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What they call confidence, I call hubris. What they call happiness, I call slavery. How about you?

Recently, I have been confronted by folks accusing Your Humble Narrator of being "too negative". These words have come at me from...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Theology of the Body: 86. Mystery of the Body's Redemption Basis of Teaching on Marriage and Voluntary Continence

In his General Audience of 21 July 1982, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Theology of the Body. The eschatological redemption of the body, in victory over death, is the inspiration for man's victory over sin in daily life, whether in marriage or in celibacy.


Mystery of the Body's Redemption Basis of Teaching on Marriage and Voluntary Continence

On Wednesday, 21 July, the Holy Father returned by helicopter from Castel Gandolfo to the Vatican for the weekly general audience in St Peter's Square. Basing his message on Paul's Letter to the Romans, Pope John Paul continued his catechetical series of reflections on marriage and celibacy.


"We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we await...the redemption of our body" (Rom 8:23). In his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul sees this redemption of the body in both an anthropological and a cosmic dimension. Creation "in fact was subjected to futility" (Rom 8:20). All visible creation, all the universe, bears the effects of man's sin. "The whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now" (Rom 8:22). At the same time, the whole "creation awaits with eager longing the revelation of the sons of God" and "nourishes the hope of also being freed from the slavery of corruption, to obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom 8:19, 20-21).

Object of hope

2. According to Paul, the redemption of the body is the object of hope. This hope was implanted in the heart of man in a certain sense immediately after the first sin. Suffice it to recall the words of the Book of Genesis, which are traditionally called the proto-evangelium (cf. Gn 3:15). We could therefore also call them the beginning of the Good News, the first announcement of salvation. The redemption of the body, according to the words of the Letter to the Romans, is connected precisely with this hope in which, as we read, "we have been saved" (Rom 8:24). Through the hope that arises at man's very origin, the redemption of the body has its anthropological dimension. It is the redemption of man. At the same time it radiates, in a certain sense, on all creation, which from the beginning has been bound in a particular way to man and subordinated to him (cf. Gn 1:28-30). The redemption of the body is therefore the redemption of the world. It has a cosmic dimension.

Awaiting redemption

3. Presenting in his Letter to the Romans the cosmic image of redemption, Paul of Tarsus places man at its very center, just as "in the beginning" he had been placed at the very center of the image of creation. It is precisely man who has "the first fruits of the Spirit," who groans inwardly, awaiting the redemption of his body (cf. Rom 8:23). Christ came to reveal man to man fully by making him aware of his sublime vocation (cf. Gaudium et Spes 22). Christ speaks in the Gospel from the divine depths of the mystery of redemption, which finds its specific historical subject precisely in Christ himself. Christ therefore speaks in the name of that hope that had already been implanted in the heart of man in the proto-evangelium. Christ gives fulfillment to this hope, not only with the words of his teaching, but above all with the testimony of his death and resurrection. So the redemption of the body has already been accomplished in Christ. That hope in which "we have been saved" has been confirmed in him. At the same time, that hope has been opened anew to its definitive eschatological fulfillment. "The revelation of the sons of God" in Christ has been definitively directed toward that glorious liberty that is to be definitively shared by the children of God.

Authentic theology

4. To understand all that the redemption of the body implies according to Paul's Letter to the Romans, an authentic theology of the body is necessary. We have tried to construct this theology by referring first of all to the words of Christ. The constitutive elements of the theology of the body are contained in what Christ says: in recalling "the beginning," concerning the question about the indissolubility of marriage (cf. Mt 19:8); in what he says about concupiscence, referring to the human heart in his Sermon on the Mount (cf. Mt 5:28); and also in what he says in reference to the resurrection (cf. Mt 22:30). Each one of these statements contains a rich content of an anthropological and ethical nature. Christ is speaking to man, and he is speaking about man: about man who is "body" and who has been created male and female in the image and likeness of God. He is speaking about man whose heart is subject to concupiscence, and finally, about man before whom the eschatological prospect of the resurrection of the body is opened.

"Body", according to the Book of Genesis, means the visible aspect of man and his belonging to the visible world. For St. Paul it means not only this belonging, but sometimes also the alienation of man by the influence of the Spirit of God. Both the one meaning and the other are in relation to the resurrection of the body.

Sermon on the Mount

5. Since in the previously analyzed texts Christ is speaking from the divine depths of the mystery of redemption, his words serve that hope which is spoken of in the Letter to the Romans. According to the Apostle, ultimately we await the redemption of the body. So we await precisely the eschatological victory over death, to which Christ gave testimony above all by his resurrection. In the light of the paschal mystery, his words about the resurrection of the body and about the reality of the other world, recorded by the synoptic Gospels, have acquired their full eloquence. Christ, and then Paul of Tarsus, proclaimed the call for abstention from marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, precisely in the name of this eschatological reality.

6. However, the redemption of the body is expressed not only in the resurrection as victory over death. It is present also in Christ's words addressed to historical man, when they confirm the principle of the indissolubility of marriage as a principle coming from the Creator himself, and also when, in the Sermon on the Mount, Christ called man to overcome concupiscence, even in the uniquely interior movements of the human heart. The key to both the one and the other of these statements must be to say that they refer to human morality, that they have an ethical meaning. Here it is a question not of the eschatological hope of the resurrection, but of the hope of victory over sin, which can be called the hope of every day.

Strength to overcome evil

7. In his daily life man must draw from the mystery of the redemption of the body the inspiration and the strength to overcome the evil that is dormant in him under the form of the threefold concupiscence. Man and woman, bound in marriage, must daily undertake the task of the indissoluble union of that covenant which they have made between them. But also a man or a woman who has voluntarily chosen continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven must daily give a living witness of fidelity to that choice, heeding the directives of Christ in the Gospel and those of Paul the Apostle in First Corinthians. In each case it is a question of the hope of every day, which in proportion to the normal duties and difficulties of human life helps to overcome "evil with good" (Rom 12:21). In fact, "in hope we have been saved." The hope of every day manifests its power in human works and even in the very movements of the human heart, clearing a path, in a certain sense, for the great eschatological hope bound with the redemption of the body.

Victory over sin

8. Penetrating daily life with the dimension of human morality, the redemption of the body helps first of all to discover all this good in which man achieves the victory over sin and concupiscence. Christ's words spring from the divine depths of the mystery of redemption. They permit us to discover and strengthen that bond that exists between the dignity of the human being (man or woman) and the nuptial meaning of the body. They permit us to understand and put into practice, on the basis of that meaning, the mature freedom of the gift. It is expressed in one way in indissoluble marriage and in another way through abstention from marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. In these different ways Christ fully reveals man to man, making him aware of his sublime vocation. This vocation is inscribed in man according to all his psycho-physical makeup, precisely through the mystery of the redemption of the body.

Everything we have tried to do in the course of our meditations in order to understand Christ's words has its ultimate foundation in the mystery of the redemption of the body.

Steve Rushin. Again.

If you love sport, you've got to love Steve Rushin's writing. Take some time and go through his archive at SI.com.

A Bottomless Cup of Coffee

If you riffle past the Alous and just beyond the Boyers in The Baseball Encyclopedia, pausing before the Conigliaros and the DiMaggios, you'll find a major league baseball family almost as big as any of them, the two sets of Boyle brothers: Jack and Eddie and their nephews Buzz and Jim. Of those Cincinnatians, Jimmie Boyle had the shortest professional career -- indeed, the shortest possible professional career -- playing a single inning of a single game for the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds 80 years ago this summer.

And while more than 900 men have appeared in one -- and only one -- game in the majors, Boyle did so without ever setting foot in the minors. "Not on the way up," says his son, Patrick, "and not on the way down."

It's an extraordinary trick, like painting one fresco on the Sistine ceiling without a ladder, but Jimmie Boyle remains an elusive figure, a less-celebrated version of Moonlight Graham, who made one appearance for the same Giants -- and the same manager, John McGraw -- in 1905.

Graham gained global fame when Burt Lancaster played him in Field of Dreams. Boyle was fleetingly famous after graduating from Xavier in 1926, when he promptly joined the Giants for $250 a month, his every workout breathlessly chronicled in The New York Times, in which Boyle shared the sports pages with Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, Bobby Jones and Bill Tilden.

There were 40,000 fans at the Polo Grounds on June 20, 1926, to see the Giants host the Pirates. Before the top of the ninth, with the home team down 8-0 and Sunday-afternoon shadows playing across the field, McGraw removed catcher Paul Florence. As the Times reported the next day, "Jim Boyle from Xavier College got behind the bat." It was after 5 p.m. when Boyle crouched to catch Chick Davies, a lefty who would lead the National League in saves that season. The Pirates went down without a score, and Boyle didn't bat in the bottom of the inning. And yet that three-out career was less a cup of coffee than a shot of espresso: It never left his system.

In July, still moldering on the bench behind Florence, Boyle wrote to his parents from St. Louis. "To the best mother in all this big world," he began, before marveling at his good fortune to "realize an ambition that I have harbored since birth." That ambition was to play in the big leagues. The letter was signed "James" and dated July 24, 1926. Beneath the date, in impeccable script, Boyle proudly affixed, "New York Giants."

You can almost see him in his room, fountain pen in hand. Boyle's roommate on the road was Heinie Mueller. Twenty-five seasons later, Heinie's nephew Don would break his ankle sliding into third just before Bobby Thomson hit the Shot Heard Round the World at those same Polo Grounds.

Boyle's son, Patrick, now 65 and retired in Reno, says, "Dad was a typical Cincinnatian. They go away for two weeks and get homesick. I think he knew he'd be assigned to the minors the next season, and the minors were not his thing." Jimmie Boyle wore bespoke suits and buffed his nails. He'd play in the big leagues or not at all.

A dozen years ago Patrick bought a ball signed by 25 members of the '26 Giants from a New York dealer for $1,500. There were six Hall of Famers on that baseball, but Patrick treasured only one signature: jimmie boyle in a clear, bold hand.

"We get lots of calls from folks looking for Mel Ott and John McGraw autographs," owner John Brigandi of Brigandi Coin Co. told Sports Collectors Digest in 1994, "but this has to be the first one looking for a Jimmie Boyle autograph."

It wasn't the last. For several years one of Jimmie's daughters, Ann Burns of Cincinnati, received letters from a young baseball-crazed doctor in Madison, Ala., seeking anything signed by Jimmie Boyle. Three summers ago he pulled into her driveway. "I gave him a class assignment from third grade with Dad's signature at the top," says Burns. "It was all I could find, he's been dead so long."

Jimmie Boyle died of leukemia on Christmas Eve of 1958. His brief appearance at the Polo Grounds led his obituary in The Cincinnati Enquirer: "Requiem High Mass for James J. Boyle, 54, former major league baseball player and for 26 years sales manager for Aluminum Industries, Inc., will be intoned at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Antoninus Church." The story noted that Boyle left a wife, Clare; a son, Patrick; and two recently married daughters, Ann Burns and Jane Rushin.

It was my mother's stories about her father that first sent me to The Baseball Encyclopedia at our local library, where I happily got lost in the sports stacks. They looked like skyscrapers -- unscalable -- to a 10-year-old dreaming of a life in sports.

To this day, people say I look like my grandfather.

William Sloane Coffin, Requiescat in pace.

Sadly, none of the obituaries I have seen give Mr. Coffin proper credit for being a commie stooge and a disciple of socialist flapdoodle.

However, one from the sodomite "press" seems more than fitting.

The Advocate: Former Yale chaplain, straight ally William Sloane Coffin dead at 81
The Reverend William Sloane Coffin, a former Yale University chaplain known for his peace activism during the Vietnam War, his continuing work for social justice, and his outspoken support for gay and lesbian rights, died Wednesday at his home in rural Strafford, Vermont. He was 81.

Mr. Coffin now knows the truth and it must be assumed he is properly chastened.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Religion of Peace and Love Update.

Moussaoui details his hatred of America
Iran president: Israel will be annihilated
Israel threatens to send troops back into Gaza
One killed in Egypt church stabbings

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Benedict XVI's Homily at Chrism Mass [ 2006-04-13 ]
"God or the Girl": Vocational Struggles on TV [ 2006-04-13 ]
Father O'Collins' Rousing Finish; Youthful Planning [ 2006-04-13 ]
"Way of the Cross" at Colosseum (Part 2) [ 2006-04-13 ]
Sects Growing in Brazil's Amazon Region [ 2006-04-13 ]
Young Iraqis Helping to Watch Churches [ 2006-04-13 ]
Christian Leaders See Contradiction in Boycott [ 2006-04-13 ]
Collection Taken Up for Landslide Victims [ 2006-04-13 ]
Mass of Lord's Supper Back at Lateran Basilica [ 2006-04-13 ]
Pope Focuses on Mystery of Judas' Betrayal [ 2006-04-13 ]
Message for 43rd Day of Prayer for Vocations [ 2006-04-12 ]
Cardinal Stafford's Homily at Penitential Liturgy [ 2006-04-12 ]
Conscience and Catholic Politicians (Part 2) [ 2006-04-12 ]
On the Easter Triduum [ 2006-04-12 ]

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Pope Benedict XVI condemns geneticists 'who play at being God'

Because it's the right thing to do, that's why. And, besides, nobody else will.

The Pope will deliver a blistering attack on the “satanic” mores of modern society today, warning against an “inane apologia of evil” that is in danger of destroying humanity.

In a series of Good Friday meditations that he will lead in Rome, the Pope will say that society is in the grip of a kind of “anti-Genesis” described as “a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family”. He will pray for society to be cleansed of the “filth” that surrounds it and be restored to purity, freed from “decadent narcissism”.

Amen.

Particular condemnation is reserved for scientific advances in the field of genetic manipulation. Warning against the move to “modify the very grammar of life as planned and willed by God”, the Pope will lead prayers against “insane, risky and dangerous” ventures in attempting “to take God’s place without being God”.

Amen.

The Pope has not actually composed the prayers for the traditional Way of the Cross, but is certain to have given his blessing to the Good Friday meditations at the Colosseum.

Their author is Archbishop Angelo Comastri, Vicar General at Vatican City. The tone of the meditations is striking in its contrast to the contemporary fashion for feel-good religion.

Darn tootin' it is, princess. You know what feels good? Walking out of a confessional with your head held high and your sins wiped away by the power of God's infinite mercy.

While some will regard their emphasis on sin and the dark side of human nature as retrograde, others will welcome them as a sign of the strong and conservative leadership that Pope Benedict XVI was elected to provide. All Roman Catholic churches and many others, including Anglican churches in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, celebrate a liturgy around the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.

Ha! Retrograde.

The 14 stations begin with Jesus’s condemnation to death, take Christians through meditations of the “Way of the Cross” and the Crucifixion and end with the laying of Jesus’s body in the tomb. The Pope wrote the meditations himself for last year’s Way of the Cross in Rome. But today’s Catholic prayers, published in Italian this week and in English on the Zenit website yesterday, go further than most in their thorough denunciation of contemporary culture.

At the Third Station of the Cross, where Jesus falls for the first time, Archbishop Comastri has written: “Lord, we have lost our sense of sin. Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.”

Behold reality, kiddies.

At the Fourth Station, where Jesus is helped by Simon the Cyrene to carry the cross, Pope Benedict and his followers will pray: “Lord Jesus, our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society’s incessant, tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness.”

Wake up or die. Forever.

One of the strongest meditations warns against the attack on the family. “Today we seem to be witnessing a kind of anti-Genesis, a counter-plan, a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family.”

Amen to all that.

There is a moving meditation for the Eighth Station, where Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, describing the “River of tears shed by mothers, mothers of the crucified, mothers of murderers, mothers of drug addicts, mothers of terrorists, mothers of rapists, mothers of psychopaths, but mothers all the same”.

And these are the alleged patriarchal womyn-haters of the feverish totalitarian mind!

Oh, wait. I forgot. Motherhood is rape, after all.

The Pope will also confront the question of evil in the world in a meditation that asks: “Where is Jesus in the agony of our own time, in the division of our world into belts of prosperity and belts of poverty . . . in one room they are concerned about obesity, in the other, they are begging for charity?”

Two great popes in a row? By the grace of God!

Death Comes to Amish Town. (And wholesale death at that. Like you might get at the outlets.)
















5 year old Chance Wise, victim. (Above left.) Ann and Alexys Palmer and a friend, mourners. (Above right.)


It looks like the guys and ghouls of cable horrorvision are going to sit this one out because it doesn't seem to involve sex.

Pittsburgh's other newspaper: Killings of six family members shake tiny village near Lancaster
The lace curtains and white teddy bear in the front window belied the horror inside the white clapboard house where Jesse Dee Wise Jr. allegedly strangled and bludgeoned to death six relatives he lived with in this rural village near Lancaster.

Kudos to Tracie Mauriello. Sometime, some stories cry out for a woman's touch:

Other neighbors trickled past the house after work to leave flowers, notes and stuffed animals. Some brought children and struggled to explain why they would no longer see 5-year-old Chance Wise at school.

Six-year-old Alexys Palmer and a 6-year-old neighbor tied a teddy bear, a stuffed dog and three yellow roses to the police tape hanging over the Wises' white picket fence. The girls said it was too difficult to talk about the boy who sat next to them at Leola Elementary School.

Alexys' mother, Ann Palmer, 32, described him as "a very spunky little boy. Very spunky and very happy. He liked to be around people."

Other neighbors said the Wises hadn't lived in the house long and didn't socialize much.

"I never heard any screaming, no yelling, no fights. They were very quiet-type people," said Robert Lopez, who lives two houses away. "Everybody is friendly here, but they were quiet. We tried to get them to play games, football and stuff, but they didn't."

His nephew, Giovanni Lopez, who is in Chance's kindergarten class, said he noticed that his friend hadn't been in school.

"I missed him because we used to play the bear game and pretend to be bears," Giovanni said. "Now he died. He went to Jesus."

Amen to that, Brother Giovanni. Amen to that.

May God have mercy on all souls.

It seems our justice system let the entire Wise family down. Big time.

Authorities said the suspect's parents were both dead and that he lived with his grandparents.

More than a dozen charges from 2004, including burglary, theft and agricultural vandalism, are pending against him in Lancaster County court. In September, police used a stun gun to subdue Mr. Wise after he allegedly punched a man and stole $20 from him at the New Holland Fair. He was charged with third-degree robbery and simple assault, court records show.

Is it too much to try a guy on more than a dozen counts a year and a half old? Will any "journalist" ask the D.A. why this man was walking around free?

Justice delayed is justice denied, especially for the Wise family.

From The Horrible and Ironic Ways To Die Department:

The Memphis Flyer: Logan Young’s Death An Accident

Logan Young’s death is now believed to be the result of an accidental fall down his stairs, Memphis Police announced in a press conference this afternoon.

“Based on our findings, the cause and manner of Logan Young’s death has been determined as blunt force trauma to the head, apparently accidental,” said Memphis police director Larry Godwin.

Homicide director Joe Scott recounted the theory of what happened to Young late Monday night using a sketched layout of his home.

According to Scott, Young had was heading up the stairs with a bowl of salad and a soda or juice drink when he lost his balance and fell backwards, hitting his head on a wrought-iron stair post at the bottom of the stairs.

He said Young lay bleeding in the foyer at the bottom of his stairs, probably unconscious, for “some time.” When he regained consciousness, he headed to the kitchen where he retrieved a hand towel from the sink. Then he headed back upstairs to the bathroom located in his bedroom.

“We feel like he spent quite some time here. There’s a pooling of blood on a newspaper and in the toilet. There’s diluted blood on the floor,” said Scott.

Blood-soaked towels were also found in the bathroom. Scott said he moved from the bathroom to his bed. From the bed, he reached for the telephone, leaving a blood smear on the receiver. But before any call was made, Young fell into the floor where his body was discovered by a housekeeper the following morning.

Scott said the scene was originally investigated as a homicide because “everything’s a homicide until we prove it.” He said all doors were locked from the inside and Young’s checkbook and money were undisturbed.

Still, this was a better way to go than was originally suspected:

WAAY 31: Logan Young Murder Investigation
The investigation into the murder of a former Alabama booster who was convicted in a recruiting scandal is now in the hands of a medical examiner. 65-year-old Logan Young was found dead at his Memphis home Tuesday. No arrests have been made and no suspects named. His lawyer says Logan Young III was questioned by investigators Tuesday night, but the son denies any involvement in his father's death.

Barry Bonds may well have crossed into the Clintonian Plane of criminal being.

Here's something metaphysical for you to ponder, Barry: Bud Selig is one thing, Leviathan is something else entirely.

Grand Forks Herald: Feds looking at Barry Bonds
A federal grand jury is investigating whether Barry Bonds committed perjury when he testified before another fedearal grand jury in 2003 that he never used steroids, according to media reports.


Sorry, Barry. Even trouble with the feds doesn't make you a sympathetic figure.

Brian Saint-Paul smacks down the antique media's latest flirtation (Flirtation? Heck, they're married to it!) with Gnosticism.

One of the few redeeming features of the information revolution is the ability of the good guys to immediately strike back against the cretins who still think they have a monopoly on knowledge. Down with the wizards and warlocks! Up with the truth!

So, if "The Gospel" of Judas still troubles you after reading this, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Does The Gospel of Judas Undermine Christianity?
Crisis Magazine e-Letter
April 13, 2006
**********************************************
Dear Friend,

It just keeps coming... one after another.

First, there was The Da Vinci Code, which sent historians and art experts into fits over its countless errors and distortions.

I laugh out loud when someone tells me they've read it. Not because I am mocking them (Well, maybe a little.) but because it's funny.

Then there was a lawsuit in Italy and a feature-length documentary... both of which argue that Jesus never actually existed (if you read my last e-Letter, you know how to respond to that claim).

And now, we have the Gospel of Judas... which is being promoted by National Geographic as a bombshell that could destroy the very foundations of Christianity.

Brought to you by the folks who have an unhealthy obsession with the breasts of poor dark-skinned women.

The press -- going for sensationalism over fact -- has jumped on the story, intoning solemnly that new light has been shed on the life of Jesus, and that the traditional biblical accounts have been thrown into question.

In reality, this latest episode says less about Christianity than it does about the media's profound ignorance of ancient history.

Big surprise there. They are willfully ignorant of the facts of King Goober II's regime and even I remember that.

Coincidence? I think not.

But just in case you missed all the press hoopla, let me give you some background...

In 1978, an Egyptian farmer unearthed a box that contained an ancient manuscript. He sold the document to a dealer in Cairo, who then tried to sell it himself.

Finding no buyers, he put the piece in a safe deposit box in a New York bank... where it sat for 16 years. Finally, a buyer purchased the manuscript in 2000, and in 2001, National Geographic teamed up with a Swiss antiquities foundation to restore and translate the ancient text.

In it, they discovered several apocryphal documents... the Apocalypse of James, the Epistle of Peter to Philip, fragments of another ancient book (temporarily titled the Book of Allogenes), and the Gospel of Judas.

The text was carbon dated to between the third and fourth century, though the gospel itself was penned in the mid-second century.

But here's where it really gets interesting...

You see, the Gospel of Judas tells a different story of Christ's relationship to the man who would betray Him. In fact, according to the newly found gospel, Judas wasn't His betrayer at all.

Apparently, Jesus (who came from “the immortal realm of Barbelo”) [That's either the place O.M. Hubbard told Tom Cruise he's going or it's John Travolta's character on Welcome Back Kotter. Wait a minute...Travolta's a Scientoologist too! Spooky, no? - F.G.] took Judas aside at one point and asked the apostle to turn Him in... so that through the crucifixion, He could be freed from His body.

So Judas wasn't such a bad guy after all. And traditional Christianity may have gotten the whole religion thing wrong from the start.

At least that's what most of the media coverage has been saying.

Here's where a drop of historical knowledge would do wonders for secular journalists. In point of fact, the Gospel of Judas is hardly a theological earthquake. After all, the Gospel of Judas is one of the Gnostic gospels. There are many others... the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of the Egyptians, etc. And with the possible (and partial) exception of Thomas, they offer no reliable historical insight into the actual events of the first century.

You see, Gnosticism was a parasite theology. It latched onto whatever religion was available and rewrote the host's scriptures and doctrines to fit its own unique beliefs. Often, the villains of the original religion were turned into the heroes of the Gnostic variation (and so we often see Cain lionized in Gnostic texts). Furthermore, Christianity was not its only victim... there were also Gnostic forms of Judaism and paganism as well.
(Emphasis mine.)

One of the primary tenets of Gnosticism is salvation through hidden or secret knowledge -- the name itself comes from “gnosis,” the Greek term for knowledge. And so, not surprisingly, the Gospel of Judas begins with a nod in this direction:


“The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week three days before he celebrated Passover.”


What follows is a relatively short summary of Gnostic belief, dressed up in Christian garb: There's a spark of the divine trapped within the prisons of our bodies... Through knowledge, we'll learn to free ourselves... etc.

Of course, like any good Gnostic, the Jesus of the rediscovered gospel shares his knowledge with Judas, even going so far as to arrange His own arrest.

He tells Judas:


“'But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.... Look, you have been told everything. Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star.' Judas lifted up his eyes and saw the luminous cloud, and
he entered it.”


While the Gospel of Judas sheds no light on historical Christianity, it is nevertheless a significant find. After all, it's a pretty big deal when an ancient work long considered lost is rediscovered. And the document does flesh out the heavenly pantheon of second-century Gnosticism.

But that's as far as it goes. In the end, this is just another Gnostic gospel... interesting if you're a scholar of Gnosticism, but of little value to anyone else. As for it's historical reliability, St. Irenaeus said it best in A.D. 180:


“[The Gnostics] declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas” (Adversus haereses 1:31:1). (Emphasis mine.)


Before I sign off, I want to make a quick recommendation. You may have heard about the five-part miniseries, “God or the Girl,” to be shown on the Arts & Entertainment channel. If not, the program -- a documentary, really -- follows the ups and downs of four young men who are considering the Catholic priesthood.

I had the opportunity to watch a preview of the show, and despite the unfortunate title, it's absolutely wonderful. While presented in the style of a reality TV program, it has none of the lurid sensationalism of the genre. Quite the contrary. This is a thoroughly respectful look at the trials young men experience when considering a vocation to the priesthood.

"Unfortunate" is an understatement.

The show premiers on Easter night, but there will be a showing of all five episodes on April 23. Here's the Web site, complete with the program's schedule:

http://www.godorthegirl.com/index.php/

We've rightly criticized the Arts & Entertainment channel in the past, when they've aired their tiresome “debunking the Bible” shows. So let's now give them full credit for putting together a powerful and emotionally moving testament to Catholic youth and the priesthood.

The best way to thank them (and ensure future programs of this quality) is to watch. Don't worry, it won't be difficult. This is an immensely enjoyable show and I give it my highest recommendation.

Have a blessed Triduum,

Brian


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Get the facts here:

http://www.crisismagazine.com/truth.htm

(Cut and paste into your web browser if the link doesn't work.)

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St. Dismas, pray for us.


Also known as
The Good Thief; The Penitent Thief; Desmas

Memorial
25 March; date derived from traditon that this was the calendar date of the Crucifixion, though the Passover and Easter celebrations move from year to year

Profile
One of the thieves crucified with Jesus, the other being traditionally known as Gestas; Dismas is the one who rebuked the other, and asked for Christ's blessing.

An old legend from an Arabic infancy gospel says that when the Holy Family were running to Egypt, they were set upon by a band of thieves including Dismas and Gestas. One of the highwaymen realized there was something different, something special about them, and ordered his fellow bandits to leave them alone; this thief was Dismas.

Died
crucified c.30 at Jerusalem

Name Meaning
dying

Patronage
condemned prisoners, criminals, death row prisoners, funeral directors, prisoners, prisoners on death row, reformed thieves, undertakers

Prayers
Prayer to...
Prayer to...
Prayer for Prisoners, by Pope Pius XII ...in Honor of the Good Thief

Representation
carrying his cross immediately behind Christ; crucified at Christ's right hand; naked, holding his cross, often with his hand on his heart to signify penitence; tall cross

The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

John 18:1 - 19:42.

18:1. When Jesus had said these things, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, into which he entered with his disciples.
Haec cum dixisset Iesus egressus est cum discipulis suis trans torrentem Cedron ubi erat hortus in quem introivit ipse et discipuli eius

18:2. And Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place: because Jesus had often resorted thither together with his disciples.
Sciebat autem et Iudas qui tradebat eum ipsum locum quia frequenter Iesus convenerat illuc cum discipulis suis

18:3. Judas therefore having received a band of soldiers and servants from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
Iudas ergo cum accepisset cohortem et a pontificibus et Pharisaeis ministros venit illuc cum lanternis et facibus et armis

18:4. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and said to them: Whom seek ye?
Iesus itaque sciens omnia quae ventura erant super eum processit et dicit eis quem quaeritis

18:5. They answered him: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith to them: I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them.
Responderunt ei Iesum Nazarenum dicit eis Iesus ego sum stabat autem et Iudas qui tradebat eum cum ipsis

18:6. As soon therefore as he had said to them: I am he; they went backward and fell to the ground.
Ut ergo dixit eis ego sum abierunt retrorsum et ceciderunt in terram

18:7. Again therefore he asked them: Whom seek ye? And they said: Jesus of Nazareth.
Iterum ergo eos interrogavit quem quaeritis illi autem dixerunt Iesum Nazarenum

18:8. Jesus answered: I have told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way,
Respondit Iesus dixi vobis quia ego sum si ergo me quaeritis sinite hos abire

18:9. That the word might be fulfilled which he said: Of them whom thou hast given me, I have not lost any one.
Ut impleretur sermo quem dixit quia quos dedisti mihi non perdidi ex ipsis quemquam

18:10. Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. And the name of thee servant was Malchus.
Simon ergo Petrus habens gladium eduxit eum et percussit pontificis servum et abscidit eius auriculam dextram erat autem nomen servo Malchus

18:11. Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Dixit ergo Iesus Petro mitte gladium in vaginam calicem quem dedit mihi Pater non bibam illum

18:12. Then the band and the tribune and the servants of the Jews took Jesus and bound him.
Cohors ergo et tribunus et ministri Iudaeorum conprehenderunt Iesum et ligaverunt eum

18:13. And they led him away to Annas first, for he was father-in-law to Caiphas, who was the high priest of that year.
Et adduxerunt eum ad Annam primum erat enim socer Caiaphae qui erat pontifex anni illius

18:14. Now Caiphas was he who had given the counsel to the Jews: That it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
Erat autem Caiaphas qui consilium dederat Iudaeis quia expedit unum hominem mori pro populo

18:15. And Simon Peter followed Jesus: and so did another disciple. And that disciple was known to the high priest and went in with Jesus into the court of the high priest.
Sequebatur autem Iesum Simon Petrus et alius discipulus discipulus autem ille erat notus pontifici et introivit cum Iesu in atrium pontificis

18:16. But Peter stood at the door without. The other disciple therefore, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the portress and brought in Peter.
Petrus autem stabat ad ostium foris exivit ergo discipulus alius qui erat notus pontifici et dixit ostiariae et introduxit Petrum

18:17. The maid therefore that was portress saith to Peter: Art not thou also one of this man's disciple? He saith I am not.
Dicit ergo Petro ancilla ostiaria numquid et tu ex discipulis es hominis istius dicit ille non sum

18:18. Now the servants and ministers stood at a fire of coals, because it was cold, and warmed themselves. And with them was Peter also, standing and warming himself.
Stabant autem servi et ministri ad prunas quia frigus erat et calefiebant erat autem cum eis et Petrus stans et calefaciens se

18:19. The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples and of his doctrine.
Pontifex ergo interrogavit Iesum de discipulis suis et de doctrina eius

18:20. Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, whither all the Jews resort: and in secret I have spoken nothing.
Respondit ei Iesus ego palam locutus sum mundo ego semper docui in synagoga et in templo quo omnes Iudaei conveniunt et in occulto locutus sum nihil

18:21. Why askest thou me? Ask them who have heard what I have spoken unto them. Behold they know what things I have said.
Quid me interrogas interroga eos qui audierunt quid locutus sum ipsis ecce hii sciunt quae dixerim ego

18:22. And when he had said these things, one of the servants standing by gave Jesus a blow, saying: Answerest thou the high priest so?
Haec autem cum dixisset unus adsistens ministrorum dedit alapam Iesu dicens sic respondes pontifici

18:23. Jesus answered him: If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikest thou me?
Respondit ei Iesus si male locutus sum testimonium perhibe de malo si autem bene quid me caedis

18:24. And Annas sent him bound to Caiphas the high priest.
Et misit eum Annas ligatum ad Caiaphan pontificem

18:25. And Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said therefore to him: Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it and said: I am not.
Erat autem Simon Petrus stans et calefaciens se dixerunt ergo ei numquid et tu ex discipulis eius es negavit ille et dixit non sum

18:26. One of the servants of the high priest (a kinsman to him whose ear Peter cut off) saith to him: Did not I see thee in the garden with him?
Dicit unus ex servis pontificis cognatus eius cuius abscidit Petrus auriculam nonne ego te vidi in horto cum illo

18:27. Again therefore Peter denied: and immediately the cock crew. Iterum ergo negavit Petrus et statim gallus cantavit

18:28. Then they led Jesus from Caiphas to the governor's hall. And it was morning: and they went not into the hall, that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the pasch.
Adducunt ergo Iesum a Caiapha in praetorium erat autem mane et ipsi non introierunt in praetorium ut non contaminarentur sed manducarent pascha

18:29. Pilate therefore went out to them, and said: What accusation bring you against this man?
Exivit ergo Pilatus ad eos foras et dixit quam accusationem adfertis adversus hominem hunc

18:30. They answered and said to him: If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee.
Responderunt et dixerunt ei si non esset hic malefactor non tibi tradidissemus eum

18:31. Pilate therefore said to them: Take him you, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him: It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.
Dixit ergo eis Pilatus accipite eum vos et secundum legem vestram iudicate eum dixerunt ergo ei Iudaei nobis non licet interficere quemquam

18:32. That the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he said, signifying what death he should die.
Ut sermo Iesu impleretur quem dixit significans qua esset morte moriturus

18:33. Pilate therefore went into the hall again and called Jesus and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews?
Introivit ergo iterum in praetorium Pilatus et vocavit Iesum et dixit ei tu es rex Iudaeorum

18:34. Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?
Et respondit Iesus a temet ipso hoc dicis an alii tibi dixerunt de me

18:35. Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee up to me. What hast thou done?
Respondit Pilatus numquid ego Iudaeus sum gens tua et pontifices tradiderunt te mihi quid fecisti

18:36. Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence.
Respondit Iesus regnum meum non est de mundo hoc si ex hoc mundo esset regnum meum ministri mei decertarent ut non traderer Iudaeis nunc autem meum regnum non est hinc

18:37. Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Dixit itaque ei Pilatus ergo rex es tu respondit Iesus tu dicis quia rex sum ego ego in hoc natus sum et ad hoc veni in mundum ut testimonium perhibeam veritati omnis qui est ex veritate audit meam vocem

18:38. Pilate saith to him: What is truth? And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews and saith to them: I find no cause in him.
Dicit ei Pilatus quid est veritas et cum hoc dixisset iterum exivit ad Iudaeos et dicit eis ego nullam invenio in eo causam

18:39. But you have a custom that I should release one unto you at the Pasch. Will you, therefore, that I release unto you the king of the Jews? Est autem consuetudo vobis ut unum dimittam vobis in pascha vultis ergo dimittam vobis regem Iudaeorum

18:40. Then cried they all again, saying: Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
Clamaverunt rursum omnes dicentes non hunc sed Barabban erat autem Barabbas latro

19:1. Then therefore Pilate took Jesus and scourged him.
Tunc ergo adprehendit Pilatus Iesum et flagellavit

19:2. And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head: and they put on him a purple garment.
Et milites plectentes coronam de spinis inposuerunt capiti eius et veste purpurea circumdederunt eum

19:3. And they came to him and said: Hail, king of the Jews. And they gave him blows.
Et veniebant ad eum et dicebant have rex Iudaeorum et dabant ei alapas

19:4. Pilate therefore went forth again and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him.
Exiit iterum Pilatus foras et dicit eis ecce adduco vobis eum foras

19:5. (Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them: Behold the Man.
Ut cognoscatis quia in eo nullam causam invenio et purpureum vestimentum et dicit eis ecce homo

19:6. When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants had seen him, they cried out, saying: Crucify him, Crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Take him you, and crucify him: for I find no cause in him.
Cum ergo vidissent eum pontifices et ministri clamabant dicentes crucifige crucifige dicit eis Pilatus accipite eum vos et crucifigite ego enim non invenio in eo causam

19:7. The Jews answered him: We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
Responderunt ei Iudaei nos legem habemus et secundum legem debet mori quia Filium Dei se fecit

19:8. When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more. Cum ergo audisset Pilatus hunc sermonem magis timuit

19:9. And he entered into the hall again; and he said to Jesus: Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Et ingressus est praetorium iterum et dicit ad Iesum unde es tu Iesus autem responsum non dedit ei

19:10. Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee?
Dicit ergo ei Pilatus mihi non loqueris nescis quia potestatem habeo crucifigere te et potestatem habeo dimittere te

19:11. Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee hath the greater sin.
Respondit Iesus non haberes potestatem adversum me ullam nisi tibi esset datum desuper propterea qui tradidit me tibi maius peccatum habet

19:12. And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar's friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
Exinde quaerebat Pilatus dimittere eum Iudaei autem clamabant dicentes si hunc dimittis non es amicus Caesaris omnis qui se regem facit contradicit Caesari

19:13. Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha.
Pilatus ergo cum audisset hos sermones adduxit foras Iesum et sedit pro tribunali in locum qui dicitur Lithostrotus hebraice autem Gabbatha

19:14. And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour: and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king.*
Erat autem parasceve paschae hora quasi sexta et dicit Iudaeis ecce rex vester

19:15. But they cried out: Away with him: Away with him: Crucify him. Pilate saith to them: shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.
Illi autem clamabant tolle tolle crucifige eum dixit eis Pilatus regem vestrum crucifigam responderunt pontifices non habemus regem nisi Caesarem

19:16. Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus and led him forth.
Tunc ergo tradidit eis illum ut crucifigeretur susceperunt autem Iesum et eduxerunt

19:17. And bearing his own cross, he went forth to the place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha.
Et baiulans sibi crucem exivit in eum qui dicitur Calvariae locum hebraice Golgotha

19:18. Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst.
Ubi eum crucifixerunt et cum eo alios duos hinc et hinc medium autem Iesum

19:19. 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.
Scripsit autem et titulum Pilatus et posuit super crucem erat autem scriptum Iesus Nazarenus rex Iudaeorum

19:20. 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.
Hunc ergo titulum multi legerunt Iudaeorum quia prope civitatem erat locus ubi crucifixus est Iesus et erat scriptum hebraice graece et latine

19:21. 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.
Dicebant ergo Pilato pontifices Iudaeorum noli scribere rex Iudaeorum sed quia ipse dixit rex sum Iudaeorum

19:22. Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written.
Respondit Pilatus quod scripsi scripsi

19:23. 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. Milites ergo cum crucifixissent eum acceperunt vestimenta eius et fecerunt quattuor partes unicuique militi partem et tunicam erat autem tunica inconsutilis desuper contexta per totum

19:24. 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 lots. And the soldiers indeed did these things.
Dixerunt ergo ad invicem non scindamus eam sed sortiamur de illa cuius sit ut scriptura impleatur dicens partiti sunt vestimenta mea sibi et in vestem meam miserunt sortem et milites quidem haec fecerunt

19:25. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.
Stabant autem iuxta crucem Iesu mater eius et soror matris eius Maria Cleopae et Maria Magdalene

19:26. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.
Cum vidisset ergo Iesus matrem et discipulum stantem quem diligebat dicit matri suae mulier ecce filius tuus

19:27. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.
Deinde dicit discipulo ecce mater tua et ex illa hora accepit eam discipulus in sua

19:28. Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.
Postea sciens Iesus quia iam omnia consummata sunt ut consummaretur scriptura dicit sitio

19:29. Now there was a vessel set there, full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to his mouth.
Vas ergo positum erat aceto plenum illi autem spongiam plenam aceto hysopo circumponentes obtulerunt ori eius

19:30. Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.
Cum ergo accepisset Iesus acetum dixit consummatum est et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum

19:31. Then the Jews (because it was the parasceve), that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day (for that was a great sabbath day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken: and that they might be taken away.
Iudaei ergo quoniam parasceve erat ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati rogaverunt Pilatum ut frangerentur eorum crura et tollerentur

19:32. The soldiers therefore came: and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him.
Venerunt ergo milites et primi quidem fregerunt crura et alterius qui crucifixus est cum eo

19:33. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
Ad Iesum autem cum venissent ut viderunt eum iam mortuum non fregerunt eius crura

19:34. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side: and immediately there came out blood and water.
Sed unus militum lancea latus eius aperuit et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua

19:35. And he that saw it hath given testimony: and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true: that you also may believe.
Et qui vidit testimonium perhibuit et verum est eius testimonium et ille scit quia vera dicit ut et vos credatis

19:36. For these things were done that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him.
Facta sunt enim haec ut scriptura impleatur os non comminuetis ex eo

19:37. And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced.
Et iterum alia scriptura dicit videbunt in quem transfixerunt

19:38. And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews), besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore and took away the body of Jesus.
Post haec autem rogavit Pilatum Ioseph ab Arimathia eo quod esset discipulus Iesu occultus autem propter metum Iudaeorum ut tolleret corpus Iesu et permisit Pilatus venit ergo et tulit corpus Iesu

19:39. 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.
Venit autem et Nicodemus qui venerat ad Iesum nocte primum ferens mixturam murrae et aloes quasi libras centum

19:40. 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.
Acceperunt ergo corpus Iesu et ligaverunt eum linteis cum aromatibus sicut mos Iudaeis est sepelire

19:41. 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.
Erat autem in loco ubi crucifixus est hortus et in horto monumentum novum in quo nondum quisquam positus erat

19:42. There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus: because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
Ibi ergo propter parasceven Iudaeorum quia iuxta erat monumentum posuerunt Iesum


*NOTE
VERSE 14. The parasceve of the pasch... That is, the day before the paschal sabbath. The eve of every sabbath was called the parasceve, or day of preparation. But this was the eve of a high sabbath, viz., that which fell in the paschal week.

Today is Good Friday of the Lord's Passion, a Day of Fasting and Abstinence.

Fasting and Abstinence

It is a traditional doctrine of Christian spirituality that a constituent part of repentance, of turning away from sin and back to God, includes some form of penance, without which the Christian is unlikely to remain on the narrow path and be saved (Jer. 18:11, 25:5; Ez. 18:30, 33:11-15; Joel 2:12; Mt. 3:2; Mt. 4:17; Acts 2:38). Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). The general law of penance, therefore, is part of the law of God for man.

The Church for her part has specified certain forms of penance, both to ensure that the Catholic will do something, as required by divine law, while making it easy for Catholics to fulfill the obligation. Thus, the 1983 Code of Canon Law specifies the obligations of Latin Rite Catholics [Eastern Rite Catholics have their own penitential practices as specified by the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches].

Canon 1250
All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.

Canon 1251
Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Canon 1252
All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year. Nevertheless, pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance.

Canon 1253
It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

The Church, therefore, has two forms of official penitential practices - three if the Eucharistic fast of one hour before Communion is included.

Abstinence

The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.

On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. They must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere.

Fasting

The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday [Canon 97] to the 59th Birthday [i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday] to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk). Alcoholic beverages do not break the fast; however, they seem to be contrary to the spirit of doing penance.

Those who are excused from fast or abstinence

Besides those outside the age limits, those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need for meat or nourishment, manual laborers according to need, guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline.

Aside from these minimum penitential requirements Catholics are encouraged to impose some personal penance on themselves at other times. It could be modeled after abstinence and fasting. A person could, for example, multiply the number of days they abstain. Some people give up meat entirely for religious motives (as opposed to those who give it up for health or other motives). Some religious orders, as a penance, never eat meat. Similarly, one could multiply the number of days that one fasted. The early Church had a practice of a Wednesday and Saturday fast. This fast could be the same as the Church's law (one main meal and two smaller ones) or stricter, even bread and water. Such freely chosen fasting could also consist in giving up something one enjoys - candy, soft drinks, smoking, that cocktail before supper, and so on. This is left to the individual.

One final consideration. Before all else we are obliged to perform the duties of our state in life. Any deprivation that would seriously hinder us in carrying out our work, as students, employees or parents would be contrary to the will of God.---- Colin B. Donovan, STL

Today is Good Friday of the Lord's Passion.

There are no Masses today or tomorrow, Holy Saturday, to mark the time between our Lord's death and His resurrection.

Here are the readings for today's services:

First Reading: Isaias 52:13--53:12.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25.
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9.
Gospel (The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ): John 18:1--19:42.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Animal Flesh Recipes of the Day.

Yesterday's panini lunch rant inspired today's choice of recipes.

Memo To The Anglo-Saxons: Please don't make these on Wonder Bread. Get thee to an Italian bakery and buy yourself some real bread.

First, a Piss 'Em Off Now With American Pork (PEONWAP) selection:

Smoked Ham and Teleme Panini

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 sandwiches


8 slices Italian bread
1 pound ham, sliced
1 pound teleme cheese
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup roasted peppers

Butter 1 side of each bread slice, then put 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface. Top the bread slices with the smoked ham, then the teleme cheese, distributing it evenly. Top each with a second slice of bread, buttered side up.

Heat a panini pan/sandwich griller until hot. Heat the sandwich in the griller, with a weight on top to keep as flat as possible. Cook until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes,

Transfer the sandwiches to a work surface and remove the top slice of bread from each sandwich. Spread the underside of those slices with mustard, and add roasted peppers, if desired.

Replace the top slice of bread, cut the sandwiches in half, and serve immediately.


Here's one for Good Friday's single meal:

Tuna and Artichoke Panini

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 (6-ounce) cans tuna in olive oil, drained
1 (12-ounce) jar marinated artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16-ounce) ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
1 tomato, diced

Puree the olives, oil, garlic, and zest in a food processor until smooth and spreadable. Blend in the mayonnaise. Toss the tuna, artichokes, lemon juice, and pepper in a medium bowl, keeping the tuna in small chunks.

Hollow out the bottom and top halves of the bread. Spread the olive puree over both cut sides of the bread. Spoon the tuna and artichoke mixture onto the bottom half of the bread. Sprinkle the tomatoes over. Cover with the bread top. Cut the sandwich crosswise into 6 pieces and serve.


Or, if you prefer salmon to tuna...

Smoked Salmon and Caviar Panini

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 16 hors d'oeuvres


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 brioche slices (Ack! French! - F. G.)
1-ounce American caviar
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 cup creme fraiche, whipped
4 smoked salmon slices
16 dill sprigs


Butter 1 side the brioche slices (they'll be the outsides of the sandwiches).

Gently fold the caviar and chives into the creme fraiche.

On a clean work surface, arrange brioche buttered-side down. Place the smoked salmon on 4 of the slices and spread the creme fraiche over the others. Put the 2 together to make 4 sandwiches.

Toast the sandwiches in a large skillet over a medium heat, turning once, until golden brown. Cut the panini into wedges and serve topped with dill sprigs.


This next one is my favorite. Emeril Lagasse (For a Portugese, he's pretty good with Italian food.) presents


Grilled Prosciutto, Soppressata, and Mozzarella Panini


Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 slices ciabatta bread, or other rustic Italian white bread, thinly sliced
4 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
2 ounces thinly sliced soppressata


Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to blend. Arrange the slices of bread on a flat work surface and, using a brush, divide the vinaigrette equally among 1 side of each slice. Divide the mozzarella equally among the bread slices. Top 4 of the slices of bread equally with the prosciutto and soppressata and then place the remaining 4 slices on top.

Brush the outsides of each sandwich with some of the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, pressing occasionally to compact with a large spatula or the bottom of a heavy small saucepan, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
(Thanks to the Food Network for these recipes.)

About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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