Wednesday, April 20, 2005


It's a beautiful day in the Fraser Valley today, so I spent most of it working in the garden. I don't mean I did easy stuff like planting and watering. No, I dug up some grass for a new plant bed and made a small retaining wall for a bed we made last year that was suffering some erosion. And now... now I'm pooped. Tomorrow I'll likely be doing more of the same. I love the work and I love the results even more but you end the day feeling it in your limbs, especially your hands. That's my explanation for the lack of any posts this morning, even though I am home this week. As things warm up around here I suspect there will be more days like this, days where it's too nice to be sitting inside, pecking away at the keyboard. That said, here are a few links to share... first, more papal reaction... I've had some fun watching how others have responded to the announcement of the new Pope yesterday. People like myself are pleased, obviously. Andrew Sullivan's mind is collapsing inwardly even as we speak (no surprise, although it is sad to behold). I am also heartened to see non Catholics who take considerably less offense than Sullivan and Co. (That has to be a record for the most links in one entry for me.) Mark Shea has posted a summary of negative reaction he calls 'the usual people saying the usual things.' It's good for a giggle. Sullivan says "[Ratzinger] even backs a pre-modern view of the conscience, which holds that you can only have a good conscience if you agree with him." That's very likely incorrect. I suspect what Sullivan's really clawing at is this. Especially the part that says "conscience needs to be formed by objective standards of moral conduct." Objective standards are from tradition, Andy. They're not from Ratzinger's so called fevered brain. Without them, "follow your conscience" means "Do what thou wilt." And I suspect that you know that. Shea also has a nice comeback to Maureen Dowd and Co. Paul Cella has a nice movie review up, containing this passage, which I hold out as a peace offering to those less pleased with the conclusion of the recent conclave. I'm hoping it might further understanding:
The critic cannot imagine that what he (or she) sees as a grand liberation may have rapidly led to a new, more subtle, enslavement; that the chains he (or she) so despised in ages past were really only protections or sentinels, erected hastily and shakily to be sure, but erected in good faith and searching human compassion, to protect the souls of men from greater demons. In short, the critic cannot really even see what has happened since the revolution was made, and the liberation achieved. He cannot conceive of himself as equally an object of criticism as his ancestors. He cannot imagine, perhaps, that one day he will be the ancestor, lonely and without weapons to defend himself against the criticism of his descendents. He sees sexual propriety, what used to be called chastity, as nothing but base oppression; and to him its clumsiness is not evidence of its humanness, but of its injustice. And the very farthest thing from his mind, the very last thing he would consider, is that, having been emancipated from his clumsy human thing, what we desperately need now is to be freed from the emancipation.

And now for things silly and amusing... Most amusing tabloid headline on Ratzinger's success. I never heard of Saint Malachy until I stumbled across his name last night. Apparently he made a prophesy about future Popes back in 1139, which some say has been very accurate. If he is accurate, we might all be in a lot more trouble than we think. According to Malachy, Benedict XVI (B16!) is the second last Pope. Ever. There are no shortage of kooky stories about the Papacy. Here are a few more. "New Men" are out. Gee, what a surprise. I find these kinds of stories incredibly annoying. Probably it has something to do with finding trends and the people who follow them incredibly annoying. Being able to spot a trend might be a useful skill (can you say marketing?), but what I really fail to understand is what one has to gain by following one. There have always been different sorts of people, interested in different thing and dressing in different ways. The only thing a trend reveals is that the marketing class has noticed you and thinks it can milk you for a few bucks. Then they'll move their roving eye onto a new target. Be yourself. Tell the marketing gurus to f*** themselves, the parasites. They trivialize everything they come in contact with.

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