Holy Week; a moratorium on politics

I have decided – after allowing myself to get aggravated by the press once again pretending that Barack Obama has especial greatness for essentially saying the same thing George W. Bush said, that I am going to declare a moratorium on political posts for Holy Week. Others cover politics better than I do, anyway, and being dragged down into that muck is not how I want to spend the next 7 days.

Barring anything huge happening in the world of politics, I’m exclusively on the religion beat, this week. I’m going to do lots of podcasts, I think, of different hours of prayer, some of the daily readings for the week and possibly something a little more strenuous. Check back!

The US is so far allocating $50,000 for earthquake relief to Italy, but I am sure that number will increase. The video here looks pretty bad. 150 now dead. Looking at the devastation reminds us it all is, and how powerless we are in the face of Creation, which keeps moving. It is only our conceit that makes us think we can control it. If you’re looking for a way to help, the Italian American Museum is collecting donations for relief to L’Aquila.

A few links to whet yer whistle:
To recognise God: We have to abandon the pride that binds us Oh, yes.
First Things: Fascinating piece on why the human brain loves the lie
Deal Hudson in Isreal: Reports on a dark mood, also Benedict & the Future of the Holy Land
Imagine: Easter week in Rome…without the terrible earthquake.
Bookworm: On what the Cross is reduced to in the UK
American Catholic: Filling the ambassador’s post to the Vatican is proving difficult for the administration.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • alexandrag

    Best wishes for a fruitful Holy Week. God is with us. (That is not meant exclusively, like just with us on this blog, but everyone.)

    I also offer this prayer: O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the spirit of truth, who art everywhere and fillest all things, treasury of blessings and spirit of truth, come and abide in us and cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls, O Good One.

  • dmd25

    Great idea, Anchoress. We will all be better off focusing on Holy Week rather than politics this week. I appreciate all you do to encourage and enrich our spiritual lives. Many blessings.

  • roylofquist

    As I understand it, the $50,000 for quake relief is the amount that the local US officers can spend at their discretion. More is on the way.

  • colorless.blue.ideas

    Note also that the $50K is *government* discretionary money (i.e., taxpayer money), and does not include the donations of citizens or spending by other charities (with donated money). Nor does it include any in-kind aid or assistance rendered by American armed forces in Italy (both officially and by military members volunteering) which, if costed out, would be a rather significant amount.

    Finally, the linked Breitbart report did not use the adverb only: that was an addition based upon a judgment that the amount should have been more. I don’t mean to sound judgmental myself–this is one blog I read almost every day–but I’m curious as to what led to penning the judgment of “only”.

    Thanks & God bless!

    [Sometimes I just write a little fast. You'll note that I also followed that up with "I'm sure more will come" meaning more will be allocated. - admin]

  • Mary in CO

    Wonderful choice, Anchoress. During Holy Week, our minds and hearts can be more fruitfully directed elsewhere.

    God bless you and yours!

  • Ellen

    I’m reading and re-reading The Rule of St. Benedict for Holy Week. Somehow, I think that I am being called to be an Oblate of St. Benedict and I am discerning that.

    As for politicians….all I will say is that most of them right now do not deserve their wonderful patron saint. St. Thomas More, pray for us.

  • Hantchu

    Goodness, a lot of the readers at Inside Catholic do NOT like the Jews, especially when in sovereign, responsibility-taking Israeli form. It’s a pity, because the Israelis are willing (perhaps the problem is “too eager”) to make peace with the Arabs (Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians, Jordanians, what have you) as soon as Arab culture and its leaders value a modus vivendi more than killing and dominating the Jews.

    What good is a “two state solution” when the options are Hamas ar an utterly corrupt and equally ruthless Palestinian Authority? How does that benefit the lives of ordinary Palestinians? Hamas is burning Christian book stores in Gaza; the Christian booksellers I know in the Old City and in the rest of Jerusalem seem to be thriving and unmolested. I know so very many ordinary, humane Arabs and Palestinians who just want to get on with life, for whom these ideological obsessions are a serious impediment to a life of ordinary health, respect, and dignity.

    When Arab politics sees public health, third-party auto insurance, and working stoplights as more important to the welfare of their citizes than achieving domination over the Jews, there will be peace.

    I just spent night shift at Hadassah Hospital discussing baby formula preferences with a Gazan grandmother whose baby grandson just had cardiac surgery with us. He’s going to be fine, and his grandma loves him. I found her an extra blanket, and she surprised me with a cup of tea on my desk.

    If we want Real Peace, we’re going to have to prepare the way with an atmosphere of simple compassion and physical and spiritual acts of mercy. Didn’t your Rebbi say something about “If you love me, feed my lambs? There’s a lot of feeding to be done before we can ever get down to a political situation. On the other hand, you can force a kind of poiitical “situation” and solve nothing for the lambs.

    May we be patient, long-suffering, tolerant, and guided.

  • Beverly Lynn

    Christ is Risen.

    Do you have any special traditions that you do with your family during holy week?

  • Gayle Miller

    All of us should be praying steadily for the people of the region. I lived in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years and well remember how terrifying an earthquake could be. Even those whose homes survived and whose lives are unharmed by this earthquake are living with a feeling of utter helplessness in the face of nature’s unpredictability. And there are dolts among us who think we can control the planet’s temperature?! Even knowing what causes earthquakes for sure hasn’t enabled us to predict or prevent them! We are not here to aggrandize ourselves but to give all honor and glory to God who created us!

  • Jim Hicks

    I am spending less time listening to Rush and Hannity this week, while spending more time listening to Ancient Faith Radio, the on-line radio station for the Orthodox faithful. They have two webstreams one devoted to music and the other to various talk shows. I am sticking with the music for now.

    In addition to praying as many of the hours as I can from the Anglican Breviary, I am trying to get my wife to nag me…er, join me into more of the Rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    Before letting go –

    There has been a long-standing tradition of politics stopping at the water’s edge, of presenting a united country when speaking abroad. Of course, that tradition has been repeatedly violated the last several years as folks went to other countries to launch partisan political attacks.

    Now that Obama has himself violated that rule by going abroad to attack and criticize America, repeatedly apologizing for how awful we are, perhaps George W. can reciprocate by going abroad to give speeches praising America and American exceptionalism?

    *****

    Hantchu, just be careful making the observation when commenting at Inside Catholic that they don’t like those Jews very much. It might get you banned and blocked from commenting, like Bender was when he spoke out in support of Israel, and against IC’s constant attacks against Israel, once too often.

  • Hantchu

    Hey wow, “Bender the Defender”. If our collective track record says anything, for sure Mr. Rodriguez’s actions are not properly appreciated or acknowledged. Thank you sir, you are a gentleman.

    Guess I see IC as y’all’s problem to straighten out; I find myself busy enough dealing with incidents of Jewish misbehavior, most particularly mine own.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    Can we interrupt the moratorium for this bit of news?

    No Nats First Pitch for Obama
    By Michael A. Fletcher

    President Obama has turned down an invitation to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener of the Washington Nationals against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.

    Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, said today that Obama, who returned from an eight-day overseas trip this week and is planning to leave for Mexico and Trinidad next week, would not be doing the honors.

    Vice President Biden threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Orioles home opener against the New York Yankees on Monday of this week. Obama, a longtime Chicago White Sox fan and a close friend of the team’s general manager, was unable to throw out the first pitch for the Sox home opener earlier this week as he was winding down his trip, which to took him to Europe, Turkey and Iraq.

    Given the season, I won’t snark that he isn’t doing it because he probably “throws like a girl” (or, as he would say, a Special Olympian) and would get laughed at (especially compared to W’s hard fastball strikes from the mound). But come on man, some things are just tradition.


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