Daily Round Up – November 21st, 2011

I am, first and foremost, proud to say that a close friend of mine has been elected Mayor of Courtenay, BC!  Larry Jangula is one of the most helpful, active, selfless, and cheerful men I know, and am thankful that the people of Courtenay came out to vote for him.  Please say a prayer for him as he prepares for his new role in life.  Here is an article on him.

The Telegraph in the UK is surprised by L’Osservatore Romano’s claim that Shakespeare was Catholic.  It’s nothing new and is contested to be both true and false by many scholars.  We will probably never know, but there are inclinations in his writing of it as a possibility.

I have many articles, again, from the always insightful National Post:

  • I must admit that the happenings in Egypt are disturbing, and I find it increasingly odd how it doesn’t seem to be as covered as it was initially.  I wonder if because a face can’t be given to an enemy, it doesn’t have as much mass appeal.  I don’t know, but anyways, it is important for us to stay informed.  Here is the article on what’s going on in Egypt.  I think one of the issues is that there is a desire for democracy, but I wonder how much a culture influenced by Islam can sustain these democratic desires.  The tensions between western ideals and Islam play themselves out in Islamic cultures as well.
  • The ever-entertaining Rex Murphy writes on the OWS movement and its dependency on capitalism.  Please give it a read, you won’t regret it.
  • There is an article on death and dying in our culture.  Please read it because it gives great insight into how we avoid death and grief in our societies.  It also mentions how funerals are becoming less common.  I think that is a sign that we have lost respect for the body, a further sign of the de-Christianization of our society.  It is sad.  What is even more sad, though, is that people want to be sad, but aren’t because society says “being sad is not ok”.  Anyways, here is the article.  It also reminds me of the recent passing of my grandpa.  In my reflection at his vigil, I mentioned this, and I encouraged the many family and friends present that “it’s ok to be sad”.  If you wish, you can give it a read here.
  • Finally, there is a public policy group out there attempting to end the mandatory entry into student unions.  This makes me happy.  When I was at UVic, we HAD to pay dues into the student union.  We were forced to by the University – even though they were two separate entities.  My student union did not address my concerns and thus had no desire to join them.  Voluntary association – which is the whole point behind unions – allows for checks and balances against those in power in the union.  When one is forced into the union, those in power and positions of responsibility have no one to be accountable to.  Sounds like a certain form of politics that used to be prominent in Russia and Eastern Europe…Anyways, here is the article.

Here is neat article on the issue of modesty in relation to young girls.  This is a continuing issue I wonder about, not just in relation to young women, but to people in general in Church.  We forget that Church is the place where we encounter the Lord of the Universe!  If we were to go to meet the Queen, we would dress our best.  We are meeting God, why not put a little extra effort?

Today is the Feast of the Presentation.  This is an important feast at our Seminary for it is the patronal feast of the Sulpicians, who run our seminary.  Here is an article at The Catholic Thing on the roots of this tradition.  What I find interesting is Mary’s initial consecration to virginity and her betrothal to marriage.  In the Church Fathers, Mary represents Eve and lives the original unity between marriage and virginity.  That is another topic for another day, but the way this feast is presented adds to the understanding of Mary as living the unity between marriage and unity.

There is a beautiful reflection here by the Pope on what prayer is.

There is also a post at First Things about contemporary music in worship.  It is by a Protestant, and he argues that sacred music ought to be “different” from contemporary pop music.  Give it a read.

Did you know there is a wine out there called Aquinas?

For those with a more philosophical bent, there is an interview from a few years ago which I found online with Peter Henrici.  Henrici is a now retired bishop of the Church and is a cousin of the famous theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar.  He speaks in this article about the importance of Blondel for theology and the Second Vatican Council.  The article is here.  I am currently reading Blondel’s “L’Action” for my Vatican II class.  It is really good, though is quite the slog, and am starting to see why he is so important.

The Pope has released a new Apostolic Exhortation!  It is about the Church in Africa, and thus is directed towards them.  But I think it can give us insights into the Church in Africa as well as insights into how the Church is to be lived for us in the West.  The link is here.

Further signs that the return of the Lord is near.

An interesting comparison of two approaches to abstinence education.  What I find neat is that the theological explanation works in Africa.  I think this is because they still have a supernatural outlook on the world.  We in the West have lost that.  Thus the religious argument doesn’t hold weight.

Here is the most beautiful thing I have seen in a while.  Here and here are links about religious communities in France for men and women with Downs syndrome.  I have nothing to say: the communities speak for themselves.

And that is probably more than enough for today.

in Christ

-Harrison

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