Thursday, April 28, 2011

Truer Words Have Never Been Spoken

This morning I came across a piece by Father George Rutler in this month's Magnificat about the much anticipated new translation of the Roman Missal.

In the course of discussing the extreme difficulty of providing an accurate translation of the Bible (or anything, really), he notes:

Times also change meanings: as architect of Saint Paul's Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren was honored when Queen Anne said the finished building was awful and terrible; today she would have said awesome and overwhelming. And attempts to make words "culturally relevant" can be fraught with problems: I grew up with the King James Bible, one of the greatest works of art accomplished by a committee, but even my young ears thought it strange to hear that Pharaoh had a butler.

His "one of the greatest works of art accomplished by a committee" line prompted me to recall this plaque that hangs in my boss's office:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Surrexit Dominus Vere, Alleluia!

I think it's interesting that at Mass on Easter Sunday, in lieu of professing the Nicene Creed, each of us is cross-examined (pardon the pun) about its contents, and asked to affirm whether we believe what the Church believes.

We might ask ourselves, when we say the Creed on any other given Sunday, how much thought do we give it when we say, "On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures?"

Do we really believe this? Do our thoughts, words, and actions convey that we really believe this?

The Resurrection of Jesus is the central belief of our faith. It isn't just a nice story that only credulous bumpkins believe in. It is a story, yes, but it also happens to be a true story.

Because, you know, it really happened.

I had thought about writing today about how hopelessly and laughably implausible all of the alternative explanations to The Empty Tomb are, but I don't have time. That, and there are already many wiser than I who have written articles debunking the would-be debunkers, so I'll just link to one of those instead.

And I'll say this:

Christ is risen! Indeed He is Risen!

And yea, our faith is true:

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised.

For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.

Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Cor. 15: 13-20)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"I Cannot Worship a Guy I Can Beat Up"

A while back, Mark Shea drew attention to some remarks by Pastor Mark "High Octane Calvinism" Driscoll of Seattle's Mars Hills Church:

In Revelation (the last book of the New Testament), Jesus is a prize-fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is the guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.

Shea remarked: "I’m sure the guards in charge of the scourging at the pillar felt the same way. Surely, the measure of our worship is 'Can I beat up Jesus?'"

His comment prompted me to recall this ancient Eastern icon:

Its name? Christ the Bridegroom.

Think about that for a minute, especially in light of the Events we are preparing to commemorate tomorrow on Good Friday.

I, like most men on their wedding day, went to great lengths to look my best.

And yet, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ — the Bridegroom of bridegrooms — is here shown with His hands bound, stripped half naked, having just been mercilessly scourged and crowned with thorns, and as a result so weak that He can't even hold His head up straight.

Yes, Christ the Bridegroom, for He was preparing to perform the ultimate act of self-sacrificial love for His Bride the Church — read: us — just a few hours later, the completion of which He would signal by crying out from the gibbet of the Cross words we rightly associate with marriage:

"It is consummated."

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's a Boy!

John Paul Jansen was born at our house at 7:47pm last night, weighing in at 7 pounds even.

He is named for — well, duh — Pope John Paul the Great. And, in fact, we're hoping to have him baptized on May 1, the same day his namesake will be beatified in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI. (This will also be the day that our firstborn daughter Teresa will receive her First Holy Communion.)

The biggest question that remains at this point is what we will call most often him: "John Paul", "J.P.", "Johnny", and "Jack" are all in the running at this point.

Time will tell.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"How Ayn Rand Ruined My Childhood"

An interesting column ran in Salon last week entitled "How Ayn Rand Ruined My Childhood".

Reading it, I was reminded of something Mark Shea has often said: namely, that libertarianism is a philosophy for people with no children.

It also reminded me that choosing how to live one's life is not a matter of choosing whether or not one will subscribe to a dogma (or set of dogmas), but, rather, choosing which particular dogma (or set of dogmas) one will subscribe to.

And, it also reminded me of this.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Beef: It's What's for Dinner

A few friends of ours in recent years have bought beef in large quantities from local farmers — which seemed to me like a pretty neat idea for several reasons, not the least of which is my affinity for distributism.

Then last summer, after watching the fascinating documentary Food, Inc. — one of the most pro-distributism movies I've ever seen — I became convinced that our pamilya should do the same.

So last fall, on a recommendation from a friend, we went in with another family and ordered a quarter of natural pasture raised beef from Windsweep Farm in Dixon, IL, and we picked it up last weekend.

Each of our families ended up with about 60 pounds of cow — a mixture of steaks, roasts, and ground beef:

The average cost — including delivery and processing — ended up being only about $3.80/pound. And, we get the satisfaction of knowing we're supporting a regional farmer instead of some big agribusiness company.

As for taste, we had some for the first time last night: Jocelyn made beef asado out of one of the chuck roasts, and it was powerful tasty.