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Archives for February 2005

Taking in the World of Power

If you have ever taken a communication class, whether in college or the workplace, you have probably performed an exercise which takes a sentence and emphasizes different words to give it different meanings. For example, let us look at the sentence Taking in the world of power.

Taking in the world of power:

One takes in the world of power because that is what one does in the world of power; there being room for nothing else. Even what is called love is a form of taking because love’s object is an extension of oneself.

Taking in the world of power:

Surveying the world of power, like Satan showing Jesus the cities of the plain.

Taking in the world of power:

The real deal, the big leagues, real power as opposed to the puny power of the little guy.

Taking in the world of power:

Being of the world of power, in contrast to being in the world of power.

Taking in the world of power:

In contrast to the only other world there is, the only other mode of being, the way of the cross, the way of perfect love, perfect forgiveness, perfect holiness. As C.S. Lewis once said, there is no unclaimed territory between God and the devil. There isn’t a moment that we are not either following God, or, the enemy.

Penance, Penance, Penance!

VATICAN CITY, JUN 26, 2000 (VIS) – Given below is the complete translation of the original Portuguese text of the third part of the secret of Fatima, revealed to the three shepherd children at Cova da Iria-Fatima on July 13, 1917, and committed to paper by Sr. Lucia on January 3, 1944:

“I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

“After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”

The Shush Factor

A certain mustachioed librarian with muscles of steel was sitting in a saloon in Gallup, New Mexico, enjoying the latest issue of Library Trends and a double Wild Turkey, straight up, when a taunting “shush” followed by a whiskey-breathed cackle arose from the other end of the bar. “Them’s fightin’ words,” said the barrel-chested bibliophile, adding, parenthetically, “(if, indeed, ‘shush’ can be called ‘words’)”; and, setting aside his scholarly journal, taking care (also parenthetically) not to damage its spine, he pulled out his ALA-accredited six-shooter and shot a hole right through that lily-livered sapsucker’s copy of Men’s Health.

Dream Library

Which of the following most nearly corresponds to your dream library?

(a) Utilitarian warehouse of knowledge. (b) Quiet zone enforced by simmeringly sexy bifocal-clad intelligent agents. (c) Technology playground. (d) Palace of words where every man and woman is royalty. (e) Temple of learning, holy place, sacred space. (e) Noisy marketplace of ideas, grist mill of thought, where ideas are sought and found and celebrated and fought over, sometimes in loud voices, violent gesticulations, and the occasional barroom-style brawl. (f) Nature preserve where wild beasts roam freely among the stacks. (g) Coffeehouse where music and philosophy blend with caffeine and serotonin in a volatile mix. (h) 24-hour Fitness center of the mind and soul. (i) Interdisciplinary mental health spa. (j) Smorgasbord of virtually everything. (k) Books, books, and more books!

Kyrie Eleison

Hunter S. Thompson killed himself on Sunday. May God have mercy on him.

Ethan Hawkeness

The other night my wife and I started watching the movie, “Before Sunrise” starring Ethan Hawke (the key word is “started”). Hawke plays a young American traveling through Europe on a Eurail pass who meets a beautiful French girl. They hit it off and end up spending the night wondering the streets of Vienna talking (I think). Anyway, they meet on the train where both are reading “books.” I didn’t see what Ethan was reading, but, I have a hunch that, phenomonalogically at least, it was his own book (the actor is a published author). They begin talking philosophy, something which is neither here nor there because the movie is about Ethan Hawkeness. And I don’t need to read Hawke’s book to know that it too is about Ethan Hawkeness; a self-serious disease of the soul–fatal for some–where popular culture is an opiate worse than religion to Karl Marx.

Sister Lucia Dies

Sister Lucia, the most prominent of the Fatima visionaries, died yesterday at 97. According to NRO, it was no surprise that she died on the thirteenth day of the month, the same day in each of the months she and her cousins recieved visions of Our Lady in1917.

Valentine

Ashley P
You’re very smart
Your SLP
And language chart
Make you adept
At finding slips
When they have crept
Up on my lips
But also you
Can use your skill
To make lips do
What fits the bill
On Valentine’s
Or other days
Among the pines
Where cattle graze
Or on the shore
Or out at sea
I say therefore
My dear kiss me!

That’s Why They Play the Game

Whenever there’s an upset in sports, some commentator invariably says, “that’s why they play the game.” Meaning of course that there are intangibles that occur during a sporting event which limit the accuracy of prediction. But, that statement also provokes the the real question of why they play the game; a question which like all questions can be translated into, “what do I do now?” Of course, one would answer, “to find out who would win.” So, then we play the game and find out who wins. In fact, we play several games–even hundreds–to find out who the better team is. So, we now know who the better team is; again begging the question, “what do I do now?”

News from Around the World

For our brave soldiers in Iraq and others:

Some people died today, others were born. Somewhere a war started, somewhere else another one ended. A man gambled everything and won, another lost everything he had. Yet another lost everything important. People got married. It rained.