“A quarter of the U.S. population — and 40 percent of the population of New York, where my novel is set — self-identify as Catholic. One of the most striking features of the city is that there are churches everywhere, from one of the world’s largest cathedrals to hundreds of storefront churches. And a bit of investigation will reveal that those churches fill up every Sunday. Not to mention the fact that there are more Jews in New York than in any other city in the world. But for some reason the publishing industry in this city tends to view the introduction of religion into contemporary realist novels as a willful act that must have some strong rhetorical justification. From where I stand, the exclusion of religion is the willful act. Novelists never get asked why they don’t include religion in their books, or why the religion they do include — often just a species of madness — bears so little resemblance to religion as it is practiced by the majority of Americans. If they were asked, I suspect, most of these writers would not have a very good answer. It simply doesn’t occur to them. Whatever one’s beliefs, this seems like a basic failure of verisimilitude. Reality includes religion; realism should, too.”—Christopher Beha being interviewed by Harpers about his new novel Arts and Entertainments. (via unapologetic-book)
“Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair.”—― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island (via gaze-on-jesus)
Pain is part of being human. Anyone who really wanted to get rid of suffering would have to get rid of love before anything else, because there can be no love without suffering, because it always demands an element of self-sacrifice, because, given temperamental differences and the drama of situations, it will always bring with it renunciation and pain.
When we know that the way of love — this exodus, this going out of oneself — is the true way by which man becomes human, then we also understand that suffering is the process through which we mature. Anyone who has inwardly accepted suffering becomes more mature and more understanding of others, becomes more human. Anyone who has consistently avoided suffering does not understand other people; he becomes hard and selfish.
Love itself is a passion, something we endure. In love I experience first a happiness, a general feeling of happiness. Yet, on the other hand, I am taken out of my comfortable tranquility and have to let myself be reshaped. If we say that suffering is the inner side of love, we then also understand by it is so important to learn how to suffer — and why, conversely, the avoidance of suffering renders someone unfit to cope with life. He would be left with an existential emptiness, which could then only be combined with bitterness, with rejection, and no longer with any inner acceptance or progress toward maturity.
What bothers me about Hogwart's paintings is that they're all realistc or medieval-ish and just makes me wonder what happens if a wizard paints some cubist nonsensical shit. Would it move? Would it talk? Would it ask you for the password, or would it tell you about the meanings of within? I guess we'll never know because Dumbledore is not a fan of modern art
I fly out of Milwaukee Saturday morning and my finally week of novitiate will be in San Diego. I am truly looking forward to spending a day on South Mission Beach and body surfing. I also want to go to Tacos El Gordo and eat real Mexican food. And see my friends! I really miss SD.
I also am looking SO forward to seeing my parents. It’ll be 51 weeks that I’ve been away, which is just too long!
Mentally now I’m not really thinking Profession but packing and going to San Diego. I’m letting everyone else be excited for me! The Profession will have about 100 people there with most of the California friars and select friends and my parents (three of us are professing for California). If it was an ordination it’d be at a bigger venue and I’d invite everyone I knew, but for this there’ll be maybe 15-20 people that I know there including my two godsons!
Novitiate is a graced time with its ups and downs. I know that when I leave here I’ll miss it and realize what a gift it was, but now most of us just want to get going! Lots of mixed feelings happening. And with those feelings I want to be doing rather than thinking about them, which is exactly what the novitiate has trained me not to do! Hahaha!
“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.”—Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays (via childrenofthetao)
“The world says: “You have needs — satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.” This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.”—Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (via fy-perspectives)
What are your thoughts on incorporation? Do you think the Bill of Rights ought to apply to the states?
I have to answer your questions in two parts:
Firstly, the Federal government of the United STATES of America was specifically created by the STATES, who ceded THEIR specific and enumerated powers and authority from their jurisdiction to the new federal government. The federal government would be the body of the federation of the States. Federations have very specific and enumerated powers because they act as an agent on behalf of the person/agent who authorized it.
Notice that in our modern language in the United States of America, we use the word “state” as if it is inherently subservient to the federal entity that makes up “the United States”. Yet in proper political usage, there is no entity greater than a State. Even supra-national organizations are not greater than states; as they receive their power from states, who can freely leave these bodies if they so choose. For example, no one believes that NATO is superior to the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, or that the decisions of the European Union supersede all German law. France is a State, Mexico is a State, Indonesia is a State. City-States like Vatican City and San Marino are full states with all the powers and authority that a state may hold. Indeed the term city-state refers only to the geographic size of the state, rather than whether the power it holds is legitimate or not. Now, not all States are made up of federated systems; and that is okay. But this distinction is key in understanding the particular nature of the United States of America.
After the War of Independence, the “USA” did not exist. Rather, the 13 colonies were totally independent and distinct states, 13 entirely different countries with all the powers and authorities that come with that. This isn’t a radical idea; when the African colonies were freed by Europe after World War II, they were fully independent states (Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon), not the “United States of Africa” of English or French colonies (not to say it can’t happen).
Now, back on the Eastern seaboard of North America, the former colonies, now states all had different strengths and weaknesses, and had a common origin in being colonies of the same Empire. They quickly saw that it would be to their benefit to share certain government functions rather than having 13 governments doing what one government could easily do. Note that 13 states would have to raise 13 different armies and 13 different navies. There would be 13 different currencies (making trade among the connected and interdependent former colonies difficult). All in all, it was clear that some functions had to be shared.
This is why the powers given to the federal government were specifically enumerated. The independent countries were not wanting to give up their sovereignty entirely. They simply wanted common functions and a loose unity among the States (as a balance of power against possible future European aggression). Read Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution HERE. You find the exact powers that were given to the Federal government that would be handled by the Congress of the Federal government. The document also places certain limits on States (the States limited themselves). But reading the Constitution, and a basic understanding of the historical circumstances of the Constitution, make clear that unchecked and supreme power was not handed over to the new federation. The Supreme Court is only authorized to review specific cases and disputes between the States; the President runs the executive branch, which has few enumerated powers (because it is designed to carry out the wishes of Congress, which is already enumerated and limited which in turn authorizes the executive to act on its behalf- the US Mint coins money, for example.)
The Bill of Rights has its own unique history, and was added/amended into the Constitution to alleviate fears of the Federal government growing beyond the authorizations of the specific and enumerated powers granted to it. As such, it was placed in the Constitution and only pertained to the Federal government. This is why the 1st Amendment reads, “CONGRESS shall make no law”. Note that it does not say, “Congress, Providence, Albany, Harrisburg, Trenton… shall make no law…” The Bill of Rights, at the time it was adopted, applied only to the Federal government. It is thought that the 14th Amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights as restrictions on the States as well as the Federal government, but this is not the case. Rather, a series of Supreme Court decision began to “incorporate” the Bill of Rights and apply them to the States, read more HERE.
In response to the second part of your question, because of the historical realities and original intentions of the Constitution, I do not support the concept of incorporation. But, it does not mean that I support unchecked government power within a State government either. I don’t believe that Wisconsin should establish a State religion, for example. But it doesn’t mean that the Bill of Rights prevents Wisconsin from doing such a thing (if incorporation as it exists today did not exist). So you get a double answer, no to incorporation, and no to unlimited powers to State governments: but this check comes from the people vis a vis their State, NOT from DC.
Wars, it is said, are caused by “nationalism,” that is, love of country. This is an illusion. Wars, in nearly every instance in modern times, have been caused by economic factors and the exploitation of the national spirit to further individual ends.
The causes of war are to be found in the conflicting interests and jealousies existing between powerful financial organizations. Financiers secure power in their own country by placing within the government “statesmen” who will do their bidding, and when the clash comes, they stimulate in peoples every crude instinct of hate and murder.
"Trade," it is said "follows the flag." The reverse is the case. Trade has gone forth in the past, seeking profits for those sitting in the capitals of the country. When these traders, and their financiers, have found themselves in difficulties with traders and financiers in other nations they have not hesitated to use the "flag" as a cloak for their own misdemeanors. The "flag" is too sacred to British people all over the world to be mixed up with the sordidness of trade and finance. Let it fly freely over a people imbued with the spirit of service and duty, and above all, let it be kept out of the dust of the market place where it will be contaminated with the bargaining of the merchants and the usury of financiers.
Though my novitiate still technically has two weeks left, tomorrow we move most of our stuff to Chicago, where we will be starting graduate school in the fall… I’ve kept this list up throughout the year with both serious and goofy books, it’s pretty amazing to think that I’ve had the free time to read all these things (plus a few other things I may have forgotten to write down… anyways here is the list (in order read). Bolded are favorites.
1. The Dumb Ox, GK Chesterton
2. Nobrow, John Seabrook
3. The Everlasting Man, GK Chesterton
4. The Spirit of the Liturgy, Cardinal Ratzinger
5. Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis (even though we all know Pope Benedict wrote it)
6. The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thorton Wilder
7. Napoleon, Hillaire Belloc
8. Rise, Let us be on Our Way, St. Pope John Paul II
9. Priests for the Third Millennium, Timothy Dolan (as bishop in St. Louis)
10. The Augustinians: Origins and Spirituality, Luis Martin, OSA
11. Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI
12. Libertas, Pope Leo XIII
13. Quadragismo Anno, Pope Pius XI
14. Illustrisimi, Pope John Paul I
15. Sollicitudo Rei Solcialis, St. Pope John Paul II
16. Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII
17. Pacem en Terris, St. Pope John XXIII
18. Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis
19. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, JR Tolkien
20. Mother of God, Similar to Fire (book of icons)
21. Advent with the Church Fathers, Cardinal Ratzinger
22. Fathers of the Church on Mary
23. Prayer and St. Augustine, Gervase Corcoran, OSA
24. The Best American Short Stories, 2000
25. Commentary on the Rule of St. Augustine, Van Bavel, OSA
26. Prayer, Abhishiktananda
27. City of God, St. Augustine
28. The Pelican, Siegfried Back, OSA
29. These are the Sacraments, Ven. Fulton Sheen
30. Advent Sermons, St. Thomas of Villanova
31. The True Priest, Cardinal Pellegrino
32. Augustine Day by Day, Donald Burt, OSA
33. Redemptor Hominis, St. Pope John Paul II
34. Days of Devotion, St. Pope John XXIII
35. The Bells of Nagasaki, Nagai
36. The Story of a Soul, Ste. Therese of Lisieux
37. All Documents of the Second Vatican Council
38. Completed Works, St. John of the Cross
39. The Cloud of Unknowning, Unknown Author
40. A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II, Edward Hahnenberg
41. By Cross and By Anchor: the Story of Fr. Baraga, James Jamison
42. St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Michael Digregorio, OSA
43. Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, Diarmuid O’Murchu
44. The Game From Where I Stand, Doug Glanville
45. Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitors Guide, Lawrence Cuningham
46. The Violence of Love, Oscar Romero
47. When the Trees Say Nothing, Thomas Merton
48. Crossing the Desert, Robert Wicks
49. The Silent Life, Thomas Merton
50. Trent: What Happened at the Council, O’Malley
51. Eternal Galilean, Ven. Fulton Sheen
52. Letters to My Brothers, Fr. Rosetti
53. Pure Drivel, Steve Martin
54. Don’t Stand Next to a Naked Man, Tim Allen
55. Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen
56. The Gift of Peace, Cardinal Bernardin
57. Place of Peace and Paradox, Dianne Aprile
58. Confessions, St. Augustine (O’Rourke translation 2014)