Mish Mash Rock (Music for Monday’s)

How’s your upcoming week looking? I’m trying to keep calm. Here’s how I don’t want to feel like come Friday.


Of course, there are no guarantees that it won’t end up like that, but I like starting the week off with a laugh. “Take that, high anxiety!” And I like to start the week off with some tunes as well. They’re from all over the spectrum. A true mish mash assortment, for sure.

Maybe you’ll like a few of ’em.

The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends. ‘Nuff said?

Eric Clapton, I Shot the Sheriff. Seriously. At least I didn’t shoot the deputy. As for the sheriff, I just did what had to be done.

Real Life, Send Me An Angel. This always makes me think of Star Trek. I don’t think that was the artist’s intent, but that’s the breaks.

The Knack, My Sharona. Took the family to see Super-8 at the movies this past weekend. Left the theater with this earworm in my head. Sorry!

Foo Fighters, Learn to Fly. Dave Grohl is a gifted musician and songwriter. Listen to the lyrics of this song. Regardless of the reason why he wrote it, what he thinks he’s sayin’, this answers reasons YIMCatholic.

Carlos Santana, Evil Ways. I dedicated this song to a friend this morning. She is so Evil! How evil is she? As evil as me. How evil is that? Gotta change.

John Cougar Mellencamp, Pink Houses. I saw this in the news today. While reading that, this song popped into my head.

Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cutter. I heard this on the radio earlier this week. It’s been a million years since I heard this! Spare us the cutter, indeed.

How Star Trek Should Have Ended

This is just absolutely AWESOME. Because Catholics can laugh (be careful you don’t bust a gut).

There’s a whole family of these available on You Tube. 😀

For the Adoro Te Devote By St. Thomas Aquinas

-Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Today we celebrate the Body of Christ. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote a chant that is beautiful in Latin, and beautifully translated into English by Gerald Manly Hopkins, S.J. (poet extraordinaire).

Elegant and clean, it points to the signal fact that Faith in a hidden God is what we are called to. For in the words of the prophet, “truly you are a hidden God,” though one whom we are allowed also to physically perceive in the Eucharist.

Christ said “I am the Bread of Life” and “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” “In a little while, you will see me no more,” and yet thankfully, “I will be with you always.”

Pondering these mysteries, St. Thomas penned this chant. Here is the English translation:

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows, faith and nothing more.
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? That shall be believed.
What God’s Son hath told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly, or there’s nothing true.

On the Cross thy Godhead made no sign to men.
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken;
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

And what prayer is that? A simple and powerful one.

Remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.

Amen.

How to Handle a Bombshell (Because Catholics Can Laugh)

How I handled the Corapi bombshell. Don’t try this at home folks. And please… make sure you listen to my words with Robin at the end. –Batman [Read more…]

Cautionary Thoughts on Rebellion, Circa 1665

A few thoughts on the character of a rebel found in a new addition to the YIMCatholic Bookshelf. I found this in the first few pages of a compilation of quotations published in 1827 by John Timbs. Entitled, Laconics: or, The Best Words from the Best Authors, the following thoughts are those of one Samuel Butler.

Butler (1612-1680) was an author, poet, and satirist in his day. He is best known for the poem “Hudibras,” which was directed at lampooning the Puritans. What follows though are from his character sketches that were published long after his death in the year 1759. Compiled in a volume entitled The Genuine Remains in Verse and Prose of Mr Samuel Butler, behold “The Rebel”.

The Rebel

A rebel is a voluntary bandit, a civil renegado, that renounces his obedience to his prince, to raise himself upon the public ruin. He is of great antiquity, perhaps before the creation, at least a Preadamite; for Lucifer was the first of his family, and from him he derives himself in an indirect line. He finds fault with the government, that he may get it the easier into his own hands, as men use to undervalue what they have a desire to purchase.

He is a butcher of politics, and a state-tinker, that makes flaws in the government only to mend them again. He goes for a public-spirited man, and his pretences are for the public good; that is, for the good of his own public spirit. He pretends to be a great lover of his country, as if it had given him love-powder; but it is merely out of natural affection to himself. He has a great itch to be handling of authority, though he cut his fingers with it; and is resolved to raise himself, though it be but upon the gallows.

He is all for peace and truth, but not without lying and fighting. He plays a game with the hangman for the clothes on his back; and when he throws out, he strips him to the skin. He dies in hempen sheets, and his body is hanged, like his ancestor Mahomet’s, in the air. He might have lived longer, if the destinies had not spun his thread of life too strong.

He is sure never to come to an untimely end, for by the course of law his glass was out long before. He calls rebellion and treason laying out of himself for the public; but being found to be fake unlawful coin, he was seized upon, and cut in pieces, and hanged for falsifying himself.

His espousing of quarrels proves as fatal to his country, as the Parisian wedding did to France. He is like a bell, that was made on purpose to be hanged. He is a diseased part of the body politic, to which all the bad humours gather.

He picks straws out of the government like a madman, and startles at them when he has done. He endeavors to raise himself, like a boy’s kite, by being pulled against the wind. After all his endeavors and designs he is at length promoted to the gallows, which is performed with a cavalcade suitable to his dignity; and after much ceremony he is installed by the hangman, with the general applause of all men, and dies singing like a swan.

There’s a little bit of this guy in all of us. For more sketches of Butler’s, head on over to the YIMCatholic Bookshelf. If you are like me you’ll agree that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Because It’s Not Nice To Fool With Mother Nature

Remember those wacky commercials for Chiffon Margarine back in the 1970’s? Here’s a clip to jog  your memories (or to educate those who missed them). This is sort of like a funny primer on Natural Law. The real vs the simulacra brought into your den with a wink and a nod.

You know it’s true, but you fool around with the state of nature anyway. Don’t worry, it’s all in great fun. No problem!

Fast foward forty years and check out what fooling with Mother Nature has wrought. Girls becoming an endangered part of our species. Which means the species as a whole is endangered. Huh?

Have a look at this Wall Street Journal Book Review. Reviewing author Mara Hvistendahl’s Unnatual Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, Jonathan V. Last writes:

Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In “Unnatural Selection,” Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.

In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that’s as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China’s and India’s populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl’s counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.

****

If you peer hard enough at the data, you can actually see parents demanding boys. Take South Korea. In 1989, the sex ratio for first births there was 104 boys for every 100 girls—perfectly normal. But couples who had a girl became increasingly desperate to acquire a boy. For second births, the male number climbed to 113; for third, to 185. Among fourth-born children, it was a mind-boggling 209. Even more alarming is that people maintain their cultural assumptions even in the diaspora; research shows a similar birth-preference pattern among couples of Chinese, Indian and Korean descent right here in America.

Read the rest and remember, it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature. Don’t get your wires crossed.

St. Anthony of Padua Relic Recovered!

Saints be praised, we can put this to bed! Raquel Maria Dillion of the AP has the scoop,

Police recovered the relic of St. Anthony of Padua on Thursday at the Long Beach home of Maria Solis, 41, and Solis was arrested on suspicion of commercial burglary, Long Beach Deputy Police Chief Robert Luna said Thursday evening.

Parishioners applauded when a police officer placed the delicate gold and silver reliquary containing a tiny shard of bone on a table at the news conference in front of the church.

Luna said detectives canvassed the neighborhood with a composite sketch of a person of interest who was seen at five Masses the day before the theft.

Investigators found video surveillance tape that captured her walking to St. Anthony Catholic Church on Monday, the day of the theft, and the day before, he said. Detectives said they found the relic displayed in her living room of her home, about a mile from the church, Luna said.

St. Anthony’s pastor, the Rev. Jose Magana, said the relic appeared to be undamaged.

“St. Anthony is the patron saint of travelers and lost things but today he’s also the honorary saint of the Long Beach Police Department,” Magana said. “He just wanted to come home because it belongs to everyone.”

Read the rest here.

To Pray for the Christians in the Middle East-UPDATED

Thanks to having low friends in high places, I can share this with you. You used to have to be an operative of the CIA, or MI-5, to be able to pull up stuff like this on your computer screen. Nowadays, you can do so from your investment house’s Bloomberg machines. By doing so, you can even pretend that having this kind of knowledge at your finger tips will give you an investing edge. It won’t, but that is another story.

In my case, since I was recently thinking about our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt, it just gives me more reasons to pray for their safety. My oh my, look at all those pipelines and such! Burning refineries, etc. And you’re wondering why gasoline prices are high? Wonder no more.

Meanwhile, Christians are still being martyred. Have a look at this video and,

Hear the voice of a Christian Martyr singing a hymn in Arabic to the Blessed Mother, while watching a slideshow of his funeral mass. Hear the angelic voice of Father Ragheed Ganni, a 35 year old Chaldean Catholic Priest killed on Sunday June 3rd, 2007 with three of his deacons right after celebrating mass at Holy Spirit Chaldean Catholic Church in Mosul, Iraq. The car of Father Ragheed and the three deacons was stopped by terrorists shortly after leaving the church. They were forced to get down from the car and asked to declare their conversion to Islam. When the four martyrs refused they were brutally gunned down with machine guns.

A translation of the hymn in English is,

We honor you with hymns O Mother of God, you are the pride of the whole earth, because the Word of God whom the Father sent, chose to take His human body from you. The generations call you blessed, all nations and people’s honor you and ask for mercy by your prayers. You are a generous earth in which plants of joy always grow.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths. Amen.

Because Good Friends Are Golden

A few days back, it was the Feast Day of St. Barnabas. You may or may not recall that he was St. Paul’s companion on his first mission trip. They were fast friends in the faith, traveling hither and yon spreading the Good News together to the Gentiles.

You can learn more about Barnabas over at the Catholic Encyclopedia. The record shows that at some point, the two went their separate ways. Perhaps it was a falling out, but perhaps it was just that they were called in different directions by the same Spirit that brought them together in the first place.

Good friends are able to put up with each other, while also being their own men. All the while enjoying each other’s company. There is a movie that hit the theaters the day after St. Barnabus’ Day that is about a trip that two friends take touring the restaurants of Northern England together.

It’s not so surprisingly called The Trip and it stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing versions of themselves. The Trip was originally a six part miniseries on the BBC2 network, which I (of course) never even knew about.

A friend of mine posted a few clips from the movie on his Facebook page, and I was dying laughing from the impressions Brydon and Coogan pull off on the likes of Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, and even Woody Allen during the course of their performances. Have a look at the trailer (pardon any commercials),

Reading some of the reviews, there is lots of fun, but also plenty of pathos too. In the fun department though, I have a few friends who I could do this kind of thing with all day long,

Leave my sister out of it is right! You have to admit that these two guys have a gift for improvisation. Man, did you see that? They went all Scottish on us. Stand-by for some Big Country!

Big Country-In A Big Country by adiis

Back to the film,  Metacritic (remember them?) weighs in with a score of 81, which for all intents and purposes is a home-run right out of the park. Honey? We’re going to the movies (if this ever makes it to Galilee).

Didn’t Want To Be a Rand Buster™ But Then I Read Today’s Readings

So perhaps you think I’ve gone a little batty with this long march I’ve undertaken to beg our Christian brethren to forswear the Randian siren song luring them upon the lee shore of Objectivism. Frank has gone to cloud cuckoo land, sho ’nuff. Man, if only he would just settle down and put his thinking cap on. Sheesh.

OK then. So today at the office, one of my colleagues had a birthday, see? So I didn’t go to Mass like I usually would. The office gathered around to be thankful to God for bringing us the gift of this person, and so it was right and fitting to celebrate the occasion. Agreed? I’ll get back to my routine tomorrow.

But since I wasn’t able to participate in the heaven meets earth event that I have come to look forward to daily, I did the next best thing. I headed over to the USCCB website to catch up on the daily readings. And would you believe that every single one of them screamed that Ayn Rand is not the way?

Here, take a look for yourself. First up? St. Paul,

June 14, 2011
Tuesday of the Eleventh Week
in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
2 Cor 8:1-9

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, of the grace of God
that has been given to the churches of Macedonia,
for in a severe test of affliction,
the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty
overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.

Whoa…generosity? And poverty? Yuk!

For according to their means, I can testify,
and beyond their means, spontaneously,
they begged us insistently for the favor of taking part
in the service to the holy ones,
and this, not as we expected,
but they gave themselves first to the Lord
and to us through the will of God,
so that we urged Titus that, as he had already begun,
he should also complete for you this gracious act also.

Beyond their means? They’ll go bankrupt! And they begged for the favor of serving others? No way!

Now as you excel in every respect,
in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness,
and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.

Gracious acts? Do tell! What’s next…concern for others?

I say this not by way of command,
but to test the genuineness of your love
by your concern for others.
For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.

Sheesh! OK, surely the Psalms will give me a break. Let’s see what’s on King David’s mind today.

146:2, 5-6ab, 6c- 7, 8-9a Responsorial Psalm

R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Praise the LORD, my soul!
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Hmmm, not looking very promising.

Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.


R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Oh, not that ridiculous idea again.

Who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

There he goes, telling us to help the hungry and the oppressed and the weak. Sigh. These guys never learn.

The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Those who are bowed down should stay down. And what is justice? Looks like I’m 0 for 2 so far. Maybe the Gospel with give me something to work with. Oops, looks like no. Would you believe fate would send me something from the Sermon on the Mount? OMG!

Mt 5:38-42 Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

The Gospel of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

See? You cannot follow Ayn Rand’s “virtue of selfishness” and pretend you are a disciple of the King. My Christian brethren (who attempt such nonsense), your position is, in a word, untenable. Your lack of understanding of this is unfathomable. “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” You cannot do that without striving to live by the Two Greatest Commandments.

None of us can.

Update: New members of the Rand Busters™ Lisa Graas and Stacy Trasancos.  Go read Lisa’s post!

I Am the Way,
the Truth, and the Life