Light Out at NYT? The White House?

I admit that sometimes I read the New York Times. Have I ever wondered: If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

I may have. But I have never wondered if the light in the refrigerator stays on while the door is closed.

Ever since I was three, I have known that the closing door presses a switch that turns the light off. For decades, I have thought of this as “common knowledge.”

Until today. Today I enjoyed reading Ms. Jo Becker’s “The Other Power in the West Wing,” about presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett.

Like many such articles, this one offers extensive quotes from an unnamed insider. The secret source wonders aloud about who makes the decisions, Ms. Jarrett or the President?

An interesting question. In the words of the insider, quoted verbatim in the article:

The question that is hard to get inside of, the black box, is whether she is really influencing him or merely executing decisions he’s made. That’s like asking, ‘Is the light on in the refrigerator when the door is closed?’

Now, over the years, I have ready many, many sentences which make no sense.

This one, though, takes the cake. Which I will leave, for the anonymous prize-winner, in the refrigerator. In the impenetrable darkness.

The Truth is a Confusing Thing

Did Blessed Pope Pius IX weave a crown of thorns and send it to Jefferson Davis’ post-war prison cell as a gesture of sympathy?

–Keeping the anniversary of Virginia’s secession by caressing the Davis’ wartime home with my eyes, I eagerly anticipated the sight of the relic.

To my chagrin, I learned that the crown had only been temporarily displayed in Richmond. The crown resides permanently in New Orleans.

Not only that: A thoroughly well-educated young man told me that Mrs. Varina Davis wove the crown, not the Pope.

Buzzkill. (I did lay eyes on the Holy Father’s 1863 letter to East Clay Street!)

My opinion: The arguments for Varina’s having woven the crown do not convince. Could have been the Pope…

…For our meditation: the Pontifical prayer for the consecration of the Holy Chrism, used to anoint in Holy Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders…

God our maker, source of all growth in holiness, accept the joyful thanks and praise we offer in the name of your Church. In the beginning, at your command, the earth produced fruit-bearing trees.

From the fruit of the olive tree you have provided us with oil for holy chrism. The prophet David sang of the life and joy that the oil would bring us in the sacraments of your love.

After the avenging flood, the dove returning to Noah with an olive branch announced your gift of peace. This was a sign of a greater gift to come. Now the waters of baptism wash away the sins of men, and by the anointing with olive oil you make us radiant with your joy.

At your command, Aaron was washed with water, and your servant Moses, his brother, anointed him priest. This too foreshadowed greater things to come. After your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, asked John for baptism in the waters of Jordan, you sent the Spirit upon him in the form of a dove and by the witness of your own voice you declared him to be your only, well-beloved Son. In this you clearly fulfilled the prophecy of David, that Christ would be anointed with the oil of gladness beyond his fellow men.

And so, Father, we ask you to bless + this oil you have created. Fill it with the power of your Holy Spirit through Christ your Son. It is from him that chrism takes its name and with chrism you have anointed for yourself priests and kings, prophets and martyrs.

Mary Has Chosen the Better Part

Now a Timberwolf
Now a Timberwolf
Will the Wizards win 40 games this season? That would be 21 more than they won last season, more than doubling their win percentage.

I was sorry to see Darius Songaila go. But the Wizards’ off-season trades have been excellent. I think they will play better-than-.500 ball and will contend for a playoff spot…

…For the record: I can think of a lot of places where I would love to sit and drink a cold beer.

The White House is not one of them…

…As they continued their journey, He entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed Him.

She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at His feet listening to him speak.

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to Him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” –Luke 10:38-42

There is plenty to do. But the life of action in this world is for the sake of reaching the life of contemplation in the next.

It is of the essence of the Church that she be both human and divine, visible and yet invisibly equipped, eager to act and yet intent on contemplation, present in this world and yet not at home in it; and she is all these things in such wise that in her the human is directed and subordinated to the divine, the visible likewise to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, which we seek. –Vatican Council II, Sacrosanctum Concilium 2

Christ_in_the_House_of_Martha_and_Mary

Easter Season Exegesis, Part I

fourthhorsemanWhen he broke open the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature cry out, “Come forward.” I looked, and there was a pale green horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades accompanied him. –Revelation 6:7-8

If you have not given a listen to this Johnny Cash song, I heartily recommend it. (Click the link and the audio play button. The video is a Johnny Cash look-alike, who does not do the song as much justice as this guy.)

…All kinds of strange things in the water bottles these days. Sometimes it is hard to keep your cool.

Here is the first in a four-part series of homilies on Pope Benedict’s message to the United States when he visited a year ago…

Continue reading “Easter Season Exegesis, Part I”