Archive for July, 2011

As an admitted sentimental Christian humanist, I have to admit that this looks pretty wonderful.

However, after my disappointment with the Most Wonderful Movie in the World (https://caelumetterra.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/the-most-wonderful-movie-trailer-ever/) I probably will not make the prerequisite trip to Cleveland to see it, and will wait for the DVD. I will  eventually let you know if the trailer lives up to the expectations it evokes:


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The cardinal recalled that the Jewish people received the vocation to “be servants of God’s mercy in all nations.”

Moreover, he added, “this word appears in each of the Surahs of the Quran, which always begins by invoking the merciful God.”

“It’s also present everywhere in the Gospel,” the 60-year-old prelate reminded. “I don’t know why we have neglected it.”



Icon by Daniel Nichols

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These guys are my new favorites:

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“The share of people in rural areas over the past decade fell to 16 percent, passing the previous low of 20 percent in 2000. The rural share is expected to drop further as the U.S. population balloons from 309 million to 400 million by midcentury, leading people to crowd cities and suburbs and fill in the open spaces around them.

In 1910, the population share of rural America was 72 percent. Such areas remained home to a majority of Americans until 1950, amid post-World War II economic expansion and the baby boom.”



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The Catholic bishops of the United States remind Congress that:

“1. Every budget decision should be assessed by whether it protects or threatens human life and dignity.

“2. A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects “the least of these” (Matthew 25). The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first.

“3. Government and other institutions have a shared responsibility to promote the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times.”

I am generally pretty critical of the episcopate, but they came through here, in flying colors.

The rest:


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Crazy John of Athens

More on the contemporary holy fool from the book Crazy John of Athens:

John, the fool for Christ, used to wear very worn-out clothes. Many would feel sorry for him, seeing him in that state, and they would give him money. “Here, take this you fool, and buy yourself some trousers and a decent shirt to wear.” He would thank them and take the money. He would then place the money in an envelope, add some more from his own wages, then would secretly go and toss the envelope under the doors of those whom he knew were in need.

Whenever he went to a supermarket, he would purchase very unusual things. He would even place various women’s items for example in the shopping cart, and that would get the cashier girls giggling. The owner of the supermarket would feel sorry for him, and had even given instructions to accept only half of the total value of the items that he purchased.

One day, someone’s curiosity got the better of him, and he decided to find out what the fool did with all that shopping. So he secretly followed him one day. Crazy John went to a remote corner of the tiny square so that he would not be watched by passers-by, and began to separate and group the shopping items. He would then begin to ring doorbells (as he was accustomed to doing) and would leave the bags with the shopping items on the doorsteps.

The women’s articles that he used to purchase he would take to a poor student, Katerina, one of a large family of many children; one who was in great need.

On the day of his death eight years ago, everyone in the neighborhood had a story to tell about the fool’s “pranks”: Anastasy, the janitor of the building where the fool lived, began to tell about the love he had for the Church.

He would go to church almost every day. On Sundays he would arrive even before the Priest. He would light his candle, kneel before all the holy icons and then go to his place at the entrance of the church, pretending to be a beggar. Whatever money he collected – as the Priest revealed to me – he would secretly go and deposit in the charity box for the poor and the elderly.

One day, the caretaker saw him at the charity box and thought he was trying to steal the money. So she ran to notify the priest. “Father, Crazy John has got his hands on the charity box!” she cried out. The priest then went cautiously over and secretly observed what he was doing. He saw the fool pulling money out of his pockets and depositing it the charity box.

–”What on earth are you doing there you fool?” the priest shouted. And Crazy John replied “Well father, you see a hole opened in my pocket, so to prevent the money from falling through the hole and losing it, I put it in the box for the Panaghia to guard, and to give it to others poorer than me!”

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