Saturday, April 21, 2012

Questions that answer themselves

Catching up on my email this morning, I read a quick note from my old friend Steve, a cradle Catholic like myself, who sent me a link to the Slate story on the Vatican's attempt to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, along with the following cri de coeur:
No argument over whether the Vatican has the authority to do what they’re doing, but is this really worth the knocks the Church will take over this?  I mean, how many people outside the clergy really pay close attention to the groups being targeted for re-education?  Now I can pretty well guarantee they will get much more coverage than they ever would have absent this crackdown.  I’m not saying the Church should let it all slide, I’m just saying there has to be a better, more compassionate-looking way to address the issue.  Not very good for recruitment, either, if we’re even interested in the female vocations any more.

Well, there are several ways to address such a question, such as pointing out that the second orders represented by the LCWR have already done everything necessary to make themselves irrelevant and unattractive to faithful Catholic women, and that part of the reason for the reform is precisely because we're interested in the return of female vocations.  But the irrepressible Father Z has uncovered some information that truly illustrates the need for LCWR reform.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

When motivational posters go over the top ....

"Too ... many ... jokes .... Must ... mock ... author ...."
I ask you to read the motivational poster to your left, and reflect on its pretentiousness.  This is the kind of thing you see on the Internet that just begs for smart-ass captions like, "Now quit your bitching, flap your arms and fly, dammit!"

I saw it on Facebook; a husband sent it to his wife, a friend of mine from high school, with the ever-so-sweet comment, "I saw this and I thought of you, baby."  And my friend is truly a risk-taker who is bringing a dream to successful fruition; she deserves recognition and support for her endeavors, and I freely, gladly give mine to her.  So on her Facebook status update I maintain a reverent silence on this overwritten tomfoolery.

Nevertheless, it is overwritten tomfoolery.  Impossible is a fact.  It can be easily discovered by people who want to build a house of cards by tossing the deck up into the wind during a hurricane.  It can be discovered by people who want to use a three-iron to make a mile-long golf shot in Earth gravity.  It can be discovered by people who want to suspend themselves in mid-air by holding on to their belt loops.

That's how we know a miracle when we see it: the natural universe, left to its ordinary workings, could not have produced the result.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I wish I'd passed this on to you earlier ...

When I was a child, Mom had a great way to deal with all the hard-boiled Easter eggs that had been colored, hidden and found:  Goldenrod Eggs for breakfast!

In concept, Goldenrod Eggs is fairly simple to make if you have a few basic skills.  The base is a simple bechamel or pan gravy; the latter is better for a more home-style flavor.  I can't give you a precise recipe, because (if you have little to no experience with gravy or sauces) everything is pretty much done by eye.

The first step is to shell and prepare the eggs — figure about 2½-3 eggs a person.  Separate the  yolks from the whites; using a food processor, chop up the yolks into a rough crumble.  Then chop the whites; you can either use a food processor or a chef's knife for bigger pieces.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

© 2007 angelfire7508.

There were solitudes beyond where none shall follow.  There were secrets in the inmost and invisible part of that drama that have no symbol in speech; or in any severance of a man from men.  Nor is it easy for any words less stark and single-minded than those of the naked narrative even to hint at the horror of exaltation that lifted itself above the hill.  Endless expositions have not come to the end of it, or even to the beginning.  And if there be any sound that can produce a silence, we may surely be silent about the end and the extremity; when a cry was driven out of that darkness in words dreadfully distinct and dreadfully unintelligible, which man shall never understand in all the eternity they have purchased for him; and for one annihilating instant an abyss that is not for our thoughts had opened up even in the unity of the absolute; and God had been forsaken of God.[1]

Saint Paul wrote, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:17-19).

And yet this moment, this terrible cry from the agony of the Savior, is a challenge to faith that precedes the Resurrection.  Indeed, if there were any truth to the claim that the Gospel’s records of miracles and signs were mere retrojected embellishments, then it’s amazing the synoptic authors took no care to excise this most paradoxical of Christ’s utterances.