Monday, July 30, 2007

even god lost a game of chess with death

Ingmar Bergman died today. I remember watching The Seventh Seal in my freshman dorm and pausing it to write down bits of dialogue which I found grand. So I went rummaging through my old journals today to try and find the lines I had jotted down. Here are the ones I liked then, and which I still find amazing:

"Love is the blackest of all plagues, but you don't even die of it, and usually it passes."

"If everything is imperfect in this world, love is perfect in its imperfection."

So I went and picked up Through a Glass Darkly, the first in his trilogy of faith, and Hour of the Wolf to watch tonight in memory of Mr. Bergman

Sunday, July 29, 2007

17th ordinary Sunday/9th after Pentecost

While Abraham’s visitors walked on farther toward Sodom,
the LORD remained standing before Abraham.
Then Abraham drew nearer and said:
“Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;
would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it
for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing,
to make the innocent die with the guilty
so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike!
Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?”
The LORD replied,
“If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom,
I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham spoke up again:
“See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord,
though I am but dust and ashes!
What if there are five less than fifty innocent people?
Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there.”
But Abraham persisted,
He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”
from the first reading (Genesis)

Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin

Thursday, July 26, 2007

we are but fleshy beasts, slouching towards bethlehem

The Pope has been on a roll these last few weeks. Today he gave a grand speech to 400ish priest in which he said many interesting things (Here and here are a few articles). Most notably he is baffled at the absurdity of fundamentalist creationists who want to oust Evolution, saying that it's silly to not recognize evolution as fact, and that it has nothing to do with denying God. Nothing new here, evolution has been backed by the Holy See for some time, the interesting part is the mocking of those who try to champion creationism.

The more interesting bit to me was his response to a question from a priest about how to handle the human and spiritual sides of life, to which he responded:

"Both are given to us by the Lord and therefore loving human things, loving the beauty of this earth, is not just very human, but also very Christian and quite Catholic."

Lovely lines that are well worth meditating on. His final analysis was summed up with what he described as the "et-et" or "and-and", which apparently meant that things need not be mutually exclusive, but rather a nice mixture, ending with "Let us live in this Catholicity joyously. This would be my answer".

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

He rest: Caturday!

With such great renderings as:
"Invisible Man tell man, ' ur in mai earth, pwnz0rz mai animuls' "
"Invisible Man makes treez that look purty n taste yummy."

Monday, July 23, 2007

This is not what I do

The video for the best song on Damien Rice's new Album is stellar. In it a disembodied head sings lovely, and the end is quite heartbreaking. This is the video for 9 Crimes:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

16th ordinary, or Eighth after Pentecost, Sunday

Temptation of Saint Anthony, Matthias Grünewald

"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ
on behalf of his body, which is the church,
of which I am a minister"
from the second reading (1 Colossians)

Perhaps one of the most baffleing passages of the New Testament........ what exactly is lacking?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

i am blue, and unwell

Just a girl with a Broken Heart, Zack Blei and Corey Smith

She's just a Pretty Girl, Zack Blei and Corey Smith

Paris Hilton, Zack Blei and Corey Smith

Friday, July 20, 2007

Colbert Blooms

In 2005, Mr. Stephan Colbert partook in the twenty-fourth Bloomsday on Broadway, reading as Leopold Bloom in James Joyce's Ulysses. You can download some audio of it here. Colbert only gets cooler the more you know of him.

I also stumbled upon this fantastic blog dedicated to the Catholicity of Colbert.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It is therefore evident that patience is a virtue

Much to my dismay I've found out Patience is, in fact, a virtue, accordning to Saint Aquinas and his magnum opus the Summa Theologica. I was dubious, to be honest, for many of the objections that Saint Aquinas made, but alas, the Summa is the Summa, so I must obey.

But, to my defense, patience as define by Aquinas, Agustine, and the Biblia Sacra is somewhat askew from more modern and pedantic meanings. It's not simply longsuffering, as Aquinas makes quite clear in the following sections, but rather the ability to not be overcome by evil and sadness. In this respect it almost seems like an extension of hope. As he states:

"Now among the passions sorrow is strong to hinder the good of reason, according to 2 Cor. 7:10, "The sorrow of the world worketh death," and Sirach 30:25, "Sadness hath killed many, and there is no profit in it." Hence the necessity for a virtue to safeguard the good of reason against sorrow, lest reason give way to sorrow: and this patience does. Wherefore Augustine says (De Patientia ii): "A man's patience it is whereby he bears evil with an equal mind," i.e. without being disturbed by sorrow, "lest he abandon with an unequal mind the goods whereby he may advance to better things."." (above: Patience, Sebald Beham)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

G stands for Goodness

Art from one time nun and famous pop artist Sister Mary Corita Kent:

Monday, July 16, 2007

hips like cinderella

This weekend I had a little Luc Besson-a-ton, watching Leon/The Professional and his more recent, though not in wide release in America, Angel-A. Leon was interesting, and after watching Angel-A and thinking back to his other stuff, Fifth Element and La Femme Nikita for example, there's a lot of weird things he seems to be fascinated with.
But who cares about psychology when you have a film that looks as beautiful as Angel-A. Sure there are some theological quandaries, and at times it's a bit melodramatic, but it's stunning. Paris looks like heaven, and the two main actors are fantastic. Some of the things he does visually are stellar, and the way the movie progresses it's almost like an palindrome.

I watched it dubbed in Italian with homemade English subtitles, which was also a tad interesting.

Now to decide if I should see his latest, which is a children's show based on a book he wrote, called Arthur and the Invisibles.

Here's the trailer for the movie:

Sunday, July 15, 2007

7th post-pentecost sunday / 15th ordinary sunday

La possession invisible, Rosemary Trockel

Invisible 1, Sirpa Särkijärvi

"Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible."
from the second reading(Corinthians)


Whilst searching for a nice picture, I came across the Leev Theatre Troupe from Tehran, who among many, many interesting things, has adapted Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities into a play. This is strangely fantastic for many reasons, a) They're in Tehran b) that book has no characters besides a narrator, the rest is descriptions of cities c) it's one of Calvino's more Oulipo works d)That's awesome!. Below is a picture from that production.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

in the magnetic embrace, balletic and glacial

Video for Peach, Plum, Pear off of Milk Eyed Mender

for some time I've been meaning to say something on Ms. Newsom, who after a year I still listen to daily. She sounds like a child, and rocks out on a harp. Clearly she's cool. Add that her lyrics put Eluard and Breton to shame, and you have quite a gem. Some choice lines:

"and the signifieds butt heads with the signifiers
and we all fall down slack-jawed to marvel at words
when across the sky sheet the impossible birds
in a steady illiterate movement homewards"
this side of the blue, on Milk Eyed Mender

"I cannot let go
so I thank the Lord
and I thank His sword
though it be mincing up the morning, slightly bored"
Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie, on Milk Eyed Mender

"I wasn't born of a whistle or milked from a thistle at twilight
no, I was all horns and thorns, sprung out fully formed, knock-kneed and upright
so: enough of this terror
we deserve to know light
and grow evermore lighter and lighter
you would have seen me through
but I could not undo that desire"
from sawdust and diamonds, on Ys

a video of her rocking Sawdust and Diamonds live

Friday, July 13, 2007

Paper People

Lion with Three

These paintings are by Cathrine Ryan. I like them. They remind me of paper dolls, which have always been a secret fascination.

Two Boys in Bed

Two Boys

Halloween #5

Thursday, July 12, 2007

this is a record of hate

"I believe in God--I believe in the whole bag of tricks; there's nothing I don't believe; they could subdivide the trinity into a dozen parts and I'd believe. They could dig up records that proved Christ had been invented by Pilate to get himself promoted, and I'd believe just the same. I've caught belief like a disease. I've fallen into belief like I fell into love."

Sarah Miles in "The End of the Affair", Graham Greene

To a great degree I think to grasp The End of the Affair, by Mr. Greene, is to be able to grasp at the essence of Catholicism. There are two things in the deposit of faith that I have always believed, because I should, however through about 200 words for each,this book made me understand and believe them because I must. These two things, the bodily resurrection and the person of the devil, have always given me personal dilemma, for many reasons, and therefore I avoided delving to deeply on them. But in smooth and beautiful fashion, without a single argument, Mr. Greene unfolds the necessity of these pieces of the faith. And this, I think, is what underlies the entirety of the philosophic power of the novel.
Belief, or for that matter anything, can't be argued into our souls. The novel mocks and jeers this very rationalist approach to things, and rightly so. And even better, it's shown, in the most beautiful hatred and sadness, in the weeping and wailing, why God must exist, even if He shouldn't, even if there is no why. He must, and that is the greatness of it all. A thousand tomes of reason, of facts and figures against God, but the human heart conquers those with a flick of the wrist. One doesn't arrive at God after a long batch of reading and argumentation, one arrives at God, broken and wrung, with nothing left, with only the need that He must exist, because that's the only thing left.

Well, that's a lot of babbling, but I really enjoyed this book. And though the 1999 Neil Jordan adaptation is good, (it was in the top 10 in '99 for the Bishops), I must note that it is woefully inadequate, mostly in the ending, with regard to the book. But in a way I'm glad, they both have their strong points, the book just happens to have many more.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

redacting Vatican II, part deux

"No one expects the 21st century Roman Inquisition"

So the Papal smack-down continues, with a publication from the formerly titled Inquisition (now called the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), which sets out to clear up any misunderstandings that may have been misconstrued from the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. This new document, short and sweet, can be found here. The protestants are crying and the Orthodox are praising, so something is defiantly on track.

So the reform of the reform seems to be in full swing, much the chagrin of polka-massing pseudo-protestant hippie catholics everywhere. Huzzah!!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, or the 14th Ordinary Sunday

Microscopic Photo of Dust Mites

"Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”
from the Gospel (Luke)

Also, to keep in line with the dust theme, here are some really great photos from the days of the dust bowl in the 30's. Time to go listen to some Woodie Guthrie.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Introibo ad altare dei

So it has finally happened, the great recall to the fine days of Latin. Today, 7-7-07, Big Papa released the much anticipated motu proprio SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM (English here) . It will be instantiated on September 14, the feast of the Exhalation of the Cross. Hopefully, now that it can be used widely, a publishing of the Latin Breviary will be finished by one of the three publishers who seem to always have it in the works.

Happy Day!!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

after the thirteenth sunday of ordinary time

Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said,
“Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,
and I will follow you.”
Elijah answered, “Go back!
Have I done anything to you?”
from the first reading (1 Kings)

And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
from the gospel (Luke)

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