Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
25 April 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under coins Leave a Comment
Growing up in upstate New York, it was a common find in pocket change:
Then the dove cent popped up once an a while. When I was eight, I wondered if it was really an 1867 coin:
As of 1965, the queen was sporting a crown and not just the plain wreath on her head. Over the years, she’s gotten more royal with a few redesigns.
The US mint turned to copper-plated zinc to make one-cent coins in 1982, and Canada began to utilize stainless steel coated in copper a few years later. The Royal Canadian Mint will only produce one-cent coins for another five months. The cent will still circulate, but only at the initiative of Canadian citizens. Maybe they’ll import some from upstate New York.
The US seems disinclined to discontinue the cent. But it’s not as though we haven’t made the tough decision on small change in the past. Did you know that in the 19th century, the US produced half cents (till 1857), two cent pieces (1864-1873) and two versions of the three-cent piece (one in nickel and one in silver)?
With all the fuss about cents, sense, and how we’re all going to get scammed by business owners rounding up purchases to the nearest nickel, I want to register an official complaint about gas stations and oil companies selling fuel by the tenth-of-a-cent. This has been going on for decades, from what I remember. We always buy gas for a price with 9/10ths added on to the big numbers. I don’t think service stations have small 8′s, 7′s, 6′s or anything else. The digital displays probably don’t compute anything but .009 dollars.
So I have a question. If the Canadians will still be able to write checks and go into credit card debt to the nearest cent, what about going more fine-tuned than that? Suppose I write a check for $95.784. What vendors will acknowledge this exact payment and leave me with some dollars and 6/10ths of a cent?
By the way, my solution for the fussy zine lobby is to make dollar coins out of the metal. If we discontinue the dollar bill, maybe put Washington and Lincoln both on the dollar coin. Though I would prefer artists from American history. Too many presidents.
25 April 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Politics
, The Blogosphere  Comments
You wouldn’t think an experienced journalist like Greg Kandra would get punked by anti-gay rabble-rousers. But he did. I just don’t see the point in being a piece of tissue paper in the internet maelstrom. Supposedly, if a story moves from the Fox to CNA that adds to its bona fides. I can’t agree. Opinion pieces and mob mentality masquerading as news. Michael Schuttloffel of the Kansas Catholic Conference:
As far as religious institutions, that will depend entirely on what sort of exemption – if any – is put in place (by the city council) … If there is none, then you could conceivably have a Catholic church that is forced to host a ceremony that violates Catholic beliefs.
If the Church’s responsibility to determine readiness for marriage is really so flimsy, determined engaged couples or parents would have overrun us by now.
On the other hand, maybe Fox is on to something. Hundreds of millions of gay Americans are going to force all heterosexual couples to divorce and remarry someone of their own sex. Can’t you just see it now?
Seriously, the problem discrimination laws attempt to address is, at root, unfairness. One set of sinners gets the thumbs down; others go scot-free. A Catholic parish might be allowed to look the other way on its standards for marriage, if, for example, there was enough money to persuade the priest to violate his principles. No doubt this has happened. But I don’t think it’s a widespread problem. For a Catholic business owner, there might be a problem in different treatment for a gay couple and, lets say, a Catholic couple in an irregular marriage. One might question (and I would) why one type of sin catches the moral attention of a believer, and not another. Maybe the day before a gay couple wants to rent a social hall there was some sort of moral conversion. Or maybe not.
25 April 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under film  Comments
Woody Allen pops up into my attention every so often. I loved a few of his movies in the 80′s. His exploration of addiction and faith in Hannah and Her Sisters is a favorite. The movie bank of cable channels has been hammering away with Midnight in Paris for the past few weeks. My wife and I have wanted to catch that film from start to end for awhile. I first caught Owen Wilson talking like Woody Allen when someone was channel-surfing. This was interesting, I thought. You can still tell a Woody Allen movie from dialogue and camera like you can pick Philip Glass out of a crowd.
I think Mr Allen does fantasy quite well. In Midnight, he follows my “Rule,” take one fantastic idea and pursue it to where it leads. In this film, Owen Wilson catches a cab at midnight and finds himself dialed back ninety years to Paris where he encounters writers and artists from what he believes is a golden age of sorts.
Sometimes Woody Allen can be self-indulgent. Forty-some films made. It can be like best-selling authors: they get into a groove (some say rut) and close themselves off to better input from others who can make the work better. With true artists, it’s about the work. Not the self. When it’s about the self, the work decays from art to celebrity and narcissism.
That’s not to say that Mr Allen isn’t dogged by narcissism. I never liked his first swell of award-winning movies from the seventies all that much.
The material in Midnight in Paris–the cinematography, acting, and script, and especially the premise really overshadow the filmmaker. Which is how it’s supposed to be. The resolution of the plot isn’t terribly complicated. We wonder all through the film why Gil and Inez are together. And it gets resolved. We wonder why Gil doesn’t get off the stick and really write–and he does. And at the end, he doesn’t indulge his trip to the past. He finds inspiration and affirmation from the great artists of the twenties, and then he moves on in the present. Simple stuff, really. But impeccably done. And I loved the send-up Gil gives the “Pedantic One” when talking about the Picasso. Just the right amount of indulgence there.
25 April 2012
Having finished up two landmark documents from the papacy of Pius X, I gave some more thought to future document(ary) adventure on this blog. One of the last major rites to cover here would be the Dedication of a Church and an Altar. Following up on that, we’ll look at the USCCB documents treating art and architecture. Built of Living Stones, definitely. A quick look at EACW, possibly.
After that, I think we’ll continue on the USCCB line, Sing To The Lord.
After those longish documents, it will probably be timely to take a break from the longish stuff and look at a few pieces from the papacy of John Paul II, Dies Domini, his letter to artists–material like that.
25 April 2012
Let’s look a little more closely at catechist formation; it’s mainly about communicating:
235. Formation seeks to enable catechists to transmit the Gospel to those who desire to entrust themselves to Jesus Christ. The purpose of formation, therefore, is to make the catechist capable of communicating: “The summit and centre of catechetical formation lies in an aptitude and ability to communicate the Gospel message”. (Cf. General Catechetical Directory 111)
The christocentric purpose of catechesis, which emphasizes the communion of the convert with Jesus Christ, permeates all aspects of the formation of catechists. (Cf. Catechesi Tradendae 5c. This text defines the christocentric end of catechesis. This fact determines the Christocentric content of catechesis. It also determines the christocentricity of the response of those to whom catechesis is addressed (the ‘Yes’ to Jesus Christ) and the christocentricity of the spirituality of the catechist and of his formation.) This aim is nothing other than to lead the catechist to know how to animate a catechetical journey of which, the necessary stages are: the proclamation of Jesus Christ; making known his life by setting it in the context of salvation history; explanation of the mystery of the Son of God, made (flesh) for us; and finally to help the catechumen, or those being catechized, to identify with Jesus Christ through the sacraments of initiation. (The four stages of the baptismal catechumenate are cultivated in a christocentric prospective) With continuing catechesis, the catechist merely tries to deepen these basic elements. This christological perspective touches directly upon the identity of the catechist and his preparation. “The unity and harmony of the catechist must be read in this christocentric light and built around a profound familiarity with Christ and the Father, in the Spirit”. (Guide for Catechists, 20)
The stages of the catechumenate are placed in a Christ-focused perspective. And mystagogia/continuing formation? Deepening other discoveries, always with the sacramental perspective–the most profound Christ-centered experience a believer can experience, namely the presence of Christ in the celebration of the sacraments.
I also like the emphasis here on “animating” catechists, on filling them with the Holy Spirit. Not only is the GDC focus on Christ, but it is essentially Trinitarian.
236. By virtue of the fact that formation seeks to make the catechist capable of transmitting the Gospel in the name of the Church, all formation has an ecclesial nature. The formation of catechists is nothing other than an assistance for them in identifying with the living and actual awareness that the Church has of the Gospel, in order to make them capable of transmitting it in his name.
In concrete terms, the catechist—in his formation—enters into communion with that aspiration of the Church which, like a spouse, “keeps pure and intact the faith of the Spouse” (Lumen Gentium 64) and which, as “mother and teacher” desires to transmit the Gospel by adapting it to all cultures, ages, and situations. This truly ecclesial quality of the transmission of the Gospel permeates the entire formation of catechists and gives to that formation its true nature.
GDC 235: Christ and the Trinity. GDC 236: The Church. Comments?
25 April 2012
I’ll admit I wasn’t watching one poll closely. Behold, it’s gone into overtime here.
We’ll restart polling once a day tomorrow. Here are how the green and red divisions square off:
16. Creator of the Stars of Night
8. O Come All Ye Faithful
5. Ave Verum Corpus
4. The Summons
3. Ave Maria
6. One Bread One Body
10. Ubi Caritas
15. Be Thou My Vision
1. Be Not Afraid
8/9. Come Holy Ghost/Adoro Te Devote
5. Shepherd Me, O God
4. The Servant Song
3. We Are Called
6. Pange Lingua
7. Immaculate Mary
2. Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
One observation: 16 of NPM’s top 25 Songs That Make A Difference have advanced into the Theological Thirty-Two.