Merry Christmas

A Merry Christmas to the few readers I have. This little blog would not continue without you. I’m spending Christmas in Washington, DC.

Here’s an interesting quote from the Telegraph in the U.K.:
“Roman Catholics have overtaken Anglicans as the country’s dominant religious group. More people attend Mass every Sunday than worship with the Church of England…”
from this article

Remember that Fr. Frederick Faber, in his original version of “Faith of Our Fathers” wrote this verse…
Faith of our fathers! Mary’s prayers
Shall win our country back to thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
England shall then indeed be free.
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We would be true to Thee till death.

Of course, what is happening is not what Fr. Faber had in mind exactly, but take good news when you can get it.

In other news, Matt Maher signs with Essential Records–the label Third Day is on. This is a good Christmas present for him! A new CD is scheduled for April with old and new songs, but a much bigger marketing machine behind it.

The Blue Moon and the Gold Compass

Time was, movies were condemned by the Legion of Decency for being too suggestive or using certain words (and not necessarily swear words). The Moon is Blue was condemned, and yet it might get a PG rating today–maybe PG-13. The Outlaw was condemned, and it would never get an R in today’s world. This is to say that many R movies would probably have been condenmed back in the 1940s and 50s.

But now, the tables have turned so much that the USCCB has pulled its own (somewhat favorable) review of the Golden Compass due to concern from faithful and bishops alike. The new concern is, can we really trust USCCB reviews? Are they too permissive? Notice, the question is not whether or not movies are too permissive… everybody knows that is a silly question. OF COURSE THEY ARE! This is like asking a drug dealer if he knows that he is hurting people. But, is the USCCB too permissive? This seems like a strange question, but it is an example of how the tables have turned. When culture is a sewer, where’s some clean water?

Quiet Advent

There is a serious lull in Steubenville now that the semester is over. The prospect of freezing rain overnight doesn’t concern me too much because we can have Mass here in the house Sunday.

Most recently watched TV show: “The Loretta Young Show,” Episode 51 from Season 2: “Evil for Evil.” It’s the story of a rural doctor who is threatened by a man who blames the doctor for the death of his wife. The doctor is innocent, and proven so, but the man still wants (a false) revenge.

It was a decent little show, which is more than I can say for most TV being produced these days.

TV is Awful

I was watching some TV tonight. We don’t get too many channels (around 26).

I knew TV was getting worse and worse, but I didn’t realize how much worse it is getting.

Wow. It’s REALLY awful.

Tonight, ABC was PARTICULARLY lousy.

The box is staying off for the most part.

I haven’t found a lot of sources for the following statement, but I’ve heard it over the years:
St. Elizabeth Seton (c1800s) had a vision she did not understand. She saw a black box in every American home, through which the devil would enter.

I’ve also heard that she understood that people would have control over it, but wouldn’t exercise it much.

It’s easier than ever to turn off, folks.
Speaking of turning things off, it’s time to turn off this thing.

Happy Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

O DOMINA mea! O Mater mea! Tibi me totum offero, atque, ut me tibi probem devotum, consecro tibi hodie oculos meos, aures meas, os meum, cor meum, plane me totum. Quoniam itaque tuus sum, o bona Mater, serva me, defende me ut rem ac possessionem tuam. Amen.

At some point today, the website is supposed to change to its new updated look. When I last checked, it had not, but check to see if it has for yourself:

Update… The new is online, but it is clearly under construction.

Ordinary and Extraordinary Form

A little (unplanned) research turned up an interesting fact. When the Novus Ordo Missae came out in 1969, the date of November 30, 1969 was presented as the first day it might (not must) be used, and “Priests who celebrate in Latin, in private or also in public, in cases provided for by the legislation, may use either the Roman Missal or the new rite until November 28, 1971” (Paul VI General Audience Nov. 26, 1969). (I recommend reading the general audience document because it reveals some concerns about the use of the vernacular.)

The two rites were to exist side by side for about two years. At this time they were referred to as the “new” and the “old” rites. In some places, a person might find the older rite, but the newer rite was to become more and more common and eventually replace the old.

Pope Benedict distinguised them as “forms” of the one Roman Rite rather than as separate rites. Thus, they now exist side by side again. This is not new! It was meant to be temporary, but now the situation is back, in some ways, as it was from 1969-1971. There is a key difference, however. The “new” is the “old,” and the “new” is not meant to overtake the “old” but to cause inevitable changes, which cannot exactly be foreseen at this point.

I bring this up because I had not thought about the situation in the past where the two rites (now distinguished as forms) were both in force at the same time–two “options,” if you will.

The Human Experience

I was able to see this movie last night, and it is tremendously impressive. After the first section about living homeless on the streets of New York, I was already quite impressed, but it got even better. The third section on Africa was the most powerful, but the movie doesn’t end there. I pray the movie can be distributed widely and is seen by many.