it. "Shovels are used to fill the Botafumeiro."

"One tradition has it that the use of a swinging censer in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral began in the 11th century. Arriving pilgrims were tired and unwashed. They were also crowded together. Dispersing incense smoke inside the church under these conditions was probably a reasonable approach to combat the body smells of the accumulated masses."

So what's it like in action? Check this out, they really get this thing swinging!

Wow! They are probably getting this ready as I am writing this.

EDIT - I can't get over this, I keep watching the video. That would be something to see live.

Here's a broader view of it:

EDIT 2 - Matt's post over at Absolutely No Spin reminded me I should have used the term "ginormous" to describe the thurible.


Comparison of Prayers - Saint James (the Greater), Apostle

"Saint James the Apostle" by Reubens

Collect (Opening Prayer)

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui Apostolórum tuórum primítias beáti Iacóbi sánguine dedicásti, da, quaésumus, Ecclésiæ tuæ ipsíus confessióne firmári, et iúgiter patrocíniis confovéri.
Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia saécula sæculórum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Almighty Father, by the martyrdom of St. James you blessed the work of the early Church. May his profession of faith give us courage and his prayers bring us strength.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. Almighty and Eternal God, You Who consecrated the first-fruits of Your Apostles by the blood of the blessed James, grant, we beseech You, to be strengthened by his confession of Your Church, and continually to be supported by his protection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, You Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

Prayer Over the Gifts

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Munda nos, Dómine, passiónis Fílii tui baptísmate salutári, ut in festo beáti Iacóbi, quem primum inter Apóstolos cálicis eius partícipem esse voluísti, beneplácitum tibi sacrifícium offerámus.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Lord, as we honor St. James, the first apostle to share the cup of suffering and death, wash away our sins by the saving passion of your Son, and make our sacrifice pleasing to you.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Through the Passion of Your Son cleanse us in the saving waters of Baptism, O Lord, so that on this feast of the blessed James, whom you wished to be the first of the Apostles to participate in Your Chalice, we may offer a pleasing sacrifice to You.
Through Christ our Lord.

Preface I of the Apostles - The Apostles, Pastors of the People of God

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Vere dignum et iustum est, æquum et salútare, nos tibi semper et ubíque grátias ágere: Dómine, sancte Pater, omnípotens ætérne Deus:
Qui gregem tuum, Pastor ætérne, non déseris, sed per beátos Apóstolos contínua protectióne custódis, ut iísdem rectóribus gubernétur, quos Fílii tui vicários eídem contulísti præésse pastóres.
Et ídeo cum Angelis et Archángelis, cum Thronis et Dominatiónibus, cumque omni milítia cæléstis exércitus, hymnum glóriæ tuæ cánimus, sine fine dicéntes:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus ...

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
You are the eternal Shepherd who never leaves his flock untended. Through the apostles you watch over us and protect us always. You made them shepherds of the flock to share in the work of your Son, and from their place in heaven they guide us still.
And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven we proclaim your glory and join in their unending hymn of praise:
Holy, holy, holy ...

My Own Literal Translation
It is truly right and just, proper and availing unto salvation, that we always and everywhere give thanks to You, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty and Eternal God:
You, O eternal Shepherd, Who do not forsake Your flock, but keep it in Your continual protection through the blessed Apostles, so that it may be governed by those rulers, whom as the vicars of Your Son You have given to be pastors over it.
And so, with all the Angels and Archangels, with the Thrones and Dominions, with the whole army of heavenly hosts, we sing the hymn of Your glory, saying without end:
Holy, Holy, Holy ...

Post-Communion Prayer

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Beáti apóstoli Iacóbi, quaésumus, Dómine, intercessióne nos ádiuva, pro cuius festivitáte percépimus tua sancta lætántes.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Father, we have received this holy eucharist with joy as we celebrate the feast of the apostle James. Hear his prayers and bring us your help.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. Help us, we beseech You, O Lord, through the intercession of the blessed Apostle James, on whose feast we have joyfully received Your Holy Mysteries.
Through Christ our Lord.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's raining cats and dogs and ...

Sorry, been super busy today. But here's an internet classic: from 1970 (the news report, not it being an internet classic back then, LOL), here's the news report of the infamous "exploding whale"

There's also a more recent happening that's related in this msnbc.com news article from Taiwan. I'll just provide the link since the picture is a bit gross (it's not that bad, just a bit gross).

Thar she blows! Dead whale explodes.

I'll just stick to salmon, thank you.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Signs of the Times

Kansas City Catholic has a new brilliant "dialogue" in a clever series. Go and check them out:

Signs: Street Talking

and an older one here:

Signs: Lenten Fare


Prayer Request for two monks

Speaking of monks, I have a prayer request.

Please pray for an abbot I know who was taken to the hospital last night. As of this morning they were still trying to figure out what was wrong with him.

Also please pray for the prior of another monastery. He is battling cancer and is in the midst of recovering from a bone marrow transplant.

Finally, please also pray for the monks of both of these monasteries since these are the spiritual fathers of each community. For the monks it is the same thing as having the father of your family being seriously ill. And the devil loves to take advantage of situations where the father of a family is down.

I'll also tack on one more request. Please pray for a friend who's two year old son had a fever related seizure yesterday. His son seems to be fine and stable, but they are still waiting to see if it is bacteria or virus related. One is apparently more dangerous than the other, so pray that it is the less serious one.


Saint John Cassian

Saint John Cassian

Although today is the Memorial of Saint Bridget, today is also the Commemoration of Saint John Cassian.

He is mentioned in the 2004 Roman Martyrology for today:

Massíliæ in Província Gálliæ, sancti Ioánnis Cassiáni, presbýteri, qui duo monastéria, álterum pro viris, álterum pro muliéribus, cóndidit et, longo rerum monasticárum usu perítus, de Cœnobíticus Institútis et Collatiónes Patrum scripsit ad ædificatiónem monachórum.
[Quick and rough translation](Marsalles in the Province of Gaul (France), Saint John Cassian, priest, who founded two monasteries, one for men, the other for women, learned in the longstanding practice of monastic things, he wrote the Monastic Institutes and the Conferences of the Fathers for the encouragement of monks.

Saint John Cassian travelled with his friend Germanus to the Holy Lands and to Egypt, visiting various monasteries and hermits and learning how to live monastic life. He then recorded much of what he learned in his writings and brought them back to Italy and France to help encourage the growth of monastic life in the West.

Saint John Cassian's writings and Saint Basil the Great's Monastic Rule are specifically mentioned by Saint Benedict in his Rule as recommended reading for monks.

Then, besides, the Conferences of the Fathers, their Institutes and their Lives, there is also the rule of our holy father Basil. For observant and obedient monks, all these are nothing less than tools for the cultivation of virtues; but as for us, they make us blush with shame at being so slothful, so unobservant, so negligent. Are you hastening toward your heavenly home?
Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 73

EDIT - Found his writings online over at newadvent.org:

The Institutes

The Conferences


Weird Headline or Bad Plot?

Here's some Monday Levity for you.

I only managed 60% correct. Take the quiz at the following link:

Ripped from the Headlines or Plot from Scooby Doo?


Sunday, July 22, 2007

That question

That question I've posted in tons of comment boxes has an interesting article written about it.

Now in some bishops' and cardinals' cases, I still have to ask the question given the gavity of some of their actions, but if nothing else the article does give a good explaination of some ecclesiology.

Why Doesn't the Pope Do Something about "Bad" Bishops?

The author linked to the article via this post regarding the Cardinal Mahoney scandals:

Even Priests Have Fantasies


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Comparison of Religion - atheism

I am always amazed at how some atheists actually make atheism into a religion. How some of them end up criticizing those who are religious (especially Christians) because some people in religion act so "self-righteous" and "arrogant," and yet these atheists end up being just as self-righteous and pretentious as those they criticize.

I came across a weird video at an atheist site which is supposed to be a humorous yet serious look at the "methods" of cults. Given the site it was at, it was clearly posted to criticize not just cults, but religion as well. But I find the video content to be rather ironic. The video certainly nails the way a cult works; I think here specifically of $cientology.

(As a warning there are two scenes which could be considered "graphic" because it has implied murder)

Mind Control Made Easy

Now, having seen the video, think of things you've heard from atheists:

"Religious people are ignorant or stupid, but WE [atheists] know better."

"Your religious parents just don't understand, you should avoid them."

"Don't read that religious garbage, it will only confuse or trick you."

"It's not a miracle, although we can't explain it, there's obviously some scientific explanation for it."

"It's us against those religious nuts."

I've even seen a "Church of Freethought" a "church for non-believers." The complete irrationality of that one just floors me!

Overall, atheism might not be an organized religion, but you can see it's mindset being rather cult like and aggressive.

For instance, the next big controversy will probably be this Christmas. New Line Cinema (the ones who gave us "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) will be releasing the first movie of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy called "The Golden Compass." They are written by Philip Pullman, who "is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society." You can read more about him and his works at the two links just listed.

The "His Dark Materials" trilogy as known in North America"

The "His Dark Materials" trilogy has been called an "antithesis to the Chronicles of Narnia," and it is pretty anti-Catholic/Christian. It will be controversial because of this, and the fact that the movie looks to be a rather beautifully filmed fantasy movie aimed mainly at young adults..

So, remember, I predict the next big "Da Vinci Code-esque" controversy will be this December.

Like I said, I often find that all the criticisms of religion which are made by atheists tend to be amazingly accurate of themselves as well. Guess we'll just all have to turn discordian. LOL.


Friday, July 20, 2007

16th Sunday Per Annum Comparison of Prayers

No tweaks from the translation I did last year, but here's the prayers again:


Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Propitiáre, Dómine, fámulis tuis, et clémenter grátiæ tuæ super eos dona multíplica, ut, spe, fide et caritáte fervéntes, semper in mandátis tuis vígili custódia persevérent
Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia saécula sæculórum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Lord be merciful to your people. Fill us with your gifts and make us always eager to serve you in faith, hope, and love.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

My own Literal Translation
Let us pray. Look favorably upon Your servants, O Lord, and lovingly multiply the gifts of Your grace upon them, so that, burning with hope, faith, and charity, they may always persevere with vigilance in the keeping of Your commandments.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Prayer Over the Gifts

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Deus, qui legálium differéntiam hostiárum uníus sacrifícii perfectióne, sanxísti, áccipe sacrifícium a devótis tibi fámulis, et pari benedictióne, sicut múnera Abel, sanctífica, ut, quod sínguli obtulérunt ad maiestátis tuæ honórem, cunctis profíciat ad salútem.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Lord, bring us closer to salvation through these gifts which we bring in your honor. Accept the perfect sacrifice you have given us, bless it as you blessed the gifts of Abel.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

My own Literal Translation
O God, Who by the perfection of one Sacrifice consecrated the various offerings of the Law, accept this sacrifice from the servants devoted to You, and sanctify it with an equal blessing, as You did the gifts of Abel, so that, that which each have offered to the honor of Your majesty, may accomplish the salvation of all.
Through Christ our Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Pópulo tuo, quaésumus, Dómine, adésto propítius, et, quem mystériis cæléstibus imbuísti, fac ad novitátem vitæ de vetustáte transíre.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Merciful Father, may these mysteries give us new purpose and bring us to a new life in you.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

My own Literal Translation
Let us pray. Graciously assist Your people, we beseech You, O Lord, and, make those, whom You have imbued with these Heavenly Mysteries, to cross over from their old way to newness of life.
Through Christ our Lord.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vatican Radio Show about Latin

As a side note, Father Gary Coulter has a page that has a summary of Father Reginald Foster, OCD's programs on Vatican Radio about the Latin Language called "The Latin Lover" (Better to give you the link than to have you google the name of the show. LOL.)

Archive of "The Latin Lover" with Fr. Reginald Foster

Now, some of the things Father Reginal Foster says you have to take with a grain of salt. He is a stereotypical genius. He can speak Latin, but he has some quirks, one of which is to say things to shock people. He is a good man, and he is very dedicated to the preservation of Latin, but he'll rarely hold back an opinion.

Anyway, the radio shows are very interesting, if not for the Latin anecdotes, then for a bit of insight into Vatican politics and workings.


Vatican Website Updates

Most of you are probably familiar with the main Vatican website of the Holy See over at http://www.vatican.va.

(Remember, all official Vatican sites' domain names will end with ".va" as that is the official domain of the Vatican. Anything claiming to be the Vatican ending in .com, .net, .org, etc. is probably going to be bad news.)

And the Vatican just announced some more pages:

Vatican City State (English page)

Vatican Radio (English Site)

The "L'Osservatore Romano"
(The Vatican's Official newspaper)

And finally, the one that really caught my eye, the Vatican Museums

Official Vatican Museums Site

The Vatican Museum page looks very cool and has a lot of info on it. It's obviously not like actually being there, but it is a pretty thorough tour.

(I do admit that I was having trouble seeing the more detailed pictures, but I may be missing a plugin or it could just be that my dinosaur computer is just too old to handle some of the newer applications, eg I can't run quicktime 7.0 or higher.)

Have fun.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Be it ever so crumbled ...

Be it ever so crumbled, there's no place like Rome.

The Roman Sacristan is getting to go back to Rome for a couple of weeks this September.

Of course the pope knows me ... he even put me on his papal coat of arms.



Sunday, July 15, 2007

Shifting gears

I've blogged about the highly fascinating informational video "Shift Happens" before (it's certainly worth watching again):

Information the new weapon of mass destruction?

Well, Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod have produced a second video to get you thinking about the internet and the power of the information highway:

Shift Happens 2.0


Saturday, July 14, 2007

I've Been Sneaking Into China

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Apparently, I have been able to sneak into China. When I check my sitemeter, I occasionally get hits from several places in China:

even though my website is supposedly blocked by the Chinese government.

My Catholic Chinese brethren must be laughing about it!

"Ha! We can still see the Roman Sacristan's site!"

Our prayers are with you, Catholic brethren, keep the Faith!


The other part of the Church's teaching on immigration

My Vatican Information Service newsletter on Wednesday contained a summary of the speech delivered by Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, during the Global Forum on Migration and Development

It has the usual things about human rights, but there is one part that is not emphasized enough by many Church leaders:

"But rights and duties go together," he added. "Therefore, at the same time, migrants have the duty to respect the identity and the laws of the country of residence, strive for proper integration (not assimilation) into the host society and learn its language. They are to foster esteem and respect for their host country, even to the point of loving and defending it.

Living in Texas, I have seen much, much abuse of the immigration laws and have seen a lot of people who refuse to integrate (which is sad because it is to their own disadvantage).

Certainly, immigrants (even illegals) are humans, but the fact that they are humans means they also have the ability and duty to strive to not be a burden. It is a part of man's dignity to be able to work for his own sustinance. These people are not animals that we keep in a ghetto (or barrio) zoo. It's win-win if illegals use the proper channels to become legal and contribute to our country. There is a system that works (even if it can seem onerous. Unfortunately, there are many who don't bother with it. Again, it's only to their own disadvantage.

Yes, I have known illegals, and also those who have become citizens. I have seen the system work and I have seen the advantages of citizenship and integration firsthand. I have also lived in another country, so I know the difficulties of going to another country, culture, and language.

There's still opportunity here in the U.S., but you have to want to work for that opportunity.

Fr. Stephanos also has a good summary of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about immigration:

What does the Church teach about immigrants?


Friday, July 13, 2007

Update - Comparison of Prayers - 15th Sunday Per Annum

"Arrival of the Good Samaritan at the Inn" by Gustav Dore

We've pretty much gone through all the Sunday prayers of the liturgical year, but I will go ahead and post the prayers again if I have made any tweaks or changes, even if minor. So here's an updated Comparison of Prayers for the 15th Week "Per Annum" (Ordinary Time).

Collect (Opening Prayer)

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Deus, qui errántibus, ut in viam possint redíre, veritátis tuæ lumen osténdis, da cunctis qui christiána professióne censéntur, et illa respúere, quæ huic inimíca sunt nómini, et ea quæ sunt apta sectári.
Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia saécula sæculórum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. God our Father, your light of truth guides us to the way of Christ. May all who follow him reject what is contrary to the gospel.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. O God, You Who have shown forth the light of Your Truth to the straying, that they may be able to return to Your way, grant to all who are distinguished by the Christian profession, to cast away those things, which are contrary to the Christian name, and to follow those things which are appropriate to it.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Prayer Over the Gifts

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Réspice, Dómine, múnera supplicántis Ecclésiæ, et pro credéntium sanctificatiónis increménto suménda concéde.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Lord, accept the gifts of your Church. May this eucharist help us grow in holiness and faith.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
O Lord, look upon these gifts of Your humbly supplicating Church, and grant that this Sacrifice Which is about to be undertaken should be for the increasing of the sanctification of believers.
Through Christ our Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Sumptis munéribus, quaésumus, Dómine, ut, cum frequentatióne mystérii, crescat nostræ salútis efféctus.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Lord, by our sharing in the mystery of this eucharist, let your saving love grow within us.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. By these gracious Gifts, we beseech You, O Lord, that, with the frequenting of this Mystery, the accomplishment of our salvation may come forth.
Through Christ our Lord.


Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" homily

Pentecost at Saint William Parish where Fr. Paul Weinberger is pastor.

Here's a homily which was well done, that was given last Sunday regarding the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum." This is a diocesan parish that always says the Mass of Paul VI (the "Novus Ordo").

(It's good to see positive and accurate homilies regarding "Summorum Pontificum," especially "from the frontlines.")

Homily of 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time, 2007 on the motu proprio
by Father Paul Weinberger.


Update - Comparison of Prayers - 14th Sunday Per Annum

Sorry this is late, these are last Sunday's prayers which I did last year, but I did some very minor tweaks to a couple of words in my literal translations, so just to give you the update:

Collect (Opening Prayer)

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Deus, qui in Fílii tui humilitáte iacéntem mundum erexísti, fidélibus tuis sanctam concéde lætítiam, ut, quos eripuísti a servitúte peccáti, gáudiis fácias pérfrui sempitérnis.
Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia saécula sæculórum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Let us pray. Father, through the obedience of Jesus, your servant and your Son, you raised a fallen world. Free us from sin and bring us the joy that lasts for ever.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. O God, Who in the humility of Your Son lifted up this fallen world, grant a holy rejoicing to Your faithful, so that, You might make those, whom You have snatched from the bondage of sin, to enjoy fully the eternal joys.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Prayer Over the Gifts

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Oblátio nos, Dómine, tuo nómini dicáta puríficet, et de die in diem ad cæléstis vitæ tránsferat actiónem.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Lord, let this offering to the glory of your name purify us and bring us closer to eternal life.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
May this oblation, consecrated to Your Name, purify us, O Lord, and may it from day to day direct us to the duties of a heavenly life.
Through Christ our Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Official Latin from the 1969 & 2002 Roman Missals
Orémus. Tantis, Dómine, repléti munéribus, præsta, quaésumus, ut et salutária dona capiámus, et a tua numquam laude cessémus.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Official 1973 I.C.E.L. Translation (Used at Mass in English)
Lord, may we never fail to praise you for the fullness of life and salvation you give us in this eucharist.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

My Own Literal Translation
Let us pray. O Lord, having been replenished with these Offerings so great, grant, we beseech You, that we may acquire the gifts of salvation, and never cease from praising You.
Through Christ our Lord.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Organic Liturgy

Fr. Z. had a piece from The Curmudgeon who made a great comparison of the last 40 years to the major New Coke bungle that Coca-Cola made back in the 80's.

Which inspired me to make this, which I am surprised nobody else has done, that I know of (this took me way to long to do).

Organic things are totally in now. See, the Church is just keeping up with modern times!

Tired of all those artificial things that have been added to your liturgies? Worried that your spiritual health may be affected by the addition of inappropriate things? Sick of unnatural things spoiling the taste of liturgy?

From Benedictine Farms comes an old time favorite: Organic Mass.
We've gone back to old, tried-and-true techniques to bring you an all supernatural litugy.

-Nothing artificial
-Organically developed
-All supernatural
-Tastes great, like Mass should
-Nourishes both body and soul

Now becoming more widely available!

(Please bear with my horrid photoshop skills. :P
... no pun intended ... get it? ... bear ...)



Do you have conviction in being Catholic?

Hat tip to The New Liturgical Movement for pointing out one of the better "secular" articles about the release of the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" and the recent reiteration "Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church" that "'This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. ... This Church, constituted and organized in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him'," in light of the moot controversy about the old (which isn't even used in the 1962 Missal) Good Friday prayers which refers to the "faithless Jews."

The interesting part of the article is the fact that the author lauds the Church for actually having conviction in what it believes.

Any serious Catholic believes that happiness and eternal life are to be found within the Catholic Church. To refuse to pray that other people will find their way into such a place would be positively selfish and cruel.

The problem is that in this intellectually dumb and morally numb age we like our truths, well, less truthful. "Might be" or "could be" or, usually, "anything you want it to be." Never "you should be."

The article is here:

"Restoring a Church tradition"

Interestingly, this reminded me of a video I just saw yesterday which speaks about the same thing.

Taylor Mali speaks about conviction in his slam poem "Like, you know"

Woah, he pretty much nails a lot of bishops, priests, and laity to the wall. How many times have you heard homilies and statements like that ... you know? Just sayin'. LOL.

Jesus spoke with conviction and authority. He would not be very popular nowadays ... whether it is Christ Himself, the Head, or His Body, the Church speaking. Oh, wait ...


Happy Feast of Saint Benedict

Statue of Saint Benedict in the piazza in Norcia

Not only is it the Feast of Saint Benedict, but it is also Il Papa's namesday.

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

Most people know that Saint Benedict is the Father of Western Monasticism. It's Saint Benedict's Rule that has inspired me to seek a vocation in Benedictine monasticsm.

There isn't much in terms of information about Saint Benedict's life except his Rule and Saint Gregory the Great's biography of Saint Benedict contained in the Dialogues. So, I thought I would provide some links for you:

The Rule of Saint Benedict

The Life of Saint Benedict
(Book II of the Diologues of Saitn Gregory the Great)

Early influences on Saint Benedict
(Saint Eutizio, Saint Fiorenzo, and Saint Spes)

Happy reading!


Ginormous News

picture featuring a "ginormous" burger (among other things)

Merriam-Webster has added the word "ginormous" to its dictionary, as well as about 100 other words.

It was a ginormous year for the wordsmiths at Merriam-Webster. Along with embracing the adjective that combines "gigantic" and "enormous," the dictionary publishers also got into Bollywood, sudoku and speed dating.
There's "crunk," a style of Southern rap music; the abbreviated "DVR," for digital video recorder; and "IED," shorthand for the improvised explosive devices that have become common in the war in Iraq.

If it sounds as though Merriam-Webster is dropping its buttoned-down image with too much talk of "smackdowns" (contests in entertainment wrestling) and "telenovelas" (Latin-American soap operas), consider it also is adding "gray literature" (hard-to-get written material) and "microgreen" (a shoot of a standard salad plant.)

No matter how odd some of the words might seem, the dictionary editors say each has the promise of sticking around in the American vocabulary.

Unfortunately, "embiggen" hasn't made it yet.

You can read the whole article here:

New dictionary includes "ginormous"


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Who's On First "Explained"

Today has been rather blah for me, so I need some levity (I guess since I missed my usual Monday levity).

I have always loved Abbot & Costello's "Who's on First"

Well, I found a video that explains it and has a visual layout, which should eleminate the confusion ... right?

Crystal clear now! LOL.

(Sorry, I need to figure out how to make my blog wider)


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Quick thoughts on Summorum Pontificum

Well, I just finished reading "Summorum Pontificum" and the accompanying letter from Pope Benedict to the bishops explaining the motu proprio. I have to say, the document and letter were very well written and very clear. Let us pray that they are also well read and/or read well.

First, we need to get some language straight. The "Tridentine" and the "Novus Ordo" are not two different rites. They are both of the Roman rite, however they are two different "uses" within the Roman rite. This can also be understood by looking at the Anglican use, which is the form of Mass used by former Anglicans who have come into the Catholic Church. The Anglican use is also within the Roman rite. So, these are not different rites, but rather different uses. Thus I will try to now refer to them as the "Mass of Bl. John XXIII" (="Tridentine" since the 1962 Missal was promulgated under Bl. John XXIII) and the "Mass of Paul VI" (="Novus Ordo" which was promulgated under Pope Paul VI).

And so, my summary:

I would say the most important point is that the old use ("use" will be the new way to describe either form) was NEVER ABROGATED.

The Mass of Paul VI will be the ordinary form of the Roman rite, and the Mass of Bl. John XXIII will be the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. However, all priests of the Roman rite, whether ordained before or after the liturgical reform, who are qualified (i.e. properly trained) in the Mass of John XXIII and are juridically allowed (that means they are allowed to say Mass) may say the Mass of John XXIII.
Both uses are to be held with equal respect.

The motu proprio has been officially promulgated and will take effect September 14th, 2007 (the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross).

Bishops are to be very cooperative in supporting the desire of those who wish to have this Mass and are to make every effort possible. [This could be one bottleneck in the legitimate carrying out of this motu proprio].

The pope's accomanying letter clarifies things well. He addresses the two greatest negative reations or "fears" about the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum."

1st is the fear that the document detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council. "This fear is unfounded," according to the pope. The ordinary form is still the Mass of Paul VI. However, the Mass of Bl. John XXIII was never juridically abrogated. Vatican II never forbade the Mass of Bl. John XXIII. The pope shows that there are many within the Church who are attracted to the older Mass and have learned much of the Faith and are able to better worship God within the older Mass. Basically, Vatican II called for a renewal and more authentic worship of all the faithful, not just those who are attracted to the Mass of Paul VI.

2nd is the fear that the motu proprio will cause divisions within parishes. The pope says, "this fear also strikes me as quite unfounded." Again, the Mass of Paul VI is the ordinary Mass, and the motu proprio in no way says that the Mass of Bl. John XXIII can be forced upon the faithful. Although, it should also be noted that this goes both ways. Priests cannot as a matter of principle exclude celebrating according to the new books, especially in places where the Mass of Paul VI is regularly celebrated.

The biggest problem I see is not the motu proprio, or either use of the Rite, rather, the biggest problem will be with the priests who celebrate either use. This will be due to the "mindset" that many priests have in the post-conciliar era that you can make changes to the Mass. Often this is said to be done for "pastoral" reasons, but really that is often a cop out to change things to make it easier or to do things the way the priest wants to do them.

My liturgical attitude is this: I should not want to do things my way, I should not want to do things your way, but I should want to do them the Church's way. Who am I to impose my own way of doing things on the liturgy? Rather, I should respect the liturgy so much, that I would not add anything or take away anything from the liturgy. This would go with even pious things. Just because they are pious, does not mean they are appropriate. Canon law says that priests may not add to or take away anything from the Mass. They are to follow the liturgical books. As someone who serves at Mass, I also should respect the rite. I may not always like some of the things in the Mass of Paul VI, but who am I to change them? This is our rite, this is the ritual, I should stick to it OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE RITE, OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE RITUAL, AND OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE MASS.

Even the pope acknoledges this: "in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear ... And even I [Pope Benedict XVI] have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church."

Both uses have their proper rite and ritual and are to be followed. No matter which use, the Mass of Bl. John XXIII or the Mass of Paul VI, we should always carry out the Mass according to the way the Church tells us. The we can be obedient and offer proper sacrifice, prayer, and glory to God.

However, let us rejoice at this motu proprio, and the reasonable solution it gives to the seeming dichotomy of the last 40 years.
The "Te Deum" is traditionally sung in thanksgiving to God for prayers answered. I list here the simple version since it is the one with which I am most familiar.

you'll definitely need to click the music to make it bigger

Overall, the motu proprio and the pope's accompanying letter are addressing an erronious mindset, something which may be an uphill battle, but will certainly be worth it overall in the Chruch.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!

Explosions, explosions, explosions! The day all the little (and us bigger) American pyromaniacs get to blow things up!

Have some fireworks:

How's 16,000 firecrackers sound?

How about 50,000 bottlerockets within 5 seconds?

OK, fine, how about 3.2 million firecrackers?

Ok, I can only go up to one of the biggest explosions by the U.S., the 21 kiloton Baker test at the Bikini atolls.

Dude, if that doesn't empress you, then I'll just have to go with the biggest explosion ever, but that was done by those commies, the Soviets: 58 megatons!
(the video does start to show after a few seconds).

Proud to be an American!
I've got your back, America. I've got ya covered.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Former terrorist pleas for Muslims to fight terrorism

Hassan Butt speaks out against Islamic terrorism

Finally, an voice amongst Muslims decrying terrorism and radical Islam.

Hassan Butt, a British citizen and former terrorist speaks out against terrorism and the extremist mindset that is being preached by many Muslim leaders.

Parts of the article:

When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.
How did this continuing violence come to be the means of promoting this (flawed) utopian goal? How do Islamic radicals justify such terror in the name of their religion? There isn't enough room to outline everything here, but the foundation of extremist reasoning rests upon a dualistic model of the world. Many Muslims may or may not agree with secularism but at the moment, formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not allow for the separation of state and religion. There is no 'rendering unto Caesar' in Islamic theology because state and religion are considered to be one and the same. The centuries-old reasoning of Islamic jurists also extends to the world stage where the rules of interaction between Dar ul-Islam (the Land of Islam) and Dar ul-Kufr (the Land of Unbelief) have been set down to cover almost every matter of trade, peace and war.

What radicals and extremists do is to take these premises two steps further. Their first step has been to reason that since there is no Islamic state in existence, the whole world must be Dar ul-Kufr. Step two: since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world. Many of my former peers, myself included, were taught by Pakistani and British radical preachers that this reclassification of the globe as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) allows any Muslim to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief. In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians.
But the main reason why radicals have managed to increase their following is because most Islamic institutions in Britain just don't want to talk about theology. They refuse to broach the difficult and often complex topic of violence within Islam and instead repeat the mantra that Islam is peace, focus on Islam as personal, and hope that all of this debate will go away. [RS comment: that last line sounds like many protestants when it comes to faith and reason.]

The article is a must read. You can view the whole article here:

My plea to fellow Muslims: you must renounce terror.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Stormtrooper, dancing, and that song.

Just some Monday levity.

I don't know why, but this video really helped my mood today. I think it was the surreal aspect of it.

And then suddenly there has been an onslaught of videos with the song "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Punk.

This one seemed to be the first in line (it gets better after a minute or so). All done in one take.

Now that you know the song, you can hear it done a capella.