Saturday, July 10, 2004

Everybody should know this!

You know what I'm talking about, that strange looking building that is the only thing that distinguishes LAX from any other airport. It's in just about every movie and postcard that features Los Angeles. It's so distinctive - but what is it?

It's the Theme Building!
The Theme Building was part of the $50 million over-all Los Angeles Jet Age Terminal Construction project which began in 1960. On December 18, 1992, the Los Angeles City Council designated the Theme Building a cultural and historical monument.
The building was to serve as an airport terminal and was intended to resemble a landing spaceship. I wonder why it didn't work out! Today, if you go the top, you'll find the bizarre Encounter Restaurant. All that can really be said is, Picture it... Los Angeles, the 1960's.
A Daily Prayer

A Prayer for Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Brothers, Sisters, Lay Ministers and Seminarians

Lord Jesus, hear our prayer for the spiritual renewal of bishops, priests, deacons, brothers, sisters, lay ministers and seminarians, especially those of our own diocese. We praise you for giving their ministry to the Church. In these days, renew them with the gifts of Your Spirit.

You once opened the Holy Scriptures to Your disciples when You walked on this earth. Now renew Your ordained and chosen ones with the truth and power of Your Word.

In the Eucharist you gave Your disciples renewed life and hope. Nourish Your consecrated ones with Your Own Body and Blood. Help them to imitate in their lives the death and resurrection they celebrate around Your altar.

Give them enthusiasm for the Gospel, zeal for the salvation of all people, courage in leadership and humility in service.

Give them Your love for one another and for all their brothers and sisters in You. For You love them, Lord Jesus and we love and pray for them in Your Holy Name.


Friday, July 09, 2004

More Evidence?

Back in April, I commented upon one of the conspiracy theories that appears to be circulating among more liberal Catholic circles in the area. Are Opus Dei priests infiltrating Santa Barbara's parishes? I wonder if the very first mass held last month by Cardinal Mahony in honor of Opus Dei and St. Josemaria Escriva has given our friends more to be concerned about. Perhaps this conspiracy goes all the way to the top!
While the church placed renewed emphasis on the laity during the historic Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s, Mahony said, Josemaria had been doing so decades earlier.

"Vatican II set forth for the whole church the role in our baptism to be holy and to be wonderful witnesses in the world," Mahony told the congregation. "Pope John Paul II described Josemaria as a man far ahead of his time."

But St. Josemaria disagreed. Looking at the cathedral tapestries depicting ordinary people walking with the saints, [John] Waiss said, "Those tapestries are so Opus Dei!"
The universal call to holiness...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Vivida in Tempore

by Filippo Sirotti
Vivida in tempore transire nolente
permagna florescit in pectore vis
continenter pellens me dicere: "nos"

et lumine solis extremo dilapso
in caelo inter alias te incipio requirere stellas

quod secum te sentiens dulcedine noctis
expectans laetatur animus meus
et loca nulla illi remota

Whatcha Eatin'? Nut 'n Honey!

I was following a discussion over at Ad Limina Apostolorum concerning liturgical abuse, particularly with regard to the ingredients in the bread used in the mass. I remember going through this issue when I ran across this recipe for Eucharistic bread used at a parish with which I was familiar:
3 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 1/4 c white flour
2 Tbls. oil
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 warm water
1/2 c honey
1/4 tsp baking powder

Start with flour, baking powder all mixed into one mound. Make a hole in the center of the mound, Mix honey with warm water, cut in oil, add to flour. (The dough will be sticky) Pinch off quantity of dough that you can easily work with, sprinkle with flour then roll to desired thickness. Push up edges with finger tips and roll smooth so that edges do not taper off (otherwise they will turn crispy).

Baking time and temperature depend on the size and thickness of the bread. For bread 1/4 inch thick try 325 for 10 minutes. Remove and brush with oil or margarine. Return to oven for a few minutes - Watch Carefully! - At the first sign of brown on top take out! Put on wire rack. When cool, test that it is not hard, especially at edges. Put in ziplock bag.
As you can see, 1/2 cup of honey is mixed in. Since I had questions about this recipe, I contacted the Archdiocesan Office for Worship to see what they thought. They agreed with my concerns and said that though some people use honey mainly as a way to keep the dough from getting dry and to ensure texture, it was illicit and should not be done. They indicated that one of the main reasons why this should not be done was because validity was questionable depending on the quantity added. They pointed me to a section of the Pastoral Companion to the Code of Canon Law:
The Code indicates that for validity the bread must be made substantially of wheat flour. If there are any additives in it they cannot be such that the bread would no longer be considered wheat bread according to the common estimation... The judgment concerning the validity of the substance to be used as Eucharistic Bread must be based on the bread's contents, not its appearance. Thus, knowing the composition of the bread, if the common estimation of persons would judge that it is wheat bread [it] would be valid matter even if there are other additives. However, it is illicit to use any additives at all to the wheat and flour.
This seems to be saying that the addition of extra elements, while certainly illicit, may not necessarily constitute invalid matter if the result is still considered to be wheat bread according to the common estimation. A little vague! I know from experience that those who received this particular bread with honey certainly judged the bread to be just that. This seems to agree with Redemptionis Sacramentum, paragraph 48:
It follows therefore that bread... mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter...
I could imagine that if the recipe had called for four cups of honey and the common estimation was that they were receiving "consecrated" honey cakes instead of wheat bread, then the sacrament would most certainly not be valid. I suppose there is no real fine line and the best advice is simply Don't go there! If you have talented bakers and bake your own bread, use licit ingredients. The Office for Worship recommends its own recipes for those who wish to bake using licit ingredients. Oh, and don't drop your crumbs all over the floor.
Classical trivia...

Impress your friends at parties with the best music trivia ever!

Some of my favorites:
How far can a name get you? Pretty far - if it's the right name.

- The youngest surviving child of Wolfgang and Constanze Mozart, young Franz was barely five months old when his famous father died.
- The boy showed an early proclivity for music and there were no shortage of teachers in Vienna willing to give young Mozart lessons. Included amongst the eager teachers were supposed Mozart rival Antonio Salieri.
- In 1841, fifty years after his dad's death, he was named Kapellmeister of the Mozarteum in Salzburg

Yes, this is THE Nietzsche of philosophy fame. He made some musical ripples, as well.

- He was one of the first established supporters of the new music direction started by Richard Wagner.
- A dozen years later, Nietzsche's thinking had changed and he turned against Wagner and supported Bizet.
- Aside from turning heads with his philosophical writing and music criticism, Nietzsche tried his hand at composing - resulting in a few choral works, songs and some piano pieces, none of which have become staples in popular repertoire.

Some might think he's just a one-hit wonder.

- Did you know that a Burger King commercial of the 1970's used Pachelbel's Canon? It's true. The music behind "Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce. Special orders don't upset us" is a direct lift from this famous work.

Alert! This Englishman's first name is pronouned "RAYF" (just like the actor Ralph Fiennes).

- He was an avid collector of English folk songs and belonged to the Folk Song Society.
Off you go!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Justified by Grace...

Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.
We are born again in Christ Jesus in the baptism of water and the spirit to live in the good works God has prepared for us. It is God's freely given grace that enables us to respond to this call, not anything of ourselves. By living in his grace in the service of our God, we become participants in God's own divine life. Thus are we made holy by this same grace to eternal life.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1996
Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.
Blessed be God forever.
The Examined Truth

Proverbs 18:17
The man who pleads his case first seems to be in the right; then his opponent comes and puts him to the test.


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