Friday, September 28, 2007

Reformed Science

The problem with science today isn't that scientists have too little faith, it's that they have too much faith.

One of the best teachers I ever had described the difference between science and religion in that "The laws of religion are carved in stone. The laws of science are written on paper. With a pencil. And an eraser nearby." By necessity science is about doubt. Basically it's making observations and collecting data and basing conclusions based on the results. There should be no rooting for an outcome. Definitely no fudging of the data. And an understanding that for every theory, "this too shall pass." Classical mechanics gives way to relativity, the Sun circles the Earth and now the Earth circles the Sun, leaches are good for you and now antibiotics are. Science builds on the past. Old theories die to be replaced by new theories that will one day be replaced by newer theories. Every theory should have a bullseye on it.

I had to take a biology course in college to get my degree. I'm really not interested in the life sciences. In high school I took physics and chemistry. But I needed this course and signed up for it. I lost a lot of respect for the professor when one day he tells us that evolution is an established fact. It's not. It's our best understanding right now of how life came to be physically on Earth. For a real scientist it is no more and no less. It says nothing about whether there is or is not a God or any other matter of metaphysics or religion. Unless of course you're a member of Reformed Science.

In Reformed Science drawing conclusions based on observations and a continuing search for a better explanation goes right out the window. Instead there is an absolute belief in a particular conclusion and the data must be forced to fit or be ignored. A belief that rivals a Saints belief in God. This is where we get junk science from. This is where we distill a "fact" that God does not exist based on observations about the evolution of lifeforms. This is where we declare "case closed" on Global Warming and inconvenient truths like the fact that Mars and other planets are warming also are discarded in favor of a belief that mankind is responsible for the change in global climate.

The universe is a strange and remarkable place. Especially in the realms of the very big and the very tiny. That's how God made it. There are many of us who believe that by His handiwork we can know Him a little better. Even if it's just to be amazed at the beauty of it. But besides beauty He also made the universe abide by a series of natural laws. In doing so He gave us a universe that is like a huge beautiful puzzle. And He gave us the intelligence and curiosity to figure out that puzzle bit by bit, and to benefit from our understanding. Now how cool and Fatherlike is that?

The Carina Nebula as seen from the Hubble Telescope.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fr. Z's "Whaddya Call This Mass?" Poll

Fr. Z is having a runoff poll until October 4th over what to call the older Mass. Right now it's in a runoff between the top contenders of an earlier poll. The options are "Tridentine Mass", "Traditional Latin Mass or TLM" and "Extraordinary form/use". Everyone should head over there and drop a virtual ballot in the box for your choice.

And Now for Something Completly Different....

Ok... the last couple of posts have been rather dark. Time for something a bit lighter. I get a little scared that no one reads this blog and then I get a little scared that someone might be reading it. Ambivalence is such a wonderful thing. And then it's not. But what is a wonderful thing is I just got tagged for my first meme by Che' (or is that fake Che') over on the Secrets of the Spirit of Vatican 2 blog. So here we go....

1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo?
TLM. Wife definitely prefers it as do I. Although the way the NO is read at SJC it wouldn't be much of a letdown to assist at NO.

2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there?
Roughly about 25 miles.

3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be?
How about a Tradvert? A convert who has become a traditional Catholic.

4. Are you a comment junkie?
Somewhat, but I have it perfectly under control.

5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on?

6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog?
Yes. Back when I first started commenting.

7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on?
Well.. seeing as Benedict XVI doesn't have one... I'd have to say.... Closed Cafeteria?

8. Which blog is the first one you check?
Not a hard and fast rule for which one I check in the morning. I do a usual round up, but the order changes day to day.

9. Have you met any other bloggers in person?
Well... the wife blogs. And I've met Ma Beck and Jane of Art (I'm pretty sure) at SJC.

10. What are you reading?
Oddly enough, right now nothing. But I have just finished The Snakebite Letters by Peter Kreeft and would highly recommend that. Think of a Catholic take on Screwtape.

Bonus Question! Has your site been banned by Spirit of Vatican II?
Yep, and I've got the felt banner to prove it.

If it has, who do you think Father Tim really is?
I have less of a clue than a clueless man who holds the chair of the department of clueless at UT. Or Baldrick. I'm going to go way out on the limb in left field (fitting for SOV2) and say that Father Tim is the ultra secret identity of Fr. Z.

And I tag the following....

Missal Thumper
Catholic Caveman

And anyone else who is reading this... let me know who you are...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Desacraments of the Neo-Pagans

Continuing on with the beliefs of the neo-pagans. If they were honest at any rate...

1. The one night stand or the hook-up. This replaces Communion. It would take a work the size of the internet to begin to describe the meaning of Communion. But where it converts us to Christ and strengthens us in the communion of saints, the hook-up casts us into solitude. Where sex is meant to strengthen a union between two people and is even sometimes used to explain the union of the Holy Trinity a chance encounter is nothing more than two people using each other to gain sexual gratification. It's always about 'me' and nothing more.

2. Since sin doesn't exist for the neo-pagan, Confession is not a confession of sins and the gaining of absolution. Instead it is the confession straight from Genesis that I can be like God. I will decide what is good and what is evil. I will decide what is sinful and what is right and just.

3. Instead of celebrating the birth of human life and the bestowal of a new spiritual life in Baptism the neo-pagans celebrate contraception. Human life is a curse to the planet and just down right inconvenient. So let us negate life, especially in the form of abortion. Moloch needs his due afterall.

4. Death is the great end. Neo-pagans do not need, they think, Extreme Unction or to make any peace with their end. Instead it is to be fought. Everything that can extend life for just one more minute, unless perhaps it interferes with pleasure, is to be embraced. Any exercise, any diet, any drug, any spare parts from fetal tissue. Anything to fight against the final extinction of self.

5. Holy Orders are not needed nor celebrated. Instead of the faithful man or woman who will pledge poverty, chastity and obedience we celebrate the Dissenter. And the further up the chain one can dissent the better. Who needs the help of religious, priest, bishop, pope or God when I have my own feelings to guide me. It's much better to feel about something than to think about it.

6. Marriage is the great unifier, the most fundamental building block of society. Two become one and then, with God's blessing, become many. And part of the meaning behind becoming one is permanence. But instead let us have voluntary sexual associations instead of marriages. That way we can end it when we desire, have any arrangement of individuals and any number to it. It's not like it's meant to be anything but about my happiness at this very moment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Neo-Pagan Faith Community of Death

Wondering how a neo-pagan building would be set up and its "faith" led me to the following thoughts...

We see on the right hand side altar an altar to Moloch. Thousands of years ago humans sacrificed children to Moloch to ensure prosperity. We're much more advanced today. Now we do it for comfort and prosperity and some even manage to make millions in providing this service.

On the left side we have an altar to Gaia. Mother Earth is the life giver to be adored. Not Mary who was the only true human for her entire existence and the mother of our salvation. And like Mary, Gaia has her own dogmas. Where Mary helped to bring life in fullness, the worship of Gaia supposes that only the life of Gaia is worthy of life.

The Gaian Dogmas
1. Mother Earth is the life giving mother. There is no spiritual life, only physical.
2. Humanity is a disease of Earth, and human endeavors are harmful to her. There would be Paradise, if only we didn't exist.
3. Global Warming. Humans only harm their Mother and we are godlike in our power to affect our surroundings.

In place of Holy Scriptures we have pornography. While Scriptures brings us the Truth and into the community of faith and fellowship with the blessed Holy Trinity, pornography separates us from others. It makes others only objects for our own gratification and leads us down paths to greater and greater depravity.

Tradition is replaced with Progress. Chesterton said that tradition was democracy for the dead. Well the dead need to be disenfranchised. We have no need for the hard won experience of past millennia or the revealed Truth. We can discern for ourselves what truth is, and know that society is marching toward a truth where there is no sin. The only thing that counts is that everyone feels good about themselves and does what they want. That is where Progress is leading us.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Random Thoughts

Everyone is a theologian, atheists just get the first question wrong.

Trust science, but not scientists.

Why does it seem the most open to other faiths in our clergy are the most frightened of the extraordinary form of the Mass?

One of the major differences between Protestants and Catholics is that they emphasize the Resurrection and we the Crucifixion. That's why they have crosses and we have crucifixes.

Some day I'll need to sit down and use my Google-fu to find an ancient pagan god of lust and death. That way our neo-pagan friends will know who they're worshipping.

Wanted... Co-Workers

The first miracle that Christ performed was to turn water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. We often overlook the fact that God performs this miracle every year. He sends rain, has given us grapes, the knowledge and human talent to create wine every year. And on a massive scale, not just the six stone jars at Cana. One of the reasons why I am Catholic is the emphasis that the Church places on the fact that we must work with God on our salvation. Christ preached the Good News and brought Truth to probably hundreds of thousands in person. He has relied upon us over the last two millennium to bring the same Truth to billions. Also when I was a Southern Baptist the belief was that God covered our sinfulness in grace. All that we had to to was accept that grace. The Church teaches that we must continually strive to conform ourselves to the will of God. It is not just enough to believe in the mercy and perfection of God, but we must turn ourselves into mirrors of that mercy and perfection. May Our Lady pray to the Lord our God that we may have the strength and wisdom to follow her words at Cana, "Do whatever he tells you."

Friday, September 21, 2007

50 Years Cont'd

Last night Fr. Roger Kennedy appeared on Katie Couric Live on CBNBN and discussed his indult parish the St. Sabina in Kanesville, TN. Fr. Kennedy covered many of the issues concerning the indult XXth Century Mass. Included were the differences between indult parishes and the SPPVI and how the Ecclesia Populi Comission saved this form of the Roman Rite from dying out. But Fr. Kennedy also voiced his displeasure with various edicts that have come from Pope Pius XIII concerning this expression of the Rite and how the indult has been handled. Particularly he was concerned with the belief that many have that in the XXth Century Mass the priest turns his back to God, the need for a priest to have a B.A. in the vernacular language he reads Mass in and the lack of a widespread application of the indult. St. Sabina is the only indult parish in the state of Tennessee. When asked about the apparant sparcity of indult parishes and the fact that there are none in the diocese of Nashville Bishop Donelson responded that there had been no requests for that particular form of the Rite. "Many young people have no attachment to it, most have never even assisted at one. Besides, it is confusing to the faithful to have their actual participation in the prayer of the Mass interrupted by such things as giving the Sign of Peace to everyone in the building. And who under the age of 90 would care to hear those folk music hymns?", said Bishop Donelson.

50 Years From Today

Today Archbishop John Cardinal Miles celebrated Mass at the newly opened Cathedral of St. John Paul the Great in downtown Los Angeles. Later that afternoon in off the cuff remarks to a handful of reporters His Eminence denied reports that the former cathedral, Our Lady of the Angels, would be sold to the schismatic group the Society of Pope Paul VI (SPPVI) nor would it be converted into an office building. Instead he announced that the former cathedral would be the site for a new indult parish of the XXth Century Mass under the auspices of the Ecclesia Populi Commission. Although the future of the Ecclesia Populi is uncertain under the current pontiff Pius XIII.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fetal Soup

Well I had a definite "WHAT??!!??" moment on the way home yesterday listening to the Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio. Dr. Mark Miravalle was on talking about China and at the end of his interview mentioned that in some areas of China there was a restaurant selling "Fetal Soup" at $40 a bowl and that the Chinese government had cracked down on a website detailing the practice, but not the practice itself. The soup is thought to help revitalize and heal a person, thus the reason for consuming it and the high price. I haven't been able to find any definitive proof one way or the other on the web as to if this practice actually occurs. But as horrifying as that thought is, I had another one that really chilled me. In the end what's the difference between fetal soup and embryonic stem cell research? They both use the corpse of a dead unborn human to further the health of another human.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Catholocism and Science Fiction

Going over to The Sci Fi Catholic blog has brought up a number of questions of a religious nature I've thought about involving sci-fi.

Why is it that in Star Trek religion is treated with respect. As long as it belongs to an alien species. Humans seem to be almost alone in their atheism in the Trek universe.

Wouldn't the Church we a criminal organization in the Trek universe? I can't see the Church abiding by Starfleet's Prime Directive. They would help where help is needed, regardless of the fact that a civilization hadn't discovered FTL.

Let's assume we have started colonizing other planets and the Vatican decides to move operations or just expand to one. Should it be called Vatican II or should we just skip that.

And wouldn't a Vatican fleet of starships be cool. I say "Archangel Michael" for the flagship.

And on a somewhat serious note... we know about human salvation history. But what about those out there? Does it matter if they're humanoid or not? And what if they have their own revelations? Maybe they're looking for a little corner of the universe where the Creator did the almost unthinkable.....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Sin Bin

In the immortal words of Syracuse Chiefs goalie Dennis Lemieux when you do bad, "All bad. You do that, you go to the box, you know. Two minutes by yourself, and you feel shame, you know". And I know how he feels. I've been banned, sent to the proverbial box by the Spirit of Vatican 2 Parish. Somehow I wracked up the following offense codes PH (Phariseeism), F+ (Extreme Funny Languages), T+ (Extreme Traditionalism), EM (Extreme Medievalism), O [Offensive (anti-womyn, anti-GLBTNA, etc) ]. And as such I must display the following banner:

But seriously... if you haven't been you really should drop by and see what the SOViets are up to now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The World Over

Friday night on the World Over on EWTN (encoure Monday at 10PM Central) SJC's very own Fr. Dennis Kolinski was on with Archbishop Burke to discuss Summorum Pontificum. Very cool. But there was an email question that got me to ranting at the tv. Someone had asked how the dialogue was supposed to happen when the priest has his back to the people. Simple. Inasmuch as the Mass is a dialogue it is a dialogue between God and us, the congregation, with the priest as our leader. And for those who cannot abide silence in worship I'd recommend that you try it. Take a moment and listen. God the Father can say more in 5 minutes of silence than most theologians can say in a lifetime. Some have said that the older form of Mass makes it more about the priest and the rest of us are just there. Unlike the newer form where I think many priests feel that it is about them and how they have to entertain us and that for that one hour everything hinges on them. I've been to Mass where an elderly Irish priest made the end of every homily another episode of "Kids Say the Darndest Things". And which thinking about Mass makes me more of an active participant? In modern parlance we "attend" Mass, in older days (and God please more and more in the future) we "assist" at Mass. One great truth that we tend to no longer remember is that at Mass we are participating in an unbloody representation and actual continuation of the worst action every committed in Creation. Deicide. We the created have scorned, humiliated and finally killed the Creator. We are all guilty of it. And at the same time it is the unbloody representation and actual continuation of an act of such goodness that we don't have words of any sufficiency to describe it. The Creator allowed himself to suffer and be killed to open the gates of Heaven to us. Shouldn't our Masses be as worthy of representing this reality as we can make them?

Pitting the Masses

The Curt Jester has an interesting post on how some (including me...see below) are pitting the worst of the ordinary form of the mass against the best of the extraordinary form. He's right of course. But in my own defense, what I hope happens with the new liberalization of the ancient form of the Mass isn't necessarily that the new form will be completely done away with. It's that the horrendously bad Masses that are said like the clown Mass are discarded on the ash heap of history. A well said reverential Mass, either form, should draw us into the actuality of Heaven touching Earth. It's not entertainment. Find a parish like St. John Cantius in Chicago and assist at Mass in either the ordinary or extraordinary form, in Latin or the vernacular and tell me I'm wrong.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sept. 14 Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (or Elevation of the Life-Giving Cross to our Eastern brothers). And today is a day for rejoicing. Today Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum goes into effect. This is just another step of the reform of the reform, but let us pray that it bears much fruit. Afterall.... which Mass would you rather attend...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Six Years +

It's been six years since 9/11. It really does seem like it was only yesterday. Who would have thought in the weeks just after that we'd revert back to our former state and use even the issue of security in the face of a committed terrorist threat as a political football. And what scares me most is not the inevitable catastrophic attack in the future, but what our response to that attack will be.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Matter of Perspective

Lately I've been listening to some sermons of Fr. Corapi. And he's used the nihilistic phrase "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" to sum up the attitude of the modern world. And it's not a bad summation. But sometimes in a phrase it's just a matter of perspective...

Is this thing on?

Ok... so I haven't posted in a while. Most of the reason was the preparation and recovery from a 10 day trip to Tennessee. And the trip itself of course. Was kind of nice being away from the internet and work for a while.

3 Things I Learned on My Tennessee Trip

1. Arnold's on South 8th Avenue still serves the best meat & 3 in the known universe.
2. The Loveless Cafe really does have a great breakfast.
3. St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows does have a Latin Mass, but contrary to the diocesan website it's the ordinary from of the Mass not the extraordinary form. Or at least I would translate "traditional Latin Mass" to mean the extraordinary form. So, to my knowledge, there is not now any celebration of the extraordinary form in Nashville aside from the SSPX chapel. Hopefully Bishop Choby will rectify that soon.

Also keep Tennessee in your prayers for rain. They had a brutal August with very little rain and temperatures in the 100s.