Monthly Archives: June 2015

St. Therese’s Mom and Dad’s Canonization Approved

Yay! Modern Catholicism’s most famous parents of saints will soon themselves be put onto the official list of saints! Here’s the story of the miracle accepted for their canonization, including an English translation.

The Vatican has announced that they will be the first saints canonized together as husband and wife. Um… sorta.

Look, there are tons of husband and wife martyrs and saints. The difference is that post-conciliar saints who received formal modern canonizations were pretty much all canonized as part of large groups of martyrs (“N and companions” is how it usually reads). But we know of a lot of husband and wife saints, starting with the ones mentioned in St. Paul’s letters, like Ss. Aquila and Priscilla and Ss. Philemon and Appia (which tells us the traditional happy ending of Onesimus’ story). There were tons of pre-conciliar husband and wife pairs of martyrs who shared a feastday (for example, Ss. Orentius and Patientia; Ss. Marius and Martha), as well as pairs of non-martyr saints who have their own feastdays all by themselves because they died on different days. (Like St. Paulinus of Nola [Jun. 22] and his wife, St. Therasia [Mar. 5].) If one spouse was martyred and the other just lived a holy life, however, they can also share a feastday if local custom had it that way. (For example, St. Julian the martyr and his wife St. Basilissa; and St. Adrian the martyr and his wife St. Natalia.) Whole families of saints, like St. Basil’s, are also reasonably common.

For those of you playing the home game, the Martins have an unusual story!

Marie-Azelie (“Zelie”) Guerin and Louis Martin were devout single Catholics who weren’t able to pursue religious life, as they each had planned. So they both had their own lucrative businesses (Zelie was a lacemaker, Louis a watchmaker) and did a lot of good works. It used to be thought that they had met through friends’ matchmaking and got together through sheer practicality of it being cheaper to live together. But it turns out that that they actually saw each other first while passing on a bridge, at which time Zelie heard a inner voice (“locution”) from the Virgin Mary* tell her, “This is he whom I have prepared for you.”

They fell in love and decided they could each keep pursuing their religious lives by living together in a marriage without sex. They had a quiet marriage at midnight on July 13th, 1858. (It was at midnight so that they could receive Communion without a long fast. It was on a Tuesday because people used to get married on all sorts of days of the week. There’s a romance anthology called “Married at Midnight,” but it’s not for any cool reason like Communion.) Here’s Louis’ wedding present to Zelie. It’s a picture of Tobias meeting Sarah (and Tobias’ dog).

When they got married, Zelie was considered middle aged at the time (Zelie was already 27), so nobody would be surprised that they didn’t have kids. A friend with financial problems and too many kids asked them to foster his youngest son, a five year old, and they were happy to do it.

But then, they both got strong messages from God (after strong advice from a priest friend) that, while their previous practice had been okay, God now wanted them to consummate the marriage and had kids. Obviously this was ridiculous as Zelie was getting on, but they decided to try. At which point they had seven daughters and two sons, including the future St. Therese of Lisieux. (Two of the little girls and both of the boys died young from enteritis.) They delighted in their kids, and also continued to do good works along with their kids. Zelie’s business was going so good that she brought Louis into her business to work for her as a manager, and he sold his watchmaking business to a nephew.

They had a lot of fun and love as a family. I can’t emphasize this enough. The Martins were very serious and religious, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t play games, tell stories, paint and draw, and do all sorts of fun things. People remembered them all as lively and loving (even the bratty ones, like St. Therese and the Servant of God Leonie).

Then Zelie’s eyes started to give out, which she knew would soon be the end of her lacemaking career. Then she got sick with breast cancer and ended up dying while many of the kids were still young. Louis was heartbroken, but he worked hard to both support the kids and be an extremely loving father to his girls, trying to be both father and mother to them. St. Therese’s writings are full of her loving relationship with her dad, and the thoughtful things he did to help her grow and to learn discipline of her strong feelings and strong will. Louis was also fully supportive of all his girls’ intellectual development, just as he had been proud of his smart and enterprising wife.

As Louis grew older, all his daughters ended up moving away from home and joining convents. He felt that God was calling him to start suffering more seriously, and so he started offering up everything to the Lord for his girls’ success in the convent. As you would expect from someone called to this, his health began to go, and finally he started to suffer from Alzheimers’ of some kind. He continued to be an example of faith until his death, and his wisdom continued to guide his daughters’ lives.

People were tough back in the day. We need to learn to be as resolute as the Martins.

Lots of biographical info links here, including some videos!

UPDATE: I corrected some factual errors in the original post, which I did a little too much from (faulty) memory.

* Zelie had previously received another locution from the Virgin Mary. After being refused entrance to the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul because of her health, she had prayed a novena for direction on what to do with her life to Our Lady. The nine days of the novena ended on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, on December 8, 1851. That day, as she knelt in church, she clearly heard, “Have point d’Alencon [lace] made.” She had previously considered becoming a lacemaker, but took this as a sign that she should become an assembler for other women’s lace; and that’s why she started her own lace business.

It’s also interesting to note that Zelie’s first sight of Louis Martin, and her second message received from Mary, happened during that same spring of 1858 when Our Lady started appearing to St. Bernadette Soubirous down south in Lourdes. Our Lady was working overtime for the Lord!

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“Exit” Escher Video

Stick with it all the way as Our Hero searches for an exit. You’ll like the end.

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Stuff People Have Done with “Barrayaran Roses”

“Barrayaran Roses” was written during my second year of college. I’d been writing filksongs (both parodies and originals) since I’d been twelve or so, but I’d started serious concentration on songwriting when I was sixteen or thereabouts. So say four years into concentrating on filkwriting. I could tell I’d done something good.

Andrew Eigel (Hi, Andy!) figured the chords and guitar arrangement that you’re likely to hear at a filk circle. [Probably he’s on Livejournal somewhere, but I haven’t seen him in years, alas.]

Here’s my a capella version. As you can tell, I never did quite figure out how to do that overlapping track thing, and some of the harmonies are a little off. Thanks to Steve Macdonald for trying to help me record. (Yeah, that page is old. I think he is still living in Germany. Probably he’s also on Facebook or Livejournal somewhere.)

Anyway, once upon a time in 2005, “Barrayaran Roses” even got nominated for a Pegasus Award for Best Space Opera Song.

It was recorded by W. Randy Hoffman and Kira [Heston], as the group Partners in K’RHyme, back in 2012, on their album A Fifth of Vocals. Sadly, I don’t think it’s available easily anywhere online at the moment, but you might check iTunes and Amazon. You can certainly buy it from filk dealers at sf conventions, if there is a filk dealer in your area.

It turns out that while I’ve been away from filking, Bob Kanefsky parodied my song, also in 2012. “Barrayaran Beetles.” I can die now. Okay, first I will look at Kanef’s illustration page and the “info” earthworm lyrics crawl. Then I will die. 🙂

But wait, there’s more! I also got parodied by somebody I don’t even know!! And it’s a song about ORCS! “Middle Earthly Lotus”. I don’t know who this Dana is, but apparently she writes in Hebrew, too!

So yeah, no music videos, but there’s more songwriting glory in knowing you’ve created an earworm. 🙂


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A Cover Song and a Music Video

“Rosie’s Song” was one of the last filksongs I wrote as an active filker. It’s also been one of my most popular ones, and apparently gets a fair amount of people covering it. Unfortunately, I’m not really in touch with filking or Tolkien fandom, so I’ve missed a lot of people’s nice work on it. (Or I give them permission and then forget to keep track. Sorry… it’s not disrespect, I promise!)

This is a really beautiful fan music video, with unusually good use of stills from the movie trilogy. Bobajames1 has many other videos up also, including an unusual use of an old Perry Como song! He uses the audio of the recording I put up years ago on the blog.

The guitar was by Steve Macdonald! Definitely not by me! It’s his guitar arrangement too.

I think I’ve previously linked to Happyhobbitses’ fan music video, with footage from the movies. In fact, here’s the slightly higher quality older version as an old .wmv video over on Angelfire.

(Sadly, you can hear me run out of breath a lot, because I was singing fairly low in my range and because that was when I was starting to get vitamin deficiencies. Make sure you get plenty of your B vitamins and your A.)

The bright spot of having written what’s essentially a Karen Carpenter contralto, alto, or dramatic mezzo song (seeing as how I’m a lyric mezzo and that range gives me trouble) is that it’s in a range that guys can sing.

So here’s a cover by Randolf, who is apparently from somewhere in the Anglosphere. You can download the song, which is quite nice. His arrangement is a lot more modern!

Another Tolkien “Rosie’s Song” – but this one is from Sam’s point of view and has a totally different tune. Written, arranged and sung by Angelee Sailer Anderson. This is a great example of someone doing something very performance-heavy and clever, but also having good musician chops!

Totally unrelated video of a song from Valkyria Chronicles. Contains spoilers for the game. Very pretty.

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Augustine’s Love Argument

The public domain translation reverses the Bible quote to be “Love is God,” for cute rhetorical reasons. But that wording was the translator’s choice, not Augustine’s choice. Take a look the other way around, and I’ll prove that the argument is still there.

Augustine, In Epistolam Joannis ad Parthos, Tractatus 9, 10:

“If anyone say,” [John] says, “”I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar.” (1 Jn. 4:20)

— So from where do you prove “he is a liar”?

Listen. “For how can he who does not love his brother whom he sees, love God, whom he does not see?” (1 Jn. 4:20)

— So what? Does he who loves his brother love God, too?

It is necessary that he should love God; it is necessary that he should love Love Himself. Can he love his brother and not love love? [No.] It is necessary that he should love love.

— So what? Does he who loves love therefore love God?

For that reason, certainly. Loving love, he loves God. Can you have forgotten what you said a little while back? “God is love.” (1 Jn. 4:16) If “God is love,” anyone who loves love, loves God. Therefore love your brother and be untroubled.

You cannot say, “I love my brother but I don’t love God.” How you lie if you say, “I love God but I don’t love my brother”! So you are deceived when you say, “I love my brother,” if you suppose that you don’t love God.

It is necessary that you who love your brother should love Love Himself. For “God is love;” it is necessary therefore that anyone who loves his brother should love God. For if you do not love the brother whom you see, how can you love the God whom you do not see?

Why does he “not see” God? Because he does not have Love Himself. Therefore, because he does not have love, “he does not see” God. Therefore, because he does not love his brother, He does not have love. Well, therefore “he does not see” God because he does not have love. For if he had love, he would see God, because “God is love,” and his eye would be purged more and more by love, so that he would see that Unchangeable Substance for Whose presence he would always rejoice, which, together with the angels, he would enjoy for eternity.

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More Thoughts about Yesterday

Justice Kennedy is an idiot whose entire Catholic education was wasted money. His poor parents.

Anyway, he wrote the majority opinion, which is riddled with the idea that our times are somehow sooo much more enlightened than any other time in history, and that human nature somehow changed as soon as the year count clicked over to 2000. Yup, just that stupid.

Fr. Hunwicke has some stuff to say about this.

PS – WordPress, Google, and Bing have highly offensive celebratory markers out today. You can avoid WordPress’ stupid by linking to the old wp-admin/post-new.php version of “Add New Post.”


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The Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Of course, the Roman icon is famous around the world. It’s a deep picture. Little Jesus already knows that He will one day be crucified, because He is divine. St. Michael and St. Gabriel show Him the instruments of His suffering and death. But in His humanity, He has run so fast to His Mother for comfort that He has kicked off one sandal and is barely wearing it. Mary, knowing by Simon and Anna’s prophecy that He will suffer and so will she, holds her Son close while she takes her first look at the instruments of the Passion.

Christianity is not about being spared all troubles. We are not going to be treated better than Our Lord and Teacher, Our God and Brother. If we mean to reign with Him, we must carry His Cross and suffer with Him, and sometimes, we will even have to go on the Cross with Him. If we want a crown of glory, we have to wear the crown of thorns.

That said, we should pray always for our wants and needs, because Jesus told us to. We should also thank God often, both when we are released from trials and when we are put through them.

The title and picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help are associated with some really remarkable miracles. In Haiti in 1882, a Candlemas procession in her honor was followed five days later by both the end of a terrible drought and a smallpox epidemic.

There are a ton of different prayers and novenas to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Most of them are products of Italian or Liguorian spirituality, so yeah, lots of flowery poetic language and pleading! (Nothing wrong with that, but I like to warn folks what they’re in for.) The good old “Memorare” is also associated with this title, as is the Rosary.

Here’s part of a new one I didn’t know: “The Praises of Mary,” collected in 19th century Ireland from an oral tradition in the Irish tongue. It’s legendarily attributed to St. Lomman from the 7th century, but it seems likely that most of it is medieval and/or modern. But it’s good stuff anyway.

Here’s a short excerpt from the prayers near the end:

“Stretch forth thy hand to help us; deliver us from our bondage.
We are thy children; thou art our mother.
As little children we come to thee; we know no fear.
O Mary, He changed water into wine for thee,
Even as He said, “My hour has not yet come.”
Now He would not refuse thee, when you plead for us, thy children.
O Mary, come quickly to our aid.
Do not let us stray from the fold;
The wolf is waiting to destroy us.
To your praise, there shall be neither night nor day.

Adoration to the Father who created thee!
Adoration to the Son Who took flesh from thee!
Adoration to the Holy Spirit, thy Divine Spouse!
Three in One, One in Three.
Equal in all things.
To Him be glory
For ever.
For ever.
For ever.

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Supreme Court Legislated Obamacare Yesterday, Mandates Gay Marriage Today

Tomorrow, Caligula’s horse becomes a Senator.

What’s the difference?

We already had six horses’ rear ends on the Supreme Court.

On the bright side, one of the horses’ rears (Roberts) actually got his human flank into gear today.

USCCB response:

“Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable.

…It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.

…Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that “from the beginning,” marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow Our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.

I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions.

Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.”

Archbishop Schnurr of Cincinnati:

Under the false banner of ‘marriage equality,’ the United States Supreme Court today redefined marriage by judicial fiat. In so doing, it has disregarded not only the clearly expressed will of the electorate in Ohio and other states, but also an understanding of marriage that was shared by virtually all cultures – secular as well as religious – until recently.

Every nation has laws limiting who and under what circumstances people can be married. This is because lawmakers have always understood that marriage does not exist just for the mutual satisfaction of the two people involved but for the betterment of society….

Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia:

“The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on marriage is not a surprise. The surprise will come as ordinary people begin to experience, firsthand and painfully, the impact of today’s action…. The mistakes of the court change nothing about the nature of men and women, and the truth of God’s Word. The task now for believers is to form our own families even more deeply in the love of God, and to rebuild a healthy marriage culture, one marriage at a time, from the debris of today’s decision.”


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Happy St. John’s Day!

“He must increase, and I must decrease!”

I’m sad to say I missed the Northern Lights earlier this week, but here’s an old poem by the Protestant preacher and fantasy writer, George Macdonald.

The Aurora Borealis

Now have I grown a sharpness and an edge
Unto my future nights, and I will cut
Sheer through the ebon gates that yet will shut
On every set of day; or as a sledge
Drawn over snowy plains; where not a hedge
Breaks this Aurora’s dancing, nothing but
The one cold Esquimaux’ unlikely hut
That swims in the broad moonlight! Lo, a wedge
Of the clean meteor hath been brightly driven
Right home into the fastness of the north!
Anon it quickeneth up into the heaven!
And I with it have clomb and spreaded forth
Upon the crisp and cooling atmosphere!
My soul is all abroad: I cannot find it here!

A nice relentless use of meter and rhyme scheme, so that the sonnet pounds to a climax.

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An Example of Someone Missing the Point.

I ran into this book today, Genealogies of Legal Vision. It’s apparently a “history of ideas” book, and the idea he’s interested in is the transition between Law as founded on God, and Law as founded on political agreements.

If you click on the above link, you’ll see that he uses as an example an old print (from a founder of the firm) which he discovered in a law office, with an all-seeing eye illumining the world and proclaiming that “Omne patet, nihil latet.” He says this is a political statement about law being all about political transparency to the State, and owing nothing to “a good old god’s good old laws” (unlike the image of the goddess Justice).

Now, flip back to the page preceding the linked one, and actually look at the print.

You were probably already suspicious about the all-seeing eye. But what do we see? An all-seeing eye inside a triangle — which, as all US citizens should know, is a representation of the All-Seeing, All-Knowing God the Trinity. It’s often a Deist symbol, but even then, it is only used by Christian, Trinitarian Deists. (Unless you’re dealing with total idiots who don’t understand their own symbols.)

So the author literally doesn’t get the point. The law office’s ancestral founder and his print proudly proclaim that lawyers work for God’s justice, according to God’s laws, and under God’s all-seeing eye. The print says the opposite of what he thinks it’s saying.

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Did the Pope Really Say That People Who Make Weapons Can’t Be Christians?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: The Pope said seemed to be talking about “arms dealers” in the discredited old “Merchants of Death” political sense, but he did keep saying “weapons manufacturers” and making comments questioning whether such a person should call himself Christian without hypocrisy.

(There’s no official English version of this statement yet, and frankly I expect a bit of fact-checking notes, because the Pope was obviously just talking way off the cuff. I also don’t understand the various “interesse” expressions that the Pope used, and which may not actually translate as “profit.” Google Translate can’t make me fluent.

He was talking off the cuff because it was an “encounter” meeting with young adults, where he was supposed to respond with a prepared speech to various short speeches by young people chosen to represent what all young people are supposedly feeling. Instead he went off with a much longer response that was off the cuff, and then later he remembered to read his speech. There were a lot of good things said about the need for young people to love chastely and to remember that love entails service to others, not just getting.)

Anyway, a girl named Sara said that Jesus is about life, and sometimes young people mistrust life. Here’s the part of the Pope’s unprepared response that dealt with this:

“….there are situations that make us think: “But is it worth living like this? What can I expect from this life?” We think, “In this world, there are wars.” Sometimes I have said that we are living the Third World War, but in pieces. In parts of Europe there is war, there is war in Africa, in the Middle East there is war, in other countries there is war.

“”But can I have confidence in such a life? Can I trust world leaders? When I go to vote for a candidate, can I trust that he will not lead my country to war?” If you trust only in men, you are lost!

It makes me think of one thing: people, executives, entrepreneurs who call themselves Christians, and are manufacturing weapons! It gives one a little distrust if they call themselves Christians!

“No, no, Father, I do not make weapons, no, no … Only I have my savings, my investments in weapons factories.”

Ah! And why?

“Because the profit is a bit higher …”.

And the double-sided coin is current today: say one thing and do another. The hypocrisy …

But let’s see what has happened in the last century: in ’14, ’15, in ’15 properly. There was the great tragedy of Armenia. Many died. I do not know the figure: more than a million certainly. But where were the great powers of that time? They looked the other way. Why? Because they were profited in the war: their war! And those who die are people — second-class human beings. Then, in the Thirties, the Forties – the tragedy of the Holocaust. The Great Powers had photographs of the railway lines taking trains to concentration camps such as Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also Christians including the Roma, including homosexuals, to kill them there. But tell me, why not have bombed that? The profit! And a little ‘later, almost simultaneously, there were concentration camps in Russia: Stalin … How many Christians have suffered, have been killed!

The Great Powers divided Europe like a cake. Many years had to pass before you get to a “certain” freedom. It is hypocrisy to speak of peace and manufacture weapons, and even sell weapons to this group that is at war with that, and that group at war with this!”

And then there’s some more stuff about various worldly things people do, such as treating money as an idol and putting their trust in worldly powers, and then he goes back on track some more.

So yeah, it’s pretty obvious that the Pope wasn’t a history major, and that he needs to stop watching History Channel and start watching “Junk Currently Being Pulled by China and Russia,” although the Armenian Genocide is obviously a timely subject.

Here’s the applicable section of the prepared speech:

In light of this transformation, the fruit of love, we can answer the second question, the lack of confidence in life. The lack of jobs and prospects for the future certainly helps to curb the movement of life itself, putting many on the defensive thinking to themselves, manage time and resources according to their own good, to limit the risk of any generosity … I all symptoms of a life retained, preserved at all costs and that, in the end, can also lead to resignation and cynicism. Jesus teaches us instead to go the opposite way: “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Lk 9:24). This means that we should not wait for external circumstances favorable to putting ourselves in the game, but that, on the contrary, only by engaging life – aware of losing it! – We create for others and for us the conditions of a new confidence in the future. And here my thoughts naturally turn to a young man who has really spent so his life, becoming a model of trust and evangelical boldness to the young generation in Italy and the world: Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Its motto was: “To live, not just get along.” This is the way to experience fully the strength and the joy of the gospel. So not only you end up confidence in the future, but able to generate hope among your friends and in the environments in which you live.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati was referenced in both the Pope’s prepared and ex tempore remarks, because he was from Turin. Frassati died young, but lived a full life of both charitable giving and political involvement. While never looking for a fight, he wasn’t afraid to give one when attacked:

“Participating in a Church-organized demonstration in Rome, he withstood police violence and rallied the other young people by grabbing the banner which the police had knocked out of someone else’s hands. He held it even higher while using the pole to ward off their blows. When the demonstrators were arrested by the police, he refused special treatment that he might have received because of his father’s political position, preferring to stay with his friends.

“One night a group of Fascists broke into his family’s home to attack him and his father. Pier Giorgio beat them off singlehandedly, chasing them down the street calling them, “Blackguards! Cowards!”

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Mysterious Re-Kan Ending

Steven Den Beste examines the mysterious ending of the last couple episodes of Re-Kan.

The flower’s Japanese name is “asagao,” which literally means “morning face.” [“morning” (asa) + “face” (kao, gao).]

In Japanese poetry (as in English poetry), the morning glory signifies the beauty of transience and the brevity of life. In the Japanese language of flowers, they also signify “willful promises” (presumably because their bloom is too brief to follow up on the promise they show in the morning).

For those of you who don’t watch Re-Kan, the name means “Sixth Sense,” and it’s a Japanese ghost show set in a high school. Lots of Buddhist legend stuff.

Okay, here’s what’s going on with the last couple of Re-Kan episodes.

The morning glory is both Hibiki’s sixth sense and her life. When the morning glory is wilting, Hibiki is tired to the point that she is slowly dying. The part of it that is her sixth sense is fed by the presence of her mother, because it’s an inherited skill. Even with all the other ghosts helping, they don’t have as much spiritual power as Hibiki’s mom, and they don’t have that direct line connection. Also, remember that Hibiki’s mom knew she would die nine months later as soon as she got pregnant with Hibiki. Apparently it’s just too hard to run one’s own body and spiritual powers while also supporting a second person’s baby body and baby spiritual powers.

So it’s probable that spending all night letting Hibiki see the ghost of her mom just tired out the other ghosts, especially since they expended enough effort to make it possible for Hibiki’s dad to see what was going on. Hibiki’s sixth sense may also have become exhausted by this effort.

Okay. So the next morning, Hibiki’s mom was probably still traveling back to Hibiki’s weird little soul room when Hibiki woke up. Hibiki’s body was also tired out and hungry, but Hibiki ignored it and didn’t eat. And then she kept it up for days. She also didn’t “feed” the ghosts as she normally would. So her body was weak, which made her sixth sense remain weak; and the ghosts were probably too weak to get out even after Hibiki’s mom made it back, because they weren’t being fed, either.

So basically, she was dangerously weak, and she was attempting slow suicide while inadvertently doing her best to take a lot of the ghosts with her. If she had died, the ghosts and her mom would probably have been able to get out, but obviously a healthy Hibiki is the better way to go.

But the final step toward making the morning glory bloom again was for Hibiki not just to eat and live, but to decide that she will continue to connect with other people. While she had been refusing to eat, she had also been largely refusing to talk and interact with other people whom she could see, ignoring them out of distress and depression while desperately trying to seek the dead whom she could no longer see. This was not healthy, either. Her sixth sense and her life are both meant to spent caring for other people and nosing into their business, whether dead or alive. An incurious Hibiki is a dying Hibiki. So she had to reach out to someone (in this case, literally) before she could get her life and her sixth sense back.

So the moral of the episode is that when you’re in a slump with your talent, you don’t deal with it by nothing but useless persistence (as a lot of Japanese shows do) or by stupid behavior (ditto). You have to go back to the basics and help and work with the people you know, and you should remember the good stuff that you’ve done is still worthwhile.

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Dominican Priest to Run 68 Mile Ultra-Marathon

Read all about it on Godzdogz. He’s running to raise money for the Dominican seminarians in the UK and Scotland.

If you like to run or jog, Fr. Bruno Clifton has some interesting things to say about Scriptural passages and about running as a spiritual exercise!

I will point this at the Crescat, who is walking and running for health and gardening for Catholic identity, and at TSO, who points out that people are much more forgiving of sports scandals than Church scandals.

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Micah 7:19

Micah 7:18-19

“Who is a God like You? who takes away iniquity, and passes by the sin of the remnant of thy inheritance?
He will send in his fury no more, because He delights in mercy.
He will turn again, and have mercy on us.
He will put away our iniquities, and He will cast all our sins into the bottom of the sea

This Micah passage is used a fair amount in Church literature in Latin, but in English it’s usually quoted by Protestants. (I suppose because to most lay Catholics, it’s a prophecy easily seen to be granted through Confession. But it’s still sad that we are underusing it.) It was part of the Advent readings. Here’s some Dominicans singing “Qui venturus est,” which contains the “profundum maris” passage.

Jerome’s Letter 69 (To Oceanus, c. 6, 4) references this verse in connection to Baptism: “And it is to the grace of baptism that the prophecy of Micah refers: “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities, and will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Jerome quotes the Old Latin version of the passage.)

Medieval theologians apparently liked to point out that God had Micah prophesy that He would put sins at the bottom of the sea, because the sea was not permanent, according to Rev. 21:1 – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more.” This tied in with Jeremiah 50:20, which said that “”In those days and at that time,” says the Lord, “the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sin of Judah, and there shall none be found; for I will be merciful to those whom I shall leave.””

Bernini’s nephew, Father Francisco Marchese, wrote a devotional work meant for dying persons which associated all sorts of water imagery in the Bible with Christ’s Blood. This included associating the sea with Christ’s ocean of mercy, as represented by the Precious Blood (p. 308), since the viaticum was one of the few occasions when a Catholic in those days would receive Communion under both forms. So you can go a lot of different ways with this verse.

Now to the point of this post. The Anchoress published this quote attributed to St. Benedict which references the Micah verse:

It is only we who brood over our sins. God does not brood over them; God dumps them at the bottom of the sea.

The problem is that we don’t really have much said by St. Benedict except his Rule. So where would this quote even come from? Well, it turns out that a handful of the man’s letters and sermons do survive, but none of them mention sins or “profundum maris.” Neither does the Rule. Neither does the Life given in The Dialogues of St. Gregory. The only appearances in English seem to be on Bombay Christian’s Facebook page, the Anchoress’ page, and a couple of Pinterest pins. So… yeah, I’m doubting this one. If it comes from anywhere, it’s probably from another language that isn’t Latin. I’ll check Spanish and see if that’s where people are getting it.

That said, it’s still true. It’s just not St. Benedict who said it.

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