Saturday, March 28, 2009

Thucydides and bushjr

Since it is truly hazardous to keep your position teaching the truth, yet important; I have long been of the opinion, that, history and politics need only be taught of the classical pre-christian age, the appropriate study of Herodotus, Tacitus, Livy, Cæsar will fully illuminate the issues of to-day; and still, people will know what implies what. Socrates was capitally condemned for subverting the youth. What does a knowledgeable, moral, and scrupulous teacher sacrifice for continued employment? or minimal criticism?

We can remember the play within a play, Shakespeare used, in Hamlet. He was telling the power that was, how it was. Hamlet did not survive the play. In the winter of 1933, as Weimar fell to the new reich, the operetta
Der Silbersee had a ballade on Cæsar. Everyone knew that Cæsar was alive in Germany. The principals never worked in the homeland again, at least under that regime; if they had written and performed that work later, it would have been the hemlock they would taste. If the following passage was published in the papers of this land, or read on television and radio during the recent usurpation of government in early 2003, what would have been the responses?
[4] Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them.* Reckless audacity† came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation‡ was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence, became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defence.
[5] The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy§; his opponent a man to be suspected||. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. In fine, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of a crime where it was wanting, was equally commended,
[6] until even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such associations had not in view the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition for their overthrow; and the confidence of their members in each other rested less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime**. — Thucydides (Θουκυδίδης). c.400 b.C. from the History of the Peloponnesian War. Book III. chapter 82. Civil War in Corcyra (Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra, Corfu)
*axis of evil, coalition of the willing, decapitating the regime, democracies, embedding, freedom fries, homeland security, mission accomplished, old Europe, patriot act, regime change, shock and awe, weapons of mass destruction, with us or against us, yellow cake

†...there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.―Darth Cheney. Speech to VFW National Convention. 26 August 2002.
...We know for a fact that there are weapons there.―Ari Fleischer. 9 January 2003.
...We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.―Donald Rumsfeld. 30 March 2003.
...Saddam's removal is necessary to eradicate the threat from his weapons of mass destruction.―Jack Straw (British Foreign Secretary). 2 April 2003.
...Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.―Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff. 26 May 2003.
...For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.―Paul Wolfowitz. Vanity Fair. 28 May 2003.
...for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.―george w bush. 30 May 2003.

‡En adoptant à l'unanimité la résolution 1441, nous avons collectivement marqué notre accord avec la démarche en deux temps proposée par la France : le choix du désarmement par la voie des inspections et, en cas d'échec de cette stratégie, l'examen par le Conseil de Sécurité de toutes les options, y compris celle du recours à la force...En réponse à cette question, la France a deux convictions: la première, c'est que l'option des inspections n'a pas été conduite jusqu'à son terme et peut apporter une réponse efficace à l'impératif du désarmement de l'Iraq ; la deuxième, c'est qu'un usage de la force serait si lourd de conséquences pour les hommes, pour la région et pour la stabilité internationale qu'il ne saurait être envisagé qu'en dernière extrémité...L'option de la guerre peut apparaître a priori la plus rapide. Mais n'oublions pas qu'après avoir gagné la guerre, il faut construire la paix. Et ne nous voilons pas la face : cela sera long et difficile, car il faudra préserver l'unité de l'Iraq, rétablir de manière durable la stabilité dans un pays et une région durement affectés par l'intrusion de la force. Face à de telles perspectives, il ya l'alternative offerte par les inspections, qui permet d'avancer de jour en jour dans la voie d'un désarmement efficace et pacifique de l'Iraq. Au bout du compte, ce choix là n'est-il pas le plus sûr et le plus rapide?...Il ya dix jours, le Secrétaire d'Etat américain, M. Powell, a évoqué des liens supposés entre Al-Qaida et le régime de Bagdad. En l'état actuel de nos recherches et informations menées en liaison avec nos alliés, rien ne nous permet d'établir de tels liens...Dans ce temple des Nations Unies, nous sommes les gardiens d'un idéal, nous sommes les gardiens d'une conscience.La lourde responsabilité et l'immense honneur qui sont les nôtres doivent nous conduire à donner la priorité au désarmement dans la paix.―Dominique de Villepin.14 February 2003.

In unanimously adopting resolution 1441, we collectively expressed our agreement with the two-stage approach proposed by France: the choice of disarmament through inspections and, in case of failure of this strategy, the review by the Security Council of all options, including the use of force...In response to this question, France has two convictions: the first is that the option of inspections has not been carried through to its conclusion and can provide an effective response to the imperative of disarming Iraq, the second is that use of force would be so fraught with consequences for men, for the region and for international stability that it can not be considered as a last resort...The option of war may appear a priori the fastest. But let us not forget that after winning the war, we must build peace. And let us be clear: this will be long and difficult, because it will preserve the unity of Iraq, restoring a lasting stability in a country and region harshly affected by the intrusion of force. Faced with such prospects, there is the alternative offered by the inspections, which allows to move from day to day in the way of an effective and peaceful disarmament of Iraq. Ultimately, the choice is not the safest and fastest?...Ten days ago, U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, spoke of the supposed links between Al Qaeda and the regime in Baghdad. In our current state of research and information carried out in conjunction with our allies, nothing allows us to establish such links...In this temple of the United Nations, we are the guardians of an ideal, we are the guardians of a conscience. The onerous responsibility and immense honor that we must lead us to give priority to disarmament in peace.[these two sentences, typically french]

§‘neo-conservatives’, ‘busheviks’
|| Robert Byrd, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry
**David Addington, Jay Bybee, Douglas Feith, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes II and John Woo. And of course bushjr, Cheney, Fleischer, Wolfowitz, Libby, Rumsfeld, et alia.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Some thoughts on the Republicans

In an earlier number, I put the question: Now, who would be the craziest Republican? As it is approaching the 1st of April, and the public frequency of ridiculous inane statements of madness made by Michelle Bachmann. I must submit, that, the mad minnesotan is more a loon, than the state bird.

To guess the future: the 2010 US senate elections will have a minimum plus 5 for the Democrats. The Republican party 2012 primary campaign will have the moneyed wing support Romney, the collection of idiot factions will go to the alaskan chick. Either candidate, or another, would be greatly defeated by President Obama.

As Jesus said, man can not serve two masters. Mammon is the god of the anti-Democratic party. So much of what they promote is in that regard. Do not go that path.
When christianity conflicts with the party, christianity is jettisoned.

Furthermore, the Republican party is indistinguishable from a criminal conspiracy. Their propaganda and their parrot and lemming following cannot be suaded by facts, truth or glimpses of reality. It is a waste of time and effort to engage intercourse with these fascists.
Virtually insane vituperation is the response. But their idiocies and lies cannot go unchallenged. Republicans do not allow any facts to cloud their ‘thinking’ and beliefs.
postscriptum 4 29 09: on 27 April 2009, the minnesotan loon, Bachmann made this statement:
"I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence."
Rhetorically, the fallacy here is an ad hominem attack by association. She creates a false innuendo, it is a non-sequitur, and its premise is false. There will be people who will believe and repeat her bullshit, they will vote. For those with a memory, or ability to read: in February 1976, swine flu appeared at the army bade, Fort Dix, New Jersey. Certain medical spokesmen urged the president to act, and a media panic occurred. Immunization began in October, after a few days 40 million were inoculated, a few people died after inoculation. Another media panic occurred. A general election took place in November. The programme was ended in December. The president, for the entire year of 1976, was Gerald Ford. Gerald Ford was a Republican. Michelle Bachmann is a Republican.
Michelle Bachmann is an idiot. Michelle Bachmann is a liar. Jimmy Carter received a Nobel Peace Prize and is a good man.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saint Oscar Romero

John Roberts. (one of ten) Twentieth Century Martyrs. 1998. Westminster Abbey. London.
In 1990, Kenneth Woodward finished a book, Making Saints, in which he describes, very well, the history and, especially, the politics involved. Richard Vetere wrote a novel, The Third Miracle, which became a movie. In them, he takes examples and explanatory material, from Woodward, about the process. There is drama and conflict betwixt the heroic sanctity of a candidate, and the process of official recognition.

We saw recently, while Mother Teresa was alive, she was recognised as a living saint. There were calls, immediately after her death, to speed up the bureaucracy. When John Paul II, some commentators referred to him as John Paul the Great*, but what was really something, is the crowds of people some with banners, chanting and demanding ‘Santo Subito’. The vox populi was about to do the canonisation, and this was a common manner in the first millennium of the church. From 993 to 1234 a centralisation of canonisation came to the pope and his bureaucrats. The people recognised the chrism of charisma, bureaucrats prefer pious drudges.

Archbishop Thomas à Becket was murdered, in his cathedral, on the command of his sovereign. Archbishop Romero spoke, in his cathedral 23 March 1980, these words:
No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God.
The next day he was murdered while saying mass. Those controlling the state, military and police made a similar command. In a mediæval age, a sovereign could be made to do penance for such action.

Those words in a sovereign state, that is actively commits terror, against its populace, are fatal. Now, it is understood, that in an officially, atheistic state an appeal to God is not appreciated. An atheist state does not respect God, and often has a stated goal to persecute believers in God. Now, in a state that acts counter to God, and persecutes His people, while not being atheist, and may, even, claim to be God believing, then such words are more, fatally lethal.

Franz Jägerstätter would not join the nazi, german army, because to be a soldier, especially in such circumstances, was counter to the law of God. He was beheaded. El Salvador was a like state, but without a fully, functioning bureaucracy, but commands by the sovereign powers were quickly carried out.

While much of the populace of El Salvador honors, and reveres, the sanctity of Romero, much of the intervening civil, and governmental power structure, then and now, still are inimical. There have been miracles to confirm, Rome, and the world knows he is a martyr. But local politics will be upset and contentious. Beyond that, those words of San Romero are a grave threat to militaries, and governments, the world over. Those statements would not go well in the United States, they would go well with the US hierarchy.

In the months before his martyrdom, the world focused on the homilies of a little, cleric from a little, country in a poor region. His figure, his example stood gigantically on the world’s stage. His via crucis was apparent, only the exact moment of crucifixion, and the imminent earthquake, and eclipse, was not.
*Three previous popes were so titled Leo†461, Gregory†604 and Nicholas†867.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What parish would a committee close?

I am a constitutionalist, and we know constitutions are not respected much in the US, these days. Besides, the revealed Law of God, the church has a body of canon law. In canon law, it is very difficult to suppress, or to make extinct a parish. The episcopacy in the US has made it too easy. The bishop's advisers, by canon law, are his college of priests (presbyteral council). There is no official rôle for a cluster committee. Canonically, it is equivalent of three parishioners chatting over coffee. It was an ad hoc creation. Once its task is done, it goes out of existence.

A parish is a juridic person, when once created, is meant to be perpetual. The term "juridic person" is similar in concept to a "corporation" being a public person in US law. A parish, by nature, as recognised, in canon law is meant to continue.

You may posit a cluster committee as an organ to engage the parishes in decision, or you may posit it as a public relations vehicle to defuse a feeling of helplessness. Each parish has a personality, as do people, and a collection of either will have a social dynamic. It is politics. In that particular grouping, where the vote was reported in a Cleveland Plain Dealer article, the chances of Saint Stephen* emerging as one of the three to survive, was zero. In the discussions, Saint Stephen's position was not heard. There was a fait accompli, a priori, ab initio.

I believe Saint Colman's should remain open, but the vote of a biased, and non-binding committee should not be its justification. The first thing that was "agreed on" was, that, two parishes were untouchable, Our Lady of Mount Carmel (West) and La Sagrada Familia. There, that, was the game unfolding. Then the next part of the agenda was to push, that, the remaining rationale to be: social outreach as the criterion for the third slot.
My contention is that it was fixed.

A parish fulfills many functions, but by definition, a parish is an aggregate of believers. Its primary function is to celebrate its common faith in the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. God so loved the world, that he sent His Son, not a committee. Now, there was some favorable press coverage, concerning Saint Stephen, before the official announcements. Saint Stephen's should stay open. The bishop's decision was for the two parishes to merge at the site of Stephen's.

Now, there is seems to be a campaign of: say yes to us, and no to them. All parishes should want to continue, no parish should wish another not to. A charitable response would have had no hint of animus. Reliance on a committee with private agendas, or self-defining whom is the fittest, or most worthy vis-à-vis another, should not go unchallenged. Such arguments are manipulatively self-serving, and are meant to disguise a turf war. Saint Colman, seems to be, the only irish parish effected in the diocese, and Stephen's is the only remaining, nationality german parish. Some have wrongly suggested, that, Colman's was discriminated against, on the account of being an irish parish. Have they overlooked, nearby, Saint Malachi? and Saint Patrick (Bridge Ave.)? and other parishes in the diocese?

The 1300 figure (cited in the article) comes on Saint Patrick's Day alone.
The mass celebrated on that day at Colman's was more akin to a rally. Before the mass began, the pastor continued his campaign. He is a lawyer, and shewed he can construct an argument. Now, that being so, St. Colman's is the irish cathedral in the diocese; and beyond that a functioning parish of christian concerns. And so is Saint Procop's, that also had no chance.
Addendum: This evil game was to get to be one of the three of the five. Who chose the rules? Richard Lennon.

All these parishes should remain open. The bishop, Richard Lennon, so engendered this horrid process so as to have people at each other's throats. This death lottery was his evil tool. He is not a man with original thoughts, or inspiration. Where did he learn of this idea?
*postscriptum: It may also have been, that the delegation from Saint Stephen's badly reflected on the parish.

Loaves and Fishes

Giovanni Lanfranco. Miracle of the Bread and Fish. 1620-23. Dublin.
The Gospel reading for the 4th Sunday of Lent*, in the Tridentine mass, is the same as, that, for the 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time†, year B. The only difference -- is the older mass prefaces the Gospel with: At that time, In illo tempore. And this is germane, for every mass, it presages the Eucharistic miracle‡, which is celebrated in every mass.
After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to try him; for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him: Two hundred pennyworth§ of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many? Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet, that is to come into the world. Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.―John vi. 1-15. DRC
* 22 March 2009
† 7 July 2009
‡ [forgive me this indulgence, dear reader] There is a rubbish, protestant (desanctifying) argument, often repeated in sermons and pop psychology, promulgated by William Barclay*1907,†1978. I have heard two priests quote Barclay: one perhaps unknowingly on this; the other directly on something else. I was, somewhat, shocked, at the latter, for he being extremely, political (privately) in the fanatical, radio, Republican manner, and thusly -- myopic and naïve in regards to politic and actual reality, whilst generally, liturgically being conservative; it seemed incongruous, that, he uses protestant exemplars, at times, and all positively. This is not a journal of a protestant Republican.
§ Ducentorum denariorum

Friday, March 20, 2009


Now, we stand for the Gospel. The longest Sunday Gospel is that for Palm Sunday, and it calls for participation of the congregation. Each fellow in the pew is supposed to join in as the Gospel calls for the crowd to speak. It is the Passion of Christ.

A few years ago, a small boy, two rows of pews before me, picked up the chant, with mindless enthusiasm, but after the co-ordinated unison, and yelled, “Crucify Him!” The mindless enthusiasm of the child, embarrassed his mother, because of the awkwardness and untimeliness. It was humorous on several levels: the unexpectedness, the joy of the outburst in the small voice, the ignorance of the new word he joyfully mouthed.

I have tried to make stations every week during lent. The way of the cross is Palm Sunday’s Gospel. Good Friday there is no mass, but the Passion according to John is read. Before the joy of Resurrection Sunday, the events of that one Friday are to have been deeply felt and understood.

The mindless enthusiasm of that child was innocent. Many, many people have that same mindless enthusiasm as a response for many other situations.

The United States has a huge jailed population, the largest in the world in percentage and absolute numbers. More than half of the world’s military spending is that of the US. The world’s largest military-industrial complex--the US. More than half of the world’s countries have US military bases. Each one of these items yell with a guilty, mindless enthusiasm, “Crucify Him!”

If your impending birth is inconvenient, “Crucify Him!” Cross the border, “Crucify Him!” Drink a glass of wine, or drink two beers before driving, “Crucify Him!” Grow a marijuana plant, “Crucify Him!” Vote the wrong way, “Crucify Him!” Disagree with any of political or social opinions, “Crucify Him!” Support a rival sport’s team, “Crucify Him!” Dropping two atomic bombs was, “Crucify Him!” Invading Iraq was, “Crucify Him!” The mouthfoamers on lunatic television and radio yell, “Crucify Him!” several times a day. It has become automatic, almost an autonomous reflex.

Sure, similar responses happen the world round. Is there another country claiming to be a christian one more or louder than this one?

Part of the old Good Friday services was the Reproaches from the Cross. How many of the crucifiers listen to the reproaches?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patrick

from a window of the new Cathedral Church of Saint Patrick in Armagh.

Patrick is instantly identifiable from several items. He is almost always dressed as a mitered bishop with a crosier or shepherd staff. Since the last century, he is often in green vestments. He is sometimes holding a three leaf clover, the shamrock which he used to teach of the Triune God, the Three in One God. Sometimes a green clad bishop is not Patrick. It may be Malachy, or Mel, or another. There is a church of St. Mel in Cleveland, that has a statue of such a one, but he holds a living fish. This is immensely amusing, the fish points to a story of Mel, and it separates the depiction from the generic irish bishop.

Sometimes he is either trampling serpents, or shooing them away, sometimes with a bell. Now, this picturesque tale has caused confusion. Ireland is an island distant from a continent, such places are naturally without snakes. Some people if they know or believe of nothing else, about Patrick, know and believe, that, Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. The snakes are a metaphor of the pagan druids, whom, he challenged and defeated.

Patrick’s just celebrity is cause of the world’s note, because of his legacy. He found a land of pagan barbarity, and left a fertile Catholic land. Centuries later of foreign occupation, oppression and bigotry, and the faith remained secure. Soon christian missionaries left the island to evangelise other lands, and their are still catholic, irish missionaries flung about the globe.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spheres of light in photos

I take fotos with a moderate, or less, digital camera that can fit in my shirt or coat pocket. I had taken pictures in the garden and my house. Then, after beginning these little essays, I started to take pictures at church. At Saint Stephen, at the reintroduction of the latin mass, I took a picture of the main altar, and there appeared translucent spheres. In some other photos there, other such spheres have appeared. I took two photos at the croatian parish, Saint Paul, in one photo these spheres were clearly visible. I went to Saint Sava, Parma, on the evening of the orthodox celebration, on the first Sunday of Lent, the Triumph of Orthodoxy, and in this photo, supra, of the entrance door, the most such spheres yet. I have not doctored the image, it had been a damp afternoon. The other photos, where they have appeared, were taken within the churches.

Now, I had read and heard of such images before. They are now referred to as ‘orbs’. Some people argue for a supernatural explanation, others for physical phenomena. I will not venture to identify them further, to safeguard myself from the accusations of either being a fool, or a charlatan. I am not very active or proficient with the camera, but these ‘orbs’ have appeared in these locations.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

52 additional parishes found to be redundant

Jesus calms the tempest, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cleveland, O.
In part, this window was symbolic, in the early part of the last century, in announcing the end of discord between two, neighboring, polish parishes, IHM and Saint Stanislaus.

The letters of decision came from Bishop Lennon, saturday afternoon. The diocese will be reduced by 52[or so] parishes. Ethnically, the slavonic parishes were hit the hardest, perhaps the poles most so by number. Before the official paper, some expected parishes were not amenable. IHM was spared, nearby Sacred Heart of Jesus was not; three Sacred Heart parishes were suppressed (Akron, Cleve., Elyria).

To-day is traditionally, the ides of March, it is also the day the buzzards return to Hinckley, Ohio. The news received from other birds is being ruminated about, and will not be fully digested for quite some time.

As physical sites, Saint James is marvelously muralled, but has suffered great water damage, and has plastic buckets of several sizes under the proscenium arches of two altars. It is a magnificent church in the form of a norman cathedral in Sicily. St. Ignatius of Antioch has a wonderful campanile, that is, a beacon from the interstate. Saint Peter is the oldest, surviving parish building in the city, and has financial resources, and many programmes of service and education.
A few years ago, a fellow, with some relationship with local CWRU, wrote a book on exciting congregations across the country. Two catholic congregations were profiled, one was Saint Peter’s. These three were suppressed, there are fine arguments for an appeal to Rome.

Saint Peter was in the same cluster with the cathedral, and with the Shrine Church of the Conversion of Saint Paul, which has a monastery of Poor Clares and a friary of Capuchins, and has a resident confessor, and each day has a line of penitents waiting to be heard
. The shrine will not operate as a parish, but was previously promised to remain celebrating mass publicly.

St. Colman is to be merged with Saint Stephen. The “new” parish will be at the site of Saint Stephen. The political infighting, of the cluster committee, was very unpleasant. This group voted to close Saint Procop, and Saint Stephen. Saturday evening, the pastor of St. Colman posted a letter, on the internet, of uncharitable animus,* in regards to that merger decision, and it was available in church to-day. Saint Colman is a beautiful, italianate church blessed with white, sculpted marble. They have a well attended St. Patrick Day mass, and the sentiments may be rowdy that day.† Those are some of the unfortunate stories, there are more; many people are saddened and hurt.

During this process, some parishes have already been suppressed: St. Philip Neri, St. Jude (Warrensville Hts.), St. Wenceslas (Maple Hts.), and St. Andrew Svorad.
St. Catherine, St. Henry were merged with Saint Timothy. Saint Andrew was demolished, very recently. The dust is still settling.
postscriptum: As of Mayday, a partial recension has occurred, the parishes of Sts. Colman, Ignatius and Stephen have been given a four year reprieve. Before the end of the month, the first of these redundant Cleveland parishes, Epiphany, has closed, with very, little public announcement, save for the radio station, WCPN. Prior to that, Holy Cross (Polish) in Elyria was suppressed.
29 July 2009, I have found out, that, I need to apologise to Saint Colman's parish. I was not in the cluster meetings, but have learned that perhaps two of St. Stephen's cohort had made themselves obnoxious, perhaps unto odiousness, especially one. That may be part of the reason of Colman's hostility.
† and it was, Father Begin can be a very spirited and dauntless cheerleader.

Ballade von Cäsars Tod

To-day is the Ides of March (Idus Martias). Most of us, who, have even a rudimentary knowledge of history, know this is the day Cæsar was warned about. We know he disregarded the warning, and met a dramatic and bloody end, in 44 b.C.

The ides came every moon and, therefore, month, sometimes on the 13th, sometimes on the 15th. The ides* was, ideally, the day of the full moon. Now, March was the month of the god Mars, the god of war and a fine occasion for a military parade. Cæsar was a brilliant soldier, a man of many talents, much ability, accomplishment and ambition.

Now, Georg Kaiser [ironic] wrote a novel, Der Silbersee: Ein Wintermärchen, The silver lake: a winter tale. The title alludes to both Shakespeare and Heine†, and to a fairy tale. Often in a fairy tale, a fanciful event and characters can refer to other realities and people. Kaiser wrote a libretto from this to Kurt Weill’s music. A singspiel (operetta) Der Silbersee premiered in three german cities 18 February 1933.

In 1923 Kaiser was jailed for stealing bread. In der Silbersee, a character is shot for stealing a pineapple. He and his shooter reconcile on the frozen lake. Sometime before this, the castlekeeper’s, soprano niece (Lotte Lenya, Frau Weill) sings a song of the death of Cæsar in seven verses, Ballade von Cäsars Tod.

The song relates the famous tale. It begins:
Rom war eine Stadt, und alle Römer
hatten in den Adern heißes Blut.
Als sie Cäsar einst tyrannisch reizte,
kochte es sofort in Siedeglut.

Nicht die Warnung konnte Cäsar hindern:
"Hüte vor des Märzes Iden dich!"
Er verfolgte seine frechen Ziele
und sah schon als Herrn der Römer sich.

Immer schlimmer schlug ihn die Verblendung,
nur sein Wort galt noch im Capitol.
Und den weisen Rat der Senatoren
schmähte er gemein und höhnisch Kohl...

Rome was a city, and all the Romans
had in their veins hot blood.
As Cæsar became tyrannical,
it boiled immediately in seething ardor.

Not the warning could hinder Cæsar:
“Beware of the Ides of March you!”
He pursued his cheeky intention
and saw himself already the Lord of the Romans.

Evermore worse hit him the delusion,
only his word [was] valid in the capital.
And the wise counsel of the senators
he reviled [as] common and derisive nonsense...
A bit earlier, 30 January 1933, the nazis took power when Hitler became chancellor. The Reichstag fire was set the night of 27 February 1933. This event was a spectacular event of terror that was orchestrated, by Hitler, to take severe measures, and was the justification for the elimination of civil liberties, in the guise of homeland security.

The production ran sixteen times before it was banned, well before the ides. The careers of the principles were ended in Germany. Substitute Cæsar for the over reaching leader‡ of the time, as certainly people did.

Ute Lemper recorded the song, on an album,
Ute Lemper Singt Kurt Weill, in 1987, Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill, in 1988. I knew of Weill and Lenya. I was very taken with the second cut on the disc. Later in 2001, and the years thereafter, I remembered the song. I wonder if other people did. The lyrics cut deeply into a tyrant, but we still have tyrants, und der Senatoren im Capitol hat getan nichts, und diese Leute hatten keines heißes Blut, als Cäsar einst tyrannisch bekommt.
*and sometimes the seven days prior
†Heinrich Heine wrote a poem Deutschland: ein Wintermärchen, Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale
‡ der Führer is german for ‘the leader’

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Police versus priest, cameras contradict cop

The area about New Haven Connecticut has had a new source of population coming from the south of the Rio Grande. This is not new, but yesterday, the Associated Press picked up a story from East Haven. On the 19th of February, police accused ecuadorian storeowners of abusing government property. The police then had the owner, of My Country Store, remove five dozen car license plates from display on a rear wall. A priest, Father James Manship, pastor of Saint Rose of Lima church in New Haven, was inside the store, and began filming.

The police accused the storeowners of abusing government property, and the priest of pointing a weapon on the police. Store surveillance images, and the priests video too, have surfaced onto YouTube, and other internet sites. Oddly, the videos contradict the police. At first the police were not aware of security cameras, the police wanted the surveillance images or to erase the hard drive, but could not secure it, over the owner’s insistent refusal. The owners received a $372 ticket, and the confiscation of most of the plates.
Conversation on the priest’s camera:
policeman David Cari: "Sir, what're you doing? Is there a reason you have a camera on me?"
priest: "Yes."
police: "Why's that?"
priest: "I'm taking a video of what's going on here."
police: "Well, I'll tell you, what I'm going to do with that camera."
--end of recording
The priest pled not guilty on the 4th of March (there was not a police report until then) to creating a public disturbance and interfering with police. There is to be a trial on the 27th.

The police have ‘lawyered up’. Hugh Keefe says the video does not show what happened after the camera went off, and the priest is “creating controversy where none needed to be.”
“He refused two or three times and at that point Officer Cari approached him wanting to check out if it was a weapon. He wouldn't tell him, the officer went up to him and grabbed him and finally saw it was a camera.”
Now, of course, there are always two sides of the story: what actually happened and the official story. Certainly there are many who will support all armed authority, and there are people who believe catholic priests brandish guns, and are meddlesome dangers to the community, and the safety of police officers. Then there are the left wing troublemakers, who invent stories of racial and ethnic harassment. Where in the second amendment are people allowed to carry dangerous cameras?
Postscriptum: Father Manship appeared in court on the 26th of March. The state prosecutor admitted there was not evidence to prosecute. The judge dismissed the case. That day, parishioners petitioned the federal government to investigate the East Haven police for harassment of civil rights. Now, since the busheviks, presumably, are not running the Justice Department, perhaps some justice will come.

14th Station

14th Station (Saint Mary of the Assumption, Cleve., O.)
XIV Jesus is laid in the tomb
14. Jesús es colocado en el sepulcro

John xix ― 39 And Nicodemus also came, (he who at the first came to Jesus by night,) bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 They took therefore the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. 42 There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

39 Venit autem et Nicodémus, qui vénerat ad Jesum nocte primum, ferens mixtúram myrrhæ et áloës, quasi libras centum. 40 Accepérunt ergo corpus Jesu, et ligavérunt illud línteis cum aromátibus, sicut mos est Judǽis sepelíre. 41 Erat autem in loco, ubi crucifíxus est, hortus : et in horto monuméntum novum, in quo nondum quisquam pósitus erat. 42 Ibi ergo propter parascéven Judæórum, quia juxta erat monuméntum, posuérunt Jesum.

Porque no pensemos, hermanos, que nuestros muertos se han apartado de nosotros, su cielo, su recompensa eterna, los perfecciona en el amor, siguen amando las mismas causas por las cuales murieron, lo cual quiere decir que en El Salvador esta fuerza liberadora no sólo cuenta con los que van quedando vivos, sino que cuenta con todos aquellos que las han querido matar y que están más presentes que antes en este proceso del pueblo. ― Monsenor Romero. 2 March 1980.

Don’t think, brothers, that our dead have left us. Their heaven, their eternal recompense, makes them more perfect in love. They are still loving the same causes that they died for. That means that in El Salvador this liberating force not only counts those who remain living, but also counts those who they wanted to kill who are more present than before in the people.

Friday, March 13, 2009

13th Station

13th Station (Saint Wendelin, Cleve., O.)
XIII Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to his Mother
13. Jesús es bajado de la cruz

Mark xv ―43 Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 44 But Pilate wondered that he should be already dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if he were already dead. 45 And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre.

43 venit Joseph ab Arimathǽa nóbilis decúrio, qui et ipse erat exspéctans regnum Dei, et audácter introívit ad Pilátum, et pétiit corpus Jesu. 44 Pilátus autem mirabátur si jam obiísset. Et accersíto centurióne, interrogávit eum si jam mórtuus esset. 45 Et cum cognovísset a centurióne, donávit corpus Joseph. 46 Joseph autem mercátus síndonem, et depónens eum invólvit síndone, et pósuit eum in monuménto quod erat excísum de petra, et advólvit lápidem ad óstium monuménti.

Maria es la expresión de la necesidad del pueblo Salvadoreño. Maria es la expresión de la angustia de quienes están en prisión. Maria es la tristeza de las madres quienes han perdido a sus hijos y nadie les dirá donde están. Maria es la ternura que busca con angustia una solución. ― Monsenor Romero. 24 Diciembre 1978.

Mary is the expression of the need of the Salvadorian people. Mary is the expression of the anguish of those who are in prison. Mary is the sadness of the mothers who have lost their children and no one will tell them where they are. Mary is the tenderness that looks with anguish for a solution.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Salt march

                               Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi *1869,†1948.
(some one thought the Cleveland winter cold, and placed a muffler about the neck)

It is becoming common for many large cities and moderate cities to have a statue of Gandhi. There is one in London, the capital of the empire he defeated, other cities, that, have no connexion to him, Moscow and New York City.

During the last depression, in one of Franklin Roosevelt’s projects, there was built, in Cleveland, on then Liberty (now M. L. King) Blvd., Cultural Gardens. They have not been finished. In the new Indian Garden, a bronze statue of Gandhi, by Gautam Pal, was installed in 2006.

Gandhi so impressed his fellow nationals, they acclaimed him ― Mahatma (great soul) ― for what he did, and how he did it. The english empire held south Asia and South Africa. Gandhi was familiar with how the english ruled.

There is a passage from Luke first half of vi. 29:
And to him that striketh thee on the one cheek, offer also the other.
This was the key passage to Lev Nikolajevič Tolstoj and to Gandhi. They corresponded.

I want to tell others what I feel so particularly keen about, namely what is called non-resistance, but what is essentially nothing other than the teaching of love undistorted by false interpretations…This law has been proclaimed by all the world's sages, Indian, Chinese, Jewish, Greek, and Roman. I think it has been expressed most clearly of all by Christ…―Tolstoy to Gandhi, 7 September 1910.
That, and the Golden Rule:
And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them in like manner. ― Luke vi. 31.
All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets. ― Matthew vii. 12.
See thou never do to another what thou wouldst hate to have done to thee by another. ― Tobiæ iv.16.

Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens. Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself...― Leviticus xix.18.
But there is evil, and injustice in the world, and people want better. As Aristotle taught ― man is a political animal. How to act? Non coöperation with evil and injustice. The irish under the english used the boycott. Labor refused to labor. In using a variation of the golden rule, ahimsa (non-injury), and non coöperation Gandhi confronted the empire again and again.

In America, the bostonians dressed as red indians, and dumped british tea in the harbor, to protest british taxation. They did this secretly, and in dark, and in disguise. Gandhi and his indians protested british taxation of salt. They marched 24 days, beginning on 12 March 1930, peacefully, in the open, from Ahmadabad to Dandi on the Arabian sea, and made salt. The british responded brutally. They arrested Gandhi, again. They ran a world wide campaign of black propaganda against him and his people. The campaign of peaceful refusal began. The english lost, eventually [they did not want to leave France either 500 years previous].

Gandhi had campaigns against the evil of his people. He opposed the caste system and the treatment of dalits, the untouchables. The laws to-day are in their favor, but not the actions of indian society.

Slowly the world is beginning to commemorate his presence, if not his ideas. The little dedication ceremony in Cleveland did not have much hoopla. The indian community recognised one of their own. Congressman Kucinich, a war opponent, was in attendance. The Quakers had given him a Gandhi prize for peace*. Many people admire Gandhi in the US, but few politicians, and fewer will act in his fashion. Peace does not win votes here.


I am being led to my religion through Truth and Non-Violence, i.e., love in the broadest sense. I often describe my religion as the religion of Truth. Of late, instead of saying God is Truth I have been saying Truth is God, in order more fully to define my religion.

Gentle Jesus, the greatest passive resister the world has seen.

Live simply, that others may simply live.

Those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics, do not know what religion means.... Spirituality that has no bearing on and produces no effect on everyday life is an ‘airy nothing.’

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?

Nonviolence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering. It does not mean meek submission to the will of the evildoer, but it means putting of ones whole soul against the will of the tyrant. Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save his honor, his religion, his soul, and lay the foundation for that empires fall or its regeneration.

Jesus gave mankind, in these lessons and in his life, the great goal toward which to aspire. It is because there is such a goal, and because there was such a figure as that of Jesus, that I cannot be pessimistic, but instead am hopeful and confident of the future. And it is because his life has this significance and meaning for me that I do not regard him as belonging to Christianity alone, but rather to the whole world, to all its peoples, no matter under what name they worship. be a good Hindu also meant that I would be a good Christian. There was no need for me to join your creed to be a believer in the beauty of the teachings of Jesus or try to follow His example...
Gandhi did not win a Nobel prize for peace, Kissinger did though.

12th Station

12th Station (Saint Augustine, Cleve.,O.)
XII Jesus dies on the Cross
12. Jesús muere en la cruz

Luke xxiii ― 44 And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46 And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost. 47 Now the centurion, seeing what was done, glorified God, saying: Indeed this was a just man.

44 Erat autem fere hora sexta, et ténebræ factæ sunt in univérsam terram usque ad horam nonam. 45 Et obscurátus est sol, et velum templi scissum est médium. 46 Et clamans voce magna Jesus ait : Pater, in manus tuas comméndo spíritum meum. Et hæc dicens, expirávit. 47 Videns autem centúrio quod factum fúerat, glorificávit Deum, dicens : Vere hic homo justus erat.

Mientras miramos a Cristo clavado en la cruz nos invita la Sagrada Palabra a descifrar un misterio de actualidad. Si Cristo es el representante de todo el pueblo en sus dolores, en su humillación, en sus miembros acribillados con unos clavos en una cruz, tenemos que descubrir el sufrimiento de nuestro pueblo. Es nuestro pueblo torturado, es nuestro pueblo crucificado, escupido, humillado al que representa Jesucristo Nuestro Señor para darle a nuestra situación tan difícil un sentido de redención ― Monsenor Romero. Marzo 24, 1978.

While we look at Christ nailed to the cross, he invites us to discern from the sacred word a real mystery. If Christ is the representative for all people, we have to discover the suffering of our people in his suffering, his humiliation, his body scarred by the nails of the cross. This is our people tortured, crucified, spat upon, and humiliated from whom Christ our Lord is represented in order to give our very difficult situation a sense of redemption.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

11th Station

11th Station (Saint Stephen, Cleve., O.)
Jesus wird ans Kreuz geschlagen

XI Jesus is nailed to the Cross

11. Jesús es clavado a la cruz

Mark xv ― 22 And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, The place of Calvary. 23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; but he took it not. 24 And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. 25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of his cause was written over: THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. 28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith: And with the wicked he was reputed. 29 And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days buildest it up again; 30 Save thyself, coming down from the cross. 31 In like manner also the chief priests mocking, said with the scribes one to another: He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32 Let Christ the king of Israel come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

22 Et perdúcunt illum in Gólgotha locum : quod est interpretátum Calváriæ locus. 23 Et dabant ei bíbere myrrhátum vinum : et non accépit. 24 Et crucifigéntes eum, divisérunt vestiménta ejus, mitténtes sortem super eis, quis quid tólleret. 25 Erat autem hora tértia : et crucifixérunt eum. 26 Et erat títulus causæ ejus inscríptus : Rex Judæórum. 27 Et cum eo crucifígunt duos latrónes : unum a dextris, et álium a sinístris ejus. 28 Et impléta est Scriptúra, quæ dicit : Et cum iníquis reputátus est. 29 Et prætereúntes blasphemábant eum, movéntes cápita sua, et dicéntes : Vah ! qui déstruis templum Dei, et in tribus diébus reædíficas, 30 salvum fac temetípsum descéndens de cruce. 31 Simíliter et summi sacerdótes illudéntes, ad altérutrum cum scribis dicébant : Álios salvos fecit ; seípsum non potest salvum fácere. 32 Christus rex Israël descéndat nunc de cruce, ut videámus, et credámus. Et qui cum eo crucifíxi erant, convitiabántur ei.

Roma crucificaba pero no a sus romanos, Roma crucificaba a los pueblos que dependían de su imperio; y como Palestina dependía de Roma -Pilatos era el representante de Roma en aquel pueblo oprimido- Cristo tiene que ser humillado como un ser que no merece ni siquiera ciudadanía ― Monsenor Romero. 19 Marzo 1978.

Rome used to crucify people, but not Roman citizens. Rome used to crucify the people that depended on their empire. And since Palestine depended on Rome (Pilate was the representative of Rome to this oppressed people), Christ had to be humiliated like someone who didn’t merit citizenship.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Parish Would Jesus Close?

A few years ago, there appeared throughout the country, shirts, bracelets and other items with the initials: WWJD? To some it was trivial, marketing kitsch; but it truly is an important ethical question of volition. We, who, say that we, are christians ought be followers of Jesus in more than in name alone. We ought to emulate Him as much as our ability, being an occasional admirer is not enough.

Sunday evening last, at Saint Sava’s, in attendance, from all the Eastern Orthodox Catholic churches of the area there was celebrated The Triumph of Orthodoxy. Now, most of these churches were independent of each other, and yet, they share a common communion, and are part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. They are not in communion with the church of the west, Rome. The grand shame of the Great Schism continues. These orthodox many are organised by nation. There they were slavs, and greeks, and arabs, and smaller nations in unity.

To the new world there, also, came those who were in communion with Rome: the many eastern rites, and the slavs, teutons, celts, latins, litvins, and more; also the iberians came and joined with the indian nations. In the cities, and even the rural parts, many, if not most, parishes were predominately of one nation. With new patterns of internal migrations, and the fashions of the current age, this has changed in the US.

The Catholic church in the US is diverse, the hierarchy (bishophry) not so much. Much of the laity have been subject to: pray, pay and obey. Some members and parishes of the byzantine and uniate rites were driven away to eastern orthodoxy. Some of the poles formed a schismatic national church which, because of its separation, has veered from orthodoxy. And as we have seen here, many polish parishes are cited for suppression, and many of these poles are not willing to quietly surrender. Many catholics, who have no argument with the old, true and everlasting faith, nor with Rome and the pope, past and present, but have been misused by the american bishops.

Here and elsewhere, the three reasons cited (demographics, clergy shortage and expense) for the necessity of reducing parishes are invalid. In public discourse, virtually everyone has agreed, that, they are valid premises. The Church has a body of canon law, which is similar to a constitution, it is a legal code. We have seen, in this country, constitutions and other social contracts ignored, even abrogated, too often. The public debate is thoroughly on the principles of the american business model, which the public errantly accepts. The three reasons, often cited, are reasons the american business model gives for reduction of franchises. The american business model gives great honor to capitalism. Capitalism is a form of mammon worship, and it should not be substituted for canon law, nor the Sermon on the Mount.

A parish is a juridic person, as in american law a corporation is a fictive, yet legal, person. A parish is formally erected by a bishop, in the diocese he oversees, not rules. Once created it is meant to be perpetual. To suppress it towards extinction is not easily done canonically! And in alliance with this, these parishes, and their property were created by these diverse people, and given to the future in trust. Canon law does not put a quota for one priest for so many parishioners, a parish can have, and often has had, no resident priest. We are being told, that, the old parishes must pass away for the new. Some of us disagree.

Capitalism wants to maximise profit. When we take this to the logical extreme of continuing action, we come to the point where, after getting the most, and expending the least (maximised efficency), we have gotten everything for giving nothing. Jesus gave us all and took nothing. American business management theory does not belong in Jesus’ church. In this Sunday’s Gospel, John tells us of the time Jesus drives marketers and financiers from His Father’s House.

10th Station

10th Station (Saint Rocco, Cleve., O.)
X Jesus is stripped of his garments
10. Jesús es despojado de sus vestiduras

John xix ― 18 Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst. 19 And Pilate wrote a title also, and he put it upon the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 This title therefore many of the Jews did read: because the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin. 21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate: Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews. 22 Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written. 23 The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24 They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lot. And the soldiers indeed did these things.

18 ubi crucifixérunt eum, et cum eo álios duos hinc et hinc, médium autem Jesum. 19 Scripsit autem et títulum Pilátus, et pósuit super crucem. Erat autem scriptum : Jesus Nazarénus, Rex Judæórum. 20 Hunc ergo títulum multi Judæórum legérunt : quia prope civitátem erat locus, ubi crucifíxus est Jesus, et erat scriptum hebráice, græce, et latíne. 21 Dicébant ergo Piláto pontífices Judæórum : Noli scríbere : Rex Judæórum : sed quia ipse dixit : Rex sum Judæórum. 22 Respóndit Pilátus : Quod scripsi, scripsi. 23 Mílites ergo cum crucifixíssent eum, accepérunt vestiménta ejus (et fecérunt quátuor partes, unicuíque míliti partem) et túnicam. Erat autem túnica inconsútilis, désuper contéxta per totum. 24 Dixérunt ergo ad ínvicem : Non scindámus eam, sed sortiámur de illa cujus sit. Ut Scriptúra implerétur, dicens : Partíti sunt vestiménta mea sibi : et in vestem meam misérunt sortem. Et mílites quidem hæc fecérunt.

Este es el compromiso de ser cristiano: seguir a Cristo en su encarnación y si Cristo es Dios majestuoso que se hace hombre humilde hasta la muerte de los esclavos en una cruz y vive con los pobres, así debe ser nuestra fe cristiana. El cristiano que no quiere vivir este compromiso de solidaridad con el pobre, no es digno de llamarse cristiano. Cristo nos invita a no tenerle miedo a la persecución porque, créanlo hermanos, el que se compromete con los pobres tiene que correr el mismo destino de los pobres: ser desaparecido, ser torturados, ser capturados, aparecer cadáveres ― Monsenor Romero. 17 Febrero 1980.

This is the commitment of being a Christian: to follow Christ in his Incarnation. And if Christ is a majestic God who becomes a humble man and lives with the poor until the death of slaves on a cross, our Christian faith should be lived in the same fashion. This Christian who doesn’t want to live with this commitment of solidarity with the poor doesn’t deserve to call himself a Christian. Christ invites us not to fear persecution because, believe it brothers, the one who binds himself with the poor has to go through the same destiny as the poor: to be disappeared, to be tortured, to be captured to appear as dead.

Monday, March 9, 2009

9th Station

9th Station (Shrine Church of Saint Stanislaus, Cleve., O.)
Jezus upada pod krzyżem raz trzeci

IX Jesus falls for the third time
9. Jesús cae por tercera vez

Luke xvii ― 1 And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. 2 It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones.

1 Et ait ad discípulos suos : Impossíbile est ut non véniant scándala : væ autem illi per quem véniunt. 2 Utílius est illi si lapis moláris imponátur circa collum ejus, et projiciátur in mare quam ut scandalízet unum de pusíllis istis.

¡No está vencido nadie aunque lo pongan bajo la bota de la opresión y de la represión, el que cree en Cristo, sabe que es un vencedor y que la victoria definitiva será de la verdad y de la justicia. ― 23 Marzo 1980 (un día antes de su muerte)

¡Qué bien se identifica Cristo con el sufrimiento de nuestro pueblo! Así parecen clamar muchas cosas, muchos tugurios, muchos en las cárceles y en el sufrimiento, muchos hambrientos de justicia y de paz. "¿Dios mío, Dios mío, por qué me has abandonado?" No nos ha abandonado. Es la hora en que el Hijo de Dios va pasando con toda su carga de pecado por la obediencia que Dios le pide para poder perdonar esos pecados de la humanidad de donde derivan todas las injusticias, todos los egoísmos ― Monsenor Romero. 8 Abril 1979.

No one is vanquished even though he is put under the boot of oppression and repression. He who believes in Christ knows that he is victor and that the ultimate victory will be from truth and from justice. (a day before his death)

How well Christ identified himself with the suffering of his people! Many shacks, many slums, many imprisoned by suffering, many hungry for justice and peace appear to clamor, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’ He hasn’t abandoned us. This is the hour in which the Son of God is carrying all of the load of sins to obey God, asking him to pardon these sins of humanity from whom is derived all injustices, all selfishness.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sacrifice of Isaac

Filippo Brunelleschi. Sacrifice of Isaac[detail]. 1401. Florence.

Now, in the Second Sunday of Lent, in the Tridentine rite, and all three years of the vernacular, the Gospel is the Transfiguration, the same as on 6 August. This is year B, the Gospel of Mark is used; in year B, the Sacrifice of Isaac is also read [in a shortened form]. Two foretellings of Jesus’ rôle are presented.

Brunelleschi’s gilded panel, was a test piece, for the commission, of the bronze doors, of the Baptistery of Florence’s cathedral. He lost to Lorenzo Ghiberti, whose work would use less bronze. Brunelleschi has Abraham’s left hand on Isaac’s neck, Abraham’s right hand holds a knife. The angel grabs Abraham’s right arm and ends Abraham’s test. It is Isaac, who prefigures Jesus, the perfect Sacrifice. The drama is within a triangle of heads and the grasping of three hands.
After these things, God tempted Abraham, and said to him: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: Here I am. He said to him: Take thy only* begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision†: and there thou shalt offer him for a holocaust upon one of the mountains which I will shew thee. So Abraham rising up in the night, saddled his ass‡: and took with him two young men, and Isaac his son: and when he had cut wood for the holocaust he went his way to the place which God had commanded him. And on the third day, lifting up his eyes, he saw the place afar off. And he said to his young men: Stay you here with the ass: I and the boy will go with speed as far as yonder, and after we have worshipped, will return to you. And he took the wood for the holocaust, and laid it upon Isaac his son: and he himself carried in his hands fire and a sword. And as they two went on together, Isaac said to his father: My father. And he answered: What wilt thou, son? Behold, saith he, fire and wood: where is the victim for the holocaust? And Abraham said: God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust, my son. So they went on together. And they came to the place which God had shewn him, where he built an altar, and laid the wood in order upon it: and when he had bound Isaac his son, he laid him on the altar upon the pile of wood. And he put forth his hand and took the sword, to sacrifice his son. And behold an angel of the Lord from heaven called to him, saying: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: Here I am. And he said to him: Lay not thy hand upon the boy, neither do thou any thing to him: now I know that thou fearest God, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake. Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram amongst the briers sticking fast by the horns, which he took and offered for a holocaust instead of his son. And he called the name of that place, The Lord seeth. Whereupon even to this day it is said: In the mountain the Lord will see. And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, saying: By my own self have I sworn, saith the Lord: because thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake: I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea shore: thy seed shall possess the gates of their enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice. ― Genesis xxii.1-18. DRC
Now, of all the Bible stories, this one children do not like. This makes all children nervous. Some stories make, particular, children nervous, e.g. when people call out for the death of Jeremias. A child with that name, or a derivative thereof, is not at ease.

But, here as elsewhere, we see the Lord call out to a man, and the response, ‘Here I am.’ That is the response, that one, who hears and does the Lord’s will, gives.
*there was also Ismaël by Agar earlier, both who were cast off, and later:
And Abraham married another wife, named Cetura: Who bore him Zamran, and Jecsan, and Madan, and Madian, and Jesboc, and Sue. Genesis xxv.1-2. DRC
Moriah, in some versions
‡yes, that is the correct word, donkey is a bowdlerisation

The hound, Hachi

In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor at Imperial U.*, brought an akita pup from the snow country (Yukiguni), of Akita prefecture, to live with him. He would go to Shibuya station, in the morning accompanied by his hound, to travel to work. When the train returned in the afternoon, the dog would be waiting. One day, the next year, the professor was felled with a stroke. He never returned, and soon died. Hachi (*10 November 1923,†8 March 1935), the hound, was taken away, but would return to their old residence, until one day he returned to Shibuya station. This he would do for, more than, nine years.

People noticed. He was acknowledged, greeted and fed. Newspaper articles were written. A song was sung in schools by children. Hachikō was an exemplar of loyalty and faithfulness. These were the qualities the people, of the nation, should have for their country, and emperor.

People donated money for a statue of Hachikō†, while he was still a living model. When he died, a funeral service with many mourners gathered. He was stuffed, and placed as a museum exhibit. His bones were buried near his master.

The war came. The bronze statue, by Ando Teru, was melted in 1944 for armament. The akita breed had declined to a small number in the early twentieth century, after having been a favorite hunting dog of samurai. The furry and muscular hounds took down bears. During the war, dogs were butchered for food and pelt; similar stories were true in other lands too, certain breeds were nearing vanishing. In certain locales, the harboring of hounds became illegal, police would kill the animals. People who kept, and hid, their companions were harassed by their, own, family members.

Recently a book has been published, by Martha Sherrill, that tells the story of Morie Sawataishi’s rôle in saving the akita. From 1944 til he died in 2008, Sawataishi cared for the breed. The akita is a loyal breed of a loyal animal, that, has regular habits.

After the war a new statue‡ came to Shibuya station and it is, again, a landmark. A film, Hachikō Monogatari (1987), was made. This year an american version, set in New England, will be released. The 8th of April an annual remembrance takes place, for Hachikō, at the railway station.
*now Tokyo U.
†Hachikō, a familiar diminutive form
‡ by the sculptor’s son, Takeshi; other statues have followed

Saturday, March 7, 2009

8th Station

8th Station (Saint Procop, Cleve., O.)
VIII Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem
8. Jesús habla a las mujeres de Jerusalén

Luke xxiii ― 27 And there followed him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented him. 28 But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

27 Sequebátur autem illum multa turba pópuli et mulíerum, quæ plangébant et lamentabántur eum. 28 Convérsus autem ad illas Jesus, dixit : Fíliæ Jerúsalem, nolíte flere super me, sed super vos ipsas flete et super fílios vestros.

El que convive con el pobre, con el miserable, con el campesino y lo defiende y quiere como Cristo nuestro Señor predicar la liberación a los pobres, a los oprimidos, a los prisioneros, a los que sufren. Este es Cristo que está en medio de nosotros ― Monsenor Romero. 23 Marzo 1978.

The one who lives with the poor, the miserable, the peasant and who defends them and loves them like Christ our Lord, and who preaches the liberation of the poor, of the oppressed, of the one who suffers, this one is Christ in our midst.

Friday, March 6, 2009

7th Station

7th Station (Our Lady of Peace, Cleve., O.)
VII Jesus falls for the second time
7. Jesús cae por segunda vez

John xii ― 24 Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die,

24 Amen, amen dico vobis, nisi granum fruménti cadens in terram, mórtuum fúerit,

Aquí donde Cristo es carne que sufre, aquí donde Cristo es cosa, donde Cristo es persecución, donde Cristo es hombres que duermen en el campo porque no pueden dormir en su casa, donde Cristo es enfermedad que sufre por consecuencia de tantas intemperies y de tantos sufrimientos; aquí es Cristo con su cruz a cuestas, no meditado en una capilla junto al vía-crucis, sino vivido en el pueblo; es Cristo con su cruz camino del Calvario ― Monsenor Romero. 5 Marzo 1978.

Here, Christ is flesh that suffers. Here where Christ is something, he is persecution, where Christ is men who sleep out in the country because they can’t sleep in their house, where Christ is sickness that suffers because of the consequences of being so unprotected. Here is Christ with the cross upon his shoulders on the road to Calvary, not meditated in some chapel with the way of the cross or lived outside the people.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

6th Station

6th Station (Saint Colman, Cleve., O.)
VI Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
6. Verónica limpia el rostro de Jesús

Matthew xxvi ―27 And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this.

27 Et accípiens cálicem, grátias egit : et dedit illis, dicens : Bíbite ex hoc omnes.

Si viéramos que es Cristo el hombre necesitado, el hombre torturado, el hombre prisionero, el asesinado; y en cada figura de hombre, botadas tan indignamente por nuestros caminos, descubriéramos a ese Cristo botado, medalla de oro que recogeríamos con ternura y la besaríamos y no nos avergonzaríamos de él ― Monsenor Romero. 16 Marzo 1980.

If we could see that Christ is the needy person, the tortured person, the prisoner, the assassinated one, the one thrown away with so much indignity on our roads. If we could discover in this rejected one Christ, we would treat this Christ as a medal of gold. We would pick him up with tenderness and kiss him. We would not feel ashamed of him.