Month: March 2008

Holy Saturday

By killing Jesus, Satan had swallowed God’s bait. He didn’t know he had swallowed the Godhead, thereby inviting Full Being into his fortress of nothingness and bringing about the ontological fall of his nothingness. In the words of St. Gregory of Nyssa: “The Godhead hid under the covering of our human nature so as to offer an easy bait to him who sought to exchange us for a more precious prize. And the aim was that just like a greedy fish he would swallow the hook of divinity together with the bait of the flesh. Thus life would come to dwell in death, light would appear in darkness, and thus light and life would achieve the destruction of all that stood against them.”

You can imagine Satan’s smile as Jesus was sucked into the abyss. After watching Jesus enter hell, Satan was probably about to turn his attention back toward earth. But according to an ancient homily from Holy Saturday, Jesus, upon entering hell, met Adam, took his hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper and rise from the dead, and Jesus will give you light. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image.”

Thus … Read the rest

Something for Easter Morning

“When the disciples saw the risen Christ, they beheld “him as a reality in the world, though no longer of it, respecting the order of the world, but Lord of its laws. To behold such reality was different and more than to see a tree or watch a man step through a doorway. To behold the risen Christ was an experience that burst the bounds of the ordinary. This explains the extraordinary wording of the texts: the strangeness of Christ’s ‘appearing,’ ‘vanishing,’ suddenly standing in the middle of a room or at someone’s side. Hence the abruptness, fragmentariness, oscillation, contradictoriness of the writing–the only true form for content so dynamic that no existing form can contain it.”

Romano Guardini… Read the rest

Good Friday

Slacker me. I missed the Maundy/Holy Thursday service/Mass for the first time in 42 years (if I missed as a younger person, I don’t remember it). My absence resulted from a confluence of events: I was exhausted from staying up late the night before; our church wasn’t starting its Mass until 7:30, which is far too late for my smallest children, in order to accommodate a new seder supper that last year caused Mass to start 20 minutes late; I wanted to avoid the whole foot-washing thing, which in my church currently consists of everyone washing everyone’s feet (the “Foot Washing Carnival”–my words), instead of washing just twelve pairs of feet (incidentally, my church’s way is better if it’s all about service instead of a re-enactment of the washing of the twelve male apostles’ feet; we can debate this ad nauseum, but if it’s about service, why doesn’t everyone get into the act?). With all that piled up, we decided it’d be better to stay home and do the Stations of the Cross by candlelight. I then took the four eldest for the last hour of the celebration (the Eucharist and Eucharistic Procession), then came home and watched the first half of The Passion.

Today’s Good Friday service is usually pretty good. My church is the middle-of-the-road type: not conservative, not liberal, not pious, not unruly. It gets some things wrong but … Read the rest

Abbreviated Holy Thursday Post

Happy Holy Thursday, so to speak. May your Triduum be reverential and holy.
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Readers of this blog know I’m a John Zmirak fan (1, 2). Well, I recently learned that he has moved to New Hampshire, where he is writer-in-residence at St. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. He is also taking a hand in its new journal. In his words:

As part of our mission, we recently launched a new journal, Second Spring: An International Journal of Faith and Culture, edited by the Oxford-based theologian Stratford Caldecott. This thoughtful, thought-provoking journal explores and advances the mission of a Catholic intellectual in the context of contemporary culture. Published twice per year, subjects regularly covered in Second Spring include the arts, sciences, technology, liturgy, new ecclesial movements, metaphysics, history, literature, poetry, and the world of books.

I’m going to get it. If you’re interested, you can subscribe at half price. See button immediately below.

Thomas More College - Second SpringaRead the rest

The Wednesday Eudemon

Blogging will be light the next couple of days. I’ll be struggling with a time trifecta: jammed at the office, Holy Week, and NCAA basketball tournament. I hold my 16th annual basketball team auction tonight, which usually keeps me up about two hours past my bedtime, then I need to be alert at the office all day Thursday, but still groomed for Maundy Thursday. Could be rough, and this blog will be the first casualty. I’ll post something, but it could be on the lame side (“Nothing new there, Scheske!”).

Note: I don’t post Brews You Can Use on Good Friday (at least I’m pretty sure I haven’t). The point of BYCU is to get people in the mood for drinking. That’s not an appropriate mood on That Friday (even though the first round of the NCAA Tournament is that day; a dastardly coincidence of events that thoroughly bums me out).
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I’m waiting for this post: B16 is a huge fan of Brokeback Mountain: The USCCB has launched a papal visit blog.
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My current blogging column is at The Register (subscription required). Excerpt:

If you want to make it in the blogosphere, you need to make a splash. In the political blogosphere, the splash probably needs to be offensive.

Nearly 200 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville observed a troubling characteristic of American writing: inflammatory prose. He said readers in America’s democracy “require

Read the rest

Tuesday Trifles

Dalrymple has written a short piece about Spitzer and morality in the public sphere. It contains fundamental truths that anyone interested in morality and law needs to understand. It’ll take you three minutes to read. Excerpt:

[M]an is a creature so constituted that he cannot live in a world of facts alone: he has no choice but to live in a world of values as well. One cannot think about means without thinking about ends, as Pisani herself demonstrates when she argues that “if Spitzer wanted to dedicate some of his apparently endless stock of moral outrage to prostitution, he would have done better to crusade for health and safety regulations in the sex trade than for abolition.” Pisani’s moral judgments are different from Spitzer’s, but they are moral judgments nonetheless. She forgets the famous dictum of a man most revered in the world of science, Albert Einstein: “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.”

. . . [A]ll social policies are molded by morality

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Best collection of perfect-time photos I’ve seen. Unfortunately, I have no idea how many are cropped/fake.
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I’ve read a fair amount by Robert Higgs. He’s no nut. In this piece, he examines the start of U.S. involvement in WWII, and he corrects a popular erroneous view. Note: It’s long (I, admittedly, only scanned parts of it, such … Read the rest