CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - January 8, 2013
Note from the Managing Editor:
Jeffrey Tucker's day job has him working as an economist. But after hours he expresses his passion for good music in Catholic liturgy through his work as managing editor of the Church Music Association of America's Musica Sacra and as a principal contributor to The Chant Café blog.
My wife is a devoted follower of The Chant Café and directed me to Tucker's reflections this past Monday where he is effusive in praise regarding the Solemnity of Epiphany Mass held on Sunday at St. Peter's in Rome.
A Church official at the Mass had this to say: "This morning's Cappella Papale for the Epiphany with the Consecration of 4 Archbishops was probably the most splendid papal liturgy Rome has seen in 50 years."
And so it seems. Both the music (listen to excerpts here) and the homily were sublime. I am featuring the Holy Father's homily in the update this week.
And while I have you, allow me to take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed New Year. - J. Fraser Field
Quote of the Week:"The saints rejoiced at injuries and persecutions, because in forgiving them they had something to present to God when they prayed to Him." - Saint Teresa of Avila
• Agenda for a year of faith: looking ahead at Pope Benedict's 2013 - CNS
• Evangelizing an anti-intellectual culture - Beauty in Education
• Retaining Catholic teachers - Washington Post
• The 50 Smartest People of Faith - TBS
• Four different family types: What kind of family are you? - IMFC
• Notre Dame Punts - NRO
• Grammar Lesson of the Day: The Passive Voice, Used Badly - Anthony Esolen - First Thoughts
• The Passive Voice, Abused - Anthony Esolen - First Thoughts
• Why Are College Textbooks So Absurdly Expensive? - The Atlantic
• Never Pay Sticker Price for a Textbook Again - Slate
Sharing the Greatness of John the Baptist - Mary Francis, P.C.C. - from Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting
These are very deep and searching questions.
The Epiphany of the Lord: 2013 - Pope Benedict XVI - Liberia Editrice Vaticana
The courage to stand firm in the truth is unavoidably demanded of those whom the Lord sends like sheep among wolves.
The Key That Fits the Lock, Part Eleven - Anthony Esolen - The Catholic Thing
Said the Lord to Abraham: "And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you." (Gen. 17:11)
Discussing drug legalization with libertarians, as I did recently, can be a frustrating experience.
Alfred Hitchcock's Surprise Ending - Father Mark Henninger, S.J. - Wall Street Journal
A biographer said that the director, at the end of his life, shunned religion. Not true. I was there.
'The Hobbit' and Virtue - Joseph Pearce - National Catholic Register
At its deepest level of meaning, The Hobbit is a pilgrimage of grace in which its protagonist, Bilbo Baggins, becomes grown-up in the most important sense.
There's been a strange turn of opinions about fatherhood — at least in recent public debates.
As the old year is passing — and as if it were not depressing enough, for some of us, to find ourselves in the new year at the threshold of Obama II — some of us are still feeling the loss of our dear friend Robert Bork, who died just before Christmas.
The daughters are beside themselves.
On TV these days, we're seeing more and more programs about "body art" and tattoo design.
Epiphany 2013 - mp3 - Father John Horgan - CERC
The history and meaning of the story of the Magi.
Some items that the Pope is likely to try to get done during the coming year.
The Moral Animal - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks - New York Times
At first glance, religion is in decline. Looked at another way, though, the figures tell a different story.
Rediscovering Paul VI - First Things
Pope Paul VI has been called a weak and indecisive pope, but no one who lacked true courage could have issued the powerful statements he did, or done so under the circumstances he faced.
Top 2012 stories on religion - Get Religion
In 2012, the religion news was mostly bad — for believers. But there are other stories worth watching.
Can I Trust Opus Dei? - Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction
I am contemplating a vocation to Opus Dei. For years, I have been hearing a call. I am afraid , however, when I read negative info on websites. I feel torn apart. Can you guide me, provide some insight?
'God particle' scientist says Richard Dawkins is an embarrassment - Protect the Pope
Apparently Peter Higgs, particle physicist and postulator of the Higgs Boson, has branded Richard Dawkins 'an embarrassment' for his fanatical attacks on religion.
The decline of the Church in Britain - Patheos
It's happening everywhere, but Britain makes it clear that the Church is sinking because of external attacks, but even worse because of the weak faith of Christians.
Catholics and Depression - CWR
A new book co-authored by a psychiatrist and a priest offers faithful wisdom and learned guidance in dealing with depression and anxiety.
Suffering Fools Gladly - New York Times
Recently I was reading a magazine profile of a brilliant statistician. The article mentioned, in passing, that this guy doesn't suffer fools gladly.
Born That Way? - On the Square
The causes of homosexuality are infamously difficult to pin down.
Addiction as spiritual imbalance - Catholic Herald
A former addict says: "Some speak of addiction as a disease. But it is mostly spiritual: dis-ease, an imbalance in the soul."
A. N. Wilson has been there, seen that, believed this, and rejected that.
Why Is God Still Absent from Downton Abbey? - Christianity Today
Let's start with the basics.
Last Thursday's New York Times featured an op-ed by Juleanna Glover encouraging pro-life Republicans to support increased federal funding for contraception programs.
Britain’s Prince Charles has urged the country’s government to reconsider plans to amend the rules governing the royal succession, saying that he fears “unintended consequences” of the proposed legislation.
Pregnancy Centers Gain Influence in Anti-Abortion Arena - New York Times
In a remarkable illustration of changing attitudes on the abortion issue, the New York Times carried a story on pregnancy-help centers that quoted primarily from pro-life workers, omitting most of the usual complaints from abortion advocates. . . .
John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter finds that the names of two prominent Catholic professors are being circulated as potential nominees for the vacant post of the US ambassador to the Holy See.
Sister Carol Keehan discusses how Catholic hospitals are coping with the challenges generated by recent health-care-related legislation.
Death by government - Daily Mail
A study finds that under Britain's government-run healthcare system, in nearly half of all cases when conscious patients were refused life-saving care, "there was no record that the decision had been discussed with them."
About a third of the people I interviewed carefully at the church where I did research reported an unusual sensory experience they associated with God. While they found these experiences startling, they also found them deeply reassuring.
At this time of year, it's worth thinking of the Trappists.
Examining the most common arguments for redefining marital unions ...and understanding why they are flawed.
Teacher: Notes from an Old Professor - The Imaginative Conservative
John Willson, professor emeritus of history at Hillsdale College, reflects at the Imaginative Conservative on "the chief cruelty of our profession: assigning our students to paradise, purgatory, or the inferno with the stroke of a pen."
Evangelizing an anti-intellectual culture - Beauty in Education
The recent Census revealed that in England and Wales the number of professed Christians in 2011 fell to 33.2 million, or 59% of the overall population, from 37.3 million (72%) in 2001.
Retaining Catholic teachers - Washington Post
An Ohio program helps to retain underpaid Catholic school teachers by promoting their tasks as a vocation rather than just a job.
One way to combat the erroneous assumption that faith conflicts with reason is by giving greater visibility to living, breathing believers who are also highly intelligent. That is what we are endeavoring to do with this list of "The 50 Smartest People of Faith."
A new report offers helpful insight into different family cultures.
Notre Dame Punts - NRO
It misses a golden opportunity to send a message that matters.
The Passive Voice, Used Badly - Anthony Esolen - First Thoughts
The Passive Voice is used badly when the writer tucks the real item of interest into a prepositional phrase, obscuring the agent of the verb and deflecting the emphasis.
The Passive Voice, Abused- Anthony Esolen - First Thoughts
The Passive Voice is abused when the agent of the verb is not general and is indeed of consequence, but the writer wishes to obfuscate.
Why Are College Textbooks So Absurdly Expensive? - The Atlantic
There is no competition, no free market, where students are required to buy only certain books for their classes at artificially inflated prices.
The open educational resources movement that's terrifying publishers.