December 2007 Archives

Holy Innocents Blogging


Father Mark and Zadok have posts on the Holy Innocents that you shouldn't miss.

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The Lazy Blogger's Christmas


Merry Christmas everybody!

So I had a Christmas post planned for Christmas Eve, but um, well it didn't get done. You get what you pay for, I guess. The good news (or Good News) is that as some families are chopping up their Christmas trees and as department stores are shoving their remaining Christmas goods onto a single shelf to make way for Valentine's Day displays, Catholics know that Christmas goes on -- in fact, it's only just begun. Anyway, here are some links to check out:

Lastly, here is my bishop's Christmas message:

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

During this Christmas season in homes and churches around the world, followers of Christ will look upon a Nativity scene with images of Mary and Joseph, the wise men and shepherds, and the baby Jesus in the manger. And as we take time to reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas; how the promise of a savior was fulfilled on that most holy night, we come face to face with the incredible mystery of the Incarnation of God.

In this one act of incomparable love and mercy the whole relationship between God and man was changed forever. God is no longer distant and set apart. God is with us. A point of contact between heaven and earth has been established that will last until the end of time.

But Jesus Christ is more than an ambassador. A man like us in all things but sin, He is also a model of holiness. He shows us that happiness is not found in riches, fame and achievement but in God alone. He shows us how to use our freedom well. And he shows us what love is like in heaven, so that during our time on earth we can prepare to be with him for eternity.

And most of all Jesus came with a mission to take away the sins of the world, your sins and mine, so that nothing would stand between us and Him. He is our savior.

This is the Christ Child we gaze upon in the manger. This is the Christ Child to whom the wise men from the east came to give homage 2000 years ago. And this is the same Christ Child to whom wise men and women today come to give homage and to worship.

It is my prayer that each of us will spend this Christmas season in the company of family and friends as we reflect on the Holy Family of God and give thanks.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.
Bishop of Peoria

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But they're educational!


This New Yorker piece about our coming post-literate society contains a little nugget about one of my hobby horses.

The antagonism between words and moving images seems to start early. In August, scientists at the University of Washington revealed that babies aged between eight and sixteen months know on average six to eight fewer words for every hour of baby DVDs and videos they watch daily.

Now I suppose it could be true that these videos help other types of inteligence to develop, but do the producers make that claim? And if so, are parents aware of and OK with the trade-offs?

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Tucker Carlson on Ron Paul


Probably the funniest bit of political commentary all year is right here

For Paul, the original sin in monetary policy took place in 1933, when FDR uncoupled the currency from gold. This removed limits from federal spending, allowing Congress an endless supply of money it could print at will, while leaving citizens vulnerable to the inflation that inevitably resulted. But, worst of all from Paul's point of view, it was compulsory. Private currencies are forbidden, so Americans had no choice but to participate. The whole system is a mandatory Ponzi scheme, built on faith in the government. Except that, now that the bottom has dropped out of the dollar, it's clear there's no reason to have faith in the government or its money.

That's Paul's essential argument. His solution: allow competing currencies.

If individuals want to circulate gold or silver coins (or scrip backed by metal reserves), let them. Give citizens the chance to decide which money they trust.

The owners of NORFED, an Indiana coin company, gave it a shot. The company minted and sold thousands of silver Ron Paul dollars, complete with the candidate's face in profile, before federal agents showed up in November and confiscated their entire remaining inventory. In its affidavit for a search warrant, the FBI accused NORFED of trying to "undermine the United States government's financial systems by the issuance of a non-governmental competing currency for the purpose of repealing the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code." That may be a crime, but it's also pretty close to Ron Paul's stump speech.

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Ohio State 62, Florida 49

9 months too late...

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Merry Christmas!

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Not very relevant to the season, but I had to swipe this from Rod Dreher.

If Sesame Street was more like that these days, I think I'd let the boys watch. How is Elmo better than THAT?

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One More From the Anchor Hold


A relative of the late Karen Marie Knapp posts a remembrance from Karen's neice.

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One more thought on Fukudome


Whatever you do, don't pronunce the vowels in Fukudome in the following order: schwa, long u, schwa, long e. Your wife might get offended.

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Hello and goodbye


How good is Fukudome? It's always hard to transfer numbers between countries, but as the folks over at The Cub Reporter point out, we're talking a high OPS (on-base percentage + slugging average, it's jsut a stat that mashes together two other stats to give a number that doesn't mean anything specific except the guy gets on base AND hits for power.) guy with defensive skills and speed. Next year's outfield will likely consist of, left to right, Soriano, Pie and Fukudome, all speedy, all with good arms.

The Cubs are also reportedly going after Brian Roberts, also known as "the guy who saved my fantasy baseball team in 05 (or was it 04?)." I don't think many people call him that though.

Phil Rogers shows what the Cubs line-up could look like:

Roberts, 2B.

Theriot, SS.

Soriano, LF.

Ramirez, 3B.

Fukudome, RF.

Lee, 1B.

Soto, C.

Pie, CF.

Wow... wow.... that's an American league line-up. But I'd but Fukudome 2nd, put Theriot in the 6- or 7-hole and slide everybody else up.

As for the goodbye -- the Cubs said farewell to Mark Prior yesterday. To commemorate the event, The Cub Reporter recalls five of Prior's greatest games. It hurts to remember.

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Spe Salvi


A couple of links for you to commentary on Pope Benedict's encyclical letter Spe Salvi:

  • Archbichop Charles Chaput - On Christian Hope:
    Hope is a very different creature [than optimism]. It’s a choice–a self-imposed discipline to trust in God while judging ourselves and the world with unblinkered, unsentimental clarity. In effect, it’s a form of self-mastery inspired and reinforced by God’s grace. “The highest form of hope,” Georges Bernanos said, “is despair, overcome.” Jesus Christ was born in a filthy stable and died brutally on a cross not to make a good world even better but to save a fallen and broken world from itself at the cost of his own blood. Such is the real world, our daily world, the world of Christian hope–the world that Pope Benedict speaks to when he writes in his new encyclical that “all serious and upright human conduct is hope in action” and “the true measure of humanity is [determined by our] relationship to suffering and to the sufferer.”

  • Fr. James Schall - The Encyclical on Hope: On the "De-immanentizing" of the Christian Eschaton:

    Both these things—justice and grace—must be seen in their correct inner relationship. Grace does not cancel out justice. It does not make wrong into right. It is not a sponge which wipes everything away, so that whatever someone has done on earth ends up being of equal value. Dostoevsky, for example, was right to protest against this kind of Heaven and this kind of grace in his novel, The Brothers Karamazov. Evil doers, in the end, do not sit at table at the eternal banquet beside their victims without distinction as though nothing had happened (#44).

  • Communio on their website is running this 1985 Cardinal Ratzinger article On Hope

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Byzantine Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

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U of I folks

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Unrelated thoughts and quotes

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  1. They light up too!
    I believe it's plainly obvious that our society/culture is completely batsh*t insane. But if you need proof, drive around your neighborhood and count the number of artificial outdoor snowmen. Yeah, think about it.

  2. In other words, "Slow down, Poppy!"
    3 year old: "WOW! It's kind of like a racecar!

  3. It's about 50/50
    3 year old: "Me and God... we know everything."

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County Jail


With all the usual caveats that I don't know a single thing about Cook County Jail beauracracy, this seems pretty outrageous. The writer, a social worker, recounts a trip to visit a client in the county jail that took over 7 hours. Well, more like 4, since about 3 of those hours seem to have been spent taking public transportation, though maybe she also means to indict the ridiculous CTA trains routes that don't let you go anywhere without going through downtown. Whatever. The point is that the county cares so little about how it treats its prisoners it doesn't even bother putting on a good face for the public. "Oh you want to visit Jane? Too bad, wrong day What? Our automated system told you today was the right day? Oops, we forgot to update it... but you're still out of luck!"

Of course, the irony is that the same beauracratic rigidity that stands in her way ("Make an exception when this is our fault? Bah!") is what ultimately gets her in (how many Michigan social workers have clients in Cook County Jail?).

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More Spe Salvi


Father Mark, back from France, has been blogging up a storm about Pope Benedict's encyclical, Spe Salvi, will several quotes and bits of commentary, too many to link individually in fact. Just go to his December archives here.

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And he knows it...


Me, to armor-clad 3-year old: Wow! You look dangerous!

3yo: No! I look coooool!

Tracy can relate.

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"My books are about killing God"


Thus says Phillip Pullman.

But, of course, he says you should give the movie a chance.

America Magazine's new blog is discussing it.

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Bishop Gassis on St. Bakhita


The Pope's new encyclical,Spe Salvis discusses several saintly examples of hope lived out. One of these is St. Bakhita, the first Sudanese saint. Back in 2000 when St. Bakhita was canonized, Fides News Service spoke to Bishop Macram Max Gassis of El Obeid, Sudan, about Bahita. Bishop Gassis describes Bakhita as a sign of "hope to be freed from many forms of slavery" and "hope for those who leave their homeland."

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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2007 is the previous archive.

January 2008 is the next archive.

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