Saturday, November 22, 2003

All Language, Inclusive and Exclusive

Tom over at Disputations has an interesting point:
"I don't care who does the distinguishing," said famed Sixteenth Century nominalist Tweedius Magnus, "as long as I get to do the defining."

"Inclusive language" advocates have the advantage that they invented the debate, and so got to invent the terminology in which the debate is framed.

Thus: "Exclusive language" gets to mean "speech that uses certain words in an inclusive sense." "Inclusive language" means "speech that uses those words only in an exclusive sense."

"Exclusive language" refers to inclusive language. "Inclusive language" refers to exclusive language. It's just one of those things.
My question is: Can humans actively control linguistic evolution themselves or is it something that happens passively, meaning that there is no act of force or strong encouragement? If I declare that wizziput means the act of driving to work and I strongly encourage others to use that term, and let's say others do start using it and encourage others to do it, will wizziput be a commonly accepted term in 100 years? Rather, let's say I simply make up wizziput as my own word and others begin using it just by being around my usage with no active encouragement on my part, and so on and so forth, will wizziput be a commonly accepted term in 100 years any better or worse than if I were to have strongly encouraged or even coerced people to use it?
Good Latin poetry

If only English were Latin :)
Amore Aeger
a Jeff Chambers

Clemente, clemente, Carissima mea,
Responde mihi quam clementissime possis.
Manu grave amor me opprimit,
Me contundit; quam diu ferre possum?

Tacui nimis diu, ut ne fregeres cor meum;
Quoniam nos scivi impossibiles fuisse.
Sed nunc in pectore meo tumet mea confessionis,
Rumpendum est cor illud.

Atque per dentes compressos Atlas grunniebat,
Atque ego aveo ut expirem,
Utinam denuo spirarem,
Confessione dimissa, sine angore.

Nolo praeterire spem reliquam,
Amare et amari,
Videlicet, pono Cupidum benignus esse,
Satis benignus ut iceret utrasque personas ipissime.

Quamvis cor meum ita velit,
Timeo ne dolorem quem exhalem,
Sit minus quam dolorem,
Quem inspirem quando respondes.

Quare, quicquid in tibi animo est,
Affectus germanos dice,
Sed clemente, clemente, Carissima mea,
Responde mihi quam clementissime possis.
Or, the English translation.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Richard McBrien at VOTF

He's way over the top here.
Is there a double standard at work here? Organizations that have a largely moderate or progressive membership --- no more "moderate" and "progressive" than Vatican II itself, however --- are circumscribed, while organizations whose views are closer to the defeated minority's at the council, but which currently enjoy Vatican favor, are given a free pass.
Not quite so.
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has also entered the fray. According to Brophy, the cardinal is concerned that "any change" in the church would, "unless carefully thought out, change the faith."

But no specific examples are provided. Are we talking here about obligatory celibacy for priests, which has absolutely nothing to do with "the faith"? Or perhaps about changing the process by which bishops are selected? Again, "the faith" is not touched.
I think VOTF would do well to give specific examples itself. I've seen a couple specific solutions in the local VOTF group here, but I have also seen an awful lot of ambiguity in its direction and mission, couched language, and general disdain for certain doctrinal issues and how they pertain to their mission. That is largely what turned me off to the group.
Purgatory Revisted

Fr. Ron Rolheiser has written about his understanding of Purgatory a few times, and he revisits the topic here. He rightly describes Purgatory as a process of grace, and basically describes it as the painful experience of being in Heaven while still having the draw of our earthly attachment and Heaven, by its nature, having the purgative effect of grace, enabling the dead to truly enter it. He suggests an interesting point that our prayer for the dead should reflect their embracing of Heaven and our desire to see them there:
Purgatory is the pain of letting go of this life in order to live in the next. That's not an abstract concept... More immediately after their deaths, [the dead] still want and need our former contact. Slowly, though, as time passes, our prayers must more and more invite the ascension and must work at freeing both them and us from how we once had each other ("Do not cling! Let the old ascend!").

Eventually our prayers must give our loved ones permission to be free from how things used to be with us and the world, so that they can enter fully into that final ecstasy of love which, though dimly glimpsed in faith, is beyond our imaginings and which we too will one day enter, though only after having --- through purgative pain --- ourselves let go of the marvels of earthly, natural life, with all its wonderful tangible solidity.
This is an interesting concept. So often, when I pray for my loved ones who have died, or when I ask the saints to pray for me, I have trouble relating to them beyond mere human, mere earthly ways. If the saints are in heaven, and their relationship with God is perfect, then our relationship with them is also transformed beyond what we would have experienced on earth. My prayer should reflect this - instead of holding them down to me (how I once knew them), I should let the holiness and grace of Christ they now manifest humble me and draw me toward Heaven (how I am to know them now).
The Council of Trent

The 25 Sessions with Bulls and Oration

For our education and edification!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Our Lady of Walsingham

Bill notes that the new church building of Houston's only Roman Catholic parish of the Anglican Use, Our Lady of Walsingham, is complete. A couple of pictures have been posted on their website. I already love it. I wish it were out here in Santa Barbara. :)

Fr. James Moore, the pastor, issued a corresponding pastoral letter to the parish:
I know that you agree with me when I say how truly blessed we are to have the new church. We heartily welcome all who come to offer Holy Mass with us both now and in the future in this holy place which we offer to the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord and God, and to the honor of His Blessed Mother, Mary of Walsingham.

As we begin to worship in the new church we of course want to remember that the main purpose of a Catholic church building is to enshrine God's holy altar and the tabernacle which contains his Divine Presence under the form of the Bread which is His Body. Therefore, we will always want to keep the new church a reverent, quiet, and prayerful place.
Of course it is also the place where the faithful come together to worship at God's holy altar. I only wish that the pastor of the university parish I attended for seven years, St. Mark's, had said similar things when the renovation of the church building was completed! But of course, these two communites are noticeably worlds apart from each other. I respect that St. Mark's offers something to people, primarily students and young adults, that is, for many of them, their first, real experience of a cohesive community of faith. I appreciated it myself immediately after I entered the church because, let's face it, the Roman Catholic Church is large, and when you're away from home, it's easy to feel lost. But I noticed that as my spiritual life developed, I began to see a lot of things lacking - things that St. Mark's could not provide. Now, I feel a lot more confident approaching the larger church in its global context than I used to before.

But I love what little I have learned about the Anglican Use. Such parishes would not exist were it not for the Second Vatican Council.
Talks by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Listen to a good selection of talks in RealPlayer format by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, one of my favorite Catholic speakers.

Thanks to Notes to Myself...!


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