Monthly Archives: November 2021

St. Yaretzi?

Yaretzi is one of the up and coming “new” names in the US.

Some people say it’s Nahuatl (the language spoken by Aztecs, and by a lot of other tribes that didn’t do all the human sacrifice), and the meaning is supposedly “One who will always be loved.” Except that Nahuatl doesn’t have an R sound.

Others say that it’s a Mayan name, which makes more sense.

“Yar” in Chuj Maya is a particle meaning “his,” and ‘etz’um in Chuj Maya means something like “goodness”, “charity,” “lovingness” in some phrases. (It seems to be related to “catch fire,” which is another ‘etz word.)

So the name Yaretzi, literally, is probably something like, “His love,” implying God’s love. That would make it very similar to more familiar Christian names like “Amadeus” or “Amata,” “Amanda,” “Amy,” and so on. Very nice!

(And there may be particles in the name construction that imply the “forever” or “ongoing into the future” bit.)

But in K’iche Maya, etz’ is associated with words about playing games, and etzel- is all about evil or bad stuff. In Classical Maya, etz’naab was the eighteenth day of the month, and associated with a glyph of a flint knife. So yeah, there are like 32 different Mayan languages today, and YMMV.

(Obviously non-Nahuatl and non-Mayan speakers like myself are not in a position to know this stuff for sure, and it is my experience that a lot of minority language names are translated… freely… into English, to the point that some names just don’t mean what people are told. So be cautious if you don’t speak Nahuatl or Mayan.)

And I wish all the luck in the world to all girls named Yaretzi, and especially the one who escaped death in the Waukesha parade massacre. Clearly you kids are loved.

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Bl. Titus Brandsma’s Canonization Miracle!!

Apparently a relic of Bl. Titus’ habit was associated with healing a Florida priest from Stage Four cancer.

Awesome coolness!

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Review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife

An interesting and moving fantasy adventure, filled with real characters, humor, the love of family, first love, and the love of friends. It’s a fitting sequel, leaves room for more adventures in the future, and basically deepens the original worldbuilding in a way similar to what was done in The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. There’s also something you should stay to watch, until the very very very end of the credits. Very end. Very very very.

Adult characters cuss, kid characters (mostly) don’t; but basically it’s wholesome while keeping its PG-13 rating. It’s well-paced, and it’s a production with heart. You can live in this world. It doesn’t conflict explicitly with any of the canons, either.

I love the new characters so much! This is what we want — for new main characters to be people we can like and respect, and who grow in interesting ways, and without ruining the old characters.

It’s also a wonderful posthumous tribute to Harold Ramis and his many talents. It’s as artistically right and beautiful as Last Jedi‘s treatment of Carrie Fisher was creepy and wrong.

If you like Ghostbusters at all, you should go see this one. And then, maybe go see it again.

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Re: My Neighbors’ Wifi Names

Most of you are very boring. But “Shrine of the Silver Monkey” is an awesome wifi name.

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Part 2C of Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the “Latin High Fashion Union”

Among the objective elements that combine to form an immodest fashion in the first place is its designers’ evil intention. When these are set up to raise unchaste fantasies and feelings with their designs, even without going to extremes it is a technique of veiled malice. Among other things, the designers know that their daring in this matter can’t be pushed beyond certain limits, but they also know that the effect they seek is close to these limits; and that a skillful blend of artistic and serious elements with other more vile ones are more suited to surprise the imagination and the senses, while making the design still acceptable to people who desire that effect, though without compromising (at least in their opinion) their good name as honest persons. Therefore, any refinement of fashion must begin with the intentions of both the designer and its wearer: in both, there must be awakened an awareness of their responsibility for harmful consequences that may be derived from too daring of clothing, especially worn in the public streets.

More to the point, the immorality of certain fashions hangs, for the most part, on excesses in both immodesty and luxury. As for the former, which in a practical way involve their cut, it must not be evaluated by the values of a society that is decaying or already rotten; but according to the aspirations of a society that prizes the dignity and seriousness of public custom. Almost with inert resignation, it is often said that fashion expresses the customs of a people; but it would be more exact and more useful to say that it expresses the will and moral direction that a nation intends to take — that is, whether to be shipwrecked in wantonness, or to maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization.

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Part 2B of Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the “Latin High Fashion Union”

Therefore the Church neither blames nor condemns fashion when it is aimed toward the just dignity and adornment of the body; however, it never fails to put the faithful on guard against a facile misdirection of it.

This positive attitude of the Church derives from motives very much higher than those purely aesthetic or hedonistic ones assumed by a renewed paganism. She [the Church] knows and passes on that the human body, God’s masterpiece in the visible world, at the soul’s service, was elevated by the Divine Redeemer into a Temple and instrument of the Holy Spirit; and must be respected as such. Therefore, its beauty must not be exalted as an end in itself, and even less, so as to demean that acquired dignity.

On this concrete ground, it is undeniable that alongside honest fashion, there is another that is an shameless cause of disturbance in ordered spirits, if not actually an incentive toward evil. It is always difficult to indicate, with universal norms, the boundaries between honesty and immodesty of a hairstyle depend on many factors; however, the so-called relativity of fashion with respect to times, places, persons, and education is not a valid reason to renounce, a priori, a moral judgment on this or that fashion, that at that moment, goes beyond the limits of normal reserve. Almost without being questioned, this immediately averts one from where provocativeness and seduction, the idolatry of material things and luxury, or just frivolousness, are sheltered; and if designers of shameless fashion, or of contraband perversion, are skilled in mixing it into a set of aesthetic elements that are honest in themselves, unfortunately human sensuality is more dextrous at discovering it and quickly feeling its fascination. As said elsewhere, a greater sensibility for being warned of evil’s snare — far from constituting a label of blame for those gifted with it, as if it were a mark of internal depravity — is on the contrary, the countersign of chastity of the soul and vigilance of the passions. But as long as the moral relativity of fashion may be vast and unstable, it always exists as an absolute of salvation, after having listened to conscience’s admonition as a warning of danger: Fashion must never provide a near occasion of sin.

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Part 2A of Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the Latin High Fashion Union

Part II
Defining the moral problem of fashion and its solutions

If it is not that the problem of fashion constitutes reconciling the person’s external ornament with the internal ornament of “a tranquil and modest spirit” in an equilibrium of harmony. But an internal moral problem truly exists around such an external, contingent, and relative fact, if some are asking themselves, ‘What is fashion?’And if this is granted, in what terms is the problem going to be posed, and with what principles should it be resolved?

There is not a cause to deplore at length the insistence of not a few of our contemporaries to force a removal of moral dominion over the exterior activities of Man, as if they belonged to another universe, and as if Man himself were not the subject, the end, and therefore, the responsible person, before the Supreme Ordainer of all things. It is very true that fashion (like art, science, politics, and similar activities that are called “profane”) has its own norms for achieving an immediate end for which it has been appointed; always and invariably their subject is Man, who cannot set aside those activities from turning toward the ultimate and supreme End, to which he himself is ordered totally and essentially. So the moral problem of fashion does exist, not only insofar as it is a generic human activity, but more specifically in how much it is expressed in a common field, or one very close to evident moral values, and even more, in how much fashion’s purposes, honest in themselves, are more open to being confused with the crooked inclinations of human nature, fallen through original sin, and transmuted into an occasion of sin and of scandal. Such a propensity of corrupt nature to abuse fashion not infrequently led ecclesiastical tradition to treat it with suspicion and severe judgments, expressed with lively firmness by distinguished sacred orators and zealous missionaries and even by the “bonfire of the vanities,” which were reckoned among the people as efficacious eloquence, in conformity with the customs and austerity of those times. By such manifestations of severity, which at the foundation showed the Church’s maternal solicitude for the good of souls and the moral values of civilization, however, it is not licit to argue that Christianity demands an almost absolute abjuration of the cultivation or care of the physical person, or its external dignity. Anyone concluding this in this sense would demonstrate himself to have forgotten how the Apostle of the Gentiles wrote, “The women should adorn themselves — in decent clothing, with self-control and modesty.” (1 Tim. 2:9)

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Blessed Thomas of Dover

Nova Legenda Anglie” has his story in Volume 2. He’s an unofficial saint, never canonized, but lots of miracles happened at his tomb and many ships in danger out on the Channel were saved by his prayers.

He was just a normal Benedictine monk who lived his whole life in the Dover abbey. But on August 2 or August 5, 1295, the French raided Dover. All the other monks got the heck out of Dodge, but Thomas de la Hale (or Thomas de Halys, or Thomas Hales — it gets spelled different ways) was sick and stayed in the monastery.

Well, apparently the French sailors were not happy with the lack of plunder, so they threatened him with torture and death unless he revealed where the monks kept the good vestments and altar vessels, as well as any money they might have around the place.

Thomas didn’t say a thing.

They put a sword through his guts and left him to die.

Well, the English Benedictines called him a martyr, and various English people begged the Pope to canonize him. But apparently this was no go. This didn’t stop the English from regarding him as a saint or making much of his relics. At least until the Reformation.

(This is not the same guy as the famous devotional writer, Brother Thomas of Hales of the Franciscans, who wrote the “Luve Ron” in Middle English.)

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Part 1C of Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the Latin High Fashion Union

Although an economic factor is this activity’s driving force, the soul is always the “fashion designer” — that is, the one who, with an intelligent choice of fabrics, of colors, of cut and line, and of accessories, gives life to a new expressive fashion design that is appreciated by the general public. It goes without saying how difficult this art is — the fruit of genius and experience, and even more, of a feeling for the taste of the moment. A design which is certain of fortunate success acquires the importance of an invention; it is surrounded by secrecy in preparation for the “launch;” and then when put on sale, it is sold for high prices while the information media give it wide circulation, speaking of it as if it were an event of national interest. The influence of fashion designers is so decisive that even the textile industry is guided by them to plan its own production, both for quality and quantity. Their social influence is equally great, in their part in interpreting public custom. So if fashion has always been the exterior expression of a people’s customs, today it is even more so, rather than when its phenomenon evolved as the fruit of reflection and care.

But the formation of taste and preferences in the people, and the steering of Society itself toward serious or decadent customs does not depend only on fashion designers, but also on all of the complex organization of fashion, and especially on manufacturers and critics in that more refined sectors which has clients from the highest social classes, taking the name of Haute Couture, as if to designate through it the source of the currents which people then follow almost blindly, as if through a magic spell.

At this hour, in the face of so many elevated values being called into question by fashion and sometimes jeopardized — so many that we have enumerated them here with quick hints — there providentially appears a work of people who are prepared both as Christians and in a technical way, who propose thus to contribute to freeing fashion from trends that cannot be commended; of people who look above all to the art of knowing how to dress, whose purpose is indeed (however partially) to accent the beauty of the human body, that masterpiece of divine Creation, in a way that would not be hidden in shadows, but exalted — as it was expressed by the Prince of the Apostles, by”the incorruptible ornament of a tranquil and modest spirit, which is so precious in the eyes of God.” (1 Peter 3:4, Italian translation)

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