This is a work covering similar ground to “On the Most Sacrosanct Sacrament of the Eucharist”. But it’s a series of theological treatises, and it comes from the end of the man’s career. More later.
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Multiple tornados in the Dayton area tonight. We are okay.
My younger brother had two trees fall in his driveway, but they missed his car and house!
I could have sworn I was posting regularly, but obviously not!
I have unearthed some old posts, as well as making a new one below.
Eve Tushnet’s review. Still cracks me up that an essentially conservative woman has a gig on America magazine.
This is one of those unintended “alternate universe” movies. It’s set in Romania in 1952, under a Communist government that favored Orthodoxy (and took it over), while persecuting Latin Rite Catholics, Byzantine Catholics, and Orthodox who didn’t go along. But although certain Orthodox monasteries were not bothered, this movie shows a Catholic convent that is essentially unbothered by the change in government, and a Vatican that can easily send in emissaries. (In real life, no representative of a Latin Rite Catholic order was allowed to visit Romania until 1965, and that visit was a big deal.)
Yeahhhh, pretty alternate universe.
Everybody who writes historical fiction, or any other book that needs research, will have a failure somewhere.
In Dave Duncan’s otherwise excellent medieval alt-history fantasy, Ironfoot, his failure comes in his description of Old English grammar. It’s hard to write about the future in Old English, he says, because it has no future tense.
Um. Dave. Neither does Modern English. Not the conjugation-within-the-verb kind. We have “compound tenses,” which use a helper verb like “will” or “shall.”
It’s also possible to talk about the future in English by using time markers.
“Tomorrow, we go to the Moon!”
“As soon as the rocket finishes refueling and fires up, we go to the Moon!”
I blame elementary school grammar classes. They don’t actually teach people the rules of English grammar; instead, they focus on an idealized version based on Latin.
There’s an interesting Irish documentary on Amazon Prime right now: “Strange Occurrences in an Irish Village.” (The name comes from one of the early newspaper articles about the Knock apparition.)
The 2016 documentary focuses on the modern history of Knock, and how the locals are trying to help renew the pilgrimages and the Irish love for the Catholic Church. Unfortunately a lot of Irish-Americans are more interested than a lot of Irish!
Anyway, there’s a great bit at the beginning where Knock villagers read from the original depositions made by their ancestors. I didn’t realize that the apparition was first heralded by the following words:
“When did the deacon put up those new statues?”
“I didn’t know we were getting statues.”
(Of course, they weren’t statues; they were mysterious images of saints that appeared strangely solid, but could not be felt with the hand.)
The documentary does get into a lot of the history later on, and you get to see a lot of the actual local sites and landscape. County Mayo is cool.
Knock’s story tends to be retold in a syrupy way, so I really like a more matter-of-fact retelling that doesn’t minimize the miracle. I also like the locals who are featured; they are the salt of the earth. You also learn that even in these softer days, there are young Irishmen who like to make a barefoot pilgrimage to Knock.
I also didn’t realize that at least one of the witnesses, Mary O’Connell Byrne, was found to be incorrupt in her coffin when they added a family member to her grave.
The annoying bit is that they have some goofy music moments when people are being serious and solemn. But overall it’s a very beautiful documentary, and you learn a lot about how hard people work together to keep up a nice shrine for God.
(And yes, of course there’s a bit where they talk to two nuns, and one of them is faithful and conservative but painted as obsessed, but the other gets into women’s ordination. Sigh.)
It looks like Knock isn’t all that crowded for most of the year, which is kind of a shame for them; but is probably nice for you if you go there.